Tina Guo is an internationally acclaimed and Grammy-nominated virtuoso cellist, recording artist, and composer. With a multi-faceted career and mastery in a wide range of genres, her passion for musical exploration, artistic expression, and technology are expressed through live performance and visual media. Tina can also be heard as a featured soloist in many Blockbuster Film, Television, and Game scores.
Los Angeles based Dutch violinist Rachel Grace has been a pioneer in mixing virtuoso violin skills with electronic dance music.
Rachel studied at the Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands, plays anything from classical music to EDM, and is known for her improvisational skills. She plays both electric and acoustic violin and loves to arrange, compose and produce music.
Rachel recorded with and performed for: DJ Tiesto, Annie Lennox, Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, Juanes, Daughtry, Tonight Show, Jane the Virgin, Usher, Will.I.Am, Marc Anthony and many others.
She also plays solo shows/events and tours with her electric string band Saga Strings. Learn more about Rachel Grace at www.rachelgracemusic.com.
0:00 Intro: 'Aerodynamic' by Daft Punk, performed by Saga Strings 2:36 Rachel's musical upbringing 4:14 Unfortunate mishap with an 18th-century violin & a high heel 7:23 "Sketchy places lend themselves better to electric." 10:46 Rebelling at conservatory / improvising by ear 12:42 First electric violin 14:48 First EDM gig 19:59 Coming to the U.S. -- meeting Usher & other music celebs 26:15 Music: 'Sing2Me' by Thomas Gold, performed by Saga Strings 28:20 Backstage with Elton John 30:00 Some of the stars Rachel has played with or performed for 34:30 "Would you do this with an electric guitar player?" 42:13 Playing with Saga Strings 44:24 On the importance of learning electric violin technology 45:50 Rig rundown 49:21 Emulating sounds without using effects processors 52:03 Outro music: a spontaneous improv in Rachel's studio
Evan Garr is an up and coming jazz violinist currently touring with legendary jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist Al Di Meola. Hailing from Detroit, Evan was discovered at a young age and has spent years perfecting his technical sound and unique style. Evan also writes, performs and records his own music. Enjoy this interview and be sure visit www.evangarrviolinist.com to hear more of Evan's music.
0:00 Music: “Race with the Devil” Al Di Meola w/Evan Garr 2:48 On his musical upbringing and moving from classical into jazz 8:29 Getting into instrument building 9:53 Evan’s current electric violin 11:34 Early gigs (Norman Connors)
13:30 Music: “A New Beginning” from The Chill Out Album, Evan Garr
15:29 How Evan landed a gig with Al Di Meola
21:26 Evan’s rhythm “guitar” and bowing techniques
26:30 Music: “Play Time” - from The Chill Out Album - Evan Garr
28:50 Playing with Jean-Luc Ponty
29:54 On how he learns jazz lines by ear
32:59 Evan’s practice routine
34:46 Looking ahead to new career opportunities
37:52 Music: 313 - The Live Experience featuring Evan Garr
In the inaugural episode of the 'Rockstar Violinist' podcast, Electric Violin Shop's Matt Bell interviews rock violin legend and electric violin pioneer Mark Wood on the floor of the NAMM show. Mark Wood shares stories about:
- his classical viola upbringing
- his entry into rock music
- his experiences performing and touring with world renowned acts like Celine Dion and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra
- his invention of the Viper electric violin, first as a performance instrument for himself, then as the flagship instrument for his instrument company Wood Violins.
In episode 18 of the Creative Strings Podcast, Christian Howes talks with Kev Marcus and Will Baptiste of Black Violin about how they got started, their influences and goals, how they created such a powerful movement around their work, and what this means for the string world and culture in general.Key topics:
- How Kev and Wil discovered their musical sound
- Their atypical education as string players
- The core of their powerful message
- Stereotypes they have busted through and their attitude about these stereotypes
Creative Strings Podcast Episode 14/15 - Songwriting Strategies: A 360 Degree Approach w/ Mark SimosMark Simos, associate professor in songwriting at Berklee College of Music and author of Songwriting Strategies: A 360º Approach joins Christian Howes to discuss the process of capturing song ideas and developing them into full songs or compositions. In part 1 of this two-part episode you will learn about learn about:
- The 360 degree approach
- “Song Seeds” – how to capture a short idea and grow it into a full composition
- Translating song seeds across variations in lyric, melody, rhythm and harmony
- Using different forms of restraint to enhance your creativity
- Improvisation as a historic part of the classical composition process
- Songwriting and improvisation as part of a balanced music education
- Tune writing and generating new material
At the Heart of the violin world, Violinist.com founder Laurie Niles sits down with Christian Howes to discuss the start-up and success of one of the largest communities of violinists across all styles and experience levels. Scroll down to listen in on:
- The exciting early days of the internet and the evolution of violinist.com as a medium
- Characteristics of violinists and the violin community
- Bridging the gap and finding common ground between beginners, teachers, elite players…
- Things that are working in the business of classical music
- What the classical vs creative violin communities share alike
- much more
At the intersection of story telling, philosophy, and old time fiddle music lives Joe McHugh. Scroll down to take a journey! Listen and discover:
- How to recognize and employ story telling in everything around us
- Envisioning silence as a canvas. “It’s all silence”
- The violin as literary symbol and bridge to other dimensions
Christian sits down with four of the hottest young Creative Strings players to discuss practice techniques, exercises, moving between various fiddle styles, and more. Listen in with or without your instrument to develop specific practice strategies and gain tons of insights into your own creative musicianship including:
- Conceptual approaches for practicing and structuring improvisation
- Tricks for better internalizing harmony
- Connections between fiddle styles and jazz
- Tone production across different styles
- Dexterity exercises
- Playing faster
- Rhythmic exercises away from your instrument
In episode 9, our own Duncan Monserud joins Christian to discuss a comprehensive range of topics concerning strings amplification. Among the many topics discussed are:
- Common misconceptions about electric bowed string instruments (04:00)
- Different means of amplification and the advantages/disadvantages of each (08:53)
- Microphones vs. pickups and the different types of both (10:05 - 31:33)
- Solid-body electric instruments (31:34 - 38:48)
- Amps, preamps and PA systems (39:48 - 51:35)
- Effects pedals and multi-effects (51:35 - 55:29)
- The many uses of phrase looping (55:57 - 1:00:16)
In episode 8, Christian gets down to business--music business that is--in his interview with Tiffany L. Goodman of Goodman Artists. Tiffany has been representing artists in jazz, classical and world music since 2009. Topics covered in this information-packed conversation include:
- the importance of video in your marketing
- tips for building a presence with photos, a website, and social media
- the difference between a manager and agent
- tips for cold calling and using your network
- how to develop and maintain an agent-artist relationship
Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 7 — Conductor Markand Thakar On Achieving Transcendent Musical Performances (Part 2)Episode 7 is part two of Christian Howes's interview with conductor Markand Thakar, music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and co-director of graduate conducting at the Peabody Conservatory. This half of the interview explores more concepts from Thakar’s book Looking for the “Harp” Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty, including:
- Fundamental elements of totality of the sound
- Balance, playing in ensembles, tempo, tone
- Teaching and conducting
Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 6 — Conductor Markand Thakar On Achieving Transcendent Musical Performances (Part 1)Episode 6 is part one in a two-part interview between Christian Howes and conductor Markand Thakar, music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and co-director of graduate conducting at the Peabody Conservatory. This fist half of the interview delves into several concepts from Thakar’s book Looking for the “Harp” Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty, including:
- How music can move all of us
- How to convey deeper beauty through music
- The creation and release of tension on the micro and macro levels.
Jazz violinist Jason Anick is an instructor at Berklee College of Music and at the annual summer Creative Strings Workshop and Festival. Jason was brought up on classical violin training, yet as early as his teenage years he began finding ways to incorporate jazz and other styles into his formal musical training. In school, although studying the classical violin, his ensembles were all jazz groups. Listen to the podcast to learn how Jason combined the best of classical and jazz practice routines to develop bulletproof musicianship, including
- his routines and regimens — scales, transcriptions, improvising, working with backing tracks, self-recordings
- his successful mindset for doing business as an artist and maintaining a confident and striving optimism in the music industry
Dr. Noa Kageyama is the founder of the Bulletproof Musician and holds a Master's degree in Violin Performance from Julliard and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Indiana University. In this episode of the Creative Strings Podcast Dr. Kageyama discusses how to practice for performance in order to overcome distraction, nerves and stage fright and stay in the creative moment during musical performance. Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples. Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!
Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 2 – Randall Williams: How an Indie Musician Bootstrapped Tours on Veggie Fuel and why he Let it GoCreative Strings Podcast is a production of Christian Howes, sponsored by Electric Violin Shop In this episode, Christian interviews singer/songwriter Randall Williams about the many creative ways he engineered a career in music. Randall explains how he got his foot in the door by offering value to (as opposed to asking for money from) music stores, manufacturers and distributors, folk festivals and his audiences. Learn more about Randall Williams, his music and his travels at whereisrandall.com. Visit christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples. Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!
Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 1 - Billy Contreras: Inspired Insights from a Country Fiddler and Jazz MasterCreative Strings Podcast is a production of Christian Howes, sponsored by Electric Violin Shop Jazz violinist Billy Contreras sat down with Christian Howes live at the 2014 Creative Strings Workshop to discuss Billy’s life, music, and more in the first episode of the brand new Creative Strings Podcast. The conversation is interspersed with a progression of amazing clips of Billy's playing from when he was young through to today. In these clips you will hear Billy's evolution and incredible stylistic variety, and the discussion gives insight into Billy's improvisational thought process. christianhowes.com for further notes, links and information about the topics discussed in this episode, as well as a full listing of the tracks used as musical samples. Visit electricviolinshop.com/creativestrings to receive a special discount for Christian Howes listeners!