Educational CyberPlayGround ®

Joe Messina's Personal Message

Joe Messina: Educational CyberPlayGround Ringleader, Culture Maker and Legend!

Joe Messina © 2005 ECP All rights reserved worldwideJoe Messina wins 2 GrammysGiant Steps Progressions Studies by Joe Messina

"Joe Messina is Motown's longest playing member of the Funk Brothers."

Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame for the Funk Brothers: Joe Messina, Eddie Willis, Jack Ashford March 21, 2013

  • 1953 Soupy Sales & 1962 SONGS

Dear Reader,

My heartfelt message for you is that you find luck and happiness in your life. I'd like to share some advice so that you will have both. One thing I know is that when you are in school, please work hard to learn as much as you can. If you work hard, I know that you'll get lucky. Work and luck go hand in hand. With enough work you may be able to make your own luck.
A little knowledge of the computer can also go a long way, and I suggest everyone apply themselves to the use of a computer. For example, I used a computer to write my book. First off, you need to get a computer-music program for writing and arranging music. That is what I did, and I am not as young as you, I am in my 7th decade! If I can learn to do this, so can you.
I would also like your teachers, your school board and your parents to support the arts in your school curriculum; they should introduce you to literature, drama, and music. This opens up all the possibilities that lie within you.

Music, of course, has been an important part of my life.

I studied a system of music called "The Schillinger System of Musical Composition" by Joseph Schillinger. Mr. Schillinger is both a teacher of music and mathematics, and combined the two together. With the use of permutations, one could gather ideas upon ideas. This system is used for scoring music for movies. I also applied this system to my guitar playing, which gave me a different perspective to playing and thinking as a composer rather than just as a guitar player.

I would like to mention chords, a very important part of music. A chord is the union of two or more sounds heard at the same time. Chords add color to music. Henry Mancini wrote a song called "Moon River," which is a song written with diatonic notes. These are notes only of a major scale and in the key of "C," which are all the white keys you see on the piano. When Mancini put harmony (chords) to the melody it became a wonderful work of music. Chords can and do consist of notes outside of the diatonic scale.

When learning an instrument or composing music, the teacher opens the door, but you must enter by yourself to learn about the wonderful world of chords. All the great composers, such as Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Debussy, etc. had great knowledge of chords.

Remember accomplishment and success are often the result of commitment and perseverance.

Also remember that understanding can overcome any situation, and with determination and persistence you can achieve whatever you desire. So my dear friends you must practice, practice, practice.

Work hard, good luck with your studies, and I wish you . . .

All my best,

Joe Messina

GIANT STEPS Progression Studies Over 500 Exercises by Joe Messina


Giant Steps Progressions Studies by Joe Messina

Joe Messina says" I was inspired to write this book because a serious student will need to know the basics of music theory.


Advanced Student: Over 500 phrases over the Giant Steps cycle
using a large variety of scale choices. Learn new ways to color and texture these elusive changes.Messina is the creator of an alternative music technique known as The Interval Study Method, which uses the chromatic and diatonic scales to create music. He still resides in Detroit, where he performs as a jazz musician.

If you practice these exercises and can master these classic jazz changes you will find your reward when you go to improvise and can play the basics cold. With all the different combinations in my book you will be ready to play your best. That is the goal of every true artist.

Among Messina's influences are Charlie Parker, Les Paul, and George Barnes. In his early days, Messina played a Gibson L5 guitar, and later moved over to an early 1960s Fender Telecaster with a Jazzmaster neck strung with flatwound strings.



9/04 Harry Walker came to visit me and gave me the CD with these songs on it. Harry's wife taped portions of the show from from the 1/2 hour radio show called "The Harry Walker Trio Featuring Joe Messina" airing from Canada.


1953 Soupy Sales made its debut on November 10, 1953. A typical show opened with Soupy doing a short standup routine, followed by guests, comedy and music. The house band, “Two Joes and a Hank,” was led by WXYZ's musical director Hal Gordon, with members of Motown's famed “Funk Brothers” Joe Messina on guitar and Jack Brokensha on drums and vibes. Joe Oddo on bass and Hank Trevision on piano rounded out the group.



Thanks to Allan Slutsky's Vision: Standing in the Shadows of Motown

March 21, 3013 Motown's Funk Brothers to get star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Funk Brothers will get their Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The much-fabled, long-neglected Motown studio band is set to be immortalized in the sidewalk near Hollywood and Vine, with a ceremony that's expected to include surviving Funks Joe Messina, Eddie Willis and Jack Ashford. The Funk Brothers will join a Walk of Fame that already honors many of the Motown acts whose grooves they provided, among them the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Miracles and Marvin Gaye.


THE MUSIC HALL OF FAME MUSEUM - honors musicians of all styles

Joe Messina

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Messina © 2006 CP All rights reserved worldwide

Joe Messina

© 2006 CP All rights reserved worldwide

Joe Messina

© 2006 CP All rights reserved worldwide

Joe Messina's book called "Giant Steps"


Make Your Webquest About Joe Messina



Joe Messina

© 2006 CP All rights reserved worldwide

Notice it should be spelled "Soupy Sales"

Joe Messina (born in Detroit, Michigan on 13 December 1928) is an American guitarist. Dubbed the "white brother with soul", Messina was one of the most prolific guitarists in Motown Records' in-house studio band, the Funk Brothers.
Messina started playing guitar as an adolescent. By his mid-twenties, Messina was playing in the ABC Television studio band, accompanying guests that included Sonny Stitt, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Jack Teagarden, Lee Konitz, Jimmy Giuffre, Pepper Adams, Donald Byrd, Eddie (LockJaw) Davis, Frank Rosolino and Dizzy Gillespie, among others.
Also while at ABC, he played on the nationally televised Soupy Sales Show alongside notable guests such as Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.
In 1958, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy recruited Messina for his Hitsville U.S.A. studio musicians group, known as the Funk Brothers. In the 1960s and early 1970s, they recorded the instrumentals for hundreds of Motown hit records. During this time, Messina worked with performers such as Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. Among Messina's most notable performances are his turns on hits such as "Dancing in the Street" (Martha & the Vandellas, 1964), "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" (Four Tops, 1965), and "Your Precious Love" (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, 1967).


ABC - Jackson Five
Ain' t No Mountain High Enough - Diana Ross
Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing - Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell
Ain't Too Proud To Beg -- The Temptations
Ain't That Peculiar -- Marvin Gaye
Baby Love -- The Supremes
Back in My Arms Again -- The Supremes
Ball of Confusion -- The Temptations
Beauty's Only Skin Deep -- The Temptations
Beachwood 4,5,7,8,9 -- The Marvelettes
Bernadette -- The Four Tops
Blowin' In The Wind - Stevie Wonder
Can I Get A Witness - Marvin Gaye
Can't Get Next to You - The Temptations
Cloud Nine -- The Temptations
Come See About Me -- The Supremes
Cool Jerk -- The Capitols
Dancing In The Street -- Martha and the Vandellas
Do You Love Me? (Now That I Can Dance) - The Contours
Do You Wanna Dance? -- Del Shannon
Don't Leave Me This Way -- Thelma Houston
Don't Mess With Bill -- The Marvelettes
Fingertips (Part 2)-- Stevie Wonder
For Once in My Life -- Stevie Wonder
Gimme Just a Little More Time -- Chairman of the Board
Get Ready ('Cause Here I Come) -- The Temptations
Going To A Go-Go -- The Miracles
Heat Wave -- Martha and the Vandellas
Higher Ground -- Stevie Wonder
How Sweet It Is (to be loved by you) -- Marvin Gaye
I Can't Help Myself -- Four Tops
I Can't Get Next To You -- The Temptations
I Hear A Symphony -- The Supremes
I Heard It Through The Grapevine -- Marvin Gaye
I Second That Emotion -- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
I Want You Back -- Michael Jackson
I Was Made To Love Her -- Stevie Wonder
(I Know) I'm Losing You -- The Temptations
I'll Always Love You -- The Spinners
I'll Bet You -- The Funkadelics
It's A Shame -- The Spinners
I've Passed This Way Before -- Jimmy Ruffin
I Know I'm Losing You -- Rare Earth
I Wish It Would Rain -- The Temptations
I'll Be Doggone -- Marvin Gaye
I'll Be There -- The Jackson Five
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me -- Diana Ross and the Supremes
I'm A Roadrunner -- Junior Walker and the Allstars
Innercity Blues (Make me Wanna Holler) -- Marvin Gaye
In And Out of Love -- Diane Ross and the Supremes
It's The Same Old Song -- The Four Tops
Itchin' In My Heart -- The Supremes
Jimmy Mack -- Martha and the Vandellas
Just My Imagination -- The Temptations
Let's Get It On -- Marvin Gaye
Little Town Flirt -- Del Shannon
Love Child -- Diana Ross and the Supremes
Love is Here and Now You're Gone -- The Supremes
Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology) -- Marvin Gaye
My Cherie Amour -- Stevie Wonder
My Girl -- The Temptations
My Guy -- Mary Wells
Never Can Say Goodbye -- Jackson Five
Nowhere to Run -- Martha and the Vandellas
Papa Was a Rollin' Stone -- The Temptations
Please Mr. Postman -- The Marvelettes
Quicksand -- Martha and the Vandellas
Reach Out (I'll Be There -- The Four Tops
Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand -- Diana Ross
Reflections -- Diana Ross and the Supremes
Rubberband Man -- The Spinners
Shotgun -- Jr. Walker and the All-Stars
Shop Around -- The Miracles
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours -- Stevie Wonder
Smiling Faces Sometimes -- The Undisputed Truth
Some Day We'll be Together -- Diana Ross and the Supremes
Standing in the Shadows of Love -- The Four Tops
Stop, in the Name of Love -- The Supremes
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
Tears of a Clown -- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
The Happening -- The Supremes
The Tracks of My Tears -- The Miracles
The Way You Do The Things You Do -- The Temptations
Then Came You -- Dionne Warwick/The Spinners
Too Many Fish in the Sea -- The Marvelettes
Touch Me in the Morning -- Diana Ross
Twenty Five Miles -- Edwin Starr
Uptight (Everything is All Right) -- Stevie Wonder
War -- Edwin Starr
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted -- Jimmy Ruffin
What's Goin' On -- Marvin Gaye
Where Did our Love Go? -- The Supremes
With This Ring -- The Platters
Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday -- Stevie Wonder
You Are The Sunshine of my Life -- Stevie Wonder
You Can't Hurry Love -- The Supremes
You Really Got a Hold on Me -- The Miracles
You Keep Me Hanging On -- The Supremes
You're A Wonderful One -- Marvin Gaye
You're All I Need to Get By -- Marvin Gaye
You're My Everything -- The Temptations