Wednesday, October 18, 2017

BASIC GUITAR Chords And How To Play Them

English: C major chord for guitar in open posi...
C major chord for guitar in open position.
Beginners chord.
(Photo credit: 
One of the challenges for the novice guitarist is learning the basic chords. You will not only need to know where to put your fingers but also how to change from one chord to another. The technique of smooth transition between chords is a learning process we are never really finished with. Every time we learn something new on the guitar, that's another sequence of small movements our body learns, and these sets of movements must be executed smoothly through relaxed, calm practice.

Holding chords with your left hand is a new skill. It uses groups of muscles we do not normally use, so it takes time to learn the chord shapes without experiencing discomfort. There is light at the end of the tunnel, although sometimes the tunnel seems very, very long.

Another physical adaptation that has to be made when you learn your basic guitar chords is the left-hand fingers need to be toughened up. Callouses form on the tips of the fingers after a few weeks playing, but until they do you need to put up with the pain.

Fortunately learning the notes on the guitar is a job that does come to an end. As you learn more songs, chords, and scales you will feel your ease with musical theory and notation growing even if you didn't directly learn much theoretical stuff. If you learned in your own way the knowledge gets into you by way of constant practice and the enjoyment you bring to your guitar playing.

So the task at hand is to learn a basic group of chords. This is your toolbox you begin your guitar playing with. 

English: Picture taken from taking barre chord...
Picture taken from taking barre chord on a guitar.
(Photo credit: 
Each chord is identified by a letter. If the letter is followed by the word, minor, it's a minor chord. If it is just the letter alone, it's a major chord.

Major chords contain the Root note, a major third above the Root plus a fifth above the Root.
Minor chords, which have a more "sad" sound, are the same except that they contain a minor third instead of a major third.

A basic rule of thumb for understanding major and minor chords is for a 
major chord plays the (1) (3) and (5) of the major scale, and for a minor chord play the (1) (3) and (5) of the minor scale.

A handy thing to know once you start playing barre chords is that if you learn the major chord shape, you only need to lift one left-hand finger to play the minor chord.

The basic chords come from the keys of A G C and D. The chords themselves can be played at all positions on the fretboard, but beginners start with open chords at the first position. This means that at least one note is played on an open string.

We group the basic keys to families:
The A family contains the chords A, D and E.
The D family contains the chords D, E minor, G and A.
The G family contains the chords G, A minor, C, D and E minor.
The C family contains the chords C, D minor, E minor, F and G.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

FATBOY SLIM - Norman Cook biography

Fatboy Slim in 2004.jpg
Photo Wikimedia Commons.
Norman Cook has experienced an exceptionally diverse musical career. He's produced or played on records covering a multitude of genres, including indie pop, hip-hop, house and big beat, and is also one of the most famous DJs in the world under his Fatboy Slim moniker.

Fatboy was born Quentin Cook in Bromley in 1983 and grew up in Reigate in Surrey.

He was heavily into music at an early age, producing a punk fanzine as a teenager before meeting Paul Heaton at 6th form college. He went to the University of Brighton (he studied English, Sociology, and Politics) and began to DJ around the town where the club scene was thriving at that time.

In 1985 he received a call from Heaton asking him to join up with The Housemartins to replace their recently departed bassist. The group was based in Hull, and Norman (as he was now known) moved north to be with them. They soon had a hit with "Happy Hour", and eventually had a number one single in 1986 with a cover of "Caravan Of Love".

The group broke up in 1988 and Cook returned to Brighton to re-invigorate his love for the club scene. He teamed up with Lindy Layton to produce a dub house classic in "Dub Be Good To Me" (a mashup of the bassline from The Clash's "The Guns Of Brixton" and vocals inspired by SOS band's "Love Be Good To me") which went to number one.

Beats International had 2 albums before disbanding. Norman went on to form Freakpower with vocalist and brass-player Ashley Slater and had a massive hit with when it was picked up by Levi's to be used in a commercial.

The following year the band had a hit with "Rush", and the single also contained a remix by Pizzaman - another Cook alias. He went on to produce some massive club hits in the next couple of years under the Pizzaman alias - "Trippin On Sunshine", "Sex On The Streets" and "Happiness" being particularly popular.

Freakpower continued to record albums together, and in 1996 had a hit with "New Direction". This track was appropriately titled as Norman had just released a record under what was to become his most famous alias yet - that of Fatboy Slim.

Norman had teamed up with Damien Harris to create a new record label in Brighton, and Fatboy Slim's "Santa Cruz" was to be its first release. They called the label Skint Records and set themselves a mission to release music with massive beats big and basslines that would be equally popular in-house and indie clubs alike.

Fatboy had a further hit in 1996 with "Everybody Loves A 303", an homage to the classic Roland synth that still sounds fresh today. He went on to release his debut album "Better Living Through Chemistry", an album that spawned two further singles in "Going Out Of My Head" and "Punk To Funk" and helped to create the Big Beat genre.

Fatboy's hugely anticipated second album, You've Come a Long Way, Baby, followed in 1998. The album displayed huge international appeal, and went platinum in the U.S. and included two massive hits, "The Rockafeller Skank" and "Praise You", which also boasted a Spike Jonze-directed video that earned three MTV Video Music Awards as well as two Grammy nominations.

The next Fatboy Slim album, 2000's "Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars", showed a bit more diversity and contained tracks with R&B, hip-hop and hard house influences. The big single from the album, "Star 69" contained a big sweary vocal and a huge kick drum to send the crowd mental.

Fatboy went on to release another album, 2004's Palookaville, and a compilation album and is still one of the biggest DJs and producers in the world.

Aliases: Pizzaman, Freakpower, Beats International, Mighty Dub Kats

Monday, October 16, 2017


Samba (album)
Samba (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Brazil, the fifth largest country in South America, is a land rich in history, mystique, and exceptions to the rule. Founded as a Portuguese colony in 1500 that was later known as the Empire of Brazil, it became a republic in 1889 and is now known as the Federative Republic of Brazil. Its official language is Portuguese, which is spoken by nearly the entire population - and the only Portuguese-speaking nation in Latin America - making its natural and cultural identity very distinct from its Spanish-speaking neighbors. Brazilian Portuguese is also different from that spoken in Portugal. It is fitting that the Museum of the Portuguese Language in Brazil 's capital São Paulo is the first language museum in the world.

One of the founding members of the United Nations, Brazil is the world's tenth largest economy and boasts a natural environment of unparalleled diversity and breathtaking geographic beauty, making it a great draw for international tourists seeking sun and beach and adventure forays into the Amazon Rainforest. But where Brazil really stands out in terms of its natural resources and cultural contribution to the world is music, specifically jazz. Although it can claim many fine classical composers, Brazil is where the great rhythm-and-beat styles of the samba, bossa nova, pagoda, frevo and many others found life.

"Watercolor of Brazil" (known in most English-speaking countries as simply "Brazil"), written in 1939 by politically militant composer Ary Barroso, became one of the most popular songs of all times and was the birth of the samba. Since then it has enjoyed innumerable recordings from Brazilian native musical artists like Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto, but internationally as well by such legends as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney to still more recent versions by Placido Domingo, Dionne Warwick, and the Ritchie Family. With the ballroom dancing craze fuelled by popular TV shows like "Dancing With the Stars," the song "Brazil" and the samba have found a fresh generation of eager fans.

Arguably one of the most beloved and respected musicians of the 20/21st century is Brazil's João Gilberto who rose to fame in the late 1950s when he slowed down the samba to work with his syncopated acoustic guitar. His cool, hip way of whispering lyrics made him an idol of U.S. beatniks and jazz artists alike, and he continues to inspire a new generation of pop artists like Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso and his own daughter Bebel Gilberto, now a star in her own right. But Gilberto's place on the world jazz map was firmly stamped when a collaboration with songwriter Jobim, a fellow Brazilian, led them to record "Chega de Saudade" and create the bossa nova.

The bossa nova quickly became a craze in the United States and spread through the world after American jazz saxophone legend Stan Getz discovered the sound and recorded, amongst others, "The Girl From Ipanema" with Gilberto and his wife Astrud. Bossa nova-style jazz remained Getz's icon sound until he died. Gilberto remains a superstar in Brazil and one of its greatest natural resources.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART - (27.1.1756 - 5.12.1791)

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART - (27.1.1756 - 5.12.1791) - Photo: Wikimedia

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tuning, Intonation, And The SAXOPHONE

sax gal in the house
Photo  by woodleywonderworks 
Playing your saxophone in tune with others in your band requires much more than simply playing a reference note into a tuner and adjusting the mouthpiece on the instrument. In order to really understand the tuning process and how best to tune your saxophone, it helps to know the physics behind the sound that you produce while playing. When we are talking about physics and the saxophone we are dealing in the realm of invisible vibrations called sound waves.

To better understand these sound waves it helps to think about a guitar string. When you pluck a note on a guitar the string vibrates at a specific rate or "frequency." The length of this string dictates what frequency the string will vibrate at. By moving your finger up and down the fretboard you can change the pitch to any of a dozen or so pitches. Now think about a fretless guitar. Instead of a dozen pitches, you could potentially have hundreds of pitches, each very slightly different than the other. Saxophones behave in this same way but use a vibrating column of air instead of a vibrating string.

When you add or subtract fingers on the saxophone you are changing the overall length of the tube, creating shorter or longer sound waves in the process. Many things can affect this resultant wave. A key that is not adjusted properly can partially close over an open hole causing all notes above that key to be slightly flat. Likewise, a key that is left open when it should be closed can make other notes out of tune or at the very least sound less focused.

Two saxophones that are not perfectly tuned to each other will always vibrate at different frequencies even when playing the same note. When two sound waves of the exact same frequency are played together they reinforce each other creating a stronger, more pleasing overall sound. When two pitches are slightly out of tune they occasionally collide with each other causing a disturbance in the combined waveform. This phenomenon creates audible "beats" or bumps in what the listener hears. Each bump in the combined sound is literally the two sound waves slamming into each other. It is often easier to understand this process by seeing it visually. Take a look at the examples shown at

As a saxophone player, it should be your goal to learn how to play your instrument in perfect tune. Unfortunately, this requires more than simply tuning your concert A or B-flat. Now that you know a little about the physics of sound, however, you can begin to understand the inherent pitch problems of your saxophone and relate this to your overall performance and study routine.