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Performing & recording artist Edward Hale has taught guitar for the University of Alaska, Music Works Northwest, Seattle Symphony Children's Education Department, Bellevue Community College, Anchorage Community College, Rogue Community College, and the Alaska Fine Arts Academy. Ed Hale is the founder of "A Chord of Tradition" and has performed on television and radio including PBS and NPR. Recent international radio broadcasts of his guitar compositions can be heard on Billy Hale's highly acclaimed CD "Tales Thrice Travelled" and the soundtrack to the film "El Reporte". We are also happy to announce "Punto De Control" received the Director's Choice Award: Best Puerto Rico Feature at the Cannes International Film Corner 2012 with original soundtrack composed by Billy Hale, and featuring original guitar music composed and performed by Edward Hale. Punto de Control, written and directed by David SaldaƱa (Teatro Supernova) was also chosen for the 2012 Vegas Indie Film Festival. http://billyhalemusic.com/ New CD "Cradle of the Sky" Billy Hale with Edward Hale. Available from CD Baby, I-tunes, etc.!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meet Edward Hale

Discover the Joy of Music with One of Seattle's Best!. Professional Guitarist, Performing & Recording Artist, Composer and Teacher. Lesson Details: Guitar lessons in a fun, friendly, and creative atmosphere! Patient teacher with a lot of experience sharing the joy of playing a musical instrument. Designed and priced with you in mind! All levels and ages welcome. Lessons at the Hale studio or LIVE ONLINE. Arrange lessons by e-mailing edwardhale at hotmail dot com.

Background: Edward Hale has taught for Music Works Northwest, University of Alaska, Seattle Symphony Children's Educations Dept., Bellevue Community College, Anchorage Community College, Rogue Community College, and the Alaska Fine Arts Academy. Ed is founder of A Chord of Tradition and has performed on television and radio including PBS and NPR. Recent international radio broadcasts of his guitar music can be heard on the highly acclaimed CD "Tales Thrice Travelled" and the newly released 'Cradle of the Sky'. http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/billyhale2           He has trained many successful performing artists in various musical styles from classical to popular.

Edward Hale, a rare performer and teacher, is available for guitar instruction, and offers intimate recitals of his own unique original compositions and transcriptions for the guitar as well as songs. Personal instruction or recital arrangements can be made by e-mail at edwardhale at hotmail dot com.

Edward's musical background includes years of professional teaching, performing, and recording experience in diverse styles. He has composed numerous original works for classical guitar, and many unique transcriptions of keyboard pieces adapted for solo guitar and ensemble. He has conducted master-classes and workshops throughout the US, Europe, Russia, and Mexico. Mr. Hale has taught private and group classes on the faculties of Music Works Northwest, the University of Alaska, Bellevue Community College, Eagle River Fine Arts Academy, Anchorage Community College, Rogue Community College, the Alaska Fine Arts Camp, and the Seattle Symphony Education Department. Edward pursued a Bachelor of Music from the University of Alaska, and has studied with Jean Paul Billaud, Pepe Romero, James Reid, Carlos Bonell, Jose Tomas, Igor Kipnis, Dave Brubeck, and other top performing artists. In addition to the classical and flamenco styles. Edward Hale is skilled in Popular, Latin American, Jazz, Country, Blues, and Folk music. An accomplished performer, Edward has recorded several CD's on guitar. He has performed concerts internationally and his recorded music has been aired on radio and television globally.

Mr Hale has received several awards and grants from the Washington State Arts Commission, King Foundation, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

Ed Hale's original compositions have been featured internationally in cinema and radio broadcasts. Edward's composition "Song of Marisol" is featured on Billy and Edward Hale's new recording "Tales Thrice Travelled" available at http://www.billyhalemusic.com/ttt.html, Apple iTunes, CD Baby, and the "New Age Reporter". " Song of Marisol" is also a featured theme song in the critically acclaimed soundtrack to the film "El Reporte" released by David Saldana and the Teatro Supernova. Recent recordings: "Terpshichore", "Tales Thrice Travelled" Cinema soundtracks: "El Reporte" (Teatro Supernova, music score by Billy Hale and Edward Hale.) And check out the new film Punta de Control (Point of Control) with original music by William (Billy) Hale and original guitar music composed and recorded by Edward Hale. (Tracks: Winds of a Dream and Spanish Gold).

Radio Reviews of Edward and Billy's CD" Tales Thrice Travelled: "I added Song of Marisol, Nightingales of Atlantis, Under Saharan Moon, "It's great"..."one of my faves of recent releases and have been playing it since it arrived." ---KTUL Radio, Captain Christopher “I've added Hale's CD Tales Thrice Travelled and it’s getting solid coverage"..." Song of Marisol is a favorite. Ranked #1 for January 2008"---KTEP Public Radio, “Audiosyncracy”, Jamey.

Specialties Taught and Interests: Classical Guitar, Guitar All Styles, Piano, Lute, Finger Style Guitar, Flamenco Guitar, Song Writing, Folk Guitar, Acoustic Guitar Lessons, Piano, Electric Guitar, Harp, Banjo, Electric Bass, Mandolin, Mountain Dulcimer, Slide Guitar, Dobro, Ukelele, Harmonica, Music Composition, Music Theory, Ethnomusicology, Native American Flute, Recorder, Overtone Singing, Harmonic Chant, Sitar, Vina, Setar, Tanbur, Oud, Guitar Performance, Musical Archaeology, World Music, Rock Guitar, Blues Guitar, Poetry.

Education: University of Alaska - Majored in Music Performance. Private Instruction and Master Classes with top international performing artists. Guitar and Piano.

Studio Locations Bellevue, WA, 98007, or LIVE ONLINE LESSONS

References: "Edward Hale is an excellent classical guitar teacher and talented performing artist with an ability to communicate his subject exceptionally well. He is fun to work with and students enjoy every minute!" --J. Baxley, ACC
"It would be hard to find a better music instructor anywhere. Ed's outstanding qualities make him a favorite teacher of the classical guitar." --Webb Bowie
Edward's special way of sharing his musical expertise has earned him a ranking as one of the top teachers of guitar for adults and children.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What is a Humbucker?

Questioner: What is a Humbucker [guitar pickup]?
I hear people talk about the humbucker on their guitars, but I have no idea what they are referring to.
What is it?



Answered by Edward Hale

Humbuckers are double-coil electric guitar pickups. We rented a vintage Fender Stratocaster from a local store with original humbuckers to use in one of our CD's.  It gets a great tone and has a distinct fatter rounder sound that is quite recognizable.  You can hear an example of this particular Stratocaster in our CD "Tales Thrice Travelled" with Billy Hale on the guitar.

Billy Hale composed the music for "Tales Thrice Travelled" and orchestrated it in wonderfully varied ways to give us kinetic impressions of a magical journey through terrestrial and celestial "regions"  of space and time.  The tracks with the Strat are Echoes of the Anasazi, and Inca Sun Ritual.
The Song of Marisol, which I composed for Billy Hale's soundtrack to the movie El Reporte is included in the CD. For a contrast in guitars, listen to the Song of Marisol. I'm playing on a friend's 1963 Archangel Fernandez flamenco guitar. It has the distinct sound of a rare master luthier's hand made during one of the golden ages of Spanish guitar luthiery.  http://www.billyhalemusic.com/ttt.html

So, what are these double-coil pickups that have helped revolutionize the sound of electric guitar? Humbuckers cancel out the interference or "hum" which is typical with single coil pickups. The electromagnetic oscillations which occur in alternating current (AC) produce a hum. Humbuckers are designed to "buck the hum", i.e. to try and "cancel out" the hum. But in fact they can only reduce this phenomenon utilizing simple electromagnetic principles. There is some perceived distortion as a result which we will talk about later.
Hum is caused by interference from transformers and power supplies inside electrical gear. As AC journeys through a coil, there is a magnetic field around the coil. It is a kind of electromagnetic resonance, if you will. This "electrical resonance" gets magnified generally by  high-power amps, processors, pedals, mixers, motors, power lines, and other sources.
Using a guitar without "hum-buckers" one hears an annoying hum from the amp when your are not playing or doing quieter parts of your songs. Humbuckers reduce this hum effect compared to single coil pickups.

The "humbucking coil" was invented in 1934 by Electro-Voice of South Bend, Indiana. Originally this novel electrical coil was put to use in microphones and speakers in the manufacture of portable public address systems.
Rickenbacker offered dual coil pickups in 1953 but dropped the design in 1954 because of the distorted sound they produced at higher volume levels. In 1955 Gibson took up the idea and applied for a patent. Gibson Les Paul guitars were the first production line instruments to have the humbucking pickup.
The Fender Stratocaster with factory installed humbuckers is one of the most popular guitars characterized by that "fat" distorted rounder sound that Rickenbacker initially rejected.
The taste for that fat distorted sound and later enhancements changed the nature of popular music. Imagine Led Zeppelin lead guitarist Jimmy Page , Eric Clapton, or Jimi Hendrix, without the fat distortion and we can appreciate more the secondary significance of this little humbucking pickup in giving some teeth to the electric guitar sound.
Edward Hale

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How Difficult Is It to Play the Classical Guitar?

Question from Anonymous:

How difficult is it to learn Classical guitar?

I hear about jazz, rock, and blues on the guitar -- but I never hear about classical guitar. I'm a fan of classical music, and I think it would be great to learn classical guitar.


Answered by Edward Hale

Playing any style of guitar has it levels of difficulty. It is not easy to compare playing rock or jazz styles with the classical guitar, but let me say something first about studying classical guitar that I believe to be true.
If a rock or jazz guitarist were to study classical guitar, they would benefit by the study. technically and musically.

And the reverse is also true; if a classical guitarist mastered the style and proficiency of a rock or jazz guitarist, there would be a benefit for the classical guitarist in musicianship and performance. I know many examples of this where rock or jazz study has helped many guitarists understand how to "liven up" the performance of classical guitar music. A study of Flamenco guitar also enhances many aspects of a guitarists musicality with the infusion of a very unique ancient artistic style, and the technical demands which arise from impulses of the spirit. Flamenco study results in discovering many moments of pure improvisation.

Originally classical music had a greater degree of improvisational elements and spontaneity of expression. Bach improvised and was very creative in his musical inventions. Mozart made up pieces on the spot and was both extrovert and introvert. Beethoven was run out of his apartments for noise violations all over town. (He was pounding out his new music on the keyboard well before he went deaf.) I think you get the picture. If music study and performance are too academic the results can be stifling.
I have played and taught almost all the styles of guitar and have found  that classical guitar lays a very good foundation. The music as well as the sound of the instrument is also very satisfying. The essence of playing classical guitar is partly in having a good foundation in technique, which to a large degree is forming good habits where there is minimal tension in your hands and body. This foundation will make the guitar easier to play when you grasp and implement the principles involving a precise and economical movement of fingers. (Bear in mind precise does not mean rigid, which can hurt your technique and musicality.)

It becomes easier to play the guitar in any style if you build this benfeficial foundation. In some ways the Classical guitar itself is much easier to play than an acoustic steel string because of the softer strings employed on the classical. The spacing of strings, which are further apart, makes it easier for anyone with wider fingertips to play without accidentally hitting another string.

There's alot of beginning music in the classical genre that is fairly easy to master and enjoy in the beginning stages. And there are many progressive methods and music which can take you logically through to more advanced levels. I would say with encouragement that "classical" is not really harder to play except at more advanced levels where there are several complex parts or voices to play at the same time.

The right hand technique has a critical role to play in the music and should seem effortless when mastered. That takes some time to achieve. Whatever style you want to study classical technique really helps! I would encourage anyone with a love for classical music or anyone who wants to improve guitar skills to study classical guitar.

I play and teach other styles of guitar and you can play many of these styles on a classical or flamenco guitar. You can even "electrify" your instrument by adding a pickup or buying one with a pickup already installed. Have fun!

Edward Hale


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Question: Should I play guitar left-handed or right-handed?

Question from Anonymous: Should I play guitar left-handed or right-handed?

I'm left-handed, but I'm currently learning how to play guitar right-handed.

For one, all of my friends with guitars are right-handed, so it is easier to borrow their guitars, and to copy what they are doing.

Secondly, I like that my hand on the fretboard is more coordinated than my other hand.

However, I know that Jimi Hendrix played left-handed, and I wonder if I should too. I think my rhythm would be a lot better...



Answered by Edward Hale.
A very good question to ask!
The short answer is, based on my experience, I would recommend for most "lefties" to go with a right- handed guitar!

Personally, I am left handed and I find playing RIGHT-HANDED to be an advantage for left hand fingering dexterity. I do think there is something about the right hand that "feels right" for bringing the sound out of a plucked instrument. That would be "right" (true) for plectrum style (electric or acoustic) classical, flamenco, or folk fingerstyle.

Also, it is interesting that many cultures with some of the oldest musical traditions are adamant that the right hand is the generator of the [musical] spirit and should produce the sound of plucked instruments. It is as though they are saying that the breath is in that hand.

Flamenco tradition comes to mind here with its richness of meaning and nuance, its emphasis on the "spirit" that comes alive in the combined enactment of music, dance, and poetry. The right hand rasqueado (strumming) and punteado (plucked articulation) beckons and fans the flame (spirit) of singers, dancers, and participating listener.

One could say in this context that the left hand facilitates the specific modality and regulates (the possible) modulations through the contingent "musical worlds" that are manifested, and so on. But the right hand is the active principle that "wills" and "creates" the sound.

But we can look at this practical question of whether to go "right or left" much more simply.
Andres Segovia, the legendary Spanish classical guitar performer, phrased his response (affirming the same right handed recommendation to lefties) in the form of a question:

"Are there any left handed pianos?"

There is much more to say about questions of developing as a muscician and I welcome any questions and responses.

Edward Hale

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Question from a beginning guitarist about practice time. How much is enough?

Question from Anonymous:

How much time a day do you think I should practice my guitar?

I'm a beginner (I started taking lessons in the last 2 weeks) and I'm not sure I'm practicing enough. My teacher is pretty laid-back, and just says to play "when I feel like it", but I don't feel like it all too often! Is there a recommended number of days a week?

Answered by Edward Hale.

Try to schedule time to practice or play everyday if possible even if it's fifteen minutes to thirty minutes in the beginning. You might try to tell yourself, if you have a busy schedule, that this is YOUR time for YOURSELF. Music has a very beneficial effect on us and can satisfy parts of us that get neglected during a busy day.

After you establish a minimum practice pattern of a half-hour, you can increase your time to 45 minutes or even an hour if possible. You have to reach a saturation point with your playing where your time transforms into "musical time". This is valuable for your whole self. I mean it's good for your mind and heart to get together everday in the pursuit of music. In my experience, satisfying musical moments can come fairly soon with a disciplined approach. And then you will probably wish for more. The "discipline" can turn into a "feeling" or a "wish to play" with a creative approach to study time. So try to make it creative.

If you wait for yourself to "feel like playing" you'll probably just drift and get little for yourself. Stick with it! Discover a little more of your musicality everyday. It's YOUR time and it's for YOURSELF. Have some fun!

Also, it's worth mentioning here that lesson times that are too short don't give ample opportunity for a teacher to impart the stuff needed to learn to play a musical instrument. With shorter lesson times there is often very little musical saturation to take with you, which is essential to sustain a student in their practice time. A student may be repeating the same bad habits each week, and these need considerable hands-on time from a teacher to correct. In short, if there is too little time in a lesson for a teacher to lay a good technical foundation the student may also just drift. Longer lessons are also much more enjoyable as it gives time to play music together with your teacher. And that increases the fun and incentive to practice as well.

Reply from Anonymous:

Wow -- thank you for your very considered reply -- I agree that the time is 'my time' -- it really helps me to remember that I can treat myself as well as I treat others where I make commitments/meetings happen --)