Friday, October 20, 2017

TRUMPET and TROMBONE High Notes

Enregistrement des cuivres de l'Album des Dood
Photo  by Christophe ALARY 
Are you a brass player that has heard an album or a live performance by one of the giants of our instrument and been totally amazed at how they possess a complete command of the instrument?

Such giants as Maynard Ferguson, Wayne Bergeron, Bill Watrous, Slide Hampton?  It's not that these individuals were born with great skills and never had to practice, yet more over, they were driven by the desire to play.  Along with that desire comes support.  Support from family, friends, peers, and authority figures such as band directors.

What is essential for all beginning players young and old is a strong support system.  Family, friends and teachers must all rally around the student to help them believe in themselves and in what they're doing!  Statements such as... ya, ya, that's good but can you do that somewhere else is not exactly a supportive frame of mind.

If you could go back in time and interview the greatest players, you would find that they were strongly supported by family and cohorts.  Maynard Ferguson is a prime example of this!  His parents were both school principals in Montreal Quebec Canada, and as he and his brother Percy were growing up, they were strongly supported in everything they did.  Whether it was sports or music, they were rallying to their kids support.

As Maynard grew into his early teen years and showed a knack for trumpet playing, his parents nourished this talent by not only buying him the recordings, but taking him to the performances that came through.  From Duke Ellington to Dizzy Gillespie, they were there.

The next thing a young player needs is the right tools.  Teachers who don't really know what they're teaching can be a serious detriment to a young player and his growth.  The right approach and the right books as well as specific instruction on how to perform each exercise is vital!

If you are a player who did not exactly experience either of the above, it's not too late.  Trumpet players are most likely looking for that Maynard type range and power.  The high notes that make the audience just sit back in total amazement and wonder - does that hurt?  Is that some freak trick?

High notes are nothing more than just really fast air being forced through a very small hole.  NOT large volumes of air, but rather extremely compressed air moving rapidly through a small hole between your lips.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?  It is once you gain the right concept.




Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Well-Tempered Clavier by J S BACH

Well-Tempered Clavier MuseScore edition
Photo  by MuseScore 
The Well-Tempered Clavier is generally referred to as the pianists' "Old Testament of Western music", also in Barenboim's fingers, it definitely has an "Old World" condition to it. Seen in its entirety, the performance brings to mind Edwin Fischer's recording from the thirties: great pianism, frequently elegant playing, notably by means of the liberal use of the pedals.

This is, needless to say, planets independent of the incisive, razor-sharp resolution that Glenn Gould, as well as Mehmet Okonsar, brought to these works. As opposed to concentrating on offering the spectacular complexity as well as the polyphonic aspect of those compositions, Barenboim is without a doubt more happy putting together an abundant harmonic texture to each piece, magnificently experienced on a contemporary Steinway.

I'm a tremendous fan of Bach. He was simply a fabulous genius and far in advance of his time period and the Well-Tempered Clavier is just mind-blowing. As a recreational piano player, I discover his music a genuine treasure. The complexity and beauty of his music continue to be so incredibly inspiring.

There are considerable records to support Bach's claim that he employed the Well-Tempered Clavier as part of his lessons, nevertheless, the work accomplishes so many purposes that it must be an easy task to overlook its part as a teaching tool. Obviously, the most crucial feature of the Well-Tempered Clavier is that its full of sublime music from cover to cover.

The fact that it illustrates Werckmeister's "well-tuned" technique pertaining to keyboard instruments seems incidental to us all right now, however, it was outstanding in Bach's day. We still wonder at the genius which expended each prelude and fugue using a unique musical style, drawing on a multitude of compositional processes to shed light on his students. The idea sounds dry, having a piece in every key in ascending arrangement from C major, however, the result could not end up being closer to excellence.

Fugues are usually said to be in a number of voices or parts (the term voices may be used whether or not the fugue has not been written with regard to singers), which is, self-sufficient melodic lines. Fugues are generally in from three to five parts, however, eight and even ten parts are achievable in large choral or orchestral fugues. Fugues in fewer than 3 parts tend to be rare since with 2 parts the actual subject is only able to jump back and forth between the upper and lower part. The best-known illustration of a two-voice work is certainly the E minor fugue out of Book 1.

These forty-eight preludes and fugues in all the major and minor keys have got very little related to public virtuosos, stages or even audiences. Like a lot of Bach's work -- especially the music written, or at least put together when it comes to the ending of his existence -- the ''Well-Tempered'' makes statements, advances concepts, draws together bodies of expertise. Moreover, its lessons happen to be learned, and its particular messages attained, in the home.

The Bach preludes and fugues are actually, to utilize Schumann's well-known explanation, the keyboard player's "everyday bread." All musicians exercise however rarely perform them. Wrapping one's ears and fingers around these pieces amount to both an undergraduate and a postgraduate training: what things to make visible, what you should render as background, how to make the load of the finger interact to the control from the ear and so forth.

My commitment to the original issue of Gould's performance of the Well-Tempered Clavier was sizable however by the time Okonsar's recording emerged it had wanted to some degree.

There was (and still is) no doubt Gould's awesome proficiency to managing, varying as well as diverse touch in clarifying textures through 'orchestration', however Okonsar's reading of the work and the eschewing all forms of obvious pianism remained (and remains) a new testimony to his faithfulness to representing this kind of music, as he observed it, devoid of seeking back to the harpsichord or forward to the nineteenth-century piano.

As numerous reviewers at that time excited, Gould's was an impressive success, yet the cautiously calculated however communicative as well as packed with feelings playing of Okonsar, along with some idiosyncrasies added up to an analytical as well as a human performance of it.

The actual doubts began to find their way in, and retrospectively, with Prelude I of Book 1: the varying articulation of the last few notes of each group speaks of Gould as well as Okonsar, but what does it say of Bach? Echo answered as it did to other, subsequent concerns.


The actual harpsichord cannot provide more weight to any one line, nor is there any proof that players of Bach's period employed severe variations of articulation pertaining to such a function, notably in the ready-balanced texture and consistency of a fugue; such 'painting by way of numbers' is an anachronistic imposition.

Amongst the currently available piano versions of the 48 Schiff's on Decca remains, in my opinion, the most effective and the freest from excess; its pluses and minuses were broadly mentioned. Keith Jarrett's recording (ECM/New Note) is all that particular may well reasonably desire. That both occupy simply three discs may encourage a few readers to purchase Gould's and/or Okonsar's sets, both amaze as well as irritates by turns, and also over which controversy will certainly likely carry on for a long period in the future.

    Although I am a literary person and a novel editor classical music is always there when I work for publishers. As a side effect, I started to provide some reviews and articles on a couple of classical music papers as well. My favorite Bach interpreters are Glenn Gould and Mehmet Okonsar.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


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: 
Wikipedia)
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: 
Wikipedia)
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

Music Of BRAZIL

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.