In this post, I thought I’d touch on the subject of performance rights organizations (PROs), what they do and why they’re important to us as songwriters. (I realize this topic might be a bit old hat for the seasoned songwriters among, us but stick around, fogies; there’s something for you at post’s end.)
One of the first progressions many guitarists tackle when learning to improvise in the jazz idiom is the ii-V-I. This common three-chord progression can be found in countless jazz tunes, and improvising over these chords in a convincing fashion is a must-know skill for any budding jazz guitarist to have under their fingers.
Some of you may know I am co-producing a groundbreaking event at the end of the summer from August 27 to 31, 2012: The Women’s Music Summit. What?! Women need their own summit? I know some of you are thinking that, and as you may guess my answer is YES. And here’s why.
I did it. I played electric guitar live with the band for the first time. And by golly, it wasn’t as terrifying as I thought it would be. In fact, it was really fun! Honestly, even though I’ve played acoustic guitar for many years, most of the time when I perform live, my duties consist of singing only. No playing. Why? I dunno.
I woke up this morning in the parking lot of a resort hotel in Orlando, Florida. I grabbed my guitar and room key and headed through the lobby to find the elevator bank. There's a talking red parrot being heckled by chubby kids in shorts and swim goggles. I can’t quite hear the parrot’s retort.
This week's blog marks my first post about song structure, a recurring topic going forward here on Songcraft. These pieces will attempt to demystify song construction by dismantling popular tunes in various styles, taking a peak under the hood, so to speak, to see what makes them tick.
Guitarist Walter Trout has a resume that reads like a who’s who of rock and blues legends. From his days in Canned Heat, John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers to playing lead for John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton and Bo Diddley Walter paid his dues and then some. I spoke with Walter to hear all about his new CD Blues For The Modern Daze, which was released April 24 via Mascot Music Productions.
In this Sick Lick, I use a combination of the blues scale (Pentatonic flat 5) and the Diminished Scale in the key of E Minor. These two scales are, by far, my favorites. They create very aggressive sounds and are adaptable to all kinds of music. I'm incorporating the use of my left thumb to actually fret notes on the neck. Now I'm not doing this in the traditional form where we may use our thumb to play bass notes; rather, I'm bringing my thumb from around the back of the neck to fret on top of the fretboard.
Don't look now, but there may be a winner for the longest-lasting modern garage rock band, and it's a bit of a shock. Apparently, things made in Sweden just last longer. The Hives rode in on the same garage rock revival wave as the White Stripes, the Strokes and the Vines. However, unlike the other groups of the movement, the Hives never made the mistake of taking themselves too seriously.