Guitar Forum 2.0 with Mike Overly

April 8, 2015

Guitar Forum 2.0Here is the new Guitar Forum 2.0 with GRAMMY® Nominated Music Educator Mike Overly. It’s a reboot of his late ’90s TV show: Guitar Forum. Watch the first episode: Pentatonic and Hexatonic Scales, now. <https://www.youtube.co/watch?v=RIspMoyib2w>

And while your there, be sure to subscribe to the 12 Tone Music YouTube channel to be notified of each new monthly episode. <https://www.youtube.com/user/12tonemusic>

Also, don’t forget to visit and like the official 12 Tone Music Facebook page. <https://www.facebook.com/12ToneMusicPublishing>

www.12tonemusic.com

Set Design Art by Phil Benton


Surfin’ With Mozart – by Mike Overly

March 25, 2015

SurfAlberti bass is a particular kind of accompaniment figure in music, often used in the Classical era, sometimes the Romantic era and sometimes in the Surf era!

It was named after Domenico Alberti (1710–1740), who used it extensively, although he was not the first to use it. Alberti bass is a kind of broken chord or arpeggiated accompaniment, where the notes of the chord are presented in the order lowest, highest, middle, highest. This pattern is generally repeated in an ostinato fashion. The broken chord pattern create a smooth, sustained, flowing sound. Alberti bass is usually found in the left hand of pieces for keyboard instruments, especially the beginning of Mozart’s Piano Sonata, K 545, but, is also found in songs for other instruments, such as the iconic opening guitar part of Pipeline.

Let’s begin with the opening Allegro movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata, K 545. It is written in sonata form in the tonic key of C major. The familiar opening theme is accompanied by an Alberti bass, played in the left hand. A bridge passage composed of scales follows, arriving at a cadence in the dominant G major, the key in which the second theme is then played. A codetta follows to conclude the exposition, then the exposition is repeated. The development starts in G minor and modulates through several keys. The recapitulation begins in the subdominant key of F major. This practice of beginning a recapitulation in the subdominant was rare at the time this sonata was written.

The following is a performance of Mozart’s Piano Sonata, K 545 by Daniel Barenboim. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoT8YV9qi1g>

And here is the sheet music so you can follow along.

Mozart-Sonata-Piano-Sonata-No-16-Movement-1-k545

Pipeline, recorded in 1962 by The Chantays, is a famous example of 20th-century American popular instrumental surf music. It is notable for using Alberti bass arpeggios in E minor. The song, originally called Liberty’s Whip, was renamed after the band members saw a surfing movie showing scenes of the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii. The tune, fitting in with the popular surfing craze of the time, swiftly rose up the Billboard Pop charts, reaching #4, and becoming a classic hit of its time. The track’s distinctive sound was largely due to the fact that the 45-rpm was released only in monaural, but the track was recorded in wide stereo. This resulted in the bass guitar, electric piano and rhythm guitar being out front in the mix, while the lead guitar and drums were buried in the track.

The following is a performance of Pipeline. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omG-hZfN6zk>

And here is the sheet music so you can follow along.

Pipline Sheetmusic

’til next time, have some Alberti Bass fun Surfin’ with Mozart… I’ll be listening!

www.12tonemusic.com

 


Major Tone 3 – Guitar Lesson with Mike Overly

February 25, 2015

Mike OverlyFollow GRAMMY® Nominated Music Educator Mike Overly in this classic Vintage Video as he presents essential information about the guitar’s 5 major chord forms and the 7 major scale and arpeggio forms. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3MsncVFPyw&gt;

To discover more about Mike and his 12 Tone Music Publishing company, please visit: <www.12tonemusic.com>.

And don’t forget to join the official Mike Overly/12 Tone Music Mailing List… and please forward this link to a friend!

<http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin/ea?v=0014rpMSLN9P_2wKyCazQWpig%3D%3D&gt;

 


Strum Efficiency – by Mike Overly

January 28, 2015

Strum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s begin by showing tone numbers 1, 2 , 3 on a six string guitar,

Guitar Tones 1 2 3

and on a four string bass.

Bass Tones 1 2 3

Whether you use a pick or your fingers to strum your guitar or bass, there are only two ways to strum efficiently: alternate or toward.

The definition of efficient is less energy. Less energy means less strums. And less strums will result in much faster technique!

The following two strum suggestions will help you play more efficiently when strumming with a pick.

1) When tones are on the same string you use alternate strums. The definition of alternate is “to switch back and forth one after another.”

2) When tones move to a different string, you strum toward that string. The definition of toward is “in the direction of.” For example, when your fretting finger moves down to a lower numbered different string, strum down toward that string. Conversely, when your fretting finger moves up to a higher numbered different string, strum up in the direction of that string.

The down stroke sign looks like a staple and the up stroke sign looks like a V.

To help you strum the following exercise with even greater efficiency, begin with a stroke up.

 

pick strum

 

The following two strum suggestions will help you play more efficiently when strumming with your fingers.

1) When tones are on the same string or move down to a different lower numbered string you use you use alternate strums. Remember, the definition of alternate is to switch back and forth one after another.

2) When tones move up to a different higher numbered adjacent string use the same finger to strum that string. The definition of adjacent is “next to.”

For example, if you are playing tone 2 with your m finger, you will alternate and play tone 3 with your i finger. However, if you are playing tone 3 with your m finger, you will use the same m finger to play tone 2 on the higher numbered adjacent string. In other words, you use alternate strums except when the next tone is on a higher numbered adjacent string. In that case, you strum with the same finger toward that string.

Your index finger is i and your middle finger is m.

To help you strum the following exercise with greater strum efficiency, fingers i and m are shown.

Finger Strum

’til next time, have some efficient pick and finger strum fun… I’ll be listening!

www.12tonemusic.com

 

 

 


Finger Picking Guitar Lesson with Mike Overly

December 30, 2014

Mike Overly GuitarFollow Legendary GRAMMY® Nominated Music Educator Mike Overly as he presents essential Guitar Finger Picking tips, techniques, insights and more in this classic Vintage Video. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RE3tXTQ-Hts&gt;

To discover more about Mike and 12 Tone Music Publishing, LLC, please visit: <www.12tonemusic.com>.

And don’t forget to join the official Mike Overly 12 Tone Mailing List… and please forward this link to a friend! <http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/manage/optin/ea?v=0014rpMSLN9P_2wKyCazQWpig%3D%3D&gt;


Homeschool Guitar – by Mike Overly

December 23, 2014

Guitar KidMost home school parents I have met all seem to share this same basic concern: Can I really teach my child guitar if I myself don’t know how to play?

The joyous answer is, yes! But only if your teaching method is as simple and logical as a connect-the-dots picture. By using a music method for guitar that is clear and simple, your child will stay engaged long enough to experience the rewards of a successful guitar education. By learning in this connect and continue way, your child will know exactly what’s coming next and therefore will never get confused, frustrated, or even worse, want to stop and quit! In addition to the simple joys of playing guitar, there are many other wonderful benefits your child will gain by learning to play guitar, such as self-discipline, greater self-esteem and a higher IQ. So, I think it’s safe to say that learning music and guitar would be a good idea for you and your family. Now, let’s look at a few other common questions you may have about beginning a guitar curriculum in your home.

What Is A Good Age To Begin Learning the Guitar?

Although there is no one correct answer to this question, I have found that by the age of six, children have developed enough cognitive skills to learn guitar. For example, they know the alphabet, can count numbers up to 12 and higher, and most importantly, when properly engaged, can exercise the self control needed to sit with attention and awareness during a half-hour lesson. Also, by age 6 they are big enough to comfortably hold the guitar and have developed the finger strength necessary to press down a guitar string.It’s important to remember that at this age, when it comes to getting your child to play the guitar, the enthusiasm needed must come from them, not you. That’s why it is best to begin guitar instruction when your child asks to play, not later when their interest may not be as strong, or when you have determined that they should. Said a different way, never force your child to learn guitar if they don’t want to. But if they want to, and if you can afford it, you will want your child to learn correctly from the beginning, so it’s very important to find a guitar instructor who is effective with children. Quality instruction at this age is essential because some children tend to have short attention spans and are often easily distracted. These conditions can be correctively addressed by a qualified guitar teacher who is experienced with children. They will know how to apply just the right amount of fun and seriousness so that your child finds the lessons enjoyable and exciting and will want to continue to learn music and guitar.

Should I Encourage My Child To Play The Guitar?

Of course you should! If your child comes to you and tells you that she or he is interested in playing the guitar, then by all means, you should definitely encourage your child to do so. It’s equally important not to force them to play an instrument they don’t want to play. For example, if they want to learn the guitar, don’t make them play the piano. You may be surprised to learn that many parents can be pushy in forcing their child to play a particular instrument because it’s the one that they played, or they feel it to be a superior instrument. Let your child choose the instrument they are interested in, even if it’s the glockenspiel!

No matter what the instrument, learning to play music will help your child in many other areas of their life as well, for example, they will be able to concentrate and stay focused for longer periods of time. Learning music also enhances your child’s listening skills and teaches them that the art of continual practice leads to betterment. Lots of children want to learn to play guitar and that’s understandable because many of today’s music artists play the guitar. For many, this is what makes guitar “cool” and therefore, learning to play guitar is seen as more preferable to playing a band or orchestral instrument such as a trumpet or violin. So, it becomes important to remind your child that even with quality guitar instruction playing guitar will still be a technical challenge. It will take time to develop strong and flexible hands in order to press the strings tightly and strum the strings properly. But if your child is willing to devote the time to practice, good technique will come. To keep them dedicated to improving their technique and evolving the dexterity necessary to become proficient at playing guitar, be sure to support and encourage them often. Keep in mind that a quality instrument, a clear and in order music method, and a qualified teacher is the key to making the difference between your child quitting and succeeding.

How Long Should My Child Take Guitar Lessons?

The simple answer is: a lifetime! We never outgrow our need for the next musical thought or technical idea. However, with this said, the answer to this question depends on what level your child wants to take their guitar playing. Playing levels vary from being a hobby to developing mastery. Time will unfold a dedicated player from an amateur to a professional, or said more traditionally, from a beginner to an advanced musician. It’s important to remember that learning to play guitar is different from learning to ride a bicycle. With a bicycle, you only need to practice riding until you discover balance and no longer fall off your bike. When you reach that moment, you no longer need to practice. However, when learning to play the guitar, you will soon get to a stage where you can play a few simple melodies and harmonies, and if you’re happy with that, you could stop practicing at that point. But, if you would like to play more popular and complex music, you can’t stop there, you must continue to practice so that you get better and faster.

In addition to being able to play many songs, with more practice you will be able to develop advanced technical skills that will have your playing sounding much more professional. And don’t forget, if you really want to become an expert at playing music on guitar, you will need to practice even more. However, over time you will discover that the better you get, the more you will want to play, and the more you play the more you enjoy playing, to the point that playing guitar becomes a passion. Then, you won’t be asking yourself how much longer do you have to keep practicing because playing will be the only thing you’ll want to do!

How Do I Recognize A Quality Music Method for Guitar?

If you’re interested in learning to play guitar but cannot afford a qualified private music teacher to show you the way, you might have gone online to look for guitar instruction. You probably ended up being overwhelmed and confused with so many methods claiming to teach you how to play the guitar in a certain number of days, if not hours or minutes! Now, you’ve heard this before, if something sounds too good to be true, then chances are, it’s not true. Just because the method is published by a big company, is backed by lots of bells and whistles, has a flashy website with all the latest technology, comes with a 60 day money back guarantee and has more fake testimonials than you have time to read, doesn’t mean that the content is complete, connected in-order, or will lead to success.

The following is the scenario of a typical beginning guitar student and supportive parent:

1. Goes to the music store and buys a guitar and a traditional beginner’s guitar method book. If you study the options, you’ll discover that it doesn’t matter what brand of method book you buy because they are all the same! But don’t believe me, visit the music store and look through the top-selling guitar methods and you will see for yourself that they all present the same lesson plan. This isn’t because they succeed, in fact they don’t, it’s because the authors and publishers are vested in making sales rather than investing the time and money necessary to develop a music method for guitar that really does succeed.

2. Takes the guitar and the method book home and quickly becomes overwhelmed and confused. This common experience is the result of incomplete and out-of-order instruction. At this point, many beginners decide that learning guitar is too difficult for them and they quit, or, they blame themselves for not understanding or, they blame the author and go back to the music store to buy a different beginner book.

3. But nothing has changed, the same confusion and frustration is experienced and again they decided that guitar is too hard for them, they blame themselves and the author and quit or, in rare cases, decides to try it one last time. But once again, the result is the same and finally the guitar is pushed under the bed and forgotten.

I’ve witnessed many promising beginners go through this cycle and then give up and choose to do something that they know they can do, but it’s usually something which has no real benefit or lasting value… like video games!

Don’t let this happen to your child. Get them a quality instrument, a complete and in-order music method for guitar, for example: the Tone Note® Music Method for Guitar Book 1, a qualified teacher and encourage them to experience the joys of learning music and playing guitar in a revolutionary new and successful way.

’til next time, have some fun learning guitar at home… I’ll be listening!

Seven Ideas For One Sound – by Mike Overly

December 16, 2014

Do Re MiLet’s state the case simply, symbolic music is complex. By symbolic music, I mean the written symbols and signs of music and guitar that are needed to produce one sound. This lesson will present seven ideas needed to play a melody. Harmony uses additional symbols and signs and will be presented later in a different lesson. So, stay tuned.

Symbolic music on guitar is complicated because it takes seven ideas to make one sound: 1. key letter, 2. time signature, 3. tempo, 4. dynamic, 5. tone number, 6. note or rest, and 7. strum. Before we go any further, let’s ask a simple question: What is the difference between a thought and an idea? For many, this question may seem a bit esoteric, but really it isn’t. Think of it this way. A thought is an energy that moves in time through the space of the mind to find an idea to bring back to the thinker. Here’s an example. Consider this question as a thought: How much is 1 + 1? Now, consider the answer as an idea: more than 1. Easy enough, the thought question found the answer idea and brought it back to the thinker. Let’s continue. I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t answer the question the way you were probably expecting me too. This is because all that is needed to answer the question, how much is 1 + 1, is the concept of “oneness.” In other words, 1 + 1 is more than 1. Or, said a different way, how much more than one is 1 + 1? The answer is again 1. The point is, we don’t need to learn or know anything new to answer the question… 1 is all we need!This “1 + 1 is more than 1” example is analogous to Russian Nesting Dolls. By that I mean, after we know that 1 + 1 is 1 more than 1, we can “nest” the concept of “one more than one” into a new word… two. In other words, after all that thinking about 1 + 1, we can now simply say the number 2!I can hear you asking, “What does all this have to do with playing music on the guitar?” Well, here’s what. Consider this thought question: How do I make one sound on the guitar? And it’s idea answer: “nest” seven ideas. Let’s say it again, symbolic music is complex because it takes seven ideas just to play one sound! To help organize these seven ideas, we’ll divide them into two groups.

In the first group, before you play, there are three ideas needed: key letter, time signature and tempo. In the second group, as you play, there are four ideas needed: dynamic, tone number, note or rest, and strum. Let’s look at each of these seven ideas one at a time.

The first idea is key. Key is simply the letter of tone 1, and is symbolized by a letter in a circle. Let’s compare this with the “key-signature” of traditional staff-notation.

Traditional staff-notation uses a 5 line staff, a clef and a key signature which limits you to playing a song in only one key! In contrast, the revolutionary Tone Note® Music Method does not utilize a staff, a clef or a key signature. By eliminating these elements, you can play any song in any key! This is impossible with traditional staff-notation. Here’s why. The key signature represents the unseen letters of the staff, and when you change the key signature, all the unseen staff-note letters change. This is not the case with the Tone Note® Music Method, because when you change the key, all the tone numbers remain the same, and only the letter of tone 1 changes. Let’s proceed.

After the key letter is known, the second idea is the time signature. The Tone Note® Music Method uses the same stacked meter and value time-signature as traditional staff-notation.

The third idea is tempo, the rate of speed of the steady beat. The Tone Note® Music Method uses the same beats-per-minute sign as traditional staff-notation.

Now, let’s review the three ideas needed before you play “nested” into one thought: key, time signature and tempo.

Next, let’s present the four ideas that are needed as you play. The first idea is the dynamic sign, which tells you how quiet or loud to play a sound. The Tone Note® Music Method uses the same dynamic signs as traditional staff-notation, for example: piano (quiet), forte (loud), mezzo-piano (medium quiet), and mezzo-forte (medium loud). It’s interesting to note that traditional staff-notation does not use mezzo (medium) by itself, but only as a qualifier to piano and forte. I find that curious.

And here’s something strange. Traditional staff-notation defines the dynamic sign piano as soft, and forte as loud. This doesn’t make any sense. Here’s why. Ask your child this question: What is the opposite of loud? I’m sure they said quiet and not soft. So, how did traditional staff-notation get the dynamics of acoustics wrong? In other words, why does traditional staff-notation teach loud and soft, but never quiet and hard? The simple answer is, they confused force with dynamic. It helps to think of it this way. While it’s true that on an acoustic instrument a hard force is necessary to produce a loud sound, and a soft force is needed to produce a quiet sound, force and dynamics are not the same and should not be used interchangeably.

Okay, now that we know that dynamics is quiet and loud, the second idea is pitch as tone number. In traditional staff-notation a tone number is called a scale-degree. Simply stated, tone 1 is the key letter and is the first sound of any scale.

The third idea is rhythm, and it has two components: the note of sound, and the rest of silence. The Tone Note® Music Method uses the same notes and rests as traditional staff-notation, for example: quarter, half, dotted-half, and whole. The fourth idea is not a music idea, but rather a guitar idea: strum. Four strums are needed to play guitar efficiently: two strokes: down and up, and two ghosts: down and up. A stroke is a strum which produces a sound and a ghost is a strum that produces no sound. Now, let’s review the four ideas needed as you play into one thought: dynamic, tone number, note or rest and strum.Okay, let’s end this lesson by “nesting” the seven ideas needed to play one sound into one recapitulated thought: 1. key, 2. time signature, 3. tempo,4. dynamic, 5. tone number, 6. note or rest, and 7. strum.

’til next time, have some thought and idea fun… I’ll be listening!

image © 2014 SkinnyCorp LLC

12 Bar Blues Part 2 – by Mike Overly

November 27, 2014

Mike Overly GuitarFollow GRAMMY®-Nominated Music Educator Mike Overly as he presents more essential 12 Bar Blues knowledge, such as: riffs and licks, scales for soloing, turnarounds, expressive left-hand techniques, blues reharmonization and more in this classic Vintage Video. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PcRQmQJz6U&gt;

To discover more about Mike and 12 Tone Music Publishing, LLC, please visit: <www.12tonemusic.com>


Open is the Exception to the Rule – by Mike Overly

November 6, 2014

Bass NutIf we were to learn any subject, and we began with an exception to the rule – without even knowing there was a rule – do you think that we would learn that subject very well? Of course not! So, let’s begin this lesson by stating a simple rule: all sounds on your bass may be played by using a left-hand finger, even if that sound is at the nut. For example, on string four, the letter E is at the nut, which may be played by using a finger, that’s the rule. Let’s think about this.

If you were asked to play fret seven of string four, you would use a finger without even being told to. In other words, you realize that you can not make a fretted sound without using a finger. That’s a given, or in Latin, a priori, which means: existing in the mind before it is actually experienced in the real world. Here’s another way to think about the rule: to play a fret is to use a finger, even when that fret is the nut!
Here’s the important part. When you play a sound at the nut and use a finger, you call the nut: fret zero. Said another way, when you think fret, you think finger. This fret and finger association is the rule. However, you may play the sound at the nut by not using a left-hand finger. In this case, you would call the nut: open. Open is the exception to the rule!

Ask any six year old what is this symbol: O. The answer will probably be: a circle! Remember, a symbol is something that represents something else and when a circle symbolizes a number it is called zero and when the circle is a symbol for a letter it is O, as in Open. Let’s read this telephone number: 555-1230. Did you read five-five-five-one-two-three and the number zero, or did you read: five-five-five-one-two-three and the letter O? Most read the letter O. Now why is that? One of my students said, O represents Operator on the telephone key pad. Good answer. However, notice that zero ends with the letter O, and many, instead of saying the whole word zero, have shortened it to just the letter O. This is interesting, calling a number a letter, because it also happens with TAB.

We have previously learned the simple definition of TAB: four horizontal lines symbolizing four strings, with fret numbers on those lines to indicate which fret on that string is to be to fingered and played. Let’s read the following TAB.

Bass TABDid you read the fret numbers: one-two-two and the number zero or did you read: one-two- two and the letter O, as in Open! As Dr. Seuss might have said it: say what you mean and mean what you say. Now, let’s explore the sound at the nut.

When a sound is at the nut, and only at the nut, you may play this sound in two different ways. 1) by thinking of the nut as fret zero and applying the rule by using a left-hand a finger, or, 2) thinking of the nut as Open and applying the exception to the rule by not using a finger.

Bass NutNow, here’s a trick question: How many frets are there on a 24 fret guitar? Sounds easy, but surprisingly, there are 25, 24 frets plus 1 fret zero! Here’s another way to think about it. There are 100 sounds on a 24 fret bass. Here’s the math: 4 strings X 24 frets + 4 sounds at fret zero, the nut = 100 sounds. Said another way, 4 strings X 25 frets = 100 sounds. What do you think about that – there are 25 frets on a 24 fret guitar!

Now, let’s illustrate the rule with a movable major chord. Notice that the movable form “circle four-one” major chord can play all 21 letter name major chords!

FormAnd the exception to the rule. Notice that the non-movable Open major chord can only play one major chord – E major!

OpenLet’s end this lesson by applying these two major chord fingerings, fret zero and Open, to Johnny Smith’s: Walk, Don’t Run, made famous by The Ventures, in 1960.

Song ProgressionAs we can see, the rule is faster because it’s more efficient because all the chords have the same fingering. In contrast, the exception to the rule, Open, is less efficient and slower because you  change your left-hand  fingering to play Open. But remember, one fingering is not better than the other, they’re just different, and both have their unique benefits. Viva la Difference!

’til next time, have some fun at the Nut, no matter how you play it…I’ll be listening!

www.12tonemusic.com


Hand Positions for Guitar – Vintage Video Lesson with Mike Overly

October 9, 2014

Mike Overly GuitarHand Position is one of the most important and least understood aspects of playing guitar.

In this vintage video, presented by GRAMMY®-Nominated Music Educator Mike Overly and recorded in 1996, you will gain valuable insight into important right and left-hand techniques that will enable you to play guitar with much greater comfort and efficiency.

Click here to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvtJqmymE_U

Be sure to join Mike at www.12tonemusic.com to explore and expand your knowledge of guitar through a variety of information including: reviews and interviews, tips and tricks, and free lessons of remarkable originality.

Copyright ©2014, 12 Tone Music Publishing LLC, All Rights Reserved.


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