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November Music Blog

Dean Cutinelli here from the Colorado School of Music. Remember we are just a call away to start your private music lessons. We offer guitar lessonsukulele lessonspiano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. Now on to our discussion about the harmonic minor scale.

The Harmonic Minor Scale

In music theory the term minor scale refers to three scale patterns – The natural minor scale, the harmonic minor scale, and the melodic minor scale.

This blog will be discussing the harmonic minor scale. The harmonic minor scale has the same notes as the natural minor scale accept the seventh scale degree is raised one half step. A harmonic minor scale is represented by the following notation:1, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, 7, 8 or whole, half, whole, whole, half, augmented second, half.

The scale is called the harmonic minor scale because it is a common foundation for harmonies (chords) in minor keys. For example, in the key of A minor the v chord is a  E minor triad in the natural minor scale. In the harmonic minor scale the E triad becomes major. (E, G#, B) This simple change creates a new and unique sound.

While it evolved primarily as a basis for chords, the harmonic minor scale with its augmented second can be used melodically. The harmonic minor scale is also occasionally referred to as the Mohammedan scale and in Indian raga, it is called Kirwani. 

Who Use It

The harmonic minor scale can be heard in harmony and melodically in classical music. It is widely used in jazz music for improvisation.

You can hear this scale used in heaven metal, rock and pop. There is a strong influence in Spanish music incorporating this scale as well. This scale also created a sub-genre know as neoclassical metal.

Regardless if you play guitar, piano, saxophone, clarinet flute, or violin the harmonic minor scale  is a must know for all musicians. 

Please feel free to contact us to come in for a music lesson to learn all about the harmonic minor scale and anything else pertaining to music from one of our great instructors at the Colorado School of Music in Golden CO. 

Thanks for reading!

guitar lessons
guitar lessons

Dean Cutinelli

CSoM NEWSLETTER … November 2019

CSoM NEWSLETTER … November 2019

Welcome to the Colorado School of Music!

The Colorado School of Music offers piano lessonsguitar lessonsukulele lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice lessons and band/orchestra lessons for all ages and levels. Located in the heart of downtown Golden, our current roster is comprised of musicians from all over the Denver Metro area and includes students from Golden, Denver, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Littleton and Boulder!

Holiday Time! –  With the holidays upon us, private music lessons are in full swing!  

Scheduled Holiday Closures, 2019

The Colorado School of Music will be closed for a short break over the Holidays…

Closed Thursday and Friday, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, November 28th and 29th.   Thursday and Friday lessons resume December 5th and 6th.  

Three weeks of classes in December, Dec. 1st-20th.

Holiday Break- Monday, Dec. 23rd through Friday January 3rd. 

There will be no classes and no charge for these dates – all lessons will resume at their normal day/time starting Monday, January 6th.

The Snow is Here…   

Now entrenched in the cold months, we often get questions regarding our policy for snow closures. In the event of a snow closure, The Colorado School of Music will post an announcement on our website: www.coloradoschoolofmusic.com by NOON the day in question to announce the closure. We also make an attempt to reach all of the days’ customers using the phone contact information from Student Information sheets. When in doubt please check the website!

Please Leave a Message-

During the course of a week we field many phone calls from students and parents regarding lessons, scheduling and cancellations. During the afternoon, we often let the answering machine retrieve our messages so as not to disrupt class sessions. Please know that we are very conscientious about retrieving our missed calls and we always listen to our messages. We do not, however, make return calls for lesson cancellations unless requested. If you need to cancel for the week, please call 303-526-9865 and leave a message, or reach us by email at info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com . Thank you!

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Remember we are just a call away to start your private music lessons. We offer guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments.

Keep Practicing!

music lessons
Colorado School of Music

October Music Blog

October Music Blog

The Fender Stratocaster

Dean Cutinelli here from the Colorado School of Music. Remember we are just a call away to start your private music lessons. We offer guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. Now on to our discussion about the stratocaster guitar.

The Fender American stratocaster is one of the most classic guitar sound you will hear. Such guitar gods like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton have made the Strat part of their signature sound. 

The Stratocaster was the first Fender guitar to feature three pickups and a spring tension vibrato system, as well as being the first Fender with a contoured body. The Stratocaster’s sleek, contoured body shape (officially referred to by Fender as the “Comfort Contour Body”) differed from the flat, squared edge design of the Telecaster. The Stratocaster’s double cutaways allowed players easier access to higher positions on the neck. The classic pickup set up on a strat is 3 single coil pickups and a 5 way pickup selector. Each position on the selector gives you a very different sound. You are given the option to use one pickup at a time or use two pickups at the same time. The strat is also equipped with a volume knob and two tone knobs. The volume is a master volume and controls all three pickups. Each of the tone knobs control the bridge, middle and neck pickup. The classic pickup settings on the strat are the in between spots on the pickup selector. Meaning you are using two pickups at the same time. 

There have been many variations on the strat over the years. You can get different pickup formations. For example you could have two hum bucker picks installed. A humbucking pickup, humbucker, or double coil, is a type of electric guitar pickup that uses two coils to “buck the hum” (or cancel out the interference) picked up by coil pickups caused by electromagnetic interference, particularly mains hum.

Another common variation is to have a different bridge put on the guitar. Some players like a fixed bridge well others might want a Floyd Rose locking bridge installed on there strat. Regardless of the variations this guitar has established it self as one the most classic guitar sound on the planet.

I hope after reading this you have a little better understanding of the stratocaster guitar. Please feel free to contact us and come in for a music lesson from one of our great instructor at the Colorado School of Music in Golden CO. We offer guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons and vocal lessons as wells as orchestral instruments. 

Thanks for reading!

Dean Cutinelli

Dean Cutinelli - Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele & Mandolin
Colorado School of Music

CSoM NEWSLETTER … October 2019

CSoM NEWSLETTER … October 2019

The Colorado School of Music offers piano lessonsguitar lessonsukulele lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice lessons and band/orchestra lessons for all ages and levels. Located in the heart of downtown Golden, our current roster is comprised of musicians from all over the Denver Metro area and includes students from Golden, Denver, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Littleton and Boulder!   

Fall In! –  Hello everyone!  With the leaves turning and the kids back in school, music lessons are in full swing!  We’d like to welcome all of our new students to the Colorado School of Music and say welcome back to all of our returning students! 

Scheduled Holiday Closures, 2019

The Colorado School of Music will take a short break over Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday Nov 28th and 29th,) and will be closed for two weeks for our annual holiday break. No classes and no charge for these dates. Thank you! 

OPEN for Halloween, Thursday, October 31st

CLOSED for  Thanksgiving Holiday, Thursday and Friday, November 28-29

CLOSED for Holiday Break- Monday, Dec. 23rd–Friday, January 3rd.

Lessons resume January 6, 2020. 

Gift Certificates!

Looking for a unique and thoughtful gift for someone this holiday season?  The Colorado School of Music offers gift certificates for private music instruction! Give the gift of music lessons in guitar, piano, or any of our currently offered instruments or disciplines.   

Here are some great gift certificate ideas:

-Piano lessons for all ages and ability levels. Looking for something specific in your piano study? We have instructors that specialize in many styles.

Guitar lessons, Electric Bass lessons or Ukulele lessons for aspiring guitarists of all ability levels and styles.

-Drum and/or specialty percussion lessons – learn to jam on a drum kit or explore world rhythms with our skilled and diverse percussion instructor.

-Vocal music lessons for aspiring singers or those looking to pass that big audition! Voice lessons for all ages and aspirations.

-Violin lessons with our talented violin instructors. A great choice for both young and old, private violin lessons are fun and rewarding.

-Private music lessons for school band/ orchestra instruments, including (but not limited to) trumpet and trombone lessons, flute lessons, saxophone and clarinet lessons.   

So if you know someone who’s looking to try a new instrument or rekindle their love for music, try a gift certificate! One-month gift certificates (4 lessons) are available for $120.00. To order a gift certificate, please email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call 303-526-9865 today!

Please Leave a Message-

During the course of a week we field many phone calls from students and parents regarding lessons, scheduling and cancellations. During the afternoon, we often let the answering machine retrieve our messages so as not to disrupt class sessions. Please know that we are very conscientious about retrieving our missed calls and we always listen to our messages. We do not, however, make return calls for lesson cancellations unless requested. If you need to cancel for the week, please call 303-526-9865 and leave a message. Thank you!

Never Too Old…music lessons for adults!

Music lessons are for the young at heart, not just the young. If you’ve been thinking of renewing your love of piano or taking your guitar playing to the next level, try a private lesson with us! At the Colorado School of Music we are proud to have many adult students on our roster, studying all different disciplines. Our instructors are experienced with students of all ages, and will be happy to work with you to be sure that your lessons meet your individual needs. 

Adult music lessons are available for all instruments, including guitar lessons, piano lessons, singing lessons, drums lessonns, violin lessons, and more.

Happy Halloween!

music lessons

September Music Blog

September Music Blog

Improvising over a two five chord progression

Dean Cutinelli here from the Colorado School of Music. Remember we are just a call away to start your private music lessons. We offer guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. Now on to our discussion on improvising over a two five chord progression. (ii V)

Today I will be discussing different sounds that you can improvise over a minor two chord followed by a major or dominant five chord from the same key. These to chords are related and from the same key which keeps our options fairly limited, but still with great effectiveness. To keep things simple here we will take a D minor chord for a measure and followed by a G7 chord for a measure. (/dmin/G7/) At first glance we can see that these two chords are from the same key of C major. Real quick here is the way your chords appear diatonic to a major key. (I ii iii IV V vi vii’) So this chord progression is said to be a two five in the key of C major. 

Now you want to record yourself playing a simple rhythm with our two chords D minor and G7 in a two bar phrase. First try playing your C major scale as this is the tonic of these two chords. The sound is nice and also my be called a D dorian sound. This is saying the same thing two different ways. C Major is equal to D dorian. If you’r not familiar with the modes and Dorian mode please see my 2019 March music blog, as it’s dedicated to the Dorian mode. After you have a feel for the C Major scale let’s try playing a D minor pentatonic scale including the b5! Very cool rockin roll sound working the fret board now.  This scale works for a few reasons. First our foundation is a D minor chord. This sets up the D minor pentatonic scale nicely and the G7 chord compliments the sound. If we do the math behind the sound  you’ll see that the notes from a D minor pentatonic scale are D, F, G, A, C. The notes from the key of C major are C, D, E, F, G, A, B,. IF you compare the two scales all the notes are common or found in both scales. There are no conflicting notes. When running the D minor pentatonic scale in it natural order creates this great sound to jam on!

Well after reading this you should have a few different sound options when it’s time to improvise over ii V7 chords. Please feel free to contact us and come in for a music lesson to learn all about improvising and anything else pertaining to music from one of our great instructor at the Colorado School of Music in Golden Colorado. We offer guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons and vocal lessons as wells as orchestral instruments. 

Thanks for reading!

music lessons
music lessons

Dean Cutinelli

CSoM NEWSLETTER … September 2019

CSoM NEWSLETTER … September 2019

The Colorado School of Music offers piano lessonsguitar lessonsukulele lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice lessons and band/orchestra lessons for all ages and levels. Located in the heart of downtown Golden, our current roster is comprised of musicians from all over the Denver Metro area and includes students from Golden, Denver, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Littleton and Boulder! 

Please Leave a Message-

During the course of a week we field many phone calls from students and parents regarding lessons, scheduling and cancellations. During the afternoon, we often let the answering machine retrieve our messages so as not to disrupt class sessions. Please know that we are very conscientious about retrieving our missed calls and we always listen to our messages. We do not, however, make return calls for lesson cancellations unless requested. If you need to cancel for the week, please call 303-526-9865 and leave a message. Thank you! 

Never Too Old…music lessons for adults!

Music lessons are for the young at heart, not just the young. If you’ve been thinking of renewing your piano lessons or taking your guitar playing to the next level, try a private lesson with us! At the Colorado School of Music we are proud to have many adult students on our roster, studying all different disciplines. Our instructors are experienced with students of all ages, and will be happy to work with you to be sure that your lessons meet your individual needs. 

Adult music lessons are available for all instruments, including guitar lessons, piano lessons, drums, violin, and more.

Too Young For Music?

We often receive questions from parents regarding the appropriate/best age to start young children in formal music lessons. Of course, all children are different and there are always exceptions, but here are the general guidelines we use:

First, consider the instrument in relation to the age of the student. Piano lessons and Violin lessons are great choices for young children, as both violin and piano lessons have excellent curriculum for young beginners. Piano, in particular, provides a general overview of music theory and makes it easy to pick up other instruments as the student gets older. Some instruments can be difficult for beginners and aren’t as good for young children based on size, complexity, etc..       

Four years old is generally too young for formal lessons. Progress is very slow and it can be difficult to maintain the focus required for practicing. Four year old hands are also often too small.

We feel that six years old is generally the best age for young children to begin formal lessons. Many lesson books and methods are geared toward this age for beginners, and the progress made at this age is both faster than younger students and better learned, as lessons and concepts seem to ‘stick.’

Five year olds are in the middle – at this age, it seems to depend on the child. If motivated and interested, the progress with a five year old will be a bit slower, but nonetheless valuable. We’re always willing to try lessons with five year olds – please ask if you have more questions about beginners or you’d like to take an introductory lesson with your young musician. Parents/Guardians are welcome in all lessons!      

Need to Move?

Did your soccer coach just re-structure practice times and throw your schedule into chaos? You’re probably not alone.  We understand the rigors of fall scheduling…so if you find that your music lesson time slot doesn’t fit, call us at 303-526-9865 and leave your name, current time slot and any days and times that work for your schedule and we’ll do our best to re-locate you!

music lessons
Colorado School of Music

See you next month!

CSoM NEWSLETTER … August 2019

CSoM NEWSLETTER … August 2019

The Colorado School of Music offers piano lessons, guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice lessons and band/orchestra lessons for all ages and levels. Located in the heart of downtown Golden, our current roster is comprised of musicians from all over the Denver Metro area and includes students from Golden, Denver, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Littleton and Boulder! 

Back to…School Band and Choir!    

Are you part of a school choir, band or orchestra this fall? Earn that solo or make the push for first chair by sharpening your skills with private lessons! The Colorado School of Music offers private instruction for singing and all band and orchestra instruments including violin and viola, brass instruments, woodwinds and drum lessons. Call 303-526-9865 to book your lesson time!

Fall Schedules

If you’re a student returning from summer vacation and you’d like to get back into private music lessons for the fall – call 303-526-9865 or send an email to info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com  soon to reserve your day, time and instructor for August and the upcoming school year! Spots are going fast!  Our fall hours will be the same as our summer hours; M-F 2pm-8pm. We currently offer piano lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, voice lessons, drum lessons and lessons in all band instruments!

Need to Move?

Did your soccer coach just re-structure practice times and throw your piano schedule into chaos? You’re probably not alone.  We understand the rigors of fall scheduling…so if you find that your music lesson time slot doesn’t fit, call us at 303-526-9865 and leave your name, current time slot and any days and times that work for your schedule and we’ll do our best to re-locate you!

Please Leave a Message-

During the course of a week we field many phone calls from students and parents regarding lessons, scheduling and cancellations. During the afternoon, we often let the answering machine retrieve our messages so as not to disrupt class sessions. Please know that we are very conscientious about retrieving our missed calls and we always listen to our messages. We do not, however, make return calls for lesson cancellations unless requested. If you need to cancel for the week, please call 303-526-9865 and leave a message. Thank you!

Scheduled Holiday Closures, 2019

Labor Day- Monday, September 2nd

Thanksgiving Holiday, Thursday and Friday, November 28-29

Holiday Break- Monday, Dec. 23 2019 – Friday Jan. 3, 2020

Vocal lessons and Piano lessons

Practice practice, practice! See you in September!

August Music Blog

Improvising over the dominant 7th chord

Dean Cutinelli here from the Colorado School of Music. Remember we are just a call away to start your private music lessons. We offer guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons,violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. Now on to our discussion on improvising over dominant 7th chords.

The dominant 7th chord is one of the most unique chords you will find. The dominant chord appears on the fifth scale degree of the major scale. The chord is defined as a root, major 3rd, perfect 5th and minor 7th intervals. Yes it has a major 3rd and a minor 7th interval. This make the dominant 7th chord a lot of fun to improvise over. Another thing to remember is when you are trying to analyze the key of a certain progression, is that the dominant chord is always the five chord of some key. This works great when you have a chord progression or song that stays diatonic to a key. If we have a chord progression that goes from the two chord to the five chord and then the one, this example would be great to try your C major scale. (Dmin G7 Cmaj7). The fact that each of these chords are made up from the same c major scale enables you to play your c major scale over the whole progression. Of course your relative minor scale will work just fine as well. Remember they are relative keys because C major and A minor have the same notes in there scale as well as the same chords. You just have a different starting point for each scale or key.

Now I would like to break down the different scales or I like to refer to them as sounds. We will use a G7 chord for our example today. As I talked about earlier the C major scale is a great place to start your improvising. Another way of saying your going to play the notes from the C major scale is playing G mixolydian. All a G mixolydian scale is are the notes from C major just starting on G. This scale would play  G, A, B, C, D, E, and F. When starting on G and working up the notes listed you are now playing G mixolydian. If you compare G mixolydain to G major you will see the mixolydian scale has a minor 7th interval in it and not a major 7th interval. The mixolydian mode fits the dominant chord like a glove. Now try playing your major and minor pentatonic scale starting on the chord root. Now try those two pentatonic scales with the b5. The pentatonic scale will give you that classic blues sound. Next try playing a G dorian scale over the dominant chord. This scale could also be called F major scale starting on G. The dorian scale will defiantly give you a different sound. This dorian sound compliments the minor pentatonic scale nicely. Now let’s get out there a little bit! Try playing a  C harmonic minor over your G7 chord. The little rule on that is you can play the harmonic minor scale up a forth from what ever dominant chord your looking to improvise over.

Well after reading this you should have many different sound options when it’s time to improvise over your dominant 7th chords. Please feel free to contact us and come in for a music lesson to learn all about improvising and anything else pertaining to music from one of our great instructor at the Colorado School of Music in Golden CO. We offer guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons and vocal lessons as wells as orchestral instruments.  info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or 303-526-9865

Thanks for reading!

Dean Cutinelli

guitar lessons

CSoM NEWSLETTER … Back to School 2019

CSoM NEWSLETTER … Back to School 2019

The Colorado School of Music offers piano lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice lessons and band/orchestra instruments for all ages and levels. Located in the heart of downtown Golden, our current roster is comprised of musicians from all over the Denver Metro area and includes students from Golden, Denver, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood, Littleton and Boulder! 

Back to School! 

Summer may not be entirely gone, but the kids are almost back in school! Although we’re located in Golden, our students come from all over the Metro Area including Arvada, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Littleton–even as far as Boulder and Denver! Our school age students attend no less than 14 different area schools, and range in grade from Kindergarten to Graduate school!

Joining a school band or orchestra this fall? The Colorado School of Music offers private instruction for all band and orchestra instruments including brass instruments, woodwinds, violin lessons and drum lessons!   

Fall Schedules

If you’re a student returning from summer vacation and you’d like to get back into private music lessons for the fall – call soon to reserve your day and time for August and the upcoming school year! Spots are going fast!  Our fall hours will be the same as our summer hours; M-F 2pm-8pm. We currently offer piano lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, voice lessons, drum lessons and lessons in all band instruments! 

Need to Move?

Did your soccer coach just re-structure practice times and throw your schedule into chaos? You’re probably not alone.  We understand the rigors of fall scheduling…so if you find that your music lesson time slot doesn’t fit, call us at 303-526-9865 and leave your name, current time slot and any days and times that work for your schedule and we’ll do our best to re-locate you!

Please Leave a Message-

During the course of a week we field many phone calls from students and parents regarding lessons, scheduling and cancellations. During the afternoon, we often let the answering machine retrieve our messages so as not to disrupt class sessions. Please know that we are very conscientious about retrieving our missed calls and we always listen to our messages. We do not, however, make return calls for lesson cancellations unless requested. If you need to cancel for the week, please call 303-526-9865 and leave a message. Thank you!

Scheduled Holiday Closures, 2019

Labor Day- Monday, September 2nd

Thanksgiving Holiday, Thursday and Friday, November 28-29

Holiday Break- Monday, Dec. 23 2019 – Friday Jan. 3, 2020

Keep practicing!

July Music Blog

Performing as a Professional Musician

Dean Cutinelli here from the Colorado School of Music. Remember we are just a call away to start your private music lessons. We offer guitar lessonspiano lessons, drum lessons,Violin lessons, vocal lessons as well as orchestral instruments. Now on to our discussion on performing as a professional musician.

There are many different aspects that go into live performances as a professional musician.

First is knowing the material you will be playing inside and out. The more comfortable you are with the music you are performing, the more you can focus on your stage presence and interacting with the other musicians on the stage. Depending on how much time you’ll have to the learn the material can dictate how you might prepare for different gigs. If you know your going to have a few months and a handful of rehearsals for said gig I would recommend memorizing as much of the material as possible. Making sure any of the parts that you have had trouble with are rehearsed over and over. If you think you have the trouble parts down try playing them with a metronome. Some times counting a part is the best way to get it down. If your working on something technical don’t be afraid to slow it down and slowly work it back up to speed with the metronome. If you have accepted a gig and you are going to have limited time to learn the material I recommend charting out the material. You can get as detailed as you think you need. Make sure you make any specific notes on the charts that will help you perform the material. Make sure you include time signatures and keys signatures. Make sure you’re ready to take a solo if asked. If mistakes happen and they do to the best of us just keep playing and don’t dwell on it. Try not to make a funny face or look around to see if anyone noticed. There is a saying if you make a mistake make it sound and look like you ment it. Stay in the moment!

Now you have the material ready to go you have to consider your gear and anything that needs to have a backup available. If you perform with a string instrument always have replacement strings available. Bring extra cables if your set up requires them. Second you should also have a backup instrument. Yes bring a second guitar or keyboard or what ever your instrument maybe. Drummers make sure you have backup heads and an extra snare drum. If possible I would recommend drummers bring a backup bass drum pedal as well. If you’r using any kind of tube amplifier definitely bring a backup solid state amp. Tube amplifiers can be very finicky. Anything else that you use for your performance and is a necessity bring a backup. Availability is paramount!

Speaking of availability, having reliable transportation is also of the utmost importance. Keeping a can of fix a flat in your car is a good idea along with having a spare tire. Make sure you give yourself a time buffer just in case you get lost or have some kind of car trouble. Also make sure you have extra time to set up your gear. You never know when you might have to trouble shoot your rig.

Last is dress for success. Remember we are entertainers and performers. We should look and sound the part. The more you enjoy yourself on stage the more audience will enjoy the performance and there experience. Ok now let’s go break a leg!

Thank for reading.

music blog

Dean Cutinelli