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July Music Blog

Dean Cutinelli here from the Colorado School of Music. Remember we are just a call 303-526-9865 or an email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com 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. We offer in-person or online lessons. 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 instructor at the Colorado School of Music in Golden CO. 

Thanks for reading!

Dean Cutinelli

guitar lessons
guitar lessons

Dean Cutinelli

CSoM NEWSLETTER … July 2020

CSoM NEWSLETTER … July 2020

Now in our 15th year of business, we’re proud to offer both online lessons and in-person private music lessons for all ages and levels for piano lessonsguitar lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice and band/orchestra instruments.

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!

Whether you’re a beginner, a seasoned pro or just learning for fun, private music lessons with our experienced instructors will take your playing to the next level!

We’re currently accepting students for summer lessons! If you’d like to register or would like to know more about private music lessons, send an email to: info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call 303-526-9865 today! 

Welcome Back!

We’re happy to return to in-person lessons in our Golden studio! We’ve altered our school to accommodate lessons in a fun and safe environment! If you’d like to register or would like to know more about our covid-19 protocols and safety measures, send an email to: info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call 303-526-9865 today! 

Online Lessons!

In addition to our in-person lessons, the Colorado School of Music continues to offer online lessons!  As with our in-person lessons, all online lessons are on-on-one private instruction with our talented instructors. Using, FaceTime, Skype, or your favorite video call app, connect with our teachers and take your lessons from home!  We currently offer online lessons Monday through Thursday for all instruments and voice. Call 303-526-9865 or email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com to get signed up today!

Summer Music

The Colorado School of Music is open year-round and we offer our normal schedule of private lessons throughout the warm months. Summer is a great time to begin youth piano lessons or guitar lessons – or perhaps you’re interested in trying something new like ukulele or drums. School band members – get ahead of your orchestra by taking some private instrument lessons during the break! Great slots are still available – email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call 303-526-9865 to set up a summer music lesson today!  

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, violin, and more.

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!

Keep practicing, and enjoy the summer!

music lessons
Colorado School of Music

June Music Blog

June 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 lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, Violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. Ok now on to the Dorian mode.

The Dorian Mode

The modes are a variation on either the major scale or minor scale. There are seven modes, Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian. This month we will be discussing the Dorian mode. The Dorian mode is easiest to understand when comparing it to the natural minor scale. If you played an A natural minor scale your note are A,B,C,D,E,F,G. The Dorian mode takes the natural minor scale an augments one note. The Dorian mode has a raised 6th if compared to the natural minor scale. If we stay with A being the root of our Dorian scale your note would now be A,B,C,D,E,F#,G. By change just one note in the scale you can create whole new sound. IF you

Are familiar with your key signatures you may be saying to your self well that’s just a G major scale starting on A. Yes this is another way to theorize the Dorian scale. 

The History of the Dorian Mode

The early Byzantine church developed a system of eight musical modes (the octoechos), which served as a model for medieval European chant theorists when they developed their own modal classification system starting in the 9th century.[3] The success of the Western synthesis of this system with elements from the fourth book of De institutione musica of Boethius, created the false impression that the Byzantine octoechos was inherited directly from ancient Greece.[4]Originally used to designate one of the traditional harmoniai of Greek theory the name was appropriated (along with six others) by the 2nd-century theorist Ptolemy to designate his seven tonoi, or transposition keys.

Who uses the Dorian Mode

You can hear this scale used in rock, jazz, blues, classical and pop as well as other styles of music. 

In the blues rock vain Carlos Santana makes the Dorian mode a big part of his sound. Oye Como Va has a very strong Dorian sound. In a classical setting Beethoven‘s Missa Solemnis incorporates the Dorian scale. Milestones by Miles Davis will give 

An example of this sound in a jazz context. Last give a listen to Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles to hear us very cleverly in a pop song.

I hope after reading this you have a better Idea on what a mode is and in particular the Dorian mode. Please feel free to contact us and come in for a music lesson to learn all about the modes 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, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons and vocal lessons as wells as orchestral instruments. 

Thanks for reading!

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

Dean Cutinelli

CSoM NEWSLETTER … June 2020

CSoM NEWSLETTER … June 2020

Now in our 15th year of business, we’re proud to offer both online and in-person private music lessons for all ages and levels for piano lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice and band/orchestra instruments.

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!

Whether you’re a beginner, a seasoned pro or just learning for fun, private music lessons with our experienced instructors will take your playing to the next level!

We’re currently accepting students for summer lessons! If you’d like to register or would like to know more about private music lessons, send an email to: info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call 303-526-9865 today! 

Summer Music

The Colorado School of Music is open year-round and we offer our normal schedule of private lessons throughout the warm months. Summer is a great time to begin youth piano lessons or guitar lessons – or perhaps you’re interested in trying something new like ukulele or drums. School band members – get ahead of your orchestra by taking some private instrument lessons during the break! Great slots are still available – email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call us to set up a summer music lesson today!    

Online Lessons!

In addition to our in-person lessons, the Colorado School of Music is proud to offer online lessons!  As with our in-person lessons, all online lessons are on-on-one private instruction with our talented instructors. Using, FaceTime, Skype, or your favorite video call app, connect with our teachers and take your lessons from home!  We currently offer online lessons Monday through Thursday for all instruments and voice. Call 303-526-9865 or email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com to get signed up 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!

Odd Instrument?  – They’re not really odd, just interesting! The Colorado School of Music has talented instructors who specialize in many instruments. Do you play the trombone or the glockenspiel? Is it difficult finding a djembe teacher? If you play an unconventional instrument and are looking for direction, send us an email at info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com and let us know what you’re looking for – chances are, we have an instructor that can help you!

Keep practicing, and we’ll see you next month!

Piano Lessons
Piano Lessons

May 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. We have add a new online department as to provide music lessons remotely. 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.[3] 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

CSoM NEWSLETTER … May 2020

CSoM NEWSLETTER … May 2020

The Colorado School of Music provides private music instruction for all ages levels and offer piano lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice lessons and band/orchestra instruments. 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!   

Online Lessons!

The Colorado School of Music is proud to offer online lessons!  As with our in-person lessons, all online lessons are on-on-one private instruction with our talented instructors. Using, FaceTime, Skype, or your favorite video call app, connect with our teachers and take your lessons from home!  We currently offer online lessons Monday through Thursday for all instruments and voice. Call 303-526-9865 or email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com to get signed up today!

Colorado School of Music 2019 Recital postponed

Unfortunately we’ve had to postpone our annual May recital this year. We’re hoping to reschedule for fall—watch the website and newsletter for details! 

Summer Music

The Colorado School of Music is open year-round and we offer our normal schedule of private lessons throughout the warm months. Summer is a great time to begin youth piano lessons or guitar lessons – or perhaps you’re interested in trying something new like ukulele or drums. School band members – get ahead of your orchestra by taking some private instrument lessons during the break! Great slots are still available – email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call us to set up a summer music lesson today!    

Odd Instrument?  – They’re not really odd, just interesting! The Colorado School of Music has talented instructors who specialize in many instruments. Do you play the trombone or the glockenspiel? Is it difficult finding a djembe teacher? If you play an unconventional instrument and are looking for direction, send us an email at info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com and let us know what you’re looking for – chances are, we have an instructor that can help you!

School Closed Memorial Day – Just a reminder – no lessons on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day.

Keep practicing, and we’ll see you next month!

April Music Blog

April 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
Colorado School of Music

Dean Cutinelli

CSoM NEWSLETTER … April 2020

CSoM NEWSLETTER … April 2020

The Colorado School of Music provides private music instruction for all ages levels and offer piano lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice lessons and band/orchestra instruments. 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!   

Online Lessons

We hope everyone is safe and well! Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Colorado School of Music will remain closed for in-person lessons.

We will continue to offer online private music lessons to our students in the interim — email us at info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call 303-526-9865 if you’re interested in signing up!

Thank you!

Thank you to all of our first responders and medical workers, as well as the delivery people and all the workers who are helping us get through this tough time.

Special thanks to our students and parents for their continued support, and to our amazing instructors whose dedication has brought us this far.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those suffering and grieving around the world.

If you have any questions or would like to enroll in online lessons, please contact the school at info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or by phone, 303-526-9865. Thank you, and we hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

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.

Stay safe!

Piano Lessons
Piano Lessons

March 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 lessons, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, Violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. Now on the our discussion of the Mixolydian scale.

The Mixolydian  Scale

The Mixolydian scale or mode as it is more commonly referred to is the 5th mode of the seven modes that are derived from ancient greek music. If you were to play a C major scale starting on the 5th scale degree you would be playing G Mixolydian. The notes for the scale would be G, A, B, C, D, E, and F. Yes this can be theorized by say this is just a C major scale starting on G. The model sound can also be described as a major scale with a flatted 7th degree. Again If we take the notes G, A, B, C, D, E and F again you would have the G Mixolydian scale. This mode is great for improvising over a dominant 7th chord. The dominant 7th chord is comprised of a root major third, perfect 5th, and minor 7th interval. There for our notes for G7 are G, B, D and F. Try playing the G Mixolydian scale over the G7 chord to hear how well these fit together.

The History of Mixolydian 

The idea of a Mixolydian mode comes from the music theory of ancient Greece. The invention of the ancient Greek Mixolydian mode was attributed to Sappho, the 7th-century-B.C. poet and musician.[1] However, what the ancient Greeks thought of as Mixolydian was very different from the modern interpretation of the mode.

Who uses the Mixolydian Mode

You can hear this scale used in traditional music, pop, rock, blues Jazz and classical music.  As we are discussing music it’s always best to listen to some different songs that incorporate this scale or sound in there music. A traditional song would be Old Joe Clark. In a classical setting Bach uses this sound in “Fughetta super: Dies sind die heilgen zehn Gebot” in G Major. In popular music give a listen to Clocks by Cold play. In All Blues by Miles Davis you can here it used in a blues context. 

I hope after reading this you have a better Idea on what a mode is and in particular the Mixolydian mode. Please feel free to contact us and come in for a music lesson to learn all about the modes 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, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons and vocal lessons as wells as orchestral instruments. 

Thanks for reading!

guitar lessons
guitar lessons

Dean Cutinelli

CSoM NEWSLETTER … March 2020

CSoM NEWSLETTER … March 2020

The Colorado School of Music provides private music lessons for all ages and levels in piano lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice lessons and band/orchestra lessons. 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!   

Schedule changes due to Coronavirus / Online Lessons-

In following with the Jefferson County School closings due to the concerns over the coronavirus, starting Monday, March 16th, the Colorado School of Music is joining the school district in closing our facility for in-person classes through March 27th

Beginning March 16th, CSoM will be transitioning to online one-on-one classes held through FaceTime, Skype, etc.. All online lessons will occur at their normal times and days.

We are facing an unprecedented public health crisis in our community, and in light of Governor Polis’ declaration of a state of emergency in Colorado and the growing number of confirmed cases in the Denver metro Area, we are taking this action to assist in protecting the health of our students, families and teachers. Please consult the CSoM website www.coloradoschoolofmusic.com or our Facebook page for any additional changes to our schedule.

If you have any questions or would like to enroll in online lessons, please contact the school at info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or by phone, 303-526-9865. Thank you, and we hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

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 lessons, violin lessons, and more.

Stay safe!

Sheet music image from Colorado School of Music
music lessons