Health and Fitness

'Antidotes' by Foals - Album Review

For all the ubiquity of post-punk inspired bands flooding the mainstream over recent years, the amount of truly innovative music they have collectively produced has been disappointing by comparison. It's not difficult to see why; the original class of 78-82 set the bar high and bequeathed one of the most astonishingly imaginative musical legacies ever - a lavish cross-pollination that embraced punk, disco, dub reggae, funk, glam and krautrock to often dizzying extremes. And while some of these acts (Talking Heads, Wire) have become touchstones for a generation of indie kids, other key players (Associates, Magazine) have proved simply too rich to rob - talents so 'out there' as to defy influence. It's a willingness to experiment, both musically and technologically, that's been missing of late. All the aforementioned artists broke new ground in the studio and, in their own ways, redefined what the pop single could be - mental but magnificent, yet still within detection of the Smash Hits radar.

The Earth is a Musical Instrument

In 1996, geophysicist Frank Scherbaum teamed up with composer Wolfgang Loos to release "Inner Earth: a seismosonic symphony" (Traumton Records), a recording of natural seismic signals from the earth that Loos creatively rearranged for the CD. The remarkable sounds that are produced - at once electronic and natural - are strange and mesmerizing. As Scherbaum writes, "The fault beats, the volcano whistles and howls, and the Earth rings and hums." Scherbaum's website, "The Earth As Musical Instrument, " discusses the relationship between music and seismology, and offers a short excerpt from the "Inner Earth" CD. The percussive, spectral structure of earthquake signals are typically rather boring, according to Scherbaum, showing acoustically interesting features only in unusual cases. Volcanoes, however, are another story. The spectrum of their tremor signals - believed to be generated by instabilities within the magma system - show regular frequency spacings similar to that of a flute.

Bands and How to Put Some Kum Ba Yah in Your Touring

"Hello, er, um... " (pause and look down at set list) "Flint, Michigan! Are you ready to rock?! " Well, it sounds like you've done it. You've taken that giant leap of faith, piled in a van with your band mates and hit the road. You're all so excited and everything is going perfectly... except for your drummer's BO... and your singer's insistence on singing the falsetto portion of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in your cramped, non-resonant living quarters ad nauseam... and your keyboardist's musings on the musical legitimacy of 80's synch-pop... and your guitarist, drooling on your shoulder. Though becoming touring road warriors is not a perfect science, there are things that everyone can do in order to live together in a less stressful environment. The following are tips on how to co-exist with your band of brothers and how to bring about a little Kum Ba Yah on the road. 1) If your band can't agree on what to listen to, then prepare to bring your iPod. And if you can all agree, still bring your iPod.

Learn to Play the Guitar Overnight!

My entire life I have enjoyed most styles of music. I've been thinking about taking up a musical instrument for years. It is quite admirable to be able to express oneself musically. In fact, my last new years resolution was that I would learn to play the guitar. I have always enjoyed listening to other people play it. When I was younger I would sing along to my favourite rock songs while strumming a mop or nearby broom. However, while I could always imagine myself strumming a melodic riff while singing my heart out, I was never quite sure if I was cut out for the learning process. I thought reaching my desired skill level would take tedious routine and lots of discipline. Not to mention the financial costs of acquiring a decent education. Until miraculously one day a friend recommended something to me that instantly changed everything. At first I was hesitant to expect much from an online method. Yet one report alone clearly explained how to manipulate any six string beauty. Within minutes I was understanding the guitar as never before.

Lesson 07 Bass Scale Charts

After you learn chord charts it will be a lot easier for you to understand scale charts, however it is not essential that you know how to read a chord chart to learn to use scale charts. The main difference is that a scale chart has more notes per string and the notes on the chart are not played all at once like a chord. Scales The easiest scale to play would be the chromatic scale. Some consider the chromatic scale more of an exercise than a real scale but it is important to know because it contains all the possible notes of the guitar. The next scales you will learn are the major and minor scales. Both the major and minor scales have 8 notes in them before they start to repeat the pattern. Another great thing about scales on the guitar is that all the scale types have the same pattern. That means once you know one major scale you know all 12, or once you know one minor scale you know all 12. Scale Charts Scale charts are very similar looking to chord charts. At the top there is the name of the scale, such as A Major or B Minor.

Lesson 08 Major Scales

To musicians that are heavy into learning theory scales are considered the most inmportant thing in music. You can break everything except rhythms down into scales. Melodies, chords and solos can all be broken down into scales. Scales are a series of notes that when played together give a certain feeling or style to a song. Some scales sound bluesy and some sound sad. If you were to step up to a piano and play C, D, E, F, G, A, B you would have played the Cmaj scale. Chromatic Scale / Sharps and Flats The first thing you should know is the notes of the guitar. There are only 12 possible notes in music. The reason there are so many keys on a keyboard and frets on a guitar is because you can play each of the 12 notes in different octaves. When you play a note an octave up it reduces the wavelength of the note by have making it higher pitched. Some notes have symbols next to them, a 'b' stands for flat and a '#' stand for sharp. Another symbol is the natural sign which looks like a box with two appendages.

Lesson 09 Major Chords

After you learn the major scale pattern you can start to construct a plethora of chords, even make up your own chords. Chords are made up of certain note of a scale and then played together. It is good to know that just because some chords don't sound pleasing to the ear doesn't mean that they aren't chords. Some chords are made to go with others and sound better accompanied by other chords. The Pattern The short explanation of how to play a major chord is to take the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the major scale and play them together. If thats all you need for an explanation then your on your way, but to fully understand this subject we need to put it into context. The Details Lets take the G major scale as an example. G, A, B, C, D, E, F#. If we take the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes from that scale we would have G, B, and D. Now we can play them together on the fretboard and have a nice sounding Gmaj chord. But we are only using three strings at the most. To really get a nice full sound we can repeat these notes on higher strings.

Lesson 11 - Minor Chords

After the minor scale the next thing we can learn is minor chords. The major chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the major scale. There are two ways to make a minor chord, either take the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the minor scale and play them together or you can take a major chord and flatten a couple of notes to make a minor chord. After you learn to play minor chords you can use them either playing your favorite bands music or when you make up your own music. You can use minor chords to make a sad or murky fealing in music. Lets take a look at both ways and then we will be able to make and play minor chords. Minor Chord construction with the Minor Scale To use the minor scale to make a minor chord you can simply take the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the scale and play them all at the same time. Like the major chords we will have to relocate the 3rd note on a different part of the neck to make this possible. This is the same concept and making a major chord from the major scale but instead of the major scale we are using the minor scale.

The Earliest History of Musical Instruments

No one is certain when the first musical instruments were made. It's possible that they predate language in human cultural development, but I'll leave that argument to the anthropologists. What is sure is that there is a deep, ancient desire within people to express themselves using sound. Our voices were almost certainly used for more than communication. Somehow that was not enough. Our ancestors pushed creative sound further. The first instruments were probably percussive because they are the simplest to make. Clapping hands or striking flint on flint, it's easy to imagine that this would be our earliest attempts to make our own rhythm, our own pulse, sent out into the world and echoed back. What likely followed were simple mallets and skins stretched on bowls. What makes these tools so distinct is that they had no other purpose than create a controlled, predictable sound. Our modern drums are a descendant of this type of early instrument. Most likely wind instruments came next.

Lesson 13 - Key Signatures

Key signatures are a theoretical approach to knowing what scales, chords and ideas you can play during a song without worrying about playing wrong notes. You can use the chords in a song to figure out what key it is in or if you are using regular notation you can simply look at how many sharps and flats or flats there are at the beginning of the clef. Key signatures can be major or minor and be any of the 12 notes of music, such as A minor or C major. Key signatures can give a certain feelings or moods to a song as well, much like major and minor chords. Circle of Fifths An easy way to figure out what key your playing in is to use the circle of fifths chart. At the beginning of a sheet of notation music there are a group of sharps or flats. The lines these symbols are on affects the notes on that line for the duration of the song or until the key changes again. To use the circle of fifths chart you can just count how many sharps or flats there are on the staff and compare it to the chart.

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