Friday, December 30, 2011

Reading in the Studio

Often on sessions being the best sight reader isn't really critical. There are times when the cue (piece of music) is so short you have plenty of time to learn it and master it all before they've finished getting drum sounds. However, you should never count on all a show's cues to be as short as the ones below. These are what's called bumpers. The music you hear coming in and out of commercials. I've seen bumpers of just one note before. 

The two bumpers below were from a recording session for a show called "American Detective" and were two of a dozen or so. Probably the shortest two. So while I might have had time to look over and rehearse these charts five or six times silently before tape was rolling there were others where sight reading chops played a far greater roll.

Now on this show every episode took place in a different city, so the composer themed each episode a little different. And yet it was themed. Meaning that similar melodic and rhythimic devices were utilized throughout the episodes. The best part was that I was on every week as second guitarist and the first guitarist was a revolving chair. A different guy every week. Michael Thompson, Dean Parks, Grant Geissmann, John Goux. I was getting paid to go to school!

I was reminded of this this past month when I did two gig where I was in the less-pressured, second guitar chair admiring the playing and gear of the players to my right.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Haikus for Musicians

Squeaking and squawking
All eyes roll to the heavens
The clarinet speaks

One beat to change from
Harmon to cup to bucket
Hey, who wrote this crap?

The jam session starts
Somebody calls "Giant Steps"
Cold fear grips my brain
Here's the girl singer
Stepping to the microphone
Pitch, Time, All gone now

Gig is going well
Idiot requests "In the Mood"
I look at my watch

I once had a dream
Big house, new car, big money
Now I play the bass

Gorgeous chick tells me
"You sound just like Kenny G"
My ego shatters

Three-eight, eleven-eight
Darn you Andrew Lloyd Webber
Five-eight, seven-eight

The woodwind doubler
Practicing the piccolo
Frustration defined

Pit orchestra gig
Days and nights become as one
I have no darned life

Bad intonation
Strings are sharp and reeds are flat
Brass too loud again

Great changes, good groove
A one-in-a-million gig
No singer. Yippee!

An oxymoron:
"He played the accordion
With delicacy"

The accordion
"Squeeze box," yes, but more often
"The Stomach Steinway"

Bassoons forever
Try in vain not to sound like
A farting bedpost

The strings slowly tune
When they're done the unisons
Are anything but

"I can't find my note"
Bemoans the confused singer
"Quit now," we all pray

The contractor calls
Months of Andrew Lloyd Webber
"Bird Lives" no longer

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

BAD GIGS by Tuck Andress

What can go wrong? By Tuck Andress (of Tuck & Patti)

Borrowed guitar, different string spacing, bridge or nut sliding during string bending or vibrato, wrong strap length or strap breaking during solo, unwound guitar string used as backup strap gradually cutting through shirt and shoulder, sleeve snagging on bridge suddenly locking up hand, wrong pick, dropped pick, broken pick, no pick, pick stuck between strings, finger caught between strings, wrong strings, dead strings, sticky strings, blood on strings, broken strings, no extra strings, jar of honey spilled all over strings, vintage L-5's gig bag shoulder strap breaking immediately before album release concert for 5,000 people causing guitar to fall on concrete and creating crack from tailpiece to neck which gradually splits apart during performance with action getting higher and higher, amp too far away, amp too close, amp broken so play through bass amp or P.A., tone all wrong, overdrive bypass switch broken, cymbal in ear, band too loud, audience too loud, band downstairs too loud, bad monitors, no monitors, in-ear monitors broken so Patti is heard acoustically but Tuck is heard only through house PA 50 yards away resulting in Tuck being unavoidably out of sync with Patti by1/6 second for whole show, guitar buzz, RF from nearby transmitter louder than the music itself, brownouts making organ pitch fluctuate randomly over an octave range, power outage, equipment plugged into 230 volts immediately before show, earthquake during show in high-rise, outdoor desert performance at 131 degrees with sand-blasting winds, sub-freezing outdoor mountaintop performance with snow storms and 40 mph winds, high altitude dizziness, no sleep, no food, too much food, wrong food, food poisoning, fever, locked bathrooms, way too many liquids before long show, nagging suspicion that zipper is down, contact lens falling out during moment of peak concentration, compromised hand position due to repeatedly sliding full width of stage while trying to keep playing but not collide with Patti on yacht in rough Finnish Gulf of Bothnia, charts blown away by wind, charts on thermal fax paper, charts in wrong key, charts without bar lines, charts with bar lines all displaced by two beats, charts in bass clef or C clef, chord charts with do/re/mi (France) instead of C/D/E and everything else in Portuguese, realization that Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Pass, George Benson, Chaka Khan, Bobby McFerrin or Steve Gadd just walked in, drunks falling on stage, drunks disrobing on stage, drunks grabbing instruments or band members, band members falling asleep during song, pigs frolicking in sawdust-covered frat house knocking over band equipment, thinly veiled animosity between bride's and groom's families erupting into violence during heartfelt version of My Romance, nightly juggling of playing and operating the lighting console/footswitches and talking to audience members and trying to reign in tempos and egos of various fellow top-40 band members, arrival at duo gig with unbelievably loud, aggressive fuzz-wah hard rock bass player to discover that assignment is to back up elderly white-haired and white-suited gentleman singing unfamiliar country songs to unforgiving patrons, crowded upscale happy hour dance floor unraveling into pandemonium as normal-looking customers all collapse to the floor and writhe around on each other while astonished saxophone- playing duo partner walks out leaving helpless solo guitarist playing The Hustle for 25 minutes, funk bass player imprisoned in lounge band insisting on popping strings throughout sensitive ballads, accidental imprisonment of Patti in wine cellar out of earshot during guitar instrumentals, onstage and on-instrument living creatures with varying numbers of legs, belligerent drunken bowling alley lounge customer demanding that funk band play Debussy's Clair de Lune while remainder of band looks expectantly at guitarist, drummer watching ball game on portable TV with headphones throughout performance, guest singer repeatedly changing keys at random moments, realization that the people who have just boldly picked up instruments and are unexpectedly sitting in are Herbie Hancock and Wah Wah Watson, guns drawn at rehearsals to settle disputes about form of song, marginally famous singer resorting to the dreaded "Do you know who I am?" line, drummer and delusional would-be front man jumping off the drums in the middle of a song and mistakenly chanting "We don't need no drummer to keep that funky beat" to a dance floor packed with suddenly hostile former dancers, unstable band member deciding that it is his responsibility to educate the audience over the microphone, bass player playing random notes and rhythms because he is not a bass player at all but nonetheless booked the gig, drummer announcing that he killed somebody just before the show, swimming pool party turning into orgy with splashing on inexperienced solo electric guitarist sitting beside pool doing his first solo gig and fielding endless requests for the same song he had just played yet again, bride's and groom's special song evaporating from mortified solo musician's mind at the crucial moment, band member disappearing suddenly when his chair falls backwards off riser, unstable enormous man peaking on LSD brandishing artificial limb removed from his companion at audience
and threatening band to "sing with this", mirrors on back wall of club causing introspective young guitarist to question meaning of his life at early stage in career.

-Tuck Andress

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reading for the Studio

Through the years I've learned a lot of skills out shear necessity. One of these skills was learning to read a piano roll of midi. There is more information on the piano roll than there would be in just a chart of music notation. 

For example when you print a chart from a midi file the timing nuances quantize to the nearest eighth, sixteenth of thirty-second note, removing the anticipation or lag that the composer played into the midi file you are replacing. 

Also notated thoroughly in a piano roll as opposed to standard notation are the dynamics. In the case of the Logic piano roll the colors are your clue here. The spectrum from purple to blue to green to yellow to orange to red is similar to ppp, p, mp, mf, f, fff. You can pretty clearly see the dynamics just a glance. It's actually easier for me to read these dynamic markings than some random p's and f's below the notes I'm trying to read.

Since the advent of samples a composer has a growing number of options for articulations. Notice the chart below. In bar 10 through 13 there are octave D's. But that's not what the composer wanted. This is the chart created from the midi file. Each note is a different sample of an acoustic guitar. In the case of bars 10-13 the low D is a down strummed open D chord and the high D is an up strummed open D chord. Knowing that now look at those four bars. See, a very simple basic folk strumming groove. 

Ah, but I know what you are thinking, "why are the B notes up an octave in bar 14?". Good question. The octave, in this guitar sample, determines the tonality. If the B's were in the same octaves as the D's then they would be major chords, but what is needed here is a B minor chord strummed. Therefor the octave change. The higher octaves are minor chords. Cool huh? The chords in this cue are D, Bm, G, Em and A. All common chords in the key of D

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

One of my latest sessions...

Justin Bieber - All I Want Is You
(Under the Mistletoe)

I played my Gibson Dove (double tracked), my Larivee Parlor strung high-strung (also double tracked) and G&L for the power chords in the choruses (oh, double tracked).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

35 Rules for Bands

Most of these are true and some I just now learned for myself(ouch).
  1. Never start a trio with a married couple.
  2. Your manager's not helping you. Fire him/her.
  3. Before you sign a record deal, look up the word "recoupable" in the dictionary.
  4. No one cares who you've opened for.
  5. A string section does not make your songs sound any more "important".
  6. If your band has gone through more than 4 bass players, it's time to break up.
  7. When you talk on stage you are never funny.
  8. If you sound like another band, don't act like you're unfamiliar with their music ("Oh, does Rage Against The Machine also do rap-rock with political lyrics?")
  9. Asking a crowd how they're doing is just amplified small talk. Don't do it.
  10. Don't say your video's being played if it's only on the Austin Music Network.
  11. When you sign to a major label, claim to have inked the best contract ever. Mention "artistic freedom" and "a guaranteed 3 record deal".
  12. When you get dropped insist that it was the worst contract ever and you asked to be let go.
  13. Never name a song after your band.
  14. Never name your band after a song.
  15. When a drummer brings in his own songs and asks to perform one of them, begin looking for a new drummer IMMEDIATELY.
  16. Never enter a "battle of the bands" contest. If you do you're already a loser.
  17. Learn to recognize scary word pairings: "rock opera", "white rapper", "blues jam", "swing band", "open mike", etc.
  18. Drummers can take off their shirts or they can wear gloves, but not both.
  19. Listen, either break it to your parents or we will; it's rock 'n' roll, not a soccer game. They've gotta stop coming to your shows.
  20. It's not a "showcase". It's a gig that doesn't pay.
  21. No one cares that you have a web site.
  22. Getting a tattoo is like sewing platform shoes to your feet.
  23. Playing in Portsmouth and Nashua doesn't mean you're on tour.
  24. Don't join a cover band that plays Bush songs. In fact, don't join a cover band.
  25. Although they come in different styles and colors, electric guitars all sound the same. Why do you keep changing them between songs?
  26. Don't stop your set to ask that beers be brought up. That's what girlfriends/boyfriends are for.
  27. If you use a smoke machine, your music stinks.
  28. We can tell the difference between a professionally produced album cover and one you made with the iMac your mom got for Christmas.
  29. Remember: if blues solos are so difficult, why can so many 16 year olds play them?
  30. If you ever take a publicity photo, destroy it. You may never know where or when it will turn up.
  31. Cut your hair, but do not shave your head.
  32. Pierce your nose, but not your eyebrow.
  33. Do not wear shorts onstage. Or a suit. Or a hat.
  34. Rock oxymorons: "major label interest", "demo deal"," blues genius", "$500 guarantee", and "Fastball's second hit".
  35. 3 things that are never coming back: a)gongs, b)headbands, and c)playing slide guitar with a beer bottle.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Actual Band Names...

Think you have a bad band name? It could be worse...

Furious George
Adios Pantalones
Admiral Poopy Pants and His Dancing Teeth
Armed and Hammered
Afghanistan Banana Stand
Band That Shot Liberty Valence
Brady Bunch Lawnmower Massacre
Cap'n Crunch and the Cereal Killers
Earthpig and Fire
Endangered Feces
The Fat Chick from Wilson Phillips
Full Throttle Aristotle
Full Metal Chicken
Goldfish Don't Bounce
The Hair & Skin Trading Co.
Half Man, Half Biscuit
Hamster Sandwich
Hitler Stole My Potato
Icky Boyfriends
Jehovah's Waitresses
Jiggle the Handle
John Cougar Concentration Camp
Lesbian Dopeheads on Mopeds
Lung Mustard
Microwavable Tree Frogs
Not Drowning, Waving
Once I Killed a Gopher With a Stick
People With Chairs Up Their Noses
Pepto Dismal
Orange Juice After Toothpaste
Poop Shovel
Poultry in Motion
Queer Wookie
String Cheese Incident
Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie
Two For Flinching

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cool Site #16 - Record Label Resource

Record Label Resource is, according to their home page, "the best resource on the internet for the independent record label. It doesn't matter if you're just starting a record label or you've been running an indie label for years -- our site offers an incredible wealth of music business information and music industry contacts. We provide free, unlimited access to our extensive music industry database, with information on CD manufacturing, CD mastering, radio promotion, entertainment lawyers, and so much more."

Lots of links and info - Business Essentials, Publicity, Legal, Radio Promotion, Manufacturing, Record Companies, Mastering, Recording, Printing, Touring and Retail Marketing.

Great place to start.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Writing for Film

There are three types of music in a film...

1. Score
2. Needle Drops/Songs
3. Source


Score is the composer's responsibility. It's the music under action and dialogue that's compose specifically for a movie. It is a very powerful tool to create a mood. Joy, fear, drama, can be enhanced by the properly chosen melody or orchestration. Usually this is the responsibility of one composer. Could be orchestral like John Williams' Star Wars or band-like like Lyle Workman's funky Superbad soundtrack. Or anywhere in between. No Country for Old Men, with the exception of the closing credits, had no score and it really added to the intensity of the film.

I've worked on many scores for TV and film. In this case I'm hired by a composer to play one or more of the many instruments that are in my closet. Sometimes I'm playing with a band or an orchestra, but usually I'm added after everything else has been recorded. As an overdub. I've done everything from a solo classical guitar, every note written out to a session of just making noises on a Fender bass with bottles and slides and random pieces of metal.

Needle Drops

Many movies are practically wall to wall needle drops like your typical Adam Sandler movie. Think the film "The Waterboy" - "Born on the Bayou" - John Fogerty, "Let's Groove" - Earth, Wind and Fire, etc. Famous songs can be quite expensive. Ten well known songs can cost a small fortune. But it's a great vehicle to take the audience to an era or decade. 

I'm currently working in an unofficial capacity as a music supervisor on an animated film. They don't have a budget to fill the half a dozen or so slots in the film with major songs so I was asked if I could help them find songs with lyrics that fit the scenes. That's basically the job of a music supervisor. 

I'm using this opportunity to work with some other songwriters and write some songs for placement in the film. And submit works of friends. I've gone through a lot of music and only submitted songs that are quality and also fit the spirit of the scene and the whole film. A time consuming job. Though I can often rule out a song in the first two bars. The ultimate decision falls on the director and/or the producer of the production.

For every Adam Sandler film with a $10 million budget for song placement there are fifty low budget films that have small or no budgets that afford opportunities for unknown artists and songwriters to get a song in a film. The reward? Maybe a token sync fee, some exposure and if the film airs on TV or cable some nice royalties. And a little encouragement to stay in the game.


Source is the music heard in clubs or bars or coffee shops, on radios or elevators or TV's that's like score in that it's usually under action and dialogue, and like needle drops in that it can help to transport you to a time or place. It's often added in post production. Like foley. It adds realism to a scene if there is a radio in the room to have music coming from it. 

I've gotten many songs in films or made-for-TV movies in this capacity. One as a country instrumental tune in a car radio. One as a background visual when I replaced a song that a band was playing in the background of the scene, but it wasn't quite right. One a Hawaiian song emanating from a cassette deck. To name but a few. Usually there is a sync fee plus royalties on the back end for these placements.

Some other cool soundtracks - 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Session Translations

These are hilarious and a little too true -
Musician to engineer. "Could we have more band in the phones?"
Translation: "The singer is too loud in the phones !"
Singer to engineer: "I can't hear myself."
Translation. "I don't want to hear anyone but myself."
Musician to guitarist: "Can you hear yourself okay?"
Translation: "You're too loud in the phones !"
Bassist to band. "Can everybody hear the drums?"
Translation: "This band is swinging like a broken record !"
Drummer to bassist: "Can you hear the kick drum?"
Translation: "We're not locking..... !!
Bassist to producer: "Could we have more steel/fiddle/accordion in the phones?"
Translation: "I will punish the band for rushing."
Musician to producer: "Could we have more piano in the phones?"
Translation: "Your artist can't sing in tune."
Musician to writer: "This song has nice changes."
Translation. "It's amazing what you can do with two chords."
Musician to producer or artist: "This song sounds like a hit."
Translation: "This song sounds like another song."
Producer to band: "It's a feel thing."
Translation: "I know the song sucks, but the artist wrote it."
Musician to producer: "I don't think we'll beat the magic of that first take."
Translation: "Please don't make us play this again."
Drummer to band: "Should we speed up the tempo a couple of clicks?"
Translation:"Do you all intend to keep rushing?"
Musician: "Could we listen to one in the control room?"
Translation: "The way these phones sound, we might as well be listening to Radio Free Europe."
Producer to band: "Let's take a break and come back and try one more."
Translation: "I think I'm having a nervous breakdown."
Musician to producer- "Were we booked for two sessions today?"
Translation: "Another three hours of this and I may have to kill you."
Producer to band: "We're supposed to be done at six, but we've got only one more tune and I was wondering if we could skip our dinner break and work straight through."
Translation: "You'll be done at nine, and you'll be hungry."
Artist to producer: I don't like this song it really sucks."
Translation: "I didn't write this song."
Producer to artist: "Trust me. It is a good song. Radio will love it."
Translation: "I own the publishing on this song. Morons will love it.
Singer to musician: "Can you play something like (so-and-so) would play?"
Translation: "I really wanted (so-and-so) on this record."

Friday, September 30, 2011

Reading in the Studio

Below is a fairly simple melody. The tempo was 85 bpm. I was asked to play it on acoustic guitar and lap steel, but with not too much sliding. There was no other music just click. The other elements would be dropped in and around it later. So the challenge is to make it musical or "play it with feeling", while playing alone.

When writing for guitar one should transpose up an octave to get the desired pitch. In other words if you want the guitarist to play middle C write the C on the second space from the top as in the first note of the second line in the chart below. But often composers forget to do that so I ask. In this case the writer indeed did want it up an octave.

Also the first note in fourth bar, second line, is a D. I kept thinking Db because normally one would write C# for the note before it.

It was simple but concentration was a must as it was easy to drop into some presupposed timing. Don't predict, just read. Again it was helpful to memorize the melody for the slide part so I could look at my slide for pitches. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Reading in the Studio

By themselves some charts can look very simple. Until one gets to the job of making it music.

The chart below was for a cartoon, a genre whose cues sometimes make no sense until you see it with picture. Within this cue we "quote" the Beach Boys, Shaft, Eddie Cochran, Motown, Let's Go To The Hop and then into a cool beatnik jazz thing. Easy right? Pulling off a "simple" 45 second overview of the music of the fifties and sixties isn't so elementary.

Sonically the individual sections are quite simple - first, pull out the strat, clean bright electric tone for the first three (not four) bars, kick on the wah for two and a half bars of late 60's funk, back to a clean sound for two and a half bars of syncopated bar chords, to the neck pickup for "Stop in the Name of Love", then back to the bridge pickup for a pick up into the fifties "Hop" classic and lastly change to the neck again and roll off a little tone for some cool coffee shop jazz.

All this to click and with feeling.

Note the key and tempo change at bar 16. As well as the clef change in the middle of bar 11.

The other musicians on the session were more than qualified and the drummer in particular was the one who really made the transitions work.

I think I would've made Tommy Tedesco proud on this one.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cool Site #15 - is a great source for cheap, diy legal forms.

Thinking about starting you're own record label? Managing artists? Publishing songwriters? Don't hire a lawyer (at hundreds per hour) go to

Some of the categories are General Music Business Contracts, Distribution Contracts, Live Performance Contracts, Recording Contracts, Songwriting/Copyright Contracts, TV/Film Contracts.

All for under $20!

For example - Film Sync Licensing Agreement, Royalty Release Form, Musician Work-For-Hire Agreement, Band Performance Contract Rider, Finders Fee Agreement and dozens of others.

Check it out. I've used it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Every Gig Is a Job Interview

Most people go on several job interviews, get a job and that's it. But with side musicians, every job is an interview. Generally we are hired one gig at a time. If it doesn't go well we may not get a call back.

There are many things you can do to make sure you "get the gig" or keep the gig...

1. Be on time - I like to be early
2. Have gear/guitars all in good working order - problems happen, but strangely more often to those who don't do the prep work.
3. Turn off the phone - or at least mute it.
4. Know the music - if it's a gig that they get you mp3's beforehand - it's for a reason.
5. Have a pencil handy - make note of changes so you don't have to ask twice.
6. Be flexible - if they want you to use a different guitar or their amp... cool.
7. Be a good hang - No one wants to spend 16 hours cooped up in a studio with a jerk.
8. Access the tempo of the gig - is this "music by pound"? Or "let's try seven more amps"?

I like to think of each gig, session, lesson as an opportunity to get the next one. The people you work for will appreciate this attitude.

I remember hearing great drummer Gregg Bissonette talk about his audition for David Lee Roth. He was waiting in a cattle call situation for his turn. Several drummers were before him. One dejected drummer emerged from the audition.

"How was it?" Gregg asked.

"Man there were some crazy time signatures, 3/4 to 7/8 to 4/4 to 7/8..."

So Gregg got out his Sharpie so he could make notes on his snare head.

The next guy came out complaining that they had a double kick and he sucked at double kick. Gregg immediately started warming up his feet and calves, practicing his double-kick.

Another drummer said they were looking for a heavy hitter. He admitted his jazz chops were not going to cut it. Gregg got out his heaviest sticks. When he sat down at the set with Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan the first thing he did was hit his snare really hard making Steve practically jump out of his skin. Then Steve turned to unknown young Bissonette and smiled. He got the gig.

So I guess another tip would be...

9. Pay attention

David Lee Roth - Eat Em & Smile
David Lee Roth - Skyscraper

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cool Site #14 -

Gbase is a great site for gear hunting. It's connecting point of dealers from around the country. I entered "Gibson 335" and it yielded 206 results. "Fender Telecaster" resulted in 809. Most of the top vintage shops participate.

Bass Book

We homeschool and this year I'm teaching my son Jack how read bass. My friend and great bass player Ron Suffredini recommended this book....

The Evolving Bassist by Rufus Reid

I'll let you know how it goes as we get through the year.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reading in the Studio

Just last week I got called for a quick session for a short film (10 minutes). Quick is my specialty. Between lower budgets and greater numbers of wannabe directors makes for many opportunities for the musician who can get things done in a timely manner.

Below is the lone chart for the session. A very simple melody in 3/4. But here's the rub: there was no click, it was suppose to be played free but in a call and response to a sparse vocal. So 120bpm was just a rough guide tempo. The composer wanted this melody on slide. And wanted options to pepper throughout the movie. First on acoustic with a slide, then on dobro with a slide and lastly on mandolin with a slide (that was my idea).

The first thing I did was memorize the melody. It's kind of difficult to play slide while staring at a chart. I like to lock in my pitches visually, as well as with the aid of a clip on tuner  - Intellitouch Tuner

The acoustic was in standard tuning, EADGBE. The dobro however was in open G, DGDGBD. And the Mandolin was in standard tuning, standard for a mandolin, GDAE. So the melody laid differently on each instrument. The composer wanted everything with lots of feeling and slide noise. Then we did passes on each instrument of just making random noises. All done in less than an hour so we had time to go to In-N-Out for lunch!

So get out your slide and read though this one!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cool Tool - Tremoloa

This cool tool is from the Manufacturers Advertising Company in Jersey City, New Jersey. Yet it's a Hawaiian instrument in it's use.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If you don't have gear insurance...

Get it.

I don't like to hear stories about stolen or destroyed guitars. Never good, but a least you can replace it.  These guys are great...

Post your stolen gear stories in the comments to inspire insurance purchasing action.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Session From Way Back...

The Theme from Herman's Head

Had crap for gear but the composer and the engineer made me sound good. Think I was playing an Ibanez Roadstar through a Yamaha Rex 50 and a Fender solid state amp and an Acoustic 164 amp. Like I said "crap".

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Drop Two Chord - Lesson 21 (altered chords)

C7 - x7858x
C9 - x7878x

C7b9 - x7868x
C7#9 - x7888x

C9#5 - x7879x
C9b5 - x7877x

C7#5#9 - x7889x
C7#5b9 - x7869x
C7b5#9 - x7887x
C7b5b9 - x7867x

All chords are movable - 8 chords X 12 postions  = 96 chords plus the previous 2208 for a total of 2304 chords so far!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Drop Two Chord - Lesson 20 (altered chords)

C7 - x3535x
C9 - x5535x

C7b9 - x4535x
C7#9 - x6535x

C9#5 - x5635x
C9b5 - x5435x

C7#5#9 - x6635x
C7#5b9 - x4635x
C7b5#9 - x6435x
C7b5b9 - x4435x

All chords are movable - 8 chords X 12 postions  = 96 chords plus the previous 2112 for a total of 2208 chords so far!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Drop Two Chord - Lesson 19 (altered chords)

F7 - xx13141313
F9 - xx13141315

F7b9 - xx13141314
F7#9 - xx13141316

F9#5 - xx13141415
F9b5 - xx13141215

F7#5#9 - xx13141416
F7#5b9 - xx13141414
F7b5#9 - xx13141216
F7b5b9 - xx13141214

All chords are movable - 8 chords X 12 postions  = 96 chords plus the previous 2016 for a total of 2112 chords so far!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Drop Two Chord - Lesson 18 (altered chords)

F7 - xx10101011
F9 - xx10121011

F7b9 - xx10111011
F7#9 - xx10131011

F9#5 - xx11121011
F9b5 - xx9121011

F7#5#9 - xx11131011
F7#5b9 - xx11111011
F7b5#9 - xx9131011
F7b5b9 - xx9111011

All chords are movable - 8 chords X 12 postions  = 96 chords plus the previous 1920 for a total of 2016 chords so far!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Drop Two Chord - Lesson 17 (altered chords)

F7 - xx7868
F9 - xx7888

F7b9 - xx7878
F7#9 - xx7898

F9#5 - xx7889
F9b5 - xx7887

F7#5#9 - xx7899
F7#5b9 - xx7879
F7b5#9 - xx7897
F7b5b9 - xx7877

All chords are movable - 8 chords X 12 postions  = 96 chords plus the previous 1824 for a total of 1920 chords so far!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Drop Two Chord - Lesson 16 (altered chords)

F7 - xx3545
F9 - xx5545

F7b9 - xx4545
F7#9 - xx6545

F9#5 - xx5645
F9b5 - xx5445

F7#5#9 - xx6645
F7#5b9 - xx4645
F7b5#9 - xx6445
F7b5b9 - xx4445

All chords are movable - 8 chords X 12 postions  = 96 chords plus the previous 1728 for a total of 1824 chords so far!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Learned at NAMM 2011...

Regarding files on your computer...

If it doesn't exist in three places, it doesn't exist.

That's it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cool Tool - Baritone Acoustic

Supplement Your Income as a Copyist

One way I've been able to stay in the game and make a living as a musician and not have to get a real job was to learn how to use music notation software, like Finale or Sibelious. Most orchestras in the country have staff copyists, many churches pay to have charts prepared, some artists who use lots of different musicians have a great need for accurate music preparation, many schools public and private. That just a few examples.

It's actually quite easy to get started though the software may seem very complex at first. I use Finale's Allegro and it seems to do most everything I need. If you work at a school or a church you could get this one... Finale 2011 Academic

My secret to learning the thing? Do the tutorial. And only to the point that you think you'll need it. It's progressive, starting with entering melodies, then chord symbols, lyrics... basically at that point you have all you need for a basic lead sheet. All within a couple of hours. If you don't need to know how to do big band charts or a full orchestral score don't go that far into the tutorial.

A more basic version of Finale.... Finale SongWriter 2010

Notepad is a free, very basic version of Finale that can get you started.

Once up and going you can charge by the hour, the page or a flat fee. At first if you charge by the page, say $20, it might take you four hours to generate one page thus making five bucks an hour, but eventually you'll be doing two pages an hour or more.

I would highly recommend getting a usb keyboard to speed up the note entry process, mine... M-Audio Keystation 88ES Midi Controller or even a small one like this...  M Audio KeyRig 49 49 Key USB Keyboard Controller.

Your catalog of already charted tunes can earn you money as well, so save and back up everything. Every now and then I get a call for something I've already charted I send them the pdf (never the finale file) in the key that they want it and charge them the going rate. Usually $20 per page.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Drop Two Chord - Lesson 15

Root Inversion -
Gmaj9 - 5544xx (same as Bm7)
G9 - 5534xx (same as Bm7b5)
Gm9 - 5533xx (same as Bbmaj7)

1st Inversion -
Gmaj9 - 7977xx (same as Bm7)
G9 - 7877xx (same as Bm7b5)
Gm9 - 6877xx (same as Bbmaj7)

2nd Inversion -
Gmaj9 - 1012911xx (same as Bm7)
G9 - 1012910xx (same as Bm7b5)
Gm9 - 1012810xx (same as Bbmaj7)

3rd Inversion -
Gmaj9 - 14141214xx (same as Bm7)
G9 - 13141214xx (same as Bm7b5)
Gm9 - 13131214xx (same as Bbmaj7)

All chords are movable - 12 chords X 12 postions  = 144 chords plus the previous 1584 for a total of 1728 chords so far!