Saturday, October 22, 2016

Alan Robinson - Help! I'm "Tapped" and I Can't Get Out #2 - Fretboard Tapping

Help I'm "Tapped" and I Can't Get Out #2
Alan Robinson
Welcome back!! In the last lesson we looked at combining two different pentatonic scales to create a tapping pattern. This time around we are going to look at the way I tend to practice developing the technique to create these type of lines. The process is really pretty basic and simple overall. So let's get started...
I like to view the guitar in segments of two string groups. I find this approach to be a benefit in simplifying the learning curve. I will give a great example of this at the end of this lesson. For now let's start with the first example. For all of the following examples I will be using the string group 3/4 (3rd string and 4th string). We will be exploring the E minor pentatonic scale for all examples as well.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Alan Robinson - Help! I'm "Tapped" and I Can't Get Out - Fretboard Tapping

Help I'm "Tapped" and I Can't Get Out
Alan Robinson
Hey everyone! It's time for a new lesson series and this time we are exploring some solo techniques for rock guitar. Specifically, two hand tapping technique. Now you may consider this old news, however; two hand tapping can be a great deal of fun, as well as, a great device to move around the fretboard. Now this series isn't going to be just the basic tapping ideas but rather some advanced ways to develop lines and ideas and move across the strings seamlessly. So let's get started...

Friday, September 30, 2016

Taking the Plunge -- So you want to start a band, Part 1

by Thom Suggs

Earlier this month, I was enjoying a beer with long-time SDML instructor Paulie Felice, when he asked if I’d be willing to write periodically about my observations and experiences during the initial stages of forming my new band, Five Minutes Left. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity, so here goes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Poem Series: Why

Liz Fink-Davenport

Why? Tell me. Why would your sticky fingers reach into the dark and try to find shapes and pieces to fit when it's not your puzzle to play with? Why do you feel entitled to plunge depths that are dark for a reason? Why would your eyes pry to see in a heart when you are an interloper and have no business there? Why would you be so ego filled to sap into something like love? Why don't you know that you are stealing?

You are a thief. You are not to be trusted. You take what is not yours. If you aren't going to be the man that stakes claim and promises souls entwined as centuries slide away...take your damn hands off someone else's future. She does not belong to you. She is not a mountain to conquer, she is not a feather blown onto your path, she is not a penny found in a parking lot. She is not your boredom or your place filler. Or a shiny thing to brighten your shitty days. She is not to be told rattling tin cans of promises. She is Someone's. Someone's forever. Someone's promises. Someone's keeps. Someone's sleepy kisses and sock feet tickles on Sunday morning. She will go to war with Someone. She is not to be owned...but rather promised. A promise. She will promise too. She will. If he is worthy. Don't damage her.

You play, little boy. And you have no idea of the broken toys you have left behind you. So stop. Just stop. And quit leaving your heart-messes for big boys to clean up. You are flippant with love. Please. Stop. Let them go. Let Someone find them. Don't leave them with sticky fingerprints and crow bar opened heart doors. They never close the same again.

Why? Why don't you wait. Wait. Sit down and wait. Leave her. Leave her alone. Leave her for Someone. Unless you are ready to be Someone. Wait. And wash your hands.
You may be
Someone's too.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Poem Series: Sister, Listen

~Sister, Listen~

Liz Fink-Davenport

Let me say to you this thing. Because I don't believe you have heard it before. Oh, the words have crossed your ears. But you never drank them in. You gently shook your head. So listen now.

You are a poem. You are a symphony. You are honey dripped warm on a tongue tip in the first summer sun. You are the roll of the ocean's deep tide miles below. You are jazz on a rainy Sunday morning. You are a geographical miracle. Your body is mountain peaks and plateaus and the basin of the sea and the tips of the peninsulas and rounded hips and fingertips and eyebrows that set off earthquakes. Your skin is a tapestry of tiny scars that are a timeline and freckles that form constellations and...velvet. Your eyes light the room and the world and my God you don't know their sway. You are who sets wars in motion. Ships to sea. Warriors to battle. You are a mystery wrapped in quiet strength and 2am never seen heartbreak. You have the thoughts that change the universe and send new moons to orbit. Your laugh. Damn. Your laugh is the lighting of the day and every bell ever rung. Walk for me. Because your stride is the length of your priorities and aspirations. Your song is sung in every radio and swaying church piano and cup holding street violinist. You are sunrises. A peek at what's to come. You are not done. You are a start.

My sister. Go now and look in the mirror. If you don't see what I see, smash that mirror and focus on my voice. You are. You. Are.

My love, you are all that could ever be desired. So make the metronome heel click of your day be the drums to which you launch a fleet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Poem Series: Spaces

Liz Fink-Davenport

"I never gave it all away....."

"Breaking Out of the Box" #4 - Alan Robinson

The Power of "Power Chords": Part 4
Alan Robinson

The Power Chord Matrix 

Using the grid below you can select various “power chords” to play the desired chord tones/tensions.

The column on the left side indicates the chord quality and function within the key. The row at the top identifies the power chord (5 chord) from each scale degree/note within the key. The blocks highlighted in red are poor choices and will most likely change the chord function. These combinations should be avoided. The blocks highlighted in grey are available but either contain the root or 5th of the chord. Neither the root or 5th define the quality or add any true color. These can be used but leave a bland sound. The blocks in white, without highlights are possible choices which will add essential chord tones (3rd/7th) and/or tensions (9/11/13) to color the chord.

Using the grid below you can select various “power chords” to play the desired chord tones/tensions.
For an example let’s say we need to play a CMaj7(13) chord. We are in the key of “C” and therefore the chord will function as the I Maj7. (see example below)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Poem Series: IF

Liz Fink-Davenport

If I'm going to love again, 

I'll love a man with so much ocean in his veins that when his hand strokes the side of my jaw I smell the bite of reef inside his wrist pulse. Sand gritting the hairs of his chest. And I hear the rush of a new wave forming from the inside of his palm like a shell. His hair washed white tipped from the sun, pulling color from him...and to him. If I'm going to love again, he will have the moon's powerful tow, like a rope tied to the edge of the waves. His stars and planets will be my net and I'll rest in it like a woven bed. Eyes that shine out of dark cold places. Explosions of mass. Fireballs thrown across the black. Cosmos walking.

There are things we don't tell anyone. Even our closest that we say we tell all to. No. We keep some secrets deep and dark and salt water heavy. Locked. In the murk. I once loved a man with a fish hook burned on his right eye so that the sea would never forsake him. Right there in the depth of the bluest blue was a white hook to remind me of my heart. Rip tied down. Locked in him. I once loved a man with Orion's Belt freckled on his chest that I could trace it like a connect the dots. I would go up and back down. And never find a universe in the brown dots but just a pattern.

A fish hook and a constellation. The same man. A shell of a palm. Empty. And the briny brush of lips over again. A night sky in his eyes and stars
and promises.
Moons rolling from his laugh. And wave. Upon wave. Crashing.

Secrets. And the roar of tides. That ebb. And flow. Of gravity and the moon and...
your ability to love.
You were never able.

A tidal pool. Versus the ocean.
A candle lit. Versus the sun.
If I'm going to love...I want ocean deep and solar system wide. Because I deserve
all the expanse of the heavens
and the pitched fathoms of the sea. My loves, you do too.
I want it all. All of him.

If I'm going to love again.

Poem Series: LOVE A WOMAN

~Love a Woman
Liz Fink-Davenport

Darling, you want love? To know whom to love? It's a hard lesson learned. You have been so wrong before that your heart is raw. But here is what I know. Love a woman with eyes that burn with intellect and passion. She will hone you like iron on anvil. Someone that reaches for you in the conversations that should divide. She will be the bridge to connect. Love a woman with eyebrowsthat tell you the wrong path is ahead long before you know it. One furrowed brow can save legions from war. Love a woman with lips that purse when you do wrong, and soften when you do right. A woman's lips will tell you much. Love a woman with darkness and hidden truths and catacombs. She is secret treasures and long sunken truths. Dig. Dig deep. Beg to dig more. Then safeguard what you find, it is more valuable than rubies. Love a woman with a swing in her stride and hips that make music. Your life will be lyrical and her rolling jaunt will carry you on days you have no legs. Love a woman who can whistle. There is music there when you can't bring yourself to sing. Love a woman who's deep laugh washes warm over you. And you hear it often. Love a woman with bite and challenge and tenacity. Days get tough, she can hold on. Love a woman who can not cry. And love a woman who cries. This is the same woman...trying to be strong. Love a woman that challenges you and asks hard questions, she wants deep parts of you. Love a jealous woman. You are worthy of a flag. A banner. No halvies. No shares. You are someone's whole universe. Claimed. Love a woman who has been brought to her knees but has risen with her own strength. She can do it again. Love a woman, not because what she lets everyone see...but for her very nuances that the rest of the world will never know. The way she touches her mouth with the tips of her fingers when she wants to hide her words. The soft butterfly flutter of her lashes as she sleeps on your chest in trust. The curve of her throat. The pulse in her wrist. The arch in her back. The delicate round of her belly. The poem that she is. The song that she is. The thunder roll and lightening white that she is. The anchor that she is. The loosed kite that she is.

Love the woman that frightens you the most. And then leap into her like jumping off into the abyss. That's the One. Because only when it is scary, is it worthy. Love was never meant to be tepid or safe.