Hello and welcome to the website for women in music Minnesota. We are a non profit to help women and girls in music.
I am gearing up for a new school year and new experiences. I'm having fun playing the drums in a blues band and having a blast. I hope that you have a great fall as well.
I'm trying out something new for my birthday: an acoustic jam in my living room. A real piano, small drums and percussion, flute, recorder, guitar, bass and harmonica. I'm hoping for a chance to try new songs that everyone knows and a chance for improvisations in a relaxed atmosphere for risk taking. That along with food and refreshing beverages for everyone makes for a fun evening. Now, what I am thinking that if this goes well, and if it is truly "fun", then we can perhaps do it in more of a public setting where I can invite everyone. If you have ideas for a venue that will host this, or if you have a big house, let me know.
Thank you for visiting! and keep with the music, keep your dreams alive!
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"The Fab Four"
Sometimes we can get stuck as songwriters and need a fresh new idea. That’s where we may reach into our tool box to try new things or to try older ideas in a new way.
A chord progression that I used to teach in my songwriting classes at McNally Smith in St Paul is called the “Fabulous Four”. These are four chords that work well together that sounds minor with a fabulous dominant chord that includes the leading tone back to the one chord (or the home tone). I have heard this chord progression on many pop songs on the radio. Now, you wouldn’t do this chord progression over and over in your song, you would save it for one section to give yourself some variety. Some choose to use this as a chorus and some have used it as the main groove in the beginning and verses of their song.
Ok, here it is: Am, G, F, E.. - in that order. Basically, this progression is in the key of A minor and the last chord (E) is the five chord and leads back nicely to the first chord Am. Now, the unusual thing is the G and F chord in between, they are basically passing tones and walking down to the V chord, but they sound nice and are also the IV and V chord of the relative major key: C major. So, it’s not totally wacko, but sounds different.
Now, if you are in the key of E minor, then the chords would be Em, D, C and B. Try it on piano, or guitar or whatever. Play it fast or slow, put a rhythm in there. Try singing over it and see what you think. For added variety, you could keep the baseline on the same note (except for the last chord) for added tension, or you could reverse that and keep the first chord the same while your bass line walks down. Lots to try and think about.
Hopefully that will get you unstuck and add a tool to your toolbox to keep the “blank page syndrome” away.
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Women's Jam with the Roxxy Hall band. Located at the Minnesota Music Cafe in St Paul. Must sign up 1 week before the show. More information at www.RoxxyHall.com
Sign up now for Pop Rockers girl's rock camp. It is scheduled for July 18th 2016. more information at www.PopRockers.org
Visit "Women's Music History of Minnesota". Submit a story of your Mom or your Grandma's musical performances here in Minnesota to use and be documented for publication. Don't let these stories die away. Please share them with everyone. You can visit the website (which is always being updated) at Minnesota Women's History website.
The Minnesota Association of Songwriters (MAS) meets in St. Paul at 7 pm on the last Wednesday of each month in room 206 of the McNally Smith Music College at 19 Exchange St., across from the Fitzgerald Theater. Meetings include educational modules for improving songwriting skills, guest speakers and song critiques. Membership is only $25 per year. For more info, please visit www.mnsongwriters.org
NSAI meets the 1st Tuesday and the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 989 Selby Ave in St. Paul at 7pm. It's free!
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