Great Guitarists Homework Student Zone

Drumming On The Guitar

Here’s a bunch of guitarists that turn their guitars into percussion instruments – while still playing chords and melodies.

First US busker Reginald Guillaume aka Guitaro 5000 showing you how to play Michael Jackson‘s Billy Jean with a can of tuna and a bulldog clip

A little more hi-tech is Kelly Valleau who has two small drum trigger pads stuck to the front of his guitar which he’s hitting with his thumb and wrist.

Next Gabriela Quintero from the Mexican group Rodrigo y Gabriela who combines spanish flamenco style guitar with a drumming technique used on the Irish Bodhrán drum

Last but not least is the amazing Jon Gomm who hits, scratches, taps and retunes the guitar all while singing at the same time.

Student Zone

Mike Dawes Does The Impossible

Here’s some amazing two handed tapping type guitar from UK musician Mike Dawes. The track, appropriately enough is called “The Impossible”

FAWM Free Music Fun Student Zone

There’s A Llama Where????


Here’s a link to a song by FAWMstar TV’s Kyle that really popular with some of my pupils. The chorus riff is as sticky as glue. (right click here to download the song)

I was heading down the stairs in the middle of the night
Thought I’d make a big ol sammich ’cause Dagwood is hella tight.
I opened my refrigerator. Much to my surprise.
There was a mighty llama, but a teeny tiny size.
I don’t know how it got there and I don’t know where it’s been.
But I think the llama’s eaten all my off-brand gelatine.
I have so many questions, but a llama cannot speak.
I tried to ask a few and in response it took a leak.

There’s a llama inside my fridge
There’s a llama inside my fridge
Am I freakin’? Yeah, just a smidge.
There’s a llama inside my fridge

I wondered what the damage was and so I took a peek.
The llama ate up all the pizza I saved from last week.
Not a big loss there, but I kept looking around.
It ate up the cannolis from the other side of town.
It ate my jams and jellies and it ate up all the steak.
To defrost it I had left it there. I guess that’s a mistake.
It ate up all my eggs, in fact I think it ate them whole.
This little tiny llama’s gotten way out of control!

There’s a llama inside my fridge…

My food was all but eaten and my sandwich dreams were dashed.
I guess I’m goin’ hungry ’cause I ain’t got any cash.
It made me super angry so I tried to pick it up.
The llama tried to bite me, so I said enough’s enough.
I tried to use some salad tongs to pick the llama up.
It ate them right in front of me! That little guy was tough!
I used a stick of dynamite to blow it all away.
My fridge might be destroyed, but I’ll save millions anyway!

There’s a llama inside my fridge

Here’s another fabulous song by TV’s Kyle

and here’s Kyle’s website

Student Zone

Steve Vai On His Career And Guitars

Some interesting background on how to ‘make it’ in the music biz and some amazing up close views of a master guitarist at work…

Student Zone

10 People – 2 Guitars

By now I’m sure you’re all familiar with Walk Off The Earth‘s five person cover of Gotye‘s Somebody That I Used To Know (122 million views and counting!)…

 But here’s a video that explains how they got the idea to play on one guitar

Homework Student Zone Teaching

Too Much Monkey Business – Practice Advice From Chimps

It’s not everyday a bunch of monkeys gives support to one of you ‘pet’ teaching theories but here it is.

Anytime you’re trying to learn something new musically you’re only truly practicing when you’re doing it correctly. If you’re getting it wrong 50, 40 or 30% of the time you are NOT practicing.(Other than practicing how to do it wrong, and chances are you already excel at that).

Prof Earl Miller from MIT, who has already spent more time than is healthy teaching monkeys how to use computers, found that monkey’s neurons became more efficient when they made the right decisions but showed no change when they got it wrong. In short (neurologically speaking) you don’t learn by your mistakes.

So what should you do next time you pick up your guitar, or piano (my, you are strong!) and try to get the nice scientist to give you a banana?

  • Slow the music down till you can play it easily. 
  • Play the music in small sections.

Playing everything at top speed is one of the biggest errors that people make. And many musicians start at the beginning of a song, play till they make a mistake and then start again. Let’s break down what is happening in this scenario.

  1. Every single time you play you are making a mistake.
  2. So what are you really practicing? Making mistakes.
  3. Bad monkey! No bananas for you Bonzo!

If you don’t want your practice sessions to be an exercise in futility, isolate the one element that is causing your musical train wreck and just practice that.

It might be a physical thing – you just can’t get your fingers in the right place. So forget about the song, the groove, the tempo. Just get the chord.

It could be a mental thing. The reason you keep messing up is you don’t really know what you’re supposed to be playing in the 14th bar. Learn it.

It could be stamina. Forget the song. Put on Season 2 of My Name Is Earl and play that riff till your arms go numb.

But remember you’re only practicing if you’re getting it right all the time. Listen to the monkeys.

Fun Student Zone

This is so wrong #1

As much as I love multicultural musical cross-pollination, sometimes it’s just WRONG