Super Mario Brothers Theme Tab and Standard Notation
The Super Mario Brother’s Theme is a huge hit with kids (and some adults too)! This song is great for more advanced beginners or intermediate players. One of the ways I teach this tune is in sections. I spend the first week teaching them the A section, than on the second week we skip ahead to the C section. The reason I skip the B section is that it contains some pretty nasty chromatic runs and odd timing of notes. I’ve found out that if we do the A section and C section first, the student’s confidence is pretty high and they seem to be more successful with that nasty B section. Usually by the third week the kids are pretty prepared to play the B section. Another thing I love about this song is that it’s a pretty fun way for kids to work on reading ‘sharps’ on the guitar. Feel free to email me with any questions.
Here is the PDF:
10 Ways To Get Kids To Practice The Guitar
1) Leave the guitar out. I mean that you should literally leave the guitar out for them to have easy access to. The old adage out of sight out of mind is definitely true when it comes to guitars. Invest in a decent guitar stand or have a cozy corner it can lean in. That way when it’s practice time the child doesn’t have to search the house for it.
2) Create a practice sheet that they can document when they practiced and what they practiced on. I like to tell the parents that after filling out 10 lessons (roughly two weeks of practicing) on the practice sheet they can bring it in and I’ll give them a gift. For some of my students I have a bag of stuff I got from the five and dime store. I personally don’t see anything wrong with giving kids a little incentive to play the guitar.
3) Listen to music in the car sometimes. Trust me on this one. If you don’t listen to music your kids probably won’t listen to music.
4) Go to a concert. It doesn’t have to something fancy like Muse (but that would be awesome), Outside Lands, or something at Davis Symphony Hall. Most libraries offer music, most locally owned coffee shops have people playing guitar plus there are lots of local music schools that have youth concerts.
5) Take up the guitar too. Families that play together stay together. Most teachers would be happy to do group family lessons.
6) Don’t expect your child to practice for hours upon hours at a time. For beginners I like to have them play only 10-20 minutes a day at least 3-5 days a week. Every other week you can up their practice time by 5 minutes. Next thing you know a year has gone by and your child is practicing for up to an hour…on their own!
7) The first four weeks of guitar playing is the HARDEST! Be gentle with them (and remind them to be gentle with themselves). Playing guitar hurts at first. Pressing those little fingers against those strings is NOT easy for them.
8) Go to a music store and buy music. I mean this. Going to a music store to buy a CD shows the child that you value music. It will go a long way with them. How do you expect your child to play music when you don’t even buy music?
9) After a few months of them playing film them and put it on YouTube and share it with your friends and family. This is a great way to share your child’s hard work. I’ve had some students do this and it’s really made them want to work harder on their instruments so that they can get more likes on the video.
10) Don’t rely on lessons from the Internet or tab to teach your child guitar. Most of the tab online is terrible, the lessons tend to be some guy talking for a long time. We are living in the information age but that doesn’t mean it should substitute for a real life teacher. Ask around for a quality local music teacher; the good ones usually are pretty packed but worth the wait.
Here is the practice sheet that some of my students use.
Still Not Over U by R.I.S.E
Here is the second song that the girls recorded at Adam Rossi’s studio. Like the other one the girls wrote the lyrics , picked the beats, and came up with the melody. My job was to help them shape the melody, work on the lyrics and chords of the song. Adam came in and helped add the final production of the song.
I hope you enjoy it,
I spent a week in July teaching a songwriting summer camp for Middle School students at one of my favorite schools in San Francisco. The three girls (all entering 6th grade) decided to form a group and call themselves R.I.S.E. The three of them wrote the melody, lyrics, played the piano, and picked the drum loops that were used in the recording. I helped them finalize the melody, arrange the song and pick out the chords for the tune. On Friday we went in to my good friend Adam Rossi’s studio and recorded this song and another one. Adam helped the girls with their vocal performance, teach them some studio vocal techniques and also helped with more song arrangement/production. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!
A few weeks ago Adam Rossi and I were asked to record the youth rock band entitled “Spotted Botanists.” I used to teach Zak, Kai and Max at both the SF School of Rock and SFRP…I’ve always loved the boys musical abilities and was glad to hear that they were working on original songs. We recorded and mixed two songs that day. Here is the first one entitled “Four Years.” The boys wanted us to tag ocean sounds in the beginning of the song. Check out the solos four minutes in. Yes I said four minutes in…the boys wrote an epic rock song. If you love Sabbath and Led Zep than I strongly urge you to listen to this band.
Coming Down By AfterShock
I’ve been working with the band AfterShock for close to a year now and it’s been a wonderful experience to watch them grow as young men, musicians and into a band. I really love this new song of theirs “Coming Down.” This song emerged from a riff that Wynn brought in and became a full co-operative writing experience for the boys. Adam and I recorded this with them in the early part of May 2012.
Right now AfterShock is very much into writing songs, coming up with parts and working towards doing more live shows.