The thing about learning an instrument on your own is that sometimes you miss seemingly simple basics by taking the fast track to achieve desired results. Returning later to learn these basics can leave you flabbergasted at best and wanting to bang your head on a moving freight train at the worse.Scales, the building blocks of all music, in classical music come in two flavors, major and minor. Junior High Music class taught us that songs in a major scale sound happy and songs in a minor scale sound sad. Therefore, Mozart on a whole was a happy guy, while, Bach in his most manic days was the "Death Metal" of the 1700s.

A classically trained musician trying to play contemporary music can quickly learn and use major and minor chords on the guitar, but, can be just as quickly unnerved by charted chords that in sound, resemble both, but are apparently neither. Welcome to American Music.

The move across the Atlantic not only changed lives, it changed music as well. It stands to reason that as Americans fought to be more independent from all things European that the European rules governing music would also fall by the wayside. Major and minor scales have been joined by Jazz scales, Blues scales and scales that sound like something from Star Trek like the Diatonic and Mix Lydian scales.

It appears that these scales are learned very early in guitar lessons and are practiced like the classical musician practices major and minor scales. One has but to listen to some of these scales to pick out bits and pieces that have been incorporated into classic passages of rock music. Learning these scales earlier in the struggle to teach myself guitar would have helped greatly in understanding and playing some of the chord progressions that classically seemed to make no sense.

Needless to say going back to fill in the missing pieces so I can "get" the blues could take a while. It'll be a journey worth the trip.

Locally, we got a chance to go over to the Second Annual Fleetwood Blues Festival for a while. The park there is an awesome place to hold the event to benefit the Fleetwood Parks and Recreation Department. We were lucky enough to hear The Lil Ragu Blues Band, The Blues Factor and Eddie Bluestone and the Gypsy Sons, All LOCAL and all GOOD.

A note to Hendrix fans, Eddie Bluestone is one of the better Hendrix imitators I've heard or seen. I would have loved to see him thrash some SRV or Zeppelin too. Fred's Music donated some fine instruments for between set raffles and next year, one of those Ibanez Acoustics better have my name on it

Still on the blues, Lehigh Valley Blues Network has moved their weekly Sunday Jam to the Salisbury Fire Company, 1226 Marlow St., Allentown. Note: The weekly jams in August and September are bi - monthly so check their Web site at for those dates and times.

Appalachian Fiddle & Bluegrass Association of Wind Gap has a new home for their Shindigs in Hellertown. They will be held at the Beethoven Waldheim Club, 1984 Waldheim Rd., Hellertown. Check out for dates and times.

Contact us with your local stuff at, we want to know and share what's going on. Check on local news at and Listen Up! You never know who or what you might hear.

Here's a list of up coming events, please double check venues, dates and times.

€¢ Sept. 2-Jonas Brothers, Bryce Jordan Ctr., State College

€¢ Sept 7-Debbie Reynolds, Resorts A.C.

€¢ Sept. 12-3 Doors Down, Hinder and Finger 11, Montage Mountain

€¢ Sept 13-Xavier Rudd, Theater of the Living Arts, Philadelphia

€¢ Sept. 16, Earth wind and Fire and Michael McDonald, Tower Theatre

€¢ Sept. 18-Old Crow Medicine Show, Electric Factory

€¢ Sept. 20-The Mars Volta, Electric Factory

€¢ Sept. 20-Martina McBride, Susquehanna Bank Center

€¢ Sept. 20-Sugarland Taj Mahal, A.C.

€¢ Sept. 25, Indigo Girls, House of Blues, A.C.

€¢ Sept. 26-Willie Nelson, Tower Theatre

€¢ Sept. 27-Wynonna, Trump Marina

€¢ Sept. 27-BB King, Sovereign Performing Arts Center

€¢ Sept. 27-Bill Maher, Tower Theatre

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