Welcome to Volume 3, Issue #11 of Guitar Noise News!
In This Issue:
- News and Announcements
- New Articles and Lessons
- Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow
- Buried Treasure Of The Internet
- Forum Findings
- Event Horizon
- Off Site Sightings and Works In Progress
- Random Thoughts
News And Announcements
Unbelievable, another year over already.
I know I have another newsletter to go, but I wanted to try something a bit different. We had so many disasters and unpleasant things happening this past year it seems like it’s almost a good year to forget. But you know in the Ying and Yang of things a lot of good things happened this past year too.
So here is your assignment, (should you decide to accept it); email me what you think were the best parts of last year as it pertains to you musically.
Did you reach any milestones? Play out for the first time? Get some new gear? Meet new people? Learn a song you only dreamed you’d ever play?
Do you want to pay tribute to a musician who passed last year? Send it to me.
How about best post or funniest post on the forum? What was your favorite article?
Send your emails to me at email@example.com and I’ll publish the best next week in the newsletter.
New Articles And Lessons
The Huron Carol
By Doug Sparling
This lovely fingerstyle Christmas carol comes to us from Canada, where it’s still sung in churches at holiday time. Doug gives us a little history on The Huron Carol and then walks us through this terrific arrangement, done in open G minor tuning.
Exploring Music With Darrin Koltow
Without harmony, there is no music.
The more you understand harmony and chords, the better your playing will sound. Understanding chords makes learning tunes, melodies, improvising and licks much easier. How do we get this understanding? Exploring, playing and tinkering with chords. Just reading about chords won’t do it. Plus, how much fun is reading compared to playing?
Here are some practical facts about chords. Search on MaximumMusician.com, other web sites, in music instruction books — not just those for guitar — and your guitar teacher to learn more about each of these.
The V7-I progression
This is one of the strongest and most common chord progressions. Play G7 to C and you’ll hear how musical it is. Learning just this one simple progression in several keys and with different patterns on the fretboard launches you toward a mastery of music.
The “sweet note”
The “sweet note” of a chord is its third. It makes a chord basically happy (major) or sad (minor). Changing just one chord’s sweet note can affect the whole mood of a tune. Master your mood by studying all notes of the chord, especially the third. You can start by strumming your favorite tune, and singing the third of each chord, instead of the song’s usual melody.
The forbidden interval
The tritone interval sounds so unstable, it was banned from being played in the Middle Ages. In the G7 chord, the tritone is formed by the notes B and F. Study this vital part of the music you enjoy and play.
What do Amazing Grace and the beginning of the theme to Star Wars have in common? The interval of a fourth. The strongest chord progressions, including the V-I, also use it. When you understand and use it, your playing grows stronger. Examples: notes G to C, F to F and A to D. If you know the Cycle of Fourths, you know all movements by a perfect fourth.
Roman numerals are used frequently in lessons on chords and harmony. Without understanding how they’re used, you won’t understand lessons that contain them. Here are the chords that Roman numerals represent in the key of C major:
Key centers are the “home base” for a section of music. Each key center is a central tone that other tones are drawn to. The ii-V-I progression (Dm-G7-C, for example) fully creates a new key center. Once you grasp this idea, you learn new songs fast, because they are no longer collections of isolated chords, but a flowing network of key centers.
Chords from thirds
Most chords are built from notes in a certain way — in thirds, which give the chord a defined sound and clear feeling. By exploring this topic, your fingers will begin to automatically choose fewer wrong chords and more of the right ones.
Practicing in several keys
Practicing any lick, chord or other musical fragment in just one key enslaves your mind, fingers and ears to that key. Free yourself by practicing in other keys. On guitar, a good way to start this project is to learn the I-IV-V chords in the keys of C, F, G, A, E, and D.
Melodies would not exist without arpeggios, which are the notes in a chord. Studying arpeggios is an easy way to sound musical.
Sweet solos are often built heavily on chord tones. Improve your solos by studying chord tones.
Connect arpeggio and chord patterns
Learning the fretboard is much easier when you see connections among patterns for arpeggios and chords. One approach to seeing these connections is to study basic Chord Melody playing. This means you’re playing the complete song, both chords and the melody.
Simplify chord names
Some chords look strange and difficult on paper. But learning a song from notation becomes easy when you realize that “C6/9” is really just a C major chord. Also, when you see a Cm9, Cm11 or Cm6, you can replace the chord with a plain Cm7 or Cm. Learn how to simplify other chord names.
Much success in your further exploration of guitar chords.
Buried Treasure Of The Internet
All right, I’m going to cheat here and direct you to one page with a couple of marvelous things to listen to:
I want you to listen to two, Susan Tedeschi who has a new album out “Hope and Desire” and one that sounds like I wrote the title “Hearing Voices: My Guitar is better than Prozac.”
Susan Tedeschi has the most amazing voice I’ve heard in a long time. When you hear her play, (on her first album, not this one), you’ll be amazed too. It’s like listening to Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin blended together.
Wow, year 4 of the Sunday Songwriters group. I really have to get back in there. I do keep threatening too. Well there is nothing to fear, Bob is gentle with newbies.
Here is the topic for this week:
This week saw the sad, but somewhat inevitable, passing of the footballing genius that was George Best. His exploits on and off the field were a source of inspiration and scandal in equal measure and it got me to thinking about heroes. Particularly about flawed geniuses and how they make us feel. So that’s what I want for this week’s assignment – I’d like you to wtrite a song about your hero (or one of them if like me you have too many to mention). I don’t want the song to be about their life I want it to be about their impact on your life, how they made you feel, how you tried to emulate them etc.
Good writing and as for George may he rest in peace.
If you happen to be in or traveling through Costa Rica…
The Flash Doo-Right String Band will be playing at the Hotel Gilded Iguana in Playas de Nosara, Nosara Costa Rica every Tuesday starting next Tuesday. Guest guitar player Bill MacPherson of Native Vibe will be leading the charge. Bring your own guitar and sing when we’re on break!
Monica Yonge: Rock On
Review by: Jimmy Caterine
If you like music like good down home rock and roll with a lot of slide guitar, an air about it reminiscent of the late 60’s early 70’s and a strong female voice. Monica Yonge’s Rock On is right up your alley.
The Mother Hips : Red Tandy (EP)
Review by: Jimmy Caterine
The Mother Hips apparently are in tune with the movement to recapture the 60’s. Their sound certainly resonates with the music of the decade. Red Tandy is an EP released at the request of their die-hard fans and it is the perfect appetizer for a full length LP due out sometime in 2006.
Jeffrey Osbourne : From The Soul
Review by: Jimmy Caterine
In the R&B world Jeffrey Osborne is a household name. In his 35 year career, this legendary singer/songwriter has produced hits with the 70’s R&B outfit L.T.D. and followed that with a successful solo career. On From The Soul, Osborne has recorded all of his favorite R&B numbers but there’s a twist. He has done them in the genre of smooth jazz, and it is a monster.
So how was your Thanksgiving?
Mine was good, thanks for asking.
Even better was the Black Friday Jam hosted by none other than our own gnease.
For me it’s about a two and a half hour drive, probably more if you aren’t driving a BMW 5 series with a radar detector after drinking a venti triple shot Mocha. But still that’s a long way to go for a jam isn’t it?
I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
The music is like, well like I said above “My guitar is better than Prozac”
It’s cheaper than therapy. Well unless you buy guitars like I do in which case its much more expensive. Also once you start the obsessive compulsive buying of guitars you really need therapy so you end up spending twice as much. Then you end up seeing a therapist who it turns out has a thing for guitar players and next thing you know you and your wife end up in court with a….a…
Uhhh, I digress.
But music soothes the soul. Zen guitar is meditative, and I don’t know for sure but I think it cures whatever ails you.
And it is so much more than that. You get to meet people who share your common interest. You get to meet people who love to teach, share, jam, make fools of themselves, zone out and sometimes play incredible music that is above their capability, and sometimes play music that just does not suck and who love life and the music they can make in it.
It is you guys that I am thankful for.
Peace and play well.