Jose Feliciano lived for a time in Detroit where he met his current wife Susan Omillian. He also studied classical guitar at the Joe Fava Studio with Jack Moncreif memorizing further into each piece at his lessons with Jack’s help. I had heard thru the musical grapevine that he had also performed at Cobb’s Corner in Detroit’s historic Cass Corridor.
Robert Abate plays “LISTEN TO THE FALLING RAIN”
Robert Abate highlights his blues guitar skills and vocals playing the Jimmy Reed tune “Mary”. Reed’s wife, Mary Lee “Mama” Reed, whom he had married in 1945, was usually present during his recording sessions. She wrote several of his songs and would whisper the words into Reed’s ear just before he sang.
Please give my latest work a listen, it’s a little over 8 minutes long, and like and post it. I’m getting the word out that I do this type of thing. Thank you.
Recently I was approached by Michigan poet Robb Astor to provide a musical background for his written in Tanzania poem “Green”, here’s what we came up with:
green, how green
leaves of banana trees
where crowned cranes danced
fields how yellow
dabs of yellow dappled fields
of african daisies
fireflies green with light
shone stars i did not know
had never seen
how we lay those nights
beneath the stars
show me you said
the southern cross
lost in interstices
of sky above the alleys
a green dress
satin shining in the shop window
your eyes in the glass
beneath old electric speakers
wired in the heights of marinets
the fullness of your hair eclipsing
clouds of magellan
how you danced
in midnight streets humming
that sappy bollywood music
the silhouette of you
beneath the screen and me
but oh how far from green i’ve wandered
how cloudy my vision
all things colored
even the black mold
clinging to white stone
ruins where i used to sit
in forlorn grasses
drawing doorways in time-worn walls
This is a tune I wrote, arranged and recorded in 1998, with a lot of help from friends. Hope you like it.
This concept is very useful to guitarists regardless of any particular style or genre of music being played. My explanation will be as simple as possible to include as many players as possible and their varied levels of music theory knowledge. Yes, it is helpful to understand music theory when playing the guitar.
First it is important to understand that any chord that is played is in a certain key that is based on a certain scale and the chord is in a certain position in that key. The most common scale used in Western Music is the Major scale. The example that is going to be shown will the use an Am7 chord in the key of G Major. The Am7 chord is based on the 2nd note in the G Major scale and the G Major scale uses all natural notes except for an F#. The natural harmony of the G Major scale is: Gmaj7, Am7, Bm7, Cmaj7, D7, Em7, F#dim7, Gmaj7. For you theory beginners an Am7 chord is not always in the key of G, which is another discussion.
What we are going to do is to follow the notes of a G Major scale up the 1st string on the guitar placing inversions of an Am7 chord underneath the melody note using all of the notes in the key in the melody including the notes not found in an Am7 chord. Using this concept on the chords of the tune you are playing with the proper melody note will enable you to play melodies with chords on the guitar.
It is best to use 3 or 4 note chords when doing this and obviously you can use the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings for your melody note.
These kind of musical devices can be daunting for a person who hasn’t done them before, don’t let the difficulty scare you off. If you need to find a good teacher who knows his stuff who can take the time with you to explain what you don’t understand. Begin working. You can do it.
The love of music is a wonderful thing: organic, natural and ancient. Not only has it been an area of human focus for as long as there have been humans, it abounds and springs to life in nature. Sound waves follow patterns inherent in the creation of the universe and can lead us to emotional conclusions that we need to be shown if we can open ourselves up to it. It is there for you if you are willing to listen and will help fill that hole in your soul.
The Leader is my shepherd, I shall not starve
He maketh me sit down in powder blue tuxedos
He leadeth me beside shrill vocalists
He restoreth my wallet
He leadeth me in dance halls of gratuitousness
For his names sake
Yea, though I walk through the kitchen or the back hallway
I will fear no evil
For thou art paying me
Thy baton and thy charts they showcase me
Thou preparest a chair for me in the presence of mine audience
Thou countest off my chart with vigor
My beer spilleth over
Surely Goodman and Miller shall follow me all the days of my life
And I shall dwell in the house of Band forever
Blessed are the poor in cash, for theirs is the wedding gig
Blessed are those who blow changes, for they shall be soloists
Blessed are the sight readers, for they shall inherit the section parts
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for dinner on the break, for they shall be satisfied
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall never play an accordion
Blessed are the pure in tempo, for they shall be drummers
Blessed are the bass players, for they shall be bored
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of playing “In The Mood” one more time, for theirs is the kingdom of Mortgage payments
Blessed are you when men revile and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my bandstand
Rejoice and be glad for your reward is great at the end of the night
For also did men persecute the trombonists who were before you.
The most powerful and most used progression in music is dropping a 5th in the root. Anyone has merely to play a Dominant chord of a key followed by the 1st chord or Tonic of that key to understand why the monks of Europe in the Dark Ages named the 5th chord of a key Dominant. It is an inherent rule of music that the Dominant chord leads to the Tonic. Anyone can hear the settling of the tone center when this particular chord change is played.
For this particular example of chord substitution I’m going to use an E7 going to an A7 resolving to a Dmaj7. The A7 chord in this progression is going to be substituted by an Eb7 chord which is the same chord type an augmented 4th away in the root. You can hear in the example that this is a pleasing similar sound. I don’t know why this works but it does. It also happens that the 3rd’s and 7th’s of the A7 and the Eb7 are the same notes reversed in position, making the different chords quite alike. What you can realized out of this harmonic device is a chromatically descending chord progression that is different from the cycle of 5th’s with the same amount of solidity and power. When using this device you must adjust the chords to reflect the notes of the melody that are happening when the chord substitution is being played.
Chemical Reaction, I’m feeling kind of hot
Chemical Reaction, You know I just can’t stop
‘Cuz you’re looking kind of sexy
And whatever comes I will
Chemical Reaction, I just can’t get my fill
When I see you walking down the street
I see you talking to the people that you meet
I want to tell you that I love you
But I can’t get up the nerve
The nerve, the nerve, the nerve
To say it’s so