Music, Creativity and the Strumstick (Blog)

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  • 5 min read
Music theory is based on a system. It is an awkward system with a couple of Mysteries built in, but it is a simple enough system, once you understand the Mysteries! We unveil the Mysteries...
  • 5 min read
I am writing this blog post as an example of how the Strumstick can add a delightful color to recordings of other instruments. For me, the Strumstick parts in the song echo a sense of our earliest musical instruments as we expanded from Africa across the continents; from floating logs to clipper ships to sleek jets and rockets to the stars. 
I have wanted to design a bridge for the Strumstick (the little piece that holds the strings up over the soundboard) with more style to to it. Here I'll describe the process by which we arrived at a new bridge design that improves the sound of the instrument, looks really great with the Strumstick shape and is cost effective too.
In the spring of 2017, I had been accepted to a whole string of excellent shows across the country, a Grand Tour if you will. The shows were from April to July and this is the story of that tour.
If you ask people what the soundhole is for on a guitar (or a Strumstick), most people will say, "to let the sound out". A search of the web will yield answers like: "letting the vibrations from the strings fall into the body" to " spreading the soundwaves" and "it acts like a speaker". All those answers, while technically incorrect, do dance around what people's experience suggests to them. You could say they are poetic answers. But what is really going on?

There are few things more heart-warming and romantic than making a song for someone you love. Music is evocative, intangible, and a little risky, just like love is. In this article, we are going to show you how you can make sweet little melodies, a musical treat for someone you love. 

8 Steps for Learning Guitar that Ensure Success
(even without a Strumstick). 

Here are eight ideas that really help in the early stages of guitar. Our experience shows that using the Strumstick as a pre-Guitar trainer makes a big difference, however these ideas apply whether you use the Strumstick or not. These ideas were developed in 10 years of full-time guitar teaching, and they really help.

The Strumstick makes a terrific trainer for people learning guitar. This article will explain why that is. It will show you how to learn guitar faster and with less frustration using a Strumstick before or during your guitar learning period. With the Strumstick, you are getting exactly the basic training your fingers need to play guitar, but are having fun while you are doing it.
  • 13 min read
With music it is always an ongoing dance between familiarity and novelty. The background beat gives a safety net of familiarity, of stability. The rises and falls of melody give novelty, when the same note repeats, its a little dose of sameness. Creating changing rhythms is an ongoing balance of familiarity and novelty, and is one of the best tools a musician has for creating a living, three dimensional piece of music.
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In the last article (#2, Rhythms-Simple) we created different rhythms by counting beats and offbeats like: 1 2 3 4+. Now we are going to make some larger spaces appear by leaving out beats. Then we will see how our rhythm work applies to Strumstick (or guitar!), called Free Strumming

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