Mike Overly's 12 Tone Music News

The Latest Guitar and Bass News from around the World Wide Web . . .
August 15, 2019
In This Issue

Satie was a torchbearer for the avant-garde. Described by his contemporaries Ravel and Debussy as a "precursor"-- a label that fits perfectly given how much he came to influence composers and artists like John Cage and Man Ray.

Satie did not fit in his time, and he does not fit in ours. The preference for "easy on the ear" music persists, and for good reason.

We intuitively respond to melody and harmony, to music with narrative-like structure and stirring emotional content. We so often come to music for exactly these qualities: to be liberated from thinking and give ourselves over to feeling.

Satie understood this, and his genius in his most famous pieces was to make music that appealed to both the intellect and the emotions, not slighting one in favor of other.

Gymnopedie No. 1 and Gnossienne No. 1 make this point vividly. These delicate, abstract, short pieces may have reached the level of pop classics, but our familiarity with them masks how revolutionary they were.

The invented names Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes signal that Satie is inventing new forms of music, mostly without time signatures or bar divisions, and with some very esoteric sources of inspiration. Their haunting, wistful qualities are evoked as much by the absence of musical convention as by the presence of pleasingly melodic lines and chords.  
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Earlier this year w picked out the best three Guitarist of the Year finalists: Dylan Reavey, Marco Puglisi and Todd Blackmore. The entrants were judged on technicality, originality, musicality and feel. The star judges for the contest, which is presented by PRS, are John Petrucci, Steve Lukather and Tosin Abasi. Whoever wins the crown will win themselves a PRS Silver Sky. 
The Precision Bass, first produced in October 1951, is such a special instrument. Because if Clarence Leo Fender were to be remembered for nothing else, surely it would be the P Bass, a whole new kind of instrument that simply didn't exist before he invented it, that would forever ensure his place in history. For while all the other great Fender products of the decade certainly affected music, the Precision Bass profoundly affected music.
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www.guitartruth.com and www.basstruth.com are subsidiaries of 12 Tone Music Publishing, LLC.
Earlier this week, Martin shared a lovely, deeply relaxing video of the company's restoration of John Mayer's OM-28JM acoustic guitar. With only the soundtrack of tools and the hands of Martin employees at work, the video shows the instrument getting refretted, sanded down and being given a new nut. In addition, the guitar also has its bridge replaced.

Let's turn our attention to the business of owning a small to medium sized music store, and how MSRP and MAP play a role in business planning. On the surface, most people can rattle off some of the core expenses of running a music instrument store: rent, staff, inventory, and utilities. Those are fairly easy to guess at and vary widely based on location, real-estate prices, and pervading retail wages. Let's look at some other factors...
A huge number of the guitar amps we buy, play, and cherish are reworked or straight-up reissued from the classics of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. But while you might think the major-brand and boutique makers alike have already dredged up all they can from the glory days of tube amplification, there are still loads more hip and tasty models of yesteryear that are ripe for reissue.
Maybelle Carter was a pioneer of guitar playing and style. She was the first woman inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with her bandmate and cousin, Sara Carter. Their plaque states that the Carter Family are "regarded by many as the epitome of country greatness and originators of a much copied style." Born in the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginia in 1909, Maybelle Carter grew up in a musical family. Playing music at home and in her rural community were common childhood activities for her. She had a natural talent and was able to learn several instruments, including two for which she would become very well known: autoharp and guitar. 

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