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Found 5 results

  1. Introduction

    Hi! My name is Tamara Hey. I'm a singer-songwriter and music teacher. I teach guitar and music theory workshops in NYC and online. My workshops are tailored to the needs of songwriters/lyricists/singers and include basic lead-sheet and chart-writing techniques. I've joined Songstuff today because I'm interested to know what music theory questions songwriters bring up so I can continue to serve those needs. Also, I love songwriting more than anything.
  2. Preparing for the Linnstrument

    When I made the decision to purchase a linnstrument I knew I'd have challenges before me. First arranging the money, then coping with the wait (it will be close to two weeks from decision till delivery. Setting up my studio to accommodate the linnstrument and still having access to all the other physical objects required. I've decided to make the most of this waiting period by practicing concepts before it arrives, printing out an image and securing the image to a sturdy folding table. Now for the challenges For a guitarist,,,,,,Everything is upside down and backwards when playing the linnstrument as a desktop instrument!!!! Not only that.the lowest note is... F# So as soon as the linnstrument arrives I'm transposing it to C. There are numerous reasons for this. Including when instruments are sampled they rarely are to the full range of the instrument. Rather plugin makers often sample a few (or sometimes only one) keys and then shelf the octaves above and below. Each octave downward gets continually grainy sounding due to the artificial transposition of the note. The breaking point is always...C As well If you have spent much time transcribing piano C is usually the lowest note played on the piano for a song. Which introduces a new challenge... I should have printed out a mock up of the linnstrument with the proper tuning I'll be using. It would have made the transition from mock up to usage easier. Here's where things get interesting. There are no "How to play the linnstrument books or videos or online lessons. I'll be the first. For us linnstrumentalists on the bleeding edge of a new frontier. We are left with watching videos to try and grasp at concepts or to our own devices. A simple example... Scales. With one hand you can play 4 finger scales, three finger scales, and two finger scales ...oh yeah you can also play five finger(thumb) scales. That's one hand... You can also play all the above mentioned with the other. With two hands combined you can also play scales. I did some demos of playing 1+2 and 2+2 approaches for the ztar here - And Here - Here's another interesting facet about playing the linnstrument. Each one hand primary (three notes only) chord has three different shapes. Three for major, three for minor and three for diminished. Once you master those three "Shapes" you can transpose them to anything. Which is fine but as you expand your chords more options become available as to what finger does what. . A Linnstrument can play up to three notes per string simultaneously. I as a musician am not a natural. People often compliment me for my graceful performances as if they are too magical to be anything but natural. Even the gift of self discipline isn't a gift. I have to work to make it a reality.
  3. Fuzzy Logic Jazz Theorems

    Jazz can be a nightmare for those with a rudimentary knowledge of classical music theory. Somethings just won't make sense. Don't worry.. Many classical standards from Bizet's Carmen to Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee resplendent with chromaticism also fly in the face of Diatonic structures used to teach the principles Some theorems apply in some circumstances while fail in other. As a classic example. In the earliest era of jazz "swing" was accomplished via poly rhythms not the triplets / shuffle pattern we used today. It was a two over three beat. A march (2/4) and a Waltz (3/4) both played at the same time.. There are two approaches to jazz performance. One where everything is exactly notated and arranged for performance and generally intended for Big Band settings and the other where by choices are made by the player using both conventional and non conventional choices for interpretation. Without further adieu things to consider about jazz as you study it, perform it, and generally get the hang of it. In Jazz - The Dominant 7th chord refers not to it's function as the 5th (V) chord but to the spelling of the Chord. That being a Major Chord with a flattened 7th degree. Dominant 7th chords are implicit while Major Seventh Chords are Explicit. As an example If a song is in the Key of C and you see a C7 it means the chord has a flattened 7th degree (C-E-G-Bb) However if the chord is Expressly written as a Maj7 it means it explicitly utilizes the major 7th degree (C-E-G-B ) A common substitutions where by a minor chord is converted to a dominant 7th. In popular form I-VI7-ii7-V7 progressions and turnarounds. When expressing Jazz theory of chord movement is expressed in Roman Numeral based on scale degrees. Uppercase denotes Major while lower case denotes minor. I,ii,iii,IV,V,vi, Chords that are not derived from the major scale degrees are expressed as flats bII, bIII, bV bVII, bVII In usage flat chords can be functional passing or neighboring chords to a target chord, or substitutions (tritone and more) or representations of chords based on minor keys degrees or operate as nonfunctional harmony or harmonic justification (block chords) or when the key is specifically a minor key. Common relative major for minor or minor for major is not considered a valid substitution. One cannot simply supplant a IV chord for a ii chord or vice versa. Extended chord names are derived from chord scale values Extending the scale unless explicitly expressed as a major 7th degree it is assumed to be dominant and assumed that the 7th value is present. For example D(7)9 D-F#-A-C-E C11 C-E-G-Bb-F G13 G-B-D-F-E In practice the 5th is often omitted from chord voicings. and with jazz guitar where a 13th chord appears the third appears as the 10th. EG a G13 would be commonly voiced G-F-B-E or in the form of an inversion a G13 may be expressed as F-B-E-G. As the bass player is expected to hold down the root of the chord Guitarists and Keyboard players may opt for "rootless chords" Tritone Substitution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritone_substitution Can be used on any chord (not just the functioning V) Where a major chord is expressed as a dominant (1-3-5-b7) Although it is most commonly used as a subitution for the functioning V or I chord. In expanded tritone substitution any chord that contains the original tritone (major 3rd,b7th) can be substituted with any chord that also contains those same intervals. EG C7 (C-E-G-Bb) Em7b5 (E-G-Bb-D) In Jazz the full diminished chord is built of equal minor thirds values creating a diminished 6th (B-D-F-Ab) they are less common. More common is the Half Diminished. Because this chord rarely functions as the vii chord in a progression it is generally expressed as m7b5 Get used to that m7b5 chord you'll see it alot. It's commonly used as a substitute for Dominant 9 chords built on the 3rd interval. Example G-B-F-A becomes B-F-A-D. It's often used as substitution chord built on the 6th degree of a minor chord. Example Cm (C-Eb-G) becomes Amb7 (A-G-C-Eb) . The m7b5 is used as a bii substitution for the major7 chord. GM7 (G-B-D-F#) becomes Abm7b5 (Ab-B-D-Gb). Occasionally it is used as a "pivot" chord after a series of whole step modulations to return to the root (Bluesette) or simply as the diminished chord ala "Autumn Leaves" If none of the above makes any sense from what you believe to be true...Well welcome to the world of Jazz, the art of the inexact. It's not intended as science and this barely covers the basics. Don't worry you are not expected to learn all this in a day or a week. Simply take note of it as you read it and then refer back to it as you develop. Not all these concepts are used all the time in jazz simply because something "Can" be done doesn't mean it by default "should" or "has to" be done And yet none of them can be fully comprehended until you've experienced them time and time again. Experience that comes from playing the principles, Not reading them, not listening to them in reflection but experiencing them in the moment. Still want to play Jazz?
  4. Introducing Glenn Allen

    Hi, full disclosure, I dropped out of Berklee College of Music after 3 semesters. I couldn't afford it. I play guitar, bass, piano, drums, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, and saxophones. I worked as sound tech and a recording engineer. Okay, fuller disclosure, I am mediocre at banjo, but I do play the other instruments professionally. I've spent the last ten years learning how learning works, digging for songwriting and performance insights, and performing, recording, and teaching what I've discovered.
  5. I've been playing guitar going on 35 years now. Generally people find what works for them and then stick with that course of action. Unless they get super serious and find themselves going through teachers like water. I consider myself fairly versatile. I can: Flatpick all downstrokes like BB King Alternate flatpicking Sweeps and Rakes Hybrid with flatpick Travis style with thumbpick Thumpick only All the uke picking methods My own style of finger picking which is mostly flesh not nail Tap Two finger alternate bass playing Pop and Snap With all this up my sleeve and more techniques I've developed while playing the ztar which can't be applied to a guitar, The two things I can't do. Traditional classical right hand finger picking. I can simply not get my hand in that "Crane" position and make good contact with the strings. I can not extend my hand above the strings in that manner. I'm so used to playing live and loud and bracing the strings by curling my fingers more or the side of my palm. This young lady Mesmerizes me with how natural she makes it appear. Gypsy Strumming For basically the same reason. That type of strumming requires a loose "monkey paw type wrist. and twisting from the wrist back to the forearm. Not a windshield wiper motion. Every few years I pull those two out of my bag of tricks, Try for a few weeks then give up and move onto something else.