Thursday, June 24, 2010

Last Minute Candy Gig:

Breaking news: The Candy has been asked to fill in this Friday night at The Red And The Black in D.C. Due to scheduling, we are doing this gig as a rock duo, White Stripes or Black Keys style, if you will. I'll be playing a lot of slide, fat and low baritone. The musical freedom afforded by having only one harmonic instrument will be very enjoyable. Come down and check it out!
Advancing Guitar Lessons:
Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun
for Beginners and Beyond

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why Take Lessons?

Occasionally, at cocktail parties, I am asked this question:

"Why take lessons?"

My second best answer for this is: Music has been taught, one on one, for tens of thousands of years. That's how it is done.

There are exceptions, but most often, these exceptions are placed in bountiful musical surroundings. They may not take 'lessons' or have a 'teacher' per se, but they learn the musical language in the method about which every language teacher effuses: they learn by immersion. So, if you can afford to quit your job, run away, and start a band, go for it. That is, indeed, how it is done.

If you can't afford to do that, get yourself an instrument, find some guidance, and get going. It's always better late than never, but it's never too soon to start.

My best, simplest, most succinct answer for "Why take lessons?":

"I do."

Learning music is a practice, and there isn't an end to the road. I revel in continuing to learn music. Here is a list of my current teachers. Really, they should each get their own post. And perhaps they will. I have some other teachers I'd like to thank, too, so I'll be back with a post about my earlier teachers.

My Current Teachers:

W. A. Mathieu

Allaudin, as I call him, is a genius, who is famous in many circles. He was one of the founders of the legendary 'Second City' comedy group, as its musical director. John Coltrane called him 'one of the best minds in music theory' or something like that. His book Harmonic Experience has been hailed as 'The Rosetta Stone of music'.

I'm lucky to have found him, and even luckier still that he will entertain my music and musical questions twice a month via speakerphone. His tutelage is invaluable to me.

Mick Goodrick

Mick was my teacher at New England Conservatory, and the whole reason I went to N.E.C. I should give a quick shout out to Eric Byers, one of my informal teachers, for introducing me to Mick. Mick's book, The Advancing Guitarist, is considered a seminal work in Jazz Guitar education circles. I make a point to see Mick when I am in Boston, and he always has excellent suggestions for enhancing my creativity and my knowledge of the guitar.

Larry Snitzler

Larry is a fantastic teacher of music and classical guitar technique. If you want to learn classical technique and repertoire, look no further. Larry is your man. I don't see him as often as I wish I could. However, his mentoring on teaching and technique issues has been, and continues to be, very helpful. He is a wonderful human being, and a good friend.
Advancing Guitar Lessons:
Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun
for Beginners and Beyond

Follow me on Twitter: @diddleybow

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Grand Candy

It's been a few years since I felt like being in or promoting a band. Making music is a wonderful thing. Finding like minded musicians another thing. Schlepping gear and cajoling a fanbase are something else altogether.

I've finally found a few like minded musicians in the D.C. area, and the result, currently, is something akin to Gospel Death Metal.

Two songs, available for free download now at the Candy's ReverbNation page (or through the magic of Facebook) are the yin and yang of the eternal question:

Salvation or Damnation?

'Made A Devil' is a fire and brimstone blues song of the 'I done her wrong' and now there are 'Hellhounds On My Trail' variety. Hell hath, apparently, exactly the fury of a woman scorned.

'I Need Liftoff' is the story of an angel fallen from grace. There are no guarantees for angels, even, apparently.
These tunes are not light reading: this is some heavy, heavy music. To wit, the gear I'm going to have to schlepp in order to reproduce this sound live will be mammoth. My back hurts just thinking about it.

Please check out The Grand Candy for yourself: If you are willing to be cajoled into joining The Candy's ReverbNation fan list, you get a free download of these songs. Please join! But don't say we didn't warn you first:

DC Guitar, Daniel Cohn and The Grand Candy assume no medical or fiduciary responsibility if these songs bend your mind. Please consult your physician if you have a heart condition or other health condition that precludes strenuous musical activity. How do you say Caveat Emptor when the tunes are free? Enjoy.

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