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Tommy Emmanuel – Center Stage – DVD

One of things that we try to teach is how to play to an audience. Many guitar students take a long time to break through a certain amount of inhibition. We’re not talking about stage fright and all that kind of stuff. Even if the student is relaxed and confident on stage there usually is a kind of shyness and holding back. In many ways, performing music is a lot like acting. Most successful performers assume a bit of a persona. They make be quiet and unassuming, for example, but on stage they are able to drop that and fully communicate with the audience.

Tommy Emmanuel is a great example of a guitarist that relates totally to his audience. Whether you like his music or not, it’s hard not to be captivated by his performance.

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Summer Guitar Concerts

Here’s our list of summer guitar concerts:

May 13 – Bob Sutherby – Flamenco Guitar

May 20 – Sean Kemp – Electric Violin Improvisation

May 26 – Eugene Cormier – Classical Guitar

June 14 – Don Ross – New Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar

June 23 – Stephen Fearing – Singer/Songwriter

All concerts start at 7:00.  Admission is $15 at the door.

Concerts are held in Potter Hall in the Kenneth Rowe Management Building (across from the Dalhousie Arts Centre) – 6100 University Avenue.

These concerts are quite informal and will also provide you with an opportunity to ask questions of the performer. Each performer also provides a commentary on what he is playing, his instruments, etc.

Guitar Hero Tips

Guitar Hero 3 Mastery

Need a break from playing the real thing. If so, here’s a few tips for chilling out with the not so real thing:

If you are serious about mastering Guitar Hero guitar technique then you have got your work cut out for you. Achieving expert status is not going to be attained by occasionally picking up your Guitar Hero guitar and noodling. You are going to have to work at this and not get frustrated. The average person tends to be impatient and easily gives up. Like anything in life, if you are patient, steadfast and diligent you can accomplish most things.

Tip One – Go Slow

Mastering the Guitar Hero guitar is not that much different than learning how to play a real guitar (of course, learning to play a real guitar is much more complex – but the learning strategies are similar). The most important thing that you can do is slow down. You are training your reflexes and muscles to respond in a very refined and complex manner and you need to make sure that each move that you are learning is perfect.

Most of us learn to play guitar (or Guitar Hero) by playing too fast, making lots of mistakes and hoping the these mistakes will eventually just disappear. Well, they won’t!

If you are making mistakes while you are playing then that is what you are practicing and learning. You are just getting better at playing your mistakes. For most people, the only way to eliminate the mistakes and play as perfectly as possible is to play slow.

Once your muscles begin to memorize the patterns the speed naturally develops. For the most part, you don’t need to work on speed. Work on accuracy and the speed will come effortlessly. Take advantage of the slower tempos in Practice Mode.

Tip Two – Practice Short Sections

One of the worst things you can do is just play the song over and over. Most players will find that there is about seventy-five percent of the song that is not too hard and about twenty-five percent that trips them up.

So, work on the hard parts. Isolate the sections that are giving you problems and work them slowly. If you only have twenty minutes to play then why spend fifteen minutes playing the parts that are easy. That won’t help you improve.

Unfortunately, most of us like to do things that are fun. Working on the hard parts is usually frustrating and feels a bit like work. We’d rather just play the parts that we can do well.

I recommend that you take the middle way. Spend a bit of your time doing some serious work on the difficult sections then forget it and just have fun.

Tip Three – Practice Each Hand Separately

You might find it beneficial to try practicing each hand separately. In other words, work on the strumming hand and then work on the fret keys.

Tip Four – Practice Your Hammer-ons and Pull-offs

You may have noticed that the border around the notes changes color during fast tempos. This means that you can stop strumming and just play the fret keys (this would be the equivalent of hammer-ons and pull-offs on a real guitar). What you would do is hit the strum button on the first note and then play the rest of the notes only with the fret keys. Make sure your rhythm is accurate.

Tip 5 – Master the Whammy Bar

Every time you hit a long note you can begin to learn how to work the whammy bar. This will help bolster your Star Power. The faster that you move your whammy bar up and down the more points you will earn.

So get to work and I’ll look out for your Guitar Hero video posted on your favorite video site.

John Smith writes on many subjects in the fields of music and guitar. If you are looking for the best deals on Guitar Hero guitars and games visit Guitar Hero Guitars Online.

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FFR_benefitA benefit concert is being held at Dalhousie University on Sunday, April 11 at Potter Hall (across the street  from the Rebecca Cohn in the Kenneth Rowe Management Building). Admission is $20.

The benefit is being put on by Friends for Refugees (FFR). FFR is looking for your help to privately sponsor a refugee family. The family – father, mother and two young children – are currently located at a Syrian refugee camp near the Iraqi boarder. FFR needs to raise enough money to bring the family to Halifax and to support them during their first year in Canada. Friends For Refugees will also need help with settlement once the family arrives this winter.You can find out more about the group by visiting their site.

The concert is being put on in order to raise funds for the families. Headliners include Stephen Fearing, Don Ross, Jeff Torbert and Scott Macmillan. You can download the poster for further information.

Guitar Videos

I just posted a number of guitar videos on our Dal Guitar YouTube page. These are performances from the 1980s. They feature mostly me (Doug Reach) but there is also a clip of myself and well known classical guitarist Dale Kavanagh. You can see them all on our YouTube Page. Visit it here:

Dalhousie Guitar YouTube page

Here’s a sample:

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