Students Must Be Held Accountable

Today I was asked to issue a certificate of completion to two students who so far have missed two out of four sessions of a mini-course I'm teaching.

I intend to resolve the issue during the final class, by having…


We Are the Future

Why do we musicians not have the courage to define, in concrete terms, what we would like our working conditions to be?  Why do we keep allowing others (non-musicians) to dictate what these conditions are, and take advantage of us?



While I was practicing today I started to play the first lines of Long and Winding Road, but then I needed help remembering exactly how the melody unfolded from there.  I put it into YouTube and ended up clicking on…



I am obsessed with shakuhachi and practice 3 hours daily.  Conventional wisdom has it that "mastery" level of anything requires a minimum of 10,000 hours of focused practice.  That means 3 hours a day for 10 years.  If you want…


Musicians: Masters of Frequencies

The notes we play correspond to frequencies, which we measure with the term Hz (hertz)--number of vibrations per second.  So when we say "A 440" we're referring to the note A which is tuned to 440 vibrations per second.  An…


How to Play in Tune

On the FB clarinet forum someone posted that even though they worked with a tuner on a daily basis, they had trouble with intonation when playing with others.  I replied that you have to understand the function of the notes…


Agree To Disagree....What???

More and more I’m hearing the phrase “we’ll agree to disagree.” 

This expression approaches the zenith of both moronic and oxymoronic reasoning. It is the last resort of someone who wishes to retain their self-perceived throne of conversational hierarchy without…

Whole Number Scale Grid

If you grid the whole number major scales like this, you get a curious result. The Xs are where the tonic repeats. Why is it like this?

3,6,9 = Key to the Universe 

Tesla said the numbers 3, 6, and 9 are the secret to the Universe.  If we apply those numbers to a tonality, we get a sequence of 4ths.  

For the number correspondences, I'm using C as the tonic. 

The cycle…


Get Thee Behind Me Pollyanna

I’m really sick of getting Pollyanna newsletters in my inbox, full of supposedly uplifting thoughts, allegedly empowering suggestions, so-called supercharged tips… designed to make your life even more awesome than it already is.  

The truth is the world’s going to…


Sound Ride Through the Universe

This morning I go down to my studio (it’s separate from my house, on the lower level of the property) and do yoga, make coffee, then start looking for weird music on Bandcamp.  There’s lots of weird music there.  Some…