The Guitar Gods Smiled Upon Me….

While I always feel ‘crazy’ lucky to be a guitarist for a living….I had a nice little gift from the Guitar Gods this morning during my workout.

Every morning, I trudge out to get my blood flowing, trusty IPod always in tow, shuffling though 8000 or so songs! I like to shuffle, both for the randomness and the fact that with so much music I get  to hear stuff I would probably never pick or even remember that I own.

Anywho, first up on this sunny morning was Joe Satriani’s “Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing,” a classic to be sure. Followed by, Dokken’s, “Tooth and Nail,” with George Lynch’s extended guitar solo, Jimi Hendrix’ classic, “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Espiritu,” by the De Lucia, McLaughlin, Di Meola trio and capped off with, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” Van Halen’s live version.

Good thing it was a short workout or the next song that may have popped up could have been my daughter’s Little Einsteins and ruined my Guitar Gods Smiling on Me theory.

Peace…have a great one everybody!

This is IMPRESSIVE, Cure For Bieber Fever

I saw these kids on the Today Show, they are amazing! In the video below they appeared on David Letterman. Dave was joking and teasing at first then amazed after their performance.

No offense against the Justin Biebers and Jonas Brothers and farther back the Britney Spears and even farther back the Debbie Gibsons and the New Kids on the Block and on and on. The list is endless of industry created acts. Of course they all have talented voices and can dance well and most of them are pretty …even the boys.

However, not one of them got anything on the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys! These three brothers play their instruments with a virtuosic command many long time studying musicians wish they had. They say the name came from the fact the little brother playing banjo was too small to actually hold it up when he started out and would lay down to play.

All the best to these three!!

Here is the link to their website.

Enjoy!

Key Points from My Lecture on Baroque, Classical and Romantic Music

Here are some of the key points to my recent UCSD lecture on music of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods.

Dates

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)

Definitions

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.

Style/Texture

BaroquePolyphonic, Multiple simultaneous melodies creating harmonies(chords)

ClassicalHomophonic, One main melody over chords(most pop music is homophonic)

RomanticChromatic, All twelve notes of the octave became important during this period vs. the propensity to concentrate on the seven belonging to each key.

Composers

Baroque -Handel, Vivaldi, J.S. Bach

Classical -Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven

Romantic -Schubert, Chopin, Brahms, Liszt, Wagner, Mahler

Society

How musicians were chiefly employed

BaroqueChurch, sacred music

ClassicalCourt, employed by the monarchy

RomanticRise 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.

Global

BaroqueNationalistic, There were several ‘schools’ of composition in Europe. Italian, French, German, English…

ClassicalInternational, Throughout Europe,  Western classical music could be heard with similar styles and tastes.

RomanticNationalistic, 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.

Examples

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.

Classic Video!

This is a great way to start off your week! Whether you are working today or off for the holiday make sure you watch this video.

I think I shared this before on my Facebook page, but, it is worth the re-post.

Bob Marley, Happy 68th Birthday

Today, February 6, would have been legendary Reggae artist Bob Marley’s 68th birthday.

His album “Legend” is one of the worlds ‘must have’ albums and I think it is even required to be owned in certain states…(or certain states of mind) lol

Peace BM!

Here is a classic live video version of No Woman No Cry. Unfortunately, the sound quality fades towards the end…even worse it starts with the guitar solo… 😦

Visit Bob Marley’s Website

Music to Relax, Friday Edition, Joe Satriani

Hope you are all having a great Friday evening! Coming off a vacation I am having a nice relaxing evening at home. Well actually I have been working so far, but, I am relaxed.

Here is a cool-funky-chill song from guitar legend Joe Satriani.

Enjoy and relax, especially all you sports fans gearing up for the Superbowl on Sunday.

For previous ‘Music to Relax’ posts click here.

A Guitar Christmas, Jimi Hendrix, Silent Night/Little Drummer Boy/Auld Lang Syne

This is a new one to me. I am sure tired and true Hendrix fans have already heard this one, but,  I never even knew it existed.

You know when you got to a Christmas party and the host has a holiday playlist where every song sounds like Frank Sinatra? Nothing against Frank I am a fan myself, but, I need a variety in my holiday playlist. Classical to Metal, Latin to Country, New Age to Punk….that makes an interesting list in my opinion.

There is just something about hearing holiday music interpreted by great musicians and this medley is definitely all Jimi!

So glad to have found this gem to add to my collection.

Enjoy!