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"As a guitar player, I am always looking for new resources to help me get better at my craft. I have gone through book after book that held some good tips for improving my playing. Some better than others. I have been playing the guitar for 40 years now and still consider myself a rhythm hack. I must confess that I do not spend the time like I should but that is another article. A friend of mine recently released a book titled Guitar Tips - What Every Guitar Player Should Know. I love this guitar manual for a ton of reasons. It's practical, easy to follow and gives some great tips for advancing my playing and understanding of music and the instrument I so love. I have a degree in music but often fail to implement the basics of theory in my arranging of worship music. This book is not so much a "how to play the guitar better" as it is a "how to use your guitar in a band setting". Ric F. is an amazing guitarist, performer, arranger, musician,... read more

My Composition student, Ken (who is also a college music teacher) completed an arrangement for Flute Choir on a Christmas Carol. The piece was played through yesterday with success! The music director ask Ken if he could do another and have both premiered in an upcoming Christmas concert - Congrats Ken!   My international student Melody has scored a video montage and did an excellent job not only in the approach she chose, but also in the execution. Congrats Melody!

2 of my international internet students have had some recent accomplishments. Melody has written an exceptional arrangement of a hymn for an "un-plugged" chamber ensemble that was premiered last Sunday (Sept. 29, 2013) and went great!   Ken (also a music teacher at colleges) has been commissioned to arrange a Christmas Carol for Flute Choir.   Congrats to my students!!!

When the harmony dictates that the chord should be C, then the most important notes of resolution and repose are C, E and G. These are the notes of the C Major chord. C D E F G A B C So we think about ways to come to rest. We can simply stay at rest, by just playing chord tones (arpeggios) C E G C G E E C G E G C G C E G E C We can connect the chord tones: C D E E D C E F G G F E G A B C C B A G We can alternate from chord tone to non-chord tone C B C C D C E D E E F E G F G G A G Any of the atomic approaches above can be combined in an endless variety ways. Also Note that the non-chord tones are B, D, F and A, which for the B minor b5 chord. It is logical, and helpful to think of the resolutions for the non-C (bm7b5) chord tones to the C chord tones.

As I mentioned in my profile, I prefer to teach from a different perspective than most teachers. If you want to just learn some songs on your instrument - of course I can teach them to you! I can easily turn them into something you can relate to and get under your fingers quickly =) My real specialty, however, is how I teach music theory - both to its students and to students of guitar / bass / piano. Usually, when you learn music theory you start with some preconceptions. There are notes, for instance - twelve of them. You can use these notes to form all kinds of structures - seven note scales, three or four part chords, two note intervals, etc. These various structures are given names, like "Major," "Minor," "Perfect," "Augmented," "Diminished," etc. You know that a Major chord sounds happy and uplifting. You know that a Minor chord sounds sad and depressing. But in all of your lessons, with all... read more

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