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guitar for beginners

How to improvise on the guitar

How to improvise on the guitar  

Five reasons why it feels good to learn to improvise on the guitar.

1. Create fresh replenishing emotions

To improvise on the guitar, is a creative way of telling a musical story. Let´ s imagine we have a paragraph of 24 words that we narrate, with the objective of explaining a feeling. Consequently, we may also keep on repeating the paragraph, but with different degrees of variations, to further develop the emotion.

To improvise on the guitar is to create variations of the musical story. It gives you the pathway to extend the interpretation, to modify, adapt and change it to your needs and on the go.  As a result, improvisation on the guitar, can produce extremely satisfying emotions, as I believe it is the true gateway for personal expression. 

2. Interaction with others

We all know how much fun we can have, when we play with others. Music can also be a lot of fun, and improvising can be the ultimate game of enjoyment.  

I relate guitar improvisation to the perfect communion of souls, in all possible conscious dimensions. Furthermore, our musical interaction just fills up the space around us, as we bond with fellow musicians and the audience.

Music and guitar improvisation is another humble path to an experience, where we all come together, to share our beloved human values. When we improvise on the guitar, in any style of music as blues, jazz, funk, rock, flamenco, we create the opportunity to interact emotionally with others, without the need of words, nor values, nor judgements of any kind.

Guitar improvisation will make you feel extremely unique, because you freely express yourself in a context, where you are accompanied and heard.

3. To explore ones inner self

I believe life can feel good when we break the rigidness of daily obligations. Therefore, a bit of controlled chaos feels good; learn to improvise on the guitar and you will enjoy a refreshing musical adventure of colours, sounds and emotions. When we improvise, we take on this adventure our dreams and souls.

When we play music knowing exactly what is ahead, and what we have to do, then it feels like we are on a road, set by others to achieve a boxed goal.  However, if we are able to explore other pathways, other boundaries, other colours along the way, and interact with joy with others,  the creative guitar experience will be emotionally rewarding.  This non programmed road trip will become the real musical adventure. We will arrive at the same destination as the programmed road trip,  but  feeling very satisfied, and eager to wake up the next day to jump on board and explore another pathway. 

4. Satisfaction

From my experience, when I improvise and create variations,  as a consequence of my interaction with my other band members, I feel very satisfied afterwards.  Satisfaction is not an easy feeling to come across, and it is the feeling that most will regenerate my whole body and soul. 

Also, the more I improvise, understanding the emotional goals, choosing the right harmonic melodic tools for the job,  the greater the final satisfaction.

Let’s improvise together. Come and join us at the Creative Guitar School, in Melbourne, and learn to play the guitar, to improvise in contemporary musical styles on electric guitar, acoustic guitar or nylon string Spanish guitar

5. To be unique

Music is not a visual experience, nor a competition, it is an auditive experience, that you can enjoy with your internal rhythm, soul and with your closed eyes, unless you are driving. 

However,  there is a lot of guitar music our there,  that is a reflection of what we can do, and not what the musician is trying to express, tell or convey. Music is the gift we can use to develop a virtue, to share with others; our uniqueness, our story. 

A story is not about how quick you can run, or how much you can scream. A musical story is really about sharing an emotion.  Yes, when we scream we portray an egoistic feeling, but the true virtue would be to make the audience feel the need of this excitement, and get them to scream with you. 

It feels good to improvise on the guitar and to be unique in our story telling,  as we can accomplish a very special human interaction, that no other musical form of expression will allow. 

What tools do we need to improvise effectively 

As a guitarist, you will need to master all the musical tools required to know inside out, the melody and harmonic structure of the song. This means, that at any time and moment, you are playing a song, you can effectively,  switch from the role of the soloist to the accompanist, or vice versa.

Once you have the song mastered,  then you are now ready to start creating variations, to keep the song flowing, based upon the interaction with other band members, the audience and your feel, either as the soloist, or the accompanist of the lead guitar.

In order to improvise on the guitar efficiently, you need to learn specific melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic tools, to create variety in tension, in dramatic intensity, as the song develops.

For example, let ´s say you have played your song once, and you want to be able to play the melody, (the lyrics of the song) with more intensity the second time through. A change of octave,  an increase in rhythmic intensity or harmonic tension, will give you all the desired momentum, to produce your climax. 

There are literally hundreds of tools at your disposal, to help develop your creativity on the go, but all you need is just a few, to get going, and to start feeling the flow of creating music.

Improvisation and Guitar Courses

All students, in all guitar courses, I impart at my Melbourne Creative Guitar School, learn to improvise. At a guitar beginners level, you will learn to create basic variations of melody and harmony. As you progress throughout the levels, you will master a vast array of tools, to accomodate all your emotional needs.

I encourage learning through group interaction. Therefore, I teach all basic courses in Group environments . These classes have a maximum fo 4 students per class.

I further encourage the group interaction with the concerts I schedule throughout the year. All students perform live every 3 months. Before the performance, we also organise a nice barbecue to get the stomachs activated and the energy levels up high.

Students will also have the opportunity to enjoy feedback of all their musical accomplishments, since I hold the classes in my recording studio.  Therefore,  we are able to record the group progression, and enjoy how much we have learnt, at the different stages of the musical journey. 

 

How to find the notes on the guitar fretboard

How to find the notes on the guitar fretboard?

Musical notes represent sounds of definite pitch. When we perform, we are constantly searching for sounds and notes, there fore, we need to learn how to find them on the guitar fretboard.

How to find notes on the guitar fretboard

We generally will not remember, with precision, where they are, by solely memorising, visually the position, or by using any form of logic. You will remember where to find a sound, better said a combination of notes, as no note comes alone, by identifying the sound previous to its location on the guitar fretboard.

Once you are able to sing what you want to play, you will be ready to find the sound on the guitar. All groups of sounds, phrases, melodies, passages, are generally in a specific tonal centre . This means, that the note you are looking for, will be one, of more or less, seven notes to choose from.

Sing before you play

At the Creative Guitar School, I will teach you where to find the notes by learning the scale patterns, but above all, how to find the desired note effectively, by recognising its pitch, and singing it before you play it on the guitar fretboard.

Further more, the pitch on the guitar fretboard can increase in different directions. If you first understand that the sound you are looking for, is going up or down in pitch, then you will not be confused, by which direction you take on the guitar, to find this increase of pitch.

In our first lesson, of all beginners guitar courses, we learn all the notes of the C scale, on all strings. We learn them quickly, by singing and naming them in tempo. We quickly identify the distance between notes, and understand the concept of semi tones and tones.

I strongly urge all students, to repeat this exercise daily, in tempo, to get quickly acquainted with the sound, and as a consequence the notes on the guitar fretboard.

When you practice guitar, please keep in mind that all exercises must be repeated daily, to ensure you can properly memorise the task. However, repetition can sometimes be tiring. Do not worry, I am there for you, to give you new weekly challenges, and to modify any exercise, so you may maintain your constant interest in your daily practice routine .

Why do we learn chords on the guitar?

Not all musical instruments can play chords, however, it is presumed that beginner students, first must learn to play chords on the guitar.

A chord is only part of the tools we can use, to create the accompaniment for a song. A song has tempo, groove, melody, background lines, bass lines, harmony and sections. We need to learn all the basic tools, required to play a song from the beginning to the end. A song is really a melody, the vocal line, and all the rest are tools, to help that vocal line come alive.

Chords can be used to define the groove of a song. A drummer definer the groove with sounds that are not specific lyrical pitches, a bass defines the groove by playing melodic lines in the low register, that define the chords.

As a guitarist, when you play a chord, you define the groove of the song, with more than one note at a time, and since the difference in between chords, create changes in intensity, we get a sort of flow, a forward motion in our playing.

However, we also need to learn to play melodies, the vocal line, which is what the song is about. At the Creative Guitar School, you will learn how to play chords, create your own rhythms and especially, learn how to play the melody of the song, and create variations, to keep the flow going.

The melody, the vocal part with no lyrics, is the essence of a song. You need to master how to play melodies immediately, to avoid frustration, and to avoid getting stuck, in what to do on the guitar.

How to create strumming patterns?

At the Creative Guitar School, l I teach you how to develop your own strumming patterns. For such, you only need to know the ingredients of the patterns which are: the subdivisions of the beat , accents, how to identify a groove and reproduce it.

You will be surprised on how quick you are able to create your own powerful grooves and strumming patterns. This is must for all your musical productions.

However, you need constant practice in your daily routine to achieve the musical goal with satisfaction. You must strive to always play in tempo, as such will reduce the time you will take to learn. It helps focus and reduces unnecessary, never ending repetitions. The more you play in tempo, the quicker you will learn .

When should I start concentrating on technique?

In the initial stages of your learning, you must be able to identify melodic values, rhythmic patterns, understand song structure, maintain a tempo, ect.

Once you are efficient in the basic musical knowledge, then you will be ready to develop speed, accuracy and  guitar technique to help you further your expression.

Technique, may come naturally, by completing the exercises and learning of all songs. However, as a teacher, I will quickly identify your learning obstacles, which we all have, and I will give exercises to overcome specific technical difficulties.

In order to improve your technique, you must practice at the slowest speed possible, anticipating position change and sound. You must try to avoid, to place your finger in any position, if your are not sure of the sound you are looking for. Please, have first, the sound you want to reproduce, in your mind, sing it, and then place your finger where you believe that sound is. If you do not have the sound in your head, you will not remember where to find it again.

This obstacle may be overcome by reading, but reading may block our capability of hearing the sound. When we read, we follow placement and tempo instructions, and in the early stages of our guitra learning, we will not hear the sound until we have played it. The process of learning can be daunting and very frustrating.

I already know my scales, what is next?

Scales are groups of 7notes that identify a tonal centre, the resting point of a song. The scale is a tool we use to make melodies, to create bass lines, to improvise, to create variations of chords, to create fill . In other words learn the scale and start playing . The scale will give the location knowledge, where the sounds are, that you are looking for on the guitar.

You will need to learn how to create melodies, bass lines, melodic harmonic groove. At the Creative Guitar School I will teach you how to have never ending fun, with this beautiful instrument in all styles of music, either if it is jazz, rock, blues, funk, flamenco .

Please remember that all students at all levels regularly must compose and record their song at my Recording Studio.

I would like to invite you all to my upcoming concerts in Melbourne and beyond.

Guitar Improvisation lessons

Guitar Improvisation lessons

What is improvisation

To improvise on the guitar is to create, from simple to complex, melodic and or ,  harmonic variations of a song, or a section.

We always need to create variations in the songs, to match how we feel as we play along. You might vary the melody to achieve the most dramatic climax, we might start the song playing the groove in a sparse manner, and build it up as we play along. We might need to do to the opposite and bring the song down, to less intensity, or we might create even more complex variations as we do in genres as jazz.

Guitar Improvisation lessons

We all have in us, the need to flow, to express ourselves with constant changes of tension. However, we require training,  guitar improvisation lessons to understand how to translate these emotions into music.

How to improvise

The ultimate goal of all guitar improvisation lessons , is to allow us to understand what sounds right, how to hear it, how to sing it and how to play it.

To achieve these goals we need to understand how to compose a song, and the relationship between chords and melody; the scale. We need to be able to play a song, the melody and accompaniment. We need to know our scales and chords, all over the fretboard.

Then we are ready to improvise, to create new melodies, new harmonies. We are ready to explore creating on the go short long-phrases with more or less density. We are ready to explore non harmonic melodic notes, guide tone lines, upper structure triads, chord tone soloing, motive soloing and development, augmentation, diminution, syncopation, double time, tetratonic scales and much more.

Do I need to know all the theory to be able to improvise

Not really. Just sing what you would like to do, and play it .  If you can sing it it will sound good.

However, guitar structured learning will allow you to find new ideas quicker, and also to have more and more ideas, just explode in your mind.

Theory should be a classification of what you can hear and play. I strongly suggest to explore new concepts only, once you have played them and felt them.

For example:
You love the way Stevie Ray Vaughn achieves an extreme climax in the middle of his solo. Your first step is to play it, to memorise it. Then, afterwards, as a teacher, I would give you all the tools in our guitar improvisation lessons,  to choose from,  to create your own; harmonic tension, melodic tension, rhythmic density and register.

I suggest that we learn to improvise,  by expanding on what we hear, and what we like from others.

Generic types of soloing

I distinguish two opposite ways of creating a guitar solo in any style.  We may be lyrical,  like Santana , whose lines are very vocal like. Or we can create phrases , that talk in depth, about the chords, the way a jazz guitarist like George Benson or West Montgomery would play.

Electric guitars have more sustain than acoustic, nylon strings, Spanish or Flamenco guitars. We need to adapt our form of playing to the manner in which the instrument  is created; an electric guitar with saturation or distortion can be even more lyrical.

At all guitar courses and guitar improvisation lessons I offer at the Creative Guitar School in Melbourne, both online and in class, students learn all the required tools to be able to improvise in all styles and with any type of guitar.

Please note that you will learn in my guitar improvisation lessons, to apply creative tools to both the solo, the melody and the accompaniment of such.

The joy of guitar improvisation

Guitar improvisation is one of the biggest thrills you can have in music. The freedom to interact live in concert with other musicians, is a skill that you will want to develop. You must learn how to improvise, from the early stages of your guitar learning.

We develop this freedom of expression, when we are able to master, the guitar tools we need, to create variations on a song. A song, in the majority of cases has a melody that can be sung. The chords accompany that melody to help it come out, and also to help underlay the groove of the song.

When we improvise, we generally maintain the same structure of the song, and the same chords. We always have in our head the melody of the song, and based upon that and the harmonic setting,  we have a reference with which all members of the band, will interact with, to create the constant variations that come with the music flow.

What styles suit best

All styles can allow for varied degrees of improvisation. It will all depend on the skill of the band members, to allow this scenario to come alive.

Jazz is the style that allows most improvisation. Jazz is not a groove but a way of performing any given song.

Styles as blues, pop, funk, flamenco, all allow for improvisation.  This is what  makes the music come alive. The band members interact with each other, and with the audience. We create a constant dialogue based upon the tools of  improvisation; the heart beat of the performance.

Some ideas to help you redevelop your solos.

I assume you have an understanding of scales, arpeggios and harmony, and are ready to get playing on the guitar.

Stretching the time
The next time you play your guitar solo, in a any style as flamenco, latin, blues, pop; try stretching the time. This means that, slightly play ahead or behind of the beat . When you play ahead you can create the feel of rushing the solo, when you play behind the beat, you can create the feeling of dragging the tempo.

To practice this technique, and incorporate it into your guitar tool box, so it automatically pops up when you need this feel,  you must practice extensively.Let me give you an example of how:

  1. Choose a section of 8 bars of a song.
  2. Play over the chord changes, creating phrases that fall right on the centre of the beat.
  3. Then, play over the chord changes, and create phrases that start on the beat; drag behind and then fall back on the beat.
  4. Play over the chord changes; start playing right on tempo and finish your phrase ahead of the beat.
  5. Do the opposite.
  6. Play over the chord changes, start your phrase ahead of time, very accelerated and slowly bring the speed down , to play right on tempo.
  7. Try combinations of the above .

In all styles of music, you will be able to stretch in some manner the time. This will become part fo your expression, only after practicing it on your acoustic, electric, or Spanish guitar until your are able to have fun with it.

Improvisation on the guitar can be great fun. Once we know the chords, scales, arpeggios and how they relate to the harmony form, then we only need to keep on learning new ideas on what to do, understand the why, and we are off to explore a world of surprising textures and musical pleasures.

Improvising in the studio, during recordings sessions.

The most vivid, explosive recordings,  only occur when musicians and guitarists can interact, together, at the same time in the recording session.

A lot of recording sessions do not cater for live interaction of the studio musicians. In my recording studio in Melbourne, I strive to achieve constant improvisation in all guitar tracks and sessions.

A recording should be an audio photograph of what occurs in a concert. Please enjoy my live concerts and studio performances on you tube.

Online Guitar Songwriting lessons

Online Guitar Songwriting lessons

I will soon have available my online guitar songwriting lessons, and course, suitable for all songwriters and performers who wish to explore through advanced harmony, the ultimate feel for a song .

Advanced harmony can be made simple if it is explained without complicated terminology. These online guitar songwriting lessons and courses, will give you an in depth harmonic melodic knowledge of the guitar, that will transform how you perform, compose, arrange  and produce your performance of your desired song.

Online Guitar Songwriting lessonsThe outcome of all modules ( Making advanced  harmonic textures accessible to all guitarists and songwriters)

This online guitar songwriting course is divided into three modules:

  1. Module 1: The Birth of the Song. In this module you will learn tools/strategies to make sure your song has the most unique : chords, melody and the most powerful and uplifting structure.

You may apply these tools to compose your song, change it to make it feel better or simply to deliver a more in depth interpretation of your song,  live or in the studio.

    1. Module 2: Pre Production.  All the creative tools, at a basic level, you can play with, to define the most adequate rhythm section, melodic- harmonic backgrounds, counter lines; and to reinforce the melody of a song.
    1. Module 3: Music Production. The Final Recording.

Each module will give you access to over 50 audio examples,  three hours of videos, a 45 page self explanatory e book and a power point presentation of the ebook where all files are interlinked.

These online  guitar songwriting lessons and course, is an extension of my book on arranging and orchestration in the Spanish Language: El Arreglo un Puzzle de Expresión Musical

The need of relating emotion to music

In all my years as a guitar teacher and writer, I have always pondered about how to learn music in a manner that we find the balance between thoughts and feelings. In music, if we think a lot we will not play efficiently , also if we just feel the music, and not establish a conscious understanding of what we are doing, and why, we all end up in deep chaos and frustration.

I believe, in our music learning , we must first feel, then put words to the feeling , classify it, in a manner that when we have the need for such emotion , we will automatically revert to our conscious classification.   However, if we learn to play the guitar , if we follow any online guitar course, that shows, explains concepts through words, with no context and related feelings, we will never understand, nor remember how to make sense of it all.

In my new online guitar courses , especially  my Online Guitar Songwriting lessons, I will share with you a conscious understanding of emotion that will definitely  open up a new way of hearing music , learning , playing and songwriting.

Module 1 The Birth of the Song 

Who is this module for

Songwriters and guitarists of all levels,  that wish to deliver a more emotional interpretation of a song, by applying advanced melodic harmonic concepts used by major composers and performers; this course makes these advanced concepts accessible to all without the need of traditional in depth study of harmony and arranging skills.

You do not need to know how to read music, nor know all the scales and chords available. However,  you must have an understanding of basic open string chords.  It will also be beneficial if you can sing songs and play chords at the same time,  and  can play along the recorded original tracks of your favourite songs.

This modules will develop exisiting songs, however once completed, you will be able to compose your new songs, bearing these new emotional tools from scratch.

What will you learn

In this module you will learn tools/strategies, to make sure your song has the most unique chords, melody and the most powerful and uplifting structure. You may apply these tools to compose your song, change it to make it feel better, or simply, to deliver a more in depth interpretation of your song, live, or in the studio.

Available harmonic melodic tools to achieve your unique sound

A song is made up of a melody and chords. We use the chords to accompany the melody. Both melody and accompaniment are glued together by rhythm. Your essential tools to interpret, change your song will be to know:

  • All available diatonic chords, inversions and their chord scale relationship. There are only 7 diatonic  chords to choose from. If you are also aware of the feeling they produce in relation to the melody, you will then have the ability to choose the most adequate and unique harmony.
  • How to create excitement with chords, shifting the harmonic tension of a chord , by varying the melodic line and bass lines.  I refer to this as making chords move, making them come alive,  and therefore produce, with the guitar, an accompaniment that not only makes your melody shine even further, but makes the song extremely engaging, with variety of intensity from beginning to end.
  • How to vary your melody to outline and reinforce the final harmonic context, and achieve the desired impact you need to deliver your song to the audience,  in the most expressive and engaging manner possible.  Once you have chosen the most adequate chords, and how to play them with intensity, you will then have the need to modify your melody, to make it sound even more unique .

How to apply them with satisfaction in context

These tools will now give you access to the second part of the module, where you will apply the concepts to a given melody, to achieve the 100% satisfaction goal ; so you can say aloud,  Yes, this is what I was looking for !

On completion you will have practiced :

  • To choose the most appropriate key for your voice to shine.
  • To analyse the harmonic tension you feel at each moment, and choose the adequate chords to reflect such.
  • To create variation in this harmonic tension by creating bass lines, inversions and reharmonisation, or adding melodic lines to the top of Existing chords.
  • To alter the melody of the song to achieve the desired emotional impact.
  • To control the intensity you want to produce at each section of your song.
  • To finalise a satisfying relationship of chords, melody and structure; ready for the pre production stage, where other musicians will interact with you.
  • To say I really adore my song; the final melody, chords and lyrics.

All the above concepts can be applied to any given form of guitar playing as flamenco guitar, jazz guitar, blues guitar and also all types of guitars as electric guitar, acoustic guitar or nylon string Spanish guitar. 

Blues Guitar Lessons- The Essence

The Joy of Playing Blues Guitar

I love muy blues. I adore playing blues on the guitar, as the feel it produces, will make my day.

When I started playing blues, my guitar teachers introduced me directly to contemporary blues, with a lot of chord changes, and did not focus on the origin of the blues.

Due to my thirst for the true feel, I started listening to the classics as Muddy Waters,  and asked myself how these original artists were able to achieve such clarity in the blues feel.

This way of approaching melody and chords has inspired and laid foundation for most contemporary music. In Level 2, all Creative Guitar students start mastering the beauty of blues  and the joy it produces, as part of our daily playing . Blues guitar lessons are incorporated in level 2, 3 and 4 courses .

The Secret of Blues

I believe that there is more than a secret in blues guitar playing; there is a realm of delicate harmonic tension balance that we must caress to keep the magic flowing.

Blues is like a cloud of sound that floats on top of our chords.  Blues comes alive when we create the contrast between the blues sound and the harmony of our tune.

The first step we must take, to feel this sound cloud, is to understand what key we are in, or the tonal center of our song. The first chord of our blues will define our tonal center. If our first chord is a G, then we can assume that we are playing a major blues in G.

Note: I assume you are aware of the blues progressions and the blues scale.

Blues Guitar lessons Melbourne

Have you ever felt that when you move away from the G chord, you need to play something else that you cannot find?

Have you ever felt that the blues cloud, the blues feel ,disappears as you play other chords?

If you do not have this feeling, then I must assume you are playing the blues correctly. However, if  you do, then consider that the more you move away from the G chord, the more you will need to play the blues sound, and the less you will need to play the other chords completely.

How do we keep the feel

If you are loosing the G blues sound, when you play the C chord, then only play the root and add more G blues sound to your playing. In the same manner, when you play the D chord, avoid playing the full chord and add more blues sound to it. ( the G Blues )

In all blues styles, you will hear that the magic occurs when we contrast the sound of the chord with the tonal center blues scale.

At the Creative Guitar School, in your blues guitar lessons,  I will guide you through the different blues styes and how the relationship of harmony- melody and blues scales, interact to achieve the desired sound.

Can I play the blues sound over any chord progression ?

Yes. For example; if your song is in C , you can play the C blues scale over any chord, and if done right, it will work.

As I mentioned,  blues does form part of most contemporary music, we enjoy in our daily lives. In your guitar lessons,  I would strongly suggest learning more of this style, as it will give you a natural advantage in achieving a unique sound in your playing. Blues is a colour that creates a special contrast, that can add harmonic and melodic richness to your playing

What to learn ?

In terms of knowledge, in your blues guitar lessons, you will learn how to define the rhythm guitar or the lead solo guitar, in various keys, 8 or 12 bar progressions, and styles.

You will also learn,  in your blues guitar lessons, where to find the notes that sound blues all over the guitar neck; in various keys. And how to play a solo that creates contrast between the chords and the blues.

You will learn to create phrases, based upon logical melodic questions and answers; call and response.

You will learn to talk with authentic blues phrases; by acquiring vocabulary used by the classics.

You will learn the major pentatonic scales of all chords, the mixolydian scale, major minor arpeggios, and all  harmonic- melodic tensions available.

In summary,  a whole set of musical tools, to tap into , to give you unlimited resources for all your creative needs.

Your ideas will not stop popping up, and soon you will be able to find them and play them on the guitar.

As a professional session guitarist,  I also heavily rely on these skills, so to be able to develop diversity and quickly tap into the different musical genres I am asked to play on .

Note

I do not recommend, a beginner guitarist, should start off only with blues guitar lessons. All guitar students need to have developed a sense of rhythm, harmony, melody and technique, before immersing themselves in this beautiful language.

That is why,  at the Creative Guitar School, students must complete level one of their learning, before moving into this style. You need a good sense of rhythm , melody and harmony to enjoy the beauty of blues.

Extended listening

These are some of my favourite blues players I listen to.  The list will take you through a variety of styles in this musical language.

Magic Sam Style Blues Son House, Muddy Waters, and and John Lee Hooker Styles

Elizabeth Cotton,, Tampa Red, Robert Johnson, Blind Blake,  Big Bill Broonzy, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, Corey Harris, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Lightnin Hopkins, Tommy Johnson, , Tampa Red, Blind Lemon Jefferson, BB King

School Concert

Students love to perform at our frequent concerts. I also enjoy to see how students work together, play together, and develop their musical expertise; socially.  It is fun , engaging and above all very satisfying.

Discipline 

Music requires discipline in our learning. All my guitar courses are based on structured learning. There fore, in order to complete the guitar courses, to your own satisfaction, please allocate 20 minutes every day, during 10 weeks, for all your guitar exercises.

Group effort

All guitar courses, that develop the basic level of learning, require that the student commits to a daily practice routine so as to keep up with the rest of the group courses,

Groups also get together outside class hours ,to help each other  in their  musical adventure and to prepare for the concerts.

I hope to see you at one of our next Guitar Concerts . Sign up to get the latest news on all our events , courses  and my specialized Melbourne Concerts.

 

 Guitar Learning Solutions

 Guitar Learning Solutions

Do you fit in this profile ?

Are you looking for solutions to any of the following guitar learning problems?

  • So you know how to play some chords, you have learnt some phrases and licks from the internet, you have been playing for years, but still cannot make sense of where to go next.
  • You have a song you love to play, and feel you want to say more with it, but you do not know how.
  • You know a chord is not quite right, in the song, but do not know what other options you have to make it sound right.
  • You have reached the stage that your C, D, Dm, G, and F chords do not do the trick anymore .
  • You have read a lot of guitar theory books,  but still cannot make sense of it.
  • You would love to play with others, but your require skills on how to do it.
  • You ponder on how other guitarists can make a C chord sound so good.
  • You can play on your own, but cannot follow a song for its entire length on you tube.
  • You can figure out, more or less a lick, but cannot figure out how to create your own.
  • You hear some melodies in your head and would like to know how to turn those melodies into a song.
  • You  play in a band and you want to do more than just cover a song. You want to do play your own solo, grooves, riffs and make the song flow with your own emotion.
  • You would like to play on your own, a pop song and play the lyrical line at the same time . How do you play chords and melody at the same time ?
  • You need to sound more bluesy but cannot figure out how.

These are some of the guitar learning problems my intermediate guitar students have. The guitar, at the early stages is fairly easy to learn, since we generally only learn some chords. But all intermediate students face some of the above concerns, when they want more out of their playing.

The guitar learning problems we face, can be a result of internet learning from other guitarists who may also be in the same loop.

 

What are your guitar learning problems

The solution

The solution, to all the above is, to understand that when we play a song, we must know the melody, the structure and the chords. We must have all the necessary tools to achieve intense emotion both in our interpretation of the melody, or the accompaniment. And last, but not least, only if we have the melody present at all times in our head, we will be able to develop the structure efficiently.

If you can sing it, you can play it 

The less we think about what we are playing,  the more we will be able to perform. The more we are able to hear what is coming next, the more we will be able to enjoy it. No matter how many chords, scales, arpeggios, melody, licks we know, if we are not able to hear the underlining fabrics of the song, we will not be able to play efficiently.

All that you know must fall in sync with a chordal sequence, which in turn generally is  the consequence of a melody.

We will not remember a song by only memorising the chords. We must be able to hear the melody of the song. In order to hear we must be able to sing. In our early stages, it is not necessary to sing in tune, but  we must somehow have the concept in our head, if the sound is going up or down.  The sooner we can, more or less, sing what we want to play, the sooner we will play with ease. No matter how much technique we persist on, if we are not able to hear what we wish to do, we will end up with possible anxiety, muscle cramps, boredom and intense frustration.

You must sync to a tempo

We hear and we remember because the music falls in relation to a time frame. All we play, on our guitar, has to fall in sync with a tempo, with-a  time clock.  We  really do not have to think to much about what we want to do. Thus, the more we concentrate on the tempo, the easier it will become.

Memory and emotional awareness

We will be able le to memorise music, if we are able to understand consciously and classify the emotional intensity of the passage. We generally do not remember chords but  remember the feeling they produce. For example, if you feel a chord with a lot of tension, it will be probably be a dominant.

Also, we all must be aware that chords do not create static emotional categories. When we play a chord, we must create a change in its intensity if not, i will sound boring.

Music make sense when it flows. In the same manner, in nature, water flows because of a difference in pressure, electricity flows between opposite polarities, winds are created by changes of pressure.  Likewie, music comes alive, only we hear and portray these variations in pressure, in emotion or intensity.

All my intermediate and advance guitar lessons and courses, will get the guitar students on the right track,  to pursue their goals.

Styles

In all the above, you will notice that I have not mentioned the concept of style. A style like jazz guitar, blues guitar, flamenco guitar  is just a manner of how we organise the musical vocabulary together.  All of the previous concepts are the same for all styles. Music is like a language . All languages express, communicate and serve the same purpose. What changes between different languages, is how the alphabet is put together and how we use it.

All musical styes share the same concepts of tempo, structure melody, chords and intensity. A style will become easy to learn, once we have all the previous issues resolved, as we then only have to identify the particularity of the style .

Blues, for example, is a structure where we generally try to make major chords sound minor. The more minor we make them sound, the more blues we get. And the more we move away harmonically from the resting point of the song, the more we will need to play more blues sound, so as to maintain the style

In all guitar lessons and courses I develop the fundamentals of learning to help identify the characteristic of each style.

Please refer to the following link to view my music production services  and  music production educational blog.

Guitar Lessons, How to learn effectively?

Guitar Lessons. Enjoyment and self expression

I wish to take you on a journey to explore the secrets of this magnificent instrument, the guitar. Furthermore, open an extended gateway for your ongoing personal development and well being in your life.

Music is the language of emotions and the guitar is the tool we will use to tap into those unique, beautiful, inner feelings, we all have.

I wish to guide you on your journey.  Our learning experience will produce a tool box which will give you the skills you need to play whatever you wish, and how you wish. The ultimate goal of your guitar lessons is enjoyment, through self expression.

 Guitar Lessons Courses What will you learn?

The guided pathway

At the Creative Guitar School, I cater for all levels of learning in a  diversity of styles through your guitar lessons. I would now like to address the learning goals of those who are just starting out.

All musicians need to start out. Furthermore, we all deserve the right to reach our goals. However, we may find obstacles along the way and crash into them. When this happens, frustration may settle in and the guitars may end up on our walls.

I want all guitar beginners in a years time, from when you start your guitar lessons, to be able to play, off by heart, the following or similar tracks.

We generally learn three tracks,  per course, of similar material.

Students learn a total of 6 simple songs of their choice in two levels in their guitar lessons.

    • Compose a few songs like the following:

Students compose one song per level

Play three concerts. Please follow this link to see the 2016 and 2017  Guitar students and teacher concerts

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Play along , off by heart  tracks by: Police, Ed Sheeran, Justin Beiber, Paco de Lucia, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Norah Jones, Bb King, and James Brown.

How to study and progress with joy

We will learn to play on the guitar all the above, off by heart and with joy. I must insist, that you have to feel good about what you do,  every step of the journey. You have to have fun.

A students needs to understand what they know, what they do not know and how to get to the next step of their learning, with care and patience.

The more we are able to feel what we are doing, the quicker we will learn. We will only remember physical movements for a short period of time. But, we will remember a song and how to play it for life, if we  relate movements to specific sound and emotion.

Structure

I assume you have listened briefly to the above material.  How do we go from knowing nothing, to playing all the above material?

We need to first establish that everything we play, must be related to  a structure: it must have a beginning, an end and a tempo.  We learn to play the guitar swiftly, only if we reproduce the same scenario that occurs in the professional world,  in a simple musical context.

In your guitar lessons ,you will start off by learning chords and rhythm. If you follow the exercises correctly,  in 3 weeks time, you will be playing a song from top to bottom.

Aural training

In order to learn efficiently, you must be able to hear what you do , feel it and know where the sound is to be found on the guitar.  You need to memorise melodies and the corresponding harmony associated.

You need to hear the harmony in advance, so as to anticipate the desired emotion. In order to hear, you must sing or mumble and you need to create. Only when you create, will you be able to make sense of melody, harmony, rhythm and structure.

You cannot memorise a mechanical movement outside a musical context. There must be a targeted desired sound and emotion so you may memorise what the movement is for.  I will guide you, with specific exercises to help you hear and find the sound on the guitars.

Goals

In a short period of time,  you will be able to play simple melodies, solo guitar, play in a group setting, play bass lines, counter lines, create diversity in rhythm and have lots of fun.

You  also need to follow discipline which is based on repetition with love and respect for your limits.  There should be no need for frustration or negative thoughts in your learning.

Very soon you will experience positive results and find the joy of sharing music in a group setting, creating your own melodies and hearing how they come life.

Technique

You will notice that I have not mentioned the word technique, as such really is only a consequence of all the above. We need movement to create music and all the above exercises, require solid technique,  for us to be able to feel them and enjoy the experience.

How much do I need to dedicate per day for my guitar practice ?

I have designed the courses so that if you dedicate 20 minutes, every day, during 20 weeks you will have accomplished all goals.

Guitar learning requires constant dedication and work, but the results are extremely rewarding.

Group learning

I have designed a series of exercise to be completed in group settings,  to encourage guitar students to interact and get together outside classroom hours. This will help you in your training .

Concerts

All  guitar students will get a chance to play at the School concerts.  Ee celebrate the events every 10 weeks.

You can do it

There is no secret in learning to play the guitar. We only need dedication and above all, to understand what we are doing and why. Music is not just about playing  chords, it is about playing a song in a tempo, with a beginning, an end, with changes, sections, and intensities.

You tube videos, generally,  show us how to play a songs with chords. But, not what to take into consideration to be able to coordinate all the movements, in a sequence and in relation to a specific tempo.

All songs are glued together by tempo. All the exercises you will enjoy in your guitar lessons are based on playing in tempo. Which would be like feeling a constant heart beat to your playing.

Interview

Please call me to schedule an interview for your guitar lessons. I need to asses your skills and recommend you the appropriate group for your learning, based upon your musical knowledge, aural and visual learning skills.

The next level

Once you have completed your first two levels, you will be ready to understand how to learn any style or music of your choice. You will have all the tools you need to undergo further challenges and the resulting joy of such.

You may read about all guitar lesson levels offer through guitar lessons at the Creative Guitar School through this link.

Times

All courses are scheduled during the evenings. Private guitar lessons are scheduled during  morning and afternoon hours. Please refer to guitar lesson prices and conditions through the following link.

More info

If you would like to learn more about my professional activities, outside the educational scenario, please refer to my Melbourne Concert Latin Flamenco Guitar Site.

 

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Concerts

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Concert December 9

Every 10 weeks, all  my guitar students get together, enjoy a nice lunch and perform  a memorable concert.

I just love how music lovers can join to share their passion of life through music. As always, it feels just great to see everyone having such a good time with music,  and all our friends.

Guitar lessons and the baby chair

In the picture, we have the baby chair,   which unfortunately did not fit any of our sitting postures.

In the following picture we can see, and really get the feeling of how hard a student has to think, to remember the name of the song they  have to play. memory test with phong guitar lessons

The concert was a great success  and once again I must say thank you for making the Creative Guitar School the place to be.

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Concert September 23

We all came armed with our guitars, marching like true stars!

Congratulations to everyone. What a delightful day having you all play at our regular Creative Guitar School Concert. We held the concert on September 23, at the Armadale Uniting Church Hall.

The warm up lunch and the aftermath, truly justified all the hard work you have put into your guitar.

We all know that guitar playing requires discipline. It is a daily journey exploring,  enjoying aspects of who you are, that are hidden behind layers of our constrained emotional adulthood. Music brings out the child inside of us, who wishes to explore and enjoy life with true happiness.

On September 23, we heard songs from Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Bach,  Paco de Lucia, Beatles, Adele, MGMT and many more. Students played solo, in duos, trios and in quartet.

Guitar Lessons Structured Learning

The objective of the Creative School Music Curriculum is to encourage guitar students to learn songs in a manner where they can play them live, in a group, or an ensemble.

We play all contemporary music styles as: jazz, pop, reggae , blues, funk, and especially flamenco which is one of my guitar passions.

We require all students to understand concepts of structure, harmony, melodic variations, rhythmic variations, improvisation and composition. All students learn to hear a melody and play it on the spot. They also learn to identify the chord sof the songs they wish to play,  by understanding the tonal centre, and the chords derived from such.

Our creative self expression will benefit from structured learning. I also set guidelines to help achieve our musical objetives with true satisfaction.

 

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Concert group ensemble

New Group Guitar Courses

New Group Guitar Courses

I have scheduled upcoming guitar courses to start this week; July 16. There are no spaces left for the present course . However, the school has scheduled new level 3 and 2 courses, to commence the week of July 23. on Mondays at 6pm and 8pm .

Please sign up to our newsletter for updates on courses times and The Creative Guitar Social Club activities.

Upcoming School Concert

I have scheduled out next school concert for September 23.  The Creative Guitar School Social Club will hold the concert at the Armadale Uniting Church. Please refer to our social club Facebook pages for all updates on these events.

If you wish to attend my major Melbourne concerts: Thomas lorenzo please follow this link to read about upcoming concerts,  past concert reviews, articles: read about and listen to all my latest releases, available on iTunes or Spotify.

Advanced Guitar Groups

I am calling out to all guitar students who wish to be part of our guitar ensembles. The new ensembles will interpret arranged tracks of pop standards.

All students will learn to define melodic roles as soloists or accompanists.  All accompanists will experience the pleasure of developing melodic accompaniment. The will also learn to present a given composition in an improvised manner. They will  create melodic variations that will maintain the attention of the listener throughout  their performance.  We will record  all tracks live and share them  on our social networks.

This is a unique  opportunity to further develop your musical skills and to participate in a challenging musical experience.

The ensemble will perform live on September 23 at the Creative Guitar School Concert.

Group requirements

I would like to insist that all students  organise a periodic study routine . This will allow you to keep up with your fellow group  members and further enjoy the beauty of guitar and music.

All courses and electives are offered in private or group guitar lessons. Groups vary in size from 3 to 5 students.Group learning can be more stimulating at less advanced levels. Contemporary music is a social experience. Music is about sharing emotions.The group learning will expose the student to a more natural learning environment.

Private instruction is more intense and more efficient for advanced learning.

group guitar lessonsConditions
Before accepting any student into my program an interview is scheduled. If a student wishes to learn in a group environment I then match their skills with others and propose a group that I feel they will get along together and make the best of the 10 week courses.

In summary:group guitar lessons and courses simulate the real life working environment of music. Private instruction concentrates more on individual performance skills.

All students learn the same in all levels and courses no matter what option is taken.

Please call me and schedule an interview to learn about your skills and creative potential. Shine be Unique. The Creative Guitar School. Melbourne Eastern suburbs.

When to join a group?

Groups open up every three weeks. Students skills are matched in order to create the most efficient learning environment. This process requires time. If you wish to join a group please contact us at least 5 weeks in advanced. If your choice of group is not available we will put you on a waiting list .

An example of a popular course.

Prices.

All group lessons, courses are prices at 315 dollars for a 10 week course paid in advanced.

What happens if you cannot attend a class ?

All group classes are recorded on video for personal use by group members. Students have access to the video through the group virtual folder( drop box) in order to make up the missed class.

 Group Guitar Lessons Timetable

Groups meet on weekday evenings between and 5 and  9 pm.

Note: Please try to book well in advance ,as this method of learning is very in demand during the evening timetable.

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Event

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Event

On July 8, 2017  from 11 to 2 p.m, we will celebrate our Creative Guitar School Social Club Concert.


All students will perform in duos,  trios and quartets, a selection of repertoire from the our School Curriculum at our Melbourne Creative Guitar School Event.

I organise these concerts on a regular basis, to encourage student interaction.  All students, at my school,  learn to compose and arrange their own compositions.  I am very happy to gather a creative group of song writers that are very eager to share their music with other students.

This concert is a free event for all students and families. If you are not one of the previous and you would like to attend, please send me an email and I will send you a complimentary pass.

Melbourne Creative Guitar School Event

Upcoming Guitar Courses

Beginners levels 1 and 2, Artistic Guitar 3-6

We start all our new courses during the week of July 8.  I have scheduled these group classes in the evenings, between 5 and 9 p.m.

We are currently undergoing interviews with prospective students that wish to join our guitar adventure. Please send me an email  to learn more about induction times.

Our Creative Guitar Social Club is definitely in need of new members, that wish to add their creative output to all our performances.

Guitars for sale

I  have on sale my Flamenco Classical Guitar Eduardo Durán. I originally bought this guitar in Madrid and the sale price is that of $8,800 . This unique artist guitar is definitely a must for the serious guitar player that desires the authentic Flamenco sound in his repertoire.

Melbourne Flamenco Latin Guitar Concerts

These are my major upcoming Melbourne Flamenco Latin Guitar Concerts dates in Melbourne this year, 2017.

Where:
Armadale Uniting Church 86A Kooyong Road, Armadale, VIC, 3143 (03) 9509 8958

Tickets: $ 30 ( General)

Please join in a Celebration of Guitar music from the heart.

 

Upcoming Jazz Blues Flamenco Masterclass

Upcoming Jazz Blues Flamenco Masterclass

 

masterclass2

Dates: November 2017.

Read more.

Where & When?

6 masterclasses to be held at the newly renovated Kathleen Syme Library in Carlton (Multi-purpose Room 2) 251 Faraday St, Carlton VIC. FREE street parking is available in the area after 6:30 pm and the nearest paid parking is at 217 Elgin St Carlton (for $8). If you are traveling by public transport, catch the University tram and get off at Melbourne Uni.

 

Online Bookings

Private lessons, group  lessons, and all courses develop on topics lectured at these masterclasses.

The masterclasses are not intended to teach you how to play the guitar, but to create a thorough exposition of what you have to learn, why and how, in order to achieve the desired sound, level of expression or uniqueness.

Guitar learning is a discipline associated with drills and repetition. There is no other way of learning such and this requires time, patience and love. The masterclasses are geared towards guitar students will  strong self learning skills. The Creative guitar school is where all music comes to life through social interaction. Private lessons or group lessons target developing that knowledge, that is explained at the masterclasses, into your individual musical expression.



Learn more about the Jazz Blues Flamenco masterclasses

 

 

 

 

Creative guitar improvisation

Creative guitar improvisation

Does creativity thrive from the need to organise the chaos in material life?  Our lives are structured in a manner where improvisation, sometimes,  cannot fit into our daily schedules.  I personally,  just feel great when I am able to sit down with the guitar, play what I wish, and express what comes to my mind.

I invite you,  to share with all of us, your creative guitar improvisation at our Guitar Social Club.

Creative guitar improvisation

All students, including beginners at the Melbourne Guitar School,  can participate in group ensembles. You will be immersed in creating music in a social environment, sharing your musical thoughts with other like minded music lovers. The Creative Guitar Social Club organisers frequent retreats to further develop musical skills and consequent creativity.

Students learn skills by completing the course outlines that may be found on the website.  At present, courses are in their 5th week; new courses will be starting on the 2nd week of June. There are still two openings for Thursdays at 6 p.m and 7 p.m,  for level 1 , and on Thursdays at 8 p.m,  for level 4.

Please send me an email, if you would like further information on all our courses and creative guitar improvisation.

Melbourne concerts and events

During the following months,  I will be producing my yearly Melbourne Concert 2017 series, at the Armadale Uniting Church. At these concerts, I will share with the audience my latest musical creations, in an intimate musical setting. Please take a peek at my latest releases.

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Book Full Melbourne Concerts: Thomas Lorenzo  2017

Where:
Armadale Uniting Church 86A Kooyong Road, Armadale, VIC, 3143 (03) 9509 8958

Tickets: $ 30 ( General)

Melbourne flamenco guitars for sale

Back in the year 2007, I spent a few days in Madrid, Spain,  auditioning all the guitars, available at one of the Hermanos Conde Guitar Shop.

In the end , I finally selected the flamenco guitar model which I have on sale now. I selected this model,  based upon its timbre,  projection and the overall spectrum, in relation to the room sound.

This guitar emanates sound in all directions. The luthier created a guitar with extremely well balanced mid frequencies . They allow for extreme clarity,  in the projection of sound, in an ensemble setting.

Therefore, ff you would like to audition this guitar,  please send me an email.

Pro Session Guitarists for hire 

Enhance the lyrical character of your music by adding the Spanish guitar to your arrangement. Your musical creations will over shine others.

Check out my music production services, Pro Session Guitarists for hire, for songwriters; my past and present projects. Experience how the flamenco guitar can enhance your desired emotions, that your compositions truly deserve.

Libros de Música

My textbook on  arranging and orchestration, in the Spanish language is called:  Libros de Música,  El Arreglo Un Puzzle de Expresión Musical. This book compiles, in it’s 483 pages, contemporary arranging techniques , which I classify as  tools,  to help the arranger and composer,  understand their creations and deliver them to the audience,  with the utmost harmonic and melodic expression, in relation to the chosen  style .