Ska Music Lessons Darien CT

If you want to be rude, play everything on the upbeat. The basic building block of past and present ska is the accented and of each beat (Ex. 1). The tendency is to strum this apparently simple rhythm (often called the "clip") with upstrokes. But you get a fuller sound if you downstroke the upbeats because, with downstrokes, you hit the bigger strings first.

Peter H.
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I teach a wide range of popular music styles, with both electric and acoustic guitars, specializing in jazz, but also rock, blues, Latin, Brazilian, and contemporary styles. I use a variety of written materials such as the Berklee Guitar Series, songbook collections (from the Beatles, Eric Clapton and Jon Mayer to Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery and Broadway composers) and theory methods. I also use play-along recordings for students to work on soloing and timing. Topics include basic technique, …
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Theatrical Broadway Singing (Belting), NYSSMA Prep for Voice Levels I-VI, Dalcroze Eurythmics
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Hewlett High School - Liberal Arts - 9/96-6/00 (High School diploma received) SUNY Old Westbury - Psychology - 1/06-12/07 (Bachelor's degree received) Hofstra University - Music Education - 1/09-Present (not complete)
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Jason J.
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I have experience as well as training in Suzuki method. I have experience teaching Classical/Rock/Metal/Pop/Folk
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Parkway North, St. Louis MO - 09/97-04/01 (High School diploma received) UMKC Music conservatory, University of Missouri Kansas City - Music performance - 08/01-07/05 (Bachelor's degree received) Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, University of Memphis - Music Performance - 08/05-05/07 (Master's degree received)
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Ska Building Blocks By David Burk

Sessions From Guitar Player, February '99

If you want to be rude, play everything on the upbeat. The basic building block of past and present ska is the accented and of each beat (Ex. 1). The tendency is to strum this apparently simple rhythm (often called the "clip") with upstrokes. But you get a fuller sound if you downstroke the upbeats because, with downstrokes, you hit the bigger strings first.

Modern skameisters often play clip rhythms on the treble strings (G, B, and E). However, the '60s Jamaican originators -- ska's "rude boys" -- favored fuller voicings as shown in Ex. 2, a I-VIm-IIm-V progression in G. In bar 3, notice how the Am changes inversions.

For a truly rude flavor, add dominant-7th chords and sliding chromatic movement from either above or below the target harmony (Ex. 3). As illustrated here, occasionally it's effective to play on the downbeat.

Often called a "stuckey," a typical ska single-note riff features sixteenth-notes, played clean and very staccato (Ex. 4). Note the characteristic chromatic movement, as well as the arpeggiated chords.

These examples sound great with wah and work well at tempos from 150 to 190 bpm.

Listen to Example 4

 

 

DAVID BURK is a Minneapolis-based guitarist, producer, writer, and teacher. For info on Do You Know What Time It Is, an album by Burk's world-beat group, Labor Party, contact Nabi Musicworks, Box 8621, Minneapolis, MN 55408; (612) 823-6204.

 

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