Guitar and a Cold Craftbeer!! #Winning

February 2016 we tapped the keg on Aces & Ales Guitar Classes w a Pint of Craftbeer. The classes began at Oceanside Ale Works(Home of the Dude Double IPA) Maybe you heard about it…lol

Two and a half years later and the classes are still going strong!

We’ve held classes at Oceanside Ale Works, Green Flash Cellar 3, Thorn Street Brewery, Second Chance Beer Co. and for the wine lovers we have been holding classes at Koi Zen Cellars in Carmel Mountain.

The classes are all about guitar and the beauty is getting all levels involved; there is something for everyone.

-Absolute beginners join in and get their feet wet. Rhythm and getting comfortable with a guitar and making cool sounds is the focus.

-Intermediate players come for the chance to play in a group setting. No matter how much you practice at home you just cant substitute playing with other musicians.

-Advanced players come to pick up tips on improvising and music theory.

All levels really do fit together! The key is the relaxed atmosphere no matter what experience you have you will learn something and did I mention you get a pint of craft beer?

Win-Win! For everyone!

Classes mix it up with classic rock, blues, classical, flamenco, jazz…

Regular classes are held at

Second Chance Beer Co in Carmel Mountain

Every 1st & 3rd Mondays, 630PM $15

Koi Zen Cellars in Carmel Mountain

Every 2nd Thursday, 630PM $20

RSVPs are strongly recommended!!!!

We enjoy branching out to new and rotating venues so check the schedule often.

If you know of a favorite locale that might like to host a class shoot me a note and we will try to set something up!

Cheers!

Mike

Making a Halloween Music Playlist? Deviate From the Norm!

Happy Halloween! The good news is I have been keeping a guitar in my hands…much more than my blog lately. So with not much time to write thought I would reblog last years Halloween Playlist ideas. Also type Halloween in the search bar top of my site for other previous Halloween posts. BOO! Mike

Mike Slayen ~ Guitarist

Happy Halloween Week everyone! Always one of my favorite holidays.

Are you one of those people who loves to make a playlist for your Halloween parties or to scare trick or treaters as they come hit you up for their Snickers fix?

Well if so this post is for you, and for those of you looking to treat your ears to some new music, as well.

Year after year we hear the same ol’ Halloween standards….Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” “The Monster Mash,”  “One Eyed One Horned Purple People Eater” as festive, quirky pop tunes. Then there is the sophisticated setlisters who employ classical music.  Pieces like; Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D min,” Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mtn. King” and Orff’s “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana.

Lets ‘Deviate from the Norm’ this year….to borrow a line from Rush’s Geddy Lee and Neil Peart. Here are a few ideas…

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Why Hire a Professional Wedding Musician?

I get plenty of these type responses, as to why people don’t want to pay a professional musician to perform their ceremony…

“My nephew plays guitar,”

“My Uncle’s barber’s son plays guitar and will do our wedding for $50,”

“Our best man plays guitar,” and so on and so on.

Careful you might get this person!! That is assuming they even show up. I often book last minute weddings from those who hired their uncle’s barber’s son, who chicken out two days before the ceremony when they try to learn the music and realize they can’t play it…

Here is why you might want to have a second thought hiring family, a friend or friend of a friend.

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Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring,” 100 Years Today

Ahhhh Classical music, enjoyed by the aristocracy, your grandmother’s tea sipping friends the 1% in todays terms….

Well that was the scene 100 years ago today as Stravinsky’s, “Rite of Spring,” was premiered. Well that was allegedly the scene. Would you believe these said music aficionados and high society folks kind of started a riot? Booed so loud the music could not be heard? Began throwing anything they could find?

However it went down that fateful night the music has absolutely stood the test of time. 100 years later the piece’s centennial is being celebrated all over the globe with performances and tributes.

Yes, for most people’s tastes, even today it sounds odd and perhaps ‘ugly.’ For those who have found their way into the works masterful composition it is a thing of beauty. When I first began studying music I was a Mozart and Bach fan. The ‘modern’ art music was not for me… But, through time and guidance of some of the most amazing musicians, my San Diego State music professors, I have learned to appreciate and yes even enjoy, ‘modern’ music.

To really explore the piece, I bought the score back in college so I could immerse myself, visually and aurally, inside the compositional and instrumentation processes Stravinsky employed. Try following the notes on the video below, the piece’s first section.

You have to laugh a little at what in art is called ‘modern,’ because most of it is extremely old. The 20th Century may well go down as the “Modern Era,” for hundreds of years to come. Like the 14th Century is known as ‘Ars Nova,’ or new art.

‘Modern,’ music may never be fully encompassed by humans. Perhaps it lies just out of our centered humanness and can only be appreciated and enjoyed by those who seek to study and look for it’s beauty.

I find myself extremely lucky to be able to love music, such as, the “Rite of Spring,” with all its complexities both in sonority and compositional structure and then listen to a 3 chord AC/DC hard rock song and be moved by both.

The part of the “Rite of Spring,” that has always moved me most both sonically and compositionally starts at approximately 7:45 on the video below. Specifically at 7:56 through the 10:30 mark, although the WHOLE piece is a true masterpiece!

Open your ears and Enjoy!!

Better Than Coffee, Vol. 2, Chopin

Chopin

A little blood pumping ‘classical’ music for your Monday morning. Chopin was actually a composer during the Romantic Period (1820-1910). He lived 39 short years, 1810-1849, but, left an amazing musical legacy in his piano works.

Enjoy!

Randy Rhoads, 31 Years Gone, Still Influencing Guitarists!

The Classic Randy Rhoads Poster
The Classic Randy Rhoads Poster

The first concert I ever went to was Ozzy Osbourne, January 4, 1982 at the San Diego Sports Arena. I remember it like it was yesterday. The only bummer about this show was that it was right after Christmas vacation from school. Since I was counting down the days until the show I was in essence counting down my vacation….

But, not only was it an Ozzy show, it was Ozzy with Randy Rhoads. Randy Rhoads the guitar legend who would tragically be killed in an airplane crash just over two months after this show. I can still picture the crushed students at my Junior High School wearing black armbands. That was the cool way to pay tribute to a fallen rock idol in those days. John Bonham and Bon Scott were two others so honored, I recall. I always cherish the fact I was lucky enough to see Randy live and my first concert!!

Randy was the first guitar hero to blend a classical approach with heavy metal. Most guitarists at the time were more blues/rock influenced. With only two studio recordings, “Blizzards of Ozz,” and “Diary of a Madman,” to his credit, Randy has left a huge legacy regardless. His influence still reaches out today 31 years after his death to new generations of guitarists.

RIP RR

“SATO,” is a cool song, maybe not one of Randy’s classics. I picked this video as it does a great job featuring him!