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Welcome to my website! Here, you will find everything related to my musical activities. I hope you have fun exploring the contents of  this site, as I have creating it! This site is still in its infancy stages, but I will be adding content very regularly! You may notice that I write a lot. I can’t help it, I’m neurotic that way!

 

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RECENT POSTS:

The art of transcribing – Part 6 (12/2/2018) - As always, be sure to read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. I am now switching to a video format for some of these blogs. You can listen to it as if it were podcast, since the video isn’t too important in this one. In this video, I show you how I figure out music 100% by ear without any instrument or reference other than the music. This is an important aspect of ear training; it is essentially listening to music intelligently by engaging your mind. People often ask which solos they should transcribe. That’s not the right way to think about it. When it comes to developing one’s ear, one should generally go for what one likes. Since you and I may have different tastes, it wouldn’t be advisable for you to figure out […]
The art of transcribing – Part 5 (10/27/2018) - As always, be sure to read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. It’s been a while! In this one, a fellow submitted a transcription of Django Reinhardt for critique. By and large, it was a good job, but there were certain ornaments that were not correct but that are very typical of Gypsy musicians. In the Gypsy community, there are certain subtle techniques that they subconsciously do that many people outside their community miss or misinterpret. Some of them are revealed in this transcription. I often show a lot of these to my homestay students who want to work on sound and technique. What’s that you say? Homestay lessons? Want more info? Click here! One of the most important lessons to learn from Django Reinhardt is to understand how he thinks. He often thought in […]
Choosing the right guitar for Gypsy Jazz – Part 1 (12/1/2016) - I get quite a lot of emails from people all over the world asking me for advice on which Gypsy Jazz guitars to buy. While it is true that Gypsy Jazz guitar construction is unique and quite different from what the majority of guitar luthiers are used to, I feel that some of the advice I would give would be the same for just about any kind of acoustic instrument. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple. The good news is, nowadays, while still a niche market, Gypsy Jazz guitars are now mass-produced at very attractive prices. There are a few competing brands out there and, in my opinion, not only are they quite decent for the price, they have excellent resale value. I would almost always recommend buying one of these guitars to start out […]
The art of transcribing – Part 4 (10/5/2016) - As always, be sure to read parts 1, 2, and 3. In this fourth part, we will be focusing on transcribing solos where the timing is not always in sync with the rhythm section. This can prove to be a huge challenge. It requires a strong foundation in music theory, and a strong knowledge of the idiom, which in this case, is straight ahead jazz. When I mean that the timing isn’t in sync with the rhythm section, I don’t necessarily mean this in a negative way. When it comes to good musicians, this floating time is often intentional. In this particular instance, we will be looking at a solo by Swedish jazz guitarist Ulf Wakenius. This is from volume 3 of his lesson series available at DC Music School. Ulf Wakenius is known for playing […]
The art of transcribing – Part 3 (10/4/2016) - As always, be sure to read parts 1 and 2. In this third part of the art of transcribing, I want to show you one of my processes of transcribing directly from a video source. In this instance, I am transcribing directly from my video editor (Final Cut Pro X). Any video player that can slow videos down without changing the pitch will do. I’ll admit that there are way better softwares out there for transcribing than FCP X but I’m just lazy! One of the major advantages of transcribing directly from the video is that you can get the fingerings as you are figuring out the notes. In my previous article, I imported the audio portion of the video into my DAW. When would I use one workflow or the other? I generally transcribe […]