Get more out of that G-run, yeeh-hah


New Lesson available

John Dierckx Music Studio

guitarWith  many of my students I work on improvisation and developing  runs. In this lesson In will use a classic bluegrass run to show how you can get much more out of it in terms of developing solo ideas and phrases.  In this lesson we will use a standard run from the bluegrass genre and see where it might take us when creating our own break over a standard chord progression. 

The run we’ll use is a G major run, essentially a G major blues scale (G major pentatonic plus minor third or so you wish the E blues scale started on the G note). Ultimately we will use the lesson material to play a break over the following common chord progression ( BIG SANDY RIVER).

||: G  |  G  |  D  |  D  |

  |  G  |  G  |  D  |  G  :||

||: G  |  C  |…

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Lesson: using the different timbres of the guitar


New lesson available at John Dierckx Music Studio.

John Dierckx Music Studio

What many string instruments have in common is that you can play the same note in different places. If you try this out, you’ll find that while playing on paper the same note, they sound a little bit different in the different places.

All tab examples can be played finger-style or with a pick. By clicking on the image it will open in a new tab. All examples are available as a pdf here >>>

Ex. 1

ex-1

When I talk about timbre here I am talking about the tone quality or tone color produced by playing a note or a chord on your guitar. Over time I have found that using the timbre is important for your guitar playing and assists in adding expression to your music.
I suggest you play Ex. 1 with a pick, with your fingers, with your thumb so you may become aware of how…

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To Live in Peace


And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. —Colossians 3:15

Source: To Live in Peace

Sermon: Thoughts on Spring


Sometimes I have the privilege and joy to do a small sermon at the Anthony Wilding Retirement Village. Last month I was invited to come and do that again and I shared some thoughts on the Spring Season.

Anthony Wilding Retirement Village 16 September 2015.

This morning I would like to talk about Spring. I know; we are already in our third week but, hey Spring did not exactly come in time this year. Or let me rephrase that: Spring did not come in the expected way at the expected time. To me Spring is a miracle, not just because it is so beautiful, but first and foremost because it is so glorious!  Scientists may be able to explain that Spring has to do with the angle of the earth axis and how it influences the angle with which the sunbeams hit the Earth, and as a result produce enough light and warmth for nature to respond to it. While that may explain what is happening in scientific terms it does not explain to me why Spring is so glorious. That to me is the true beauty of Spring and in that sense Spring is like a miracle. Spring brings forth the promise of a resurrected nature, an explosion of new life that in my view can only have been created by an awesome God, a master painter, architect, gardener, sculptor, poet and musician that brings forth an overwhelmingly beautiful creation.

I did not notice the gradual movement of the earth, the lengthening of days, the small rises in temperatures (although I did notice that having a coffee in the sun in the morning became an option again). What I did notice though was that all of a sudden the lawn needed mowing again, the splash of young green in some of the trees and the appearance of  tiny colored buds and blossoms seemingly there from out of nowhere. Nature picks up more sensitively than me where is comes to responding to the wake-up call as I seem to be missing a lot. And nature, in a non-staged, uninhibited way displays something that catches my eye, waking me up for what I seem to have been missing, the new life, the sounds and fragrances.

 

Spring is a miracle that displays the beauty of God.

084 (1 of 1)Compared to the other seasons Spring has a unique beauty in terms of delicacy and display. It has this sparkle of new life unknown to the other seasons that makes you fall in love with everything. In a way it is comparable to when my children were born: in objective terms a just born baby may not be the most beautiful but when it is your baby you cannot help but falling in love with it, on first sight. There is something special that I cannot explain other than it being a miracle.

Such a beauty that it can come from God only.  God being the artist, the master musician the creator of glorious beauty and a symphony of sounds and fresh fragrances promising new life and a harvest, to be seen and heard and smelled  in Spring. Spring is simply beautiful.

Remembering art history there was a painting by an Italian master Botticelli. It is probably not for nothing that Botticelli when he wanted to symbolise Spring, made use of a beautiful girl with blossoms around her neck and in her hair. Beauty and promise in one symbolic work of art.  

Spring is a miracle of power.

The earth sort of dies every winter (and in all honesty it very often seems me with it). It is lying stiff and cold, motionless, silent and with no other than the rotting smell of death as remnants of fallen leaves rot away. I seem to be more and more responding to this season of death, the wet, the cold and most of all the lack of light. Is that not symbolic in itself? When there is not enough light death is following.

We as humans are able to manipulate great forces and powers to do many incredible things. We can fly things into outer space, we are able to manipulate harvests or vegetables and weeds, we are able to heal diseases and at the same time we are able to wipe out our planet. But we are not able to make Spring happen in winter. Only God can bring what is dead back to life.

When Lazarus was in His tomb, he did not respond to the weeping of Martha or to Mary’s appeal. It took the voice of Christ to tell him to to come forth to make Him rise again!

Every Spring we are reminded of the voice of the Almighty that makes dead things rise up again in their full glory. In a way, Spring is the Angel of the Resurrection.

 

Spring is a revelation of God’s love.

Spring is a beautiful reminder of God’s endless generosity.

“for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5: 45”

These phenomena of the natural world are in my view very symbolic for the breath of God’s eternal grace. Spring more than any other season reminds us all that God is not a respecter of persons and that He has a generous heart.

He pours out Spring over all of us.

You can drive through the red zones and parts of town that are still unrecovered and you will find Spring there in equal glory to the neatly trimmed and maintained gardens of Hagley Park or Merivale front yards.  Spring and the miracle of resurrection it symbolizes visits the rich and the poor, the successful and the unsuccessful, the saint and the lost alike. No one is so poor, humble or fallen of the track that he or she cannot enjoy the colours, sounds and fragrances of Spring. May this also be a reminder for us in our daily lives. No one is too lost to not get a dose of God’s love and resurrection power in his or her life, and in Christ we can all make this a reality for everyone around us that will ultimately leave this world a better place. A better place one step at a time.  

 

Spring paints a picture of God’s unchanging love.

Some of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpieces like the Last Supper or the Mona Lisa are a wreck and in decay. So is Titian’s Assumption or Correggio’s Holy Night or closer to my Dutch home the Night Watch by Rembrandt as well as the Botticelli painting mentioned before.  Colors are fading or changing to darker complections. Some of the cloudy skies of the Dutch masters are becoming more and more yellowish in their complections.

Yet, the colours, sounds and fragrances of God’s masterpiece do not fade, they are as fresh and beautiful this year as they have been throughout eternity! From everlasting to everlasting, God is God, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

 

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Spring is prophecy of harvest.

Spring is full of promise, nature prophesies a harvest of fruit! Again I say rejoice as this prophecy is God’s symbolic multi-dimensional artwork that reminds us that all of our spiritual powers resulting from life in Christ are going to lead to fruit and more fruit, we will go from glory to glory.
Yet I believe that ultimately our Summer Glory will be reached elsewhere, in Heaven.

 

They have risen.

In Matthew 28:6, we read:

“He is not here for He has risen”

I noticed the last time I was here that there was a substantial difference in size and make up of attendees, only to find out that some people had died. 

Theocritus, a Greek poet from around 3 BC wrote that “hopes are for the living, the dead are hopeless”.

It is good to remind us that that is not the Christian hope. Our hope rests on the resurrection. We believe that Jesus died and rose again (1 Corinthians 15: 3-11). Paul’s reassurance is that death is not the end of the story and that all who are in Christ will live forever. But it gets better: my body will not just be resurrected but in the process thereof I will be transformed.

Our bodies may wither but our spirits live forever!

I love spring, the lambs, the birds, the new fresh flowers. But ultimately they will wither just like us. But what is perishable cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. So, we as believers must be transformed into the likeness of Christ. Just like Jesus was transformed with a new body so as to deal with the reality of eternal life so will we be transformed (1 Corinthians 15). And once transformed it will be for eternity. So, looking at those who may have left us here on earth: they went to an eternal summer season! We can carefully remind ourselves of the words found in Matthew 28:6.

“He is not there. For He has risen”.

They are not there anymore for they have risen. And with that we are reminded that death has been conquered for those who are in Christ. Is not God amazing!

Love you all and until a next time.

Book review: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman


The DovekeepersThe Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One of the most mesmerizing reads ever. What an amazing story lines and how they come together. The characters are full of depth, the way they relate to God and the plots are simply beautiful! When some men like to think they are the stronger gender: think again as it is not that clear cut actually. One of my favorite books of all times. Other than the Bible, this was the first book that made me cry ever.

More info can be found at the author’s website>>>

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Grace & Glory 2014 and a flat battery


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This weekend we celebrated Grace & Glory 2014 at Harmony Church, with speakers Rob Rufus and Chad Mansbridge. What an amazing weekend it was AGAIN: beautiful teachings, a Spirit filled atmosphere in which God grew yet bigger again,  the importance of the local church and how not to mix up living under law and under grace, how important the difference between religion and relation. I was carefully reminded that your life doesn’t get changed by who you believe in but by who believes in you and that each walks his or her own journey. 

Here I was with my son after the movies last night. Left the lights of the car on and so sure enough we had a flat battery. And while I was trying to get the car going a thought entered my mind: this is sort of like religious Christianity without Christ.

It is very easy to mix up being religious with being a Christian, so many find themselves like my car last night as a result of leaving their personal lights shine too long instead of His everlasting light. Everything in my car was as it should be, all things mechanical were in place, it had fuel, but it lacked power, and without it nothing was going to happen, it was not going to move, it was not even going to start. You may have your mechanics right (belief system), you may have been fueled up (Bible) but without a battery (the Holy Spirit) it is all still a dead thing (a car with a flat battery). We were created such that the presence of God within us is a vital requirement to our humanity. Christ  gave His life for us to give Himself to us. His presence puts God back into man, so that we might have life; God’s life! Thanks for the recharge of the batteries.

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