Ska Music Lessons Montgomery Village MD

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.

Bob W.
(877) 231-8505
Cape Jasmine Way
Gaithersburg, MD
Subjects
Classical Guitar, Guitar
Ages Taught
7 to 99
Specialties
Acoustic, nylon string, fingerstyle, classical
Education
Catholic University - Music - 1979 through 1980 (Bachelor's degree received) Montgomery College - Music - 1976 through 1978 (Associate degree received)
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TakeLessons Music Teacher

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Columbia School of Music
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5401 Twin Knolls Road, Ste 11
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Music & ARTS Center
(703) 444-3700
46900 Cedar Lake Plz, Ste 160
Sterling, VA
 
Lisa B.
(877) 231-8505
Modrad Way
Silver Spring, MD
Subjects
Violin, Songwriting, Guitar, Music Theory, Music Performance, Singing
Ages Taught
5 to 99
Specialties
I teach classical violin using the Strictly Strings Music Book with improvisational violin and creative composition, as well as some Suzuki methods. I also teach rock violin. I teach folk guitar and singing, playing chords and note reading, composition, music theory, history and appreciation.
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Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico - Business Administration - 1996-1998 (Master's degree received) University of Virginia - Music - 1976-1980 (Bachelor's degree received)
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Columbia, MD
 
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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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