Van Baalen vanderValk Bergman

I personally think it is good to promote your good friends and fellow musicians and Coen and I go way back to my high school days (pff that is actually quite a long time ago).

It was with great pleasure that I heard the trio on West Radio.

The trio’s newly released album Port 010 is now available at i-Tunes.┬áThe album moves very eloquently from blues to almost ECM like atmospheric music offering the listener a new experience every time.

I suggest you go check it out and if you like what you hear buy some of the tunes or the whole album.

Gary Moore remembering a great guitarist

For those of you who have not heard the news: blues rock guitar legend Gary Moore passed away earlier this month in his hotel room in Spain and was buried yesterday in a small graveyard in Brighton, where he’d been living the last fifteen years.

My first encounter with Gary Moore was when I heard the song Parisienne Walkways.

And another one of my favorites used to be The Loner

For me Gary Moore is what making a note is all about, very much like with Santana. And let that be the most important memory be for any guitarist to take along. He was one of those guys that had a voice on his guitar.

This in memoriam would in my view not be complete without the last song: Still Got the Blues, through which he reappeared in the charts. Without a doubt you’ll be able to come up with many more songs but to me these three songs are the Gary Moore that I remember and loved.

In any event I’ll close off with Messiah will come again, what an amazing player. Thanks for all that great music and ongoing inspiration and may you rest in peace.

Thoughts on play along tracks and metronomes

I get regular questions as to whether to use a play along track or a metronome.

I guess it depends somewhat on the purpose: both are equally capable of helping you with your time. At the same time however when it comes to using it for the purpose of improvisation, I generally prefer the metronome. While having the whole band behind you, for instance using Band-in-a-Box or play along CD’s may seem great, I generally find that they are a limitation to my imagination. I can’t help but feeling that when it comes to improvisation practice: less is more. More than once it seems like the play along tracks direct you in a certain direction. So, I would generally prefer a metronome.

At the same time however, I realize that it may well not be that easy to hear the harmonic structure of a song and improvise on that especially when you are starting out. I guess that is where I’d go for using a midi file or band in a box file with just the bass or bass and drums.