[Dixielandjazz] To Robert Calder about Rock 'n' Roll

RickeyZ rickz at usermail.com
Mon May 7 14:25:40 PDT 2012

I taught guitar for twenty or thirty years.  (Back when most of you were 
puppies.)  I taught youngsters
to read, both chords and notes.  I don't think it's difficult.   There 
are several places on the neck
to play each note.  (True also of bass, viola and other stringed 
instruments) but you play
in a /position/ and the notes are laid out nicely there.

The guitar is the most sought out, purchased, and played of all 
instruments.  It is very easy to
play just a little bit.  I always said, when you start to get serious, 
it gets harder and maybe
you're better off on the piano.  Keyboard is not hard once you get the 
hang of it, but you
do need to understand scales and you should read a little.  Lots of 
young guitar players
never get that far... they don't have to... three chords and you can 
play a thousand songs!!!

Rock music is based on the blues, which evolved from African music.   
Much of it is
based on a pentatonic scale, which makes the solos easier, and 
(unfortunately) similar.
Rock CAN be very elegant, as witness McCartney, Van Halen et al.   I'm 
sure you would find
elegance if you looked, but I'm afraid you're stuck.

Rick Jolley

Kent Murdick wrote:
> Rock music is not capable of evolving because it is predicated on 
> musical illiteracy.  It is much easier to learn the horn or the piano 
> through  reading notation.  It is difficult to read on the guitar (for 
> reasons I won't get into here) and therfore guitarist don't read or 
> study music.  After several generations of illiterate 
> listeners/players, the art of listening and playing is lost.
> I'm not a particularly good sax player - I started when I was 60 years 
> old - but because I can play the changes, much better players look at 
> me like I'm a sorcerer.
> Kent
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