Finding the Chords in a Key

Dr. Dave Walker (guitarist)

“How can there be a Dm chord in the key of C?” This is one of the most common questions I get asked as a theory teacher. In some cases the person has not considered that there must be different chords in any given key or else we would have to stay on one chord for a long, boring time. More often though the student knows that “the chords of the key of C” are C, F, and G (or G7). This last idea is partly true – those are the MAJOR chords in the key of C. However, every major key contains 3 major chords, 3 minor chords, and one diminished chord. And not only does every major key have that same number of chords of the same type – they are all in the same order.

Beginner Guitar Tips: Acoustic vs Electric

Jimi Hendrix in Studio

If you are thinking of learning guitar or getting into the guitar scene, one of the important decisions that you will need to make is whether you want to go acoustic with your guitar or electric. Both types of guitar are fantastic and offer a wide range of playing styles to experiment with. Today we are going to highlight the main differences between the two to help you make your decision.

Tips for Getting Reviewed – Part III: When to Use a PR Firm

tips-for-getting-reviewed

What Can a Public Relations Firm Offer Me? Thank you to everyone who wrote to me at DrDaveBlogFeedback [at] gmail.com for all of your kind words about my articles on self-publicity. You raised so many good questions that I want to take this opportunity to talk about when you don’t want to do your own […]

Tips for Getting Reviewed – Part II: Your Publicity Package

The good news is that you don’t need a professional publicist to get your music out into the world in a pro format. In fact, some of the best material I’ve received over the years has come from individuals, while some of the worst has no doubt cost the artists a fair amount of cash. Here’s what you need to know.

7 Tips for Getting Reviewed

tips-for-getting-reviewed

Spring seems an appropriate time to clear out the music shelves, so I started sorting the CD’s I received for review over the past 8 months into two piles: Reviewed and Not. I was a little surprised to see that about 400 were Not, and nearly 100 were Reviewed. I should mention that I call myself a reviewer instead of a critic because I will not pan somebody’s work in print. It’s hard enough to get a career going without bad press, and not everybody shares my opinions, so I just don’t review those I don’t really like. I will, on occasion, send a critique to a player whose work has real promise even if I don’t review it. So in that spirit I would like to offer up some tips that have come to me from decades of reviewing as well as talking to other reviewers and critics about their methods.

How Much Guitar Amp Power Do I Need?

Mack Amps Heatseeker HS-18

I believe that a guitar amp doesn’t need to have more than 50 watts of power – ever! Heh! I can hear the clicking of many keyboards preparing their rebuttals to that comment! It’s never wise to make such a sweeping generalization. But there is some sense behind my comment – at least I think so! My belief that more than 50 watts is a waste has to do with where guitarists play, the type of equipment available in live venues if a guitarist gigs, and how output power affects a guitar amp’s performance.

Improv 101 for Electric Guitarists

Improv 101 for Electric Guitarists

All music performance is a creative endeavor, whether it’s an original composition or an interpretation of someone else’s piece. Creativity is absolutely necessary to the art of making music, and without it, all we have are meaningless strands of notes trailing across a page or hanging limply in the air. Great musicians nurture creativity, and one of the best ways to do this is with consistent improvisation. How can you give life to someone else’s written music without being able to create your own? It’s possible to mimic musicality, but to own it, you’ll need to create music.

What You Should Know About the Different Bass Guitar Playing Styles

bass-guitar-picture

So you’ve completed basic lessons for playing the bass guitar. Are you satisfied with your current repertoire? If not, here are a couple of neat bass guitar playing styles or techniques that are easy to learn and can immediately add depth and variety to your music.