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Musicians check in here. If you play, tell us about it!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by DaveP, Mar 20, 2011.

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  1. jerrydon10

    jerrydon10 Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    In music theory, if you can pick out the scale in the key you want: Do Re Me Fa So La Te Do, you can find any chord you want to make via putting together these 8 notes in different ways. First, we number the notes of the scale 1 through 8 (8 being the same note as 1, but an octive higher).

    If you then put together the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th, you have the major chord. If you flat the 3rd in that combination, you have the minor chord. If you add a 7th, you have a minor 7th, flat that 7th and you end up with a 7th, sharp the 5th and you get an augmented....and so on.

    Google probably has a chart somewhere that defines all the chords in this manner.
  2. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    That's why music theory is important. You will never remember all the inversions in a chord book, but you can remember how to assemble the component parts and how to make chords. Not long ago at band practice, the rhythm player asked me what a chord was. I looked at what he was playing, examined the notes, and told him it was a C7#9. He got this amazed look on his face and asked me how I knew that. A couple of practices later I held a seminar and taught them the Nashville Number system, scale theory, and chord construction.

    Numbers for scale notes (1st, 2nd,3rd ... 7th, etc)


    Chord relational numbers. i.e. C is the tonic or I(1) chord, F is the sub-dominant or IV(4) chord, the V(5) chord in the key of C is G (the dominant or turn around chord)

    I Tonic
    II Super tonic
    III Mediant
    IV sub- dominant
    V dominant
    VI submediate
    VII sub tonic or leading tone


    The Nashville number system
  3. tonyorion

    tonyorion Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 8, 2010
    I am a classically trained guitarist (private since I was 10) who has gradually moved into other areas of music as well (jazz, Celtic guitar). Did the Segovia Diatonic Scale studies until my fingers bled.

    Classical guitarists unless they have a formal education in music do not generally bother themselves with theory, but it is important, especially if one wants to improvise. I did not have a clue.

    Regardless of the style: classical, jazz, folk, blues, etc or the type of guitar: electric, steel string acoustic, or nylon classical (and other fretted instruments such as banjo and mandolin), there is more than one way to play a chord. One approach to learning the gazillion chord combinations is the CAGED system. The letters represent the major chords in the open position. More importantly, they have each have a shape for placing the fingers. For instance, you can change an A shape into an A# by barring the first position and moving the three other fingers up one fret. You can go all the way up the fretboard this way.

    Add or subtract a half or full step and you can generate another chord (for instance flatten the third to get a minor).

    There are plenty of excellant books on the subject. (from Desi Serna and Edwards). There is still a lot of memory, but reduces learning chords to something manageable.

    You also might want to google Rolly Brown. He teaches you how to play 1200 chords in a few minutes. It can be done and makes learning the guitar somewhat easier.
  4. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    I use the E A and C shapes often when I need a nearby chord. The G shape can be cumbersome unless you use it often. I use D shapes with a pedal tone (open string) quite a bit as well as the open Fmaj7 and 1st, 2nd, 3rd string A shapes (as used in the bridge on (gulp) Stairway to Heaven, the song you can't play in a music store since Wayne's World).

    I agree that there are worlds of use for all types of barre chords, partial shapes, inside chords, dyads and triads as you move up and down the neck. I make use of dyads constantly when I want walk two note harmonies in a song. It's also a good way to prevent clashes between two rhythm players in a song. One plays chords and the other uses dyads.

    The CAGED system is a good one.
  5. loden813

    loden813 Super Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 3, 2011
    tampa, fl
    Oh yea DaveP...g is such a sweet note. The drumming on that was as easy as playing that g! So glad someone remembered that!
  6. Mac

    Mac Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I am a musician. I started out as a rapper in a trip hop/experimental music group called "We Black Sheep" We Black Sheep | Free Music, Tour Dates, Photos, Videos I did that for almost 3 years. The members all lived in 3 different states but we still managed to have one live show. Sadly it was our one and only.

    I decided later that rap was becoming a bore and that since my lyrical content didn't focus on drugs, alcohol, materialism and gang violence, I had like zero chance of being taken seriously within the genre. (Doesn't speak well to the genre at all does it?)

    So I was still not terribly confident that I could actually sing. (I can a little but I have a very, very limited range.) I decided to start a death metal band. (I figured, how hard can it be to sound like cookie monster screaming in a garbage can anyway?) Since all the cool death metal-esque type names were taken I decided to call it "Mac and Brandon go to death land" Mac and brandon go to death land | Free Music, Tour Dates, Photos, Videos

    We recorded one song and never had a show. Really it was a non-event.

    Then I moved to Virginia Beach. I was still promoting the older stuff online every chance I could get. A local fan told me about a band that was looking for a vocalist and suggested I get in touch with them. I was apprehensive at first. Progressive metal requires actual talent and I wasn't sure I wouldn't be in over my head if I auditioned. I spent days listening to the songs posted on their myspace before contacting them. I managed to come up with some pretty good lyrics to go with 3 of their songs and I was digging their music quite a bit so I thought I might give it a try. I called them and when I gave them honest information about my background they were still interested in hearing what I could do. They told me to meet them at a local bar called the thirsty camel.

    When I arrived at the bar I had nothing to go on except their myspace pictures. 2 white guys in their 40's and a black guy about my age. So I walked into the bar and there are 3 guys who fit that description sitting at a table. They waved me over so I joined them. As soon as I sat down a waitress comes over and one of the guys says "you gotta try the steak here man. It's really good." So I ordered a steak. I am talking to these guys and it's weird. I ask: "so how long have you guys been making music." "Oh I don't make no music" One of them retorts. "I'm just an old welder." I was puzzled. I pressed on: "Well who's the drummer?" I asked. "Nah none of us play any instruments" another said. Then just as my steak was coming out, one of them leans over to me and says: "Sorry dude but you are gonna have to go get another table." I was floored! They had never even heard me sing. Did they not like the look of me? Was it the slayer shirt? What had gone wrong?

    I shrugged and went to a lonesome table eating my steak and trying to figure out how I had managed to piss these guys off bad enough for them to deny that they even were musicians. Then as I was finishing my meal 3 more people fitting the same description came in and immediately approached me. "Are you Mac?" One asked. "Hey come on and follow us, we'll show you our studio!" I was this close to never being in that band because of those wacky welders. (Who calls a random stranger over to their table anyway?) We hit it off and I have been the front man ever since. 3 years (and two bassists) later we are about to release a 5 song ep. The band is called Fatal Karma and you can hear some of our old practice session recording on the myspace Fatal Karma | Free Music, Tour Dates, Photos, Videos

    They still joke me about how I almost ended up as a member of the welders union instead of being a singer..
  7. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    Pretty good story, Mac. When I was 16 or 17 a local promoter signed us and booked us for college frat parties and such. That was back in the Wilson Picket/ James Brown era of the late 60s. He said we needed a black singer and some horns to play the gigs he was planning to book us in. So, he talked to a local singer he also booked and the singer set up an initial meeting at the Key Club in downtown. This was an all black supper club and bar on the bad edge of downtown. You have to consider that this was the 60s in the South and race relations were pretty polarized. The drummer and I showed up and walked in. Just about everyone in the place (couple of hundred people) slowly turned and looked at us and everything got a little quieter. The Blues Brothers movie reminded me of the moment.

    So, this bouncer type guy walks up and says, "Are ya'll the law?" We said no, we are supposed to meet Jimmy <lastname> here." He immediately responded, "The only white folks that come in here are the law. He ain't here.", and he walked off. We stood around feeling like cats surrounded by dogs with everyone staring at us. Just as we decided to leave, a guy came up front and introduced himself as Jimmy. We shook hands and he led us back to his table. He introduced us around and suddenly everyone was our friend!

    We practiced a couple of times and played college gigs all summer with those guys! It was my first confirmation that music is a bond, regardless of race, creed, or color. I learned a lot about people that summer. Musicians are a breed apart. The connection is the music and it transcends all other facets of life.
  8. bassnut

    bassnut Crumby Jokes ECF Veteran

    Apr 1, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Moved from Evolution thread:

    Other people's creativity amazes me too. If somebody does something I can't do or differently than what I would do, I can't help but be impressed or even envious.
    Sometimes I don't even have a handle on what I can do until the moment I'm actually doing it.
    I'm only a musician is when I'm actually making music. The rest of the time I'm just a pretender or merely indulging myself in wishful thinking...or doubt.
  9. Infernal2

    Infernal2 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    The Oil Coast, AL
    I started off playing, of all things, a theremin my brother had built as an electronics project for school. The music gene seems to be pretty strong in my family, Mom Piano, Dad guitar, my Grandfather Banjo, my grandmother organ... So by the time that Mom was getting tired of teaching piano to my older brothers, I came along and escaped the lessons that my brother's fondly memorialized as "musical sadism." She restarted the lessons after my younger brothers were born so I'm the only one without that classic musical education. That's not to say I don't enjoy music, I'm just the only one who didn't get whacked on the back of the head in time with the rhythm.

    I picked up a guitar at around twelve and started messing around with my older brothers who played everything (or it seemed to me at the time) until they all moved out. And kids being kids, I eventually hooked up with some other guys who were interested in "STARTING A BAND!" Well, no doubt, we were terrible, but it led to another band and another, all the while I badly played rhythm until I was invited into another high school project that didn't have a bass player. The drummer, a guy we all called Mongo after the Heathcliff cartoon had played bass with another band and so with a few pointers and letting me borrow his bass, I started playing regularly with those guys until high school got out.

    I've played the standards, rock, blues, country, even a little jazz, and even tried out for one of the Navy bands when I was in (didn't make it, the guy who beat all of us sounded like he could have played in his sleep with his toes). These days I still play around but mostly with a little neighborhood group of old guys who sit around and play OLD bluegrass. A lot of fun mind you but everyone else is at least thirty-five years older than me.
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  10. sea

    sea Senior Member ECF Veteran

    So cool there are so many musicians here! I consider myself more of a composer, but sing and play piano and a little guitar. I've been slowly writing a rock opera/space opera since 2007. I like playing around with synth loops and drum beats. I know a bit of theory and can read music, but like writing songs more organically by playing around with random chord progressions.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mac

    Mac Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I guess it's a good thing that neither of us get discouraged easily!
  12. son et lumiere

    son et lumiere Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    I'm a guitar player and I used to do vocals and had a realy good voice. I'd play a lot of punk rock when I was in my teens. At about 18 I got arthhritus and it pisses me off when I play a guitar now because I can only pick it up and play one song or two. Not enough to pratice. I started playing when I was 15. I really enjoyed writing songs and playing them for my friends.
  13. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    I can identify with you on that, except that guitar playing has kept my hands limber even though I'm an old guy. I get sore finger joints from time to time, but it's the standing up for long periods on stage that gets to me sometimes. Working through the fact that you're not 18 anymore is a challenge when your mind feels young and wants to do all the things you used to do. I used to hear people say that the legs go first. I guess that's true in most cases, but we all generally have issues to work through. Have you talked to your doctor about something like Celebrex?
  14. son et lumiere

    son et lumiere Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Dec 30, 2009
    I was on something for joint pain but it didnt help and it was expensive.
  15. firefox335

    firefox335 Super Member ECF Veteran

    May 31, 2010
    I started playing bass at 15, picked up the guitar a short time later. Ive played bass in 4 bands and guitar in 1. I'm currently playing bass in a band called M87. Unfortunately our website is down at the moment, but we're on facebook. Here's a link if anyone is interested:

    Login | Facebook

    If it doesn't work, just go to facebook and type in M87.
  16. angelique510

    angelique510 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    If you find something that does work, please let us know. I have arthritis to start with and my tenor is heavy on my wrist and thumb. It really starts paining after a while. It royally sucks that hey took Vioxx off the market. That stuff was great. Leave it to the FDA to mess with something that works.

  17. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    I know we have more musicians in the ECF family! Even if you don't already play and are just interested or have questions about getting started, we will be glad to talk about music.

    War stories about gigs are also welcome ... Tell us about your gig from H...
  18. Mac

    Mac Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    About a year ago I decided to hold a concert as a fund raiser for CASAA. I found a venue that was vape friendly and set up a show. I spent 2 months and more then 300 bucks promoting it. The day before the show the guy I booked through calls me and tells me the club forfeitted their liquor license. Not because ABC shut them down but because ABC was demanding a higher percent of their revenue come from food. The owner just threw his hands up and closed down. The day before our show. By some miracle we managed to rebook for the next day at a venue across town. But the new venue was located in an industrial park and 3 out of the 4 roads you could take to get to the venue were closed for construction.

    I gave away 500 dollars in e-cig stuff that night to the 2 dozen people who managed to show up. At the end of the night I had exactly 100 bucks. I sent it all to CASAA. That hundred dollar donation cost me closer to 600. Oh well, at least it was fun. Kind of hard to predict I would get screwed that bad by the club and construction crews. Hindsight is always 20/20 as they say.
  19. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    Sounds like all you could do is a tax write-off as a loss and chalk it up to bad luck. I remember early gigs when we were trying to get known around town. We'd strike an agreement with the owner of a skating rink or other large venue and work for a percentage of the door playing a "Sock Hop" (no shoes on the skating floor). There were nights when we'd barely get gas money and have to pay for the food we ate on breaks!

    I remember auditioning at a club one time where the singer was trying to organize a band and got a club owner to audition us by letting us play one of the house band's breaks. He picked us up and took us to the club. We played around 11:45 and by that time our singer was three sheets to the wind. He wanted to stay all night. I had to get home. I got $5 for playing that night and spent it on cab fare to the house.

    Hindsight would have been nice to have in those days!
  20. heymichael

    heymichael Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I've been playing since the early 60's. Played Bass and Guitar. Played with some national acts, but now serenade the dog. Still have my memories.

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