Tag Archives: YouTube

Mardi Gras Gig at Westminster Canterbury

0209161852I have played Westminster Canterbury many times, but this is just the second time for Mardi Gras. Many of my gigs here have been guitar and bass, some guitar and voice, but this one was guitar and trumpet.

The trumpeter was Ernest Deane. I have known Ernest for a number of years and he is a fantastic player. As a matter of disclosure, he is one of the musicians I met early in my career who intimidated me. Not from his personality, because he is a great guy, but from his playing. He, like a couple other folks, is one with whom I finally feel adequate enough to play.

Tonight’s gig was really fun. We were familiar with the tunes, but haven’t rehearsed them much. We didn’t have any issues, but not knowing what to expect tonight was a lot more fun with Ernest than almost anyone else with whom I’ve played. I don’t think it’s a matter of skill or professionalism, but rather a matter of comfort with the unexpected: that little something we should be able to expect from a great player. I think most of us, especially me, are too afraid to make a mistake and just do not trust ourselves to sound great.

The residents of Westminster Canterbury were very receptive. We usually have a good response there with any musical arrangement, but tonight was especially responsive. I think this is really saying something since it’s the middle of winter, these are elderly folks, and we played from 7-8pm.

Ernest will be playing in The GoodFoot too, and that will make a great difference because I will have time in the rhythm section making a groove. That is something I think has been missing in just a trio format.

Our setlist was:

Basin Street Blues Bb
Mardi Gras Mambo Bb
Joe Avery’s Blues Bb
Iko Iko D (C7 Bridge)
House of the Rising Sun Am
Just a Closer Walk with Thee Bb
Mardi Gras in New Orleans Bb
Mess Around Eb
Jambalaya G
When the Saints Go Marching In G

You can find these on YouTube and can purchase them from plenty of places online. There’s no reason not to start building your Mardi Gras music collection for next year. Maybe you will discover some great music that you wouldn’t hear otherwise.

Happy Listening!


Being a Guitar Teacher (The Experienced Learner)

I saw a quote recently: “It is not that the teacher teaches; it is that the student learns”

I thought about this for quite a while.

A survey that I created and sent to all of my current and former students a few weeks ago has given me some interesting feedback. I have always been under the impression that my perception of our lesson time is likely to be different in some ways compared to the student’s experience. I created the survey to learn some of these differences and which were most prevalent.

Question: “What could your teacher do better?”

Survey Said: “Push me harder.” This was the #1 answer.

If one plays music as a hobby, as most people do, I am not quite sure how much pressure I should apply to students. I think it is best if students find their own true motivation. Perhaps I need to create ‘mirrors’ for each student to view their progress.

I do have one idea brewing that may stimulate motivation for most students.

I have would like to make videos of each lesson for each student. I can make each video viewable on YouTube by only me and the student in it. Of course, students may forward the links of their videos to anyone they wish.

Are there any volunteers to test some sessions?

Until next time…



Performance Videos

I have made a few performance videos today that would like to share with you.If any of you have videos of yourselves playing; share them.The nice thing about videos is that they are just like any other recording, if you do not like the ‘Take’, just delete it and make another one.

I will send you to my YouTube page where you can see all of my videos in case you missed any of them.I would really appreciate some comments and questions regarding them.Whatever you want to ask is fine and welcome.



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Who Likes Music

Simple enough question, isn’t it?Well, yes and no.

Everyone likes music of some sort.What is interesting to me though is some of the strong feelings of what music is and what it is not.I am not addressing the Rock vs. Rap deal that has been going on for ages.Google ‘Noel Gallagher Jay Z’ and see a recent example of what is happening.

Well, OK, maybe I should address the Rock vs. Rap deal.Music: Melody, Harmony & Rhythm.This is how I define music to students.Simple and accurate; Wikipedia has a nice page about it too.

(For the spelin’ empayrd; plz note the spelling of RHYTHM.It governs the universe. Thank you.)

Old folks have been asking about the Melody in Rock since it started.This is because early rock singers were not really singers at all.Rather, they were guitar players.I think what has been going on with the Rock vs. Rap deal is essentially the same issue.

By the way, I shall make a great point here concerning the popular ‘Rock has singing/melody, but rap does not’ argument: Modern Group with Singer; Modern Group without Singer.

‘Nuff Said.

(By the way, the water-on-drums trick was done decades ago.)

Anyway, the point is that we all have different views of music.It has been said that there are two kinds of music: good and bad.This has been attributed to Duke Ellington.I don’t know I wasn’t there, but my thought is similar and goes like this: There is well-played music and poorly-played music.I like the well-played kind.

I woke up a bit ago to start writing this article and I had AC/DC playing in my head.Actually, I got up to blow my nose; it is allergy season, but I thought that sounded far less cool.Incidentally, it wasn’t any particular tune I was hearing in my head, but rather a ‘jam’ that sounded just like Angus Young.Then, of course, specific AC/DC tunes popped in my head.

Even though I do not listen to AC/DC very much anymore, I still like them.I have liked many different styles of music.I even went through a period of listening to rap starting with the Fat Boys (I used to ‘Beat Box’) and the Beastie Boys continuing on until I won’t tell you when.

OK.L.L. Cool J is Here.1991 (When)

I think that it is very important that we open our minds to at least trying different sounds.As mentioned earlier, there is well-played and poorly-played music.Maybe the first group you hear from a particular style is not very good.There are many different shades to sounds and music styles as there are colors.As an acquaintance of mine has said: ‘If we all were sent out to get a red shirt, almost each one of us would return with a different shade, and we would all still consider the lot of them to be red.’

I agree.

So as an experiment for yourself, pick a style of music that you do not believe you like, and do some research of different groups or personalities of that style.Then, go about listening to some of them.I have found YouTube to be a great source of discovery and reminiscence.Keep in mind that some styles cover decades.You may find that a particular decade is better than others.

As an example, I like country music from the 1970’s and some early 1980’s.I do not like the sappy 1960’s nor do I like the cookie-cutter 1990’s to present.I also like Western Swing, sometimes called Hillbilly Jazz.

Let’s see; my list so far is: AC/DC, Rap, Country, Western Swing, and as many of you know, Jazz of all sorts.Is your musical net wide or narrow?As an aspiring musician, what should it be?


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