Ethan Capone – New Keyboard Instructor!!!
Please welcome Ethan Capone, our new keyboard instructor, to the ranks of independent teachers here at Easy Music Center*!
You can find my original write up for Ethan at the bottom of this email. BUT! I had to change my tact on the write up for Ethan after hearing him play with the group Jazz Story at Jazz minds this past Tuesday night. GOOD GRACIOUS! Ethan is not only a phenomenal teacher and a nice guy; he is AN ABSOLUTE MONSTER ON THE KEYBOARD! My jaws dropped when he came on. He is so casual. You would never think that he rips so hard at Jazz piano. I’ve heard him play before in the store as a customer and I knew he was versatile and an excellent player, but there is something about seeing him play with this group that reveals how talented he is. Oh…by the way, Gil Batangan, our new guitar instructor also plays in this group. He was also unreal! You have to get down there to see these guys play. You would be hard pressed to find more a more talented awesome sounding Jazz group in another major city.
Ethan is a great teacher. He explained a difficult concept to me with ease and he has a very calm and even tempo when teaching.
Ethan will be teaching one day a week in Pearl City and one day a week at the Honolulu store. Get signed up before he fills up! We’ve been notoriously understaffed and over-requested on piano/keyboard inquiries. He will fill up quickly.
This was the original review I was in the process of writing before I saw him play. It just doesn’t do him justice after seeing him perform…check it anyway if you want to know more about the modes, how easy he made them seem, and how to use the FORCE:
As far as my guitar goes, I’ve gotten better over the years. Keyboard? Not so much….I actually started off in music as a pianist. Really…I know. I went the classical piano route for about 5 years. I hated it and quit eventually. I only learned how to site read, and I understood exactly zero about musical theory and composition. Shoot…I couldn’t even play cool pop songs. All I could do was read music and not that well, refusing to use a metronome, I sucked at the piano way worse than I do on the guitar. Needless to say, my introduction to piano was a major turnoff on playing music. I didn’t even attempt to play another instrument for 10 years after this.
I still feel a little intimidated by the piano. I walked into my crash course lesson with Ethan wondering what I could possibly take away from a piano lesson (besides that I don’t like playing it). I decided, as I always do, to steer the lesson in a direction that would interest me. I’ve been learning about the modes on the guitar for a few weeks now so I thought I would pick Ethan’s brain about that.
First, what are the modes? Essentially, you can play a major scale, and depending on the background chords played, the scale takes on a totally different flavor…Don’t believe me? Try it. Get a looper pedal. Play a G major chord and loop it. Play the G major scale over it. It will sound happy (Ionian). Try playing just an A minor chord now and loop it. Play the same scale over it. It sounds different right? The flavor changes altogether. It sounds kind of dark and jazzy (Dorian).
Here is the pattern:
I – Major – Ionian – Happy sounding
ii – Dorian – Minor chord! Dark and Jazzy.
iii – Phrygian – Minor Chord! – Spanish sounding.
IV – Lydian – Major Chord! – Unresolved. Feeling of anticipation.
V – Mixolydian (aka dominant scale) – Major Chord! – Hippie Rock, blues and other jam styles
vi – Aeolian (aka Natural Minor or Relative Minor) – Minor Chord!
Locrian? No need for this email blast…
By the way, if the whole concept of I,ii,iii or I,IV,V doesn’t make sense to you, you really do need to take a few theory lessons with Ethan. He will straighten you out and give you the vocabulary and theory you need to take your music to the next level!
The above info is what I kind of understood before going into the lesson. The question I was starting to develop was this: If the chords are changing, and the Key stays the same, how do I stay in the same mode? I posed this question to Ethan right off the bat. His eyes lit up and you could tell he was excited to share something important with me.
He started first with showing me how to create major and minor chords on a Piano. He talked to me about the above I,ii,iii,IV type pattern. He then showed me that if you focused on the root note (if you are in G scale, that would be focusing on the A note if you want to play in Dorian), usually starting with it, and usually coming back to it, you can create that Dorian sound even if another chord is playing in the background. WHOA!
I apologize in advance if my theory is not complete or I am oversimplifying this. I’ve used this approach when soloing at home since then. It takes a bit of practice, and I can’t flow with it well yet because I don’t know my fret board as well as I should, but learning the modes of the guitar, as Billy Reichling, the sales manager in Pearl City says, is like learning to use the force as a Jedi Warrior. It will change your tonal palette dramatically and really open up your mind to different avenues of sound.
Ethan is a Jedi Master. Try taking a lesson with him. You will graduate from “padawan” to a true Jedi Knight!
May the Force be with you!
President – Easy Music Center
* Music Instructors at Easy Music Center are independent contractors and not employees of Easy Music Center.
Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY
James J. Whalen School of Music- Private Instruction with Head of Jazz Studies, Steve Brown
Spring 2005-Semester Abroad in Milan, Italy. Independent study with Italian pianist Lorenzo Definiti (Universita Cattolica, Civica Scuola di Musica)
Stars In Concert (Sheraton/Ainahau Showroom) Sept. ‘07-Aug. ‘08
The Wild Hawaiian (Hilton Hawaiian Village) July ’10-Dec. ‘10
Henry Kapono Convention Band July ’10-current
Paradise Sisters & Co.- Kika Inc. ’08-current
Ko’olina Aquaveil Wedding Chapel (AAWP/Koolina) May ’11-current
The Deadbeats Formed in 2008-current, Editor’s Pick, “Best Up-And-Coming Local Group” (Honolulu Weekly 2009) Recipient of Honolulu Underground Music Award (Hip Hop category 2010)
Legends in Concert (Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center) December ’12-current
I also perform with: The Bentos, Black Sand, Souled Out, Honolulu, HI, September 2007-Current
Private Piano Instructor, Honolulu, HI, May 2009-Current
PARTIAL Client List
Time Warner Cable
Bamp Music project
Dancin’ Dave Productions
Neil Blaisdell Conert Hall
Na Hoku Hano Hano Music Festival
And many more…