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“Peg” by Steely Dan (Piano Tutorial) Welcome to the Piano Tutorial of the song titled “Peg” by Steely Dan. We are going to learn piano chords-voicings which could also be applicable to guitar. We are going to split this song in four parts: The Intro, 8 measures Letter [A], the verse with a 12 bar form. The lead vocal starts in this section. Letter [B], the chorus, also in 12 bar form. Tag Ending, 8 measures in form which repeat. Donald Fagen uses some very interesting voicings in fourths for many of the chords of this song. Let’s practice together and learn how to play PEG by Steely Dan. Album: “Aja” by Steely Dan

Keyboard Skills for Songwriters and Producers Video Tutorial Series.    Let’s play the following chord progression in the Key of C:| I-V-I-IV | I-V-IV-I | 00:00:04 Intro    00:00:16 Chord Progression in Root Position   00:00:54 Playing with a Backing Track (Root Position)   00:01:59 Chord Progression in 1st Inversion    00:02:46 Playing with a Backing Track (1st Inversion)   00:04:02 Chord Progression in 2nd Inversion   00:04:49 Playing with a Backing Track (2nd Inversion)   00:05:55 Ending   We will play the chord progression using in three different voice leading routines. Voice leading A: The chord progression starts in Root Position and ends in Root Position. Voice leading B: The chord progression starts in 1st Inversion and ends in 1st Inversion. Voice leading C: The chord progression starts in 2nd Inversion...

To find any note in any scale all you need to be able to do is count!   Lets use a piano as our example because in electronic music production you will need to become familiar with one at some point. So, if you are looking at a piano you can obviously see that it has white and black keys. The black keys are just (sharps/flats) of the adjacent notes.    A "tone/whole tone" is the distance between two keys on a piano. For instance, it is the difference between C and D and also the difference between E and F#. A "semitone/halftone" is the distance between keys directly next to each other. This means the if we are on C again that C# is a semitone/halftone or if we start on E then F is a halftone/semitone away.    Now that we know that little bit on info all we need to do is remember two patterns to find the notes of any scale!   For Major that pattern is: 2 2 1 2 2 2 1  For minor that pattern is:... read more

Let’s be honest. Most students that begin the adventure of trying to comprehend music theory fail for the first few months or even longer. As a junior taking AP Music Theory in High School, I too struggled to fully understand the very hard concepts of music theory. I went through a whole year of stumbling my way through that AP course, just barely scraping by. It wasn't until I took 9 total semesters of college instruction in both Music Theory and Aural Training, that I understood it on a deeper level.   The point is: one or two private lessons could have helped me tremendously starting out, and probably could have achieved more in the long run. I would like to help music theory beginners understand the concepts, and I have a perspective that works. I call it the half-step perspective. When I got into Music Theory 3, which is a very advanced level on the subject, I knew I had to be able to work more quickly on the basic things. So I came up with this, you could say, “cheat”... read more

WyzAnt gave me the opportunity to tutor a student entering Berklee School of Music. I was tutoring Music Theory. I had 6 weeks to tutor 2 semesters of theory. My student did an excellent job with assignments and was a pleasure to work with.  Here is what my student wrote after she started at Berklee:   “Hey Ric, I just wanted to let you know that I took my entering placement test over theory today and I knew EVERYTHING on it! I am so thankful for all that you did to help me get where I am! You are such an amazing teacher and I hope to work with you again in the near future. Thank you so much!.”    When a student excels and they can go from somewhat interested in a subject to very interested, especially something like music theory I love it. Theory can be a dry subject as presented by some. I find it exciting and because I teach it in a way that gets students excited about it because they can see the benefits of it. It is "how"... read more

It has been an extremely busy several weeks. My Guitar book is out in print & ebook form. It is doing very well and has now received endorsements from the guitarist on American Idol and The Voice. It has also been reviewed by a number of Nashville recording session musicians and is getting great response. I did quite a lot of arranging in Nov. & Dec. including pieces for orchestra & choir (premiered in Houston), string arrangements for Willow Creek Church in the Chicago area and also McKinney Memorial Church where my "Little Drummer Boy" arrangement was very successful for concerts. I also performed with the McKinney ensembles. Another recent development has been my playing (guitar, co-directing and arranging for the Joshua Experience Big Band. I did a big band version of my song "Moonlit" that they played last Sunday and it went very well. The same arrangement was purchased by a college in Il. for a jazz series concert in Feb. 2014... read more

By far, one of the most difficult concepts in elementary mathematics is fractions...and it is all our fault. One of the major misconceptions among many education systems was that early exposure to fractions would help students learn them. This meant attempting to introduce fractions before students could even multiply or divide. You have no idea the trauma this has had among decades of students. Education systems created self-induced math anxiety.   For years I had to address what I can only describe as fraction PTSD. I had talented Algebra students immediately clam up if the problem had a fraction. Now as a teacher I of course did my job and we spent time trying to get ourselves comfortable with fractions but in the back of my mind I knew I was using valuable class time to address an issue that simply shouldn't even rear it's ugly head in Algebra. But every year it was there. Students were crying, parents were crying, and teachers were crying over the fraction crisis... read more

"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, composer,... read more

I have completed my Guitar Manual. The manual will also be turned into a video series. The manual is not meant as an exhaustive study on guitar or theory, but a 30 page manual on "what has worked for Ric" in years of recording studio work and performing as a sideman and artist. My hope is that the concept of "your hands will work about as good as what your head knows" will lead more guitarist to want to be better overall musicians as well.

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!!!

Greetings Music Lovers and welcome to my first blog posting on WyzAnt! This is a great place for us to share tips, tricks and anything else of a general nature that you have found helpful with your music and would like to share with others. It's also a great place to ask general questions seeking advice and feedback from the community. I look forward to your questions, comments and suggestions! Daniel

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

As a teenager growing up in the late 70's and early 80's, I had the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest guitarists of that era. I would put on my favorite albums and try to play the song note for note and I would even attempt the solo of that song as well. Randy Rhoads was my guitar hero and still is to this day. He died in a plane cash in 1982 at the young age of 25. When I heard "Crazy Train" for the very first time I was blown away. The raking of the strings to the monstrous guitar riff intro, incredible. I wanted to be the next Randy Rhoads. Practicing for hours just trying to learn his style I knew that someday I would be able to play like that. Randy recorded 2 albums with Ozzy "Blizzard of Ozz" and "Diary of a Madman". In those days there wasn't "Youtube" or the internet for that matter. I would go to the local music store to try to find music books. What I did learn from this was how to take a chance. Learning an instrument... read more

Hi I'm Phil. As I said in my introduction, I've been working with kids my whole adult life, actually since I was a teenager. From the time I was old enough to drive I have been working with church youth groups - in Southeast Missouri, Chicago (where I received my bachelors) and now in East Tennessee (where my beautiful girlfriend graduated and works with children herself). My Junior and Senior year I volunteered with an after-school program for college credit. It was then I first fell in love with teaching. I tutored 5th grade up to 8th in Math, English and Spelling, and Music. After high school I continued working with middle school church ministries as counselor, small group leader, and, at one point, interim youth director. My latest ministry experience was as Youth Worship Director to middle school students at Willow Creek Community Church in West Chicago, IL. I held that position for 13 months until I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design. Currently, I am involved... read more

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