The Regal Four: A one-minute tribute to one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

One of Queen’s most unique compositions, “Love of my Life” encompasses all aspects of Freddie Mercury’s writing style. Mixed with Brian May’s angular guitar lines, which are perfectly weaved into Mercury’s complex musical twists of phrase, the magic of Queen becomes clear.

Thier music is not, and never has been, typical of the rock genre. It’s one thing to be progressive, but the music of Queen was a step ahead of that. It’s as though the two men, along with bassist, John Deacon and drummer/vocalist, Roger Taylor, challenged each other to reach for a higher musical consciousness. This divergent and inventive quartet ruled over the musical landscape of their time leading to the ultimate in musical creativity and longevity.

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I chose to feature this excerpt as it contains my favorite Queen-isms. Multi-layered harmonies, excruciatingly beautiful vocal and guitar tones, and an emotional depth of feeling still unmatched by anyone since. May’s ability to place his guitar lines in just the right place without overdoing them is quite remarkable. If that was all he was a master of, he would still go down of one of the greats of all time. But, lest we forget his most enduring legacy, his tone. Yes, that soaring and irresistible tone. I didn’t dare attempt to replicate it exactly as that would have been blasphemous, not to mention time consuming. I did the best I could to capture the aura of the man’s genius.

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The phrasing, the tonal colors, and the execution, are breathtaking. No shredding needed when you can create such melodic gems. Why waste excessive note wrangling when you can paint the world with sounds such as these?

Without question, the team of Freddie Mercury and Brian May rank right up there with the best of all time.

YouTube Cover Version

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“Love Lies” Khalid & Normani (Tutorial)

This is the electric guitar part for the song, “Love Lies” Original Video “Love Lies” written by Khalid Robinson, Normani Kordei Hamilton, Jamil Chammas, Ryan Vojtesak, and Tayla Parks.

This is a very clever and fun guitar part. If you want the guitar to pop out of a mix this is the textbook way to do it. Take three chords, and arpeggiate them using a Fender Stratocaster set for position 2. That gives the guitar a “mellow bite” that is perfect for parts you want the listener to focus on.

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Here is the guitar tab for the song. I’ve included the very brief legato run that occurs in measure 5 during the intro. Take your time with this as it may be a little tricky at first, especially the changes during the pre-chorus and chorus.

Here is the link for the guitar tab:

Love Lies Guitar Pro Tab

Here is the kink to the YouTube tutorial:

Love Lies Tutorial

 

Right Hand Exercises for the first Year Guitarist: Marching towards Mastery

This is a right hand exercise using only the right hand thumb and index finger.

It is a little tricky at first as the movement collapses from the top to the bottom (lower) 6th string. In order to keep the exercise within the first year limitation, the thumb plays on the 6th string only.

*Keep in mind that we are working towards the Travis Style of picking and in that vein, you will use both the index and middle fingers on the upper three strings. 

Please take your time with this going slowly and carefully. This will develop your ability to play more complex patterns with independence between the thumb and the index, middle, and ring fingers.

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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

 

“Nylon Fantasy #2”

A Nylon String Guitar Original Work

Prelude

This “classical guitar” work in the new acoustic style is by far my favorite of the ones I’ve written 'Air Guitar' byso far. Both its sound and construction are exactly what I look for in instrumental guitar works. Like anything else that comes as a pleasant surprise, this was one of those sessions where everything came together. I must say however, that I never go into a session with a preconceived idea, well at least not one that is carved in stone. My brain doesn’t work that way even though I can be very conservative and by the book in other areas of performance and study.

 

Methodology

I go in to such sessions randomly trying not to get caught up in the guitarists mindset that can plague your endlessly. The thoughts and schemes such as what key? What scales or chords? Should I go intblockdiagramo an altered tuning or not? Should I play fast or slow? That does nothing more than push your spirit into a one-dimensional force bent on being traditional. Traditional for the sake of tradition. Not to pay homage to it, but to be bound by it.

The Work

I don’t remember consciously doing this but it has a logical rhythmic flow to it. The piece starts out by stating the melody in between a very dense foundation harnomics.gif
of dark arpeggiated chords. I overdubbed some, but not all of the harmonics onto the work as a decorative effect. I, like many non-guitarists, tend to find them aurally attractive and very desirable especially on acoustic guitar.

 

Technique

slurs

The slurred sections were not easy but flowed surprisingly well considering that I had no plan for incorporating them. I’m very happy with how they turned out. It’s my climbing Mount Everest moment as that are fairly athletic. It will take quite a few minutes to pull them back under my fingers in that exact configuration. However, I must take the time to score out the work so as to codify it. In that way, it becomes “official”, solid, unbending. Unless, of course, I go back and change the score.

Angular Thinking

As musicians, we all have areas that are endemic to our playing. I love the angular in music, but to produce it well is not easy. This was one time that it happened without the usual struggle and gnashing of teeth. The fleeting moments of non-compliance with the voices in our heads that would doubt us.The total control one has sought from the beginning of the Screen+Shot+2013-03-07+at+10.01.40+PMjourney. However, I’m sure I’ll go back to the struggle until I can take control of angular and the unexpected in my playing.

 

Thank God for the guitar.

 

-Mark Jeffery Campayno

Guitar tab/score: Justin  Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop This Feeling”.

This is a guitar transcription of Leroy Sanchez’s cover of the Timberlake release. It is an acoustic guitar/vocal performance.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7AH_jj2jg2-NXN2aUgzOTFhOGc