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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: The Meters

The Meters: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

The Meters are a funk band from New Orleans. Their music is stripped down, not flashy, and just oozing with groove and character.

If you or a student of yours are looking for a way to work on groove, you can use this album as a tool.

Three Ways to Work on Groove:

  1. You can have them sing along with any of these tracks. Have them start with just one note and encourage them to make it "fit into the song." Be sure to point out that fewer notes are better than a lot of notes when starting out.
  2. Next have them play along with any of the tracks on just one note. It is pretty incredible how quickly even a young player will start to feel the concept of groove when they play along with an album like this.
  3. Finally, have them play some very basic hand percussion along with it. A shaker, claves, anything laying around the band room. You can also have them march around the band room in time with the music to feel the groove.

I've seen this kind of thing work wonders with students of all ages and ability levels.

Happy grooving!

New Year's Resolution: More YouTube

Andrew Hitz

It is that time of year that most of us make New Year's resolutions.  Whether it be joining a gym and going only 5 times or dieting for only a couple of weeks, we frequently don't even come close to realizing our goals.  So this year I've decided to make a productive resolution that is also fun: I'm going to spend at least one hour a week watching great music on YouTube.  It's that simple.  The amount of amazing performances which are at the fingertips of anyone with an internet connection today is simply stunning.  The fact that I have not been taking full advantage of this mind-boggling resource is silly.

2011 saw the introduction of the online music streaming service Spotify to the United States.  Spotify inspired me to listen to more music this past year than I had in recent memory.  It is a wonderful service and makes doing my research (for the tuba in my head) incredibly easy.  It even inspired a very cool listening project that I'm doing with the George Mason Tuba/Euphonium studio called the Studio Listening Lab.

Spotify has inspired me to bring my research to the next level.  So I've decided that 2012 will be the Year of YouTube for me.  There is something to be said for watching the best musicians in the world do what they do right before your very eyes.

Below are two clips from a jam session that I never knew even happened.  Two of my favorite bass players are Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) and George Porter Jr. (of The Meters).  These guys are two of my bass clef heroes and without YouTube I wouldn't even know that the two bands shared a stage in 2006 with the two of them trading solos! Not only did I learn of it's existence but I got to watch it! After two short clips I felt inspired and energized.

So here's to my 2012 being the Year of YouTube!