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Lessons and playlists

Facebook etiquette for live music fans and musicians

Performing musicians rely on social media to connect with their audience, and fans love that kind of direct communication with artists—it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. But as with most aspects of human social interaction, things can get…awkward on social media. People can be insensitive and even rude to those they mean to support, without realizing...

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Syracuse winter workshops

Central New York musicians: take advantage of your indoor time this winter and sharpen your guitar playing or songwriting in these workshops led by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine, grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and author of Beyond Strumming and The Complete Singer-Songwriter (more about JPR). See...

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David Rawlings on writing songs from tradition

[Poor David's Almanack] came out of 20 years of thinking about folk music and the roots of things, and seeing that so much beauty comes out of the fluidity of writing from things that move you. Sometimes I listen to songs that I love and I think, 'Wow, it’s like we’re all standing on the...

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Songwriting lesson: how to write a bridge

Think of the timeless ballad “Something,” from the Beatles’ Abbey Road, in which George Harrison muses on his lover’s allure over a wistful chord progression in the key of C. He sings a verse and loops back for another by way of the song’s signature guitar line, but the second time he lands not on a...

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BeatleCuse 2017 poster

Re-creating the Beatles’ “Within You Without You”

In the summer of 2016, musician and producer Paul Davie contacted me and my duo partner Wendy Sassafras Ramsay about performing in his annual BeatleCuse concert—a major event involving 70 musicians from the Syracuse area and beyond. Plans for 2017 included appearances by Joey Molland of Badfinger and Hilton Valentine of the Animals, and a complete performance of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely...

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