Archive | November 2011

5 Gnarly Kid Performances

Kids shred Phoenixville’s Rock & Roll After School

It’s time to recognize the children…not screaming babies on the airplane, or dirty diapers and messes they leave behind. But we want to highlight them playing music! It seems every day google alerts come in: “8 year old drums black page”or “6 year old blazes through November Rain” so we compiled a list of just 5 of the gnarliest kids performances found on YouTube…though there are so many more. What other ones do you think we need to watch?

Insane Guitar Kid – We remember learning the guitar in Junior High and trying to master Jimmy Page’s Stairway To Heaven solo. How about at 5 years old!?

System of a Down-Toxicity, Drum Cover, 5 Year Old Drummer, Jonah Rocks – This video needs no explanation just watch! Let’s get this kid to Drummer’s Reality Camp next year!

The Next Mozart? 6-Year Old Piano Prodigy Wows All- Could this 6 year old really be the next Mozart? After watching her skills she very well may be!

O Holy Night – Incredible child singer 7 yrs old – Get this girl to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl!

Little Boy Singing The Blues In A Guitar Store. What great pipes on this kid! Must watch.

Hope you enjoyed all these videos LAMA-heads. You better practice extra hard this semester there is going to be some stiff competition from the next generation!

-LAMA Staff

Michael J. Fox B. Goode

Screenshot from the famous clip.

It’s hard to believe that it was over 25 years ago when Michael J. Fox’s character stole the show and absolutely slayed Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode in the 80’s hit movie, Back to the Future. Fox went back to back to the future in a blast to the past (did that make sense) and performed the song again at last night’s fundraiser benefitting research for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research — Read more about the event here (via TMZ):

Check out the performance here:

Weren’t born yet and have no idea what we’re talking about? Here’s the classic clip!

-LAMA Staff

EMI Sold for $4.1 Beeeeeellion Dollars

Universal Music GroupSony Corp. just took some major business steroids and agreed to terms with Citigroup Inc.; who will buy EMI for $4.1 billion. $4.1 BILLION.

London-based EMI will split in two: music goes to Universal for $1.9 billion and publishing goes to Sony for $2.2 billion.

Fun fact: Did you know Universal is the largest recorded music company in the world, controlling over 25% of the global market? It just got bigger, by roughly 9%.

Citigroup beat out BMG Chrysalis, a music publishing company owned by Bertelsmann, a German media giant, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

On paper, Sony will be an investor and partial owner because of the deal, running the publishing under its Sony ATV business, which administers rights to (or owns) 750,000 songs.

Read the full story in this morning’s LA Times here:

-LAMA Staff

Video Quick Tip: Samba Rhythms for Drumset

Happy 11/11/11 to all!

Here we have a new quick tip video from LA Music Academy Afro-Cuban/Brazilian drum Instructor Aaron Serfaty, who has been playing professionally for 20 years. From 1980 – 1990 he was a first call session drummer in his native country of Venezuela. He moved to Los Angeles in 1991 to attend the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Soon after he began touring and recording with Arturo Sandoval and Jon Anderson, and performing with Sergio Mendes, Dori Caymmi, Oscar Castro Neves, Frank Gambale, Shelly Berg, Juan Carlos Quintero, Rique Pantoja and Don Grusin. Aaron is also the director of the Latin Jazz Ensemble at the University of Southern California (USC).

In the video, Aaron discusses how to apply different traditional samba rhythms to drumset. Report back here with how your practice sessions went and if you have any questions, ask them in our comment section!

-LAMA Staff

5 Tips: Discover New Music

Sometimes it’s good for us to step outside our comfort levels and discover and listen to fresh music. Even with all the new sites and services out there, that’s easier said than done. Here are some tips to help you discover new tunes today:

1) Radio While Driving

Most of the time when we are driving we are cursing traffic, talking on the bluetooth or shuffling favorite songs on the Ipod. Don’t forget, every car is equipped with a free device that transmits plenty of music; the radio! Turn on that puppy and hit the scan button and in about ten minutes time you should have heard a diverse mix of musical genres. Use a site like to find stations in different genres and cities and devote your time listening to some new programming. Never tried jazz? Listen to the different jazz stations from all around the U.S. and you’ll hear a lot of different mixes and opinions about the music you’re hearing.

2) Mixtapes
This is another blast from the past – back in the pre-digital revolution friends and lovers would make each other cassette “mix tapes” with a batch of music the listener might never have heard before. Nowadays people use Itunes and burn a CD or put it on a USB drive. There are even online services that let you create a digital mixtape and send it to a friend. We personally prefer a hard copy of a mixtape – something about being able to hold it in your hand makes it better. Challenge your friends to put songs on your mix that stretch your musical sensibilities!

3) Online Music Services
There are literally hundreds of online streaming music services now that can help you expand your musical taste. From Pandora to Slacker to Spotify (which just added a radio section) you can tap into boundless amounts of music at anytime. Go on Pandora and pick an artist you have never heard of and use that as your “seed” artist to take you on your new musical journey. The jam band Phish launched Live Phish Radio in 2003 and you can stream it through Itunes 24 hours a day or even on your smartphone. iTunes has scores of free radio stations and podcasts available to help you discover new sounds. Use your smartphone apps like Shazam if you hear unfamiliar music that you want identified…the Shazam results will list all the ways to find that band’s music online and also offers tools to share the music you just heard with your online friends.

4) Live Music
Sometimes you need to hear a particular music genre live before you can open your ears to it. Jazz music for many is an acquired taste but nothing will get you hooked faster than attending a jazz club or themed/genre-specific night. Blues not your thing? Find a blues club! If you are a LAMA student, you’ll be exposed to so many live concerts on and off campus each week — take advantage of these opportunities to help open your ears to new and exciting music!

5) YouTube
When we first stumbled onto YouTube, we were amused for hours with cute kitten videos and hilarious pranks caught on cell phone cameras. Very quickly a YouTube revolution took place and YouTube became the go-to place on-line for music listening. Whether it was official music videos, fan made music videos, or even just the audio of hard to find tracks set to a black background, YouTube became a top online destination for listening to music. What an ideal way to get turned onto new artists! Ask for suggestions from friends or just enter a genre or artist you are unfamiliar with in the search box. Make sure to look for “playlists” which will keep the music going after each song ends.

What if you discover a musical gem that had escaped you prior? What if this discovery helps your playing by working a new style into how you perform on your instrument? We all have our favorite artists and genres but part of our musical journey is leaving the comfort zones and listening to new material from different genres. Where do you find your new music?

-LAMA Staff

5 Tips: Create the Perfect Setlist

You found your dream musicians, you came up with a name for your band, and you booked the gig. What next? You need to create the perfect setlist for your first show! A well crafted setlist can be the difference between a mediocre, good or great concert. Follow these tips below to help you on this journey!

1) Start With A Bang / End With a Bang
Creating a setlist is a lot like sequencing an album; you want to put your best song or two first, throw in your lesser songs in the middle and then save a few good ones to end with. You can’t go wrong with opening with your best song. First impressions matter! If the first song isn’t great you might have already lost your audience. We will give you warning that with a less than stellar soundman or sound system your first song can sometimes sound like your worst no matter how good it is because this is when the soundman tinkers with the levels. Your last song should put a “period” or even better “exclamation mark” at the end of your performance and leave the audience wanting more.

2) Does it flow?
Flow is so important in a setlist. Some bands like to organize by louder and softer songs, play a few loud ones, play a few soft ones, loud ones again etc. Other bands might have an acoustic section in the middle where they “bring it down”. Whatever you decide to do–flow is important. Often times what you feel works in your head or even in the practice room just plays completely differently with an audience of strangers.

3) Consider the Audience
Maybe it might not be the best idea to play your 9 hour rock opera with German lyrics you composed. Art is fantastic, but sometimes artistic desire and notions get in the way of putting on a great show. If you have a 7 minute track, consider knocking it down to 3 minutes so the audience doesn’t get bored. If you are given a 40 minute set, don’t play an hour! Stage banter is a key way to keep the set moving, often breaks will come up during the set, the drummer might need to adjust his kit, or the guitar player tunes up – make sure you have a designated “talker” to speak with the audience and maybe tell a story during these pauses.

4) Copy Your Musical Heroes
What if we gave you a treasure trove of secrets about how the great musicians of the world crafted setlists? Well it’s not that hard! Just visit you can browse thousands of setlists from famous bands over the years. For instance it says that on Iron Maiden’s european tour of this year they opened with “Doctor, Doctor” each night. Even better, go catch a band live and notice what they did wrong AND right. Concert DVDs are also a great way to go right to the source and see how a show flows (warning – concert DVDs can often be edited from different performances to make it flow even better than it was live).

5) Practice it!
Nothing can ruin a great setlist if you play it sloppily or don’t know the order well enough to know exactly how it flows. Make sure EVERY member of your band has a copy of the setlist during practice (and before the show!). Often times at practice, bands have a habit of stopping and talking about the song they just played. Once it gets closer to gig time don’t do this. Play it straight through without any stops! If you feel comfortable bring in a friend to check you out in the rehearsal room and see if they have any thoughts about the setlist. You’ll be surprised about how clearly someone not in the band can get to the root of your musical problems.

BONUS TIP: Use social media to ask your fans for help creating the setlist for your next show or tour. Or create a contest around a special song in your set. Fans will appreciate the chance to help out and love requesting songs for the next live show.

There you have it musicians – 5 tips to creating that perfect setlist. We have to say we could keep going with more tips. At times the setlist is almost harder than performing the music. Even if you think you know it make sure to bring a copy of it on the day of the gig and place it in a well-lit area. After the gig talk about what worked and didn’t work with your band mates as well as any audience members. Don’t lose sight of the fact that even though it may seem like performing is about the audience it is really about you the performer so don’t lose sight of that. If you are feeling adventurous take a picture of your setlist and tag it on our Facebook page.

-LAMA Staff

5 Incredible Drum Solos

There was a time when the drum solo became a staple of every concert. Everyone would exit the stage and the drummer would be left alone to take over. In this LAMA Video Roundup we are going to highlight 5 Incredible Drum Solos that we found on the Internet. WARNING – Watching these videos could make you turn down the lights in your room, shine a spotlight on your kit and rock out!

Comment here with links to other incredible drum solos!

Rush – Neil Peart Drum Solo

Steve Smith of Journey – Khanda West

Tommy Lee – Upside Down Drum Solo

Terry Bozzio – The Black Page

Alex Van Halen – Drum Solo

=LAMA Staff

%d bloggers like this: