How Elvis Presley Was Influenced By The Blues

August 1st, 2013
Where to begin with anthologies as profound and as deep as those woven into brilliant compilations on Beatles albums? Choosing a Top Ten is like searching for a snowflake on top of a snow covered mountain, but here are the Top Ten:
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Revolution
  • Yesterday
  • Hey Jude
  • A Day in the Life
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Come Together
  • In My Life
  • Let It Be
  • Oh! Darling
"Eleanor Rigby" was chosen out of the sense of the loneliness the song encapsulates.I was looking for more information and found it here. Brilliant word smiths were Lennon and McCartney! "Revolution" came about during a time when unrest was flaring in the country. The song conjures up the images of young people waging protest against the Vietnam War in 1968. Voted the best song of the 20th century in a 1999 BBC radio poll and the top pop song by MTV, Directv, and the Rolling Stone Magazine in 2000, "Yesterday" comes in third. The song, "Yesterday," is still one of the most requested songs of all time. "Hey, Jude" was written by McCartney and was credited to Lennon-McCartney as a way to comfort little Jules, better known as Julian, during the divorce of his parents John and Cynthia Powell. "A Day in the Life," written by McCartney and Lennon, drew together the images of contemporary news and the memories of youth for McCartney. "Strawberry Fields" had to be in the top ten songs of the Beatles repertoire. One of their best songs from one of the best Beatles albums of all time, "Magical Mystery Tour." "Come Together," originally came from inspiration of Tim Leary campaigning for office as the Governor of California. The music is just as worthy of a top ten listing as the lyrics, which to this day are confusing to many Beatles musical connoisseurs. "In My Life," written by Lennon and McCartney (under scrutiny as to how much McCartney contributed) made it to the list merely on the basis that it is a good song. Lyrics and music blended together to create the perfect song. "Let it Be." Need more be said? "Oh! Darling," strictly because of the clear vocals of McCartney, the bluesy style of the group and the great lyrics.

Singing Tips For Beginning Opera Students

June 2nd, 2013
Opera is a beautiful style of music that many people can enjoy. So if you are looking to get into Opera and would like to learn how to sing Opera music, then you might be feeling a little intimidated right off the bat. After all, as you have probably seen or heard, Opera singers often have to reach very low and high notes within any given performance, and the duration that singers are expected to be able to hold these notes is also quite high.

Fortunately, there are some tips that ca be useful for any beginning Opera student who wants to have the best chances of success. For starters, enrolling in classes specifically designed for Opera students is a must. After all, simply picking up Opera while taking traditional voice lessons typically will not do the trick.

Furthermore, it is always a good idea to do voice exercises in one's free time in order to condition the vocal chords to get used to the high and low pitched notes. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of being an Opera singer, so be sure to find some useful voice exercises and take time to perform them at least once per day.

How To Make Your Own Guitar Pick

March 31st, 2013
Any guitarist who plays with a pick"commonly called flatpicking"has at one time or another had the annoying experience of losing his or her pick. When that happens, it can be useful to know how to craft your own pick from common materials.

Flat Plastic Works Best

In a pinch, a fairly decent guitar pick can be made from cutting off a piece of a credit card, gift card, library card or store discount card. Of course, you don't want to cut up a card you need and use regularly, but if you have a card in your wallet that you don't use, it can be an ideal starting material for creating an impromptu guitar pick.Is this new to you? Catch up here

Getting the Size Right

Some guitarists can use small key chain cards just as they are without cutting them because of their already small size. If you don't have one of these on hand, cut off a pick-sized piece of a larger card. As you cut, do your best to create a shape similar to the type of pick you prefer to use. Ideally, you'll also want to choose a card with a thickness similar to the thickness of pick you prefer; however, when making your own pick on the fly, this isn't always possible, and sometimes you simply have to do the best with what you have on hand.

The Origin Of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”

December 6th, 2012
Bob Dylan is one of history's most talented and prolific songwriters. Many consider his 1965 song, "Like a Rolling Stone", to be one of the best examples of his songwriting prowess. His cynical imagery and repeated croons of "How does it feel?" have been analyzed for decades by both fans and music scholars alike. But while Dylan rarely offers any explanations as to the meaning of his lyrics, he has spoken repeatedly on the themes of "Like a Rolling Stone".

In 1966, Dylan described the process of writing the song as producing "just a rhythm thing on paper all about my steady hatred directed at some point that was honest." He said he wasn't thinking of it as a song, but rather as a "revenge" piece, "telling someone something they didn't know, telling them they were lucky." The original draft was ten to twenty pages long, "this long piece of vomit" that he eventually picked four verses and a chorus out of to craft "Like a Rolling Stone". Dylan credits the song with bringing about a change in his creative direction: "After writing that I wasn't interested in writing a novel, or a play. I just had too much, I want to write songs."

The song, in contrast to most other hit songs of the time, was sarcastic and resentful, rather than adoring and love-struck. Though many biographers and journalists have speculated on whom the song is about, with Edie Sedgwick and Dylan's ex Joan Baez being popular guesses, Dylan has never commented on the identity of the subject. Some believe that the song is not about any particular person, but rather the state of the entire culture at the time - filled with insincerity and "phony" characters. Regardless of the exact meaning of the song, it is certain that it has proven itself to be a true classic of folk and rock music, inspiring generations of musicians and artists and cementing Dylan in his place as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

New Orleans: The Birthplace of Jazz

December 4th, 2012

New Orleans is well known for its flavorful cuisine and Southern hospitality. It's also the birthplace of jazz. Jazz' origins trace to the native musical heritage of the many freed slaves in the area. The New Orleans area used to house a large slave population on surrounding plantations. The French were the first to bring slaves to the area in the early 1700s.

Voudoun Roots

Voudoun or "voodoo" was and still is a popular religion in the New Orleans area, which blended native African beliefs with Catholicism. Voudoun was not tolerated by the ruling whites except in the New Orleans area. Voudoun rituals and celebrations emphasized spirited music with heavy drumbeats.

Music from Voudoun spiritual traditions seeped over into everyday life. Rhythms picked up in rituals were soon heard coming from Western instruments like the piano and the trumpet. Bars and night clubs encouraged the freewheeling, celebratory sounds.


Musicologists disagree as to which musician actually stared the jazz sound, but they do agree that New Orleans was the home to all of the leading candidates. It was not as if one day a musician said, "I'm going to create a new musical style and call it jazz." The first could be Buddy Bolden forming his first band in 1895 or from Nick LaRocca in 1917.