Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Grand Candy Seeks Bassist

My band, The Grand Candy, is looking for a bassist. Here's what things looked and sounded like without a bassist a few weeks ago:

Know anybody good?

Please send 'em our way.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jam Class: Caught On Tape

Here's a little video evidence of the Jam Class performance on Saturday at Bangkok Blues. Some of these students have only been playing less than a year!

We've been having a lot of fun with these Rolling Stones classics. We had a great time Saturday night, and I dare say these overachieving DC peeps make me very proud.

Love In Vain:

Brown Sugar:

Not a Stones tune, but I think these two guitar newbies had a lot of fun with Oasis' Wonderwall. A little nerves are in order for two guys who've been playing guitar less than a year. I tried to make them feel as comfortable as possible:

Advancing Guitar Lessons:
Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun
for Beginners and Beyond

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weaving A Little Sympathy for The Devil

I am very excited about the Second Annual DC Guitar Keith Richards' Birthday Party: Happy Birthday, Keith Richards. Seriously. I'll be playing some of my own songs with my band, The Grand Candy and jamming some classic rock with some of my students from Jam Class.

One of the Rolling Stones songs we've been playing in Jam Class is 'Sympathy for The Devil', because I want to teach my students about what Keith calls 'the ancient art of weaving'.

The way Keith talks about weaving, or playing independent rhythms that intelligently and bootyliciously interlock, reminds me of James Brown. If you want to learn about this, you could do well to check out Funkmasters by Allan Slutsky and Chuck Silverman.*

This also reminds me of what I learned of Ewe drumming from David Locke at Tufts. Check out this video of an Ewe music and dance performance. When the drum ensemble gets going, see if you can pick out what the individual instruments are doing:

Keith actually does this weaving with guitars, but for now, we'll start with the percussion and bass groove on 'Sympathy For The Devil':

To anyone familiar with progamming a drum machine, or anyone familiar with a grid notation for rhythm, here's a rhythmic grid showing the different parts in the intro.

It looks like a kind of woven tapestry. Hmmm....
A sort of rhytmic notation, even for those who don't read music.

The first thing you hear is Handdrum** in the left channel for two measures.

Then The Conga joins along in the third and fourth measures.

Maracas join on measures 5 through 8. Sometimes, when things get hot, they play triplets. Supposedly, Bill Wyman played the maracas.

Then, what I called the 'guiro' part.

Finally, after a verse or two, the Bass enters, playing clavé, or 'rhythmic key' of the song.

OK, gotta get back to work on the '2nd Annual Keef Gig'. Hopefully we'll see you there.

*My only complaint about that book is that they didn't transcribe the horn parts for guitar.

**I don't know what kind of drum that is. And I actually think it's being played with a stick. But whatever. I don't have time to re-draw this this week. That's the price you pay for analog. Let it Bleed.

Advancing Guitar Lessons:
Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun
for Beginners and Beyond

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