Interviews, discussions about music, tips and tricks, band chats, and more. Brought to you by Richards Guitar Studio and Richards Rock Academy in Aston, PA.
RRA Episode 2: Year in Review / 2020 Ahead!
Richards Rock Academy Episode 2
Review of shows, tragedy, and highlights.
2020 looks promising and exciting!
Student of the month
Richards Rock Academy - Episode 1
In our 8th episode, we start our newest season under our new name - Richards Rock Academy!
Studio updates: Rebrand, website, 2019-20 shows, opening for Candlebox at the 2300 Arena
New Voice teacher Chickie Pagano
Student of the Month
Open Mic Night
Teacher Zone challenge video
Richards Rock Academy Jr.
Richards Rock Academy Band - Hemispheres
Episode 7 of the Richards Guitar Studio Podcast
(Note - Hemispheres found a bass player! Soon after recording this podcast coincidentally)
0:00 – Introduction and band members’ history in Richards Rock Academy
3:29 – Building a set list that appeals to audiences and to band members
5:27 – Band parents and history of influences, the joy of childhood piano lessons, getting to play with Kenn Kweder, learning an appreciation of alternative rock through playing xylophone at school, gaining an appreciate of Rush through RRA alumnus Emilio Biggs, and reconciling folk guitar lessons as a kid with your father is Disturbed and Godsmack, and finding the dual guitars of Night Ranger
14:02 – Discovering music in earnest from your older cousin – particularly the Killers, takeaways from your early music lessons, the importance of reading music and learning to play different instruments growing up when it comes to playing in a rock band
22:20 – Taking on Rush songs, informing your guitar playing from listening to Neil Peart, and how the drums are the train track, how you may “get lost on the Rush train,” what it’s like losing the “bass wizard,” and a passing mention of Colin’s ancestors coming from the same hometown of Sabbath and Priest
29:12 – Keeping the band going amongst graduation forcing lineup changes, and looking to the future of RRA members stepping up and coming in, being in a band forcing you to play, the virtue of the “triple ax attack,” and the challenge of asking 13-year-olds to learn prog rock tunes to join the band
34:52 – Future of the band, and R.I.P. to 103.9 WDRE, Philadelphia’s Cutting Edge of Modern Rock
Facts and Myths About Learning Music with Nate Richards and Colin Ainsworth
Episode #6: Facts and Myths about Learning Music with Nate Richards and Colin Ainsworth. Recorded at Nate's place old-school pass-the-mic style.
0:00 – Disclaimer on who is the target audience is for this episode (every age group and everyone who isn’t a once-in-a-generation genius, and doesn’t have synesthesia), matching goals and expectations, the deference between knowledge and skill, and introduction to the episode’s topics – choosing an instrument, technique, music reading, playing by ear, and learning songs
5:47 – Colin’s background on choosing an instrument when growing up in a major music region
8:59 – Nate breaks down the pros and cons of classical, steel string acoustic or guitar for students starting out
15:07 – Colin introduces the technique topic (and attributes the “right way, wrong way, Yngwie” phrase to Ben Eller, who was one in a long line of people to use it), Nate gives examples of why everyone needs to develop a clean technique regardless of musical style, and Colin compares the RGS Rock Mastery Program with the Philadelphia guitar style of Dennis Sandole
25:50 – The need to tailor technique to students based on their hand size and shape, and a brief comment on avoiding the dreaded problem of pulling barre chords out of tune
29:30 – Nate clarifies the question of music of music reading – it’s not if but when – and lists the benefits of learning to read for those who won’t need to use it regularly
33:50 – Nate transitions music reading into learning songs by ear – being able to hear patterns when figuring out songs by ear due to music reading experience, Colin compares the roots of “education” and “erudition” and how to it applies to approaching guitar, Nate talks about overcoming his own frustrations of returning to reading music in high school
42:49 – Colin and Nate discuss what you see on a page and what you hear and use Randy Rhoads as an example
45:40 – Nate breaks down the pitfalls of playing solely by ear, including the “mysterious extra half of a beat” in the bridge of “Stairway to Heaven,” Colin extols the virtues of figuring out simple pop tunes to build your ear and Nate talks about predictability of current pop country songs
54:13 – Nate compares learning songs note-for-note versus coming up with a new arrangement, how learning a song note-for-note is like taking a master class from the guitar player on the record
1:01:30 – Colin talks about how the memory builds on itself and taking skills away from music by playing as much material as possible, and how you always think your band’s arrangement of a song is better than the original – whether out of familiarity or ego, and the dangers of picking up bad habits from your favorite guitar players
Nate Ferro and Chris John - Hornets in the Greenhouse
Episode #5: RRA Adult Band - Hornets in the Greenhouse. Guitar/Vocals Nate Ferro and Drums/Vocals Chris John (also an RGS/RRA parent of 2 amazing young musicians) join Colin Ainsworth to talk music.
3:03 – Introductions from Chris John and Nate Ferro, their paths from childhood housecall piano lessons and elementary school bands to RGS
6:15 – Hornets in the Greenhouse lineups and the best venues they’ve played at, bars changing names more than the band, and how to arrive at a set list
9:21 – Influences for Nate and Chris, the need for RGS to issue an official position on Dave vs. Sammy for Van Halen (no, Gary Cherone is not an option); the downfall of diverse sounds in Top 40 radio; and no love for disco or Barry Manilow
18:30 – Not letting rock become a dead language, feeling emotion from performers, how no true rock band “sounds better in the studio,” and Hornets in the Greenhouse doing their part to helping rock continue – though not inspiring Greta Van Fleet, and private lessons holding you accountable and showing that in the band
28:11 – RRA bands pushing themselves, playing music bringing people down to earth, having a creative outlet away from work and other outlets at RGS, remembering to “respect the business” in music performance and education, and playing music becomes a weekly therapy session
36:14 – Bonus content starts with volume drop, returns at 37:20, the challenges of making a standalone Hulk movie, “it was a typical CBS drama with a giant green guy in it,” 10-year-olds watching Bette Davis movies and NASCAR and the end of attention spans, the inconsistency of the recent Batman franchise and the high quality of ‘60s Batman villains (Frank Gorshin appearance on “The Dean Martin Show” featuring the Riddler novelty song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-YX4d2s0xs )
Richards Rock Academy Band - Solemnis
RGS Podcast Episode 4: Richards Rock Academy Band - Solemnis. Solemnis is a headlining band at RGS and their shows are dynamic, engaging, and polished. Set list includes original music and a mix of modern and classic rock cover songs. Check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SolemnisBand/ as well as their Instagram https://www.instagram.com/solemnismusic/
1:47 – Band member introductions, how the band got together
3:00 – Highlights for concerts and song accomplishments, how to put a “songs to learn” list together, and how to work in band members’ different tastes in music and appeal to a wide audience
6:41 – Getting an album together, the tribulations of trying to get studio time, and how the band ended up with the part of a classical Mass setting for its name
10:32 – The musical and personal benefits of playing in a band, the strange feeling of getting your tunes stuck in your head, and the audience getting into songs you’ve played a thousand times
13:57 – Getting merch out to the fans, putting on a performance, and what the future holds for the band
17:58 – Where to find the band online, when to look for an EP, and will “This is Solemnis” be the next “This is Spinal Tap?”
22:00 – The five-part vocal stylings of Solemnis in action to say goodbye to listeners