Music and Your ‘Super’ Brain

It’s not an understatement to say that our brain is probably the most amazing part of our body. How could we not want to have the most well developed brain possible? There’s many ways to help sharpen your mind but learning and playing an instrument is one of the best ways that we can do this! This is great news for us who play the guitar. Although just listening to music will send your brain firing, actually playing an instrument will send it into overdrive. Neuroscientists are continually studying the brain and have found that people who play instruments work their brain in a complete and unique way that is highly complex and rewarding. When playing the guitar for example, we utilise several areas of our brain as well as both left and right hemispheres. This creates a full on work out in our brain development and functioning. All of this has a wonderful flow on effect of how we can function in other areas of our lives. Pretty cool eh! Have a look at this video below that outlines the super workout we get when playing music.

 

 

If you’re interested in working out your noggin and developing a super brain, then taking guitar lessons here in Coffs Harbour is a great way to go. We can work together to get you playing all types of music on the guitar with chords, melodies, solos and even improvising. Call or email anytime and to find out about how our guitar lessons and start to enjoy the benefits today.


Money For Nothing

I was asked by a student recently if I could help them learn a guitar riff that they had heard on the radio recently. It was the intro to Money For Nothing by Dire Straits. Brilliant choice I thought! It’s such a great riff and one that a guitar student can start learning as they are increase their skills on the instrument. Mind you, it can still be a bit tricky. I made up a sheet for my student and in our lesson we went through the parts of the riff together. What a great example of using our fingers to pluck the strings and make use of double stops (playing two notes together). This guitar riff is meant to be played on the electric guitar with a nice over driven amp tone and has some interesting little rhythmic structure to it also.

 

 

We got through the first half of the riff in our lesson here at my guitar teaching studio in Coffs Harbour and I’m really looking forward to seeing the student’s progress with it in our next lesson. Here’s the sheet I wrote for our lesson on this riff..

 


So you want to learn guitar?

With a brand new teaching studio in Coffs Harbour, Guitar Lessons Play is ready to begin 2017 with you and our favourite instrument. The teaching studio is located at Shop 7 / 78 Bray St, Coffs Harbour, NSW, otherwise known as Bray St Shops. So pop in or send an email or phone and lets talk about why you would want to learn to play the guitar.

Music is easily one of the most universal experiences that humans share. All cultures through all of history have been involved in music, from creating to listening and composing to analysing. We have made use of all sorts of materials in the creation of instruments and come up with an array of sounds. In modern history, the guitar has risen to be one of the most widely used and played instruments overall. Of course, it’s awesome!

No doubt you’re a fan of music and have your favourite genres, bands and players. I’m sure that you have been inspired countless times and been through many emotions with your music. Maybe you have been playing for a while and have written songs of joy as well as sadness, or maybe even something middle of the road. Maybe you haven’t picked up an instrument before but have always had a desire to do so. Perhaps you’ve imagined playing guitar but thought it would be too difficult or you’re not musical enough or perhaps not the right age? These perceived blocks can be overcome smoothly with the right guidance, mentoring and lesson structure. If you have the desire to learn, then now is the time to begin this rewarding experience.

Guitar Lessons Play is a new business in Coffs, with a teaching studio at shop 7, Bray St Shopping Centre, Coffs Harbour. Our lessons also extend to Bellingen every Thursday, teaching at St Mary’s Primary School and after school lessons from the Triple B Community Radio Station building on Wheatley St. Our pursuit is the exploration and education in musicianship and enjoyment of the guitar. With a focus on working with real people achieving real results on the instrument, our lessons are catered to the individual student’s goals and musical desires. Music is an integral part of society around the world. It is a privilege to be a part of the Coffs Harbour and Bellingen musical community and to help locals from children to retirees and everyone in between, nurture and extend their capabilities.

My name is Glen Hitchon and as the owner and head teacher at Guitar Lessons Play, I can definitely help you. My passion and experience with the guitar will be shared with you as well as my knowledge of the instrument. My Diploma of Music and university studies will ensure that you receive the most up to date, cohesive and enjoyable education in your guitar lessons. Having studied advanced jazz guitar with Sydney Conservatorium teachers Steve Brien and Steve McKenna, I am able to deliver sound and achievable results for you on the guitar.

If you want to jam at home, with your friends or play in a band, our lessons will support you to achieve your goals. Having years of experience playing in the band Yardvark and writing songs that have been performed around Australia, having recorded albums and had songs receive radio play as well as licensed to Logie award winning television shows such as Offspring, you will be supported in a wide range of musical adventures.

I am able to help you uncover more of your talent and potential with our guitar lessons here in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen. I enjoy helping students every week, from beginner players through to more advanced players, teaching kids, teenagers and adults. I firmly believe that

there is never an end result in the world of music and playing guitar. It is such an amazing, lifelong journey.. Enough talk, let’s play!


Guitar riffs are made of this – Pentatonic Scale

As music and guitar fans, we appreciate a good riff or melody. Whether we’re listening to some classic rock, punk, pop, blues or even jazz, I can guarantee that you’ve heard a piece of music that is performed using what is known as the Pentatonic Scale.

What is the Pentatonic scale?? It’s a series of 5 notes that just sound good together.. Well that’s a brief summary of it anyway. The Pentatonic Scale is a very versatile scale that can be used in a great variety of ways when playing or writing guitar.

In our guitar lessons in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen, it is one of the first scales that I introduce to a beginner guitar student and one that can be further analysed with more intermediate and advanced students. It is a very achievable scale for the student that can be utilised in classic guitar riffs or used in an improvisational framework.

5 notes is very manageable to work with and these can be played right up and down the guitar neck.. This is a familiar looking illustration of the pentatonic scale patterns on a guitar fretboard:

pentatonic-shapes

 

Minor pentatonic scales show up everywhere in rock music. Classic songs from bands Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, and Foo Fighters feature minor pentatonic scales again and again.

Jazz vocalist and conductor, Bobby McFerrin, puts on a great demonstration of the pentatonic scale in the following video. It appears that we have an inbuilt connection to the scale and the notes that we can play with it. Check it out below..

 

As a student of guitar, we will approach the pentatonic scale with easy to understand lessons and exercises. I can help you to play the scale in an intuitive and expressive way that will not only have you hearing the music but feeling the music. You’ll also be cranking out some of your favourite riffs in no time as well..