So you got the music productions skills but now you want them to test . . .
Well what’s one of the best ways to do it?
Enter a remix contest ofcourse 🙂
To find the latest remix contests on Google,
simply click below:
Yes it’s that easy 🙂
So you got the music productions skills but now you want them to test . . .
Well what’s one of the best ways to do it?
Enter a remix contest ofcourse 🙂
To find the latest remix contests on Google,
simply click below:
Yes it’s that easy 🙂
You are finally deciding to try out dancing.
Dancing is one of the best means to express oneself. Another good thing about dancing is that there are a lot of different dances out there. If you get bored with one type of genre, you can try others. There is folk, hip hop, ballroom, contemporary, ballet and a lot more! The best thing about dancing is it is a good form of exercise.
Everyone who is into dancing are healthy and fit because of the many calories dancing can burn. If you want to shed a few pounds as well, dancing is the thing for you. Dancing is indeed great, isn’t it? However, you cannot learn it overnight. You need to start from the basics and gradually learn all the complicated stops. If it is your first time to dance, here are some dancing tips for beginners to help you out.
Listening to different types of music will help you find your groove. Listen to jazz, tango, cha cha, hip hop and other kinds of beats. See which one makes you get up on your feet. This is important because you might waste your time enrolling in dancing classes that you might not enjoy. Some people find it easy to dance in fast beats while some find it easier to dance it slow beats. Do your research before taking any classes. To be able to learn it, it must be something you love.
This is one of the most important dancing tips you should keep in mind. This tip actually applies to all sports that involve a lot of foot work. You will not see people who practice tae kwon do or snow boarding that constantly look at their feet. First of all, looking at your feet will make any audience think that you are low in confidence.
Also, it is a sign that you are too conscious about your moves. One of the tricks in dancing is going with the flow. If you get in the advanced phases of dancing, you will learn that looking at your feet won’t help. Just keep your head up and maintain eye contact with the audience.
If you don’t have a big mirror yet, make sire to buy one now. Practicing in front of the mirror will help you gauge if you are doing the dance properly. Sometimes, when people watch home videos on how to dance, they think they are doing it as well as the person on the tutorial.
Thus, they ease on practice. You need to assess yourself especially if you can’t find someone honest enough point out your mistakes. You will find it very amusing to watch yourself in the mirror and see your own gradual improvements.
Dancing is an art. It is not a science that you need to strictly follow. If you have already learned the basics, you can start creating your own steps as well. As long as you were able to get used to the basic foot work of a tune, you can easily modify the steps to add turns and hand movements to make it more challenging.
This is how beginners become experts. Just like baking, once you’ve established the basic recipe for cakes, you can easily try baking the same recipe with different flavors.
Choosing the right foot wear and clothes is imperative in dancing. You cannot simply start dancing in pajamas, you have to be really comfortable. There are different dancing outfits for different kinds of dancing styles. They don’t cost that much, too.
You will find it more pleasing to smile. Instead of getting frustrated with messed up steps, learn to laugh at your mistakes instead of getting frustrated. Dancing is about having fun.
In fact, dancing and working out through the art of dance is one of the most effective ways in eliminating depression. You know some experts and philosophers say that finding something that you love will make you successful at it. The same is true with dancing. Enjoy it and you will surely learn it.
Singing is truly a talent. Lots of people can sing but if you want to take your singing to the next level, you need to learn the proper skills.
After all, talent needs to be developed too. Talent is good but to reach greatness, you need to work on it. Whether you are a bathroom singer or someone opening at the Sakifo Festival, these tips are bound to take your game to the next level.
Breathing, diaphragmatic breathing is easily learned. But don’t overlook this one. A strong singing voice needs strong support.
While breath support is very important to singing, some singers have been taught that the voice comes solely from the diaphragm.
Often times these singers will try to force large amounts of air from the diaphragm. Some singers
Pushing forcefully from the diaphragm is not good singing technique and will cause your voice to only be loud and shout. Singing in this way will cause you to sound more like someone screaming at a game.
Even a powerful tone takes only relaxed support from the diaphragm. By the way, we are talking about the diaphragm in your throat, not in your studio monitors. Just so we’re clear 🙂
It’s important to note that the diaphragm is NOT directly controlled when singing. Doing this is a diaphragmatic attack and is an inferior method of singing. The diaphragmatic attack was invented by a FAILED opera singer many decades ago who then became a vocal coach.
He came from a family of famous singers who he could never live up to. So, he studied voice and came to some very wrong conclusions about singing. Unfortunately those conclusion were adopted by some schools of Italian singing and then past down through the ages. The diaphragmatic attack has ruined many voices.
If you are using any singing instruction that tells you to: “sing from the diaphragm, push with your diaphragm, hold air in your belly, pretend to poop/tighten your sphincter or sing like you are shouting at someone across the street who is breaking into your car,” then throw it away.
It is bad for your voice and will damage it and just make you sound like you are shouting. Singing is not shouting extended. The people who spout this nonsense don’t know what they are talking about. Frankly, coaches who teach this method should be ashamed of themselves because, “singing from the diaphragm,” ruins a singers voice and sucks all the beauty and power out of it.
Singing with power and range isn’t about pushing and forcing air or muscling your voice. If it was famous artists who sing well, well into their senior years wouldn’t be able to sing at all.
When you attack the voice from the diaphragm intentionally, it unbalances your voice and overpowers the breath support. The air flow is behind your voice like a bellows pushing it forcefully when you push from the diaphragm.
You do need breath support. But, you are not supposed to consciously think about it or control it. It happens as a natural response or reflection when you learn to sing with the attack of the mask.
The breath support happens as a reflection and because of this is instantly balanced to what you need with no overpowering. The breath flows at the onset of singing instead of forcing it from the bottom up, behind the voice. The result is a supported, powerful tone that sounds relaxed and released and has a round, resonant, pleasing tone.
So, when you watch a great singer and see their belly or diaphragm wavering or compressing they are not controlling that, that is a reflection to a voice produced with the superior method of controlling the voice with the mask.
Which would you rather have? A voice production technique that requires lots of effort and strain? Or, a voice production that is as easy and a resonant hum?
Have you noticed that good singers look like singing is almost effortless for them? Have you noticed the not so good singers look likely the are lifting heavy weights and straining? The difference is the effortless singers, sing using the attack of the mask and the ones that strain use the diaphragmatic attack.
Cord adducting, if you can’t zip up, or shorten your cords, there is no way you will be able to hit high notes in your range without pushing up chest and straining.
Again, singers do not consciously control their vocal cords. But, by attacking the voice through the mask the vocal cords are stabilized and perform as they should.
By attacking the voice from the mask everything in the throat and larynx is instantly relaxed. Clenching and straining in the throat when singing disappears.
Do you want to learn a singing technique that lets you forget about what is happening in the throat and larynx? A technique that makes everything in the throat work correctly? That technique is the attack of the mask.
Smoothing out the bridges, When you attack the voice production with the mask there are no registers in the voice. There is no chest, middle or head voice. Breaks disappear instantly when singing through the mask. The tone production is round and resonant and has a pleasant forward tone that is velvety.
Breaks and bridges are produced by inferior singing methods such as singing from the diaphragm or using the registration method. In the registration method singers think of the voice in terms of head and chest voice and then think they have to mix those two registers into a middle voice to sound commercial.
This is often attempted by singing trigger phrases such as, “Mum or Nay,” with different tone qualities. It can sometimes work well, but more often than not leaves the singer with the feeling they are wandering around tonally with their voice trying to accidentally fall into a pleasing forward tone.
This is why coaches that support the registration method think there are registers. When they find mask placement it sounds forward and resonant and part of the voice seems to resonant forward through the nose, so they call that middle voice and say it is the, “commercial tone.”
When the voice isn’t placed in the mask and in lower tones they would call that chest voice. When the voice isn’t placed strongly in the mask and high notes are sung they call that pure head voice.
However, when a voice is placed within the mask all notes sung, from lowest to highest have a pleasing resonant, forward quality to them. This is the earmark of, “commercial,” sounding voices and great singing in general.
Registration and, “mixing,” is all a bit of nonsense. Singers do not mix their chest and head voice to get middle voice. Registration and mixing are terms and devices invented by coaches that don’t know how to teach students how to place their voice into their mask at all times.
The best singers always use the attack of the mask because it produces the best possible vocal tone in any voice. Has a wide, powerful range and makes singing as easy as a strong resonant hum.
Which seem like an easier, more natural approach to singing?
Larynx control, to have total control over your tone and make it full or thin as desired, you need to have the ability to control the position of your larynx while singing.
A larynx that rises as you sing is sure sign that you use the wrong muscles when you sing.
Some misinformed vocal coaches will tell you that simply training at a talking level and making sure your larynx does not rise will develop your voice. Simply relaxing so your larynx doesn’t rise will not cause placement in the mask and resonance. Freeing up the throat and larynx does nothing if you still aren’t taught the attack of the mask.
Resonance, some courses/books on singing claim that resonance is merely an amplification of the sound from the vocal cords, that is it something that just happens.
This is simply not true.
You will not achieve forward resonance or placement into the mask simply by relaxing, keeping your larynx from rising, and singing at a speech level.
There are very specific parts of the body that need to be controlled in certain ways for resonance to be purposely directed forward into the mask. Singing with forward placement in the mask is what produces the most pleasing voice in any singer.
To sing like a pro you not only need to have resonance but have the ability to focus it wherever you want. For this to happen, you need to learn how to manipulate your resonance to create a variety of unique textures to apply to your singing.
This causes the voice to tire easily and usually sound very shouty and more like they are bellowing. You will see this often on shows like American Idol when a singer tries to sing loudly their voice suddenly flattens out very badly in tone quality.
It gets louder but sounds worse. If the singer had a strong grasp on mask attack they would focus more into the mask and get much, much louder but still keep the pleasant upper harmonics in their voice. You CAN NOT shout your way to a great voice.
I’ve taught many students who could sing well from the start, tonal wise, but when they attempted to sing something of their own creation their voice fell apart.
This is due to the fact that they never sang on their own before, it was always along to another singers voice. They end up depending on this like a crutch. Singing along to another singer is one of the worst ways to train your voice.
I have become aware that their are a few systems out there that claim they can develop your singing voice by having you sing famous artists songs.
This is the worst way to develop your voice. If you could do it that way, all you would have to do is buy a karaoke machine and go at it.
Songs only go over a given number of pitches, so you will see no vocal development from singing songs other than development of personal style. Which is easily developed after you have control of your voice.
And if you can already sing the song what good does it do your voice to sing it?
None at all.
Before singing songs, a singer should learn how to get through his or her registers without breaking and hit the high end of his or her range without pushing. Otherwise, you end up practicing bad habits that will hold back range development or even hurt your voice.
More often than not, even famous singers have poor technique that is covered up by studio magic, or the fact that the singer could sing the song in the studio over and over until it was just right.
Trust me on this. Like many performers, I myself used to be guilty of this. I spent the first two years of my development trying to sing along to tapes and CDs because scale work that my coaches tried to get me to do was not nearly as fun as singing along to songs.
But, I came to the realization that this did nothing for me and started finding specialized exercises that trained my voice to do what I wanted it to.
Scale work may be boring, but done the right way, with the right exercises will result in very quick development of the voice. For scale work to be effective you need to directly learn the attack of the mask and place your voice. Simply singing Ah, mum or no to a scale does nothing for your voice without first learning the attack of the mask.
Within a month of that, my vocal range grew more in a month then it did in the previous two years.
So, if all you want to do is sing karaoke, and probably sound bad at it, train by singing songs.
Chronic Fatigue, or Tightness Of The Cords (Tightness In The Throat And Or Larynx When Singing)
Even a good singer will experience these if they don’t do the proper warm-ups and warm downs.
But, for those who already have these problems, do vocal exercises that will massage and loosen your vocal cords to get them back to a healthy state that can be worked with. This alone results in reclaimed range or an increase to a range that you may have never sang before.
Many untrained singers are guilty of this. Most often, singers pull up chest voice to create sound and don’t know how to make a resonant powerful tone without forcing excess air out. You need to learn how to hit the same pitch, both powerfully and gently with very little physical effort.
Singing on pitch once you sing using the attack of the mask is very easy. There are only a few reasons someone can’t sing on pitch.
Either they are singing using the wrong attack or they have not allowed themselves to absorb and hear the tones first before attempting them while doing scale work or they have not even done scale work.
I’ve seen a lot of this on the TV show American Idol that is now so popular. Particularly with the people that got rejected. Many of the people that got cut, broke horrendously into head voice when they went for a high note. They had no placement forward into the mask.
They sounded silly, like church choir singers, trying to sing R&B. Unfortunately, what happens is people assume that because they can sing on pitch in the car to the radio, that they sound good on their own. You can be on pitch and still sound bad.
When Paula Abdul tells one of the contestants that they went off pitch or sound pitchy, what she really means, although I don’t think she knows it, is that the singer broke into head voice when they should have hit the same pitch with a more tonally solid voice placed in the mask.
What these singers lack is the ability to shorten their cords and properly place their tone so their voice breaks into an unplaced head voice register, instead of blending it, because their is no mask placement.
Again, this has to do with cord shortening and a voice resonantly place in the mask. If you have no mask placement, you have to force your chest voice and shout the voice out. Singing with this wrong approach, you hit a wall and your range is limited.
The same applies to having a weak voice. People who sing very airy or gently and break apart if they try for a more powerful tone, simply don’t have good control over cord adduction and mask placement.
Because when they try for a full tone, they have not trained their cords to withstand the air flowing over them in a shortened position and the cords break apart. Mask placement causes the vocal cords to adduct and shorter where they should by reflex action. Without placement it doesn’t happen.
You can’t expect someone else to do it for you. The best singers understand the voice and know how to train themselves. No matter how good a vocal coach is, they can’t be there all the time.
And even if they could, you very likely couldn’t afford it. If you truly want a star quality voice, you have to approach voice like an instrument. It can either be played poorly, with no fault of the instrument or it can be mastered and played with a stunning quality.
Of all the things singers worry about and train for hitting high notes is usually at the top of the list.
Many singers have misconceptions on singing high notes. Here are a few of them.
Remember forcing more air does not make the pitch higher.
Many uninformed singers assume more air = higher pitch. These are people who push. Consequently they lack relaxed harmonic overtones (upper head resonance) and their voice sounds very shouty.
More like someone screaming at a game.
Again some people use pushing to add volume. True you need more pressure to get louder. But, you only need so much.
There comes a point where you need resonance and a relaxed voice to do the rest of the amplifying.
Plus no matter how strong you are you can only push so much for loudness.
Singers who don’t know how to get loud with the proper pressure and resonance quickly go hoarse and lose their voice.
Loudness comes from resonance and your voice being open and relaxed against the correct pressure.
You have to find the right balance. So forcing for power will actually cut off your range and you will never reach that high note.
The more relaxed you are the higher your voice can go.
Another common misconception is that you can work on just hitting high notes and every note under that will be easy to hit and have nice quality of tone. If you do this at best you will be able to hit some high notes and that’s it.
At the worst you will tire out your voice very quickly and lose it.
A singer needs to work their entire range. Working the low end of your range brings depth of tone to your high end and working your high end brings in harmonic overtones to your low end.
If you listen to singers who have a very wide natural range closely, you will notice that on the low end of their range it is very full and rich and relaxed with no hint of a ceiling.
A different singer who only knew how to sing in that low end would sound as if they had a definite ceiling and maybe even reaching to try to get the resonance just for the low pitches.
So, if you only want to sing low because you like creed, or pearl jam still work on your high end it will make your low end that much better.
“If you are a bass, a man or have a naturally low voice you can’t hit high notes.”
Not true, you just need to learn to get into your head voice. Someone with a low bass voice usually has long thick cords.
So, to get them to stretch and zip takes more training, there is more there to train.
Very low bass singers usually take more time to get over their bridge.
Bass singers have longer cords and the possibility of a wider range.
Where as a person with a higher voice has shorter cords and a naturally higher range and will find it easier to blend and make it over the bridge.
But the person with the shorter cords will never be able to sing as low as a bass and have that depth in their tonality.
So, you can see there is advantages to both.
Another misconception is trying to keep the same feel/resonant quality on super high notes that you have on bass notes or a very thick chesty mid tone.
Singing super high notes is a much lighter resonant feeling. When singing really high notes most of the resonance is felt up through the head like a very strong hum.
Learning the Attack of the Mask makes singing high powerful notes a breeze.
Just how does someone develop their voice? It should be obvious that simply singing along to your favorite singer doesn’t develop a singing voice otherwise everyone would be able to sing well.
To actually train a voice properly specialized voice exercises are used.
The purpose of the exercises is to train the various aspects of voice to be used properly by the singer and to build vocal agility and endurance. More importantly though any exercises you do should instill the, “attack of the mask,” for all of your singing. If you are using a course that does not teach this concept, then you are wasting your time.
When you learn the attack of the mask the singing voice gets developed very quickly. Usually within a matter of weeks and somtimes even within just a few days of practice. If you’ve been going to vocal lessons or using some course for months or even a year or more and still can’t sing well, it is because the course or coach doesn’t teach the attack of the mask.
The voice doesn’t need to be built up like body building, where it takes years to go from having no physique to having huge muslces. You need to coordinate your voice into using the attack of the mask. The attack of the mask is the secret to really singing great. Anyone who says different doesn’t know what they are talking about.
The correct vocal exercises are sort of like training wheels for the voice. They coorodinate your voice into the the easiest way to sing.
Be careful though, some exercises taught wrong are actually harmful to a singers voice development.
Or don’t really do anything. Or are claimed to do more than they really do.
A common myth floating around the internet is that, “lip bubbles,” are all you need to do to increase your range.
A few articles infer that these alone will enable you to hit high notes. It is true this exercise will help to increase your range, but only because what it really does is allow the vocal cords to function without involvement from the larynx muscles.
You can do lip rolls and tongue trills until you are blue in the face. If you don’t know how to attack your voice specifically and directly into the mask these exercises won’t make you sing any better.
Without the attack of the mask any trigger phrase sung is basically useless. Singing, “mum,” in a breathy tone or “nay,” in a nasal tone without knowledge of how to attack the voice from the mask is doing nothing but wasting your time and frustrating you.
Lip rolls and tongue trills and trigger phrases with tone adjustments only temporarily help the voice. If you continue with bad singing habits, you undo this and never really gain range from this exercise alone. Without learning the attack of the mask all the time training using trigger phrases is wasted.
With vocal exercises the main rule is if it hurts, stop. You are doing it wrong.
Singing should always be easy and relaxed, even for powerful singing and high notes.
Great singers don’t have anything physically different than someone who doesn’t sing. They have simply trained correctly and practiced these learned techniques often.
There are voice exercises for everything from breath support to singing high notes.
It should be no surprise that singers who take special care of their vocal health have more consistent voices and much longer careers.
As a singer your body is your instrument.
If you do vocally abusive things like shouting forcefully at a game or habitual drinking and smoking then you will quickly have no singing voice.
The number one tip as far as vocal health is to drink a lot of water and avoid things like coffee and soda.
The fact is most people think that they are drinking enough water and are not. This is very true for many singers as well.
Even slight dehydration can impede a vocal performance.
You should also consider environmental factors and diet. These can also have a big impact on the quality of your voice.
Vocal health is an aspect of singing overlooked by a lot of singers. Without the right vocal health care training is of little use.
It’s sort of like lifting weights and expecting to get muscular without the right diet for recovery.
Much has been said about the vocal cords in reference to singing. Some coaches/techniques act as if the vocal cords are purely responsible for the singing voice.
All the vocal cords do is create the initial pitch. The actual singing voice is a combination of the resonation in the cavities of the singers body, and proper support.
Without the rest of the it the vocal cords would not sound very musical.
The vocal cords create the initial pitch by vibrating as air passes over them.
As a singer goes up in pitch the vocal cords begin to stretch. At some point they should not be stretched any more and instead should be zipped up or compressed. Much like fretting the string on a guitar to get a higher pitch.
With a guitar string you can either tighten the string to go up in pitch, or fret (zip up).
If you tighten too much the string snaps.
While your vocal cords won’t snap, you can damage them by stretching when you should be compressing or zipping your vocal cords.
Unlike guitar however a singer can’t see their vocal cords, so they have to learn how to zip up the vocal cords through proper technique and feel.
This is done by learning to attack the voice through the mask. When the voice is attacked through the mask everything below it, breath support, larynx muscles and vocal cord position happens by reflex and gets instantly balanced.
Pitch, not to be confused with tone, is the actual value of the note sung. For example A, A sharp, or B.
Often times someone talking of voice or even music use the terms pitch and tone as if they were the same thing.
They are not. Pitch as stated above is the actual value of the note. Tone is how thick, full, shrill the note is.
So, when someone say’s something like, “Your voice sounds pitchy,” it’s a sure sign they know very little about music or voice.
Also, some singers and coaches make a big deal about singing on pitch and a lesson will consist of nothing than them hitting keys on the piano or a midi controller and telling the singer when they are off key.
This is ridiculous. Because, you can be perfectly on pitch and still sound very bad if your vocal production is bad and you have yet to learn to attack and placement of the voice.
Being able to sing on pitch comes easily after a singer learns proper vocal production.
Pitch training should not be worked on before a natural vocal production is in place.
Most singers will never have a problem singing on pitch if they are singing correctly and won’t require extra training to do so.
Tone, not to be confused with pitch, is how the quality or timbre of a note sounds. That is, is the sound of the note full, shrill, thick, piercing, etc.
It’s important to point out that a singer can be perfectly on pitch but have a horrible sounding tone.
Singing on pitch is not an end all.
Many things influence the tone of a singers voice.
Things such as:
Resonance is the most important factor in determining if a singers voice sounds fabulous or flat.
Resonance is responsible for making the voice easily loud. Resonance makes the upper range easily accessible.
It is responsible for harmonic overtones.
It can’t however be forced.
Once you force it you actually cut it off. You can’t achieve a free resonant tone by pushing from the diaphragm, trying to honk through the nose or trying to shout out the tone.
You may have read another book on singing that stated resonance was simply an amplification of the sound the vocal cords produce.
This is simply wrong.
Resonance is a secondary harmonic pitch produced in the upper cavities of the head.
So, the sound the vocal cords make and the Resonant pitch, work harmoniously to produce the full sound of the voice.
Without resonance a singer will be told things like, “you need to project more,” or, “You’re voice is very throaty.”
The reason is, is that the sound the vocal cords produce on their own is a very small unmusical thing.
Without the upper harmonic resonation it’s like taking the body away from a violin and just leaving the strings. The strings would make a sound if struck but it would not sound musical at all.
If you are expecting upper harmonic resonance to happen simply because you sing with a relaxed larynx and an open throat, you will never achieve it.
To achieve upper resonance in the voice you need to learn how to attack your voice through the mask. You need to know specific techniques that direct your voice into the attack of the mask.
You are missing a big part of the equation if you don’t know how to achieve resonance in your voice through the attack of the mask.
Here are some singing myths that I would like to debunk.
This is simply not true at all. Men can learn to sing extremely high notes in a full voice without straining and pushing and without going into falsetto. Men that sing high notes in full voice are not singing in falsetto.
There is a distinct difference. To hear it, first listen to an artist that does sing high notes in falsetto, like Justin Timberlake. Then listen to someone who sings high notes in a full voice like Rob Halford or Geoff Tate or David Coverdale.
There are two reasons some people think this. The first is that often times people go to a vocal coach or buy a course that doesn’t really teach them anything.
It just has them run through scales and go Ah, mum, Nay, without teaching them an attack or what to actually physically do when they sing. This leaves the singer to try and figure out the attack by ear which rarely, if ever, works.
The other reason is that most natural singers sing instinctively, so when asked they can’t really explain to you why their voice sounds good. They instinctively do the best attack, the attack of the mask.
But, can’t break it down into a step by step process to tell someone who can’t sing well how to do it. So, it makes it seem as if it’s something you have to be born with. This is completely false. You can break it down into a step by step process.
“Singing from the diaphragm,” is possibly the worst, “singing technique,” ever invented. The technique was just that, “invented.” It is not natural and makes your voice sound like you are shouting harshly.
This technique was invented by a failed opera singer, turned vocal coach, decades ago when opera was the most popular music and opera singers were considered the absolute best singers.
Garcia Jr invented it. He was a singer from a family of singers. His father was a vocal coach and his two sister were successful diva’s of their time. Garica Jr was a failure however and even booed off stage at one point for tremolo (unwanted wavering of the voice).
Garcia became obsessed with the function of voice. You would think his father could teach him. But, in the past singing instruction was only done by ear. A coach would sing and then have you sing. You were to produce the same quality of tone. If you didn’t he would sing again and say, “no more like this.”
If the vocal coach didn’t know what internal physical things to tell you to manipulate then the singer would be left to instinctively figure it out …..which rarely works well. What you need to do is learn the exact internal things you have to manipulate to sing well.
In Garcia’s obsession to find a way to sing he invented a scope to look at his vocal cords. Seeing them vibrate he came to the very wrong conclusion that singing is all based on air support. He further concluded that for great tone and resonance you needed lots of push from the diaphragm.
He then developed a school of singing on this premise, then proceeded to ruin many singers voices down through the ages as this erroneous information was passed down through ages.
Singing by pushing from the diaphragm puts your breath behind your voice and unbalances the breath support. It makes a tone that sounds more like bellowing and quickly tires the voice and can even damage the voice.
When you learn the best attack, the attack of the mask, breath support happens by reflex and is instantly balanced. It happens as it should at the same time the voice is produced, not from behind it, forcefully pushing it out.
This is simply someone trying to teach, “singing from the diaphragm.” Extended shouting is not singing. Singing like this will quickly make you go hoarse and tire out your voice from an unbalanced vocal production. Some argue that to sing loud you need to, “sing from the diaphragm.” Again, this is simply wrong.
When you learn to attack the voice from the mask the voice flows out effortlessly and can get much louder then pushing from the diaphragm. When you attack from the mask the diaphragmatic action still happens. But, it is a reflex as it should be. It happens as you need it without thinking about it.
Singing with the attack of the mask makes singing feel like humming resonantly with your mouth open. It is very comfortable, easy to use and is the best way to sing, period. SINGING IS NOT SHOUTING EXTENDED! If you bought vocal instruction that tells you this, throw it out, it’s garbage.
Singing with the ability of a vocal master, yes that takes years. A vocal master is someone who has a great range, great control of dynamics and has unbelievable skill. However, learning to sing well can be learned in just a few weeks.
When I say learn to sing well, I mean learn to sing at least as well as the commercial music currently on the radio and music television stations. The fact is most singers you hear now are not that skilled.
A few here and there have exemplary skills. Most, however, are mediocre compared to what a singer can do vocally after the right training and with continued practice.
There is no such thing as, “tone deaf.” You either can hear a tone or you can’t. You do not lose the ability to hear specific pitches. When you lose your hearing you lose the top or low end of your hearing range, the ability to hear extremely high notes or low notes at either end of your hearing range.
Not being able to distinguish one pitch from another close one is just lack of ear training or simply not paying attention. Singing off key is most often due to not having vocal ability, since the voice is not trained to match pitch at will.
Singing with the wrong attack or in forceful manner that is not natural will make the voice go off key as well because the singer is struggling. Also, often times when singers break and sing in falsetto someone may say they are singing off pitch, when in actuality they are not off pitch they just broke very badly and it sounded very funny.
There is a difference between being off pitch and just singing with a bad tone. Being on pitch does not automatically make singing sound good. You can be perfectly on pitch and still sound bad if your attack is wrong.
I’ve had this said to me by no less that five vocal coaches when I first started lessons. It’s simply not true. The reason some coaches say this is that that is what they were told. The coaches I heard it from were classically trained and had degrees in voice, which require that they sing Opera.
You can not learn to sing good by singing any one particular type of music style. Style is independent of good vocal production. When you learn the attack of the mask you can sing in any style of music you like and sound good. Your voice production will be based on your own vocal tone ideals. So, you will not sound like an Opera singer trying to sing R&B or a country singer trying to sing rock.
Again this goes back to, “singing from the diaphragm.” It’s simply not true. Breath support or the wavering you might see in the diaphragm of a singer as they sing something powerful, is a reflex to a voice placed in the mask.
The singer is not consciously thinking things like, “Ok now I’ll take a deep breath to my belly and push,” or, “Now Ill tighten my sphincter and belt that high note out!” It just doesn’t happen like that. Again, if you are using instruction that tells you to, “sing from the diaphragm, push from the diaphragm, take air into your belly, sing like you are shouting at someone across the street,” throw it out it’s harmful garbage.
Registers don’t exist. Period. The registration method of singing is an invention that came about because of bad vocal instruction and singers who use inferior attacks when they sing. A coach or singer who used the registration method will say things like, ” sing low notes in chest voice, then as you approach your break blend chest with head voice,” or ” to sing in a commercial tone you need to sing in middle voice.”
A coach who uses the registration method recognizes that the voice needs to be in the mask but calls that head voice or middle voice. When the singer is singing low notes, but not in the mask, they call that pure chest voice. When singing high notes, but not in the mask, they call that pure head voice or even falsetto.
They then proceed to tell you you need to mix the two. Quite simply this is ridiculous. You do not mix parts of your tone. To get different tones you just focus resonance more or less in a different areas of the mask by feeling, which is quite natural when you learn it.
The truth is that even the lowest bass note to the highest whistle notes all should be attacked from the mask.
When you attack the voice from the mask their are no breaks or registers. There isn’t even a bridge in the voice. These inventions simply disappear when your voice is attacked from the mask at all times.
Again there are no registers. You only produce breaks if your voice is not attacked from the mask. Most people don’t know how to sing using the attack of the mask. So, they sing with a lot of push. When you sing like this, to go beyond a certain point in pitch you have to break and sing in a very weak, “head voice,” or falsetto.
Again, ridiculous. There is no such thing as middle voice or even chest voice or head voice. The voice is all one instrument. All notes from the lowest to the highest can all be sung with pleasing, forward, commercial tone provided you learn to sing with the attack of the mask. Trust me no popular singer is thinking, “Ok I want to sound commercial for this R&B tune so I’ll mix my chest voice with my head voice to get a middle tone.”
The right coach can help. But, if the only time you work on your voice is when you see your coach you are wasting your time. In order to learn to sing you need to practice 3-6 days a week to instil muscle memory in your voice.
Nope, sorry. The voice just doesn’t fall into place because you relax and sing at your speech level with a relaxed larynx. There are specific things in your body you need to manipulate in order for the voice to be produced at it best possible quality.
Resonance is not just an amplification. Amplification is taking a given tone and producing the same tone louder. Resonance is a coupling of the initial pitch the vocal cords produce and the upper harmonic pitch resonation into the head chambers produces. It just doesn’t happen. You need to learn the attack of the mask to make it happen on command.
Simply not true. Resonance just doesn’t happen. You can create resonance by command. Not by accident.
Lip Rolls & Tongue trills are just nice warm ups. All they really do is get the vocal cords moving without interference from the larynx muscles. If you don’t specifically and directly learn the attack of the mask, you can do lip rolls and tongue trills until you are blue in the face and you will hear very little change in your ACTUAL singing voice. So good for warm up but that’s it.
Nope, not true. The different tones you hear in singers is due to their tonal ideals and where their voice resonates. There are not vocal techniques that work well for only, rock or R&B or classical or country or pop.
If you learn to sing using the attack of the mask you will have a round, forward pleasing tone, which is the mark of all good singing regardless of style of music. How you shape that tone will be under your direct control and be a response to your tone ideal and music you are singing.
Have you ever watched a great singer and noticed that their voice flows effortlessly and seems to resonate out through the mouth and behind the nose and or even up the back of the head?
Have you wondered if there was ever one really great secret to singing this well?
Well, there is. That secret is the attack of the mask.
What is the mask? The mask encompasses the soft and hard pallet, behind the nose and the eyes and front teeth and in extremely high or powerful notes up through the back of the head. These are places that a singer that attacks the voice from the mask feels strong resonant vibrations.
These strong vibrations become the control panel for the voice. Everything else below this happens very naturally by reflex. Breath support is instantly balanced. The vocal cords are stabilized and behave as they should and the larynx is at rest with no clenching in the throat. Singing with the attack of the mask feels like a very strong resonant hum with the mouth open and the throat relaxed.
The voice can be attacked through the mask in any range. The lowest bass notes to the highest whistle notes can be sung with the attack of the mask. Attacking the voice from the mask enables great range and power in a singer voice with the easiest possible production and sweetest tone.
The attack of the mask works for any style of music from screaming rock vocals to a very forward R&B tone. The attack of the mask makes every style of singing sound better. It produces the best tone possible in any singer that uses it.
It’s important to understand that you can’t not force this placement or resonation to happen. Shouting and trying to force air through the nasal passages will engage the larynx muscles and choke your voice off. You do no honk your way to mask placement. Truth is you can use specific exercises that will quickly teach you how to sing with placement in the mask.
Even powerful singing will be as easy as humming resonantly with your mouth open.
There are only really three methods of teaching or learning singing.
The first method is to learn by ear without a coach or instruction.
Simply to sing along to other singers. This is a very bad way to learn to sing because as a singer you have to instinctively figure out the right attack.
Unless you already instinctively do the right attack, the attack of the mask, then you will be impersonating good technique with bad technique and harming your voice. Usually when singers do this they struggle for pitch and volume and use more air. Trying to learn in this way you may find that some days the voice comes out good when you sing along, but you don’t know a real attack so the next day you struggle again.
The other way to learn to sing is using trigger phrases coupled with variations on tone value and singing by ear to another singer.
You would do things such as sing, “mum,” with a yawn like tone or sing, “nay,” with a nasal tone just like a singer in an example did. This method can sometime work. However this method does not actually teach a direct attack.
With this method you may do an exercise as instructed and your voice comes out nicely one day, the next day you try the same exercise and it does nothing.
The reason is that the trigger phrases with variants of tone sometimes cause forward placement into the mask to happen as a happy accident.
What further complicates this is that you would probably listen to the example singer and try to mimic the tone with a bad attack and further hurt your voice. When trying to sing using this method the singer feels as if they are wandering around tonally with their voice and hoping it just catches.
This method of learning to sing is inferior as it doesn’t teach a direct and specific attack. Consequently, only singers who already instinctively do the attack of the mask may hear any real change in their actual singing voice.
Coaches who teach this method usually are proponents of, “singing from the diaphragm,” or “The registration method,” or , “Finding your middle voice.” All these methods are unnatural and don’t work very well.
The third and best way to learn how to sing is to directly learn the attack of the mask.
You need a very “step by step” way to make this happen. Use some trigger phrases. Don’t just sing,”mum,” with a breathy or yawn tone. Learn the exact attack.
You need to learn how to manipulate your body and how to approach singing so that your voice resonates forward into the mask and always has a pleasing tone. You can’t trick your voice into resonant forward placement by singing, “nay,” in a nasal tone or singing, “mum,” with a yawn like tone.
There are very specific things you need to learn that will place it there in just a few days of practice. When you attack the voice from the mask all singing feels as easy as humming resonantly with your mouth open. There are no register or breaks to worry about. Registers don’t exist. They are an invention taught by bad vocal coaches that don’t know how to teach a singer how to attack the voice into the mask.
There are three attacks or ways to sing. The attack is the onset of of the voice. It is what the singer physically thinks and does at very start of the sung tone.
The first attack and the most famous is the diaphragmatic attack. This attack pre supposes that the whole voice should be built upon breath. In this attack the singer does things like taking a lot air into the belly and squeezing the air our very forcefully. Sudden, “ha, ha, ha,” movement are used. Or, techniques like, “sing like you are shouting at someone across the street breaking into your car.”
This attack is very bad for your voice. It is a technique not based on how a good voice works naturally. It was invented by a failed opera singer/coach who invented a scope to look at his vocal cords and came to the assumption that more air was better because it made the vocal cords vibrate and that upper head resonance needed to be pushed and forced out.
Singers that use this method suffer from: Vocal fatigue after singing just a couple of hours….to the point where they may be hoarse even the next day, damaged voices and a strained production that often sounds loud but not pleasant. The tone from this attack often sounds very wooden and produced from the chest as it has little overtone.
The second attack is the glottal attack. This involves a sort of coughing that causes the vocal cords to zip up for higher tones. The problem with this attack is that it causes the whole throat and larynx to clench up.
So, the voice is literally squeezed through a throat that is forcefully held in a clenched position. This attack is painful and most people that do it very quickly stop because it hurts and causes the singer to produce an unwanted gritty tone, like someone who has been smoking cigarettes most of their life. The only singers who really use this are bad rock singers who scream very badly from the throat and sound like three year olds throwing tantrums.
The third attack is the attack of the mask. The attack of the mask is how the voice is meant to work. Singers who sing naturally well do this instinctively. It can however be very easily taught. You need to focus on the attack of the mask. When you sing with the attack of the mask the voice is free and easy to use. The tone is round, pleasantly forward and resonant. Singing feels as if humming with your mouth open, even on very high and or powerful tones.
It’s important to note that the attack of the mask is NOT forcing air through the nose and honking. The vibrations felt in the mask are resonation. This resonant placement becomes the control panel for a singer that knows how to attack the voice from the mask.
The attack of the mask can be used for any style of music, from screaming rock vocals, to light jazz or country or R&B. The attack of the mask produces the best possible vocal tone in any singer.
When you sing using the attack of the mask, breaks disappear instantly. There are no registers. There is no chest, head and middle voice. The whole voice resonates forward into the mask. Breaks and registers and the need to, “blend over the bridge area,” are things caused by inferior attacks and vocal instruction. They cause the breaks and registers and bridge areas they are seeking mastery of.
The lowest bass notes and the highest whistle notes are all sung best using the attack of the mask.
The attack of the mask causes breath support to happen by reflex. The wavering you may see in the belly of a great singer is not the singer consciously thinking of diaphragmatic support as the onset of the tone. This is a reflex to a voice properly placed in the mask. There is no conscious thought about how the diaphragm moves in the mind of a good singer.
In fact everything below the mask will happen by reflex. The throat will stay relaxed and open and the vocal cords will stabilize and vibrate and zip as needed. So, you can see how easy learning to attack the voice from the mask makes singing. Seriously, learning to attack the voice from the mask is where it’s at.
You may have been on another site that offered some free instruction on singing and talked about singing from the diaphragm. They say things like, “sing like you are shouting across the street at someone breaking into your car,” or, “tighten your sphincter and pretend to poop.” This is what’s known as a diaphragmatic attack of the voice.
I’m sorry If I am again, kicking your teddy bear, but any course that promotes use of any of the techniques in the above paragraph are garbage and should be thrown out.
“Singing from the diaphragm,” is possibly the absolute worst vocal technique ever taught.
It is the creation of a failed opera singer, who created his own school of singing and has ruined many singers voice ever since.Click here to learn where diaphragmatic breathing came from.
Long story short, he created a vocal school. For one reason or another his techniques were passed down to other vocal coaches who didn’t know how to teach good singing either. It’s most likely that the real teachers didn’t want to give up their secrets. Also, often times singers don’t know how to put down in words how they do what they actually do. Before this technique came about all singing was done with the attack of the mask, as it should be.
When you attack the voice with the diaphragm on the onset, that is putting the breath support behind the voice instead of at the same time, it results in a voice that is pushed out, like shouting or bellowing. It will quickly tire and even damage a singers voice. Singing from the diaphragm is loud but it lacks relaxed harmonic overtones. So, it sounds forced and wooden.
You may have watched a great sounding singer and seen the diaphragmatic action. This however is not consciously done on the onset of the voice. This waver, pulsing or flexing of the diaphragm is a reflex action caused by a voice placed strongly in the mask.
The diaphragmatic action is not the onset of the voice it is the support for it. The support happens by reaction because of the attack of the mask at the same time a note is sung. It doesn’t squeeze and then push the voice up and out.
Have you even went to a sporting event and cheered on your team all night shouting their praises? Likely your throat was sore and you may have even lost your voice for some time. You weren’t even shouting the whole time, just bursts for a a minute or two sporadically over a couple of hours, yet your voice was probably still gone.
This is what singing from the diaphragm does to a singers voice. No amount of training balances, “singing from the diaphragm,” and keeps a singer from going hoarse and ruining their voice. It’s simply an unnatural vocal technique that sounds bad.
Attacking the voice from the mask causes breath support to happen by reflex and be perfectly balanced for the tone and loudness you are going for without overpowering the voice.
Attacking the voice from the mask causes singing to be as easy as humming with your mouth open, even for very loud powerful pitches. Even loud attacking from the mask doesn’t sound wooden like shouting. It still retains it’s harmonic overtone and pleasant round tone.
All of the worlds best sounding singers use the attack of the mask to one degree or another.
What do you think about software that tells you when you are on pitch?
It is a marketing gimmick. Most people don’t realize that you can still be perfectly on key and still tonally sound bad. Being on pitch says nothing about tonality or harmonic overtones or if the production of the voice is strained and will destroy your voice with repeated use of the production.
I was told that you have to be born with a good singing voice. Is that true?
No, definitely not, singing is just like lifting weights. Through proper training, your vocal ability grows. People think that you have to be born with a good voice because some people instinctively sing using the attack of the mask and because of this sing naturally very well. Other people who try to learn to sing often happen upon poor vocal coaches or programs or books that teach inferior methods of singing. You can learn to sing very well, even if you never sang before in your life, provided you use a a course that teaches the attack of the mask.
I was told that I was a bass and that after your voice changes you are stuck in whatever voice god gave you?
Not true, if you’re a bass, all that means is to hit higher ranges, you have to learn to shorten your cords because your cords are naturally longer. And because of this, you will have a wider range from top to bottom than a natural soprano.
I’ve sang for years in chest or head voice, is it possible for me to learn to sing in middle and smooth out my bridges and learn to sing without pushing? ?
You don’t need to, “smooth out the bridge,” or, “sing in middle voice.” You need to learn the attack of the mask. The attack of the mask eliminates all registers and breaks, it makes singing as easy and humming resonantly.
I sing naturally well and was told that lessons would ruin my voice?
This is a myth perpetuated by poor coaches that actually do ruin singers voices. Usually voices are ruined before they start by coaches that tell you to, “sing from the diaphragm,” and force high pressure singing on singers not ready for it. But, without the proper vocal instruction, even a natural singer will lose their voice one day because when something goes wrong they won’t know how to fix it.
Does age play a factor in learning how to sing well?
Even someone in their senior years can learn to sing well as long as they haven’t permanently damaged their vocal cords through smoking or abusive behaviors. As far as children go, if a child’s voice hasn’t changed yet, they might not be able to sing in a middle voice because their cords are simply not long enough yet. However, this does not mean that they cannot begin instruction. Proper instruction will teach them how to sing in a healthy, relaxed manner and prevent damage from poor vocal habits in the future.
I’ve damaged my voice through screaming, shouting or abusive habits, is it possible to fix it?
Through proper technique, and good habits, almost any damage can be overcome. The only thing that can’t be is polyps. If you have these, make as little sound as possible for a year and if you’re lucky, they will go away. If not, you’ll have to get surgery.
Learning chords can be quite beneficial for any artist.
In fact, the more you know about your chords, the richer your music will sound. It’s just a great skill to have.
Here we’ve assembled a SOLID guide that will help you understand guitar chords and scales.
Once you master your chords, your music will literally jump to the next level. Plus these skills don’t just apply to playing a guitar but pretty much any instrument that is out there.
Note this guide is if you are already have a guitar. If not, check out our DIY guitar guide.
Let’s dive in!
The basics can never be overlooked, and even when you think that you are a good player you will still find yourself resorting to the basics time and time again. The purpose of this and upcoming lessons in this series is to form a solid base of knowledge from which you can evolve.
Music is made up from so called “Fixed sounds” – that is when we play a single note on a piano-like instrument the sounds slowly fades away but does not go up or down
We tune our guitars so that we are in tune with these ‘fixed’ notes of the piano (ie our ‘E’ note is in fact an ‘E’ note).
Most of the western music we hear only contains 12 notes, these are the 12 notes of the Chromatic scale and indeed the 12 notes that are present on a piano keyboard.
The Notes of the Chromatic Scale are (starting from C in this case) :
C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B
The ‘#’ character indicates a ‘sharp’ note, this indicates that the note is one semitone(see below) higher than the note that it is written with for example the A# indicates that it is one semitone higher than the A note.
You will notice that there is no E# or a B# this is because of how the music has been divided up. If you have a look at a keyboard the sharp (or flat) notes are the black keys and you will also notice that there are some missing !!!!…well these are the E# and B#.
The chromatic scale can also be written using flats: C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C
Right now here is the tricky bit … Db and C# are essentially the same note, Db is one semitone below D and C# is one semitone above C. These notes are called ‘enharmonic equivalents’, So you notice also that there is no Fb just as there was no E#.
The notes of the chromatic scale are one semitone apart, this equates to one fret on the guitar. To move up a full tone then you will need to move up the string two semitones which is two frets.
This is the end of this lesson – next we will look at tuning our guitar, and learning to read a little guitar tablature.
Summary of This Lesson
Hopefully you will have learned the following :
A step by step process to learning to tune your guitar, with a little about tablature on the way. Hopefully by the end of this lesson you should be able to tune your guitar and be able to read basic tablature.
Well this can be a problem for beginning guitarists who do not have a guitar tuner, one of those handy little devices which indicate through a light when each string is in fact at the correct pitch
The theory behind it is that mostly we tune to the following :
Starting from the Thickest String up to the smallest : E,A,D,G,B,E (“Eat All Day, Get Big Easy”. is a useful memory tool for that – thanks Todd!!)
The question you are probably asking now is “how do I work out what an ‘E’ or ‘A’ is anyway ???”, well, to assist this what I have done is to record a sample of my guitar playing an open (big) E string so that you can tune your E string to it – from this one string we can tune all the other strings of the guitar.
It should be noted at this point that tuning the guitar can be the biggest obstacle that many beginning guitarists can face and that it is very easy to lose enthusiasm at this point. Keep trying!!!!, it is only through repetition that your ear can learn to distinguish between what is right and what sounds wrong.
Before I show you how to tune the rest of the strings of the guitar I will introduce you to a way of graphically representing the guitar fretboard. This will make it easier for me to depict the concepts that I am about to explain.
As mentioned above this is a graphical representation of the fretboard of the guitar with the thickest string at the bottom and the lightest at the top.
So if we remember the theory of tuning the guitar that we mentioned above we see that starting from the bottom (thickest) string and working upwards the notes are tuned to E,A,D,G,B,E.
Now sooner or later we are going to play some notes and in tablature each note that is played is indicated by the number of the fret where it is played. This number is placed on the correct string also.
Therefore to play a single note on the big ‘E’ string at the second (2) fret then we would write the following :
Now its all very well reading one note – but we probably want to play more than one, to read multiple notes we just move from left to right playing each note as we come to it.
Here is an example of playing the big ‘E’ string without fretting it (which equates to a 0 on the tab) then playing at the 2nd fret on the ‘E’ string, and then finishing with an open (unfretted) ‘A’ string.
So we see that we move from left to right playing the notes in order as we come to them..
To write in tablature some notes that are played together (at the same time) then just put the notes in a straight line on the tab. Here is an example to illustrate this :
The above tablature indicates that we should play a open ‘E’ (large string), a note on the second fret of the ‘A’ string and the second fret of the ‘D’ string at one time.
There are many more symbols used in tablature, but we will come to them later as we need them.
By now we chould have the big ‘E’ string of your guitar in tune, from here we will learn how to use that string to tune all the other strings on the guitar.
So what this means is that we can start on the ‘E’ string that is in tune and travel 5 frets or 6 semi-tones (remember the ‘E’ string counts as one note!!) up the string until we find an ‘A’ note…this is the note that we will tune the ‘A’ string to.
So we see that by going through the chromatic scale starting at ‘E’ and counting one step of the scale per fret we can work out the notes that are on the fretboard.
For example above we started with the open ‘E’ note and then by moving up one semitone (same as one fret) we came to the ‘F’ note – when we went up another we got to ‘F#” – we continued this (G, G#..) until we reached the goal note – which in this case is ‘A’. Remember that whenever you move one fret up on the guitar it is equal to one step of the chromatic scale.
On the low ‘E’ string, holding down the 5th fret and striking it should produce the same sound as an open ‘A’ string. By playing the ‘A’ note on the 5th fret on the ‘E’ string and then getting the open ‘A’ string to match this is one of the methods we use to tune our guitars.
Just keep playing the ‘A’ note on the ‘E’ string and compare it to the open ‘A’ string – listen closely to the ‘A’ string – if it sounds lower then tighten the string, if it sounds higher then slacken the string off and then try to tune upwards again. Continue this until the ‘A’ note and the ‘A’ string sound almost exactly the same.
Here is an example of going up the neck of the guitar to find ‘A’ fret by fret and the open A string being played after the ‘A’ note.
Ok so now we should hopefully have the ‘A’ String tuned as well, but what about the D,G,B,and little e string?
Well you will be happy to know that just as you tuned the A string using the E string you can tune the other strings from notes on the next string to them.
Summary of This Lesson
Hopefully you will have learned the following :
Ok so we have covered some concepts that you may be finding quite intimidating at this stage, well sorry but its not quite finished. Here is a little primer on playing the chromatic scale on the guitar, a very vital bit of information that once you understand you will always use.
Just to refresh your memory, this is what the chromatic scale is :
If we remember all the way back to lesson one on the chromatic scale we will find the following rule :
So as we move up the guitar string fret by fret we are moving up the chromatic scale one semitone at a time. This is a way of playing the A chromatic scale on the ‘A’ String.
Notice that it is just moving up in semitones.
This would mean that you had played a full 12-note cycle of the chromatic scale, here is another fingering that is more useful.
The above example is exactly the same notes (the ‘A’ chromatic scale) but played across different strings, why? well notice that you do not have to move your left hand very far this makes playing the scale easier, and in time your right hand will be on automatic pilot when it comes to scales so anything that can speed up the left hand will be great.
Here is another fingering that covers all the strings and repeats the sequence of notes.
Please note : because of how the ‘B’ string is tuned it effects the pattern of notes in the chromatic scale – look in the example above and you will see that rather than following the pattern the ‘B’ string is played a fret higher than you may expect this is at this stage something to be a little wary of.
When playing this count 1..2..3..4 with your foot and also in your head (or out loud if no-one is watching), and always (at the moment) alternate the pick strokes (down, up, down, up etc…).
AND PLAY SLOW…..If you try to practice these scales too quick then your hands will never develop the teamwork that is required between them and the result will be sloppy.
Remember that both these examples are the same scale (A chromatic) that are just fingered differently.
The notes of the Chromatic scale from a to a are (using sharps): A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A.
In the above examples we are moving from A right up to another higher A moving in semitones, there are notes repeated all over the fretboard, which means that we can change fingering’s quite a lot depending on what we want to achieve.
As we have seen the chromatic scale can just be played by advancing up a guitar string fret by fret (semitone at a time). What this means is if you wished to play a ‘E’ chromatic scale then you would just find an ‘E’ note and ascend semitone by semitone.
I know (and have taught) guitarist who have been playing for 4-5 years who still do not know the notes on the fretboard and it severely limits their playing because they are trapped in a couple of positions on the fretboard.
Here is a suggested fingering for an E Chromatic Scale:
The last note is played on the 5th fret because that is the E note, it does not fit the pattern because of how the ‘B’ string is tuned – in the scheme of things it often changes quite a few fingerings as you will see.
So the notes in the above scale are E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E.
A good tip is to say the notes out loud as you are playing them, this will enable you to know where the notes are all over your fretboard.
An excercise for you could be to find three different places to play the ‘e’ chromatic scale on the fretboard.
Well thats about all I want to cover at this stage on the chromatic scale, remember if there is something you don’t understand or something that you disagree with on any of these pages then drop me a line and I will try to answer.
This scale is one of the most important and useful that you will ever learn. I will be using this scale in subsequent lessons to introduce you to the wonders of chord construction, as well as constantly referring to it in other lessons. Have fun with this lesson and keep the facts presented in the back of your mind.
Here is a fingering for the A Major Scale:
Now this is a one-‘octave’ pattern for the A Major Scale, what this means is that the fingering starts on the root note (which in this case is A) and then goes up eight notes to the next occurrence of the ‘root’ note. The next occurrence of the note is eight notes higher than the first and so is called an octave.
You can go eight notes of the major scale above any other particular note and you would find it an octave higher.
The ‘root’ note is the note that the key of the music is in, in this case we are in the key of A major. (actually we could be in other keys….but what we will say is that the ‘band’ is playing in the key of A major and we are playing this over it!!!)
Often the ‘root’ note will be the first or last chord in the chord progression that you are playing over… often but not always, music has lots of little tricks. :o)
If this doesn’t make sense then just take my word that ‘A’ is the root note at the moment :), I am trying to keep this as simple to understand as possible.
The Notes of this scale are : A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A.
When playing this scale count the notes as you are playing….eg ‘root’,2,3,4,5,6,7,’octave’…
So when playing the major scale if you start on one note and go up eight steps 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 then you will be on the same note but one octave up.
Mail if this is too confusing and I will endeavor to explain this better!!!
Yes, this following example will show the same A major scale starting on the A note on the seventh fret on the ‘D’ string.
So in the above example I have started on the A note at the seventh fret on the ‘D’ String and then gone up the eight notes until I am at another A note an octave up (which is on the b string / 10 fret).
To play the scale over 2 octaves just start on the bottom ‘A’ note (on the fifth fret on the E string) and go up through the two octave patterns that we have already learned.
You are still playing just the same seven notes but repeated up the different octaves.
This is the pattern often used for practicing the Major Scale, it has three notes per string and it covers all of the strings on the guitar so it is an excellent picking excercise.
Always at this stage pick down then up, down then up.
Ok so we now know a good fingering for the A Major Scale but where do we go from here?
Well in the upcoming lessons, I will show you how to play this scale using any root note, and then how to play and construct many common chords so you can throw away your chord book!
In this lesson I would just like to introduce you to several different chord shapes that are commonly used in todays music. In subsequent lessons I will show you how to alter these shapes to play many different chord types.
This is the first chord that many people learn, it is a reasonably easy chord for beginners to pick up and can be easily altered later to make many more different voicings.
In order to ensure that you are fretting these chords correctly, I would like you to do the following :
Try to change from chord to chord quickly, this is one of the tricker aspects of playing chords.
I would recommend practicing changes between two of the chords listed here at a single time (eg use ‘Emaj’ then change to ‘Amaj’ and back until you can do it quick…).
Ok, so lets look back to the lesson on the common Major chords (Chords I) and play the E major chord. Listen to the sound of the chord, now play the E minor chord below – there is only one note difference. (The G# on the G string is flattened to be an open ‘G’ note).
When you play the E major chord and then play the E minor chord, you should hear the contrast between the chords. The E major chord should sound “happier” while the E minor chord will have a sadder sound to it.
This should demonstrate to you the basic difference between the major and minor chords. In subsequent lessons we will look at the theory behind this.
Practice the following chords, along with their major counterparts.
Lets learn a reasonably simple song to start us off, “Knocking on Heavens Door” (written by Bob Dylan, played by many others).
The Basic Chords to this song are:
Gmajor , Dmajor , Amin Gmajor , Dmajor , Cmajor
So you are probably saying, “Well I know the chords but my picking hand doesnt know what to do”, lets look at that now.
Music is broken up into Bars, inside a Bar there are many Beats. A basic rock’n’roll bar (4/4 to those who care at this stage) consists of four beats, we could count them like “1-2-3-4”.
The tempo that we will use for this song is 95 beats per minute.
Get your foot tapping along with the sound of the click and count “1 2 3 4” – each number landing on a click (When you get to four start counting again).
An occurance of “1 2 3 4” is a Bar.
To start with lets play one chord to a bar simply using a downstroke with the picking hand (ie towards the floor across all the strings that need to be played in a given chord).
However for the song let the A minor and the C major chords last twice as long as the others (2 bars instead of one).
If you know the words try singing along.
In the next segment of the beginner lessons, I will be looking at rhythm and adding more variation to the above song. Practice hard and I hopefully will see you again.
Dont forget to drop us an email if you have any queries about this lesson.
In this lesson I would like to demonstrate an example of harmonizing, with chords, a given major scale.
This is a very useful exercise that I found helped train my ear quite a lot when it came to figuring out chord progressions off cds that I used to have to play in covers bands.
This is a very useful tool for understanding some of the ways in which chords and scales interact (or even just for learning some new chords) and this can benefit your ear, song writing, soloing and chordal knowledge.We will only use the notes of the underlying major scale available to us in each position – the side effect of this will be that we will have a different chord voicing of each note (minor, major etc.).
Lets look at an example before I confuse you completely 😉
Here are the list of the notes going from I(root note) to VII (the seventh note of the major scale), and some agreeable chords which can be built off each note
Note: Agreeable Chords I Maj, Maj7, Maj9, Maj13 II Min, Min7, Min9, Min11, Min13 III Min, Sus4b9, 7#9, 7b9 IV Maj7, Maj7#11, Maj9#11 V 7, 9, 13 VI Min, Min7 VII Min7b5
So lets look at this in practice. What we will do initially is to play the G major Scale to remind us of the notes we will be building chords on top of.
The first note(I) we play in the G Major Scale is obviously G, on top of this note we will be building a G major chord – as is shown in the figure above you will see this is an agreeable chord for the first note of the major scale.
The next note in the G major scale is A(II) for this note we will be playing a Amin7 chord – and then we can move through the reminder of the scale matching a chord to each note, as is shown in the example below:
Sample Harmonisation - G Major Scale I GMaj II Amin7 III Bmin IV CMaj7 V D7 VI EMin VII F#min7b5
Chord Shapes Used Above:
Experiment with creating songs using the rules shown above – find a suitable key (maybe one that you can sing in) and then find some single notes that work together (create a rudimentary bass line) -find a chord from the list above which suits each note in your bass line (eg for the 2nd note of the major scale play a minor 7th or maybe a minor 13th).
Find a song that you like and know the chords to….does it fit in with the chord rules above?? (remember rules are made to be broken – as long as it sounds good 🙂
Have fun with this and practice those chord shapes – sometime I would like to go into the details why the tonality of the chords you create on each degree(note) of the major scale change.
Legato phrasing is a technique of playing notes smoothly so that they seamlessly flow together. On the guitar one of the easiest ways to do this phrasing is by the use of hammer-ons and pull offs.
A hammer on is best explained like this :
Play these two notes just picking them as normal:
If you had enough force and accuracy then you should have completed a hammer-on.
This is written like this in tablature :
A pull off is almost the exact opposite of a hammer-on. Firstly, position your fingers so that they are on two different frets on the same string. (eg put your first finger on the fifth fret of the D string and your third finger on the seventh fret of the D string).
Here is a diagram to show this.
So the note on the seventh fret is played first and then by pulling that finger off the fretboard quickly the note on the fifth fret is sounded without having to pick it.
Here is an exercise to build up your strength in legato technique :
Practice this with all combinations of your fingers and repeat it all over the guitar neck.
(Only pick the very first note)
What I will be covering in this lesson are some ways in which to use legato techniques in your playing. In the last lesson we looked at the basic techniques for hammer-ons and pull-offs, by using these concepts in different ways we can create interesting sounding guitar licks.
Consider the following lick:
This shows a F major scale that is played over 2 1/2 octaves using hammer-ons, only picking once on each string.
The next rather obvious way to approach this scale is to play is using pull-offs, starting on the highest note and picking only when changing to a different string.
(At this stage still alternate your picking strokes….. all will be explained later !)
Beginning Legato Sequences
So we have seen how to play a basic scale using hammer-ons and pull-offs, well after a while as you can imagine this starts to get a little stale. A good technique for increasing speed and dexerity while playing something that sounds a little bit more interesting is to use sequences.
A sequence is just a repeating fingering pattern that you use to work your way up a scale, an example may be to start on the first note, go up three, go back down to the start and then repeat the sequence starting on the second note, and then the third note etc… etc…
Lost yet ???….good….(just joking)..perhaps it will make more sense to show you what I mean!
Consider the following example :
This is the basic sequence, note how it is only quite short….
This is the intial sequence, this is repeated within the same lick that is represented below, the first notes are the same then there is another repetition of the sequence which begins on the next string up….
When the sequence is repeated over it starts to look a bit more scary – and it sounds a lot more impressive…..
What should be noted is how I start with a simple pattern and then expand it while still just using the same initial sequence that is repeated over (and over) again….
Once you get the first sequence down then, then you’ll figure out the rest fairly quick.
In this lesson I would just like to introduce two new scales that most guitarists are very familiar with, the minor pentatonic and also the Blues Scale.
Well as the name implies, a Pentatonic scale has just five notes rather than the seven that we are used to with the major scale.
The spelling of the minor pentatonic is 1-b3-4-5-b7.
The way that I think about such spellings is that I compare them to what notes a major scale would have.
The major scale (which has seven notes, spelt 1-2-3-4-5-6-7) in A would be A B C# D E F# G#. In comparison the Pentatonic Scale has A, C, D, E, F – notice the C is a flattened third note of the major scale (C# flattened becomes C) and the F (Seventh) is a flattened Seventh note of the major Scale (F# flattened becomes F). This is how we get the spelling 1-b3-5-6-b7.
Now lets look at the fingering for the same scale right over the entire six strings.
Here is a sample lick to give you an idea of the sound of the minor pentatonic scale:
The “Blues” Scale is very closely related to the Minor Pentatonic Scale, and in fact has only one extra note – a diminished 5th (a flattened fifth in normal speak).
Here is a fingering pattern for a one octave Blues Scale in A. Notice that I have put a box around the new (Blue) note. This is the only difference between the two scales.
Now lets look at the fingering for the same scale right over the entire six strings.
Here is a sample lick to give you an idea of the sound of the Blues scale:
Yeah, but I don’t like the Blues!
You poor soul, oh well never mind – the blues scale and minor pentatonic are found in many, many different styles of music.
Practice these scales along with the major scale covered in earlier lessons. In upcoming lessons, you will also find some blues and rock licks using both of these scales.
Of all the techniques on the guitar, alternate picking is probably the single technique that troubles a guitarist the most. The process of synchronizing the right and left hands together is a challenge to us all. In this lesson I have compiled a few exercises that I use to improve my picking accuracy and speed.
An example would be quite simply this, if you were to play a lick starting on a downstroke then the next stroke would be an upstroke, then a downstroke, and so on…
Got it …. Great !!!! (As this is an Intermediate Lesson I wont go into any more basics 🙂
This lick is designed to improve your ability to cross over strings when picking. A major thing to watch out for is to make sure that you are constantly alternating your pick strokes, don’t use two upstrokes or two downstrokes in a row (yet).
Another string crossing exercise, a great lick to use in the right place too!.
This is an example of “ascending sixes” (groups of six notes played together that ascend). Start slowly and concentrate on getting this in time first before speeding up, it will take you less time in the long run!
Here is the next step in picking “ascending sixes” – practice this all over the guitar neck – its a great short run.
Well we have covered “ascending sixes” – this is an example of a “descending sixes” run. Keep alternating those picking runs.
All right, here is the big lick for this lesson. Its quite simple conceptually – all based around an D major (Ionian Mode) Scale. Its the next extension of the “descending sixes” lick.
Well next time we will work on some picking sequences to attempt to get away from the ‘straight up the scale’ syndrome :).
Mail, Mail, Mail!!!!! Feedback would be great, an answer to every email guaranteed!!!!.
See you all, and happy picking….
Something a little different this month from me. I would like to discuss some points that I feel people often miss when they are composing music or playing solos.
We all start off learning pretty much the same scales and chords – and to me even if you are only armed with some basic scales and a few chords there is no reason why you cannot create meaningful, melodic and most importantly enjoyable, emotional music.
I often play songs around people and they inquire as to what a particular chord is as they havent seen it before. Although I have an idea of the tonality of each chord that I play (ie is it major, minor, minor 7th sounding etc – my ear tells me this), I cannot always be sure of the exact spelling of the chord.
To be honest when I am creating these chord sequences I am not thinking about the chords or even the notes that I am playing, I am simply chasing the sound that I can hear in my head. Later on I can sit down and work out the chords that I am playing if I need to communicate this to another musician.
Often I will sit down with my guitar and I will experiment with just putting my fingers on the fretboard in places that I normally wouldnt and just see what kind of sound comes out, sometimes just moving a finger here or there leads into a nice chord sequence.
Sometimes you might end up playing a familiar chord – but perhaps in a different inversion and the timbre of the chord might suit certain chord sequences better than others (ie it sounds more suitable than the standard shape that you might normally use).
Some Exercises you may Try
I realise that this might be one of the strangest online internet guitar lessons that you have read in a little while – but please try the following exercises – hey if it works then more power to you – otherwise then by all means consider my advice as just that, advice..not a rule or something you need to do 🙂
Dont forget about theory – I spent many nights with pieces of paper working out some of the mathematics of music (not that I am a theory nut either ;)…but also dont forget music is about expression.
Hope you are still with me after that – be yourself and if something sounds good to you then do it 🙂
In this lesson we will look at Octaves and how useful and cool they really can be.
Octave Licks are used by a great number of players, from Jazz greats like George Benson to Rockers like Jimi Hendrix. Octave Licks are great for inclusion in your lead and your rhythm playing.
First of all what is an octave? Well lets refer back to the major scale (I hope you remember that one).
In the affore mentioned Major Scale lesson, I stated the following:
“This is a one-‘octave’ pattern for the A Major Scale, what this means is that the fingering starts on the root note (which in this case is A) and then goes up eight notes to the next occurance of the ‘root’ note. The next ocurrance of the note is eight notes higher than the first and so is called an octave.
You can go eight notes of the major scale above any other particular note and you would find it (the same note but) an octave higher.”
(alternatively you could just memorise the octave patterns which I am showing in this lesson – but I would sleep easier knowing you understood the theory too 😉
The eigth note that you played was the same note as you started with except only one octave higher.
So in the following sample you will see that I start on the A note on the 5th fret of the E String and just follow the major scale up until I find the A note on the D string at the 7th fret.
Play the two A notes together (The Root and Octave – I do this at the end of the example above) – sounds kinda cool huh? Try playing these notes with a pick with a single downstroke (mute the string in between so it doesnt sound) and also try plucking them with your fingers.
Often using a pick and strumming the octaves while muting the strings around them gives us a really nice rythymic sound.
One of the coolest things that we can do with octaves is to play melodies that we would normally play with a single note and also play the octave/s above as well.
For example, we could play the following simple melody:
Here is the above but played using octaves – finger plucked.
Here is the same little melody (notice the same tab as above) but this time the octaves are strummed – I often use this when playing funky stuff.
You may or may not realize this but notes are repeated a number of times all over the fretboard – in various different octaves (and also repeated in the same octave also). This means that there are a few very useful octave fingering patterns we can employ.
Below are some octave patterns that I use all the time – In all of these examples just play the black dotted frets and mute or miss the strings in between.
By far the most common and widely used shapes are 1 and 2….use them all over the fretboard 🙂
Use Shape 1 or 3 if your low(deepest) note is played on the Big E or A strings and shape 2 or 4 if your lowest note is played on the D or G strings.
Try using octaves in place of some of the single note runs that you normally use – the same notes just add the octave. This technique can really add something to an otherwise ordinary lick and is great for filling things out if you are playing in a three piece.
This section is designed to demonstrate an approach that will help you play sweep arpeggios.
Triad Arpeggios are probably the most common form of sweep arpeggios that we hear in guitar music. As the name indicates they are simply three note chords.
The way we play these examples is to play each note individually and mute them as we play them before playing the next note.
So it kind of is like : Play note – mute it – Play the next…etc etc..
They can be played with a ‘Sweep’ technique that is played with consecutive upstrokes or downstrokes.
Lets illustrate this by examining our first example, a simple D major (D, F#, A) triad arpeggio.
Lets examine the tablature – you will see that the first 5 notes are played with one downstroke. This stroke should be a continuous downward motion (a long sweep if you will).
The individual notes should be articulated with the left hand, after a note is played the finger with which it was played should be removed enough for the note to be muted.
Muting is ‘mission-critical’ in this technique.
Here is a D minor triad arpeggio (1, b3, 5) (D, F, A) in the same position.
Remember to play these examples ALL over the neck of the guitar, I hope that this has been informative.
Here you will learn some more ideas for expanding on the rapid fire triad arpeggios that I showed you in lesson one on sweep arpeggios. By further expanding these ideas and including other techniques in with the sweeps, we begin to further evolve our abilities to create.
The examples in this lesson are going to be using an A major triad arpeggio shape starting at the 12 fret on the A string, it looks like this :
Remember to play all the notes up until the hammer on with a single sweeping downstroke.
Pretty familiar huh ? Well a technique that I use to add another root note above the highest note is to use my right hands middle finger to ‘tap’ the highest A note – on the seventeenth fret on the high e string this looks like this :
Ok so using the same middle finger we can play another note above without even having to remove it from the fretboard – how? Well by sliding the middle finger up to the C# note on the 21st fret – that looks like this:
Now all we have to do is to work our way back down from there by sliding back down to the fifteenth fret with the right hand middle finger then pull it off the fretboard and continue down the arpeggio as normal, here is what the whole thing looks like:
I have recorded a sample of me going through the following in two speeds (slow and a bit quicker):
Remember in all these exercises to drag your pick downwards or upwards in a long continuous sweeping motion, paying particular attention to muting any unwanted noise.
This lesson is designed to introduce some different arpeggio shapes, for inclusion in your trick bag.
The following is a simple minor arpeggio shape that I use a lot, and when combined with other similar shapes can be a very efficient and effective way of playing very fast arpeggio sequences.
It is possible to create some really cool licks from these simple shapes – try following a chord sequence using these arpeggios. Here is an example of such a lick:
At the end of the last repetition of the lick, I just threw in a A-minor Arpeggio like in one of our earlier lessons (ending at the 12th fret of the A String). Remember this shape?
This next shape is slightly out of place here as it is a d min7 arpeggio rather than just a simple triad arpeggio – however I have included it as I use it a lot with the above patterns. Note that the lowest note on the e string is at the 9th fret – it looks a bit like an 8 in the tablature. :o)
One of the coolest things about this arpeggio is that the shape can be repeated every four frets up the fretboard (creates a different inversion of the notes). This is illustrated in my final lick below.
This lick demonstrates the use of the dim7 arpeggio shape that I introduced above, and it is a very common lick heard in many neo-classical songs. It starts very simply with a series of a minor diminished 7th arpeggios in different inversions up the neck (notice how the shape is simply repeated every four frets) and is finished of with a A minor arpeggio (a cut-down version of the first shape we will cover in another lesson).
We all have probably heard “Eruption” – Eddie Van Halen’s 1978 Solo Guitar piece – like most of us we have used that technique of hammer-ons with the right hand at sometime or another. In this lesson I would like to show a couple of ways of using this technique that are a little different.
I often just use tapped notes quickly as an extension to hammer-ons and pull-offs, in these cases I use the right hand middle finger to execute the taps.
This next example is a expansion of the idea above, using the middle finger of the right hand and the third finger of the right hand to tap notes.
The tough bit about this lick is probably keeping the middle finger on while tapping the third finger down, keep at it and in time it will realise what it is supposed to do!.
As you can hear these techniques add quite a few possibilities for adding some life to some old legato licks. Have fun with these and if you create some real cool licks of your own then send them to me.
To finish this lesson I would like to show you a lick in the style of a favourite player of mine (as far astwo handed playing goes) Jeff Watson.
Some Jeff Watson (Night Ranger) Type Licks
This first part of the lick is reasonably straight forward and uses the right hand 1 and 2 fingers to play the notes on the 12 and 13 fret. Ditch the pick !!!! you wont need it in these licks, just pluck the first note with your finger and then hammer away!.
This lick can be expanded simply by changing the highest note in each repetition of the sequence, in this case the highest notes are played by the 2nd finger (13 fret), 3rd finger (15 fret) and finally the little right hand finger (17 fret).
This creates a pretty wide tonal grouping and makes for an interesting sounding lick.
Well I hope that this has helped to give you a couple of new ideas as far as the two handed tapping technique is concerned.
In this lesson I would like to Introduce you to Pedal Tones, and some of the ways that I use them in my playing.
Basically a Pedal Tone lick involves the repetition of a single note, or series of notes throughout a lick.
The pedal note or notes are repeated with other notes which change around it. This is a hard concept to explain, but it should be very easy to grasp after studying the examples below.
Consider the following lick:
The repeated note in the above example is the note ‘g’ at the 15th fret on the ‘e’ string, so we are using the ‘g’ note as our pedal tone.
“Wow, thats a simple idea”, you say ?? Well yes, it is but it can sound great, and we can do lots to add new sonic textures to the technique.
This technique is derived from classical music, but you can hear examples of this in music from many different artists including Metallica, Vinnie Moore, and Eric Johnson.
Here is another example of using a single note as our pedal tone:
In this case the pedal tone is the ‘b’ note on the 12 fret of the b string. When playing this lick hold down the ‘b’ note constantly, but try to stop it sounding at the same time as any of your other notes.
In the following lick, we are using a short sequence of two notes as our pedal tone lick.
So obviously the pedal tones in this lick are the notes on the 17th and 19th fret of the ‘e’ string, a small sequence is played with these notes and a changing note is added at the end of each sequence.
The following example is intended to improve your chops and hopefully to tune your ears to the way that pedal tone licks sound. Use alternate picking in all of these licks.
I have included a couple of pictures of me playing this lick to help you visualize the pattern and fingering:
Part A – Thumb on the back of neck to facilitate easy position shifts
Part B – Notice the stretch to the 12th fret note
Well I hope that this has helped to introduce you so another idea that is extremely useful in playing guitar. I use this particular technique a lot, in many different genres of music.
Anyways, we hope you truly enjoyed this guide on how to use chords with your guitar. Feel free to email us if you have any questions. No go create a killer riff!
It sad to see that Rock music isn’t around anymore. At least not in the popular culture anyways. After all, this is the EMD / Trap generation. That’s okay . . . Legends are always going to be around one way or another.
Here is the list of the most famous guitar players ever.
Mention the name Jeff Healey and the word “amazing” invariably pops into the conversation.
Now one of the world’s finest guitarists, this Canadian born young gun has technical abilities that command respect from his peers, and his passion for the music, whether it be rock/blues or jazz, transfixes audiences of all ages.
At the tender age of one Jeff lost his sight to a form of cancer called retinoblastoma.
He then went on to receive his first guitar at the age of three and developed his unique lap-top style by working out the chords and finger positions when his hands were not large enough to grip around the neck of his guitar.
In 1985, a 19-year-old Healey, recorded an independent video called “Adrianna” which played on Canada’s Much Music.
That same year, a friend convinced Albert Collins to let Healey join him onstage during a Toronto club gig. An impressed Collins asked Jeff to play with him and Stevie Ray Vaughan only a few nights later. Healey quickly became a hot commodity and all the while gaining the friendship of Vaughan who had once stated that Healey would revolutionize guitar playing.
So, you know Healey and you may have even seen Roadhouse but, perhaps what you didn’t know is that jazz is his first true love. And that is probably why he has been quoted as saying, “I don’t think of myself as blues or rock — I’m a musician.”
At age 33, with fans on the heels of an eagerly awaited fifth album, Healey still found time to lend his name and assistance to the Annual Jeff Healey Golf Classic Tournament in support of The Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
Furthermore, he promoted bands such as Amanda Marshall, Lilith (now disbanded), and Alex Pangman under the ARISTA and Sensational Records label. All the while adding to his collection of over 22,000 jazz and swing records, and performing with local Toronto artists such as Tyler Yarema and The Hot Five Jazzmakers.
So, you can plainly see that this guitar virtuoso is not only well-rounded, but more importantly a first-class act all the way.
On another note also check out, JHB’s second guitarist and shred-prodigy, Philip Sayce!
|Name||Year of Release|
|See the Light||1988|
|Hell to Pay||1990|
|Cover To Cover||1995|
|The Very Best Of JHB||1998|
|Get Me Some||2000|
The unique Healey sound is accomplished with the following gear:
Hendrix is probably the single most influential guitarist of all time. Death stole Jimi from the world at the young age of 27 on September 18, 1970.
Even before his death Jimi was ready to shake up the world again as he was preparing to collaborate with Miles Davis, who was fascinated with Jimi’s music.
|Classic Singles Collection||N/A|
|Axis- Bold as Love||1967|
|Are You Experienced?||1967|
|Band of Gypsies||1970|
|Live at Woodstock||1994|
|First Rays of the New Rising Sun||1997|
|If Six Were Nine||1997|
|South Saturn Delta||1997|
|New York Session||1998|
|Experience Hendrix – Best of Jimi Hendrix||1998|
|His Greatest Hits||1998|
|Live at Filmore East||1999|
When you hear the name Jimmy Page, a few things pop into your mind instantly. One is Stairway to Heaven.
Though this is the most popular piece written by Page, it’s just one of the many masterpiece’s he has made.
From being an influential guitar player, to composer, to the riff-master himself, he is one man who made a huge impact on rock and roll and guitar players all around the world.
Famous for his use of a bow on guitar, alternate tunings, and his Gibson Double Neck, he is definitely a guitar guru!
Jan. 9th, 1944.
James Patrick Page was born in Heston, Middlesex, England.
Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck met and became friends.
Jimmy taught himself the guitar with a spanish guitar that was a gift to his family.
Jimmy appears on the “Huw Wheldon Show” playing a little part of “Mama Don’t Wanna Play No Skiffle No More”.
His first band was Neil Christian and The Crusaders.
Jimmy played on 50-90% of all the records recorded in England, ranging from solos to a lick or two.
When Page first joined the Yardbirds, he was on bass, then lead with Jeck Beck, and finally lead by himself. Clapton, Page, and Beck were never in the band at the same time.
Jimmy Page formed Led Zeppelin with the help of Peter Grant.
John Bonham dies and Led Zeppelin breaks up.
Jimmy Page reunites with the remaining members of Led Zeppelin for a Live Aid performance.
David Cloverdale, formerly of Whitesnake, formed Cloverdale/Page.
Page reunites with Robert Plant and records the No Quarter Album which has many reworked Led Zeppelin songs. John Paul Jones was not asked to join.
He released Walking Into Clarksdale with Plant.
|Name||Year Of Release|
|Rare Jimmy Page Solo 45||1965|
|Yardbirds: Little Games||1967|
|Yardbirds: BBS Sessions||N/A|
|Led Zeppelin I||1969|
|Led Zeppelin II||1969|
|Led Zeppelin III||1970|
|Untitled (aka Led Zeppelin IV)||1971|
|Houses Of The Holy||1973|
|The Song Remains The Same||1976|
|In Through The Out Door||1979|
|DEATH WISH II (Soundtrack)||1982|
|Scream for Help (Soundtrack)||N/A|
|The Firm (with Paul Rodgers)||N/A|
|The Firm: Mean Business||N/A|
|Profiled (Promo Interview CD)||1990|
|Boxed Set I||1990|
|Coverdale and Page||1993|
|Boxed Set II||1993|
|The Complete Studio Recordings||1993|
|Whole Lotta Love||1997|
|Walking Into Clacksdale||1998|
Joe Satriani is a man who can not only produce albums with amazing technique and sound, but can teach his students the same thing. He has sculpted several guitarists who are just as well-known as he is. Only the work of a master could do such a thing.
Joe Satriani was one of the best, most influential rock guitarists of the late ’80s, equally capable of fast flights of blinding technique as well as sweet, lyrical passages. What also separates Satriani from most technically gifted guitar virtuosos is that he treats a song as a song, not as an excuse to shred.
For these reasons, he appeals not only to guitarists, but also to many rock fans who have never touched the instrument — his breakthrough 1987 album, Surfing with the Alien, was the first rock instrumental album in years to chart in the Top 30 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums.
Since then, he has added vocals to his records; while his voice can’t compare to his guitar, it added another dimension to an artist that was already more versatile than the majority of contemporary musicians.
Joe Satriani’s Discography
|Name||Year of Release|
|Surfing With The Alien||N/A|
|Not of This Earth||1986|
|Flying in a Blue Dream||1989|
Stevie Ray Vaughan, the last guitarist ever since Jimi Hendrix that caused nearly all guitarists of every flavor to turn their heads to get a glimpse of guitar perfection.
Though Stevie’s name is not mentioned nearly as much as Jimi’s, it doesn’t make him any less of an idol for the young guitarists of today.
Stevie’s mainstream career as a guitarist was interrupted by a tragic helicopter crash, leaving us with his sound for us to learn from and develop.
As with any guitarist, the guitar is the most essential of the gear. Steve Vai’s guitar of choice is a Jem series by Ibanez.
This is a completely custom design guitar made in partnership with Vai and the Ibanez crew. Here are some quick facts about his guitar: *all facts are taken directly from the Ibanez site*
Here are some quick facts about the Legacy Amp:
clean and overdrive channels
uses 4-EL34, 5-12AX7A tubes
G12M-25 celestion greenback speakers
for more detailed info, please see the Carvin Legacy Amp page
A semi-complete SRV discography.
|Name||Year of Release|
|Volume 2 - Real Deal - Greatest Hits||1992|
|In the beginning||1992|
|Couldn't Stand the Weather (w/ Jimmie Vaughan)||1984|
|Soul to Soul||1985|
|Live Alive (w/ Jimmie Vaughan)||1986|
|In the beginning||1992|
|Couldn't Stand the Weather (w/ Jimmie Vaughan)||1984|
|Soul to Soul||1985|
|Live Alive (w/ Jimmie Vaughan)||1986|
Here we have a special RARE bonus interview with Steve Vai. Enjoy!
I thought it was too cool and I thought, you know, people would laugh at me or something because I was trying to play it. So I started to play, and I didn’t tell anybody, you know, I hid it, and practiced on my own and one day I joined this band and that was kind of it.
I played the accordian. I played the tuba in high school, if you can imagine that.
Yup, and I actually played the guitar in the orchestra.
Yeah, yeah. It was the very Renaissance thing to do.
Well, we did these plays. The drama class put on these plays, On The Town, Cold Borders, Anything Goes and there were guitar parts so that’s when I started playing in the orchestra.
Well, proof is in the pudding. He was a fantastic teacher!
Well, it was both. You know, if it wasn’t for Joe Satriani the guitar player, it’s quite unlikely there would have been Steve Vai the guitar player. When I was in school, we all looked up to Joe, you know, he could play the damn thing. I just treasured my lessons. I mean, it’s like every lesson I got was like a little jewel.
He’d show me songs. He’d show me riffs, he’d show me theory and I just took it home and absorbed it because it was everything I had. I didn’t have Nintendo. We didn’t have video games. We didn’t have MTV. We didn’t have the internet. We didn’t have a lot of things that are very distracting today. What we had was records, LPs, vinyl. We didn’t have videos so we couldn’t see what Jimmy Page looked like when he moved.
We had to wait for the “Song Remains the Same” to come out or wait for the Jimmy Hendrix story or something and it would come on once on tv and there was no rewinding and we would just sit and listen to the stuff and try to play it and we had the band.
I’m talkin’ when I was thirteen. We had the band, and that was really important. We just didn’t have all the other things that kids have today so my guitar lessons were precious.
Oh no, sometimes I’d go over to his house for six hours and we’d just jam.
Did you make up a lot of your own stuff then? or did you try to figure out what Page was doing?
If I would go to Joe and say, “Can you show me these songs?”, it would take five minutes. He knew everything. But when it came time to jam, it was just pure musical expression.
You would just use your ears and just go for it. You don’t jam over a Hendrix song, that’s lame, you know? You just go, you play anything and you listen. That’s what it’s about. Now, jam sessions, that’s one thing that I hate.
You show up and they’re like, “Do you know this song?” and I’m like, “Yeah! But let’s just play and see what comes out!” But that takes a certain kind of personality too and that’s what Joe’s all about. He makes great songs and he makes great records. The guy is an unbelievable improvisor on anything.
I practiced all the time. When I got home from school, I’d play the guitar, and then I’d go to sleep at night. Then on the weekends I’d play until 7 o’clock and then me and my friends would go out on Friday night.
Then I’d play all day Saturday, go out Saturday night, or I went to rehearsal, when I had the band. In the summer I put a lot of hours in everyday. I used to have a schedule that I’d adhere to, almost military.
It was like a nine-ten hour practice, sometimes I would even do more. So, I’d come home from school on a Friday and I’d go to sleep really early and I’d wake up on Saturday morning and practice until I go to school on Monday.
I’d like to, but I’m always doing ten-million other things. When the time calls for it, I can really focus. Right now, I just finished my record and am just coasting. I play at least an hour a day which is nothing but it kind of just keeps your fingers going. Sometimes I’ll go for a week without playing, but if I go for a time my fingers just start to hurt. What I mean by hurt is that they ache to play. You know, they don’t actually hurt physically. It’s a psychological thing. I really feel like I have to play the guitar.
Well, sort of, yeah.
Yeah, when I get to focus though I can go all day!
Well, I designed this amp called the Legacy. It’s a great amp! It just gives me a new lease on guitar playing! You know, I just love it to death! I really dig into that amp. You know, I can sit and play nothing all day but I’ve got a little combo that I use and that’s what I use really.
Well, I play Ibanez guitars. I designed this guitar for Ibanez because it really fits my playing. I can play anything, but that’s what I enjoy playing. Everytime I play another one, another kind of guitar, I always just go back to the Ibanez because it has the sound, it has the feel, all those things that I really like about that guitar.
It took about a year and a half.
What I did was I got their amp, their stock amp, and I listened to it and I knew what I wanted to change. It was basically completely rebuilt. The amp was rebuilt. I sent it to a lot of designers and asked for their critique of how I could get it to be changed to a certain way.
Carvin has a great staff over there too so we worked on the amp. Ya know, I feel bad, I put them through hell over there but we really got a great product. It’s a finely-built machine. It’s got double-sided circuit boards which is kind of rare in amplifiers these days. The only thing it’s not is point-to-point soddering but that would make the amp cost four-thousand dollars, but with the double-sided boards it gets the same results.
It’s just that it can be mass-produced and the thing is that if you would have bought that amp commercially, it would have cost a lot more but because of the way Carvin does their business, they sell direct. You can bring the price way down and that’s a good thing because my taste is kind of extreme when it comes to the things I like.
Like my guitar, if you were to go buy a Jem guitar, it’s not expensive because I play it, it’s expensive because there’s a lot of nuances in the guitar that makes it unique. It’s the same thing with the Legacy. I couldn’t settle for any amp. To make it really interesting and unique, you’ve got to work on it which costs money.
If that amp was going to sell commercially through a conventional retailer situation, it would be very expensive but because of the way Carvin does their business, you could afford it.
I’ve had a long relationship with them. Since I’ve moved out to California they gave me my first amplifier and I was always hoping I could do business with an amplifier company, and them in particular.
Through the years I had never endorsed an amp because the companies were always big companies that couldn’t really put the time or the focus into the way that I wanted an amplifier and Carvin was always there with me throughout all the years so they were my choice.
The new album… portions of it were recorded before the Legacy was a reality but a lot of the songs have the Legacy. You can hear it too. It’s obvious, because they’re just better sounding songs!
The new album is called “The Ultra Zone”. I had this ten cd box set that I was working on that got postponed. There was a lot of material that I really liked so I pulled that and put it on The Ultra Zone. The material from The Ultra Zone is from this box.
When I originaly set out to do The Ultra Zone I wanted a lot of intense guitar music that I could play live very simply without having to worry about arrangement and all that stuff but low-and-behold, when I get into it, I get carried away and over-produce so I’ve got this wonderfully thick, gorgeous, lush type record and I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to pull it all off at once!
But the music on there is some of my favorite stuff. The Ultra Zone, what I intended with the title is basically sort of a frame of mind. I believe that when a person gets into a frame of mind where they’re focusing on something very intensely, I call it the ultra zone. When I write a song, I wanna have something in there that really turns me on, something that pushes my button in at least one spot in every song. Some of the stuff is just one big button pusher.
I think there’s about four songs or so, four or five songs that have vocals.
Not necessarily. I don’t even know where I’m moving. If a song feels good for vocals, I just do it. Much to the detriment of any pop icon as I may ever had the potential to achieve, I don’t really think about what should or shouldn’t be, you know, as far as conventional parameters. So, I end up with records that are eclectic, yet very satisfying to me.
It comes out September 7th.
You bet! I’m going to be out there pounding it!
Oh yeah. Yeah, we start out in America in the fall and then I may go to India in the beginning of January, and then South America, Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Russia. You know, the whole nine-yards.
On your web site it mentions your new charity, Make A Noise, but it really doesn’t tell anything about it. What’s it all about?
Well, we just sort of launched it. We haven’t officially launched it, but it’s legal now. Basically, Make A Noise is my attempt to give back everything that musical education has given me. What it is, is we’ll be working on collecting funds or instruments or any kind of music paraphernalia that could then be donated to proper organizations that are already in place that aid in music education in areas and schools that have dilapidated musical programs.
For instance, when I was young, I had this unbelievably great theory class and it taught me so much about music! It enriched my life! Because I was not very academically strong. I was not very good at English and social studies. I mean, the stuff bored the ever-loving shit out of me. I was very good at math.
When you’re not as academically efficient as some of your classmates, it can sometimes give you a feeling of inadequacy or inferiority but I had this music class, and I totally excelled in it. I floored, you know? I was totally superior in it. I cherished everything I learned. It gave me self-esteem and it really helped me express myself musically.
Well, that particular class doesn’t even exist anymore ’cause there’s no funding for it and that’s the case with a lot of schools and a lot of high-schools. So one of the things we aim to do is try to re-establish those kind of educational classes and it’s no secret these days how important music is to infants and toddlers in creating stronger brain muscles for every part of their life. One of the other things that we’re trying to do will be focusing on implementing CD libraries within schools where you could go into libraries and pick out CDs that they might not normally get anywhere else.
Yeah. When I was at Berklee, Berklee college of music in Boston, that’s really where I got my best musical education about the big world of music out there. I was living in my little town in Long Island, I had friends that were really into progressive rock music so I learned a lot about that, but nobody really was into jazz or classical or fusion.
When I got to Berklee, they had a library there and that’s where I heard all of Frank Zappa’s music and that’s where I had heard Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and it was right there at my fingertips! ‘Cause I couldn’t afford that stuff. So, I think that’s real important and that could really change somebody’s entire life. When you’re introduced to that kind of music, a variety of music like that at a young age, it can change the quality of your entire life so that’s one of the things we aim to do.
As a matter of fact, right now, I’m looking for someone to head the organization. The person I had, it’s becoming a little overwhelming and we’re going to partner-up with some other organizations that do similair things.
We have ads out right now in certain music publications soliciting somebody to sort of come and run things but if you keep posted onto the web site, it’ll evolve. You can see how you can get involved. It’ll be anything from I’ll be auctioning off stuff to I’m planning on having an annual jamathon called the Big-Mamma-Jamma-Jamathon. You know how Jerry Lewis has the telethon? We just sit there and collect money every hour and the music never stops! And we just jam and jam and jam and anybody in the audience can just come up and play.
Well, we’re shootin to have the launch of the organization coincide with the record release but I just don’t know how that’s going to be possible, it’s just too much to pull together.
Well, eventually, I wanna rule the world.
Well, unlike someone who’s a genious, I have to wait for the inspiration to come along and when it does come, I feverishly do everything I can to at least capture the idea to develop later on. ‘Cause all I need is the thread of an idea and then I can elaborate on that at any time but it’s that thread of an idea that I have to wait for.
Yeah, Jimmy Page was my biggest influence but there’s a lot: Hendrix, I like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Danny Gatton, Roy Buchanan, Richy Blackmore, Jeff Beck, I mean, you know, all the greats.
Well, you know, sometimes I plant seeds, mental seeds, within myself, on how I want to perform or how I want to be perceived but mostly what I like to do is reach out to the audience. I don’t want to be an introverted player. I make a conscious effort to sear each note through the listener and try to capture them is what I’m doing. You just do that by pouring your heart, putting a lot of love into the performance.
Most of the time I’m totally aware but sometimes when I go into that zone I’m not aware of anything.
Well, understand what it is your goal is, whether you want to be a garage jammer or totally proficient musician. Try to break down the steps, step by step, of that goal and accomplish each one, slowly and surely. Just continue to love music. Just love the music and let the music really move you. Practice your ass off. You know, all that stuff. I would say… I don’t know. I get asked this question all the time. I try to make it different each time… Wear a condom and use sunscreen!
Well, the thing is that it’s not necessarily bound to California. We’re taking baby steps. The first thing that I think we’ll be useful at is trying to implement a CD library and I would pick one school, that could really use it, try it out, see how it works, and try to move it to other schools.
End of interview.