Ska Music Lessons Windham ME

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.

Village Music Shoppe
(631) 874-8425
1495 Montauk Hwy
Mastic, NY
 
Kristine's Piano Studio
(215) 513-0500
547 Carriage House Ln
Harleysville, PA
 
Blake Leopold School of Voice and Piano
(813) 253-3339
108 S Armenia Ave
Tampa, FL
 
Conservatory of Central Illinois
(217) 356-9812
113 S Walnut St
Champaign, IL
 
Music & Arts Center
(703) 820-3610
5849 Leesburg Pike
Alexandria, VA
 
Learning Foundation and Performing Arts Charter School
(480) 807-1100
5761 E Brown Rd
Mesa, AZ
 
Pleasant Hill Music Studios
(925) 676-8400
1200 Contra Costa Blvd Ste B
Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Abilene Music Studio
(325) 793-1559
4590 Buffalo Gap Rd
Abilene, TX
 
Anthony Silva Voice & Piano Studio
(818) 508-5422
5903 Irvine Ave
North Hollywood, CA
 
MacAll's School of Performing Arts
(323) 752-1397
3000 W Manchester Blvd
Inglewood, CA
 

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.

 

Click here to read the rest of the article from Guitar Player


Guitar Player is a trademark of New Bay Media, LLC. All material published on www.guitarplayer.com is copyrighted @2009 by New Bay Media, LLC. All rights reserved