Kamis, 29 Oktober 2009

rock of japan

I’m planning on closing down Rock of Japan next year. Rock of Japan has been going for over ten years now. I’ve enjoyed it. I'm now seriously considering shutting down Rock of Japan. When I began Rock of Japan there were almost no sites in English about Japanese rock music. Now there are many. I may miss sharing my opinions with you, but I'm beginning to feel that my job is done. Want to show your appreciation? Take a Rock of Japan T-shirt off my hands. I've reduced the price of the Rock of Japan T-shirt in a kind of going out of business sale. Think of it as a souvenir. If you see me at the shows, say, “Hi!” maybe we can avoid the postage. I plan to continue operating Rock of Japan in the same way as I have been until I shut it down. At the moment I'm planning on pulling the plug in the summer of 2010. I hope you'll keep enjoying it until then, and hope that you'll continue supporting Japanese rock music. I know I will! Thanks for your support! Fred & Ted are gonna miss ya!
Paul Wheeler
Rock of Japan is looking for some help with translations! There are many people to thank for the ten year life of Rock of Japan, besides myself, first among them is Keiko Oka, who has been the Rock of Japan translator for over half of its ten plus years. She has been incredibly kind and patient. I am looking for a native Japanese speaker to help with translations (mostly of song titles). I don't make money from Rock of Japan, so I can't afford to pay you. On the other hand, it's usually very little work. If you'd be interested in helping us out, please email me.

BACKGROUND INFO: This site originates from New York City. Besides the obvious (CD covers, band logos, and group photos), anything not credited was written or photographed by myself. The opinions expressed here are my own. The discographies should not be considered complete. I regularly neglect to obtain EPs, and almost never pick up remixes or vinyl releases. The discographies and everything else on this site are intended to provide information which will help you decide what you might want to add to your own collections. Various people have helped me with the site: Special thanks to Hitoshi Toyoda, who helped me from the beginning of this project; Thanks to Keiko Oka (currently playing bass with local band SUPERFORTRESS) for help with translations; Thanks to Jun Takeshita (guitarist for GELATINE, a fave local band) for occasional help with translations; Thanks to all those who’ve offered encouragement; Thanks to the bands, who make it all worthwhile; and thanks to my good friend Dan Payne who told me I should and could! If you are interested in advertising on this site, or sending promotional material, feel free to contact me at the email address above. I’ll be happy to post reviews of any Japanese CDs received in the first six months of their Japanese or American release. (The artists must be living and working out of Japan.)

japanese music



One of the characteristic features of Japanese culture is the way in which the cultural elements of a variety of lands exist side by side in harmony, exerting a constant influence on the existing culture and thus producing a new culture as a result. Music is no exception. The music listened to or played by the Japanese as part of their daily lives is extremely diverse. They enjoy various kinds of traditional Japanese music, Japanese popular songs, American pops, Western classics, and so on, although there are limits to each type's popularity. While music was once confined primarily to live performances in concert, the introduction of radio and later television brought it into homes of the masses. The explosive popularity of electronic reproducing systems in recent years has made music an almost indispensable element in the daily lives of most Japanese.

There are two types in traditional Japanese music: art music and folk music. Art music has several different styles, each of which was established separately in different periods of Japanese history. The Japanese have maintained those time-honored styles, modifying them as time has passed. In general, vocal music plays a more important role than instrumental music in the history of Japanese music. Besides, traditional Japanese music often developed as a part of drama such as Noh, Kabukl,and Bunraku.


The first significant development in the history of Japanese music took place in the Heian Period (794-1192 A.D), While Japanese music which had been popular among common people was being sophisticated, all kinds of music from various Asian countries In the previous two centuries were being assimilated and modified, acquiring distinct Japanese characteristics. Gagaku isthe music which was performed mainly at Court among the powerful nobility and upper classes.
Gagaku isclassified into three categories: original foreign music, pure Japanese music, and music composed in Japan using influences from other countries. The representative genre of Gagakuhas its origin in China, Korea, and other countries in Southeast Asia or South Asia, and is divided into two types such as To-gakuor music of Chinese origin, and Komagakuor music of Korean origin. It is orchestral music without any vocal part. The music is known as Kangenand when accompanied by dancing is called Bugaku.

Pure Japanese music, called Kokufu kabuor Japanese Song Dance, is vocal music with instrumental accompaniment. It is based on very ancient music performed at shrine rites as well as Court ceremonies. The last category includes Saibarawith its origin in folk songs and Roeifor chanting Chinese poems. They are accompanied with instrumental music.
Instruments used in Gagakuare mouth organs, flageolite-type instruments, flutes, drums, and zither. Arrangements of these instruments differ depending on the genre of music. Gagaku isperformed at Court, shrines, and some temples. Recently it has attracted young people's attention and is sometimes used in contemporary music. (For additional information, refer to Facts about Japan: GAGAKU).
In addition to Gagaku,another important music style, Shomyo,was formed during the Heian Period. It is vocal music used in Buddhist services and became a very significant source of Japanese vocal music which developed later.

During the Kamakura Period (1192 1333 A.D), through the Muromachi Period (1338-1573 A.D.), there was a steady growth of folk theatrical arts from shrine ritual plays and peasant rice-planting dances. By the end of the 14th century, there had developed the artistic Nohdrama with its own music called Nohgaku,and dancing known as Shimai. Noh ishighly stylized and symbolic drama, and is usually performed by a few male actors and musicians. A main character often wears a mask which fits its role.
Nohgakuhas two elements in it: vocal and instrumental. The vocal part called Utai isperformed by both actors and a chorus of eight male singers and tells the story. This vocal part which is derived from Shomyo(Buddhist chanting) includes singing and speech stylized m a definite pattern of intonation. Singing is not always accompanied with instruments. The instrumental part known as Hayashiconsists of a bamboo flute, or nohkan,and three drums, ko-tsuzumi, o-tsuzumi,and taiko. Taiko isnot used in all pieces of the Noh.The flute, the only melodic instrument, produces several short melody patterns. The ko-tsuzumiand o-tsuzumiare played mostly by bare hands while the taiko isplayed by two drumsticks. Short and sharp shouts by drum performers known as kakegoealso play important musical roles enhancing the tension of the music.
Nohgakuhad been patronized by the higher military class which was the most powerful social level in Japan. After the Meiji Restoration when the old hierarchy was discarded, it tried to win new patrons and succeeded in attracting the nobility and wealthy people. Nowadays, it is gaining support from among the general public, too.

The Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1573 1603 A.D.), is important in the historical development of several instruments. The primitive recorder was modified to become the artistic shakuhachi,while the old court zither became the more sonorous koto.The shamisen(a three-stringed balalaika-type guitar) also took on its present shape. All these instruments achieved great popularity in the Edo Period (1603-1868) by various routes.
Shakuhachiwas originally played as a part of a Zen service or practice and was the favorite instrument among wandering Buddhist priests. Although the shakuhachibecame a purely musical instrument performed by musicians,solo pieces with strong religious significance are still regarded as the most important form ofshakuhachimusic. It also started to be used with the shamisenand kotoas pure music without emphasizing its religious background.
The music for kotois called Sokyoku. Sokyokuhad been composed, played, and transmitted solely by the blind while women and girls in the higher military and wealthy merchant classes learned it as part of their cultural education. Two major schools of Sokyoku,the Ikuta school and the Yamada school, were founded in the Edo Period. Most of the pieces performed by the Ikuta school have their sources in Jiutawhich is a genre of vocal music accompanied by the shamisen.They often accompany singing together with the shamisen.However, the primary characteristic of this school is its emphasis on instrumental technique unlike other traditional art music. Even a vocal piece has an independent instrumental part which has beauty as absolute music. On the other hand, the Yamada school puts its stress on the vocal elements rather than the instrumental elements. It is characterized by its narrative singing. Both the Ikuta and the Yamada schools include in their repertoires some selections which do not have vocal parts.
The shamisen isused for accompaniment of two types of vocal music: melodious singing and narrative singing. The former type of shamisenmusic developed in two different directions, Jiutaand Nagauta; Jiutahas been enjoyed as pure music, following an independent existence as music itself; Nagautawas formed as accompaniment for dancing in traditional Kabukidramas. Later Nagautahas come to be played by itself without dancing in much the same way as the original was played as an accompaniment for dancing. Several styles of shamisenmusic have been derived from these two major types.
Narrative singing has also several styles of music such as Gidayu-bushi, Kiyomoto, 70ki~axu,and Shin'nai. Gidayu-bushi ismainly used for telling the story in the Bunrakupuppet theater. Kiyomotoand Tokiwaxuare often used as accompaniment for dancing in Kabuki.But they are also performed as independent music as is Shin'nai.During the Edo Period, the shamisenbe came the favorite instrument in the entertainment district of larger cities. Shakuhachi, koto,and shamisenare often used in trio as pure music.

A great number of folk songs exist in different provinces in Japan. Most of these songs were originally associated with religious events or daily labor, such as farming, fishing, working in the mountains, and packhorse driving. However, now that the lifestyles which generated those songs have drastically changed, they have lost their relationship to the original functions and are generally sung for recreational purposes except in the Okinawa region where folk songs are still alive in daily life. At the same time, the regionality of each song has almost been lost due to the development of the mass media. The great majority of folk songs sung today were formed in the Edo Period and after. Although the origin of folk songs is essentially anonymous, talented poets and composers in the 1920's undertook to compose folk songs based on the traditional style. There are roughly two major musical styles in folk songs: one with free rhythm and the other with metric rhythm. The former types are sung by one singer and were originally sung when one was packhorse driving. This type of song is sometimes accompanied with the shakuhachi.The other type is now often accompanied by drums or shamisen.Folk songs are popular mainly among the older generations.

The Japanese also enjoy various types of popular music. Beside Japanese popular music which is supported by the largest number of fans, American jazz and pops, French chansons, Latin music from South America, and canzone from Italy have always attracted many enthusiasts. In recent times, moreover, rock, soul, and folk music from the U.S. have won widespread popularity, especially among the younger generations. Hit numbers and songs are broadcast on radio and television, while foreign TV shows of pop music have been introduced into Japan. Moreover, pop music is constantly performed live and is available on records or tapes, or by cable broadcasts in restaurants and coffee shops, extensively permeating the people'.s daily life.
Popular music numbers and songs, which have become hits in Europe and the U.S., are almost immediately introduced and played in Japan, and recordings are promptly put on sale. A wide range of foreign performers are constantly--and very successfully--appearing in concert in Japan. Those songs are also sung by Japanese popular singers either in the original or in Japanese translation.
The music that receives the broadest sup port from the public in general is Japan's own original popular music called kayo kyoku.People enjoy not only listening to kayo-kyokusongs in live concerts and on radio and television, but also singing them to taped orchestral accompaniment in bars or at home.
The basic styles of kayo-kyokuwere established in the late 1910's through the early 1920's. They were from the musical style of songs originally composed for school education. The scales used in school music and kayo-kyokuare a blending of Western and Japanese scales. Melodies based on those pentatonic scales are often characterized by trills and grace notes which are commonly seen in traditional folk songs and the shamisenmusic of earlier times. While keeping such basic styles as a major element of kayo-kyoku,its form has been widened under the influence of Western popular songs. In those selections of the new style, melodies are more sophisticated and rhythm is more articulated with a strong beat.
In the 1960's, the English rock group, the Beatles, and American folk singers such as Peter, Paul, and Mary, the Brothers Four, and Joan Baez exerted a great influence on the youth of that day, fostering ideas of harmony and deep concern for the nuances of rhythm that had not originally been a part of the Japanese approach to music. Exposed to the method of expressing one's own assertions or feelings in the form of a song, the younger generation started to compose their own tunes and lyrics, and to play them by themselves. Many amateur groups were formed, and various rock and folk bands began to hold concerts in all parts of Japan, winning many followers but also refining their own music and eventually be coming able to attract a wide range of sup porters. Pieces composed by those people after the "Beatles" generation are musically more Westernized than ever before.

Japanese children's songs can be divided into the traditional and the modern. While the former have been sung by the Japanese over many centuries, the latter started to appear around 1918 after the end of World War I when a movement was begun to create new songs for Japanese children. There are different types of traditional songs for children in Japan, including lullabies, play songs, and festival songs. Songs for smaller children since older times are about rope-skipping, kite-flying, cat's cradle, battledore and shuttlecock, and hide-and-seek.
The movement for new children's songs which started at the end of World War I
produced many songs reflecting the joys of childhood days. Celebrated writers and poets composed many excellent songs at that time. The writers' reminiscences of their childhood used to be favorite themes in these modern children's songs. Today, poets and composers are creating songs for children more directly expressing the children's own feelings and aspirations.

The Meiji Restoration of 1868 in Japan opened a new era in which Japan emerged from feudal isolation into the world community of nations.
In those days, Western music was extensively introduced, especially in public education, as part of a concerted effort to modernize the nation. For the purpose of promoting musical education, a music re search institute (the Ongaku-torishirabe sho)was established in 1880 and musical textbooks, which combined Western and Japanese styles of music, were published for the first time. Instrumental music from the West permeated the general public through performances by the military bands of the Army and the Navy, organized with the cooperation of foreign countries such as Britain, France and Germany.
As for the education of professional musicians, the Tokyo Music School (which succeeded the Ongaku-torishirabe-shoand became the Music Department of the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music in 1949) was established in 1887. In the second decade of the 20th century, private music schools, the predecessors of the present private universities of music, were founded in major cities such as Tokyo or Osaka. Professional musical education has its roots in the widespread musical education of children at home, and there are many private classes, large and small, for helping such home education. Conspicuous among them are such large-scale musical education systems as Suzuk Shin'ichi's Talent Education Research Institute and the Toho Musical Class.
Every conceivable form of Western music is performed, composed, and enjoyed in Japan today. At the apex of musical performance groups is the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo with a sixty-year history. Tokyo and other large cities have a fairly large number of professional orchestras and even a number of amateur ones.
There are also many performing groups for chamber music, which also has a large following. Participation in choruses and brass bands is also very popular. It is estimated that several hundreds of thousands of people are singing as members of choruses at lower and upper secondary schools and universities and other amateur chorus groups throughout the country.
Concerts, recitals, and performances of opera and ballet draw large audiences with programs of works by composers ranging from Bach to the most modern experimentalists.
There are many opera lovers in Japan, but presenting opera is not easy since Japanese theaters as a rule do not have the facilities required for such an undertaking. However, in recent years more and more fine singers are appearing. In addition to the numerous performances of opera from abroad, Japanese companies give increasingly fine performances, and there is now a plan to establish a Second National Theater for opera.
Many composers are also active in Japan's musical world, the best-known of them being Takemitsu Toru.
Every year, besides the performances by Japanese musicians there is a steady flow of celebrated foreign musicians and organizations coming to perform in Japan.
Japanese musicians themselves are per forming overseas frequently and are achieving a growing international reputation. Individual conductors are also drawing attention abroad, such as Ozawa Seiji, now music director of the Boston Symphony in the United States, and Wakasugi Hiroshi, who has conducted many European orchestras.
Other internationally known musicians include conductors Iwaki Hiroyuki and Akiyama Kazuyoshi; pianists Sonoda Takahiro and Uchida Mitsuko; violinists Eto Toshiya and Ushioda Masuko; and vocalists Okamura Takao and Azuma Atsuko.

The preservation as well as development of Japanese music in its classical forms is not being neglected and many composers including Miki Minoru and Ishii are actively working on modern compositions in the traditional styles. Especially in the fields of kotomusic and more recently of shakuhachimusic as well, many excellent composers are trying to combine Japanese traditional forms and the Western style. One group dedicated to cultivating new Japanese music within its classical tradition is the Ensemble Nipponica, formed in 1964 and consisting of distinguished soloists and composers. While a chamber orchestra complete with Japanese wind, string, and percussion instruments, it has a broad repertoire using all or some of the instruments, or at times a single instrument in solo performance, in forms approaching the Western style of composition. Yonin-no-kai Tokyo is also making active efforts in this field both in Japan and abroad.

Rabu, 28 Oktober 2009


J-Rock atau Japanese rock (日本のロック nihon no rokku?, rock Jepang) digunakan untuk menyebut genre musik rock yang ada di Jepang.
Aliran musik J-Rock menjadi populer di Indonesia berkat kepopuleran penayangan anime di televisi dengan lagu tema (soundtrack) yang dibawakan penyanyi dan kelompok musik Jepang.

Sejarah musik rock Jepang
Sejarah J-Rock dimulai tahun 1957 dengan dikenalnya musik rock di Jepang bersamaan dengan puncak kepopuleran rockabilly yang merupakan salah satu gaya rock 'n' roll.
Rockabilly yang dimulai di berbagai kelab jazz melahirkan penyanyi rockabilly seperti Mickey Curtis, Masaaki Hirao, dan Keijirō Yamashita. Pada bulan Februari 1958, ketiganya tampil dalam konser Westan Kānibaru I (Western Carnival I) di gedung pertunjukan bernama Nihon Gekijō, Tokyo.
Di akhir dekade 1950-an, kepopuleran rockabilly yang mulai surut digantikan era Kabā Popsu (cover pops) yang terdiri dari berbagai jenis musik. Di antara tokoh cover pops terdapat musisi seperti Yūya Uchida dan Isao Bitō yang berakar pada genre rockabilly. Selain itu, cover pops dengan gaya Liverpool Sound lahir mengikuti kepopuleran grup-grup musik seperti The Beatles di sekitar tahun 1963.
Gitar elektrik produk dalam negeri yang bisa dibeli dengan harga murah membantu terciptanya demam Ereki (musik rock dengan gitar elektrik). Istilah "Ereki" merupakan singkatan dari kata erekigitā (エレキギター ?, gitar listrik). Penggemar musik rock di Jepang banyak yang berganti identitas dari pendengar setia menjadi musisi rock.
Dari Ereki ke Liverpool Sound dan British beat
Sekitar tahun 1964-an, The Astronauts dan The Ventures menjadi populer di Jepang. Musik yang dimainkan musisi seperti Terauchi Takeshi to Burū Jīnzu (Takeshi Terauchi & Blue Jeans) disebut surf music alias musik Ereki (Eleki). Rekaman lagu The Astronauts dan The Ventures dengan lirik bahasa Jepang seperti yang dibawakan Fujimoto Kōichi juga menjadi hit. Musik Ereki dengan seketika mencapai puncak kepopuleran. Grup band Ereki di Jepang pada masa itu tidak saja memainkan lagu-lagu surf music, melainkan juga lagu-lagu berirama Liverpool Sound milik berbagai grup band asal Inggris yang menandai era gerakan musik British Invasion. Di tahun 1965, Yuzo Kayama membentuk band Ereki tiruan The Ventures yang disebut The Launchers. Grup musik ini begitu populer hingga Yuzo Kayama dijadikan peran utama dalam film Ereki no wakadaishō (Electric Guitar Young Guy atau Campus A-Go-Go).
Pada tahun yang sama, Tokyo Beatles merilis piringan hitam berisi lagu-lagu The Beatles dengan lirik bahasa Jepang. Selain itu, Tokyo Beatles juga mengeluarkan PH berisi lagu-lagu yang pernah dibawakan grup musik Inggris yang memainkan Liverpool Sound.
Group sounds
Kedatangan The Beatles untuk tampil dalam pertunjukan di Jepang membuat grup-grup musik Ereki berganti warna musik agar ikut bisa bergaya British Invasion. Di antara perintis British Invasion di Jepang terdapat grup musik seperti Jackey Yoshikawa and his Blue Comets dan The Spiders. Pada saat yang bersamaan tampil grup musik berirama Group Sounds (Gurūpu Saunzu). Aksi panggung band-band berirama Group Sounds banyak meniru grup musik berirama British Invasion, tapi sebagian besar singel dan album mereka tidak berirama rock, melainkan Kayōkyoku atau Wasei Pops (pop Jepang).
Era 1960-an hingga 1970-an
Akhir dekade 1960-an hingga pertengahan dekade 1970-an diwakili grup-grup musik seperti Hadaka no Rallies, Jacks, RC Succession, Joe With Flower Travellin' Band, Mickey Curtis & Samurai, Blues Creation, Murahachibu, The Mops, PYG, Happy End, Sadistic Mika Band, Fried Egg, Yonin Bayashi, Magical Power Mako, Zunō Keisatsu dan Gedō. Tidak juga ketinggalan grup rock seperti Carol, Cools, dan band asal Kansai seperti Funny Company yang disebut sebagai Carol-nya Jepang bagian barat.
Daerah Kansai di dekade 1970-an diwarnai dengan rock aliran blues rock yang mirip southern rock. Musik jenis ini dibawakan pemusik rock seperti Ueda Masaki and South to South, serta West Road Blues Band. Sementara itu, angin Okinawan rock berhembus dari Okinawa. Aliran ini dibawakan Katchan Condition Green dan grup Murasaki. Dari namanya saja, grup Murasaki (bahasa Jepang untuk warna ungu) sudah jelas ingin diasosiasikan dengan Deep Purple. Dari Nagoya tampil Kondō Fusanosuke dengan grup Break Down. Ayukawa Makoto dengan grupnya yang bernama Son House tampil dari Fukuoka dan nantinya disebut perintis Mentai Rock.
Era rock Jepang hingga tahun 1980-an
Dekade 1970-an dimeriahkan Uzaki Ryūdō dengan kelompoknya yang Downtown Boogie-Woogie Band, grup Carol yang mendapat pengaruh kuat The Beatles, Off Course, dan Tulip. Selain itu, mantan anggota kelompok irama group sounds The Tigers yang berkarier solo, Kenji Sawada terus menghasilkan singel dan album berwarna rock. Takurō Yoshida dan Yōsui Inoue adalah penyanyi paling laris di Jepang saat itu. Keduanya dipengaruhi Bob Dylan dan musik-musik mereka bergaya folk rock. Sementara itu, grup musik yang paling laris adalah Garo dan NSP (grup musik) yang mendapat pengaruh dari Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Grup musik yang terkenal di Jepang pada pertengahan dekade 1970-an, misalnya: Kai Band yang memiliki warna rock yang kuat, Shōgo Hamada, Miyuki Nakajima, dan Momoe Yamaguchi yang banyak membawakan lagu ciptaan Ryūdō Uzaki. Walaupun banyak grup musik rock yang terkenal, musik rock masih belum diterima seluruh lapisan masyarakat.
Keadaan ini diubah oleh band Carol yang didirikan Eikichi Yazawa dan tiga tokoh rock ternama: Sera Masanori & Twist, Shinji Harada, Char yang dikenal sebagai "tiga besar dalam rock" (rokku gosanke). Musik rock makin mudah diterima orang Jepang berkat Southern All Stars yang memulai debutnya di tahun 1978, The Alfee, Kenji Sawada, dan Godiego (hanya single yang dirilisnya saja). Di akhir dekade 1970-an hingga awal 1980-an bermunculan musisi dan grup rock seperti Terao Akira, Creation, Yoshito Machida, Yamanaka Joe, Yanagi George & Rainy Wood, RC Succession, Monta & Brothers, Masaki Ueda, Kai Band, Shōgō Hamada, dan Masahiro Kuwana yang banyak melahirkan lagu-lagu hit. Bulan Maret 1980, Motoharu Sano memulai debutnya, tapi masih kurang mendapat sambutan.
Era new wave
Jepang di sekitar tahun 1980-an ramai dengan grup musik berbagai aliran seperti punk rock, new wave, techno-pop, hard rock, dan heavy metal. Grup musik yang mewakili era tersebut, misalnya: BOW WOW, Loudness, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Anthem, Earthshaker, 44Magnum, dan Hound Dog. Dari Fukuoka tampil grup-grup seperti Sheena & The Rokkets yang dipimpin Ayukawa Makoto, The Mods, A.R.B., The Roosters, dan The Rockers yang membawakan aliran Mentai Rock, serta The Checkers. Grup lain asal periode ini misalnya, Chanels (Rats & Star) yang dibesarkan di live house. Dari daerah Kanto tampil grup-grup musik seperti Plastics, Anarchy, Juicy Fruits, The Venus, Ippudō, Hikashu, dan P-Model.
Era band
Boøwy memulai debutnya di tahun 1982 dan band ini nantinya mempunyai pengaruh kuat dalam dunia musik rock Jepang. Sejak akhir dekade 1970-an, grup musik dari label rekaman Indies terus populer, sehingga terjadi "Band Boom" di Jepang pada paruh kedua dekade 1980-an. Pada masa itu terdapat banyak sekali grup-grup musik yang populer. Princess Princess, Unicorn, Jun Sky Walker(s), Bakufu-Slump, dan Pink Sapphire adalah nama-nama grup musik pencetak banyak sekali lagu hit di pertengahan tahun 1980-an. Di jalur heavy metal, Seikima II merupakan band yang paling populer dan sering tampil di televisi.
B'z memulai debutnya tahun 1988. Di tahun yang sama, album berjudul Covers oleh RC Succession dihentikan peredarannya akibat protes berbagai kalangan karena lagu-lagu bertema antiperang dan antinuklir. X Japan memulai debutnya di tahun 1989 dan berhasil menggetarkan Jepang dengan musik heavy metal yang dapat diterima semua kalangan. X Japan merupakan perintis gerakan musik Visual Kei yang melahirkan band-band yang mengekor ketenaran X Japan. Dari label Indies lahir grup rock Kin-Show (King-Show) yang bernaung di bawah perusahaan rekaman Nagomu Record.
Di akhir dekade 1980-an, The Flipper's Guitar memulai debutnya sebagai pemimpin gaya Shibuya Kei nantinya menjadi sub-budaya tersendiri. Gerakan musik Shibuya Kei memadukan unsur musik jazz, fusion, dan musik tradisional Jepang. Di sekitar waktu yang sama, Ozaki Yutaka juga mencapai puncak ketenaran. Lagu-lagunya bertema kritik sosial yang dilihat dari sudut pandang generasi muda.
Akhir "Band Boom"
Mr.Children yang beranjak dari live house La Mama di Shibuya memulai debutnya di tahun 1994. Kesuksesan Mr.Children diikuti oleh Spitz, ulfuls, The Yellow Monkey, dan Elephant Kashimashi.
Pertengahan dekade 1990-an merupakan puncak ketenaran band Visual Kei. Kehadiran Luna Sea mendapat sambutan luar biasa penggemar musik Jepang, diikuti oleh Glay dan L'Arc~en~Ciel (walaupun L'Arc~en~Ciel sendiri menolak disebut sebagai band Visual Kei).
Lagu-lagu dari band Visual Kei banyak dipakai sebagai lagu tema anime dan permainan video, sehingga keberhasilan anime dan permainan video di luar Jepang turut menyeret kepopuleran band Visual Kei di luar Jepang. Sementara itu, penyanyi rock wanita seperti Maki Oguro, Nanase Aikawa, dan Ringo Shiina sedang berada di puncak ketenaran. Di saat yang bersamaan muncul tren mendirikan grup musik campuran dengan vokalis wanita, seperti Judy and Mary dan Hysteric Blue. Pada waktu itu juga populer grup The High-Lows yang didirikan Hiroto Kōmoto dan Masatoshi Mashima yang keduanya mantan The Blue Hearts. Aliran baru yang disebut Melodic Hardcore diciptakan oleh Hi-Standard, Nicotine, Snail Ramp, dan Kemuri. Lirik lagu berbahasa Inggris yang sekarang sudah menjadi barang lumrah justru dimulai oleh Hi-Standard. Pada saat yang sama, band wanita Shonen Knife menjadi populer di luar Jepang. Mitos "sukses di luar negeri harus pandai betul memainkan instrumen" luntur dengan keberhasilan Shonen Knife menjadi band pembuka konser Nirvana pada tahun 1993. Beberapa band lain asal Jepang yang populer di luar negeri, misalnya Guitar Wolf, Boredoms, dan The's.
Akhir dekade 1990-an ditandai dengan puncak kepopuleran Blankey Jet City dan thee michelle gun elephant. Pada masa itu sering diadakan konser di alam terbuka seperti Fuji Rock Festival. Kelompok musik seperti Number Girl, Supercar, Yura Yura Teikoku yang termasuk aliran Rockin juga banyak menarik perhatian penggemar.
T.M.Revolution, Gackt, dan Kiyoharu yang memulai debutnya sebagai Visual Kei beralih sebagai musisi solo yang terus menghasilkan lagu yang dapat memasuki tangga lagu pop hingga sekarang.

Tahun 2001 hingga sekarang
Di awal tahun 2000-an mulai terdapat gaya Seishun Punk yang dimulai oleh Stance punks, Gagaga SP, dan Going Steady. Saat itu populer grup musik seperti Bump of Chicken, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, dan Acidman yang tergolong genre Shimokita Kei.
Sejak pertengahan tahun 2000-an terdapat banyak sekali grup bergenre Melodic Hardcore dan Emocore seperti Ellegarden dan Asian Kung-Fu Generation. Musisi yang berjasa di masa kejayaan Melodic Hardcore tahun 1990-an juga ikut bangkit kembali, misalnya: mantan anggota Hi-Standar yang bernama Ken Yokoyama berkarier solo, Ultra Brain, dan Snail Ramp.
Saat ini populer kelompok J-Rock seperti Bump of Chicken dan Sambo Master yang matang sebagai grup rock aliran utama. Selain itu juga terdapat Rize, Orange Range, HY, dan Dragon Ash yang tergolong genre Mixture rock.

Punk rock adalah gerakan musik rock yang berkembang sekitar tahun 1974-1975 di negara Amerika Serikat, Australia dan Inggris. Dipelopori oleh kelompok-kelompok seperti Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Damned, dan The Clash.
Kelompok punk sering meniru struktur musik sederhana seperti musik garage rock dari tahun 1960-an. Biasanya mereka terdiri dari satu drum kit, satu atau dua electric guitar, satu electric bass, dan vocals. Drums biasanya hanya memiliki satu snare drum, satu tom, satu floor tom, satu bass drum, hi-hats, satu atau dua crash cymbal dan satu ride cymbal.
Istilah punk rock dicetuskan oleh Dave Marsh untuk menggambarkan musik ? and the Mysterians dalam majalah Creem.


Learn Beginner Guitar - 6 Easy Steps To Finger Tap Like A Pro
by: Jeremiah La Follette


There are some very fun and exciting things that are unique to the guitar. One of these unique items is called finger tapping. Although the theory behind finger tapping is nothing new, there is just something about guitar player finger tapping that sounds totally cool. Many other instruments such as the piano and saxophone have tried for years to emulate the sound of a guitar finger tapping. At the end of the day however, there’s nothing like a real guitar player finger tapping like pro.

Let’s take a look at 6 easy steps to learn beginner guitar finger tapping.

1. With your left hand, place your first finger on the second string, fifth fret.
2. With your right first finger pluck the second string on the ninth fret.
3. With your third finger strike the seventh fret
4. With your right first finger strike the ninth fret.
5. Quickly lift your third finger off of the seventh fret
6. Repeat steps 2 to 5

Let’s take a look at a longer explanation of what is occurring.

1. With your left hand, place your first finger on the second string, fifth fret: Remember to use proper left hand technique and place your left fingers just before the fret to get the best sound out of your guitar.

2. With your right first finger pluck the second string on the ninth fret: if you are holding the guitar pick you will want to place it somewhere else for right now. Later on as you improve your finger tapping technique you can place your guitar pick in between another set of fingers.

3. With your third finger strike the seventh fret: This is a technique called a hammer on, and will require practice in order to get the note sounding loud enough to be heard. If you have a guitar amplifier; turning up the volume will help you to hear your hammer on notes until your fingers are strong enough to not need extra volume.

4. With your right first finger strike the ninth fret: If you are having a hard time hammering on the note with your first finger try placing your middle finger over your first finger to give it some extra strength.

5. Quickly lift your third finger off of the seventh fret: You can either lift your left hand third finger as soon as your right hand first finger taps its first note, or you can quickly lift your left hand third finger away from the fret as you pluck the ninth fret with your right first finger.

6. Repeat steps 2 to 5: You now have the basic foundation to begin finger tapping!

Selasa, 27 Oktober 2009

How To Play Guitar Good - The Mysteries of Alternate Picking Revealed.
by: Jeremiah La Follette


Once you have begun to learn all of your beginner guitar chords, and basic guitar scales, you will want to make sure that you are utilizing the best right hand technique possible in order to play your guitar is accurately and as fast as possible.

In order to learn how to play guitar good you’ll need to learn the right hand guitar technique called alternate picking. Alternate picking is also a great way to learn how to play your guitar chords correctly, and introduce the concept of arpeggio playing.

The good news is that you can start applying these simple alternate picking techniques immediately to your guitar playing.

Let’s take a look at how to apply basic alternate picking to your guitar playing.

1. Hold your guitar pick correctly
2. Practice using up and down strokes
3. Alternate your guitar strokes
4. Apply alternate picking to your scales
5. Apply alternate picking to your chords

1. Hold your guitar pick correctly: You want to make sure that you’re holding your guitar pick correctly. If you play guitar only with your fingers this will be a great opportunity for you to learn how to play with a guitar pick.

2. Practice using up and down strokes: The basic concept of alternate picking is quite simple. With your guitar pick you will be picking each note and alternating between down and upstroke’s.

3. Alternate your guitar strokes: Once you have the basic concept of alternating your guitar strokes for each string, (up and down, one note at a time) you can now alternate your guitar strokes. For example instead of picking: up, down, up, down; you will be using the pattern of: up, up, down, down, etc. The possibilities of alternating your guitar strokes are limitless.

4. Apply alternate picking to your scales: On the first note that you play your guitar scale with, pick down. The next note you will pick up. When you have mastered going up and down on your guitar scales the next thing you want to do is to have your first note be plucked upwards first. The second note will now be a down stroke, and so forth.

5. Apply alternate picking to your chords: Alternate picking your guitar chords will do three things. The first thing alternate picking will do is ensure that you are playing correctly each of the guitar notes on the chord you are playing. The second thing alternate picking will do with your chords is introduce you to guitar chord picking patterns. The third thing alternate picking will do with your chords is introduce you to what is called arpeggio playing. Simple arpeggio playing is playing the guitar chord one note at a time. Arpeggio playing is also great for playing guitar chords with slow songs.

Paul Simon Surprise Rock Music CD Review
by: Clyde Lee Dennis


Surprise is the latest release from Rock Sensation Paul Simon, and I can only think of one word to describe this CD… AWESOME!

Unfortunately, it’s not everyday that I get a CD from an artist that I can just pop in and comfortably listen to from beginning to end. There is usually a song or two that I just can’t force myself to get through. Not at all the case with Surprise. Every track is enjoyable and was pretty easy for me to listen to from start to finish.

Paul Simon has been a heavy hitter in the Rock genre for quite a while now and Surprise is an excellent illustration as to why. One of the nicer things about a CD like this is with this level of talent even if Rock isn’t your favorite genre you still can’t help but appreciate the greatness of the artist.

Rock music fans will recognize some of the well known guests that have been assembled to play along with Simon on several of the tracks. Artists like Bill Frisell and Herbie Hancock just to name a couple.

If you’re a Paul Simon fan, or just a fan of Rock music this is a CD your collection simply should not be without as Surprise is a very solid release. Quite possibly Paul Simon's best to date. Really spectacular from beginning to end. If you're even mildly into Rock music you'll enjoy this CD.

While this entire CD is outstanding some of my favorites are track 1 - How Can You Live In The Northeast, track 2 - Everything About It Is A Love Song, and track 9 - Once Upon A Time There Was An Ocean

My SmoothLee Bonus Pick, and the one that got Sore [...as in "Stuck On REpeat"] is track 4 - Sure Don't Feel Like Love. Wow!

Surprise Release Notes:

Paul Simon originally released Surprise on May 9, 2006 on the Warner Bros. Records label.

CD Track List Follows:

1. How Can You Live In The Northeast 2. Everything About It Is A Love Song 3. Outrageous 4. Sure Don't Feel Like Love 5. Wartime Prayers 6. Beautiful 7. I Don't Believe 8. Another Galaxy 9. Once Upon A Time There Was An Ocean 10. That's Me 11. Father And Daughter

Personnel: Paul Simon (vocals, guitar); Adrian Simon, Jesse Dixon Singers (vocals); Vincent Nguini (acoustic guitar); Bill Frisell (electric guitar); Herbie Hancock (piano); Gil Goldstein (harmonium, keyboards); Alex Al (bass instrument); Abraham Laboriel, Pino Palladino (bass guitar); Leo Abrahams (fretless bass); Robin DiMaggio, Steve Gadd (drums); Jamey Haddad (percussion); Brian Eno (electronics).

The History of The Electric Guitar: How Music Was Changed Forever
by: Bob Martin


In The Beginning

The guitar’s soft melodic tone made it difficult for people to hear it when being played alongside other instruments. So during the 1930’s an inventive individual decided to change that and invented the first electric guitar. Little did he know, or have imagined way back then how the invention of the electric guitar would significantly affect the course of 20th century music.

Like most new things, the electric guitar had its critics but it quickly won people over because of its ability to allow musicians to play much more creatively and express their own individual styles.

The First Pickup

In 1924 an inventive engineer working for the Gibson guitar company named Lloyd Loar, designed the first magnetic pickup. Using a magnet, he converted guitar string vibrations into electrical signals, which then were amplified through a speaker system. This first pickup was crude, but it was a great beginning.

The First Electric Guitar

In 1931 the Electro String Company was founded by Paul Barth, George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacker, and developed the first electric guitars marketed to the general public. They made their guitars from cast aluminum and were played on a person’s lap using a steel slide much like today's steel guitar. Because of their unusual material, they were affectionately called “Frying Pans.”

The early success of the frying pans prompted the Gibson guitar company to build their first electric guitar, the ES-150 which is a legend today.

The First Solid-Body Electric Guitar

Electric guitars were quickly becoming popular, even though there was a major problem with their construction. Their bodies would vibrate due to the amplified sounds coming through the speakers they were played into, causing what we know as feed-back. The obvious remedy was to build a guitar made with a solid body which wouldn’t vibrate so easily.

As with most innovations, there is controversy over who invented the first solid –body electric guitar. Guitar legend Les Paul in the 1940’s developed his affectionately called “The Log” solid-body guitar by attaching a Gibson neck to a solid piece of wood…a railroad tie, hence the name “Log.”

Around this same time, guitarist Merle Travis and engineer Paul Bigsby developed a solid-body electric guitar that resembled the solid-body guitars that we’re so familiar with today.

The First Mass Produced Electric Guitar

Leo Fender in 1950 was the first to mass produce an electric guitar which was originally called the Fender Broadcaster. This guitar was quickly re-named to the infamous Telecaster because the name “Broadcaster” was already being used by another company. Leo followed this up in 1954 with the most renowned guitar of all time…the Stratocaster.

Leo’s success led other guitar manufacturers into developing their own mass-produced electric guitars. Most notable was the teaming-up of the Gibson guitar company with Les Paul to create the famous Gibson Les Paul electric guitar.

More Affordable Electric Guitars

During the 1960’s and 1970’s famous brand name electric guitars were too expensive for the average person to buy. Less pricey imitations quickly came to market but they were sub-standard in sound and playability. The Japanese, in the 1980’s started manufacturing electric guitars of similar quality to the more expensive American made models, but with much more affordable pricing. This prompted Fender and other leading guitar manufacturers into producing less expensive versions of their classic models. This resulted in electric guitars now being more affordable and accessible to more people.

Today, the Gibson and Fender guitar companies are still producing some of the most well-known and best made electric guitars on the market. But it’s getting crowded with other high quality brands such as BC Rich, ESP and Peavey. Innovative designs, shapes and materials are being incorporated with new technologies to produce better sounding electric guitars.

Modern guitars have built-in software allowing them to sound like other types of guitars. Some are even fitted with pickups that synthesize the sound of different instruments or record the notes in musical notation.

The electric guitar has come a long way with an interesting and inventive past and many in the industry say it has an even brighter future.

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