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November 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.[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. 

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

Thanks for reading!

Dean Cutinelli

CSoM NEWSLETTER … November 2021

CSoM NEWSLETTER … November 2021

Welcome to the Colorado School of Music!

Now in our 16th year of business, we’re proud to offer both online and in-person private music lessons for all ages and levels in piano lessons, guitar lessons, Ukulele 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!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!

Here is what we offer:

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.

-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 instructor. A great choice for both young and old, private violin lessons are fun and rewarding.

-Private music lessons for school band/ orchestra instruments.   

Try an introductory lesson for $10! To get started, email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call 303-526-9865 today! 

Scheduled Holiday Closures, 2021

The Colorado School of Music will take a short break over Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday Nov 26th and 27th,) and will be closed for two weeks for our annual holiday break. No classes and no charge for these dates. Thank you! 

CLOSED for  Thanksgiving Holiday, Thursday and Friday, November 25-26

CLOSED for Holiday Break- Monday, Dec. 20th through Friday, December 31st.

All lessons will resume at their normal day/time starting Monday, January 3rd.

The Snow is Almost 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 by noon the day in question to announce the closure. 

Online lessons will occur as normal on snow days. 

In the event of a snow closure, in-house instructors will be teaching online lessons at the normal lesson time. When in doubt please check the Website: www.coloradoschoolofmusic.com  or the Colorado School of Music Facebook page!

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!

Happy Thanksgiving!

music lessons
Colorado School of Music

October Music Blog

October 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

Thanks for reading

Dean Cutinelli

CSoM NEWSLETTER … October 2021

CSoM NEWSLETTER … October 2021

Welcome to the Colorado School of Music!

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 instrument instruction. 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! –  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 25th and 26th,) and will be closed for two weeks for our annual holiday break. No classes and no charge for these dates. Thank you!

CLOSED for  Thanksgiving Holiday, Thursday and Friday, November 25-26

CLOSED for Holiday Break- December 20th through January 2nd.

Lessons for everyone:

-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!

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

-Private music lessons for school band/ orchestra instruments   

To get started, 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, violin, and more.

Vocal lessons and Piano lessons

Happy Halloween!

September 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 lessonsukulele lessonspiano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. We offer in-person or online lessons. Now on to our discussion about about the Lydian mode.

The Lydian Scale

The Lydian scale or mode as it is more commonly referred to is the 4th mode of the seven modes that are derived from ancient greek music. If you were to play a  C major scale starting on the 4th scale degree you would be playing F Lydian. The notes for the scale would be F, G, A, B, C, D, and E. Yes this can be theorized by say this is

just a C major scale starting on F.  When you put an F major chord behind the C major scale you now create the model sound of F Lydian. In this example if we think of F as our key center we could also say we are playing and F major scale with a raised or sharp fourth in it. Our notes would be F, G, A, B,C,D and E. Remembering that our key signature for F major is Bb, there for we now have B natural or a major scale with a sharp 4th. You now have again the Lydian scale. This scale is a perfect fit when you see a Major 7th chord with a sharp 4th. Vamp on a F major chord followed by  F Major 7th #4 or try F to G13.  Both progressions will give you A chance to test out your F Lydian scale.

The History of Lydian 

The name Lydian refers to the ancient kingdom of Lydia in Anatolia. In Greek music theory, there was a Lydian scale or “octave species” extending from parhypate hypaton to trite diezeugmenon, equivalent in the diatonic genus to the medieval and modern Ionian mode. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, this mode was described in two ways. The first way is the diatonic octave species from F up to F an octave above, divided at C to produce two segments.

The second is as a mode with a final on F and an ambitus extending to F an octave higher and in which the note C was regarded as having an important melodic function. 

Who uses the Lydian Mode

The Lydian mode is defiantly a particular sound. You don’t hear it used as wide as you would the Mixolydian mode, but it still has its place. An example from the middle of the century is the scherzo movement of Carlos Chávez‘s Symphony No. 3. In the jazz world the Lydian mode inspired the works of people such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane. In popular music the passage beginning at the words “Much as I definitely enjoy solitude” in the song “Possibly Maybe” by Björk shows of the sound of the Lydian scale.The bass line in The Police‘s 1983 song “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” again incorporates the Lydian sound. Many Polish folksongs, including the mazurka, are in the Lydian mode; the first six notes of this mode were sometimes known as the “Polish mode”.

I hope after reading this you have a better Idea on what a mode is and in particular the Lydian 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. 

music lessons
music lessons

Thanks for reading!

Dean Cutinelli

CSoM NEWSLETTER … September 2021

CSoM NEWSLETTER … September 2021

The Colorado School of Music provides private music lessons for all ages and levels in 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!   

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!

August Music Blog 2021

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

CSoM NEWSLETTER … Back to School 2021

CSoM NEWSLETTER … Back to School 2021

Welcome to the Colorado School of Music!

We offer weekly private music instruction for all instruments and voice. Try a lesson in guitar, piano, or any of our currently offered instruments or disciplines.   

Here is what we offer:

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.

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

Violin lessons or viola lessons with our talented strings instructor. A great choice for both young and old, private violin lessons are fun and rewarding.

Private music lessons for school band/ orchestra instruments   

Try an introductory lesson for $10! To get started, email info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com or call 303-526-9865 today! 

Back to School!   

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! 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, violin and viola lessons and drums!   

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! Our fall hours will be the same as our summer hours; M-F 2pm-8pm. We currently offer piano lessons, guitar lessons, violin and viola 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!

No classes on Labor Day Holiday, Monday, September 6th

Keep practicing!

Guitar String Replacement

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.

Is your guitar sitting in the corner and not getting played because of a broken string? Maybe you’ve got a replacement string, but aren’t sure how to change it out correctly? Let our Colorado School of Music guitar instructor, Dean Cutinelli, teach you how to properly replace that string and get you back to practicing, rehearsing and playing your acoustic guitar again!

CSoM NEWSLETTER … August 2021

Welcome to the Colorado School of Music! Now in our 16th year of business, we’re proud to offer both online and in-person private music lessons for all ages and levels in piano lessons, guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, violin lessons, drums lessons, voice and band/orchestra instruments.

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. To learn more about music lessons, email us at info@coloradoschoolofmusic.com

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 by appointment. We currently offer piano lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, voice lessons, drum lessons and lessons in 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!

Closed for Labor Day Holiday, September 6th!

Vocal lessons and Piano lessons

Keep practicing!