composing · Uncategorized

Are music aesthetics learned or innate?

In the world of music psychology, you often hear discussion about our sense of aesthetics, our perception of musical beauty. People offer various theories as to why we find certain aspects of music attractive or not. Often, for instance, it’s postulated that appealing melodies duplicate the human manner of speaking. These melodies don’t just offer…… Continue reading Are music aesthetics learned or innate?

improvising · practice · soloing

What should you think of when playing music?

I wonder whether this is the most important question for a musician to ask. Finding the answer could be the difference between a lifetime of middling, stilted playing and one of real, consistent virtuosity. What do I even mean here? Let me attempt to add context by first quoting a recent blog post of mine…… Continue reading What should you think of when playing music?

guitar · soloing · Uncategorized

Combining the Pentatonic scale with wall shapes to play the blues

Let’s face it—the blues are weird. Your standard 12 bar blues contains three major chords and yet the main scale we use to play over the blues is the minor pentatonic. A minor scale over major chords… a bit strange, no? But that’s part of what gives the blues its unique sound. Ideally, listeners of…… Continue reading Combining the Pentatonic scale with wall shapes to play the blues

chords · composing · music · rhythm · theory

Emotional meaning in music

Warning: this is a rather philosophical post with limited practical value. 😉 In the world of music psychology and such you often see music compared and contrasted to language. This makes sense as both music and language use sound. Some would argue that they both use sound to communicate. In language, we know if a statement…… Continue reading Emotional meaning in music