Moore on Music - Tidbits


by Billy Moore

Historically, the evolution of new music in the New World of the Americas, started with the "field holler". Then it progressed to the "work song", then to gospel, then to blues, then to jazz. Out of this evolution came rhythm and blues, and rock and roll.

After the series of evolutions, came the marriages of different styles, rhythms and harmonies from many different cultures. (Afro-Cuban, Latin Jazz, Fusion, Rock-A-Billy, etc.) the bottom and basis of all of this music is rhythm - The instruments are drums and percussion. The drum has been (and still is) one of the main instruments in man's cultural activities, for singing and dancing in his many rituals and cultural activities.

Drums are the historical keepers of the beat through the millennia. The beat of the drums moved armies and frightened some of the opponents into submission. The GROUND BEAT of the drums in some cultures and rituals lead to a trance state, known in African music , blues, rock and roll, and Latin music as a monotony of rhythms.

The role of the drums and percussion is to enhance and color music. Most of all, in contemporary music, it keeps the beat, keeps audiences clapping their hands, tapping their feet and dancing.

A sound does not become true music until it has rhythm, therefore, the one element that is a constant in all music (vocal or instrumental) is rhythm.

Rhythm is the key component and drums and percussion instruments provide the foundation of rhythm.

Musically yours,

Billy Moore


by Billy Moore

Music of all cultures and diversities have now converged on our world with some different dynamic harmonies, rhythms, melodies and an intermingling of ideas. Today’s technology causes ideas of all musical categories to be used up at a very rapid pace. Yesterday’s hits are being recycled with new harmonies and rhythms, for a generation of listeners who were not exposed to the original versions. We can surmise that most of today’s music is a repeat of some ideas of past periods. It is still true, that in most cases, for one to be an innovator, it takes study and knowledge of past creations.

The mood of the culture, to a great extent, determines the different moods and acceptance of today’s music that exists within the heartbeat of society. The music embraced by the youth of society, usually, goes against the mores of the greater portion of the adult society. This youthful energy is the vehicle for new ideas and innovations. Some innovations may even be based on old ideas - good, bad and indifferent.

The importance of keeping the creative aspects of our culture alive can not be over-emphasized. With this being the case, let's all encourage, guide and teach all generations of musicians to be each others “mentors”. Seek a “mentor” who will help to further your talents and become a “mentor” if you have reached a level of proficiency in which you have something to offer another. By using this practice, we all have a possibility to gain. It can become a “win-win” situation if we practice respect, appreciation and/or a tolerance for the diverse talents of others.

May you discover a new way of sparking your creative energy. Make it your goal to become the very best that you can be.

Musically yours,

Billy Moore


by Billy Moore

As I discussed in previous “TidBits”, the main study is about rhythm. The best way to do rhythm studies is through snare drumming and the 26 original rudiments. First of all, in snare drumming, there are only two strokes – a single stroke and a double stroke. Most rhythms, including hybrides, are a form of the original 26 rudiments. Combinations of various rudiments – plus alternate sticking and accents – make hybrid rudiments possible. Also, the mastery of rudiments and sticking patterns help greatly with mallet studies.

There are two hand grips for snare drum performances. They are traditional and match grip. All keyboard percussionists use match grip, (marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, orchestra bells, chimes and timpani).

To become one of the best, one must master rhythms, time signatures, meters, notations and the mathematics of music. The assembly of a library of technical books and studies is highly recommended for continued development and assured success in the development of ones talents.

My courses of study are designed to give the serious student a firm foundation for achieving success and achieving their desired GOALS. Success awaites you. So, take advantage of the golden opportunities that are available. Grab it and go for the “creative ride”.

Musically yours.

Billy Moore


by Billy Moore

Let's focus on the question of “Why the Study of the Marimba Is So Important” in the study of percussion. First of all, it is the percussionist's main keyboard instrument. It really lays the foundation for many of the techniques needed to complete the study of keyboard mallet percussion. That includes xylophone, vibraphone, orchestra bells, chimes and timpani.

The studies of mallet percussion encompass scales, chords, harmony, intervals, enharmonics, rhythms, notations, sight singing, composition, composing and so much more.

The study of marimba allows the percussion student to be on the same musical footing as other instrumentalists and vocalists. Keyboard studies help to enhance the percussionist in theory, composition, form and analysis, counterpoint, sight singing, harmony, terms and notations.

The study of the marimba is to the vibraphone as the piano is to the organ. For clarification, one must understand that the marimba lays the foundation for being proficient on the vibraphone and the study of the piano lays the ground work for being proficient on the organ.

Students must be taught how to perform on the marimba without looking down at the keyboard. This can be achieved by using my technique of five and seven groups of notes – being either outside or inside tones.

Students start with two mallet studies and progress to three and four mallets and compositions. It is in the best interest of the serious student to assemble a library of materials, books, compositions, technical studies and any information on where to best utalize your talents.

My book “Contemporary Theory and Improvisational Studies “ will give you the knowledge to be among the best. Lastly, seek a knowledgable teacher and mentor to help you reach your potential goals. There are more reasons why you should invest in your talents, than why you should not.

Musically Yours,

Billy Moore


by Billy Moore

Duke Ellington wrote a very popular tune back in the 1940s - "Things Ain't What They Use To Be". No truer words have ever been spoken. Here in the 21st Century we have to focus on the reality of those words. The best advice that I can now give you is, in order to get ahead and to stay ahead, you must focus on diversification. With the competition being so tight, musicians wanting to climb to the top would be advised to understand the importance of rhythms, sight reading, technique and musical knowledge for your chosen specialty. For every pop artist who "makes it big" in various genres of entertainment, there are thousands who do not. There is no "EASY BUTTON". It is important to know what your strengths are and work hard to perfect them. It takes practice and focus to assure your own personal success.

Have you accumulated a music library? Do you listen to artists who are performing in the genres that you desire to perform? Have you acquired books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials to study from?

Performing as a non-union independent contractor, you may miss out on benefits, such as social security, health and welfare or royalty payments. Those entertainers who receive those benefits work in the top ranks of the industry. They are affiliated with professional associations and unions or they have formed their own musical corporations.

New innovations in recording techniques, keyboard work stations, Apple computers, samplings and loops, now allow for musicians to make some incredible sound tracks.

If you are interested in learning about how you may broaden your career possibilities and focus on diversification - visit

Take the time to look into and study all of the careers in the music industry and understand what it takes to make yourself successful in your chosen musical career. If you have identified your talent, your strengths and your fondest desires, back them up with a wide variety of knowledge, technique, resources and all that it takes to survive in the 21st Century.

Musically Yours,

Billy Moore

Billy Moore  •  P.O. Box 1683  •  Marietta GA 30061  •  Email: