New developments in the wonderful wily world of Adam Neely:

I am very proud to mention my fellow theory-buff Jeff Brent’s book out on Hal Leonard, which is entitled “Modalogy.”  Jeff and I had a very interesting and fruitful correspondance about a year ago that yielded a very wide spectrum of subjects, some of which are covered in this tome of highly advanced (yet highly practical!) knowledge. I fully recommend it! It starts where Berklee’s modal thing ends, and goes way further.

I’ve started slowly (and somewhat painstakingly) uploading lesson videos dealing with playing chords on bass guitar, a performance subject that remains near and dear to my heart. If anybody is interested in this sort of thing, be sure to check out these lessons below…

1. Chords on Bass – Pros and Cons
2. Close Position Triads
3. Open Position Triads
4. Harmonizing the Major Scale in Triads
5. Shell Voicings
6. “Alpha” Voicings

More to follow, of course!

I’ve spent the past couple weeks between here (my totally sweet bottom floor apartment in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn) and Boston recording tracks for the Whiskey Boy’s upcoming album, Crescent Moon. Trust me when I say that their stuff is new, exciting, and totally original. I’m not quite sure how to categorize the material we recorded (folk rock? contemporary bluegrass?! pop traditional??!! uh…) but I do know that its music that I really enjoy recorded with people I enjoy just as much. Plus it’s ballsy! What more could you ever want in music? Be sure to check it out come March 2012. Be sure to check out my gang vox contribution also!

Besides all of this, my world has been kept busy by school (my graduate studies in Jazz Composition at Manhattan School of Music) and work (teaching at Guitar New York). I’ve learned a lot from both, the trick is of course I’m getting paid for my teaching, and I have to pay for MSM! Haha.


My first couple months of tenure at Guitar New York have been quite eye-opening in a lot of ways. When I have taught bass guitar in the past, I have mainly taught people who have know me personally through my jazz bass playing, or through watching my lessons on YouTube (via my “HaVIC5” youtube channel) This has afforded me an absolutely exceptional, if very limited clientele, of people who want to learn nothing by the most extreme forms of jazz playing, or otherwise want to focus exclusively on my own personal idiosyncratic understanding of theory as outlined in my videos. This was awesome, of course, because I could deal with the headspace that I was utterly familiar with, and people wanted solely to get there, and nowhere else.

Guitar New York got me thinking in an entirely different headspace, and IT WAS JUST AS AWESOME. This is how I know, by the way, that I have destined to be a teacher if music if my lineage didn’t prescribe it anyway (my dad’s family are all teachers, my mom’s family are all musicians…you do the math…)

What I mean is, getting inside the head of the beginning student and understanding what they want to accomplish on the conscious and subconscious levels is insanely rewarding, especially when you are there to witness a lightbulb moment on a concept that you yourself remembered having way back in the day. I get to work with young and middle-age professionals pretty much exclusively (no children yet…), and so there is an amazing reward when you see people who are very genuinely doing music for the curiosity and for the amateur love of the thing rather than “my parents are making me do it,” or whathave you. They have no pretense of fame or career or cynical competition with others, they simply are doing it because they like doing it, and why the f*** not? Is there no better thing than that?

On top of that, teaching energizes me, which is proof positive that it is what I’m supposed to be doing. In the Meyers-Briggs test, you are judged to be either an introver or an extrovert. Introverts are supposed to drain energy from interactions from other people, and extroverts are supposed to rely on interactions with other people for energy. I’ve always tested introverted as hell, but as soon as somebody wants to know something that I can explain, look out! I turn into the most extroverted of the extroverted. I get so pumped by a person wanting to learn from me. I have a 14-hour schedule some weekdays, and I always come home ready to conquer the world. This is in stark contrast to regular interactions with other people, which generally leave my cold, unless I know them fairly well.

Anyway, I hope that gave a little insight into my life right now. Au revoir!

– Adam


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Welcome to Adam Neely's blog/website. Check out his compositions, links, and information about lessons on the top bar, and enjoy the music!

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