Yngwie performed in San Diego May 14 at House of Blues…an absolutely amazing show that I will write about shortly…keep any eye out for that.
Wishing Tony Gwynn a happy birthday today.
You may ask why a baseball player is being featured on a music website…
If you follow this blog you probably know I am a huge sports fan. Growing up watching the San Diego Padres, was/is not much to root, cheer, (insert verb) for!
But in 1982 along came Tony Gwynn. As a kid you watch and cheer for your favorites. But over the years of following the team there was a ‘Tony Gwynn’ work ethic that was always discussed.
Tony was a tireless worker at his craft…hitting a baseball. He spent hours and hours watching film, studying the game and working on his game. That made a huge impression on me growing up.
It made me want to work that hard at guitar and I began to listen to guitarists who had that same work ethic. The guys who put in HOURS & HOURS day in and day out playing guitar.
Not only that he was and is a loyal citizen of America’s Finest City, San Diego! My hometown!
So that said Tony was a huge influence on me personally and professionally and that is why he is being a wished a happy birthday from me.
Thanks Tony and Happy Birthday!
This post is for all my upcoming wedding couples.
This is a great idea and WOW! …talk about thinking ahead!!! A personalized thank you card.
Congrats to Chris & Katie!!
The blues scale is a great way for beginners to start improvising and an integral scale for all guitarists to have in their musical tool box. It is versatile and a bit forgiving in that it is basically a five note pentatonic scale with the added ‘blues’ note…the #4.
It’s easy to know which key to use the blues scale for a minor key. If you’re in A minor you play A minor blues, E minor-E blues…etc.
What is not so obvious is which major key to use the blues scale. Unless you are playing a straight ahead blues you can’t really use the same theory…G major= G blues, etc.
The answer lies with the ‘relative minor’ key. The relative minor is 3 half steps below the root of the major key. So the relative minor of C major is A minor. G major is E minor.
Once you know which relative minor you can rip away.
Here is a list of Major keys and their relative minors commonly used in guitar. A cheat sheet to get you started, but, you will NEED to know these intimately as part of your music theory repertoire!
Major key / Relative minor key(where to use your blues scale)
Click here for more practice tips.
In the past, I have written about relaxing music and what makes it relaxing. The words that I come up with over and over again are spacing and open-ness. Most of my previous posts focused on these traits in regards to the harmonies(chords) and rhythms.
In ‘Un Bal,’ Berlioz uses another technique in addition to these, orchestration. One of my favorite aspects of composing and listening to music is that of orchestration. The combination of instruments and timbres(sounds). When in the hands of a master, I believe, that even inferior melodic/harmonic music can be made great.
Berlioz often uses sparse groups of instruments including solos. When the music does get more dramatic he tends to feature the strings and woodwinds over the heavier brass timbres, of the later Romantics such as Mahler and Wagner. The use of a harp adds to the dulcet nature of the piece.
The creator of the embedded video supplies some great commentary. For those of you trying to gain insights into classical music make sure you check out their other videos, as well.
Songs for shaking your wedding groove thang
Trying to figure out which songs to play for which important moments on your wedding day? Get some inspiration as The Reflective Bride shares what her and her groom chose for their big day, and how it turned out.
For our reception we hired a DJ, which meant that we could play any song of our choosing, and of course any version of that song.
Here are some of the key points to my recent UCSD lecture on music of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods.
Baroque 1600-1750 The end of the Baroque period corresponds with arguably the greatest composer of the era, J.S. Bach’s death in 1750.
Classical 1750-1820 There is much debate regarding the transition date between Classical and Romantic periods largely focused on Beethoven and which period he belonged.
Romantic 1820-1910 The Romantic period ended early in the 20th Century as an artistic movement. However, in music it is still largely utilized in popular media most noticeably in the film scores of John Williams.(Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter)
Baroque -Originally a derogative term to describe a mis-shapen pearl due to the music’s ornateness stemming out of the more ‘refined’ renaissance period.
Classical -Highly formulaic and stylistic. The term ‘Classical’ is often employed when discussing all ART music from Middle Ages through Modern styles.
Romantic -In reaction to classic ideals. Romantics strove to push the envelope and express nature and the human spirit.
Baroque -Polyphonic, Multiple simultaneous melodies creating harmonies(chords)
Classical -Homophonic, One main melody over chords(most pop music is homophonic)
Romantic -Chromatic, All twelve notes of the octave became important during this period vs. the propensity to concentrate on the seven belonging to each key.
Baroque -Handel, Vivaldi, J.S. Bach
Classical -Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven
Romantic -Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, Liszt, Wagner, Mahler
How musicians were chiefly employed
Baroque -Church, sacred music
Classical -Court, employed by the monarchy
Romantic -Rise of the virtuoso/self promotion, Much in the way bands today distribute fliers for their shows musicians had to pave their way and make a name for themselves.
Baroque -Nationalistic, There were several ‘schools’ of composition in Europe. Italian, French, German, English…
Classical -International, Throughout Europe, Western classical music could be heard with similar styles and tastes.
Romantic -Nationalistic, Once again styles were locally influenced. In the Romantic period composers actually incorporated local folk music into their works. This created more of an ethnic diversity than the individual stylistic schools of the Baroque.
Baroque, This is a great illustration of the multiple voices that are integral to Baroque style
Classical, The following clip displays the grace and highly stylistic nature of the era.
Romantic, Compare the grandiose individualistic nature of the following Mahler excerpt to the stylistic Mozart piece above.
I thought I would do a review of the parts of the Grammys that I watched last night.
So here it is…
Nope didn’t watch a lick…
Nothing against the Grammys or pop music in general…I just love music, not awards for who sells the most records.
Tune in next week as I review Paris Hilton/s greatest hits…
This guitar practice tip may be one of the most important to keep in mind when learning the instrument(or anything new). Unfortunately, for some it might be one of the hardest pieces of advice to truly grasp and put in your tool box.
Recently, I’ve been reading about how adults learn vs. how children learn, not just guitar, but, in other areas like language, as well. As is often suggested, do kids really have a larger capacity to learn than adults? Looking back upon my most successful students over the years they all have had one thing….
As previously mentioned, it is often said that kids learn things so much easier. Brain science and genetics aside this may not be a true statement. In my experience teaching both adults and kids it has a lot to do with learning style.
Adults have learned how to learn already. We learn how to study, play sports and drive for success. There are as many strategies for tackling new things as there are people trying new things.
Kids are more pliable in their learning styles. More willing to take to heart what teachers suggest. Without as much life experience, they are more open to just purely DOING something new and seeing what happens.
By the time we are adults we have developed certain preconceived notions how to learn things. An athlete may learn by taking new experiences head on with brute force and strength. An engineer may face things analytically, breaking down problems, systematically and logically solving the unknown.
How we were brought up determines how we learn, as well…good ol’ nature vs. nurture.
Athletes pound it out, music ain’t like that…
Salesmen don’t take no for an answer, music ain’t like that…
Students work extremely hard studying to do well on tests, music ain’t like that…
Where am I going with all this? Teaching thousands of students from 4 year olds to elderly and all ages in between over the past 20 years one thing stands out.
To go Yoda on you, …”Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
Yeah it is kind of ‘use the force’ when learning music.
-You may need to check your learning and drive for success styles at the door when trying an instrument. (Although they may help some they may ultimately hinder you, as well)
-You need to be open to exposing yourself a bit by dropping your pre-conceived notions for success in other fields.
…So what is the one thing my most successful students possessed?
They had an adaptable approach…They knew when to push hard and when to let off the gas. When to listen and when to attack. On and on…
In essence they had a flexible approach rather than a rigid pre-learned approach to learning and achieving musical success.
Bottom line approach the guitar with an open mind!
Be willing to learn in a different way than you’ve previously had success in other areas of life, when needed.
Above all, at all levels of your journey enjoy playing!!
Time for the big matchup. The Baltimore Ravens taking on the San Francisco 49ers. Maybe not the matchup everyone was hoping for or expecting, but, they are the teams that will be facing off in Superbowl XLVII.
Here is your chance to predict the outcome of the game. Sports are a huge part of our culture…but, we all know music is a much stronger force! Vote for your favorite song below. I will tally the votes and have the Superbowl winner for you before the game.
Raven by Dave Matthews
Funk #49 by The James Gang
Check out my NFL Pre-season Predictions Rock n Roll Edition…I think I did OK!