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RGS Podcast 7 – Hemispheres

RGS Podcast 6 – Hemispheres from Richards Rock Academy

Episode 7 of the Richards Guitar Studio Podcast (Note – Hemispheres found a bass player! Soon after recording this podcast coincidentally) 0:00 – Introduction and band members’ history in Richards Rock Academy 3:29 – Building a set list that appeals to audiences and to band members 5:27 – Band parents and history of influences, the joy of childhood piano lessons, getting to play with Kenn Kweder, learning an appreciation of alternative rock through playing xylophone at school, gaining an appreciate of Rush through RRA alumnus Emilio Biggs, and reconciling folk guitar lessons as a kid with your father is Disturbed and Godsmack, and finding the dual guitars of Night Ranger 14:02 – Discovering music in earnest from your older cousin – particularly the Killers, takeaways from your early music lessons, the importance of reading music and learning to play different instruments growing up when it comes to playing in a rock band 22:20 – Taking on Rush songs, informing your guitar playing from listening to Neil Peart, and how the drums are the train track, how you may “get lost on the Rush train,” what it’s like losing the “bass wizard,” and a passing mention of Colin’s ancestors coming from the same hometown of Sabbath and Priest 29:12 – Keeping the band going amongst graduation forcing lineup changes, and looking to the future of RRA members stepping up and coming in, being in a band forcing you to play, the virtue of the “triple ax attack,” and the challenge of asking 13-year-olds to learn prog rock tunes to join the band 34:52 – Future of the band, and R.I.P. to 103.9 WDRE, Philadelphia’s Cutting Edge of Modern Rock

RGS Podcast 6 – Facts and Myths About Learning Music

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

RGS Podcast Episode 5 – Hornets in the Greenhouse

RGS Podcast Episode 5 – Hornets in the Greenhouse: Richards Rock Academy Adult Band

Watch a clip of Hornets in the Greenhouse playing Neil Young Rockin’ in the Free World!!!

Episode #5: RRA Adult Band – Hornets in the Greenhouse. Guitar/Vocals Nate Ferro and Drums/Vocals Chris John (also an RGS/RRA parent of 2 amazing young musicians) join Colin Ainsworth to talk music. 3:03 – Introductions from Chris John and Nate Ferro, their paths from childhood housecall piano lessons and elementary school bands to RGS 6:15 – Hornets in the Greenhouse lineups and the best venues they’ve played at, bars changing names more than the band, and how to arrive at a set list 9:21 – Influences for Nate and Chris, the need for RGS to issue an official position on Dave vs. Sammy for Van Halen (no, Gary Cherone is not an option); the downfall of diverse sounds in Top 40 radio; and no love for disco or Barry Manilow 18:30 – Not letting rock become a dead language, feeling emotion from performers, how no true rock band “sounds better in the studio,” and Hornets in the Greenhouse doing their part to helping rock continue – though not inspiring Greta Van Fleet, and private lessons holding you accountable and showing that in the band 28:11 – RRA bands pushing themselves, playing music bringing people down to earth, having a creative outlet away from work and other outlets at RGS, remembering to “respect the business” in music performance and education, and playing music becomes a weekly therapy session 36:14 – Bonus content starts with volume drop, returns at 37:20, the challenges of making a standalone Hulk movie, “it was a typical CBS drama with a giant green guy in it,” 10-year-olds watching Bette Davis movies and NASCAR and the end of attention spans, the inconsistency of the recent Batman franchise and the high quality of ‘60s Batman villains (Frank Gorshin appearance on “The Dean Martin Show” featuring the Riddler novelty song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-YX4d2s0xs )

Music Theory Lesson – What Makes a Song in a Mode

New YouTube Music Theory Lesson – What Makes a Song in a Mode

Nate Richards talks about what makes a song in a mode in this music theory lesson. 

So, what exactly is a mode? Let’s start with the Major Scale – which is the overarching parent scale in all Western music. To be brief, the Major scale has 7 notes that climb up the alphabet one letter at a time (a-b-c-d-e-f-g-a-b-c-d-e-f-g-a-etc), and we number them 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. The G Major scale is the key I used in the video, and the notes are G-A-B-C-D-E-F#, numbered G-1, A-2, B-3, etc.

A mode is a variation of the scale note order, and each variation comes with really fancy Greek name (these scales are very old, dating back well over 1000 years used in Gregorian Chant sung by monks – they thought the Greeks invented music so they gave all of the notes and scales Greek names). Take a look at the scale variations below and see that the idea is simply a circling around the same notes – the only difference is the starting note.

(BTW – modal theory goes way, way beyond this initial stage. But, this is a start at the general concept. Each mode eventually will become it’s own little world within the solar system of the Major Scale, with each mode having it’s own idiosyncrasies, chord progressions, emotions, colors, and applications).

I – G Ionian: G-A-B-C-D-E-F# (a.k.a. G Major. “Ionian” is just the Greek term referring to the Major Scale)

ii – A Dorian: A-B-C-D-E-F#-G

iii – B Phrygian: B-C-D-E-F#-G-A

IV – C Lydian: C-D-E-F#-G-A-B

V – D Mixolydian: D-E-F#-G-A-B-C

vi – E Aeolian: E-F#-G-A-B-C-D (a.k.a. E Natural Minor, or the “Relative” minor)

viio – F# Locrian: F#-G-A-B-C-D-E

This is just a start, and you are not expected to be an expert on modes at this point – that takes a long time of lessons, study, practice, and experience.

If you’ve made it this far, you might be confused and wondering what this all means. Here is a good follow-up video to this one to try applying the modes, and hopefully you will start to see how they work. Below that is yet another video from another angle:

 

Richards Rock Academy™ / Richards Guitar Studio rock band rehearsal recording – Pariadin original song, recorded April 20, 2017.

Recorded in our new rock band rehearsal room – the “Silent Band Room” – through the mixer. Check out this AWESOME song!

Pariadin art Rock band Rehearsal

Rock and rehearsal recording – Pariadin art done by drummer, Nate Quasha

Pariadin at World Cafe Live

Pariadin at World Cafe Live

 

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