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Opera Outing

by Aubrey Aikens

Opera has historically been associated with aggressively voluptuous women in Viking helmets and breast plates, screaming to the high heavens in languages such as German or Italian about provocative topics and then dying in an overly dramatic, unrealistic fashion.

How passé.

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Finding Rodriguez

Most of you don’t know this but Jeff Bergau, founder of Altered Stage and a dear friend of mine, is the reason why I started playing the bass. He is so passionate when he talks about music, not to mention he is also an incredible bass player. “Why don’t you take a lesson?” – he asked me when I said I don’t play an instrument. Now I steal songs from him when we play at Reggies. 🙂

In one of our recent conversations about music an artist came up: Rodriguez. I had no idea who he was, had not heard any of his songs until Jeff said to me: “Check out this documentary – Searching for Sugar Man – it’s one of the craziest, most inspirational things I’ve ever watched”.

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Theory Thursday

Whole Steps and Half Steps
By Jason Steele

Welcome to another Theory Thursday!

Next we are going to make some simple observations as to how all of these notes relate to one another. Understanding this will allow you to be able to locate the 12 different notes on your guitar. We are still sticking with the piano for now, but we will dive into the guitar in just a bit.

We can relate each of the notes to one another based on how far apart they are from each other. The two basic units of measure for this are half steps (represented by a “H” symbol) and whole steps (represented by a “W” symbol).

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Is Eurovision the best thing ever?

by Aubrey Aikens

I. Love. Eurovision.

There’s not much in this world that will make me stop in my tracks and sit in front of a television for days on end. Even though I am a writer-which often seems to be associated with feelings of reclusiveness and long periods of sitting in oversized armchairs-I do not love being stationary.

If I am going to be totally honest with you today (which is kind of the point of this blog), I should just admit Eurovision is the only thing that will keep me focused for more than an hour.

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Jam Sessions – Tempo and Dynamics

by Jason Steele

Last blog post about jam sessions was all about the ears and this week is all about the basics. Two of the most basic aspects of music is the speed (tempo) and volume (dynamics). Having control over these two things will bring your playing and jam sessions to a whole new level. The exercises below will help you gain greater control over each of them by group play and exploring changing up the tempos and dynamics of a song. It’s not that common for a song to change tempo within the song, but many songs most certainly offer up a variety of different dynamics within the same song.

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