Newsletter :: May 2012 214-436-4058 Ready To Get Started? In this issue *Blue Jean Concert *Six Steps to Learn Any Song *Where Is Your Teacher Playing? *Music Showcase Welcome Our New Students Who Enrolled in April Maansi Srinivasa Neerja Srinivasa Haley Mathis Isabella Salazar Dasia Greene Stacy Shelton Emma Cacurak Mason Cacurak Kelly Collins Siddarth Parthal Parth Parthal Sasha Lulich Peter Cardenas Daliah Cardenas Niya Pennie John Garza Andrew Hamilton Nick Lombardi Matthew Modesto Haley Johnson Connor Johnson Megan Orangi Zack Orangi Jacob Castro Jackson Hebree Avery  Adams Zane Adams Avery Adams Gracie Murray Aabdya Yanamadala Jerel Ramirez Gentry Dickerson Peter Cardenas Daliah Cardenas Michelle Van Mason Cacurak Hunter McCroy Frances Tingle Juliana Feher Lee Williams Ryland Andrade Riley Huff Ella Cohoon Michelle Van Thank you for being part of our School! The Frisco School of Music Team FSM Spring Blue Jean Concert: News and Events Copyright 2012 Frisco School of Music Texas Music Teachers Association Frisco School of Music      ·      9255 Preston Road · Frisco, TX 75033      ·      214-436-4058 Six Steps to Learn Any Song How I Learned 45 Songs in a Week; From our Drum Instructor, Rip Phelan   The Back Story: A few years ago, a guitar teacher friend of mine asked if I would sub on drums for a cover band he was in. My original band Darby was on indefinite hiatus and I was itching to gig again. He gave me the set list and said the next gig would be in a couple of weeks. So, I had plenty of time to work up the tunes. The next day, the leader of the band called and asked if I’d be available that coming weekend! Thankfully, my friend vouched for me and gave the guy a cd of my playing. So, he knew I could lay down the groove but, how was I going to pull off learning 3 hours of music in about 5 days? I knew that if I didn’t take the gig, I’d not only miss out on a decent night’s work but, the chance of getting called again would be very slim. So, I said, “See you Friday!” The Process: This is what I use to learn a lot of music in limited time. If you ever have to learn a song that’s already been written, this is the fastest way. Your goal isn’t to know the song perfectly but, to get through the gig, keep people interested and get asked back.    1. Form: Learn the Form of the song first. Form is the eagle eye view of the song. It’s the structure and order of the tune. Majority of the music we hear have easy to identify sections that often repeat themselves throughout the song. You don’t necessarily need to know if the section you’re listening to is called the verse or the chorus or the bridge, just recognize what order it occurs and when it repeats. I often write my form using letters of the alphabet in the order they occur:                     A|B|A|B|C|B|B    Then, I’ll substitute letters that represent verse, chorus and bridge like:                     V|C|V|C|B|C|C   Use anything that makes sense to you. The idea is that you understand how the song is organized so you know what to do next. Remember, give the same letter to music that sounds similar to each other. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just close. 2. Counts: Now that you understand the form of the tune, you need to know how many measures are in each section? This is zooming in on the music a little further. Knowing how many measures to repeat a pattern will help you set up the next section and change grooves with confidence. I add the counts under my form letters like this: V|C|V|C |B |C|C  8|8|8|16|16|8|8 You’ll notice a lot of repetition in most of the songs you learn. 4 bar phrases are very common and most sections are 4, 8, or 16 measures long. People will generally play a fill on the last measure of the phrase to lead to the next section. 3. Grooves: Next, is identifying the different grooves in each section. As you’ll notice, there are usually 3 or 4 different sections in most songs. So, you’ll play that many different grooves. Understanding the basic groove for each section will make it even easier to play down the tune. Don’t focus on the details so much at first. Is time played on the hi-hat or the ride cymbal? Is it an 8th-note, 16th-note or a shuffle feel? Just get to where you can play the ‘gist’ of the groove. Leave out any nuances that give you trouble. The goal at this point is to play something close enough to do the job. Remember, you’re trying to get through a gig with minimal preparation time. Most people in the audience, even the other band members will barely miss that little ghost note or double in the bass drum. They will notice if your time is off or if you don’t change when the song does. If you change when the other guys change you’re doing good.   That's not all!! Rip's story continues next month, so be sure to tune-in!   Everyone is invited to cheer on our Star Power Band students at their upcoming Spring Blue Jean Concert!! Featuring solo & group performances by our AWESOME Rock and Jazz School Bands! Come check it out!!! Saturday, May 19th At the FSM Performance Hall, here in our building Two shows: 1:00 and 2:30 Where Is My Teacher Playing? All private students at the Frisco School of Music are invited to perform at the MUSIC SHOWCASE! (not Labs, Quick Starts or Adults)   Participation is not required, but highly encouraged.  This is an informal setting for students to share their music with each other and any musical selection is acceptable (no repertoire requirements).  Students can use their music on stage and are not required to memorize their piece (they may perform from memory if they wish).  Casual dress.   Deadline to register is MAY 19th. 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