Recent Events

November 6th, 2016 at 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Winter’s Tavern
Pacifica, CA 94044
(650) 355-6162

October 16th, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Angelica’s Bistro
Bell Stage Main Dining Room
863 Main Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
Regular Table Seating – $14.00 online or $22.00 at the door
Reservations: (650) 679-8184

October 13th, 2016 at 7:00 to 10:00 PM
American Legion – Princeton by the Sea
470 Capistrano Road
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 728-9224

September 15th, 2016 at 8:00 to 11:00 PM
Piacere Restaurant
727 Laurel St
San Carlos, CA 94070
(650) 592-3536
info@piacererestaurant.com

June 25th, 2016 at 8:00 PM
Nick’s Seafood Restaurant
100 Rockaway Beach Ave
Pacifica, CA 94044
No cover charge
Reservations: (650) 359-3900

June 12th, 2016 at 7:30 PM
Angelica’s Bistro
Fine Dining, Bar & Entertainment
Bell Stage Main Dining Room
863 Main Street
Redwood City, CA 94063
Regular Table Seating – $16.00 online or $22.00 at the door
Reservations: (650) 679-8184

 

Recordings with the Half Moon Band

Hi all, here are some recordings from November 15th with the Half Moon Band.

“Our Love Is Here to Stay”
Patrice Dougherty – Vocals, Alan Lee – Keyboards, John Higham – Bass, Rob Hughes – Drums, Luis Rojas – Guitar

“Unchain My Heart”
Patrice Dougherty – Vocals, Alan Lee – Keyboards, John Higham – Bass, Rob Hughes – Drums, Luis Rojas – Guitar

“Cry Me A River”
Patrice Dougherty – Vocals, Alan Lee – Keyboards,
Luis Rojas – Guitar

“I Feel The Earth Move”
Patrice Dougherty – Vocals, Alan Lee – Keyboards, John Higham – Bass, Rob Hughes – Drums, Luis Rojas – Guitar

 

Jam Session Recordings

Hi all, here are some tunes that we recorded last Saturday, November 21st:

Fusion Blue – Live At Rafe’s

“Put It Where You Want It”
With: Rafe Espanol – Keyboards, Elias Kesh – Bass,
Daniel Williams – Drums, Luis Rojas – Guitar

 

“Mr. Magic”
Bob Valderrama – Keyboards, Elias Kesh – Bass,
Daniel Williams – Drums, Luis Rojas – Guitar

 

“Red Clay”
Bob Valderrama – Keyboards, Elias Kesh – Bass,
Daniel Williams – Drums, Luis Rojas – Guitar

 

 

Key Signatures and Accidentals

A key signature is a set of sharps and flats typically written at the beginning of a composition. Key signatures let musicians  know what notes are to be played as sharps or flats throughout the composition or for a specific section. If a key signature is placed anywhere else other than at the beginning of the composition, then it signals a key change or modulation to a different key (tonal center) until a new key signature is reached.

Key signatures simplify notation by allowing the composer to specify a default value for notes without having to write an “accidental” (explicit sharp or a flat symbol) in front of each note. For example, in the following illustration, the second and last notes are played as F# because the key signature indicates this with a single sharp on the F line:

Key-sig-ex1

If the key signature had been omitted, then the composer would need to use a separate sharp in front of each note to represent the same note values:

Key-sig-ex2

Key signatures reduce the amount of symbols that performers have to read and interpret while playing at tempo.

The following illustration shows all of the key signatures and the corresponding number of sharps or flats that defines each key.

Cycles

Accidentals

An “accidental” is a symbol for a sharp or a flat written in front of a note. Its purpose is to temporarily modify the note value specified by the key signature for the rest of the measure.

A natural is used to cancel a previous accidental within the same measure. In the following example, the first note is a C natural; the second note is raised by a half step because it is preceded by a sharp symbol so it is played as a C sharp (C#). The third note is still played as a C# even though it is not explicitly preceded by a sharp symbol because the previous sharp is still in effect. The fourth note is lowered back to a C natural because the previous sharp symbol is canceled by the natural sign.

measure

When the end of the measure is reached, then it terminates any accidentals (sharps or flats) contained in that measure. Notation rules do not require that any explicit natural symbols be written to cancel accidentals at the start of a new measure but some composers will include a natural to remind performers that the previous accidentals are no longer in effect. These are sometimes referred to as courtesy or cautionary accidentals and are usually surrounded by parentheses, for example:

two-measure

Other notation symbols for accidentals are the double sharp (double sharp) and the double flat (bb) and the natural (natural). The double sharp is used to raise a note by two half steps (a whole step) and the double flat is used to lower a note by two half steps (a whole step).

Guitar Range

The following diagrams illustrate the range of the guitar compared to the piano keyboard.  Although it should be noted that guitar is notation is written one octave higher than it sounds. So if you are tuning the guitar to a keyboard, the high E string on the guitar is tuned to the E key above middle C on the keyboard .

High E string:

High-E-note-positions

B String:

B-note-positions

G String:

G-note-positions

D String:

D-note-positions

A String:

A-note-positions

Low E String:

Low-E-note-positions

Copyright © 2015 Luis Rojas. All Rights Reserved.

Note Position Chart

The following table shows the names and positions of the notes on the guitar fingerboard(1).

Fret 6th String 5th String 4th String 3rd String 2nd String 1st String

(open)

E

A

D

G

B

E

1

F

A#, Bb

D#, Eb

G#, Ab

C

F

2

F#, Gb

B

E

A

C#, Db

F#, Gb

3

G

C

F

A#, Bb

D

G

4

G#, Ab

C#, Db

F#, Gb

B

D#, Eb

G#, Ab

5

A

D

G

C

E

A

6

A#, Bb

D#, Eb

G#, Ab

C#, Db

F

A#, Bb

7

B

E

A

D

F#, Gb

B

8

C

F

A#, Bb

D#, Eb

G

C

9

C#, Db

F#, Gb

B

E

G#, Ab

C#, Db

10

D

G

C

F

A

D

11

D#, Eb

G#, Ab

C#, Db

F#, Gb

A#, Bb

D#, Eb

12

E

A

D

G

B

E

13

F

A#, Bb

D#, Eb

G#, Ab

C

F

14

F#, Gb

B

E

A

C#, Db

F#, Gb

15

G

C

F

A#, Bb

D

G

16

G#, Ab

C#, Db

F#, Gb

B

D#, Eb

G#, Ab

17

A

D

G

C

E

A

18

A#, Bb

D#, Eb

G#, Ab

C#, Db

F

A#, Bb

19

B

E

A

D

F#, Gb

B

20

C

F

A#, Bb

D#, Eb

G

C

(1) Some enharmonic names have been omitted for clarity. For example: E#, Cb, etc.

Copyright © 2015 Luis Rojas. All Rights Reserved.

Finger Names

The following diagrams show the names typically used for fingers in most guitar notation and instructions books.

The use of ‘C’ for the pinky finger is less common because most traditional guitar instruction text only use PIMA notation for the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers for the plucking hand.

These initials are derived from the Spanish names for fingers dating back to early  classical guitar instruction books from the Romantic period (approximately 1790 to 1830).

For right-handed players:

Finger-names-right

For left-handed players:

Finger-names-left

Copyright © 2015 Luis Rojas. All Rights Reserved.

Fretboard – Part 2

In the previous post Fretboard – Part 1,  we covered “diatonic” (unaltered) note names and positions. In this post we will cover all possible note names and positions on the guitar. This is referred to as the chromatic scale. It includes all possible notes that exist in Western music.

Before we proceed further, we need to define some basic concepts for navigating the fingerboard. Moving around the fingerboard is described in terms of distance and direction. Distance is defined as the number of steps between a starting note and the next note. This can be done in half steps, whole steps, or longer distances.

A half step on the guitar is the distance between two adjacent frets on the same string. For example, starting on the third fret on a string and moving up one fret closer to the bridge to end on the fourth fret is the distance of one half step. Similarly, starting on the third fret on a string and moving one fret down towards the nut to end on the second fret is one half step:

half-step

Moving one half step towards the bridge is referred to as raising a note because it increases the pitch or frequency of the note. Moving a half step towards the nut is referred to as lowering the note because it decreases the pitch or frequency of the note.

A whole step consists of two half steps or the distance between two frets with one fret in between them. For example, moving from the third fret to the fifth fret is a whole step up and moving from the third fret to the first fret is a whole step down:

whole-step

Modifiers are used to indicate when a note is to be raised or lowered by one or more half steps. These modifiers are referred to as “sharps” or “flats”. Another name for these modifiers are  “accidentals” or “alterations.”  Sharp indicates that a note is raised by one half step and flat indicates that the note is lowered by a half step. For example, a “G sharp” means that the “G” note is raised by one half step and “G flat” means that the “G” note is lowered by one half step:

half-step-names

The music symbols for accidentals are: # for sharp and: flat for flat.  When written on a music staff, the symbol precedes the note head and when written in a paragraph, the symbol follows the note name, for example, G# or Gflat .  For convenience, sometimes the standard hash character ‘#’ is used instead of the sharp symbol and a lowercase letter ‘b’ is used for the flat symbol.

Note names can have synonyms. This means that the same note can be called by different names or represented by different symbols. When two notes have the same pitch but with different names, they are said to be “enharmonic” notes to mean that the two notes are equivalent. For example a C# is the same note as a Db. If you play a C# or a Db on the same string, then you end up at the same place and the pitch is the same even though the note can have different names. There are several reasons for using enharmonic names which we will go into later.

The following figures describe enharmonic note names and positions that were not covered in the previous post.

enharmonics

enharmonics2

enharmonics3

Note: The stacked notes in the tablature notation above should not be interpreted as chords but in this case, as alternative positions for the same notes.

Note: You can click on any of the images above to display them in full size or right-click and select “Open Link in New Tab” or “Open Link in New Window”

Copyright © 2014 Luis Rojas. All Rights Reserved.