Teaching Oud in Japan

learn oud japan

Here I am with my Oud in Japan. I’ve visited Japan a few times since 2010, and this is the first time I dared to bring my Oud to Japan. I decided that on this trip I would contact some Japanese middle eastern musicians this time because… hey, there are A LOT of Darbuka, and Oud players there… And, why not… So here’s the short of how it went:  …

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Oud Practice

  I’m an introvert.   Playing the Oud allows me to enter my own world.   Even though I have a lot of performing experience, I think playing the Oud has always been a stress reliever, and I always get energized after I play the Oud.     How about you? Are you an introvert? Oud practice   I come to the Oud from Persian music. Persian music, at it’s core,…

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Sawt Al-Khaleej

  Today you’re going to learn about a really important genre of Arabic music. This music is timeless and ancient. It is very different in tone and feeling than Arabic music in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt. You can call it Sawt Al-Khaleej, or Sawt for short. Sawt music is the Arabic music I find very intriguing. The rhythms are very unique, and the Oud playing is absolutely furious….

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The Difference Between Persian, Arabic and Turkish Quartertones

    If you don’t know anything about me, the first thing you should know is that I only started listening to Arabic and Turkish music about 8 or 9 years ago. I’m Persian, I grew up listening to traditional Persian music, and the bulk of my musical education is in Persian music. So when I started to listen to Arabic and Turkish music I noticed that the quartertones (or…

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The Chraibi Slide

  Want to play like a pro? Then I’ve got just the technique for you. I call it, the Chraibi Slide. Check out the video below to learn how to do it!     The Chraibi Slide – Oud Technique   Difficulty: Advanced Prerequisites techniques: Trill, Tremolo, Slide. See the Foundation Program to learn how to play these core Oud techniques in-depth.  What? The Chraibi slide is a flourished slide…

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The Muting Technique – Playing Short Staccato Notes

  You’re going to learn another important nuance that is found in all types of music. I call it the…   Muting Technique It allows you to cut off the note that you have played so you can play notes short and staccato. Watch the video below to see how it’s done!   Muting Technique – Basic Left Hand Oud Technique Difficulty: Easy   Why? The ability to mute the notes…

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Bass Note Jumping – Melody Embellishment Oud Technique

  We are following up last week’s drone technique video with a technique that will help you embellish your melody and help you sound like a pro, I call it… Bass Note Jumping. This technique is widely used by professional Oud players and in theory is very easy, it just takes some practice to get the right intonation. I was actually specifically asked by someone to discuss this technique a…

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Can You Count To 10? – Sama’i Thaqil – Samai Rhythm

When was the last time you had trouble counting to 10? It was probably when you were 5 years old, or maybe it was the first time you tried to play or listen to a Sama’i instrumental! I want to share something very quick, short and easy that you can use to keep track of the beat of a very pesky rhythm in Arabic music called Sama’i Thaqil, and Aksak…

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The Best 50 Middle Eastern Songs You Have to Hear!

  Here is a brief education in Middle Eastern music listening. If you want to become more familiar with Arabic music and don’t know where to begin, I have 50 suggestions for you. This is just a mere, humble list, and really does not do justice to the rich musical traditions of each area I mention, but it is a strong start. I made three categories: Arabic, Turkish, Persian. The…

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Pianos Are Out of Tune – A Discussion on Equal Temperament and Oud Music

Did you know Pianos are intentionally tuned “out of tune”? Yes it’s true. Modern Pianos are all tuned using a system called “Equal Temperament”. In fact, you can’t use your ear to tune a Piano in equal temperament because our ears don’t hear notes in this manner. Piano tuners use a device and they need to know how much each note needs to be “out of tune” in order to…

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