Music Student 101

Music Student 101

We are musicians, composers, engineers, teachers and students alike. The path through academia, as a musician, can be challenging and uncertain but it can also be enriching and great fun! This is the path we chose and we are here as your resource. Explore theory, history, ear training, technique, special topics and overall musicianship.... Show More

Episodes

May 19, 2019 116 min

We've long dreamed of having an episode dedicated entirely to showcasing the composing and songwriting talents of our listeners. Finally, the dream is alive! This episode will feature the original music of Marc McDowell, Eamon Kelly, Nancy Mitchell, Chris "Tex" Owen, Andersonlane, Don Ferguson, Jason LaRay Keener and Jon Magnusson Monreal.

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Picking up from where we left off on episode 50, we will continue our discussion on modulation to closely related keys. We will talk about modulating to relative keys. We will discuss chromatic modulations, with and without pivot chords. We will also take on sequential and phrase modulation and we may get blind sided by a direct, or abrupt, modulation or two. Finally, we will take a moment to harmonize some modulating melodies!

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When we compose for film or television, we have many considerations at hand. We want to accent the mood and the emotions involved in the picture. We want to do our part to tell the story. But we also have to make our client happy. Our special guest, Craig Brandwein, is here to answer some questions and share his experiences in the world of film composition.

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April 7, 2019 101 min

The hexatonic scales are six note scales. In many cases we are simply adding a note to a pentatonic scale or deleting one from one of the seven modes. But there are other interesting possibilities: the blues scales, the whole tone scale, the augmented scale, the tritone scale and the elusive Prometheus scale. We will also create some of our own by combining triads. Let's listen!

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March 17, 2019 67 min

Just like any instrument, your voice needs a great amount of care and attention in order to perform at it's peak potential. If you're a singer, a public speaker, a bartender or a cheerleader, you have to use your voice at loud volumes for extended amounts of time. Let's find out how to best accomplish this while keeping your voice strong and healthy.

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March 3, 2019 66 min

The augmented 6th (+6) chord is a very tense predominant chord. Like most chromatic chords, it can add motion and color to your chord progressions. In this episode we will discuss the 3 main types of augmented six chords: Italian, French and German.

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February 17, 2019 87 min

It's about time to have a discussion about the blues! This can't be done, properly, in one episode. This episode will be the first of a few on the history of the blues. We'll go way back to origins of the African people, in America. We will learn of their struggles that resulted in this rich, emotional, honest and powerful music. This is the story of American music. We're going to take it back to the roots!

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Continuing where episode 56 left off, this episode will review our previous discussions on diatonic chords and secondary dominants. We will now add the secondary dominants of the mediant and submediant (V/III, V/VI). Listen for the chord qualities and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know music better!

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January 20, 2019 87 min

Playing an instrument and listening to music can have a variety of positive effects on children and adults alike. It can rewire your brain to better accomplish mental and physical tasks. What's a good way to get your children into music? What's the best instrument to start with? Let us discuss!

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January 6, 2019 85 min

The Neapolitan chord and the Neapolitan Sixth chord add a very distinctive sound to a progression. You've heard it many times and you probably LOVED it. Now you're going to learn all about it! We will discuss how to build one, how it's used in a progression and we'll play a few examples you may recognize. This ain't just some boring ice cream favor. This is good music!

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December 16, 2018 60 min

We wanted to end the year by letting us all get to know each other better. We're going to share some more of your stories and then a few of our own. We will also talk a little more about the genesis of this podcast, reveal some recording secrets and discuss where we want to go from here!

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December 2, 2018 106 min

Composition is the art of simply creating music out of nowhere, from within, and organizing it into a finished piece. It can be an expression of what is going on with you emotionally. It can be an expression of something you've been inspired by, visually, sensually, socially, politically, or by other external sources. Either way, it all begins with you sitting down and taking the time to piece together a musical masterpiece. Let's ... Read more

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November 19, 2018 84 min

We are bringing chromaticism to your doorstep! Today's special delivery? Mixed modes and borrowed chords! Learn how borrowing just two or three notes from a parallel key can allow for several new chords that can add intrigue to your progressions and help to smooth our your modulations.

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November 4, 2018 84 min

Stringed instruments have a number of environmental and conditioning considerations that we need to be familiar with, if we want them to have a long and happy life. In this episode we will talk about the piano (really a percussion instrument but it does have many strings), the harp, the acoustic and electric guitars (along with other hollow-bodied and solid bodied, wooden instruments), the banjo and the symphony strings (bass, cell... Read more

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Continuing where episode 43 left off, this episode will review the previously discussed chords: I, II7, III, IV, V, VI and VII (in major and minor) and their inversions. We will now add some secondary dominants: (V/V, V/II). Listen for the chord qualities (major, minor, dominant 7th, minor 7th and diminished) and use your theory brain to find out how to decipher chord progressions. Use this skill to learn songs faster and know musi... Read more

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October 7, 2018 76 min

Just as you can use secondary dominant chords to aid in the movement to any diatonic chord, you can also use secondary leading tone chords for the same purpose. These chords can add intrigue, color and tension to any harmonic progression. We'll discuss how to identify them, how to spell them out and how to analyze them. Give them a listen. Give them a try.

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September 23, 2018 55 min

The chord chart can be an essential tool for any musician, gigging or not. They allow you to get a lot more accomplished, in a lot less time, with your fellow musicians. In this episode, we're going to keep it simple but we're going to cover the three common types of chord charts. Get ready to learn about the lead sheet, the standard chord chart and the Nashville Number System.

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September 9, 2018 80 min

In part one of our "Form and Analysis" series, we familiarized ourselves with the building blocks of a form, such as motives, phrases and periods. Now, we will begin our official discussion on small forms. We will cover rounded, simple, sectional and continuous binary forms. Then we will move into ternary and compound ternary forms. Finally, we will close it out with a brief discussion on theme and variations.

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August 19, 2018 79 min

At this point, we've discussed the two most common diatonic 7th chords: V7 and II7. Now, we will discuss "The Others". These are the VII7, IV7, VI7, I7 and III7 chords. We will take a little time with each of these, give them a listen, discuss the way they sound and briefly discuss their functionality. Just because these are a little less common, that's no reason to not bring them up because they are often featured in great music!

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Not every musician ends up on stage. One of our goals is to cover, in depth, the many career opportunities that can be available to a musician. In this episode, we will talk to Chris Knutson about how his music tech skills opened the door to a profitable career in stage and film production. This one's for all you music "tekkies" out there!

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