Seargeant Pepper Deconstructed

This great video on YouTube plays each of the four original master tracks of The Beatles Sgt Pepper isolated and shown as a waveform in a different colour.

At 2:24s you can hear that searing lead guitar line in the intro. Wicked treble sound on that. It's followed by those wicked punchy guitar chords over the verse at 2:30.

You can hear the awesome harmonies on the chorus at 5:20. We will have our own Red Heartbreaker, Miss Kiss, and Alex Kelley will be doing just this in Beatles Burlesque soon!

Bill Haley in Vancouver 54 Years Ago Today

Bill Haley in Vancouver poster

54 Years ago today Bill Haley and His Comets performed in Vancouver. One reviewer from the Vancouver Sun wrote "I had witnessed the ultimate in musical depravity..."

But another reviewer liked this new rock and roll sound. He wrote: "The beat was there -- loud and solid -- and it was crazy, man, crazy."

When they played "Rock Around the Clock" the audience went wild, and even started dancing in a conga line.

Beautiful, Not Perfect

Blue Morris and guitar student Kaylynn Traviss in Motown Burlesque

The goal of a musician is not to play a song perfectly, it is to play a song beautifully.

I spent some time with a student this afternoon who has been taking guitar lessons with me for about a year. She knows her chords and scales, she has good technique, she has an understanding of basic music theory, and she loves music.

That's a great place to start. As an artist, that is just the beginning.

For a student of music, dance or any art form who is considering performing for others, making a living from their art, becoming an artist, there is still more work to be done.

An artist must be proficient at her craft and also reach people with her song.

This is what makes the difference between those performers who we think are "pretty good" and those performers who amaze us on stage. We can see that they are proficient at their art, but we can also feel what they do on stage. They "reach" us. Their performance does something to us. We feel moved by the experience.

It is one thing to learn how to do something, it is another thing to be an artist.

I hope that doesn't sound daunting. In fact, I think it's quite easy, though it does take time, practice and self-reflection....

Read more: Beautiful, Not Perfect

Blues for Carly Rae Jepsen

One of my students found this interview of Carly Rae Jepsen on YouTube in which the odd-ball interviewer Narduar reminds Carly of a song I wrote for her many years ago that she sang with us, under duress sometimes. (haha!) It's 2m15 seconds in....