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daisyamerica llc is a publishing house whose purpose is to help and nurture creative artists across all disciplines find the maximum audience for their work. It exists to publish and promote the work of artists whose work reflects core energy known as kundalini, paramchaitanya, rhu, ruach or in Christian terminology, the Holy Spirit. It is informed by the teachings of H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the greatest spiritual personality, who gave en masse Self-realization spontaneously and effortlessly and whose mission was to emancipate the whole of humanity in preparation for the coming Age of Aquarius, the Age of Satya Yuga.

Music Blog

Family Circle by Jon Anderson and Matt Malley

Alan Wherry

Matt Malley (who many will remember from Cabella concerts and his role as a founding member of the Counting Crows band) has teamed up with Jon Anderson, legendary singer with Yes, to create a charity single called Family Circle. Matt has devoted his part of the charity revenues to Sahaja Yoga, so by buying the single you're also helping our work for Shri Mataji's vision, which is brilliant.

You can buy the single for £0.79 at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/family-circle-single/id911786898

and listen to it (but don't forget to buy!) at -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hATdN-XMBSQ

Hugs.

Nigel Powell

PS Interesting story how the single came about.

“Not only am I a fan of Jon's voice but I’m a fan of his fearless spiritual outlook which appears in all of his music. A mutual friend said we should meet and got us in touch and after talking a little, Jon said, 'So send some music!' - so I had a cup of my best Darjeeling tea, went into my studio and came up with the instrumental arrangement that you hear on 'Family Circle'. I sent the file up to Jon and it came back with his marvelous voice, lyrics…everything that brought the song to becoming fully realized.” - Matt Malley

"It takes great divine strength to instill and establish such values amongst a large group of people."

Alan Wherry

September 3, 2014

"I can't thank you enough for the wonderful experience. 

It is so rare that people are so sensitive to the musicians' needs for the right atmosphere, space, and all other details. It felt so good and inspired us to get deeply involved in the experience. On both occasions that I have sung for you all, I have felt the same and, in fact, was even more comfortable this time. Dibyarka and I were so moved by the whole experience. I really was meditating on stage, knowing that this was not a performance, that we were not being judged, and that we were all sharing an experience without any preconceived expectations. That is the true essence of our music. I wish we get more and more opportunities to revel in that atmosphere.

My deepest respects to revered Shri Mataji, it takes great divine strength to instill and establish such values amongst a large group of people. 

I would like to thank you all with a small token - a track from my recent album called Pranali. This is the famous bhajan Janaki Nath Sahaya written by Tulsidas and popularized by D. V. Paluskar. I might have even performed it for you all in April. But here is the actual track from the album. Please pass on this track as well as this email to all the wonderful folks in your group and perhaps even to all the attendees who were there during our performance.

Look forward to more such times,

Best regards,

Samarth

The Bhagavad Gita narrated by Tim Bruce

Alan Wherry

Narrator               Tim Bruce
Indian Violin        Simon Ayling
Vocalist                Carol Robertson


The Bhagavad Gita (Song of God) is considered one of the most important spiritual classics of the world and comprises part of the Hindu epic The Mahabharata.

The Bhagavad Gita is a divine conversation between Shri Krishna and Prince Arjuna that took place over 5000 years ago in the midst of the battlefield of Kurukshetra, and elucidates the meaning of life in the face of death. 


Copyright © 1993 TEV. All rights reserved. courtesy of Tim Bruce. 

25 Guitar Stars on How to Play Better - and how much, if any, applies to us in our desire to grow spiritually?

Alan Wherry

Guitar Player Magazine Staff

August 13, 2014

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Even if you’re locked away in a basement for eight hours a day with a metronome and a torturous practice book that is equal parts Mel Bay/Guantanomo Bay, you’re still not assured of transcendent 6-string skills. Sure, you may get stenographer-like dexterity and harmonic book-smarts up the f-hole, but playing soul-shaking music often requires a more diverse skill set. But this doesn’t mean that attaining the level of expression produced by someone like Jeff Beck necessitates a life of guitar monk-dom. First, don’t worry about the transcendent and unattainable talent of Jeff Beck. That’s just silly. What you need to do is ensure that whatever you play makes the hair on your arms stand up and quiver with bliss and excitement.

 

Here at Guitar Player, we figure that if you’re going to expand and maximize your talents, you may as well learn from the best. So we offer these 25 tips from cats who know their stuff—from rock royalty to jazz patriarchs to any-and-all top-of-their-game bad-asses. Hopefully, you’ll find something in these cosmic, practical, and musical nuggets of wisdom that will kick that rut-raddled mind of yours into higher gears of inspiration.

 

1. Joe Satriani says...

Renew!

“Moving into uncharted territory is a key ingredient to making your practice sessions a success. Playing the same stuff over and over will only take you so far. Introduce a new set of chord voicings, tunings, or scale patterns to your routine every week. It’s not necessary to know how to implement the stuff right away, just make your fingers go to new places, and let the musicality follow naturally.” 

 

2. Carlos Santana says... 

 Find You

“A good way to crave your individuality is to get a tape recorder and get into a room that’s kind of dark—where you don’t have interruptions—and then just play with a rhythm machine. After a while, it’s like a deck of cards on the table, and you can begin to see the riffs that came from this guy, the riffs that came from that guy, and then the two or three riffs that are yours. Then you start concentrating on your riffs until you develop an individual sound.” 

 

3. Steve Lukather says... 

Relax

“The most important thing to remember when you’re attempting to increase your speed is to relax. Don’t push your muscles beyond what they can give. Practice for about a half hour, and then take a break. You can always resume after a few minutes. This is especially important when you’re trying to get seriously twisted patterns under your fingers. I used to sit in from of the TV when I was a kid, and alternate-pick scales very lightly. I wasn’t really paying attention, and it actually helped that I wasn’t concentrating so much, because I stayed relaxed, and yet I was able to build up my technique and stamina. But never keep playing if you start to feel pain. Ever. Tendonitis is no joke.” 

 

4. Jerry Garcia says... 

Dynamics
“To work on picking dynamics, plug into a practice amp and turn your guitar all the way up. Then play arpeggios—very quietly at the beginning, and then gradually louder by adjusting your touch. The goal is to vary your dynamics, but not change the position of your hands. Many guitarists change the way they hold their hands when changing dynamics. As a result, they end up with a ‘light-touch’ group of licks—the very fast stuff—but they don’t develop any power. What you want to achieve is continually making those conversions back and forth from quiet to loud picking.”

 

5. Rusty Cooley says... 

Get High
“Wherever your guitar is when you’re sitting and practicing is where it should be when you’re standing. I discovered this the hard way. Years ago, I’d practice my solos sitting down—and I’d nail them—only to go to rehearsal and blow it because my right- and left-hand positioning was completely different when I stood up. Now, most players think it looks uncool to wear your guitar up high, but I think it’s cooler to sound kick ass than it is to look cool and suck! Zakk Wylde slings his Les Paul really low, but as soon as a solo comes up, he’ll put his foot on a stage monitor to raise his guitar up. Hell, Tom Morello wears his guitar so high that he says it sometimes hits him in the chin. So, for the sake of killer guitar playing, raise ’em up!” 

 

6. Barney Kessel says... 

Stay Hot

“Keep your guitar out of the case and handy. Practice short periods—anywhere from five to 45 minutes—many times throughout the day, rather than for one prolonged period. Often times, five minutes is enough time to work on a technique or musical passage. The whole idea of practice is to get your reflexes working like a gunfighter’s, so you can pull out that gun and be instantly hot.”

 

7. Nels Cline says... 

Seek Truth
“Don’t listen to unimaginative naysayers when it comes to personal creative expression. At some point, there will no doubt emerge a conflict between the rules of instrumental mastery, and the need to follow one’s own intuition. Be strong! The only so-called advancements in art—forget about commerce—have come about when someone has either boldly modified or completely disregarded the norm. Those who deviate must stay true to themselves.”

 

8. Dave Wronski says... 
Pickup Balance
“To balance your pickups, plug your guitar into something with level meters, such as a 4-track recorder. Play each string individually, and adjust the pickup height until the level of each string hits the same point on the meters. Typically, you’ll have to lower the bass side of the pickup. If your guitar’s overall output is quieter than what you had, simply turn up your amp to compensate. The benefit here is string-to-string clarity.”

 

9. Jimmy Page says... 
Room Miking
“There’s a very old recording maxim that goes, ‘Distance makes depth.’ I’ve used that a hell of a lot—whether it’s tracking guitars or the whole band. People are used to close-miking amps, but I’d have a mic out around the back, as well, and then balance the two. Also, you shouldn’t have to use EQ in the studio if the instruments sound right. You should be able to get the right tones simply with the science of microphone placement.”

 

10. James Hetfield says... 

Get Down 
“For heavy rhythm, it has to be downpicking. It’s absolutely key. It’s tighter sounding, and a lot chunkier.”

 

11. Oz Noy says...

Moving In Stereo
“Try using two amps and some stereo effects to get a bigger sound onstage. A ping-pong delay sounds huge when you stand between both amps, and any type of stereo chorus, flanger, phaser, or, in my case, a Leslie simulator, creates the illusion of an even wider sound. Panning your signal from side-to-side is a cool effect. I do it using a stereo Ernie Ball volume pedal. I like the amps to be almost identical, while others—including Stevie Ray Vaughan—prefer two amps that have different sounds that compensate for each other. Finally, it’s important to understand that unless both of your amps are miked, and panned left and right in the house, nobody except you will hear the stereo effect.” 

12. Jeff Beck says... 

Moderation
“Over-indulgence in anything is wrong—whether it’s practicing 50 hours a day, or eating too much food. There’s a balance with me, as there should be with everything and everybody. I’ve tried to keep it so that I’m able to execute the ideas that come out, but practicing too much depresses me. I get good speed, but then I start playing nonsense because I’m not thinking. A good layoff makes me think a lot. It helps me get both things together—the creativity and the speed.” 

13. Al Di Meola says... 

Alternate Picking
“A good way to work on alternate picking is to choose three or four notes, and work on those. Too often, players who are trying to improve their right hand dexterity get hung up by trying to play too many notes with the left hand. I hear a lot of players running whole scales from the sixth string to the first, and playing them really sloppy. Keeping it very basic—using only a few notes—and playing slowly with perfect rhythm is a task in itself.” 

14. Marty Stuart says... 

Embrace History
“The greatest musicians are knowledgeable about music’s roots. Experience provides authenticity for the music we create. Eric Clapton and Keith Richards can teach you a mess of blues, but it’s good to find out about the original artists whose tunes they covered, such as Robert Johnson. It’s like the old saying: ‘How can you know where you are going, if you don’t understand where you’ve been?’” 

15. Deke Dickerson says... 

The Pinky
“Use your pinky! When I first started playing, an older country musician told me to keep practicing with my left-hand pinky—even though it felt awkward—until it was second nature. That was the best advice I ever got. You were born with five fingers—don’t forget to use ’em all!” 

16. Stevie Ray Vaughan says... 

Go Big
“Use big strings. I like a set with a .013 E string, but I’ve gone as high as a .018-.074 set. They’ll eat your hands, your tuning pegs, and your amp, but they sound great.” 

17. Wes Montgomery says... 

Hang In

“It takes time to develop every aspect of your technique. A lot of people don’t realize the crises you’ve got to go through. I used to get headaches when I started doing the octave thing, but, over time, I was fine. All it takes is to hear a little improvement in your playing, and that little bit of inspiration is often enough to push you even further.”

 

18. Eric Johnson says... 

Be Aware
“Remind yourself that you’re free to feel great instead of reserved or insecure. When you’re feeling good, you’re more apt to take chances onstage, and if you make a bunch of mistakes, it won’t matter. It’s almost like you’re the instrument, and the music is flowing through you like electricity. Like John Coltrane said—the paramount aspect of being a musician is to try to get more in touch and in tune with yourself. When you do that, its like returning to the center and everything emanates from there. You automatically become a better musician in becoming a more aware individual.” 

19. Dickey Betts says... 

Damp
“Learn to damp notes to control feedback and noise when playing slide at high volumes. Many people play slide with a pick, and then use the heel of the hand or something to control the sound. The style I got from Duane Allman is to use the thumb and the first two fingers without a pick. If you have glass or steel on your left hand, and a plastic pick in your right, you are completely isolated from your instrument. What you have to learn to do is to strike a note, then stop the note with the fingers before you strike another one, so only one note sounds at a time. It works kind of like a damper pedal on a piano.” 

20. Joe Pass says... 

Un-Straight Eights
“Practicing eighth-note lines with a triplet feel is very helpful for improving one’s rhythmic feel for jazz. Of course, the best way to get a jazz feel is to play with records or with a group. It’s something you’ve got to inherently feel. A lot of rock players have such a straight-eight feel that they can’t play jazz. They’re too stiff.” 

21. Steve Vai says... 

Separation
“Try to separate yourself from what your fingers are doing and listen to the amp.” 

22. Allan Holdsworth says... 

Legato Levels 
“When playing legato, try to make all of the notes come out at a consistent volume. To achieve even more control, practice accenting the notes that aren’t picked.” 

23. Pete Townshend says... 

Acoustic Solos
“For an electric guitarist to solo effectively on an acoustic guitar you need to develop tricks to avoid the expectation of sustain that comes from playing electrics. Try cascades, for example. Drop arpeggios over open strings, and let the open strings sing as you pick with your fingers. It’s kind of a country style of playing, but it works very well in-between heavily strummed parts and fingered lead lines.” 
 

24. David Gilmour says... 

Melodic Delays
“A bit of delay can smooth out the unpleasant, raw frequencies you get from a fuzz box. I have two units, and I have different echo settings on both. There are times when I have both running at the same time for certain effects. During solos, I usually try to set the delays to have some rhythmic time signature in common with the tune. I usually set them to a triplet—the notes all intertwine, so it doesn’t really matter anyway, but I find that a triplet delay is very melodic.” 

25. Eric Clapton says... 

Restraint

“Don’t play every lick you know before the end of the set, because then you’re screwed. You’ll just end up repeating yourself. But it’s a very youthful thing to jam—it’s like sowing wild oats. But as grow older, you become interested in doing something more lasting. You have to settle down and make everything count—make sure what you do is worthy of being heard again. I’ve become more devoted to the song, and I feel that jamming, unless it has a goal at the end of it, is pretty much a waste of time.”

10 Things You Gotta Do To Play Like B.B. King

Alan Wherry

10 Things You Gotta Do To Play Like B.B. King

BY  JESSE GRESS courtesy of Guitar Player magazine

July 1, 2007

FROM HIS HUMBLE BEGINNINGS AS A PLANTATION WORKER TO HIS RISE TO WORLD-CLASS STATUS AS KING OF THE BLUES, B.B. KING not only personifies every guitarist’s version of the great American dream, he stands as a true model among men. His philosophy of life and dedication to his art form the bedrock of a remarkable 60-year career dedicated to self-improvement and universal brotherhood. A consummate musician and entertainer, King has touched and inspired people of every age, race, and creed. 

In the ’60s, his playing was adopted as the gospel by a younger generation of guitar phenoms that included Michael Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, and Johnny Winter. Looking back on how each successive stratum of guitarists has built on the ideas of the previous, it’s vividly apparent that B.B. King is single-handedly responsible for much of today’s blues and rock guitar vocabulary.

King has maintained relentless touring and recording schedules since 1950, often playing as many as 300 dates per year. He’s a veteran of an estimated 12,000 gigs and too many sessions to count, though Live at the Regal (1965), Blues is King (1967),Live & Well, and Completely Well (both 1969) are particularly timeless. To stay fresh, King has always kept up with the times by recording with a wide variety of artists, from the Jazz Crusaders and Ray Charles to U2 and Sheryl Crow. He has performed for presidents and was even a featured GP columnist from February through November ’83. Even at 82, King shows few signs of slowing down. How does one begin to emulate such a vast wealth of experience? First, you’ve gotta ...

 1: DEVELOP BIG EARS 

Once a Memphis disc jockey whose handle was “The Beale Street Blues Boy” (yep, that’s where “B.B.” came from) and always an avid listener, King drew inspiration from a deep well of influences. By 1980, his blues and jazz record collection numbered over 30,000 discs! Today, King’s vast library of music has been digitized and travels wherever he does. “My style is a mixture of people that I’ve idolized,” King told GP in 1970. His seminal list of favorites included Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson, T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and his cousin and former mentor Bukka White, and you’ll find many of these players’ characteristic musical traits embedded in King’s playing. And despite being self-taught, King firmly advocates musical education. “Get yourself a teacher, take music lessons, and learn everything you can about your instrument,” he says. “Learn to read music. Later on you’ll be qualified to play whatever you want.”

 2: FIND YOUR SOUL MATE

Perhaps you’ve heard the tale of how King came to name his guitar Lucille. (He rescued it from a fire started at an Arkansas juke joint when two men began fighting over a woman named Lucille.) But did you know that King’s original Lucille was a little black Gibson acoustic fitted with a DeArmond pickup? Or that King went through nearly every guitar in the book before discovering Gibson’s ES-335 in 1958 and settling on his beloved ES-355 in 1959? “Fenders, Gretsches, Silvertones—you name them, I’ve probably had one,” says King. “When I found that Gibson with the long neck, that did it. That’s like finding your wife forever.”

As of 1992, King was playing his 15th Gibson “Lucille”—which over the years has evolved into the signature semi-hollow sans-f-holes model that he still plays today. King generally disregards the guitar’s Varitone circuitry, opting to adjust the guitar’s volume and tone controls on the fly. “I set my guitar according to how it sounds. I never look down to see what I’m doing,” he says. In concert, King prefers to coax surprisingly overdriven tones (the man hits the strings hard) from a Fender Twin Reverb or Lab Series 2x12 combo, and, except for setting the bass control at about 6, he runs his amp “wide open, all the time. I do that so that when I need extra power, I can get it from the guitar.” It’s no wonder that for the last 30 years, King’s sound has approximated Clapton’s coveted “woman tone” more so than E.C. himself.

 3: FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY

In addition to his revolutionary string bends, King developed his “butterfly” vibrato (or “trill,” in King’s words)—so named for the way his fretting hand opens up and appears to flutter over the strings—after hearing slide guitarists use the technique to sustain notes. “I think that the best thing I’ve done is learning to trill in such a way that I create a sound similar to that produced by a person using a bottleneck,” says King. “Trying to get that effect is what started me working on my vibrato, which is kind of like a steady pulse, pushing the string up and letting it go without losing control of it. I try my best to make my left hand trill evenly without any effort. Of course, a great deal of practice is necessary before the hand attains the dexterity required to move smoothly enough to get that vibrato. I want to make it just like my heartbeat, something I don’t have to think about at all.” Amen!

 4: INSPIRE CHILDREN

B.B. King’s heart of gold is legendary, and a perfect example came at a concert in the mid-’80s when he pulled a gifted young student of mine named Adam Hokenson on stage and presented the nine-year-old with his pick. But it didn’t stop there. Four years later, Hokenson was a blooming blues prodigy, when I noticed him sidestage at another King concert. He had the plectrum with him and wanted to thank B.B. for it, so we headed backstage and found the King of the Blues sitting alone, eating half of a sandwich. Adam froze mid-step, his jaw practically dragging on the floor. (He’s starstruck, I thought.) Then Adam blurted, “You’re eating my favorite food—tuna on white!” Hearing these words, King reached out and offered his protégé the other half of the sandwich, and the two guitarists proceeded to munch out together, each sporting as big a grin as you’ve ever seen. Small gesture, huge lesson in generosity.

 5: USE YOUR OTHER INSTRUMENT

While this is a lesson about playing, the biggest mistake you can make when trying to emulate B.B. King is to ignore the other half of his music—his singing. In its purest form, blues is about call and response between voice and guitar, and no electric blues player in history exemplifies this synergy better than Mr. King. His lyrical guitar leads pick up seamlessly where his vocals leave off, and it’s no stretch to say that King’s voice and guitar combine to make one bigger instrument. While most of us would be hard-pressed to sing blues with as much soul and conviction as the Beale Street Blues Boy, we can certainly have fun trying.

 6: INTRODUCE YOURSELF

Examples 1a through 1f depict six classic intro licks that have become synonymous with the name “B.B. King.” Notice that we’re playing over a slow, 12/8 blues groove in Bb. Unlike many blues-rockers, King is partial to “horn” keys, such as F, Bb, Ab, Db, etc., and each three-note pickup begins on beat four, just before the downbeat of bar 1 in a standard 12-bar blues progression. Ex. 1a’s opening 5-6-root motif approaches a whole-step grace-note slide into a partial Bb chord shape followed by a drop back to the 5. Ex. 1b alters the rhythm of the previous pickup, then approaches the same partial Bb chord via a half-step slide, concluding with a tonic Bb rounded off to beat two. The same pickup leads into a first-inversion Bb triad decorated with a half-step grace slide in Ex. 1c, while Ex. 1d reveals an alternative fingering for Ex. 1a. In Ex. 1e, we raise the pickup notes one octave and replace our chordal downbeat with a high-D bend and pair of tonic Bb’s, the latter embellished with plenty of King’s signature “butterfly” vibrato. Finally, Ex. 1f adds another eighth-note and alters the tones to produce a swinging b3-n3-5-6 pickup into a single Bb. Silky moves!

 7: PLAY IT YOUR WAY

In addition to putting his own stamp on many familiar T-Bone Walker-style licks, King has developed a unique vocabulary of runs derived from the upper half of the less commonly used hybrid major/minor pentatonic scale pattern located two-and-a-half steps above the standard minor pentatonic blues box. Watch him play and you’ll be surprised by how many “blues box” licks King squeezes out of the compact pattern illustrated in the horn-friendly key of Ab in Ex. 2a. Any essential tones not included, such as the b7, can be achieved by bending the existing ones. You can bend the 5 a whole-step to a sweet, upper octave 6, or one-and-a-half steps for a wailing, over-bent b7, and produce microtonal to spot-on 3’s by bending the 2 a whole-step, or the b3 a half-step. King also uses his 1st finger to bend the 4 a half-step to the b5, or a whole-step to the n5. In Ex. 2b, a six-bar intro excerpt culled from a 2007 performance of the blues standard “Key to the Highway,” every note is derived exclusively from this pattern.

 8: TAKE A SAD SONG AND MAKE IT BETTER

You can always cram more notes into a slow song than a fast one, but take it from B.B.—quality beats quantity every time. Let’s examine a pair of elegant phrases similar to what King plays on “Sweet Little Angel,” a slow blues in Db. The familiar lazy intro lick and subsequent hurried rhythmic phrase in Ex. 3a are derived from the more common ninth-position blues box, and navigate the I-IV-I change found in bars 1-3 of the 12-bar quick-change progression. Notice how the run ends with another intro lick. Ex. 3b covers the turnaround in bars 11-12 with characteristic lines in both the fourteenth and ninth positions. The closing Db6 punctuation played over the ensemble’s V chord (Ab7) is another King trademark.

 9: ADOPT A THEME SONG

King has recorded his longtime theme song, “Every Day I Have the Blues” at a variety of tempos, but none more blistering than the swinging jump-blues version found on Live at the Regal. King hits the stage accompanied by a jumping horn chart, then answers the horn section’s questions with short, melodic bursts that fill the spaces in the arrangement. You’ll find both the horn chart (written in the concert key of Bb) and King’s solo illustrated in Ex. 4. Record or have someone play the horn figure to see exactly how these phrases complement each other.

 10: BECOME A STORYTELLER

If there’s one classic B.B. King solo you’ve gotta know, it’s ... well, any of them. Each one tells a story, so you simply can’t go wrong. We’ve already transcribed King’s biggest hit, “The Thrill is Gone,” in the February ’99 GP, so let’s continue with “Every Day I Have the Blues.” Ex. 5 presents the second solo chorus from the Regal version of this jumpin’ 12-bar blues. King commences by rolling his tone control from full bass to full treble mid-bend—a move not lost on a young Eric Clapton, who later mimicked the technique at the end of his “I Feel Free” solo on Fresh Cream (albeit by switching pickups). Additional highlights include King’s sweet staccato and legato bends, generous use of space, a Charlie Christian-influenced Cm7 arpeggio in bar 9, and all-around swingin’ vibe. Enjoy, absorb, and pass it on! g