The “Issues” of Julia Michaels.

A Textbook Acoustic Guitar Accompaniment

Say what you will about pop music, but it does have quality players and producers if you look for them. Take this performance by Julia Michaels with Dan Kanter on guitar. It’s nothing but beautiful and expertly performed. Dan Kanter is the best guitar accompanist around. His work on Justin Bieber’s acoustic “What Do You Mean” opened up the world to just how good a guitar part can be behind a pop vocalist.

Why Dan?

Dan raises the bar when it comes to harmonic choices in his playing. Give him three chords, four chords, five chords, it matters not. Dan will take what are usually easy throw away guitar forms and turn them into incredible soundscapes that lift the song beyond what most would deem possible.

Dan’s Method

RvnIg3c_In this song, Dan has tuned his guitar up one half step. Oh that Dan, you never know what he has up his sleeve. This will, of course, put more stress on your fingers as the string tension will be higher. Don’t worry if you have a smooth playing acoustic. If not, be advised that your fingers may not be happy with you. Read on for a couple solutions I’ve come up with.

 

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For her part, Julia Michaels was nothing short of fabulous. Maybe a little nervous at first? Well, who would fault her. The nervousness did not last long as Dan’s guitar lifted the session and Julia picked up on that energy immediately. Her vocal performance is fabulous and I would dare say that it rivals the original. A wonderful artist in her own right she has also co-written works for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez! This gives her big street credentials and should keep her busy for quite a while.

Solutions to the Dan Dilemma

My solution to the “tuned up” Dan guitar was to simply capo on fret one. The only reason I did this was to avoid the obvious sound of breaking strings as people who watch this tutorial attempt to tune up. Heaven’s no. I’m not going to be responsible for that mess. Another solution? Play it in the original key of Ab major. One warning, you will all but lose any open strings. My advice is to either capo, tune up, or play in open position (without the capo) and sing it in the key of G major. Whatever you chose will depend on your experience and finger strength.

And Finally…

Have fun with this upper intermediate to lower advanced guitar part and please, don’t ask me to make it easier for you. It would be irresponsible of me to do so. Hey, eventually you have to deal with the reality that playing guitar is hard work and sometimes you have to step it up and push yourself.

Here is a link to your guitar pro pdf:

“Issues” julia Michaels Guitar Pro Tab

Here is the tutorial link:

“Issues” Guitar Tutorial

 

-Mark

 

 

“COLD WATER”: JUSTIN BIEBER ON GUITAR

Here is the chord chart with lyrics for Justin Bieber’s Ellen Show Performance:

The guitar part is in the upper-intermediate range. If you plan on playing it as I demonstrated it will take your typical folk strumming playing to new heights.

“Cold Water” – Acoustic Guitar Tutorial

Containing tap rhythms, a barre chords, and some very good pop rhythm sequences, “Cold Water” is well worth learning.

Here is your document!

justin-bieber

Let me know if you have questions on the playing of this part.

-Mark

Acoustic Final Fantasy

An Acoustic Duo Cover

“Town Theme” written by the prodigious Anime composer Nobuo  Uematsu, is a short but alluring piece of music. Consisting of a light texture with a hypnotic rhythmic movement, the melodicism embedded in the sections gives it the staying power it needs for its role in the game, Final Fantasy.


I chose to cover “Town Theme”theme using a acoustic guitar duo format. My obsession with random improvised harmonies was perfectly suited to the music’s construction. Not that the work needed my help mind you, it was just my way of interpreting the “hidden harmonies” one hears when the obsession with music runs deep in your brain.

all_sounds_of_final_fantasy_i%c2%b7ii_front_cover

Like all great composers Uematsu gets to the techniques that color otherwise plain tonal music. This is where the theme becomes legend. An ordinary composer would struggle to rise to such heights with such a project. Writing of this type can be an exercise in frustration as the limitless creative powers one has are kept at bay due to the reality of keeping the music close to home in terms of listenability and ultimately, commercialism.

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The first few seconds of “Town Theme” are telling. A very clever two-measure introduction opens with an artful C major arpeggio. In the following measure the composer wastes no time and goes for the gold medal with a beautiful second-inversion iv6 chord. The Fm/C substitutes for the dominant (as it’s prone to do)  giving measure 3 the push it needs to move forward like a bright, sunny, and brisk Sunday afternoon drive.

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In measures 9-10, an absolutely perfect cadence is set up to put and end to the first melodic statement. The progression, V I vi V2 bVI I5 V I is nothing short of mesmerizing.

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Is it genius writing? Maybe not being that the role o the theme is to bring one back to the center. But, I would challenge you who are composers to attempt such writing using the obvious restrictions during your process.

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You will come out a better writer as you reach deeper into multi-part writing. Keeping track of all voices and rhythms at your disposal your creative power will grow.

Mark Jeffery Campayno

Zac, Rob, Korn, and more views from the pit.

The joys and “pit”falls of working live shows.

 One thing is sure, people still love live music. If there was any worry that is was slowing down that’s surely gone. Fans want the real deal. Audio improvements, ease of downloading music, and the saturation of music in the media have not dimmed that internal desire for live performance. Our GM put it best when he said that “the business is healthy, and business is good”. The pubic’s desire to become, as it where, part of the experience continues to bring them to venues in droves.

Jiffy Lube Live Bristow, Virginia

All of us deal with concert goers that come up to us pleading that they know someone in the band. I knew rock stars were “prolific” but I didn’t know it spread so far. My reaction is always “You don’t say?!” “How do you know him?” Crickets…:)

Rob Zombie’s set smoked. He sounded great and to be honest, for a few moments I forgot who the headliner really was. I kept thinking, “How can the show get any bigger 93837a79b2ef7b127343d2e0dda72c91than this?”John 5 played a blistering four minute long guitar solo during Rob Zombie’s covert walkathon through the crowd. Ya, maybe a little cliche at times but still great. It’s about time he was allowed to cut loose. It wasn’t going to happen with Marilyn Manson as the music wasn’t about long guitar solos. But with Rob’s vibe, it fits perfectly. 

Zac Brown’s horn section ripped out some of the most thrilling lines I’ve ever heard during their spotlight. For sure horns in a country band are unusual. Credit has to be given to Zac’s vision of the band as the variety of instruments in Zac’s music is what creates the magic.

Korn has to have the largest female following in Metal. Easily. I’m not saying I have the reason for it, it’s just a fact. What does it mean? I dunno, maybe there’s something to be learned here for other bands who carry a heavy “guy” fan base.

We like Korn. And?
 
Breaking up fights during shows is dangersome and delicate. But, there is an art to it. One things for sure, a girl fight is the dread of us all.

Can’t we all just get along?
 
Zac Brown’s cover of The Who’s, “Baba O’ Reilly” was explosivteenage_wasteland___baba_o_riley__the_who_by_hulkcarlos-d6kcbvte. The keyboard part at the beginning could have been tweaked a bit better but nevertheless, it was refreshing to see fans of all ages singing along. It was a genius move to cover that gem.

I still don’t understand mosh pits. How more young people are not injured is beyond me. Flailing arms, karate kicks, muscular hulks with fire in their eyes, females fearlessly running around impervious to the danger. It’s interesting to watch but that doesn’t make it any more understandable to me. But…hey, it’s there and it’s part of what makes this music burn.

Hey man you off my shoes!

Korn’s music has a unique element in it that produces an aggressive and hyper-ecstatic reaction in its fans. What that element is centers around their unique harm and very tight and compressed sound. There were moments when it felt as though the venue was about to go nuclear.

 

 Zac Brown’s music is at times fun, sad, reflective, lively, and safe. But, when he hit the stage it all changed. The high-octane crowd took it to another level. Zac rocked hard. I must say I was pleasantly surprised! Be assured that Zac Brown is the real deal. He runs a very well oiled music machine and they are tight.

Zac can rock!

 

 

 

 

The key to being good at working on the floor during high energy shows is a very keen sense of people. If you can’t read a situation instantly you won’t make it. You have to look, evaluate, judge, and keep your eyes moving. Other than that it’s a piece of cake.

Hold on while I read you.

 

 

 

 

 

Experience. There is no substitution for it. Every show, every situation, and every moment is an opportunity for growth and movement forward. This is the greatest job I ever loved.

-Mark

 

Scanning the incoming crowd.

Mark Jeffery Campayno runs a music performance studio, Musicians-inc/StudioRock of Northern Virginia. Mark also directs the guitar department at Broad Run High School in Ashburn,Virginia. He also works on the pit crew at Live Nation’s Jiffy Lube Live Pavilion in Bristow, Virginia, and hosts his own internet radio show, The Studio Rocks at http://www.jazzbites.com.


A Music Nerd Who Is In Search Of The Beat

 

Yesterday, beginning at 1:00 pm I set out on a mission of sorts. I left early to assist a current student on her first day at Jiffy Lube Live (Live Nation). I won’t go into the details of the early part of the day but let’s just say the she saw the “other side” of the music industry up close and personal.

After our three or so hours in purgatory we took 5 minutes to recover and then moved into the house area. She and the majority of the 16,000 (more or less) fans understand well what was to come. But I remain perplexed. As I got closer the music got louder…much louder. As I descended the steps into the pit area the energy was as high as I can ever remember in my two plus years working on the floor.

I can still feel those first few moments. But alas, I am left this morning with a puzzling problem that won’t go away. Why do I remain in a state of confusion over an element of music that I was sure I had mastered. An element that is present even when it’s not obvious, that is, the beat.


The show, G-Easy and Logic was basically, and for lack of a better term
, was (mostly) White Rap. The crowd was energized and looking at the faces of the mostly 17-24 year old audience I realize once again just how powerful this music is.


There’s no use, nor is it my intention, in analyzing or getting into the lyrical content, the delivery, or the sometimes conflicting messages and  meanings behind this musical phenomenon. I have a bigger issue with the music, and if you are honest with yourself, you can find socio-lyrical dilemmas in all styles and genres of popular music.

 

It’s been bugging me for a while that I cannot get what makes a good hip hop/ rap beat. I know, and can construct, rock beats, Latin beats, jazz beats, funk beats, metal beats, and electronic beats. But when it comes to rap I don’t have it “locked in” yet. I just want to understand it in theoretical terms


I’ll say one thing for rap, they have the bass sound locked and loaded. There was a point last night where I thought my body was going to split in two. I was positioned directly in front of and slightly below the wall of bass cabinets that were stacked on top of the stage. The bass was not just loud but was vibrating every cell in my being.Wait, I think I’ve hit on something here! Is it possible that the bass supersedes the beat and is subservient to it? If this is so then hell, I’m letting it go. I mean, I’m not going to become a rap dj or a producer of rap beats for that matter. But wait, I’m a nerd. I have to know. I can’t drop it.


Someone help! I need the beat! Just tell me what is different a
bout the role of the beat? What should it have? What shouldn’t it have? Do I need a cowbell?

 

 

-Mark Jeffery Campayno

 

“From the Mouths of Enlightened Musicians”

The musical world according to a young visionary.

When I set out to put together my weekly radio show with three female musicians I had no idea how it would fly. Well, it flew just fine thank you. The final segment was pKiaya2lanned to be an interview/review of a double-release by the band, Silver and Moonlight. However, and as a great surprise to me, the interview segment blossomed into an exhaustive analysis of music making, improvisation, the inner workings of band live and composition, and a look into the mind of a gifted and artistic young lady…I would dare say a modern, artistic renaissance woman.

 

A little background:

Kiaya Abernathy is a vocalist, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, spectacular visual artist, and a very creative photographer. If that isn’t enough, she’s strong-willed, perceptive, and enlightened. That would all be understandable if she were in her forties, but if you take off a decade aKiayand a have you are closer to the truth.
Kiaya is dedicated to bringing to the masses art in all of its expression. In this interview, she speaks for all of us who struggle to bring forth creative and meaningful music into a world where sameness and commercial gain eclipse meaning and foresight.

 

 

As you listen to Kiaya speak about her band, her father, her ideas, and her hopes for the future, think of the way things could be. The way music would change if her worldview were a reality. If music were set free from the chains of what has to be.

Listen here:

The Interview

 

Check out the 31 song double album release by Silver and Moonlight:

Stars Shining Bright and Loon Call are here:

The Bands Website

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My radio show, The Studio Rocks with Mark Campayno, can be heard every weekend here:

JBRNewSlideThe Studio Rocks w/Mark Campayno

 

 

 

 

Hozier “Like Real People Do” from the Barn on the Farm Sessions – Guitar Tab

This is a basic tab of the great Hozier song, “Like Real People Do”. I will have a complete Guitar Pro PDF score ready soon.

I will construct the tab from Hozier’s live Barn on the Farm Session.

Hozier “Like Real People Do” Barn on the Farm Sessions

The ending is a little tricky. I’ll have the completed section scored out for you soon. It’s not overly difficult but is a little tricky~!

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Here is the basic tab version:

“Like Real People Do” – Basic Tab

All the Shades of Darkened Light by Free Spirit

 

via All the Shades of Darkened Light by Free Spirit on iTunes.

-Review by Mark Jeffery Campayno

Just when you thought that technological innovations in music had eliminated the need, or even the will to look back at the past, a band from Seinäjoki, Finland, Free Spirit releases it’s sophomore effort, “All the Shades of Darkened Light”. This 11 song collection opens up with blazing guitar riffs that evoke everything that serious rock fans have been missing for decades.

Can it be that eighties melodic hard rock is still relevant? I must admit, even I had doubts. With clarity, precision, and eighties bravado, “All the Shades of Darkened Light” serves notice that high energy and good old hair metal swag can still rock hard.

Melodic Hard Rock is a tough taskmaster. With so many musical elements to produce not to mention the risk involved, it’s refreshing to see a band pull it off with such ease. The first track, “Through the Night” will have you fully engaged as the band has set the course. There’s no turning back now. With blazing anthems and refurbished vocal hooks filling each track from beginning to end there’s hardly a place to catch yfree spirit1our breath. But, if you yearn for the days of big hair, perfectly processed guitars, and fist in the air rock bravado, prepare yourself to be transformed. Yes, the decade of decadence and excess lives on!

Guitar solos? Yes, and they are imaginative and impeccably played. Marko Haapamäki and Vesa Yli-Mäenpää churn out riffs that cut through the already-dense musical landscape with arpeggiated melodies and harmonized flights-of-fancy that strike to the soul of what guitar used to be. Used to be that is, before the Seattle revolution all but muted such perceived excess. Here excess is not on display. The solo sections are measured, balanced, and exquisite.
Vocalist, Sami Alho possesses all the nuance and flair of a hard rock leading man. Passionate, controlled, and soulful, he easily soars over the layered harmonies, guitar accents, and big drums. But of course that is part and partial of what the eighties were all about. The foundational blueprint of what Free Spirit is as a unit gives a bigness to this recording that is often missed when attempting to recreate the past. The band’s rhythm section is tough and ready with Sami Hämäläinen on bass, Pasi Koivumäki on drums, and Timo Alho on keyboards. They are on point with a groove that infuses the music with a harmonic pallet that is unique and tight.

free spirit Want proof? Try “Silence”, a heartbreaking tune reminiscent of the great hard rock ballads of the past.  Using all their powers, the boys come through big on this one with a moving performance full of arpeggiated passages, gorgeous guitar breaks, and pleading vocals.

 “Storyline” wraps up the release as the 11th track. This summation in hard rock gets to the heart of what Free Spirit is all about. A hint of Def Leppard appears in the main riff, the vocals harmonize perfectly, and everything is just perfect.

Thankfully, Free Spirit is no one trick pony. There’s plenty of variation in their material and one can easily make the necessary connection between the past and the present.  Hmmm…guys? Why not an even twelve next time?

Sami Alho – Vocals

Vesa Yli-Mäenpää – guitars & backing vocals

Marko Haapamäki – guitars & backing vocals

Sami Hämäläinen – bass

Pasi Koivumäki – drums

Timo Alho – keyboards

Free Spirit Music and Website:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/free-spirit/id79913251

http://freespiritrock.com/



Dan Kanter and JB

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 12.13.19 AM“What Do You Mean” Acoustic Guitar Tutorial

When I set out to do a guitar tutorial on the Justin Bieber (acoustic version) hit, “What Do You Mean?”Dan Kanter Acoustic Version I had no idea how important that innocuous, deceptive, but irresistible guitar accompaniment would become to me and many others. It truly woke up a whole nation of guitar players to the “coolness” of the acoustic guitar in a pop/hip hop setting. The song would be to so many a “slap back to reality” of sorts to the guitar community of the expressive and colorful possibilities of an acoustic guitar and a voice.

Before you accuse me of leaving out countless other guitar vocal duos, Tuck and Patti Tuck & Patti surely come to mind first, none of them were at their peak during a communication revolution. With information moving faster than we can keep up with,  Dan’s guitar playing on the acoustic “What Do You Mean?” has single-handedly sparked a very big interest in taking the guitar more seriously.

Maybe, just maybe, this has demonstrated that it can be cool to play three, four, maybe a rare five chords and make them groove. Not only that, but when played by a bassist, pianist, guitarist, composer, arranger, music director, producer, current holder of a New York University music degree, and a future York University YorkU Master’s Degree in Musicology YorkU Musicology Program graduate, you see that the word guitarist can now carry much more weight that it has in the past.  

One thing is sure, in a world of incessant musical delivery it’s refreshing to see someone come along and stir up some of us who had become rather comfortable. Keep it up Dan and thanks for the infusion of relevance into the world of the guitar.