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5 More Awesome iPhone Music Apps

What a year for Apple – iPhone sales are still through the roof, Siri continues to be a hot topic, and Steve Jobs is now being recognized with a posthumous Grammy award for his part in revolutionizing the music industry.  Nowadays our smartphones help us with anything and everything, it seems; it’s hard to imagine living without them!

But besides organizing our calendars and feeding our Angry Birds addiction, the iPhone is a great resource for music teachers and music fans alike.  Check out our original list of 5 apps for music lovers – now, here are 5 more especially great music apps for teachers to check out, courtesy of www.funmusicco.com:

1. ACappella – This simple song recording app can be used to record voices into tracks that can be played at the same time or one by one. The user can adjust the volume, tempo, and time signature. The app was designed for ease of sharing files: song URL’s can be posted to Facebook and Twitter or shared on a special website called “SingSing.” ($1.99)

2. Notes for Little Composers – Designed for ages 3 and up, this app can be used to introduce beginners to music notation and basic composition. The user taps on the treble clef screen to make notes, hear the names of notes, and create simple songs. Ideal as an accompaniment to starting music lessons. ($0.99)

3. Ear Trainer – This app is designed for beginning to advanced music students, and provides exercises on intervals, chords, scales, and relative pitch. A virtual piano keyboard helps you recognize the notes that have been played. Individual progress is tracked so that users can pinpoint areas of strength or weakness. ($6.99)

4. ImproVox– Record your voice into your device and create harmonies as you sing. This app demonstrates effects such as reverb and echo, and enables you to generate 4-part harmonies in different styles. ($3.99)

5. TabToolkit – This guitar tablature and notation viewer can be used for learning guitar and practicing music. The interface shows a fret board or keyboard with finger positions and/or standard music notation. Upload tabs from your computer or download from the Internet. ($4.99)

What other music apps do you love?  Leave a comment below!

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- Discover 5 New Places to Find Free Music Online
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Image courtesy of http://www.appstorehq.com/playthisnote-guitar–iphone-89811/app

3 Artists You May Have Missed in 2011

It may only be December, but many music industry buffs are already getting their spring music predictions underway.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed?  With so many new artists entering the scene and so many ways to find the newest bands, it can be easy to miss what could be your next obsession.  But don’t worry – with the help of Seattle radio station KEXP and NPR’s list of 5 Artists You Should Know in 2011, here are 3 bands to catch you up:

Of Monsters And Men
The Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men made its debut with My Head Is an Animal, an impressive set of epic folk-pop. Its dynamic sound combines the warmth and earnestness of Seattle’s The Head and the Heart with the anthemic surge of Arcade Fire in impeccably crafted, heartfelt songs that feature male/female lead vocals, exuberant group harmonies, sing-along choruses and endlessly catchy pop hooks.

Canon Blue
Canon Blue is the alias of Nashville’s Daniel James, a multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and touring member of the Danish band Efterklang. Written while touring with that group, and recorded during off hours at its Copenhagen studio, Rumspringa is anything but a casual side project. It’s an orchestral pop masterpiece with intricate arrangements, cascading melodies and emotional depth.

Apparat Organ Quartet
If Kraftwerk made an album in 2011, it would probably sound like Pólýfónía — great for driving the Autobahn, the back roads or the Internet. A playful set of mostly instrumental synth-rock, it combines analog synths, organs and other vintage keyboards with driving drums and occasional vocodered vocals.

The full list can be viewed hereWhat other artists would you include on this list that made your year?

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Image courtesy of http://www.last.fm/music/Of+Monsters+And+Men

Discover Lady Gaga’s Get-Rich Secrets

Lady Gaga may have a “Bad Romance,” but it’s no secret she also has a exceptional bank account.  Forbes recently named her the top-earning female in the music industry, leading the list with earnings of over $90 million in the past year in album sales, touring and endorsements.  Sure beats being a starving musician, right?

Fortunately, you don’t have to sell out to be successful – here are 5 tips that will help you get on your way to making money as a musician, courtesy of Keith Hatschek at Artists House Music:

Rule #1: Always Bring Your “A” Game

Making the decision to spend your life as a professional musician is a big commitment. Once you’ve made that decision, you need to focus on bringing your “A” game to every interaction that impacts your music studies, performances, networking and other points of contact with what we loosely call the music industry.

Never put a half-hearted effort into anything musical. First, the competition to get work and keep working is fierce in every city and town in the world. Second, since so much of the music industry is based on personal relationships and reputations, if word gets out that you gave a weak effort at a gig or rehearsal, chances are you may not be getting a call back in the future.

Rule #2: Get Out of Your Practice Room

Isn’t practicing supposed to be the road to musical success, more gigs and maybe even superstardom? Well, no, it’s not.  Actually, your musical chops, whether you are a shred guitarist or a composer of madrigals, is only one part of your overall career skill set. Not to say that playing, singing, of composing extremely well is not absolutely essential. It is.  But there are thousands of talented guitarists who can play every lick by whoever the hot guitarist of the month is but seldom play a gig. Why?

They spend their lives studying music, perfecting their skills, however they are unfortunately violating one of the most important rules of music career building. You must develop connections to people and institutions (think clubs, radio stations, booking agents, other bands, etc.) that are like-minded and can help you.  Ask around your local music store or music school about meeting up with some people who are interested in similar types of music, careers, etc. Find a club that hires bands like yours to play, go to a show, get the phone number of the booker and get your promo kit into their hands.

Rule #3: Nurture Your Network

All of us have a network of friends, family, and most of us have various professional connections. This is your current network. To fast track your career you need to continually work to expand your network, adding persons who can help you grow your career and you need to keep in touch with your network.

Start today by making a list of everyone who you would consider supporting your music career goals and ambitions. Then, set a goal of adding a few people each month to your network, as well as giving support and aid to the members of your network.

Rule #4: Get a Music Industry Day Gig

This is counterintuitive to many talented young artists. Why should I get a day gig when I could/should be practicing my brains out, much less a music industry day gig?  Aside from keeping home and hearth together, using your love, knowledge and passion for music to help a music industry company meet some of their goals is a fantastic way to expand your network, and learn more about an area of the industry that you will be involved in when your career takes off.

For example, a rock musician may learn quite a bit about record distribution or radio airplay by working at a well-managed record store or a radio station that features the types of music you perform.  An aspiring opera singer can learn a tremendous amount about how opera companies or other non-profit arts organizations are managed by working for an opera, theater company or orchestra.  An aspiring jazz drummer may forge many useful connections by teaching beginning drummers at a well-managed music store, opening up the opportunities to meet drum manufacturers, clinicians and other drum and percussion professionals.

Remember, flipping burgers is not likely to help your career onto the fast track we all want to be on!

Rule #5: Keep Your Sense of Humor

Did anyone tell you the music industry is a pretty crazy way to make a living? One minute your life can be filled with the rapture of a musical triumph, and the next day you’ll be wallowing in agonizing doubt because you didn’t get a call back for a crucial audition.  In order to cope with the stress and struggle of a career in music it is absolutely essential that you maintain a sense of humor, as well as a few non-musical outlets to allow you to keep on an even keel.

Take charge of your career and good things will start to happen.  Really!

Any additional tips you’d like to share?  How do you keep your sanity if the money isn’t rolling in?  Let us know – leave a comment and join the discussion!


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Image courtesy of http://www.madrasgeek.com.

Find Out the Secrets of the Top Music Bloggers

Do you have a music blog, or aspire to start one? Whether you’re hoping to get into music journalism or if you simply want to publish concert & album reviews for your friends, blogging is a great way to sound off on all things music.

But if you want to become the next hot music blogger, you’ll need to get ahead of the pack.  Just being a music fan isn’t enough these days, so check out these industry secrets (courtesy of Mashable.com) to get you on your way…

1. “Hot For Teacher”

Yes, it seems like a rather obvious tip, but to write about music, you need to know about music –- and not just the vinyl in your own record collection. Andrew Phillips, editor in chief of MOG, advises: “Listen to an inconceivable amount of music, especially if you don’t like it. There’s a huge difference between being a music fan and a music advocate…. The most effective bloggers (and writers) are the ones drawing from a genuinely deep well of knowledge.”

And don’t limit the fact-finding mission to sitting in your room like a tragically hip, headphoned Boo Radley –- go to shows. Go to “good” shows, bad shows, basement shows, loft shows, shows where the only people in the audience are you and the bartender. You never know who’s going to be the next big thing; as Nicole Wasilewicz, senior music editor of FREEwilliamsburg.com, says, “As knowledgeable as you may feel about music, there’s always someone out there that’s smarter than you and has more time on their hands. It’s a constant game of catch-up. Also, pay special attention to opening bands.”

2. “Can’t Buy Me Love”

So you’re all studied up and ready to write. The only question is: To what illustrious publication should you lend your vast and impressive skills? Well, if you’re skint on experience, chances are that unless you’re that kid from Almost Famous, it’s going to be a while before pubs are going to be beating down your door.

And with that, we bring you perhaps the most disdainful piece of advice out there: Write for free.  You can’t get ahead without clips, and sometimes the payment you receive for said clips is experience and a foothold in the industry.  Jason Diamond, editor in chief of Jewcy.com and founding editor of Vol. 1 Brooklyn, says: “If you’re offered to write a low or non-paying piece by a website that is influential, has a lot of traffic, or you just totally respect, take it.”

Now, that’s not to say you should keep writing, sans cash, indefinitely. But doing some writing for a website you really dig can get you exposure and, subsequently, the momentum you need to launch yourself toward a legit gig.

3. “Here I Go Again (On My Own)”

Still, if you don’t want to submit to the wily ways of “the man” (i.e. someone else’s blog), might we suggest you start your own? Really, there’s no excuse in this day and age for an aspiring blogger to not be in possession of his or her very own URL.

Furthermore, once you have your own blog in place, you can either try to leverage it into its own, money-making entity by selling ads, etc., or you use it as a kind of portfolio. You can also form link exchanges with other blogs –- just shoot the editor an e-mail –- which will help you build connections in the space, or join a blog aggregator, like MOG.  However you use it, it’s as essential for any up-and-coming music blogger to have a domain as it is for him or her to have ears.

Whatever your goals may be with your music blog, make sure to have fun with it!  Write about what you love and let your personality shine.  What’s your favorite music blog to read?  Do any of you own there have your own blog?  Leave a comment below! Like these posts?  Sign up to receive daily updates right to your inbox!  Click here to subscribe.

 

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MTV Helps Fans Discover K-Pop, Brazilian Baile Funk, and Other Genres You Never Knew About

Think you know everything about music?  Name some popular artists from Malaysia, Colombia, or South Korea.  Stumped yet?

This week, MTV announced the launch of its new music program and brand, MTV Iggy.  The program will promote global music and trends, with content available online, on-air and through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

“The launch of MTV Iggy reinforces our commitment to supporting an eclectic mix of artists and further extends our music strategy,” Amy Doyle, the network’s executive in charge of music and talent, said in the official press release from MTV.

MTV Iggy’s first major initiative is their best new band in the world campaign, which features 10 breakthrough acts from countries including the U.K., Australia, Jamaica, Malaysia, Pakistan and South Korea.  The winner will be determined by fan votes, announced on November 10th, and will get the opportunity to perform live on the show and receive extra promotion from MTV platforms.

Since we’re still buzzing about Adele’s AMA nominations, we thought it would be fitting to pay tribute some of the other influential artists from across the pond.  We loved the list we found of the Ten British Bands That Changed the World, as put together by U.K. blog The Daily Dust.  Here are just a few of the bands that made the cut:

Led Zeppelin
Arguably the greatest rock band ever to have graced the planet, there is something undoubtedly special even today about the incredible drumming of the late John Bonham, the pounding bass of John-Paul Jones, the mesmeric guitar playing of Jimmy Page and the unmistakeable voice of Robert Plant.  They were the biggest band in the world in the 1970s and, through refusing to release singles, they pioneered the concept of album-orientated rock.

The Beatles
The Fab Four from Liverpool were probably the first British band to achieve global domination, and with over a billion international record sales, they are clearly one of the most commercially and critically successful groups ever.  Their music and fashion sense were both worldwide trend setters, and the ‘Beatlemania’ that followed them around propelled John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to the status of everlasting international megastars.  Despite half of them no longer being with us, they are still a huge draw, and still pull a huge influence on pop culture.  They even topped Billboard magazine’s list of top-selling artists released to celebrate the chart’s 50th anniversary.

The Rolling Stones
The Stones were the other part of the 1960s Brit invasion of America along with The Beatles, and again were immensely successful.  They also feature perhaps the best and most consistent songwriting team in the form of singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, a combination that still works today.  Thanks to the fact that not too many of their number has passed away, the Stones still tour with a schedule that puts many younger bands to shame and, if they ever do die, they will be immortalized with great songs like “Brown Sugar”, “Satisfaction”, and “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll”.  Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, they were voted the fourth Greatest Artist of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004.

Oasis
The mid 1990s was a great time to be a British music fan, because Brit-pop had infected the world headed by its two leading lights – Blur and Oasis – and it is the latter who get to represent that time period here.  While the critics may pick Damon Alburn’s Blur every time, Oasis are without doubt the bigger draw, and the more interesting band, mainly due to testosterone-fueled Gallagher brothers Liam and Noel.  If you look past the tabloid stories, you realize what superb songwriters they are, and with hits like “Wonderwall”, “Champagne Supernova”, and “Live Forever”, it is no surprise that they have sold over 60 million records globally.  Their third release “Be Here Now” is the fastest-selling album in British music history, and they still draw a huge following.

We think it’s about time MTV spent a bit more time on music rather than another season of Jersey Shore.  Moreover, as new ways of discovering and sharing music pop up, it’s only fitting that international music be easier to find.  Check out the MTV Iggy website at http://www.mtviggy.com/ and who knows – maybe you’ll find the next up-and-coming artist before anyone else.

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How Can American Idol Help In Music Lessons?

American Idol winner Scotty McCreery has been making headlines recently, with his debut album “Clear As Day” debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.  This achievement makes him the first country artist to debut at No. 1 in all genres with their first studio album, and also the youngest male singer ever to top the all-genre chart on the first week of his solo debut.

Although some of the American Idol hype has died down in the past few years, its impact on fans is still clear.  Idol hopefuls still line up by the thousands, for the chance to win America’s heart and catapult into celebrity status.

McCreery’s success got us thinking about how teachers can incorporate American Idol into music lessons.  After all, private music lessons are a great way to brush up on your technique before an audition for American Idol, X-Factor, or any of the other talent shows.

Yahoo! News Associated Content brought up just a few ways the show can be used as a learning tool:

1. Music History

In many weeks on American Idol, the songs chosen by the competitors must come from a particular artist or genre. For example, themes have included Elvis Presley, Motown, The Beatles, and songs from the movies. Each theme can be expanded into a lesson on how that artist or style impacted the development of popular music and how it fits into the context of today’s music. A music history lesson about Elvis could include an exploration of Southern roots music and its beginnings on plantations and in juke joints. The phenomenon that was The Beatles can be framed in musical influences that arrived in port cities in England like Liverpool and how it affected the popular music of that country.

2. Music Genres

While American Idol mostly focuses on finding an artist who can sell a bazillion albums that will chart as pop hits, the contestants often delve into different musical genres including rock, blues, country, and rap. Lessons surrounding American Idol performances can help students identify the defining characteristics of musical genres and understand the effects of merging genres on popularity and album sales.

3. The Business of Music

The audience of American Idol is voting for whom they enjoy the most, but the judges are looking for who can be effectively molded into a recording artist. One way to teach students about how the music industry works is to divide students up into groups. Each group represents a music publisher looking for a new hit maker. The publishers can rate the American Idol performers based on not only their singing ability but also their willingness to take direction and their professionalism towards the judges and other contestants. This is often most effective in the early parts of the season where some contestants fail to take judging feedback gracefully. Allowing students to contemplate how that behavior might translate into an artist that costs the publisher money rather than making it can expand a student’s understanding of the business of music.

Although critiques of the show are obviously out there, we think it’s important to have a good understanding of current pop culture in order to connect with younger students.  Teachers – what do you think?  Do you incorporate pop culture in out-of-the-ordinary ways to teach lessons?  We’d love to hear all of your ideas, so leave a comment below to discuss!

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Vocal Hemorrhage Won’t Stop This Year’s Leading AMA Nominee

It’s that time of the year – the American Music Awards nominations have been released, and music fans everywhere are buzzing.  And this year, the ladies in the industry are running the show.  Even Adele, who was recently diagnosed with a vocal hemorrhage and had to cancel her upcoming tour, leads with nominations in four different categories (favorite rock/pop female artist, adult contemporary artist, album of the year, and artist of the year).  Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lil Wayne join her in the Artist of the Year category.

The following are a few of the category nominations, as reported by Entertainment Weekly:

Artist of the Year

Adele
Lady Gaga
Katy Perry
Lil Wayne
Taylor Swift

Pop or Rock Album

Adele, 21
Rihanna, Loud
Lady Gaga, Born This Way

Soul/R&B Album

Chris Brown, F.A.M.E.
Rihanna, Loud
Beyonce, 4

Alternative Rock Music: Favorite Artist

Foo Fighters
Black Keys
Mumford & Sons

Country Music: Favorite Album

Jason Aldean, My Kinda Party
Taylor Swift, Speak Now
The Band Perry, The Band Perry

Check out the full list here.

We can’t wait to watch the program on November 20th and see whose hard work tops them all.  The winners are chosen by online voting, and fans can vote at the Coca-Cola AMA voting website amavote.com as well as AMA.abc.com.  What do you think of the nominations, and who do you think will win?  Were any artists left out this year?

 

(Photo courtesy of http://abc.go.com/shows/american-music-awards/.)

Looking For Bjork’s Newest Album? There’s An App For That

These days, you can take thousands of songs with you in your pocket, share your music library with friends worldwide, play DJ on your laptop, and tune your guitar using an iPhone app.  Icelandic singer Bjork’s new album, out today, now takes listening to a new level.

As CNN reported, the app-album Biophilia is a collection of games, visualizations and musical scores that accompany each song, and is also available as a standard audio album like we’re used to.  Each song, in effect, becomes its own visual-and-audio experience, letting Bjork’s fans interact with her songs in an entirely new way.  Bjork is well-known for her innovative and unique style, and this is no different.  To create the album, she collaborated with app developers, scientists, writers, inventors, musicians, and instrument makers to create the full experience.

According to NPR, apps can be purchased individually for $1.99 from the iTunes music store, and each app interacts with its corresponding song in a different way.  In “Thunderbolt,” for example, users can change the bass line by tapping on a lightning icon.

“You change the speed of the arpeggio, or the range,” said Bjork in the NPR article. “Basically, you’re like this crazy lightning bass player.”

For those who don’t want to download the full album, NPR.com reported that a free app for Biophilia is also available, in which fans interact with a universe-like image and hear pieces of the songs as the universe expands and turns.

What’s even better is what comes next – instead of having a typical concert tour like most artists, Bjork has planned to embark on a music education tour.  In each city that she stops at, she’ll play a few nights during the week, and spend the rest of the time at local museums working with kids on music and science projects.  Bjork says watching her 8-year-old daughter play with the Biophilia app of the solar system made her she realize its potential.

“She knew more about the solar system than I learned from five years of school — that certain things are not meant to be in a book, you know? If … it’s more like a little game, then you understand it in 3D, like in space,” Bjork says. “Music is like this: You cannot learn it from a book.”

Here at TakeLessons, we love this idea – mixing music and technology is a great way to engage students of all ages, but especially the younger generation.  Teachers, do you  use your iPad or iPod during your lessons?  What other great ideas are out there?  Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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You Say You Want a Revolution: How Steve Jobs Changed The Music Industry

From the iPod to iTunes, it’s no doubt Steve Jobs had a profound effect on technology, music, and everything in between.  Many have said that Jobs rescued the music industry, giving fans a more effective way to find, store and share music, and giving bands a larger and more reachable audience pool.  Apple’s success was clear – during iTunes’ first year in operation in 2003, 30 million digital downloads of songs were sold. Within two years that figure increased to 1.2 billion song downloads.

Industry bigwigs have been sharing their thoughts about Jobs’ impact:

“He was a true visionary who forever transformed how fans access and enjoy music,” Recording Industry Assn. of America Chairman and Chief Executive Cary Sherman said Thursday in a statement. “With the introduction of the iTunes software and other platforms, Steve and Apple made it once again easy and accepted to pay for music.”

The Riverfront Times recently created a list of Jobs’ Six Best Music Innovations – and we especially like the following less-obvious items:

1. The USB Port. Although Apple didn’t invent USB, the company was the first to include USB ports on home computers. Ever since, these ports have become an integral part of modern music. Mp3 players, recording interfaces, portable hard drives stocked with a lifetime supply of obscure dub remixes; USB (or its more intense big brother, Firewire) is essential in syncing our computers with our analog, real-life music experiences.

2. Garage Band. Many recording studio owners, engineers, and producers have spent the better part of twenty years freaking out about becoming obsolete. While these professionals generally have an advantage in the skill department, they’ve lost a bit of their edge with the boom of home recording products that have been stealthily improving over the years. GarageBand is by no means as powerful of a music production tool as ProTools or its competitors, but it’s a stellar introduction to the often intimidating process of recording. The fact that it comes standard on all current Mac computers puts its capabilities in more hands than any similar program to date. With enough time and energy at your disposal, you can even use GarageBand to make a hit. Remember “Fireflies”, the Postal Service-aping single by Owl City? The track was produced on GarageBand.

3. The iPad. Gorillaz used an iPad to produce an entire record. Brian Eno used the device to take his generative music concept to a new level. The Digitech guitar effects company just developed a system interfacing digital recreations of famous guitar pedals with a physical board to step on during live performance. The most exciting thing about the iPad is that we’ve barely unlocked its capabilities.

The impact the music industry has seen with these innovations will only continue.  Just think – what’s next?

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So You Wanna Learn to Play Guitar (pt.XVIII.2)

B.B. King

In this latest entry, our guitar teacher Jason M offers his in-depth insight on Blues Guitar, inspired by greats like B.B. King:

Now you've probably had your own path of music that you've been following since you were born and hopefully there was something magnetic about why you enjoy what you do and you thrive off that completely.

I mentioned some of my blues influences last time, and before I talk about the actual music itself I'd like to bring up the individuals.  Let's start with someone like B.B. King.  My dad is still a huge B.B. King fan, he's been to the shows, listens to the CDs or cassettes, tunes into the blues station on the radio, and when he's on T.V. he still watches him.  Now what makes B.B. King or any other bluesman a great artist?  Let's take what we know and figure out how to learn more ways to find out how to get their sound. 

The Guitar: Everyone should know that B.B. King plays a guitar named "Lucille"; a Gibson semi-hollow body with 2 "f-holes" for extra blues tone.

From there you discover what kind of amps he used/what kind of pedals he likes/ and where he prefers his settings when he plays.

Now to go a little deeper without getting personal… what gives B.B. his sound?  So you'll start to listen and discover that not only does he trademark a signature "A blues pentatonic" in 8th position, but with one single note… a single decending string slide from the 8va area on the high E you can tell it's B.B. King, or atleast someone trying to play like B.B. King.  Another thing you might notice is that he doesn't sing and play at the same time.  It's (line, lick, line, lick, line, lead, line solo etc…)

If you've made it this far; now you can look into see more about who the artist likes… is he a fan of Clapton, does he like Buddy Guy, who were his primary influences, who was influenced by him?  Those kinds of questions will help broaden your perspective to find more music as well as newer or older artists.  It doesn't really end…

Deeper perspective; B.B. King articles/biographies/books/ and columns are out there.  You can actually learn how to play like B.B. King…. from B.B. King.  A few years ago he had his own column in Guitar World magazine, and it's true you can use that same resource to get complete transcriptions of his stuff.  A common beginner mistake, which isn't necessarily a mistake is to try and figure out how to play a tune without hearing it first by reading the transcription.  (I've discovered how to play songs I didn't know before and years down the road I finally heard the song on the radio and was like "ah, I've known that riff for 10 years… that's how it goes") So what I suggest, and this is how I'll support the record industry is to go out and buy the CD… you'll never get the same experience through a download.  Ok, so let's say now you got the CD and you have the transcription… you've got the chords located at the top of the page, you know his scales he uses, you've got his tone. 

From there, there are a couple more things you can look at.  Who transcribed them?  Was is Jeff Perrin or Andy Aledort?  A lot of times the person that transcribed the material has reference notes available before the transcription that can help you get the strum pattern; be it "medium-shuffle" where an 1/8 and a quarter note has a triplet feel or a "down down up up down up" pattern.  Often they'll include a box scale pattern you can use to play that A minor pentatonic blues scale in 8th position.  Even some secret tricks the artist has used where the standard chords notated are actually played inverted for example.  From there transcriber will often breakdown the modes/notes played with some interval theory as well.  Study that stuff.

Last and not least is take a look at the record label B.B. is on.  Is he on Geffen, has he always been with Geffen?  Who else is on Geffen?  What label was he on before then… you'll discover her started off on Crown records and from there you can look to Crown Records to find similiar artists that you might enjoy as well.  Record labels like to maintain a diverse but similiar quality that can help you branch from there.

It might be fun just to start rockin' out to B.B. once you have your music on and guitar plugged in.  But here's a head's up if you have the transcription: learn to read through it with the song going before your 1st attempt playing it.  This way you'll be ready for the changes and will be able to follow through and anticipate the changes and see the techniques involved.  Either way, just have fun and enjoy rockin' out to some seriously great blues.

Jason M
Jason M

 

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