Dobro Lessons – Music Theory + Playing by Ear = Super Musician!

Here are 3 things I recommend you memorize.

1.    All the notes of the dobro or specific instrument
2.    All the Key Signatures
3.    All the Chords and Chord Tones for each key

Question: Why do this?

Answer: To gain a more complete understanding of your instrument, and to know where you are at all times and to know why what you are playing may sound good and why it may sound not so good.

Question: Is there an easier way? Can I get around not knowing any music theory and not knowing where any of the notes on my instrument are located?

Answer: I have found if you do not want to learn any music theory one can still play and in fact get quit good. Tons of great players have done it, and this is what I think ones options are if they want to get really good, but do not want to learn any music theory.

No Music Theory Option 1:

(I highly recommend doing this “In addition” to also understanding music theory)

To simply transcribe tons and tons and tons of songs, solos, rhythm playing, song forms, etc…so many that you can use the memory of those solos to dictate what you should play when you hear it in the context of a song. Your memory of all the songs and solos that you’ve learned and transcribed will trigger a muscle memory with your fingers and mind, and it will be like you are speaking with your instrument. Simply reacting to what you hear like you would if you were carrying on a conversation with someone. You will see all the patterns, and scales, and key signatures more as shapes that you equate to things that you’ve learned from solos, songs, and other musicians. You will have a working knowledge of the theory, but will not know why any of it works. You just know it does.

This is actually a great way of learning, and this way combined with an understanding of music theory can dramatically improve your playing and improvising in a much quicker way than just theory alone, or just transcribing alone.

Wtih theory you can take one thing that you transcribe and play it in other keys. Know how to change it around and play it over other chords. Basically multiplying everything that you already know.

No Music Theory Option 2:

(I do not recommend doing this)

The slowest way of improving….Not transcribing solos and simply to use trial and error or “noodling” around, fishing for the right note, not having a clue why anything you play sounds good or bad.

Getting Started:

The Keys:

The Sharp Keys:

C MAJOR – C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

G MAJOR – G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G

D MAJOR – D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D

A MAJOR – A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A

E MAJOR – E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#, E

B MAJOR – B, C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A#, B

F# MAJOR – F#, G#, A#, B, C#, D#, E#, F#

C# MAJOR – C#, D#, E#, F#, G#, A#, B#, C#

The Flat Keys

C MAJOR – C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

F MAJOR – F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F

Bb MAJOR – Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb

Eb MAJOR – Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C, D, Eb

Ab MAJOR – Ab, Bb, C, Db, Eb, F, G, Ab

Db MAJOR – Db, Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C, Db

Gb MAJOR – Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb, F, Gb

Cb MAJOR – Cb, Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb

To Start Memorizing the Chords and Chord Tones Just Use these simple rules:

1) Chords are built in 3rds – Root, 3rd, 5th. Start with your root, skip a note, then you’ve got your third, skip a note, then you’ve got your fifth.

2) If you do that in a major key you end up with this pattern, harmonizing over each note of the scale: (examples are in the Key of G major)

1. = MAJOR ex. GBD
2. = minor ex. ACE
3. = minor ex. BDF#
4. = MAJOR ex. CEG
5. = MAJOR ex. DF#A
6. = minor ex. EGB
7. = diminished ex. F#AC

* NOTE:

To memorize anything quickly, simply use NOTE CARDS, and make out a set for your Key Signatures, a set for your Chords per Key, and a set for your chord tones per key.

Carry them around with you and when you are waiting in line or just don’t have anything to do. Pull them out and start memorizing them. In a month or so you will see dramatic improvements.

Music – Its Position in Christian Ministry

Music is as old as human race. From the earliest days it has been employed in the service of God. There are various types of music, but as far as heaven is concerned, only Gospel music is recognized and that is the subject of this discussion. Gospel music is performed for the express purpose of bringing souls to Christ and establishing them in Christ. The distinctive qualities of Gospel music as compared to other music are that God is the source of the message while Holy Spirit is the communication power.

It is noted that if our music is melodious and loud, well composed, well practiced, and well performed, God will always rejoice with us as we dance vigorously to His name in holy commotion. However, it should be noted that though a song is melodious in our ears, yet it does not mean it is acceptable to the Lord. I mean, it is not all music performed in Gospel ministries today are effectively used by God. The reason for this can be adduced to the weakness of the composer, performer and the message. Most of the so-called Gospel music that abounds nowadays is just a means of achieving secular goals and not sacred ministry. Only performance dedicated to a sacred ministry can be effectively used to honour and edify the kingdom of God. Sacred music ministry does not necessarily require sonorous voice or flamboyant artistic performance, but rather a talented ability to sing or compose meaningful, purposeful, spirit-filled and timely songs.

Music ministry plays an important role in presenting the good news of Christ unto mankind and as such anyone in this ministry must always seek the mind of God and be in constant tune with Holy Spirit to know the circumstances and needs of the people at a particular time. In addition to the general requirements for all ministers, anyone in this ministry must also shun all forms of ungodly self-glorification, artistic performance and flamboyancy. A music minister is as powerful as a Pastor or an evangelist in any ministration. Music itself is a Spirit that has an irresistible force on mankind. No wonder it is always used to open evangelistic fields. Nevertheless, for this ministry to be really effective as a sacred ministry the message, medium and minister must be in constant and perfect tune with God.

When this becomes the case, the music minister would be was led to sing from the heart through inspiration. Inspired songs are filled with Biblical truths and not necessarily with danceable and enjoyable instruments. Taking a good time to pray concerning your ministration will always give you an edge over other ministers who did not prepare themselves before performing. Lastly, every music minister is expected to be a living example of his/her song. Your song should not contradict your lifestyle. As a minister, always try to imbibe all the Godly qualities as outlined in the Bible, for your ministration to be really powerful and thus edify the kingdom of God.

The Role Music Therapists Play In Treating Autistic Children

Music therapists play the role of using the power of music to help their clients overcome various social, behavioral, emotional and physical difficulties. They work with clients of all ages and belonging to all kinds of social and cultural backgrounds. The musical sessions are conducted with the sole aim of establishing an interactive relationship between the therapist and the client in order to achieve various therapeutic goals.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a lifelong developmental disability affecting the ways in which a person communicates or relate to others around them. It has been shown in various medical studies and researches that music therapy can immensely help children with autism. Autistic children and teens are helped by the power of music in a number of ways, such as developing social behaviors and communicative skills, enhancing focus and attention, improving body coordination, reducing stress and anxiety and more.

Let us discuss some of the ways music therapists can help children and teens on the autistic spectrum:

Improve Social Skills: In most cases it is found that autistic children responds extremely well and become more expressive and socially active during musical sessions than during play sessions that are devoid of music. Moreover, an experienced and trained therapist can immensely help in developing social skills in these children by engaging them in various musical activities such as moving to musical tunes, passing and sharing musical instruments, dancing around a particular instrument, composing songs and many more.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Owing to the inability to filter our provoking stimuli, autistic children are more prone to exhibit anxiety-related behaviors. Music therapy has been found to be extremely helpful in easing stress and anxiety in these children.

Develop Communicative Skills: Most children with autism have a problem communicating with people around them. While some of them are non-verbal, some have problems following verbal commands and some fail to understand body languages. Skilled music therapists conduct therapeutic sessions with various musical activities that help these children learn to relate words with actions. These effective musical activities help in establishing a connection between the motor and auditory sections of the brain, thereby developing in them the ability to understand verbal commands.

Music is Enjoyable: It is easier for autistic children to consistently enjoy the musical sessions due to the simple reason that they do not seem like work to them. The children thoroughly enjoy the musical activities without feeling pressurized or forced to take part in them. It is almost impossible to make children keep working at something unless they enjoy it or find happiness in it. Music therapists can make the therapeutic sessions extremely creative, fun-filled and motivating, thereby helping them to stick to the sessions consistently.

In order to help children on the autistic spectrum, it is essential for the therapists to appropriately understand their pathological and personal needs. Before starting the therapy, they must engage in thorough discussions with the family of the child regarding the child’s behavioral patterns, disabilities and requirements. Only then can the therapist plan the right kind of musical sessions for them.

Play Music and Have Fun Doing It

All right, so you are a new piano player and you are tired of playing the same old stuff. You want to be able to sit down at the piano and have some fun. With the skills you have learned in learning to play the piano, you will now be able to play music and have fun doing it.

What type of music genre do you like? Country western, the oldies, today’s pop. Go out and purchase the sheet music for your favorite music and practice it. One reason people become discouraged in playing the piano is that they play the same music time after time. There is no variation, no fun in playing the piano. So pick up a few different types of music, not just one.

By taking that first step in going outside your comfort zone and investing in a different genre of music, you will soon be able to play if you keep at it. Practice the music that you have purchased. Yes, sorry, I said practice. As with trying to do anything well there is always practice involved. After all, can you truly become accomplished at anything without any practice at all?

Once you have given the consistent effort that it takes to practice, you will find that there are many opportunities available to you. Maybe you have dreamed of playing the piano in a piano bar, or maybe it was just playing in front of your friends. Either way, think of the fun you would have, playing the music that makes people happy and being able to actually watch people love the music you play.

If this is something that you would be interested in doing, be prepared. You will first have to know a multitude of music and songs, but definitely don’t let this discourage you. You can play music and have fun too. Just make sure that you are prepared for any type of song requests that come your way.

How much fun could you have playing for family functions? And having your family to be proud of your hard earned accomplishments, to finally be able to do something that you love to do and have fun doing it. Music is able to bring so much happiness to people and being able to be one of the providers of music and having fun doing it can be no more rewarding.

There are so many people out there that would love to be able to play music that they love, especially in the world today, with all the stress and the way the economy is at present. By being able to play music and have fun doing it, you are not only being rewarded, you are helping to relieve built-up tension and stress.

For all of us that had to take piano lessons and complained but kept at it, we really should thank our parents. Little did they know that they would be opening a completely new world to us, a world of music and fun. A world where we can not only play music for ourselves, but also share our ability to play and have fun doing it.