Any Questions, Comments, Observations, Stuff You Want To Know?A Songwriting and Education Blog
“Any Questions, Comments, Observations,
Stuff You Want To know”?
This is how I start my private guitar lessons. When a student comes to the lesson with a question…..then I know they are invested in their own learning and I can meet the student where they are to help them achieve their learning goals. In my opinion, this is the best way to start a lesson. In this blog, I will share my experiences as an educator, professional musician/composer and how writing, recording, and releasing songs once a month became my creative lifestyle. May you find these posts helpful in the pursuit of your own endeavors.
I’ll see you on the Path.
My Minimalist Studio How much do you need to make a recording? These days the answer is simple - just a laptop and headphones. If you are recording something with actual acoustic instruments or voice then you need at least a microphone and an interface as well. But...read more
I recently had my solo classical guitar album "Between Us and the Sky" reviewed on an Indie Music website called nomoredivision.com. This was the first time I have ever had my music or my recordings reviewed by a 3rd party. I was definitely a little terrified to read...read more
I share my music with my middle school students. In the corner of my whiteboard I write “Extraneous Solutions has a new single out”. Sometimes the students will ask me to play it for them, just proof that kids will do anything to get out of doing school work. I enjoy...read more
These Things - to write without reservation liberates the songwriter. “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art” Sol LeWitt "Paragraphs on Conceptual Art", Artforum, June 1967. These Things (Official Lyric Video) by Extraneous Solutions Visit My CDbaby Artist...read more
I just released my 8th consecutive single in my song of the month challenge. I do not have a specific formula for creating a song but I do have a work flow that has helped me streamline much of the technical work and allows me to make the most of the time that I...read more
I was recently interviewed on the Dartmouth College Radio Station WFRD 99 Rock's show Homebrew. It is hosted by Matt Taylor and features local music. I think I might be first Classical Guitarist to play live on the station....... Thought I'd share....read more
I was picking up my daughter at a comic book drawing club and over heard an older boy acclaim “wow, that’s really good! I could never draw like that.” And it struck me how many times I have heard that mantra repeated by countless others, including myself, when we are...read more
When you are writing a song, you need to answer this question – Who is going to sing it? Answering this will effect many of the other decisions that follow. Many of my songs start on the guitar as a riff. And though I can comfortably play guitar in any key, my voice...read more
I read a few home recording blogs and this past week some techniques came up where the engineer actually wrote automations to increase the high frequency EQ during the chorus of a song. The purpose was to give the song more energy – make the song's chorus POP. Neat...read more
The First Rule of Public Performance. Early in my teaching career, we used to bring all of a particular kind of group together for a singular concert. All the bands would play or all the choruses or Both! As my program grew and these concerts started pushing 1 ½ -...read more
The most important element of a song…….. The melody, the words, the beat? Maybe the dynamics, tempo, or the chord progression? How about the vibe, the mix, the production, the master? We seem to have all the right things – good gear (maybe pro gear), your band has a...read more
Advice to a new teacher. I have been teaching middle school students music for 17 years and this past weekend I was asked by a friend to give some advice to a first year teacher who has been having trouble keeping students in the music program. Where to start???...read more