From left to right: Alex, David, Cheikh Ndoye,Will,Ney, Anabel, Chris, Anthony.
There is a fresh interest amongst
teens to learn to play the guitar and other musical instruments. The St.
Johns at Prospect Hall High School recently booked Ney for a Masterclass.
Senegalese virtuoso bassist CHEIKH NDOYE was also present to demonstrate
some of Ney Mello's music from "meditations". Some students were
reported to have learned some of the CD's tracks by ear!
The master class was initiated
at the urging of master classical recording artist, critically acclaimed
pianist ANABEL McGILL. The event was so successful that an extra overflow
room full of students had to be used. The entire shipment of "meditations" sold
out on the spot. The enterprising and devoted efforts of the students were
evident in their high level of accomplishment under less than favorable
guitar teaching circumstances as there are no high level teachers in that
area at this time.
Anabel McGill's sole genius
is responsible for their progress so far—she does not play guitar!—as
it was her who undertook to teach them the guitar based on her vast piano
and music experience. Some students played "spanish romance" and pieces by Fernando Sor and others played blues and rock as well. Ms McGill's masterful command of biomechanics was evident in the fact that the student's left hands were amazingly relaxed and with fingers near the fingerboard. Their right hands were the area where they needed serious help. This is unusual because normally BOTH hands have to be addressed.Their relaxed shoulders and good posture were also very unusual to behold. A living tribute to her genius and true love of teaching. At the end NEY invited the students to play with him
and CHEIKH N'DOYE. The students chose "hotel california", "sweet
home alabama" and a blues in A. Everyone soloed on acoustic and Les
Paul electric... all very loud...
Herbert Vianna has become musical institution in Brazil as a bandleader, composer, producer and guitarist.
Ney met HERBERT in Brasilia in the late 70's while they were both still in their teens. Herbert was a skateboard teammate of Ney's brother MiGUEL MELLO MATTOS( who turned pro later on). Miguel slipped Ney a tape of Herber playing guitar and it was very clear to Ney that Herbert had the magic .
Ney taught HERBERT untill he relocated to the USA. They
have kept in touch as their careers and lives took different directions.
Herbert is an artist that exemplifies the right way to live musically.
While he has the ability and capabilities to play virtuoso renditions of
tunes like CHICK COREA'S "Spain" on solo acoustic guitar, he
has chose his true love which resides in the JEFF BECK and KEITH RICHARDS
school of guitar. The GUITAR PLAYER cover story above mentions HERBERT's
unusually powerful and articulate picking attack, which he attributes to
NEYS' unique right hand training secrets which were already developed at
the time he studied with NEY.
HERBERT is a prolific songwriter and had produced many artists including musical monument GILBERTO GIL. His GRAMMY AWARD WINNING band PARALAMAS has released many hit records in Brasil and they have been featured several times on MTV in live concerts in New York . They have also played the MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL in switzerland, many times.
Bass guitar rising star and innovator BYRON SANTO
New Orleans, USA
Recording artist and producer BYRON SANTO is expanding the capabilities of the bass guitar as a virtuoso solo intrument. He has authored a source-book on picking permutation patterns that put him in a class with PAT MARTINO in terms of conceptually innovative and penetrating insights in the nature of the instrument. Byron is also active helping bassists around the world to acheive their playing goals.
FYI, I just wanted say that because of the Principles and Your guidance and wisdom that my level a musicianship has progressed 150% over the last few years. I received a bass endorsement, and last week I received two more endorsements, Comfort Strapps & Hipshot. All of this would not have been possible if it weren't for you and Jamie!
Thanks for the kind words on the bass solo but it was your guidance that
allowed me to play it. :)
Thanks a MILLION,
Endorsements: Boyd Basses, Hipshot, Comfort Strapps, Twanger, Horizon Music Inc.,
Link to Bass Solo, TrueFire.com
Latest Original (Holy of Holies) with my Singer Released 2/29/04
I played all inst's and all sequencing, recording, mixing and mastering
Reiko studied with Ney from the
time she was a beginner.for two years or so.She is quite a force being a
mom to a prodigious little girl, a wife and a PHD in history from Cambridge,
UK. Reiko loves Brazilian music and Jazz. She became so accomplished that
when she returmed to japan she astonished prospective local teachers as
she played for them the extremely advanced version of "The girl form Ipanema" that Ney taught her. It happens to be the same one HE plays in concert, minus the improvisations. Reiko has a repertoire of about 14 brazilian bossa nova classics and jazz standards like "misty" and "stardust".
Her love of music and her will and purity of intent took her in a very short
time to the level of being ready to record her first CD release in Japan!.
Chetan Tadvalkar, India
A tale of triumph: Chetan is another example of persistence, tenacity and triumph. He started guitar with Ney as a pre-teen. It was then a powerful challenge for the young Chetan to control his fingers and strenghten them as he was intellectually focussed in his life. As time passed he grew in stature to the point of becoming part of the prestigious SIDWELL FRIENDS high school Jazz ensemble in Washington DC,USA. Chetan now is a seasoned concert performer and is poised to go on to College.
Young & Ney
DAN YOUNG is one half of the celebrated acoustic virtuoso duo YOUNG AND ROLLINS. They have to date three releases on mesa records. Their recent world tours have included as far as Autralia. DAN came for a consultation on special scale fingerings after he saw NEY at a College performance.To find out more about Dan and Lawson Visit: http://www.youngandrollins.com.
NEY and acclaimed brazilian guitarist RODRIGO FERREIRA from PEYOTE
"What I learned with NEY MELLO goes beyond the music. He's interested in everything that comes from his students. He has answers for any question. Also Ney is an amazing musician. He gave me important advice which improved my skills in a very short time. I 'm so glad for everything that this legendary musician passed on to me".
Jazz pro JOHN WARE and NEY
"I had become interested in Brazilian guitar rhythms, and went to Ney for help. I could play basic Sambas and Bossas, but felt there was considerably more to this music, which of course, there was. I had some books and recordings, but having Ney play the patterns in person for me, as well as answering my questions (no easy task!) made an enormous difference. Ney has a wonderful feel for the rhythms, and was able to communicate this feeling in such a way that I was able to feel them as well, and face it-that is what music is all about. If you can "feel" the
music, then you can learn to play it, and Ney helped make that possible.
Of course, I still had to practice, and so do you!
—John Ware, professional
guitarist and educator.
More about John at his website:
Drew Georgopulos. New York, USA
Drew is a seasoned recording artist with hit records under his belt and playing stints with legends like ROY BUCHANAN.
"Yesterday i took advantage
of Ney's proximity, well, at least he was closer than DC, to have a consultation
with him. He is an excellent teacher, totally able to share his knowledge
and extremely generous with his time. I loved it, and wish I could be closer
to both Jamey and Ney for instruction.
The knowledge Ney delivered to me was quite a jolt, and easily constutites at least a year's worth of practice to get it together. Listening to Ney play live is like being in the middle of a rushing river or a tornado or a house on fire. He is relentless and limitless. Jamey is limitless, but instead of being ferocious, Jamey's playing is elegant and stately, but you know what?...it is stupid to compare them. They are two giants, and I was just agog, because both of their performances took my perceptions and imagination alternately by storm and surrender the whole night.
One attribute of great teachers is how well they listen and know what to do about your deficiencies, or that which prevents you from playing at their level. I came prepared with a couple of pieces that i thought would expose my worst picking flaws. I recently have gotten the hang of quick triplets and tremelo, but was bothered by my execution because my initial attack was uneven. Once i get over the initial stroke, i can play them evenly, but that first stroke was brittle and uncertain, making me rush to catch the next interval until i was back on meter.
Ney showed me why that was. An understanding that came from it was that while it is necessary to be able to conceptualize what you want to do, this means more than imagining it or hearing it, that what is required is to deconstruct the motions so that they can be learned. So I learned that there are at least five motions involved, and that no one of them is enough to make the sound i was trying to make. There is the gross movement from the elbow, the twisting of the forearm, the doorknob from the wrist, a circular motion from the wrist and a retraction/extension of the index and thumb, where they work in opposition to eachother like a screen door hinge. These constitute the combination of vectors you get when the wrist moves with the elbow...the elbow remains the motor, but its role is reduced from what we have been studying (or that is, how I have been playing, emphasizing the elbow to the exclusion of the wrist and forearm) down to an almost imperceptable motion, but still helping the hand navigate the width of the strings. The additional motion of the wrist in the same direction of the elbow gives it an accelleration that is necessary to achieve the speed required for the tremelo, or even something as mundand as sixteenth at 140 or so, but to tell the truth, the metronome numbers were irrelevant to our discussion. It focused on the cooperation of these arm motions and their deconstruction at no tempo....its amazing how everything gets back to the Principles no? We discussed the role of no tempo for motion intelligence versus the role of bpa for playing on time. This is something that cannot be overemphasized, because they are two tools that help you work out two different and necessary disciplines to improving your playing. There was a lot more in the lesson, how to avoid string noise, how to keep the pinky above the fingerboard on root five and small barre minor seventh chords, i taped it, so i'm sure i'm leaving a lot out, but it was an extraordinarly valuable investment in my guitar education.
We had dinner together, and then,
back at Jamey and Geraldine's house, Jamey said 'We should play'. I went
first. it was a good thing I did, because to tell the truth, sitting around
the fire with Ney and Jamey and trading tunes is, how shall i say, slightly
intimidating? but I swallowed hard and summoned the stones to do it.<g> Jamey and Ney played and were magic...i played, and felt like their dancing bear, but i'd do it again in a heartbeat. they can show us how to pass from where we are through our limitations to the next level, and then, the one after that... I am a lucky man".
Los Angeles, USA
"Ney Mello is truly a consummate
musician and master teacher who really goes the xtra mile to demonstrate
and explain to the student the mechanics of playing guitar that is not found
in any instructional book or even in most guitar teachers. he has reached
a very high virtuoso level of development and is yet very humble and accessible.
Most importanly, he taught me the thinking processes of master players and
how to incorporate such methods into my practice. Ney's style is as such
that one does not need to take half hour lessons with him every week for
years and years (as is typically done in most cases) but just a few sessions
with him will plant the ability to do the same deep level intensive practice
necessary to develop into not just a good player, but a virtuoso, even without
his supervision and for years afterward for the student. The value of this
cannot be emphasized enought. To be able to encounter any musical challenge
and obstalce, and know exactly how to approach and conquer it using the
power of your own mind, and knowing the results will be powerful is a gift
given to all of Ney's students.
I can honestly say that I am also a better person, and not just a player from having known Ney. His insights on music and life have added a new dimension to my life, and from his own experience and knowledege. I know that I have taken years off of my learning development. The last time I had a session with Ney, he said to me that in those six hours over two days, I had gained about thirty years' worth of learning. And each time I listen to the tapes that recorded our sessions, I learn something new every time. this kind of learning has been a revelation for me, and no doubt, for all of Ney's students, who range from the beginner to the professional musician.
Incidentally, I fly from Los Angeles,
California, to meet with Ney for two days every month".
Alexis is a hard core black metal fan. She plays a coagulated blood red
solid body Ibanez.
She is very knowledgeable about music and very talented.
Toshiko is an amazing bossa nova disciple. She held the top position as
representative of JAPAN in DC at the World Bank.
She was the boss. But her soul was with the guitar. She decided
after some encouragement on my part to go to London and star a new life
with her husband and the guitar and go to school following her dreams for
a change. Toshiko made such fast progress playing tunes by Jobim and Joao
Gilberto, the way I play them, not the student version!...that I told her
to create a duo with the amazing REIKO TANAKA and record a CD.
Directly from Iceland
to the streets of DC.!...guitarist and teacher JON OMAR ARNASON
during a two day private consultation with Ney Mello. Jonsi
has become so sought
after in Europe that he has already had students fly to his Reikjavik studio
for consultations of their own with him. The spiritual future
of the guitar is in good hands with
players and pedagogue of Jonsi's caliber walking the earth.