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#805993 - 03/26/10 08:10 PM How many styles are you fluent in?  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
How many styles of music do you understand? Can you describe them? Do you understand one real well, or several? Or none?

Let's talk style and genre.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#806019 - 03/26/10 10:30 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 7,925
Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Looking forward to Tom Tracy's and Sub's posts, at least! Tom, with his many instruments from around world, should make for an interesting read.





Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
Songnado I and II:
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#806036 - 03/26/10 11:40 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
Joined: Apr 2006
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Ft. Myers, FL. USA
Mike, That's a hard question. I'm sure that I can adapt to most any style. I play acoustic guitar. I sing in a comfortable key.

As a musician, I was introduced to music at age 10. Violin lessons, later orchestra music. I quit the violin and changed to clarinet, then alto sax. March music along with orchestra.

I started playing guitar after high school, Neil Young, Buffett etc. A friend loaned me a Les Paul that I had for a couple of months. Couldn't figure out the electric guitar.

I started playing bluegrass exclusively until I met a fiddle player who was into western swing. I learned Barre chords by playing rhythm guitar to the fiddle. Western swing was so cool.

I never mastered western swing which leads to jazz. I can play some ragtime on the guitar and it took me a while to get to that point. It seems now that the rag songs are a starting point for some people. As a dyslexic I do everything backwards, so I guess that I learn backwards.

I do flat pick a lot of Irish fiddle tunes, but that could be confused with bluegrass.


#806278 - 03/28/10 12:11 AM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: ben willis]  
Joined: Dec 2007
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Doc Richards Offline
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Doc Richards  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Dec 2007
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Boulder, CO, USA
I played in a psychedelic band in San Francisco for 12 years and met a guy who was doing a blue-eyed soul/Hall and Oates thing. Played with him for a couple of years then moved down near Bakersfield and fell in with a bunch of roudy country players. After seven years of classic and 'new' country, headed north to Montana and connected with a barn dance crowd and one singer/songwriter doing strictly acoustic folkie stuff. The wife got bored with the 40 below winters, so we moved to Boulder, CO and met a real bluegrass army, worked for a bluegrass player who loved to play standards and picked up some jazz licks. Also found 300+ Dead cover acts, so it was kind of like full circle thirty five years later.


docrichards@juno.com
#806869 - 03/29/10 06:59 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Doc Richards]  
Joined: Nov 2003
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Joe Wrabek Offline
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Joe Wrabek  Offline
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Garibaldi, OR USA
Interesting, folks.

I grew up listening to classical music and bluegrass--the only two stations our Globe-radio-with-the-broken-tuner could pull in--became interested in rock 'n' roll as a teenager (of course), and it's still my favorite music. (And I have a Strat, and am not afraid to use it.)

However, when the Dodson Drifters were formed, in little (pop. 50) Dodson, Oregon, we were acoustic (the power went off every night in the winter), and while three of us came from rock 'n' roll backgrounds, our lead singer looked and sounded like Willie Nelson, so what'cha gonna do? We called what we did "bluegrass punk," and it seemed to satisfy people (or at least shut them up). And I have spent most of my life in places where there are only two kinds of music--country and western--so I have developed an appreciation for it. It's mostly what I write.

When I was living in Southern Oregon, I was one of two lead guitarists for a punk-rock band, Screamin' Gulch, and they played a couple of my songs, "Naked Space Hamsters in Love" and "When i Jump off the Cliff I'll Think of You" (they liked real high-energy stuff), and those sounded pretty good as punk-rock. Our current band, Deathgrass, rather defies description, so I don't try. The bass player and drummer come from heavy metal backgrounds, lead guitarist is rock, harmonica player blues. And I write most of the songs. They tend to "rock them up" (their term), and I don't complain.

One of the items on the Goals List for this year is to write in different genres, and I've tried a little. I have a couple of polkas, one Norwegian Death Metal (wrote last year), one medieval ballad--that sort of thing. In addition to the standard blues, bluegrass, country, and rock 'n' roll. And it's all mostly adaptable to other genres, too.

Joe

#809711 - 04/10/10 12:20 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Joe Wrabek]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Good posts. Teaching music and working in the studios led me to study several genres and styles. I find that use of modes and different approaches to the groove (the rhythmic pattern of the meter) make the two big differences. How about you?


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#809921 - 04/11/10 11:21 AM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
I always think it is a pity putting music in pigeon holes. Most musicians I know have eclectic tastes and like to tackle just about anything as a challenge. That said, a hell of a lot of listeners insist on pigeon holing and will only consider listening to a couple of styles at most, blocking out all many style and a lot of great music as unfashionable. They dictate genres or styles that should be adopted. It kind of stagnates the versatility and range that most of us would perhaps like to see.

#809926 - 04/11/10 11:51 AM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,829
Colin Ward Online content
Colin Ward  Online Content

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Posts: 7,829
Saint Petersburg. FL
I think I am a bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to guitar. I avoid jazz, hard rock and shredding but will attempt blues, folk, classic rock, country, bluegrass - acoustic or electric, etc. I took some lessons in classical at one point but my formerly broken first finger does not get along with the bar chording and flat wide necks.

I also dabble in bass, mandolin, keyboards, banjo, percussion, and anything else that makes a noise. I do sing in public but did not inherit a great voice and prefer to sing harmonies or backup.

My interest lies in originals - mine and my friends'. I did a classic rock cover gig last week and soon found it boring, even though I basically like the songs.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#809947 - 04/11/10 01:46 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Sep 2001
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Jean Bullock Offline
Jean Bullock  Offline

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Anaheim, CA, USA
Hmmmm. I don't know if I could really describe what I play with actual definitions of what constitutes a particular style. I know what some sound like.

My daughter says a lot of the music I write and play in church reminds her of Bad Religion, which is kind of amusing since I write a lot of religious songs.

Some of what I write or play sounds like:
  • pentatonic resembling Celtic and sometimes asian music
  • Broadway showtunes
  • Pop music (different eras)
  • Classical or Baroque music
  • folk music -different modal sounds
  • folk rock
  • waltzes
  • Gospel
  • Contemporary Christian (whatever that is)
  • Country-ish

I use a variety of guitar techniques -fingerpicking, melody picking combined with strumming chords or plucking the chords, arpeggios, strumming -to the beat or sometimes a percussive rhythm.


Last edited by Jean Bullock; 04/22/10 10:07 PM.

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#809951 - 04/11/10 01:54 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Jean Bullock]  
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Curmudgeonville, Tn
Unfortunately I only know one genre.... Bill Robinson
But hell, I like it. I guess that's all that matters in the end.

But I listen to the different songs posted by JPF'rs and am constantly amazed at the talent here.
Kevin and Big Jim did a song recently "Old Stomping Ground".
I thought it a bit Country But everyone knows Big Jim HATES Country. But then there's a Sax in there. I was listening to the song again today. Then I read Mike's comment about Groove so I had to go listen again. Wondering about the Groove. Hmmm does that hint at Genre? Not sure.
Since Kevin and Big Jim didn't list the Genre of the song I wonder what it is. But they mentioned Van Morrison. What was he? Rock? But a lot of Rock sounds Country to me and Visa Versa.
So I stay confused.

Mike, You mention the Groove and explain it as the rhythmic pattern of the meter. What a great explanation. Thanks for that. I'll try to use it.



Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

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#809960 - 04/11/10 02:40 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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ben willis Offline
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ben willis  Offline
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Ft. Myers, FL. USA
Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
How many styles of music do you understand? Can you describe them? Do you understand one real well, or several? Or none?

Let's talk style and genre.


Sorry Mike, I didn't read the question. I only responded with what I've done in the past. I learned how to play the guitar from Bluegrass and not much else. I learned hundreds of old songs and fiddle tunes.

I met up with a fiddle and mandolin player who grew up on Western Swing, Bob Wills, Spade Cooley, Johnny Gimble etc. A lot of the songs were the same fiddle tunes that I play Bluegrass style, but Western Swing is different. Bluegrass on steroids I guess.

I'm not good at putting some thoughts to words so bear with me. If I play rhythm guitar to "My Window Faces The South" Bluegrass style, I'll keep my right hand (I'm left handed) toward the bottom of the neck and play the straight chords, however if I was playing rhythm guitar to the same song Western Swing style I'll use barre chords, jazz up the rhythm and sometimes cup the strings. I'll use my right pinkie to hit some sharp notes before transitioning to another chord. That's the best I can explain.

#809966 - 04/11/10 03:04 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: ben willis]  
Joined: Nov 2006
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Bill I have done a lot of joking about genres in the past. The point is simple there are two genres of music....

1.Stuff I like
2. Stuff I do not like.

I think most people would agree. Whilst there are some styles I listen to a lot I like music of all descriptions and can listen to just about anything with a melody or beat....even country LOL I write music and sing music that can be classed as multi genre and even crossover.
As Billy Joel once said Its still rock and roll to me.
WHO CARES WHAT GENRE IT IS AS LONG AS IT MOVES YOU....

#810080 - 04/12/10 07:25 AM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 49
Keith Gamble Offline
Serious Contributor
Keith Gamble  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 49
As a saxophonist in Detroit I better be able to play many styles/genres or I`ll starve. Mike Dunbar mentioned teaching music, and I strongly agree; that`s what I do. Lloyd Steiner has a book out entitled "Make A Fortune Teaching Private Music Lessons", which is available on Amazon.com. I think the book is worth the read for working musicians. When I am not teaching, but performing, I play in a variety of groups.
Being a saxophonist my passion is playing jazz and symphonic band music. I also love playing avant garde; my work with performance poetry ensemble Creative Tradition. Reggae is another genre I enjoy; my work with Basiks Reggae Band. I also play funk, Motown, and other genres I am being hired to perform.

Last edited by Keith Gamble; 04/15/10 12:57 PM.
#810090 - 04/12/10 08:02 AM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Keith Gamble]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D)  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 29,275
Tampa, Florida since 1973
HiDee Mike! Great Thread. I DO like Big Jimmy's Original Answer, but...after much headscratchin'..& MANY a Co-Write with Serious Musicos..I'm familiar with:

Classic/Classic Rock/Acid Rock/New Wave/Punk/Disco/Reggae/Reggaeton/Soul/Funk/R&B/Blues/Rap/Hip-Hop/Old Country/New Country/Crossover Country/Country-Rock/Southern-Rock/Cajun/Jungle/Americana/Swing/Western Swing/Texas Swing/Folk/Folk-Rock/Singer-Songwriter/Bluegrass/Gospel/Bee-Bop/Boogie/Big Band/Jazz/Techno/New Age/Surf/& Pop...

But it's Still Rock & Roll to Me...heh!

Best Wishes
Stan

#810521 - 04/13/10 09:51 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: ]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Jim, I don't put music into "pigeon holes" I look at genres and styles as colors that can be blended or contrasted. If you listen to my original stuff, it's a mix of 70's folk, country, blues, r&b, and New Orleans grooves. I'll be recording at least one or two reggae things soon. To me, genres are like languages and styles are like local accents within the languages. New Orleans has cajun, zydeco, dixieland, second-line, and a lot more, all within it's genre. They're all sumptuous ingredients from which we can "cook." I like it when it cooks.

Colin, me too. I love it all. Haven't found a style yet that hasn't had something in it that speaks to me. Got to look harder in some than others but for other folks it's vice versa.

Jean, good influences there. Putting all that to guitar keeps you rounded. I've played a lot of church music. When we say "Take it to church" in the studios here, that usually means the bass puts a five in the bass of a one chord and keeps on it while the chord switches to a five chord. It sounds like a hymn. Even church music is a style.

Bill, to me Van Morrison was a kind of pop jazz amalgum. Not rock since G L O R I A.

Jim, again, Bingo! There's good and bad...period. Then there are the guys like me who, if I had a brain, would take it out and play with it. LOL. When I got a new transistor radio, the first thing I did was take it apart. Still try to work on my cars, but the new ones puzzle me mightily. I did the same with music. What makes Funk groove like that? It's where they put the beat in relation to the meter. New Orleans? A lot of upbeats on a swing of about 80%. Bluegrass? The four four is dead on the money, but the eighths or the sixteenths might swing. A lot comes from dance. The colder climates keep their legs together when they dance...you get the jig which becomes the clog which becomes bluegrass. The warmer climates keep their legs apart...you get swing and sway (with Sammy Kaye?). To me, it's fun to think about this stuff. And that is, IMHO, good.

Keith, you've gotta keep those styles right. For me, a bass player, even more. If I'm with a blues band and start playing too many flat fives, they'll fire me, Ha. In Country, I play one five one five one one four. In Bluegrass I've got to play one five one five one five four. smile Modern reggae? Hardly any "one-drop" compared to the early stuff. They spot me as a pretender right away but still don't chase me off the stage LOL.

Stan, yeah it's all rock and roll. Or as Townes Van Zandt used to say, "There's two kinds of music...blues and zip a dee doo dah."

Good stuff folks. Keep it coming.



Ben, for the rhythm guitar to "swing" you need to cut the note of on a swing beat, that's why the barre chords or the orchestral chords work, they don't "ring."


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#941737 - 01/21/12 08:56 PM Re: How many styles are you fluent in? [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 580
Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 580
I write songs in these styles:

Old - time country
glitzy show biz ( like Kander & Ebb)
Latin and bossa nova ( Jobim )
Standards style ( like Cole Porter ).
Old R&B
70s pop
Piano lullabies, instrumentals.
Novelty/BlueGrass.

I don't know how to describe them, it's just a feel for each, a beat, and "idiom", like a language but with different musical vernacular. Nothing I compose is "trendy" or modern.


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