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Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 1 (Guitar Lesson)


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Matt Brown

Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 1

Matt introduces the B flat major scale and teaches the song "Stars and Stripes Forever".

Taught by Matt Brown in Reading Music and Rhythm seriesLength: 21:31Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:46) Introduction Review of Scales

Make sure that you can play all of the following scales in first and second position:

C major
G major
F major
A natural minor
A harmonic minor
A Dorian

These scales must be practiced at some point in time throughout each week as part of your technique / warm-up routine.

Lesson Objectives

-Learn the spelling of the Bb major scale.
-Learn how to play the Bb major scale in both first and second position.
-Practice reading skills in the key of Bb by working through the melody to "Stars and Stripes Forever."

Bb Major Scale

Bb Major features two flats in the key signature. These flatted notes are B and E. Therefore, the Bb major scale is spelled Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb.

Relative Minor Key (G minor)

Note:
The following information about relative major and minor keys is taken from lesson 10 of this series. Please visit this lesson for more review information.

If you do not have a circle of fifths diagram handy, you can use a simple shortcut to determine the relative minor of any major key. Simply write out all of the notes within the major scale. To not neglect to add any sharps or flats that may occur in the key. Then, count up to the sixth note of the scale. This note is the root of the relative minor key. Let's use the key of Bb major as an example. This scale features two flats in the key signature. Consequently, this scale is spelled as follows: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb. The sixth note of the scale is G. G is the relative minor to Bb. The G natural minor scale (G Aeolian) contains the same notes. This scale is spelled as follows: G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G.

In many musical compositions, the key center modulates from the relative major to the relative minor or vice versa. This happens very frequently in the classical, jazz, rock, and country genres. Switching from a major key to its relative minor creates a drastic change in emotional quality.
Chapter 2: (06:23) Bb Major Scale in First Position Remember to start on the lowest root note in the position when playing through any scale. This Bb note is located at the 1st fret of the fifth string. Then, ascend to the highest note in the position. This note is G at the 3rd fret of the first string. Finally, descend the scale back down to the lowest note available in the pattern. Watch carefully as Matt plays through the ascending portion of the scale pattern. Pay careful attention to the fingerings that he uses.

Practice Time

Pause the lesson video and practice the scale on your own. Do not memorize the fretboard pattern of the scale! Memorize the location of each individual note within the Bb major scale. You do not want to be a guitarist that simply connects the dots. Learning the scale in the manner outlined by Matt will help immensely when it comes to improvising melodies or solo lines in the key of Bb.

Make sure that you can play the scale in time with a metronome. Once you can play the scale comfortably in quarter notes at 90 beats per minute, return to the lesson video.

Note: Tablature / Notation to the Bb major scale can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Practicing the Scale

Once you have mastered this scale pattern, apply the rhythm exercises presented in past lessons to this scale. Also, practice through the pattern using a variety of picking techniques. Use the following picking patterns when practicing all scales:

1. All Downstrokes
2. All Upstrokes
3. Alternate Picking Beginning with a Downstroke
4. Alternate Picking Beginning with an Upstroke

Play Along Examples

At 04:10, you have an opportunity to practice the full ascending and descending pattern of the scale along with Matt. Make sure that you can play the scale from memory. Before proceeding to the next scene, you must have this pattern memorized. You must also be able to play the scale musically along with a metronome.

At 05:08, play the scale in quarter notes at 108 beats per minute. Use all downstrokes.

At 05:08, play the scale in eighth notes at 108 beats per minute. Use alternate picking.
Chapter 3: (02:17) Bb Major in Second Position When practicing the scale in this position, use all of the practice guidelines outlined in the previous scene. The lowest note available in the position is F at the first fret. Now, the highest available note is A played at the 5th fret of the first string. Matt demonstrates how the scale should be practiced at 01:17.

Remember the proper fingering rules for second position. The first finger must stretch back to reach notes at the 1st fret. The pinky finger stretches out of position to fret any notes that must be played at the 6th fret. There are no notes played at the 6th fret within this pattern. However, there are quite a few notes played at the 1st fret. All finger stretches must be performed with the finger only! Do not change the location of the palm in relation to the neck.
Chapter 4: (03:13) Practice The following play along examples are provided in this scene.

Example 1 - Quarter notes at 110 bpm

Example 2 (01:10) - Quarter notes at 130 bpm

Example 3 (01:36) - Eighth notes at 130 bpm

Example 4 (02:15) - Eighth notes 160 bpm alternate picking
Chapter 5: (03:50) Stars and Stripes Forever John Philip Sousa (1854 – 1932) was an American composer and conductor. He is most famous for his patriotic American marches, including "Stars and Stripes Forever" (1896). Through an act of Congress, this march was adopted as the National March of the United States of America.

Key of the March

The official version of the march is played in the key of Eb major. The song is taught in the key of Bb simply for the purposes of the lesson.

Lyrics

Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free!
May it wave as our standard forever,
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Let eagle shriek from lofty peak
The never-ending watchword of our land;
Let summer breeze waft through the trees
The echo of the chorus grand.
Sing out for liberty and light,
Sing out for freedom and the right.
Sing out for Union and its might,
O patriotic sons.

Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation,
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.

Hurrah for the flag of the free.
May it wave as our standard forever
The gem of the land and the sea,
The banner of the right.
Let despots remember the day
When our fathers with mighty endeavor
Proclaimed as they marched to the fray,
That by their might and by their right
It waves forever.

Performance Example / Left Hand Position

At the beginning of this scene, Matt plays through the melody in first position. At 01:25, he plays the melody in second position. Compare and contrast the sound of the melody in both positions. Which sounds most pleasing to you? The melody is definitely more comfortable to play in first position. The Bb major scale requires numerous finger stretches when the melody is played in second position. Measures 16 and 17 are especially uncomfortable when played in second position. Consequently, Matt opts to play the melody in first position for this reason.

Practice Time

Learn the melody as notated under the "Supplemental Content" section. Once you can play through it comfortably at 120 bpm, return to the lesson video.
Chapter 6: (02:14) Playing Along Play the melody along with Matt in this scene. Make sure that you are not playing any incorrect notes or rhythms.
Chapter 7: (01:48) Accompaniment Play the melody while Matt plays an accompaniment part. If you make a mistake, remember to keep plowing on towards the end. At this point, you must begin to develop the skill of covering up your mistakes in a musical fashion so that they slide by unnoticed.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


telboytelboy replied on November 10th, 2012

Tell you what I am doing. I've run with the lessons to this point. I have established in my head the central concepts you want to impart. I play them to a degree, but with no real finesse or expertise. It has the value of extending my understanding of the grammer and vocabulary necessary for undertaking a piece of music I'm just desperate to learn. Eg...I went off piste to learn Ashokan Farewell. I see we're getting closer to Danny Boy. Poor old Elvis, much as I admire him....it wasn't his best! I'm still learning....thanks Matt.

mattbrownmattbrown replied on July 7th, 2009

The tabs and notation for the Bb major scale in first and second position will be added later today. Sorry for the delay!!!!

jboothjbooth replied on July 2nd, 2009

Supplemental Content for this lesson will be live tomorrow, thank you for the patience!

Reading Music and Rhythm

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Matt brings all of his years of education right to you with this fantastic series on how to read music. You will start with the very basics and work up to some very advanced concepts.



Lesson 1

Intro to Reading Music

This introductory lesson will walk you through the basics of reading music and reading rhythm.

Length: 15:07 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Reading Music

Learn how to identify notes, the key signature, and the staff. Implement your reading skills by playing a few simple tunes.

Length: 43:32 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Lesson 3

Rhythm and Time Signatures

Learn the basics of notation and time signatures. Practice these concepts with a few timing exercises.

Length: 22:01 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

3/4 Time Signatures

Now that you've learned a bit about 4/4 time, it's on to 3/4 time.

Length: 22:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Reading Music Practice

Now that you know the basics of reading music, it's time to put that knowledge to work with some exercises.

Length: 25:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

On Top of Old Smokey

Get some more practice reading music and rhythms during your rock fest rendition of "On Top of Old Smokey".

Length: 15:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

He's Got the Whole World

Matt Brown reviews the G major scale and teaches "He's Got the Whole World".

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Amazing Grace

Matt Brown explains how to read music in the key of F major. He uses the song "Amazing Grace" as an example.

Length: 15:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Shoo, Fly

Matt Brown teaches the song "Shoo, Fly" as another excellent rhythm and reading example. This song is in the key of G.

Length: 14:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Scales and Key Signatures

Matt Brown returns with the 10th installment in his Reading and Rhythm series. In this lesson, Matt discusses key signatures.

Length: 14:09 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Minor Key and Aura Lee

In this lesson Matt Brown covers the first minor key song in this series, "Aura Lee".

Length: 12:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Scarborough Fair

In this lesson, Matt introduces the A Dorian mode. He applies it to the song "Scarborough Fair".

Length: 16:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Second Position

In lesson 13, Matt Brown discusses and demonstrates second position.

Length: 29:52 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Rhythm

Lesson 14 is all about rhythm. Matt Brown discusses its importance and provides several exercises.

Length: 20:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

On Top of Old Smokey Review

Matt Brown reviews "On Top of Old Smokey". This time around, the melody is played in second position.

Length: 7:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Reviewing Angels We Have Heard On High

For lesson 14, Matt Brown reviews "Angels We Have Heard On High". The melody is now played in second position.

Length: 12:02 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Shoo, Fly Review

Matt Brown reviews the song "Shoo, Fly" in second position.

Length: 8:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Rhythm Strumming

This lesson covers right hand rhythm technique. Matt introduces syncopated strumming patterns.

Length: 25:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Down by the Riverside

Matt teaches the melody to "Down by the Riverside". This tune is used as preparation for learning accompaniment techniques.

Length: 15:02 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Accompaniment

Matt uses the song "Down by the Riverside" to teach accompaniment techniques for rhythm backing.

Length: 12:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Fur Elise Pt. 1

Matt teaches the classic tune "Fur Elise" in a two part series. For Part 1, Matt demonstrates the melody section.

Length: 24:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Fur Elise Pt. 2

In lesson 22, Matt teaches the accompaniment sections to Beethoven's "Fur Elise".

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

The Entertainer Pt. 1

Lesson 23 starts a 2 part series on the classic tune "The Entertainer".

Length: 16:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

The Entertainer Pt. 2

Lesson 24 completes the two part series on "The Entertainer". You will learn the accompaniment in this lesson.

Length: 14:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Sea to Sea Pt. 1

Matt starts another 2 part lesson, this time on the tune "Sea to Sea" by William G. Leavitt.

Length: 20:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Sea to Sea Pt. 2

Lesson 26 completes Matt's 2 part series on "Sea to Sea".

Length: 10:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 1

Matt introduces the B flat major scale and teaches the song "Stars and Stripes Forever".

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Stars and Stripes Forever Pt. 2

Matt completes his two part series on "Stars and Stripes Forever" by teaching the accompaniment.

Length: 7:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

D Major in First and Second Position

Matt Brown teaches the D Major scale in both first and second positions.

Length: 17:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Danny Boy Pt. 1

Matt Brown demonstrates "Danny Boy" in both first and second positions.

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Danny Boy Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to the "Danny Boy" melody.

Length: 12:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Silent Night Pt. 1

Matt teaches the Christmas classic "Silent Night."

Length: 18:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Silent Night Pt. 2

Matt teaches the accompaniment to the "Silent Night" melody.

Length: 4:55 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 34

Funiculi Funicula Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches "Funiculi Funicula" as an exercise in reading and playing in 6/8 time.

Length: 14:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Funiculi Funicula Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to "Funiculi Funicula".

Length: 16:40 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Strumming Triplets

In lesson 36, Matt provides exercises to help you strum triplet patterns.

Length: 23:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Strumming Sixteenth Note Rhythms

In lesson 37, Matt Brown demonstrates how to strum sixteenth note rhythms.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

Song of the Volga Boatmen

Matt Brown demonstrates the melody and tips for playing the Russian folk tune "Song of the Volga Boatmen".

Length: 11:33 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 39

Song of the Volga Boatmen Pt. 2

In lesson 39, Matt teaches the accompaniment to "Song of the Volga Boatmen".

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 40

Dance of the Ukraine

Matt Brown teaches and demonstrates "Dance of the Ukraine."

Length: 15:37 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 41

Dance of the Ukraine Pt. 2

Matt demonstrates the accompaniment to the "Dance of the Ukraine" melody.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 42

Etude by Ferdinando Carulli

Matt Brown teaches an etude for classical guitar by Ferdinando Carulli.

Length: 21:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Morning Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches the melody section to "Morning" by Edvard Grieg.

Length: 18:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 44

Morning Pt. 2

Matt teaches the accompaniment for Edvard Grieg's "Morning."

Length: 8:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 45

Bach's Minuet Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches Bach's classic Minuet.

Length: 14:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 46

Bach's Minuet Pt. 2

In lesson 46, Matt Brown covers the accompaniment section to Bach's Minuet.

Length: 5:53 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 47

Little Prelude in C Pt. 1

Matt Brown teaches Bach's "Little Prelude in C."

Length: 16:23 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 48

Little Prelude in C Pt. 2

Matt Brown teaches the accompaniment to "Little Prelude in C" by Bach.

Length: 7:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 49

Clementi's Sonatina

Matt Brown teaches the 2nd guitar part to Muzio Clementi's famous "Sonatina."

Length: 23:46 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

Bach's Invention #1

Matt Brown teaches Invention #1 composed by J.S. Bach.

Length: 21:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 51

Third Position

Matt takes a look at playing in third position. This lesson will set up future reading lessons that require the third position.

Length: 7:16 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Lesson 52

Third Position Practice

Matt Brown has you working through Jean Philippe Rameau's Minuet for third position playing in lesson 52. He provides a play along and accompaniment to help your sight reading and playing.

Length: 15:11 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only

About Matt Brown View Full Biography Matt Brown began playing the guitar at the age of 11. "It was a rule in my family to learn and play an instrument for at least two years. I had been introduced to a lot of great music at the time by friends and their older siblings. I was really into bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins, so the decision to pick up the guitar came pretty easily."

Matt's musical training has always followed a very structured path. He began studying the guitar with Dayton, Ohio guitar great Danny Voris. I began learning scales, chords, and basic songs like any other guitarist. After breaking his left wrist after playing for only a year, Matt began to study music theory in great detail. I wanted to keep going with my lessons, but I obviously couldn't play at all. Danny basically gave me the equivalent of a freshman year music theory course in the span of two months. These months proved to have a huge impact on Brown's approach to the instrument.

Brown continued his music education at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He completed a degree in Classical Guitar Performance in 2002. While at Capital, he also studied jazz guitar and recording techniques in great detail. "I've never had any desire to perform jazz music. Its lack of relevance to modern culture has always turned me off. However, nothing will improve your chops more than studying this music."

Matt Brown currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. He teaches lessons locally as well as at Capital University's Community Music School. Matt's recent projects include writing and recording with his new, as of yet nameless band as well as the formation of a cover band called The Dirty Cunnies.

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