RGS Podcast 6 – Facts and Myths About Learning Music with Nate Richards and Colin Ainsworth
Episode #6: Facts and Myths about Learning Music with Nate Richards and Colin Ainsworth. Recorded at Nate’s place old-school pass-the-mic style. 0:00 – Disclaimer on who is the target audience is for this episode (every age group and everyone who isn’t a once-in-a-generation genius, and doesn’t have synesthesia), matching goals and expectations, the deference between knowledge and skill, and introduction to the episode’s topics – choosing an instrument, technique, music reading, playing by ear, and learning songs 5:47 – Colin’s background on choosing an instrument when growing up in a major music region 8:59 – Nate breaks down the pros and cons of classical, steel string acoustic or guitar for students starting out 15:07 – Colin introduces the technique topic (and attributes the “right way, wrong way, Yngwie” phrase to Ben Eller, who was one in a long line of people to use it), Nate gives examples of why everyone needs to develop a clean technique regardless of musical style, and Colin compares the RGS Rock Mastery Program with the Philadelphia guitar style of Dennis Sandole 25:50 – The need to tailor technique to students based on their hand size and shape, and a brief comment on avoiding the dreaded problem of pulling barre chords out of tune 29:30 – Nate clarifies the question of music of music reading – it’s not if but when – and lists the benefits of learning to read for those who won’t need to use it regularly 33:50 – Nate transitions music reading into learning songs by ear – being able to hear patterns when figuring out songs by ear due to music reading experience, Colin compares the roots of “education” and “erudition” and how to it applies to approaching guitar, Nate talks about overcoming his own frustrations of returning to reading music in high school 42:49 – Colin and Nate discuss what you see on a page and what you hear and use Randy Rhoads as an example 45:40 – Nate breaks down the pitfalls of playing solely by ear, including the “mysterious extra half of a beat” in the bridge of “Stairway to Heaven,” Colin extols the virtues of figuring out simple pop tunes to build your ear and Nate talks about predictability of current pop country songs 54:13 – Nate compares learning songs note-for-note versus coming up with a new arrangement, how learning a song note-for-note is like taking a master class from the guitar player on the record 1:01:30 – Colin talks about how the memory builds on itself and taking skills away from music by playing as much material as possible, and how you always think your band’s arrangement of a song is better than the original – whether out of familiarity or ego, and the dangers of picking up bad habits from your favorite guitar players
We’re excited to announce the RGS Podcast relaunch! Subscribe to Richards Guitar Studio on iTunes, Podomatic, CastBox, or wherever you listen! Below is a time-stamped breakdown of what we cover in Episode 3: Discussion with Nate Richards and Colin Ainsworth.
On Episode 3 of the Richards Guitar Studio podcast, the show is back after a 4-year hiatus as owner Nate Richards and guitar instructor Colin Ainsworth discuss the history of the studio and touch on other topics that the series will dive into in upcoming episodes:
1:20 Nate outlines freelance teaching to build up students, finding the RGS’ location in the middle of the 2008 market crash, and interviewing teachers in Borders Books
11:10 Nate talks about his teachers while learning to play and band experiences in high school
19:15 Playing in bands in the ‘90s meant hand-building stages and dealing with the perils of minimum tape/CD orders from recording studios and recording scooped-mids guitar sounds
27:26 Nate and Colin discuss the benefits of buying physical media at record stores and the work that went into taping copies of albums
39:12 Thank your parents for the investment they make in your future; remember to “respect the business” when it comes to music, that joy in music comes from hard work, and that no music is above or below you
47:24 The importance of learning how to read music and basic theory/composition to learn rock music efficiently, the skillsets students tend to miss if they only learn by ear
57:55 How the studio’s music curriculum and business model have developed and finding the “junction of art and commerce,” the importance of keeping all students “speaking the same language” to make band rehearsals smooth
The Contortionist Guitarist Cameron Maynard at RGS!
We are proud and excited to announce The Contortionist guitarist Cameron Maynard will teach a guitar clinic at Richards Guitar Studio in Aston on Saturday, October 8 from 12-2pm. Cameron is a world-touring guitar master and will demonstrate techniques and guitar approaches in progressive music.
We strive to offer the best classes, clinics, lessons, and opportunities for our students, whether music theory, guitar, bass, drums, piano, or voice. Richards Guitar Studio teacher Pete Napper was able to communicate with, and arrange for Cameron Maynard to come to RGS prior to their show October 8 in Philadelphia. Thanks Pete!
In this lesson, I’ll teach you how to play Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty – rhythm guitar parts. I’ve made a combination of lead and rhythm guitar parts so you can play smoothly through the recording and get the most out of your performance, which is also a great way to make a song happen if you are the sole guitarist in a band.
Tom Petty actually does some pretty impressive soloing at the end of this song – he totally shreds a few E minor pentatonic licks. He really is an underrated guitar player, and an amazing songwriter.
To play this song on guitar effectively, you’ll need to follow these tips:
Follow the picking – as always. In the main riff, the upstrokes play the open E string and the downstrokes play the fretted notes. This way, you feel the beat where it should be, keep time with the band, and make nice heavy accents on the downbeats. The scale is a descending E Blues scale, and is a straight-forward rock guitar riff.
The chorus catches you off guard. When you reach the chorus (Section C), you might get caught off guard. The verse (Section B) really doesn’t have much movement, and is comprised of mostly tied whole notes. So, the chord changes in the chorus really feel fast. Practice this section the most. You might even want to start there during your practice session so you get the feeling and are prepared mentally and physically for when that section arrives.
watch out for the transitions into the interlude (Section D) and Outro (Section E). You are going to need to jump off of the main riff and into the 3rd fret C5 chord mid-riff. So, you won’t actually complete the main riff – you’ll move into the interlude and outro 2 notes early. Use your ears on this one.
– Nate Richards, Owner Richards Guitar Studio and Richards Rock Academy