In this week’s episode of Sunday Strum, I demonstrate an example using eighth note triplets. This is a basic way of practicing them, but if you are more comfortable with the rhythm, feel free to switch it up and apply triplets any way you like. The eighth note triplet rhythm translates to three eighth notes in the space of two eighth notes.
Here’s a great track and video from South Africa’s Jeremy Loops. It’s “Sinner” from his upcoming album Trading Change, due out January 1, 2015. It’s a sad song of loss with a hopeful ending (I won’t spoil it for you).
We’ve teamed up with Venice Beach, CA-based songwriter Joe Con to premiere his track “Said and Done.” Centered around Con’s laid-back, poetic croon, the track manages to seamlessly blend folk, pop and hip hop. While hooky and melodic, the track has a dreamy, lullaby-like quality that seeps in more with each listen. "This song was written in Burlington, Vermont the fall before I moved to LA,” says Con.
Check out this candid jam featuring Tommy Emmanuel and Igor Presnyakov performing “Hit the Road Jack.” The video was posted just a week ago on Presnyakov’s YouTube channel. Emmanuel and Presnyakov come from two separate schools stylistically, but it’s great fun to watch the pair trade licks back and forth. Presnyakov leans on the classical side of things, but his playing blends perfectly against Emmanuel’s picking chops.
Today we’re excited to premiere The Jason Spooner Band’s video for “Fireflies.” If you’re having a hard time letting go of summer, then this video’s for you. The “Fireflies” video is built on a creative idea that allowed fans to be included in the video-making process. Fans were encouraged to visit www.fireflies2014.com, download “Fireflies” for free, and upload a summery photo or video that would be considered for inclusion in the song’s official video.
Amos Lee will extend his U.S. headline tour into April. The new dates will take him and his band up the Eastern seaboard, beginning with four shows in Florida and concluding with performances at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ (April 17), the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa - Music Box in Atlantic City, NJ (April 18) and the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY (April 19).
Touted as the most successful independent artist in Australia, John Butler is poised to release his latest work, Flesh and Blood on February 3, 2014. Butler's previous work, April Uprising yielded a US #1 single with "Better Than." Now with Flesh and Blood The John Butler Trio has evolved with even more fabulous writing and virtuosic performance.
In 2013 I went out on a limb. I applied to be part of a songwriting class that focused on co-writing. Up until then I had only co-written a small part of one song (I wrote the bridge), and that was it. But I wanted to do more, improve, and find new ways to be creative.
It struck me today that there are basically two kinds of writers I work with. There are empowered writers and non-empowered writers. Empowered writers write confidently and take chances. They don't complain about the state of the music business or whine about someone not getting them cuts. They realize that THEY are in charge of the ship they are on. If they are rejected, they learn from it and move on. They see criticism as an opportunity to grow.
Here's some tasteful and incredibly skilled playing by young guitarist Ben Lapp. He picked up his first guitar at age 12, and began writing his own music, and recorded his first album, The New Color, at age 14.
Standing as probably the greatest American songwriter of all time, the musical catalog of Bob Dylan is nothing short of awe-inspiring. 35 studio albums, 11 live albums, and innumerable compilations contain countless brilliant moments from the always confounding Dylan. Of particular interest is his Bootleg Series of previously unreleased material.
As songwriters, we think of tempo as the most basic of basics. Tempo, or the speed at which we perform a song, is sort of the quiet engine, the driving force behind all our tunes; yet, because we consider it so "Songwriting 101," tempo can sometimes become songcraft’s sadly neglected middle child.
If you’re playing by yourself or with just a couple of friends who have their own amplification equipment, you should probably be checking out acoustic guitar amps. They are smaller, more convenient and generally cheaper than a PA, and are apt to be more useful. Some currently available models have a separate channel for a mike input, so you can even use them to amplify your singing as well.
There’s no denying, this is the decade that acoustic comes into its own. From the rootsiest traditional down-home country, to bluegrass, soul, rock, funk and pop and beyond, acoustic instruments have been taking center stage in all genres, and I say, good for us!