Monthly Archives: June 2017

Using A Metronome For Guitar Practice

Using A Metronome Helps Build Your Guitar Speed

Using a metronome does not increase guitar playing speed. A metronome is used as a test to assess your current level of mastery with a particular technique or practice item.

Pay attention to things that cause your guitar playing to break down at faster speeds. Refine your guitar technique by practicing away from the metronome (usually at slower speeds). Later, test yourself again to see how much progress you’ve made.

Everything Has To Be Practiced By Using A Metronome

Guitarists who practice with a metronome all the time often get locked into using quarter notes, eighth notes and sixteenth notes when they solo. They rarely use dotted notes, triplets or rests in the middle of a musical phrase. This creates too much rhythmic similarity in your lead guitar phrases and makes it harder to be creative.

Your guitar solos become more expressive when you use a variety of rhythms to create tension and make your playing more interesting. Spend some time practicing without the metronome and challenge yourself to create many rhythmic variations on a simple 4-6 note phrase. Vary the rhythm freely, but keep all the pitches the same. Then, use the metronome to lock your timing into place.

Another practice tip: Practice playing scales and arpeggios using many different rhythms (instead of strict 16th notes or triplets).

Practicing With A Metronome Limits Your Rhythmic Creativity

A metronome only limits your rhythmic creativity if you allow it to happen. The best guitar players use a metronome to develop their rhythmic creativity. Here is how: Set the metronome to a moderate tempo (such as 90-120 beats per minute). Begin to freely improvise rhythm guitar riffs using a single power chord. Challenge yourself to use rests, syncopations and unusual rhythmic values you don’t typically practice. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone forces your creativity to expand.

Popular Songs About Legends

Glenn Frey and Don Henley, the two composers of the hit, have admitted that the song was not based on any of the legends of the Old West. Still, there are plenty of songs which do mention famous people associated with that theme, and here are ten.

1.Pretty Boy Floyd by Woody Guthrie

Dylan was probably inspired by this song from his folk idol, for the title character performed similar deeds to those of Harding.

2. Frank and Jesse James by Warren Zevon

These two legendary brothers are the subjects of a song that appeared on Zevon’s self-titled album, released a few years before he hit the Top Ten with “Werewolves Of London” and Excitable Boy.

3. John Wesley Harding by Bob Dylan

This title track to the follow up of Blonde On Blonde reveres an outlaw akin to Robin Hood, who takes from the wealthy while offering financial assistance to poor sharecroppers.

4. Ballad of Billy the Kid by Billy Joel

Piano Man is the album most associated with the pop legend, and this is just one of the classic tunes which it spawned.

5.Bronco Bill’s Lament by Don McLean

This track from his self-titled follow up to American Pie serves as a sort of musical companion to the classic E.E. Cummings poem “Buffalo Bill’s Defunct,” which discusses the degrading transformation from an actual cowboy to one who merely acts as one.

6. Roy Rogers by Elton John

Reginald Dwight identified the singer before he adopted his now famous pseudonym, and the subject of this song from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road had the birth name of Len Slye.

7. Pancho and Lefty by Townes Van Zandt

The folk songwriter exults the West hero from Mexico, Pancho Villa.

I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford) by Elton John

The man in the sub title is the James Gang member who shot and killed Jesse, thus serving as the epitome of the betrayal of a so-called friend.

Honor Their Musical Heroes

The other host, Greg Kot, listed Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” and Van Morrison’s “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile).” Besides the four mentioned on the show, here are ten other artists who have honored their musical idols with songs.

Dexy’s Midnight Runners: Come On Eileen

Johnny Ray, obviously an idol of songwriter Kevin Rowlands, is referenced in the first line of the band’s biggest hit.

David Bowie: Song For Dylan

Before he became Ziggy Stardust and Major Tom, Bowie was the acoustic folk rock genius who idolized Dylan on this track from Hunky Dory.

Bob Dylan: Song For Woody

Only two of the songs on his self-titled debut were originals, but this one certainly provided promises of the type of writer Dylan was going to become.

Wilco: Heavy Metal Drummer

Jeff Tweedy recalls his adoration of Kiss in this chorus of this gem from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Billy Bragg: I Dreamed I Saw Phil Ochs Last Night

The British folk-rocker ruminates about the late protest singer, even pointing out how the F.B.I. had investigated him.

ABC: When Smokey Sings

After having major hits like “The Look of Love” and “Poison Arrow,” the pop band scored again with this tribute to the leader of the Miracles.

Ambrosia: Danse With Me George

David Pack shows an extraordinary interest in the love affair between the composer Chopin and the writer George Sand, which he turned into an epic song on Somewhere I’ve Never Travelled.

Roberta Flack: Killing Me Softly

This song was composed shortly after its writers had been emotionally overcome by someone’s description of watching Don McLean perform, even before American Pie had been released.

The Guess Who: Lightfoot

A group of Canadian hit makers pays homage to their fellow countryman in this praiseful ballad to the folk rock singer, Gordon Lightfoot.

The Who: Baba O’ Riley

Pete Townshend chose the surname in this opening track for Who’s Next to honor Terry Riley, whose jazz-fused Indian music greatly influenced the British rock quartet’s primary songwriter.

Select A Guitar Teacher For You

Most guitarists choose instructors based on the wrong criteria. Many choose their teacher based on: price, the teacher’s guitar playing skills and his musical education. Wrong! These criteria offer no objective proof of a guitar teacher’s ability to help you with your guitar playing.

Here is what does: a long list of students whom your prospective teacher has taught to play at a very high level. These students must play exactly the way you want to play while having reached the musical goals you have.

Only proof of results matters. Nothing else matters unless this proof is established.

Think about it: Isn’t this how you would choose your accountant, doctor, car mechanic, doctor or a specialist in any other profession?

Question: “But Tom Hess, what about the teachers’ lesson rates?… or the guitar teacher’s playing ability and music education credentials? Don’t these things count for something?”

Answer: No. Here’s why:

Guitar lesson rates: Many people choose guitar teachers based on who is cheaper. They falsely assume that guitar teachers (and guitar lessons) are the same everywhere (like buying milk at the grocery store).

Fact: teachers who charge the lowest price are usually new to teaching or have poor guitar teaching skills. Great teachers usually charge more because they provide the most value to their students.

That said, some guitar teachers may use high price to trick you. They know that many people equate “expensive” with “high quality”. This is why you cannot look at price alone to determine which guitar teacher to take lessons from.

Guitar playing ability: Having great guitar playing skills does not make someone a great guitar teacher. The world is full of virtuoso guitar players who cannot teach anyone else to play guitar.

You want to see proof of your teachers’ teaching skills. The only thing that provides this proof is a long list of satisfied guitar students who are great musicians and vouch for his teaching ability.