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Music Lessons From And For ATS Members.

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posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 12:57 AM
reply to post by DrumsRfun

No idea how sitars are tuned, I'm afraid... but there's always Wiki to help us out, isn't there?

From which we learn that the drone strings are tuned to the root and fifth of the scale we wish to use, but there are other sympathetic strings which may be tuned differently and which vibrate when those notes come up in the raga being played.

Personally, I occasionally play gigs in which the tune "Signed, Sealed Delivered (I'm Yours)" comes up, which has an intro which would have been played on the electric sitar, and for that I use a patch on my Roland GT-8 which does the job... in a slightly less-than-satisfactory way.

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 04:48 AM
Modes (2) - The Ionian mode

It's just the old-fashioned name for the major scale. A lot of pop's bounciest, brightest tunes are written in this mode, as is a lot of jolly-sounding classical music. Not a lot to say - it's a sound we all know and love.

It should be noted that the I, IV and V chords are all major triads.

In C, this would be C, F and G: in E, this would be E, A and B.

I'm a firm believer in people working things out for themselves - you learn much better that way, I find - so I'm not about to write it out in all keys. That's something you're much better off doing for yourself.

What I would do is introduce you to the idea that, if you're improvising, the IV and V triads, between them, contain 6 out of the seven notes of the scale. And that continues to work as you permutate the scale modally.

So - an F major triad has the notes F, A and C: G major contains G, B and D.

The only missing note is E, the third of the root chord C. We'll come back to this idea.

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 05:00 AM
A really useful tip for learning the fretboard of the guitar

Learn triads on all string sets.

Again, I'm only going to give one example, and let those who want to work the rest of this out for themselves. As I say, you'll learn more that way.

So, D major. We have three basic shapes on the top three strings.

The lowest position has:
  • F# on the top E string 2nd fret
  • D on the B string third fret
  • A on the G string second fret.

The next postion has:
  • A on the top E string 5th fret
  • F# on the B string 7th fret
  • D on the G string 7th fret.

The next postion has:
  • D on the top E string 10th fret
  • A on the B string 10th fret
  • F# on the G string 11th fret.

This of course repeats for the octave above. Go as high up the guitar neck as you can.

Then find the same chord on the D G and B stings, the A D and G strings and the E A and D strings.

Then mix them up on other stringsets:

ADB... etc.

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 05:17 AM
Modes (3) - the Dorian mode

This was the first mode I got to grips with and it's still my favourite.

It's using a major scale but beginning from the second degree. In C, this gives you D E F G A B C. D major has two sharps, F# and C#, so you can see that the mode is like a major scale but with the thrid and seventh flattened.

Years ago in an interview with (I think) Guitar Player, Eddie Van Halen said, if you're in E, you can just play a D major scale and it'll sound really cool.

That was my "lightbulb" moment for modes generally and the Dorian mode in particular. It's a really cool idea to have particular songs or licks that typify a sound for you.

Useful things to remember about the Dorian mode is that it's a minor scale, but the IV chord within the mode is major. So for example, a typical Dorian mode progression in E would be Em - G - A.

And this brings me on to something I said I'd come back to a couple of posts ago. I said that in any major scale, the IV and V chords of that scale contain 6 out of the seven notes of that scale.

In this case, that translates like this:

We're looking at E dorian = D major (or Ionian, if you like).
We've just looked at the basic progression Em - G - A.
G and A are the IV and V chords in D major.

If we put this together with the previous post about learning triads... well, you can take G and A triads and improvise with them and you'll get something really cool in E minor.

At this point I wish i could post an example of what this sounds like - but those who are ready for this information will find out for themselves.

[edit on 5-4-2009 by rich23]

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 09:33 AM
reply to post by rich23

Your right again.
I found it kinda.It is just the root and the fifth C G C C G C.In my case I am doing it D A D D A D.

I thought I would share a few vids on my favourite bass player.
He is an unknown.
Look at his technique,the guy is just awesome.
Here he uses a looping pedal...I love these guys.


[edit on 5-4-2009 by DrumsRfun]

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 01:43 PM
Well... that guy was pretty cool. My favourite was the second video, actually.

So if we're into a little video interlude, here's a little snippet of one of my favourites, Guthrie Govan, just mucking about at a guitar demo. He's just using the tone and pickup controls on his guitar, plus some amp settings... but it's mostly just his fingers.

Broadly, the frame work is blues - and you get bits of BB King, Joe Walsh, Tuck Andress, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jerry Donohue, Santana, Chet Atkins, Steve Vai... all sorts. A superb, eclectic mix of styles.

Unfortunately, the video and audio come out of synch which is kind of a shame... but it's still worth it, I think.

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 01:45 PM
And the mystery and awesomeness of Kelly Joe Phelps...

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 06:33 AM
Both those guys are awesome at what they do.
Guthrie Govens has an amazing tone and I loved the jazzy sound.I am surprized I have never heard of him.
Joe Phelps looks to be a very intricate slide player.I wasn't really expecting that.I don't think I have ever seen a slide player doing what he is doing.I love his style.Kinda sounds like Springsteen voicewise.

Theres so much stuff to cover I am almost unsure what to post next.
Any ideas??
Amp settings,recording techniques,tricks,lead guitar,etc?

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 07:40 AM
reply to post by DrumsRfun

Guthrie Govan teaches and writes for Guitar Techniques magazine which is one I'd really recommend. And if you liked Kelly Joe Phelps, you might like Bob Brozman, who is one of the most astonishing players I've ever seen, and an awesomely inquisitive and intelligent bloke.

Here's an interesting introduction. You should definitely watch this and check out what he has to say... the stuff about music of the colonisers and the colonised... and in particular the stuff about "home", "away from home" and "home again" expresses what I was trying to say in dominant-to-tonic resolution really, really well.

There's also a salutary reminder that everything we learn is just a preparation for making music. Music is not notes. It's what you do with them.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 07:42 AM
And in terms of what to post next... whatever takes your fancy. You're right, it's a huge field. You can start almost anywhere and work your way out. But you'll never get to the end of it.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 07:56 AM
On improvising and listening

I cannot overstate the importance of listening.

When I'm playing with other people, my focus is not on what I'm doing, it's on what everyone else is doing. I've spent quite a bit of time in jam bands, and for me the main thing is to try and support whatever's going on. If you can't hear what you should be playing, just shut up and let the others get on with it.

The act of listening is what tells you what to play.

If you've looked at the Bob Brozman video I posted above (and you should, you really should, this man is a true master) you'll have seen him make the point that the intellect is just not fast enough to keep up with the act of making music.

All the theory stuff I've been posting is just putting labels to sounds. It enables you to distinguish one flavour from another, it gives you a handle on what to play over what chords... but ultimately, you want to learn as much of this stuff as you can and then when you play, play from the sound alone.

One other thing. If you jam with the same people a lot - and I mean proper jamming, with no key or chord structure stated or implied, everything has to be done through listening - extraordinary things start to happen.

You may find that suddenly everyone changes key or feel or direction all together, like a school of fish or a flock of birds in formation. There are scientists who will try and tell you that the birds or fish in question are constantly checking their position with their neighbours. This is nonsense, as Rupert Sheldrake rightly points out in his google lecture which I've posted on ATS in this shamefully neglected thread.

What he has to say on "the extended mind" is very interesting, and any musician who's had the experience of knowing who's listening particularly intently when performing in a small room will understand how this theory applies.

But it also applies in an improvising situation. There are times when people's extended minds come into contact and meld together to make music, and that's the most fun I've ever had with my clothes on.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 11:42 AM

Originally posted by rich23

I'm kind of hoping someone will contribute a good set of entry-level websites for music noobs.

[edit on 3-4-2009 by rich23]

Sorry if this has been posted already.

Study Bass

I am a wannabe bass player. I tried in high school, got married and put it away. 18 years later I get the bass out and play it almost every night.

The above website single handedly propelled my knowledge, not only of bass but of music theory. I ended up buying dummy/idiots guides on music theory, composition, improvisation and song writing.

I would have NEVER done that in the past!!!

I have never learned so much about music till now. I now realize that I know enough to be stupid........there is so much more to learn.

Also this is a great program to use :

finale Notepad

I use songwriter now, but when I can afford it, I want the full version.

This is a great thread!!!! Thanks for starting this!

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:13 PM
reply to post by Oolon

I am sooo glad you are finding this thread useful.
If there is anything you want to know or have info to add feel free.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:26 PM
reply to post by rich23

I could not have said that better myself.
I have always believed that if you have to look at your bandmates then you haven't been paying attention.Don't use your eyes to play,use your ears.
I will check out that link after work.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by Oolon

I've had a brief look at the site and it seems really good. The guy can communicate really well, and there's a really good coverage of the basics. Awesome.

(On a really pedantic note, the guy doesn't know that practise (verb) is spelled with an "s" while practice (noun) is spelled with a "c". But that's literally the only criticism I have of the site. And it says more about my pickiness than it does about him.)

I'd also suggest that any musician takes a look at the "deep rhythm" lesson on the Bob Brozman site I linked above. The ability to feel polyrhythms is really essential to good groove. The man is a master.

Finale... yes. I used to use that programme a lot for creating scores and it's really good. However I haven't had any scoring software installed on this computer. I've got Sibelius downloaded but I don't really have enough room and at the moment there's no urgent need.

I have used pen and paper in the past, and you learn quite a bit doing it that way. I used to know a guy who had perfect pitch and he could sit with a walkman, a block of blank sheet music paper and a pen and credit card (to use as a ruler) and produce beautiful handwritten scores, supremely legible. That was a facility I really envied. I didn't get as quick as he was, but I produced an ten-minute medley of several Bond themes (for bass, drums, guitar, keys, violin, trumpet and trombone) in three days once, which includes transcription and arranging. And when we ran it through there weren't any errors. One of my mates knocked out a bunch of arrangements for the same band using Finale and there were loads of errors. I mean, it's got playback available. There's just no excuse for that.

[edit on 6-4-2009 by rich23]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 07:01 PM
Polyrhythms on Guitar

First, have a good look at this lesson on deep rhythm from Bob Brozman's website.

Once you're happy with being able to play a 3 against 2 polyrhythm by tapping it out wiht your hands, you can try to apply it to the guitar.

First we're going to pick a chord, and for argument's sake we're going to play E major 9th.

  • the second finger plays the root note, E, on the A string 7th fret
  • the first finger plays the major third, G#, on the D string 6th fret
  • the little finger plays the major seventh, D#, on the G string 8th fret
  • the third finger plays the ninth, F#, on the B string 7th fret.

Now the picking hand does all the hard work here. We'll be doing this without a pick, just using the thumb and the index, middle and ring fingers.

We're going to divide the picking hand into thumb (T) and fingers (F). The thumb is going to provide a steady bass on the root E at the seventh fret on the A string.

If you curl the fingers of your picking hand loosely and bring the fingertips together so they're parallel (in other words, you could rest all three fingertips on a table at the same time), you'll find that if you get the angle of your hand right over the strings, you can rest your fingertips on the strings at an angle so they fit nicely against the D, G and B strings. It should be easy for you to rest your thumb against the A string.

So we're going to count "one two three two two three" for this. The bold numbers denote where the accents fall, and in fact, the thumb should be playing the E root on those bolded numbers.

That gives a steady two-beat rhythm.

Against this, the fingers are going to pluck the other strings according to this rhythm: "one two three two two three"... etc.

When you get comfortable with this polyrhythm, you can improve it by playing an "alternating bass" with the thumb. On beat 1, play the E at the 7th fret of the A string: on beat 2, play the B at the 7th fret of the E string. Play both of these notes with the second finger.

Then when you get the idea you can vary the chord and eventually play whole progressions with this technique.

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 05:23 AM
Recording and Recording Techniques.

There are many different ways of recording so I will try to touch on as much as I can.

Simple Gear For Home Recording.
You don't need to spend thousands on recording equipement to get a good recording.A few pieces can be sufficient for your needs.Here is a list of the basics.
1.A good multitracker(can do overdubs on top of what has been recorded)
I use a roland vs840 and I also have an old style 4 track that still uses tape.
2.A microphone.
3.An instrument
4.2 sets of headphones for mixing.
5An effects unit,compressor and reverb are the most helpful I find.
6.Not needed but helpful for timing,a drum machine.
These are the basics for home recording.

My roland is fairly old technology compared to whats out there now but this is a good example of not needing all the latest,fanciest,most expensive pieces of gear to get the job done.

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 05:47 AM
Recording A Band

When recording a band the main thing you want is isolation of each instrument as much as possible.
This makes mixing each individual instrument to your liking alot easier.
Without isolation you will hear other instruments in the track you are trying to mix which makes it harder to mix the overall sound in the end because you are slightly tampering with the other instruments without knowing might be subtle but thats why you want to isolate each instrument so you have the complete control over your mix.

I have 2 ways that I like to use depending on the band.

1 way is if they are very tight and consistant then I will first mic the drumkit and get a good drum sound.Then I will put a mic in front of the amps,1 for each amp.For added control over the mix I run a patch chord out of the amps and plug direct into the board.
Later I mix both signals together to make one sound out of 2.
After everything is set up and the sound is how you want it then you just have them play the song live but without the singer.
If the band is good and tight then it is better to have them play live then overdub everything.
The only thing that is overdubbed is the vocals.

Another way is to do a bedtrack.
A bedtrack is just a good stripped down base to work from.
Usually a bedtrack is done with bass and drum being the base to work from.
Again,first you set up the mics and set the sound.
Nobody is playing or being recorded other then the bass and drum.
Once you have recorded the song with just the bass and drum then you move on to overdubbing th other instruments on top of the bedtrack.

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 06:03 AM
Live VS Bedtrack

For me recording a band live off the floor is done when the energy of the band is really good.
A good energetic band is harder to capture with overdubs.There comes a point where you lose the energy with an overdub.
For instance,if you record a good energetic band and listen to the connection between the bass and drum you will hear a constant connection.Kinda like they are grabbing each other.
Take the same recording and take out the bass and do an overdub then listen to it.As good as the timing might be you will hear a sense of other words it couldn't be reproduced as good as a live take can as it has more energy.

Bedtracking for me is good for when you want to have more options on where you want the song to go...for instance you can take one bedtrack and make 2 different versions of the song.
Its a different form of control.For me bedtracking is good for PRODUCING your songs instead of just recording it.

I find that recording a good energetic band and using bedtracks and overdubs tends to make them sound like a watered down version of how they really sound live.

posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 10:05 AM
Simple Recording At Home

Recording acoustic guitar and vocals.
Even when doing a simple folk song you want to isolate both sounds from each other.
I always reccomend not singing while playing the song unless your timing is perfect.In my experience unless your timing is perfect you will not play both perfectly in time unless you have the co-ordination to concentrate fully on both things at the same time.For perfection I isolate the guitar and the voice.This also helps when mixing.
The voice is done last.
1.Plug the mic into track 1,if you have more then 1 mic then plug mic 2 into track 2 and mic 3 into track 3 etc.
2.Set the mics,1 in front of the hole on the guitar,mic 2 on an amp if you are using one,and mic 3 on a different angle pointing towards the hole.(just an example)
3.Make sure your signal is hot meaning it wants to just touch the bottom part of the red on the eq meter without ever clipping and causing distortion.
4.Make sure your sound is good thru the headphones or monitors.
5.Press record and start playing the song without singing.
6.Plug mic into track 4,remember track 1 2 3 is already taken by guitar.
7.Press record and start singing over top of your playing.
8.Set the recording machine to playback all tracks.
Then just mix the sounds to your liking.
Once you have the mix you like then dump it on to the computer and burn a disc.

Having reverb or compression will help get a more produced sound even in a simple setting.

[edit on 7-4-2009 by DrumsRfun]

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