“Time Stands Still” Smooth Jazz/Chill Guitar

Sometimes sitting down to compose a piece of music is an act of extreme frustration. Other times it just flows like water. Typically, you enter into the process with pre-conceived ideas of how you want the project to turn out. Other times you let it happen.

This was one of those times. I pulled up a project that I had started earlier, which was a looped piano riff with a very cool, chill vibe to it. I looked for a beat that would go along with it but nothing clicked. Instead, I decided to go with a very basic stand up bass part that fit perfectly. I then added a guitar melody over top of it and boom it worked. Surprisingly, I used my white PGM 30 electric guitar tuned down 1/2 step and it sounded great. As for the sound, I used the Royal Rock (Queen) setting on Logic Pro X, which has a touch of delay on it along with that Brian May bite.

By the way, this was composed for my mom as a gift for mother’s day. Luckily, this was one of those moments where everything fit. It would be great if it were always this easy:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvHUY8LQgkE&lc=UgwYd5EH1pN-NTcD_x14AaABAg

Ed Sheehan’s “Afterglow” Chord Chart

For those of you looking for an accurate transcription of the chords for Ed Sheehan’s new song, “Afterglow” your search is over.

Intro/Verse
Pre-Chorus
Chorus 1
Verse 2
Pre-Chorus 2
Outdo Chorus

The Children Left Behind

There is little doubt that Covid has placed our children at risk in more ways than one. With many schools opting for distance-learning since the March outbreak here in the United States, it was inevitable that the achievment gap would grow. With lower income areas dealing with children at home day after day, the strain has begun to show. The ability for these students to learn at home is proving to be difficult if not impossible.

New York City

With parents unable to find childcare they can afford, many students are left to their own devices during the day. Therefore, schoolwork is not getting done and worse the children are losing interest in learning. To expect children to stay on their computers with no distrations for hours at a time is not working. It is now a major crisis and one that will not be solved for a while.

Older secondary students are not immune from the virus in that they feel hopeless and demoralized. This has caused a rift between teachers and parents that gets downright ugly. With tensions at an all time high in this pandemic the only saving grace is that the vaccine is on the way.

This is my description of the heartbreaking reality of where we are as a nation. Hopefully, things will improve very soon, but in the meantime…

Dan Kanter’s Amazing Rhythm Guitar

I’ve always been fascinated with the guitar playing of Dan Kanter. His playing, mainly when he was with Justin Bieber, always stands out as innovated and hip. His ability to create multi-faceted rhythmic effects that more than mimic the original electronic based versions of songs is second to none.

As an example, Bieber’s live cover of “Hotline Bling” is one of Dan’s best work. In the following tutorial you will see the approach that he can deliver with seeming ease. There are only two chords in the song itself. They are jazzy vesions that are not hard to grab if you put a couple hours into the process.

Make sure your first and second finger are on the same fret (5). before placing your third and fourth fingers down.
This chord is a little harder to grip as the third finger needs to press down on three strings.

Here is the Guitar Pro Score:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19IIkocm49AB9ehPN4-C3XihZ9Z7wXihx/view?usp=sharing

Here is the YouTube Video:

“Hotline Bling” Justin Bieber Tutorial with Dan Kanter on guitar.

Shout out any questions you have for this tutorial!

Creating a Backbeat on the Guitar

Adding percussive sounds to your guitar playing is a great way to spice up your playing! It gives the illusion that you are playing two parts at once. Maybe it’s not an illusion then!

As you will see, this technique is applied on beats two and four of a typical 4/4 phrased musical structure. Imagine if you will a basic rock or pop drum pattern where the kick drum plays on beat one and three while the snare drum is struck on beats two and four.

Bieber and the quirky guitar riff.

Talk about quirky angular guitar riffs, this one’s at the top of the list. Justin Bieber’s new song, “That’s What Love Is” from his new album, Changes is a nevertheless a good technical workout.Justin Bieber Talk about quirky angular guitar riffs, this one’s at the top of the list. Justin Bieber’s new song, “That’s What Love Is” from his new album, Changes is a nevertheless a good technical workout.

Here is the Guitar Pro score:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HKhnn3V84RaT_hZVJ25ctnuvazcPO-ZO/view?usp=drivesdk

Here is the YouTube video link:

“That’s What Love Is” Tutorial

“Welcome to the Machine” – A Melodic Masterpiece in Disguise

Pink Floyd‘s tech-heavy composition, “Welcome to the Machine” was always way ahead of its time. It brooding and searching and minor-based sonic pallet always took some getting used to, at least for me. But, after covering the song, I discovered the incredible melodic motifs contained within.

This is a two-minute section of the song.

“Tears From Above” Ambient Instrumental Guitar

The state of humanity, and the creator looking down at it all.

Photo Credits:

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Photo by wang binghua on Unsplash

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash

Photo by Jamieson Gordon on Unsplash

Photo by Joe Beda on Unsplash

Photo by Wim van ‘t Einde on Unsplash

Photo by Ivan Jevtic on Unsplash

Photo by Zach Guinta on Unsplash

Photo by Zulmaury Saavedra on Unsplash

Notes:

For the writing of this work I used a Fender American Stratocaster, running into Logic Pro X. The effect on the guitar is Vahalla’s Smimmer, which is my all time favorite guitar effects. Not to mention that it is an incredible tonal experience.

“On My Mind” Jorja Smith (Acoustic Version Tutorial)

In September 2017, Jorja Smith released “On My Mind”, an irresistible and jazzy track.  She worked alongside producer, Preditah. The track first premiered on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show. It was her first release that made it into the Official UK Charts reaching #54. It has been streamed well over 13 million times on Spotify alone. 

If you haven’t played them yet, this track will introduce you to a few jazz chord forms. These moveable shapes are not hard to maneuver if you take your time and work out the fingerings. Do not rush through this arrangement. Patience and slow movement will more than pay off.

I did make a correction thanks to a YouTube subscriber. The second chord is an Fm7b5, and not an Fm7 as I say in the video tutorial.

Here is the tab, which I am in the process of completing. Thank you for your patience!

Here is a link to the Guitar Pro Tab/Score:

I will provide more help with video and audio clips.

Thank you!

Mark