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In previous lessons, we've learned about the names of musical notes and the intervals between them. In this lesson, we begin to apply what we've learned in order to understand scales. This will be the first of very, very few lessons which will ask you to memorize a definition, the definition of a major scale. What Is A Scale? In music theory, a scale is a series of musical notes that follow some pattern. When we learned all the twelve notes of Western music, we were learning a scale; the twelve notes make a series that is called the chromatic scale. The chromatic scale contains "all …continue reading
In the previous lesson, we learned that the natural notes have names corresponding to the first seven letters of the alphabet. We saw where to find them on a few musical instruments. We learned that the notes are not all located the same distance apart. For example, on the mandolin fretboard below you can see that the B and C notes, and the E and F notes are closer together than the other notes. The distances between musical notes are called intervals. Intervals between notes are all important in understanding music. You may not know this, but when you played the natural notes in order, …continue reading
The Basics If you've never picked up a mandolin and are a new beginner, you'll want to get a good start by holding the instrument correctly and learning to master the basics. I have compiled a list of free lessons below to get you started, and I encourage you to take plenty of time to work through each set of lessons at your own speed. Some are repetitive, either repeating or overlapping some material, but it is good to fully assimilate every one of these lessons to help you build a solid foundation when you begin playing. 1. Eight "Mandolin Basics" videos by Pete Martin: …continue reading
One of today's top mandolinists, Sam Bush was a teenage Kentuckian in 1969 when his mentor and music teacher, Wayne Stewart, suggested that they form a bluegrass group with banjoist Alan Munde and call the group Poor Richard's Almanac. In the words of Oklahoman Alan Munde: Wayne Stewart had this idea for a group with this kid he knew in Kentucky named Sam Bush, who was probably 15. So I moved to Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and we formed Poor Richard's Almanac. Not long after, I got my draft notice, but before I left, Sam, Wayne and I made this tape, later released by Ridge Runner …continue reading
From that day I had a short lesson with Madame Gaillard every Thursday at three. We began with a slim book bearing the title Les 7 Notes, and learning the names of the various notes was as arcane, and as deeply satisfying, as deciphering a runic system might be for an archaeologist. ~ Thad Carhart, The Piano Shop On The Left Bank What is a musical note, and why are the notes named as they are? First, we have to consider sound - but we won't get bogged down in technical details here. If you want to know more about the technicalities of sound, you can search the internet for more information. …continue reading
Do you want to know more about music? Are you learning to play a musical instrument and having a bit of trouble understanding music terminology? Need a grasp of the concepts? You may find these articles helpful. In this series of articles, I plan to begin with the simplest concepts and build slowly toward a fuller understanding of music theory. At each step, the concepts will be related visually to the piano keyboard, the guitar fretboard, and the mandolin fretboard. As we progress, we'll also relate the concepts to written music: Standard notation, tablature and the …continue reading
Bo Carter was born Armenter Chatmon on a plantation outside of Bolton, Mississippi, in 1893, into a house full of stringed instruments. His mother played the guitar. His father played the fiddle. Bo and his siblings (nine brothers) were naturally musical, and sveral became professional musicians. Early on, the boys began performing together at barn dances and parties. Later, several of the Chatmon brothers and Bo joined up with Walter Vinson. Each was proficient on several musical instruments, and they formed a string band known as The Mississippi Sheiks. Bo's first known recording session …continue reading
"Blind Willie McTell" (May 5, 1898 – August 19, 1959) was a bluesman who was born and worked primarily in the state of Georgia. His birth name was William Samuel McTier, and he was reportedly born blind in one eye with some small ability to perceive light in the second eye. He could literally have described himself as "blind in one eye and can't see out of the other". The young man lost the last vestige of sight by puberty, but like several other blind youth through the ages he found a means of productivity in the field of music. Willie attended schools for the blind …continue reading
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