East Bay Guitarists, Guitar Students & The Art of Music Notation & Composition
This post is like my Line 6 floor pedal (mentioned later) – crammed with features (things on my mind!).
A quick shout out to a student – John Hill, who is a now a great blues musician. He plays at many churches in California: Oakland, Modesto, Antioch, Pittsburg, Fairfield, Vacaville and Sacramento.
Guitarists in bands like the Allman Brothers or the Gypsy Kings play in different notes – intervals of usually thirds or sixths or 5th’s or even octaves. For example in the key of C major if one guitarist is playing a C, another can play a 3rd up counting C as the tonic or the root note. That would be E. It adds rich tonal color to the music.
At Berklee College of Music, I performed as a guitar and music arranger major 3 days a week with 20 piece guitar ensemble. Chair 1 and 2 were the most difficult charts with lots of syncopated notes and then chairs 10 – 20 were just simple half notes and quarter notes and chord charts.
We performed songs by Chicago and big band jazz charts. We performed with a 5-piece sax section, a 5-piece trombone section and a 5-piece brass section where each part played different notes as harmony. What a great sound. This is part of the inspiration behind forming the RGS Rock Ensemble.
Every month my guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin and uke student rehearse with celebrity friends from the Greater San Francisco Bay Area including East Bay communities like Oakland, San Ramon, Dublin, Danville, Walnut Creek and Concord to jam ina big theater venue.
I score out three guitar charts, one for rhythm and beginner and one for intermediate lead guitar and one for advanced guitar along with music charts for drum, keyboards, bass guitar , percussion and saxophones. If you want to get into writing music for all instruments (over 650), then check out “The Art Of Music Copying “ and “ Music Arranging “ by Don Sebesky (if you can find a copy!)
Below is the rock ensemble performing Hip To Be Square, a great Huewy Lewis and the News classic rock pop number which hit #1 on Billboard Magazine.
It features guitar solos by me and Adam Gabriel. Guitar students played the melody. The original soundtrack had no horns so I came up with horns using power music arranging and composing software known as Sibellius. It allows you to type in a complete score and then have it played by other instruments. You need to be able to read music and know some music theory to use a program like this.
Our rendition of Hip to Be Square (at the end of this post) features Orestes Vilato, ranked in the top ten percussionists in the world for Latin Music. Listen to all the polyrhythms he does and how he uses stick dynamics. At the end of song Adam Gabriel does some great blues lead fills. I’m doing all the screaming rock fills using a Line 6 Spider Amp and Paul Reed Smith Guitar with whammy bar and Line 6 pro floor pedal with Volume Pedal as well as built in Wah Wah Pedal – ya gotta love all the add-ons!
Hip to Be Square performed by RGS Rock Ensemble