Archive | January 2012

#Guitar Lesson: Intros and Endings

Jody Fisher

Jody Fisher is the co-chair of LA Music Academy’s guitar department. Jody has written for most of the major guitar magazines, including Guitar Player, Just Jazz Guitar and Finger Style Guitar. As an educator, Jody has held the positions of Professor of Jazz and Studio Guitar at the University of Redlands, in Redlands, CA, the University of La Verne, in La Verne, CA, and the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA), in Idyllwild, CA. He has performed with Alphonso Johnson, Betty White, Big Joe Turner, Bo Diddley, Bobby Troupe, Brandon Fields, The Coasters, Dennis Miller, Don Rickles, The Drifters, Harry Connick Jr., Jan and Dean, Joe Diorio, John Abercrombie, John Williams, Mike Stern, Rosemary Clooney, The Shirelles, The Spinners, and many others. Check out for more information.

From Jody: The following progressions work well for intros and endings. In this series we will use various harmonic devices to come up with interesting sounds. The first progressions follow a diatonic (scale-wise) pattern, then go into a series of chords that move in 4ths.

This is followed by a half-step dominant approach chord into a “V7” chord, and finally re- solving to the “I” chord.

Memorize each progression, making sure you understand how the progression works. Transpose your favorites to all 12 keys and start using them in the tunes you know.

-Jody, LAMA


Video Quick Tip – Drums: Left Hand Ghost Note Funk Ostinato

gary furgeson

Gary Ferguson teaches funk drums at LA Music Academy College of Music. After his first recording at the age of 17 with Shirley Bassey, Gary Ferguson began touring in the mid-70’s with Etta James, Olivia Newton-John and Cher. Since then, he has also toured/recorded with Eddie Money, Ray Charles, Glenn Hughes, Jim Messina, Roberta Flack, Yoko Ono, David Benoit, Les Dudek, Michelle Phillips, Bette Midler, Susanna Hoffs, Charlie Sexton, Billy Preston, Melissa Manchester, John Hiatt, the New Radicals, Stevie Nicks, Lani Hall, Larry Carlton, Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter, James Ingram, Billy Bob Thornton, K.D. Lang, Pat Benatar, Ben Folds, and many more. In 2000, he performed on the Women Rock Lifetime television special, featuring Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, The Dixie Chicks and more. Gary has also recorded on many film and jingle dates and has also contributed tracks to the GarageBand Drum Libraries.

In this video, Funk Drum Instructor Gary Ferguson demonstrates a very useful left hand ghost note ostinato for funk drumming. For more info, visit

-LAMA Staff

Lukáš Kmiť Makes Nokia Happy

Let’s hear it for Lukáš Kmiť — despite an unwelcome Nokia ringtone during his performance on viola, this pro responds ever so eloquently; with his instrument. How stoked is Nokia about this video?

-LAMA Staff

Indie Labels 12% of 2011 U.S. Sales

image via Seattle Weekly

According to Soundscan, “Overall U.S. music sales rose 6.9% in 2011, as album sales increased for the first time since 2004. Indies accounted for just 12.1% of U.S. music sales last year.”  These stats are promising since many of you release music on your own, with independent partners, or on an Indie label etc. What it truly means is that even with all the talk of internet and Indie artists ruling the world the major label musicians are still moving the most product. But don’t be discouraged. What this study doesn’t account for is other revenue streams – Touring, Merchandise, Ringtones, DVDs, and anything else you can think of! Plus don’t forget The Arcade Fire (on Indie label Merge) took home “Artist Of The Year” at The Grammys! Some of the most exciting music is being created on the indie level — with smart promotions, pr, marketing and social media, you could leverage the tools available today into a long term career.

-LAMA Staff

Black Eyed Cars

Will.I.Am makes us think of flashy outfits and catchy music (the kind you love or hate). Could car designer be next? According to a recent article in the Huffington Post Will.I.Am is starting a car company called “IAMAUTO”. The musician appeared on Jay Leno who is no stranger to cars himself to promote it. “Mr. I am” says that he wanted to start “IAMAUTO” to “bring jobs back to the ghetto that I came from”.  Will.I.Am grew up in the infamous “Estrada Courts”   housing project in Boyle Heights which is usually known for being predominantly Mexican.

via Huffington Post

Think this is a car story and not a music story? Think again! If you are a musician you MUST BE thinking of alternate revenue streams. The sale of recorded music is at an all time low so it is great to see a musician thinking WAY outside the box. We also noted that Will.I.Am naturally announced Beats By Dre technology would be providing the car audio. While we don’t know if this news has Detroit shaking in our boots we can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

-LAMA Staff

Mogees Turn Any Surface Into Musical Instrument

In yesterday’s Discovery article “Any Surface Becomes a Musical Instrument”, we learned about a creation from Bruno Zamborlin.

As part of his arts and computational technologies Ph.D. project, Zamborlin, in collaboration with Norbert Schnell and Frederic Bevilacqua, created “Mosaicing Gestural Surface,” or Mogees.

Stick Mogees nearly anywhere — a tree, car, mirror, perhaps a piece of cheese — either way, the microphone will pick up vibrations and present them as real-time sounds. Audio samples can be programmed into the device for even more fun. You could literally transform your car dashboard into a marimba or xylophone.

Check out the video here:

-LAMA Staff

Video Quick Tip: Jazz and the Ride Cymbal

Joe Porcaro’s musical spectrum ranges from jazz and rock to opera and symphonic. He has recorded with jazz artists including Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Freddie Hubbard, Don Ellis, Mike Manieri and rock/pop artists such as TOTO and Madonna. His credits includes numerous television shows and movies. One of the most highly regarded percussion and drum instructors in the world, Joe is the author of two drum books: Joe Porcaro’s Drum Set Methods and Odd Times, and the instructional video Joe Porcaro on Drums. Please visit for more info.

In this video, LA Music Academy drum department co-chair Joe Porcaro discusses the history of the drumset and the development of the jazz ride cymbal beat.

-LAMA Staff

%d bloggers like this: