Different kind of air-guitar
April 19, 2023

Adam Neely: The chaos of flying with musical instruments

A great video by the touring musician Adam Neely who brings out the pain and stress of having to give away a precious instrument to airline workers and just hope it'll come safe and sound to the destination. Neely gives advice on how to try and protect it, and how to talk to flight attendants in order to have the instrument treated as hand luggage.

Music theorist Adam Neely in his latest video is paying homage to jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, who recently passed away. The YouTuber analyses his favorite shorter song 'Infant Eyes' and the style of "jazz impressionism" he hears there. Neely builds three pillars of Shorter's compositional style:

Impressionistic harmony that creates tonal ambiguity

Elegant melodic construction that invites improvisation
Deep use of the blues

A great new episode of How to Get Good at Music - Adam Neely and Elliott Klein discuss the legitimacy of writing your own solo. "Your ability to communicate an idea is based on your confidence in articulating it, and when you write stuff out ahead of time you fill a lot more confident... When you say things in your voice, you have to have your own way of saying things, and the way you develop that is by practicing and writing it out yourself" - Adam shares his advice. The two music experts also suggest you should sometimes fight to keep the imperfections in music.

Vibrato is that natural oscillation of pitch that singers often use when singing sustained notes - music theorist Adam Neely points out in his latest video. He gives examples like Schubert's 'Ave Maria', and Duke Ellington's 'Caravan', and how much they lose without using vibrato. YouTuber/musician also offers some advice on the approach to music - "Take music very seriously, but maybe don't take yourself so seriously as you do it", and about a career in music - "You should be passionate about what you do and you shouldn't make any decisions out of fear".

Music theorist Adam Neely takes a left turn in his latest video talking about musical gear. His band Sungazer had built a custom in-ear monitor system in order to avoid troubles with bad sound engineers. What also changed is the way they play. The Wednesday Night Titans drummer had told them - "You play like you can hear yourself".

The key to keys
December 24, 2022

Adam Neely: Is C flat the same note as B?

"Music can be complicated" - music theorist Adam Neely explains in his latest video about notes C flat and B, which sound the same and are placed on the same note in a piano but serve a different purpose. It's simple, but it's complicated at the same time. Watch the video below.

Whose song is it anyway
November 14, 2022

Adam Neely: The grotesque legacy of music as property

Music theorist Adam Neely deals with music copyright and artists selling their music to investment firms in his latest video. He starts with a 1548 decision of French king Henry II which turned music from a communal cultural knowledge into private property that can be owned. The essential question Neely asks is: How do you own a musical idea and by whose authority?

Sound on non-music
September 28, 2022

Adam Neely: The music theory of 'CBAT'

"Why did the sound of an inflatable clown toy falling down the stairs so capture the musical zeitgeist of September 2022?" - that's the question the music theorist Adam Neely explains in his latest video. The "sound" is the song 'Cbat' by experimental hip-hop producer Hudson Mohawke, supposedly the perfect "sound" to have sex to.

Art if icial
September 19, 2022

Adam Neely: Will AI replace human musicians?

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely wonders what we expect from AI and how might it replace human musicians. He thinks "it's clear that something going to change somehow and something might get lost... but a great deal of other stuff [will get] added".

Raymond Chen, Microsoft’s principal software engineer, has discovered that Janet Jackson's 1989 song 'Rhythm Nation' heads the power to destroy laptop hard-drives. Chen said it "contained one of the natural resonant frequencies for the model of 5400 rpm laptop hard drives that they and other manufacturers used”. Music theorist Adam Neely was there to explain the heart of the issue.

Fear of the start mark
August 15, 2022

Adam Neely: The shame and fear of failing on stage

Adam Neely's band Sungazer couldn't start a synth on their Hamburg show on a boat, which inspired the YouTube music theorist to make a video about stage fright. "Fear can be a good thing because it keeps you present and it keeps you hungry... We can use our fear and redirect our energy back out onto the audience to give our performances more vivid emotional color" - is the conclusion.

Adam Neely and his Sungazer bandmate Shawn Crowder watch people play covers of their band's songs like 'All These People', 'Threshold', 'The Dark', and others. At one point, what their fans did becomes "almost impossible". Quite impressive stuff.

Music theorist Adam Neely answers several new questions in his latest video: Why does E - A/E - E - E/G# - A sound so good? WRONG chord progression. What's the "third steam?" What is the craziest chord you can play? Why no classical bass, but classical guitar? Should people take AP music theory? What's your favorite/least favorite thing about the nYC scene? Is clickbait unavoidable?

Jazz bassist and music theorist Adam Neely shared a new video of himself "sucking" at playing metal, with the help of his friend, a metalhead Rob Scallon. He makes a full song in an hour and a half, playing all the instruments, and singing - 'I love my mom". Scallon did the same thing, just in the opposite direction - he plays jazz. Watch both videos - 50 minutes of pure music joy...

A fun new video post by Adam Neely with YouTubers giving musical advice to beginners in five words or less. Plenty of advice: listen to various music, practice a lot, love what you do and others will love it too, don't try to please somebody else, and plenty more...

Adam Neely gives a detailed breakdown of all of their last West Coast tour expenses in his latest video. He also explores why it is so risky to tour as an independent artist in the year 2022 and why they do it anyway. However, it did almost cost them $17,000. A great video, almost terrifying at some points.

YouTube music theorist shared a video of his band Band Practice playing a gig in New York that's essentially - band practice. Also, in the video, prior to the concert they talk about what to play at the gig, although it's practice. Cool and funny stuff!

In the latest edition of his How to Get Good at Music segment, music theorist Adam Neely and his guest Christian Li argue there are no rules in music, it's the context that matters. Neely and Li emphasize that music needs to be alive, rather than just a series of notes.

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely in his latest video explores the perceptual limits of tempo, and why decimal points in BPMs are trash. Neely uses the help of good old metronome in this one.

An interesting new episode of Adam Neely's series "How to get good at music" where he is critiquing people music, this time with the help of guitarist/composer Shubh Saran. The litemotif in this video, more or less is - add more melody (coming from a progressive jazzer, really says plenty). Neely also invents a term - "movement music".

Music theorist Adam Neely answers a few quick questions, among them the one about why the intro riff from 'Drive my Car' by The Beatles so rhythmically disorienting. Also, he looks for a way to use rubato effectively without making it seem like overkill, end explains coffee addiction among musicians.

Music theorist Adam Neely shares a few pieces of advice on melodic phrasing in the 7/16 signature. Don't start every phrase on a downbeat, Neely suggests adding also to not be afraid to play laid back.

Strange numbers
January 20, 2022

Adam Neely ranks polyrhythms

YouTube music theorist Adam Neely ranks polyrhythms people have sent him. His Sungazer bandmate, drummer Shawn Crowder plays those strange polyrhythms and then they rank them together. Very nerdy stuff, but still plenty of fun.

Music theorist and bass player Adam Neely went on a tour with his jazz band and played - improvised sets. They didn't play any structured songs, it was band practice every night of the tour. People seemed to appreciate it. Neely recorded it, of course.

YouTube music theorist 12tone analyses the rhythm and emphasis in James Brown's 'I Feel Good'. It's actually a reaction to another YouTube music theorist's video, Adam Neely's video on the same song. 12tone points out how analysis gets in the way of imagination.

Yet another amazing video by the music theorist Adam Neely with answers to several questions, including the one on the Stromae's new song 'Santé'. Neely explains what Stromae did with this song's rhythm to make it special. Educational and fun, as always.

"Sometimes even when things go right, you feel drained and empty, and that's ok. I had a great show at LPR with my band, but in the week that followed I didn't feel great" - music theorist and band-leader Adam Neely announces his latest video, about the feeling of emptiness after the show.

I feel theoretic
November 24, 2021

Adam Neely: Solving James Brown's rhythmic puzzle

What is the proper scansion for James Brown's 'I Feel Good'? - it is the question that nobody asked and the one Adam Neely in answering in his latest video 'Solving James Brown's rhythmic puzzle'. Neely points out that the meaning changes depending on where in the sentence we put the emphasis on.

Going easy on theory
October 31, 2021

Adam Neely: Is Adele's latest single microtonal?

A few interesting questions answered by the music theorist Adam Neely in his latest video post:

Is Adele’s Easy on me microtonal?

Who is the better bass player, Homer Simpson or Adam Neely?

How to prioritize creativity over theory?

What’s a spread triad?

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