About Liam Izod

Liam is part of the team at MusicGurus. He is a music journalist and keen amateur jazz musician.

Hammond Organ: What any musician can learn from the ultimate ‘less is more’ instrument

The Hammond Organ is a mysterious beast. It must've seemed like space-age technology when it emerged in the 1930s, and even now the instrument retains something of the Dr Who about it. For a period in the 1960s there was hardly a chart hit that didn't feature a Hammond organ, with organists like Booker T [...]

By | 2017-10-19T11:14:10+00:00 October 18th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Cory Wong: The unusual journey of the guitarist everyone’s talking about

If you're heard of Minnesotan guitarist Cory Wong at all, it's probably in association with retro-funk outfit Vulfpeck. The young guitarist's funky rhythm guitar chops can be heard on their latest album The Beautiful Game, including on a track named after Wong himself. With his fresh-faced look, it's easy to assume that Wong dropped fully formed [...]

By | 2017-10-19T10:41:35+00:00 October 4th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Once more from the beginning…how to learn piano as an adult

Remember learning piano for the first time? If you're like most of us it'll have been scales and nursery rhymes, learning each hand separately and then combining them. Well Andrew Quartermain, concert pianist and director of Pro Corda (the UK's chamber music school) has other ideas! He's developed a new method for teaching piano to [...]

By | 2017-05-18T14:07:26+00:00 May 18th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Copycat! The power of transcription in learning music

For many musicians, even pros, the discipline of transcription - listening to a piece of music and accurately rendering it in musical notation - occupies a guilty blind spot. The great classical maestros and jazz soloists are constantly prescribing it as a means to musical advancement, but it feels medicinal; we know it's good for us, [...]

By | 2017-10-05T16:56:37+00:00 May 17th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

From tuba to the charts – the making of a pop producer

The role of a producer has changed dramatically in recent years. The puppet master figures of the past have come out from the shadows to share performance credits and stages with the stars. At its heart though production is a craft. It requires considerable knowledge and experience, as well as that instinct for musical magic.  Paul [...]

By | 2017-08-16T10:04:05+00:00 May 16th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Did Beethoven invent boogie woogie?

Did you know that in his final piano sonata, Beethoven accidentally stumbled into playing boogie woogie!? 🎹 There are clear echoes of rag-time/boogie playing in his piano sonata no 32. Check it out and hear for yourself in the video below. Did Beethoven invent boogie? Well probably not. Musicologists consider the sonata's similarities to boogie to [...]

By | 2017-04-27T12:12:17+00:00 April 27th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Jazz under Apartheid – The background to Darius Brubeck’s harmony course

Darius Brubeck created the first degree course in Jazz in South Africa in 1983. This might seem commendable but innocuous, but think about the political context in South Africa at the time. Apartheid still reigned, Nelson Mandela would not be released for another seven years. To establish a course that celebrated the music of African [...]

By | 2017-10-19T11:51:22+00:00 April 27th, 2017|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Peak Practice – 7 Essential Practice Hacks from Music Gurus

We know what it’s like. You planned to practise your blues scales in every key, to have nailed each Goldberg Variation backwards. But you forgot it was your turn to walk the dog, or that the cousin whom you never really liked is coming to stay (again!?). Your practice time is precious, so at MusicGurus [...]

By | 2016-11-25T12:44:04+00:00 October 13th, 2016|Think pieces|2 Comments