Dobro Lessons – Music Theory + Playing by Ear = Super Musician!

Here are 3 things I recommend you memorize.

1.    All the notes of the dobro or specific instrument
2.    All the Key Signatures
3.    All the Chords and Chord Tones for each key

Question: Why do this?

Answer: To gain a more complete understanding of your instrument, and to know where you are at all times and to know why what you are playing may sound good and why it may sound not so good.

Question: Is there an easier way? Can I get around not knowing any music theory and not knowing where any of the notes on my instrument are located?

Answer: I have found if you do not want to learn any music theory one can still play and in fact get quit good. Tons of great players have done it, and this is what I think ones options are if they want to get really good, but do not want to learn any music theory.

No Music Theory Option 1:

(I highly recommend doing this “In addition” to also understanding music theory)

To simply transcribe tons and tons and tons of songs, solos, rhythm playing, song forms, etc…so many that you can use the memory of those solos to dictate what you should play when you hear it in the context of a song. Your memory of all the songs and solos that you’ve learned and transcribed will trigger a muscle memory with your fingers and mind, and it will be like you are speaking with your instrument. Simply reacting to what you hear like you would if you were carrying on a conversation with someone. You will see all the patterns, and scales, and key signatures more as shapes that you equate to things that you’ve learned from solos, songs, and other musicians. You will have a working knowledge of the theory, but will not know why any of it works. You just know it does.

This is actually a great way of learning, and this way combined with an understanding of music theory can dramatically improve your playing and improvising in a much quicker way than just theory alone, or just transcribing alone.

Wtih theory you can take one thing that you transcribe and play it in other keys. Know how to change it around and play it over other chords. Basically multiplying everything that you already know.

No Music Theory Option 2:

(I do not recommend doing this)

The slowest way of improving….Not transcribing solos and simply to use trial and error or “noodling” around, fishing for the right note, not having a clue why anything you play sounds good or bad.

Getting Started:

The Keys:

The Sharp Keys:

C MAJOR – C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

G MAJOR – G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G

D MAJOR – D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D

A MAJOR – A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A

E MAJOR – E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#, E

B MAJOR – B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, B

F# MAJOR – F#, G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E#, F#

C# MAJOR – C#, D#, E#, F#, G#, A#, B#, C#

The Flat Keys

C MAJOR – C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

F MAJOR – F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F

Bb MAJOR – Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb

Eb MAJOR – Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, D, Eb

Ab MAJOR – Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, Ab

Db MAJOR – Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C, Db

Gb MAJOR – Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, F, Gb

Cb MAJOR – Cb, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb

To Start Memorizing the Chords and Chord Tones Just Use these simple rules:

1) Chords are built in 3rds – Root, 3rd, 5th. Start with your root, skip a note, then you’ve got your third, skip a note, then you’ve got your fifth.

2) If you do that in a major key you end up with this pattern, harmonizing over each note of the scale: (examples are in the Key of G major)

1. = MAJOR ex. GBD
2. = minor ex. ACE
3. = minor ex. BDF#
4. = MAJOR ex. CEG
5. = MAJOR ex. DF#A
6. = minor ex. EGB
7. = diminished ex. F#AC

* NOTE:

To memorize anything quickly, simply use NOTE CARDS, and make out a set for your Key Signatures, a set for your Chords per Key, and a set for your chord tones per key.

Carry them around with you and when you are waiting in line or just don’t have anything to do. Pull them out and start memorizing them. In a month or so you will see dramatic improvements.

Stop Your MySpace Music From Playing Automatically

Music is an important part of the whole MySpace experience. And, MySpace ever-so-kindly designed their site so that you can add a song to your profile. There are quite a few songs to choose from; a visit to the Music section of MySpace makes that painfully obvious.

I say “painfully” because if you visit a lot of profiles on MySpace, your ears just might go on strike because of the cacophony of voices and musical instruments they will be subjected to.

You probably are already well aware of what I am speaking of here. The music on some people’s pages can make a sane person go nuts! People usually place a song which has some sort of meaning for them on their profile, or one which they have chosen to be the “theme song” of their life.

But it’s terribly annoying… and rude, according to some… to be subjected to that music in order to check out someone’s profile. It also seems to make the page load slower than it should, as it seems the song has to start up before the profile page will fully load.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a music hater. In fact, I love music! As a matter of fact, I usually am listening to music while I am online. That’s one reason why the MySpace profile music irks me so much. It interferes with my own music that I want to hear!

And, if by chance you click off of someone’s profile page to look at a photo or something else they have posted, then go back to the profile, the music starts up all over again from the beginning of the song! People need to realize that the music that they consider beautiful or relaxing may well be very annoying to others.

So, how do you stop MySpace music from playing automatically? Music on your own profile as well as anyone else’s? Actually, it is very simple. Log into your MySpace account as usual, and in the box that has your default picture inside of it, you will see a list of things you can do.

You are looking for the one that says “Account Settings.” When you find it, click on it. It will take you to another, larger box that says “My Account Settings.” Scroll down until you see “Music Settings.” See right beside those words where it says “Change Settings”? Click on that link.

Now, you will see two settings beneath “My Music Settings.” One says “Disable My Player from Automatically Starting” and the other says “Disable Band Songs from Automatically Starting.” Band songs are what MySpace is for some reason calling the music on everyone’s profile except your own, and not just actual band profiles.

Choose both of these options by clicking on the small boxes with your mouse. Then, click on the “Change Settings” button to save what you just changed.

You’ve done it! No longer will you have to worry about anyone else’s MySpace profile music – including your own!

Generate Soul Soothing Music by Playing Piano Online

Piano is an exceedingly popular musical instrument. It inspires grace and charm and is highly versatile. Several people take up piano for varied reasons. Some wish to learn a new skill, some enjoy expressing themselves through it, some do it for its therapeutic value and some wish to make a career out of it. Everyone wishes they could enthrall an audience and create something beautiful. The first step towards this dream is to take lessons. Less than five years ago, everyone who wanted to learn any instrument had to enroll in a class or hire a personal teacher.

A new trend

However, with the internet gaining popularity many people are turning to it for play piano online. A search for the words “play piano online” in Google gives you over several million returns. This shows the popularity of people learning to play piano online. Some online lessons cost money, but most are free. Piano enthusiasts upload various video lessons on popular websites. Some websites even sell sheet music for popular songs. If starting from scratch, one has to filter out the advanced websites and also make sure that they use the right website for all the theory. It is important to stick to one teacher or one website, since there are several approaches to teach the piano. A beginner can easily get lost, confused or over-whelmed due to the sheer number of websites available to play piano online. It takes a lot of research and commitment to scan through everything and figure out exactly what you want.

It is advisable to learn through an accomplished teacher only. This is done to get your base strong and ensure that you only learn the right techniques. Also, a beginner does not know what the piano notes should sound like. The novice has no clue about what a particular note or chord should sound like. Tuning will be a major problem for the untrained ear. No online instructor can train you on tuning.

It is better to learn the basics of piano through a class or a teacher. Once the fundamentals are set in your mind, you can develop your skills by learning new songs through websites. Websites offer notes and chords of almost all songs. You can learn your favorites by downloading the sheet music or watching a video lesson. Once you learn the notes and the chords, your teacher can fine tune your playing. This is an effective way of using these online piano lessons. Only once you have the basics set, should you go ahead and explore the world of learning to play the piano online. This practice ensures that you keep learning the latest music and also get formal training. This way you can get the best of both worlds – practical learning and learning to play piano online.

Teaching yourself to play the piano online has its advantages but also its limitations. It is important to understand both sides making a decision. In the end, the decision must suit your needs and guarantee that you get the best possible training.