Archives: August 2011 - Jim Bowley

August 30, 2011

A Guitar Teacher Gains Perspective


I love my students.

First of all, just the fact that they want to share in the study of music, and specifically guitar – something I’ve devoted my life to – automatically qualifies them for BFF status in my book. If they are highly motivated and not afraid of work (read: ready to kick some serious butt), then I get all misty-eyed just talking about their awesomeness.

But what about the student that you just KNOW has incredible potential, but never really wants to work hard enough to maximize it?

That’s the one that’ll break your heart. (more…)

August 22, 2011

So You Want To Study Music, Part 2: A Guest Blog by Prawit Siriwat

Wit Siriwat

The Audition: A First-Hand Account

I walk into the room with my guitar slung around my shoulder. In my hand I have a folder filled with music for the student musicians that would be playing with me in just a few moments. I’m a little nervous. The body of my guitar hits the door on the way in and I think to myself sarcastically, “Oh, that’s a good sign.” I shake everyone’s hand and introduce myself.

Two men are in the room with pads of paper and pens. One man lifts his head up with a smile and says, “Welcome. Just plug into that Polytone. What are you going to play for us?” The other man still has his head buried in the paper. I tell them, as confidently as I can, “’Solar’, ‘Blue Trane’, and ‘Blue in Green’.” Both of the men smile and motion for me to continue. (more…)

August 19, 2011

Free For All Friday, August 19, 2011

by jim — Categories: Free For All Friday — Tags: , Leave a comment

Food Fight!

Hey, kids! Welcome to Free For All Friday, where we throw random stuff at the wall to see what sticks. It’s like a musical food fight! What’s on the menu today, you ask?

Today’s selections include:

1 – Some sweet guitarist mullets
2 – If gear came with warning labels
3 – A bonus, like a free bowl of Jello

Eat up, rock stars! (more…)

August 15, 2011

So You Want to Study Music: A Guest Blog by Prawit Siriwat

Wit Siriwat

I am incredibly proud to post a guest article by one of the brightest young musicians in Harford County – Prawit Siriwat. I’ve known Wit for a few years now and he is easily one of the most driven and dedicated musicians I’ve met, no matter his age. He loves great guitar playing – in any style – and was recently honored as a top finisher in the Harford County Public Schools’ Musical Composition contest.

Wit has just graduated high school and is onto a new adventure as a Jazz guitar major at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. This has inspired a tremendous piece about the audition process to music school, which we’ll be presenting in two parts. It is a first-hand account of a young musician going through the entire process – choosing and applying to schools, preparing for and performing the audition, and dealing with acceptance and rejection.

Serious young musicians with an eye on music school will get some great insight from Wit’s experiences, and casual musicians will get a taste of the commitment and dedication necessary to score a spot in a top notch music program.

Without further adieu, my friend and fellow guitarist, Mr. Wit Siriwat… (more…)

August 12, 2011

Free For All Friday, August 12, 2011

Food Fight!

Hey, kids! Welcome to Free For All Friday, where we throw random stuff at the wall to see what sticks. It’s like a musical food fight! What’s on the menu today, you ask?

Today’s selections include:

1 – An anniversary edition of one of rock’s all-time great albums
2 – A rocker’s strange new venture
3 – Brainy musicians

Eat up, rock stars! (more…)

August 9, 2011

Chord Inversions for Cool Kids: The Low Five

graphic of chord inversions low five

If I told you that there is a guitar chord concept which gets very little attention, but will teach you something valuable about chord construction – and at the same time make your guitar playing generally more awesome – you’d be pretty interested, wouldn’t you?

I would too!

Well, wait no longer, my friends. That super-cool concept is…drum roll, pleasechord inversions!

Specifically, I’m talking about what trained musicians often call 2nd inversion chords, or chords where the 5th note of the scale is played as the bass note, below the root note.

Sounds exciting, am I right? (sarcasm alert)

Okay, so it’s not the sexiest-sounding topic. But it does produce some very cool results when used at just the right time. (more…)

Jim Bowley is a professional guitarist, teacher and blogger. A native of Baltimore, he has over 30 years of playing experience and an advanced degree in Music Education from Towson University. Jim lives in Bel Air, MD where he maintains a thriving private lesson studio and performs with his band, Remains of Radio.

© 2012 Jim Bowley All rights reserved.
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