Myth – Music lessons are a painful, stressful process.
Your music lessons can be a negative experience, if you take lessons from someone who is not a true music teacher. However, having said that, it is, in reality, not the music lessons that are at fault. Several elements come into play here. The first element is the teacher.
I firmly believe that genuine music teachers are born not necessarily created through an educational system or grand performance experience. In the educational system, music students are offered two career tracts – performance or education. I’m sure you heard it said, “those who can’t… teach.” Well, in reality those who perform well are not necessarily good teachers. Just because a person finds their way through a path to musical proficiency does not mean that they are capable, or even willing to show others how to get there. One of the biggest components of a musician, especially a talented or trained musician, is their ego. Studies have been done adnauseam pertaining to the musicians’ need to receive positive feedback from others to
There are numerous websites dedicated to teaching jazz music. These sites contain some good exercises and resources to help you learn. But what many do not contain are tips and resources that can help you learn how to learn to play jazz.
There is no end to learning to play jazz, it is a continuous journey on which you embark. By this I mean that it is not enough just to sit down and say to yourself ‘today I am going to learn jazz’. Jazz is a commitment (usually lifelong), and the best approach to learning jazz is to understand what you need to be successful at playing it.
Playing jazz music is not just about demonstrating an ability to play jazz on an instrument, but is also a mental process based on an awareness of what jazz is and where it comes from. Developing this awareness will guide your playing to a deeper level of understanding and appreciation. Below are a number of mental and practical tips to help you to think about
This document assumes the use of a small standard right handed drumkit setup.
Being a right handed player, one approach I have found most useful of late is changing my right hand hi-hat to left hand or playing ‘open’. At first it may feel odd or alien if you have been playing the traditional cross handed technique for years previously. I was perhaps unaware that my right hand was stronger and faster than the left and that the weaker hand was preventing me from achieving certain goals, in particular noticing a flaw in my paradiddles it was the left side that was letting me down.
A method I found useful in bringing my left hand up to speed was to play through simple songs open handed, left hand on hi-hat at a comfortable speed but making sure to play the whole song/track. It would be quite simple to do a bar or two, but I noticed when playing longer sections that I could not keep up. This is a problem many have when performing live,
How is it that some songwriters reach the level of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash or Joni Mitchell while others languish completely unknown? It comes down to two things.
First, the best in the business understand that their paycheck depends largely upon their network. But what this article is about is the second aspect: pure songwriting ability. Everyone can learn the first, even if you’re an introvert (trust me, if I can do it, you can). But becoming an expert songwriter takes devotion bordering on insanity. Part 1 of this two part series covers three aspects you can start implementing into your songwriting today.
1. Melody creation
A lot of songwriters like to start with a melody because that’s what comes first. Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday” started with nothing but a melodic line to which he used the lyrics, “Scrambled eggs, oh you’ve got such lovely legs”. Like McCartney, if what you hear first are a series of notes, try simply using any non-sensible syllables to establish the melody.
So often you hear people remark, after hearing a good musician perform, that this person is just ‘so lucky’ because they were born with the talent to make music. Our media holds up the picture of the young person who just ‘started playing,’ and supposedly needed no instruction. Musical groups are just a bunch of friends who got together and started playing; there was no rehearsing and such things involved. The truth is, there are many very talented individuals but they all needed instruction of some kind. Even Mozart had lessons from his father.
Things like music have been made to appear more difficult than they really are because of the ‘snob nomenclature’ that the people who participate in it use. Nomenclature is simply what things are called and ‘snob nomenclature’ is the practise of using or making up very technical sounding names for what is usually pretty simple stuff.
People who get involved in an activity such as music use the ‘snob nomenclature’ to create the effect that they are ‘in the know’ and it is supposed to
If you’re stuck in getting the right equipment, if you’re not confident in your DJ mixing skills, or if you’re not simply putting yourself out there, this article will teach you how to pick and choose the right equipment, better prepare you mix sets to really get your listeners exited, and to successfully make you look like a pro. Something to keep in mind while you’re reading this article. Getting into DJing isn’t the cheapest thing to do. All the costs of the expensive equipment and marketing tools that make you look like a professional do add up so keep a budget and keep track of your expenses. Think of this as an investment on yourself.
Let’s assume you’ve never had any training and don’t even have the proper equipment to mix. The first thing you’re going to want to do is put enough time into finding the proper DJ Controller. This is incredibly important as sound quality and FX are determined by the grade of the Controller you’re using. Now there are a number of companies that provide a
If you’ve often wondered what the difference is between head voice and falsetto, then you’re no different to a lot of other people out there who ask themselves this very question. Once you’re able to identify the difference between the two, you will be able to immediately know where you are and never have to make a wild guess ever again. This article will expound a little bit about that to help you get a better understanding. So let’s talk about the head voice versus falsetto.
Many people don’t know the difference. When your head voice is isolated, it’s hard to tell that from falsetto. Ideally, what you want is a good blend through your mix voice, using your pharyngeal resonator. But the difference is vocal cord closure. Falsetto is breathy and devoid of vocal cord closure and you feel it more in your throat. And what’s more, it doesn’t allow your voice to blend between registers. So actually, when you want to be sure where you are (falsetto or head voice), be sure to check if you
Is what you hear in music the same as what I hear? It is much easier to test this than it is to test if the same color of blue looks exactly the same to both of us. A song is playing. It is a famous group. We both hear the same words and the same music. We may feel differently about what we hear but we both hear the same song, essentially. The words are the same and the music is the same, no matter how many times we hear the song. It is a recording and it is all set or fixed, unalterable.
If the articulation of the singer is good enough, we will hear the same identical words. We both might be able to sing the same melodic line that we hear. In your language, you can write down what you hear but can you write down the notes with the correct pitches, rhythms, and the correct duration of each note? Can you hear embellishments and also pitches being bent? Would you know how
Do you have a dream to play a musical instrument, sing or write songs? Learning how to read music is a critical skill set that you will need to be a successful musician. Some compare it to being literate. I would agree with that assessment.
Believe it or not learning how to read music can be surprisingly easy and fun. You just need to have a little motivation, a good plan and some encouragement as you learn.
For over forty years I have been involved in music, most of those years earning an income, though meager at times, as a musician. I have taught literally hundreds of students. Some who were very young students and, surprisingly, some who were quite elderly.
The Sad Story
Many years ago I became acquainted with a very talented saxophonist. He was quite young at the time and he could virtually play anything he heard without the aid of written music. At the time I remember thinking “What an awesome gift”! I still feel that way today.
If you have only experienced vocal strain when you sing and want to get out of that hell hole, then you will need to first understand the way your voice is actually meant to travel… especially when you sing. We normally speak from the throat, and when we shout (see some politicians), we would usually feel the strain in the throat also. So let’s move away from talking and screaming for a moment. Let’s say you now want to use your voice to sing. Now because we don’t murmur when we sing, your natural reflex would be to shout because you want to be heard. This article will aim to show you how to retrain your voice to prevent vocal strain when you sing.
The more you think of the pain to your throat caused by your attempts to sing like a pro, the more you’ll come to realize that there has to be a better way. Don’t you ever wonder how the stars do it? Well, it all comes down to training the voice so that your larynx
Starting out on any musical instrument can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are going to be playing an acoustic instrument. (You don’t have to plug it in.)
After years of playing and teaching the clarinet I found there are some very practical things you can do as a parent when choosing a beginner clarinet for your children.
If you take this advice you can save money and in some cases a lot of money and start your children on their musical path with as little stress as possible.
Every year many parents sell the musical instruments their kids have been playing while in middle and high school. Some quit, some buy new instruments… whatever the reason this happens every year especially in the spring and the holiday season.
This is a big opportunity for you to save some money! Many times you’ll be able to buy instruments at a very reasonable cost. Usually significantly less than what you will pay on a long term rental.
Having taught piano for many years, a very popular question that I am often asked is “When can my child start piano lessons?” No matter how many different ways that question has been asked, I say the answer varies that many times.
We know that all children are different. They have different skills and abilities. I would say that there are three categories for determining when your child can start lessons: skills, emotional maturity and natural musical abilities.
At 6 years old, a child begins reading skills, and they have a good attention span. It is a nice age to start. Younger children (3-5) who enjoy clapping, singing and moving to music can also get started learning the names of the white keys. The basic counts to quarter and half notes are introduced as well.
There are wonderful programs such as Musik Garden, Music Together and WunderKeys for young children. Many coloring books are available for the younger musician to color piano keys, music signs and symbols. I recommend WunderKeys Books and Bastien’s Piano Basics: Primer Level.
A common error among musicians is playing with undue physical tension. This can actually lead to physiological problems such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, subluxation, etc.
A well-known concert pianist, a graduate of one of the finest music conservatories in the world, almost terminated his career due to tension in his hands and arms. Fortunately, his playing method was corrected, and the condition ceased.
Another example is another well-known classical pianist who holds both of her pinkies (fifth fingers) up while playing. Eventually, this will catch up with her, health-wise. Let’s do a simple test. Put tennis balls under the palms of your hands, with your hands facing down and the finger tips touching the table. If you do not have tennis balls to hand, simply keep your hands in that cupped shape. Lift each of your pinkies up and hold them for a few seconds. Now put them back. Which hand position felt more comfortable and natural?
A musician has to play with balance, support and coordination, without unnecessary or additive actions,
If you’re not singing a song with good pitch, everyone can hear it. Whether you’re too sharp or too flat on certain notes will make or break a song. Imagine if you were listening to a band playing and the instruments were out of tune. The song may be recognizable, but it is certainly not as enjoyable to listen to under such circumstances. Well if you’re a singer, there’s a cure. Try following the suggestions below and see if there’s room for improvement.
1. You may actually be yelling. Especially when the song requires us hitting higher notes, some of us tend to raise our volume in order to try to project those notes. Although your pitch may be close to correct. Screaming not only messes with your singing tone, but can damage your vocal cords.
2. You need to stand up straight. Poor posture can have a negative effect on your singing voice. In when you are reaching for the right pitch in a song. The reason is
Creating your own unplugged acoustic version of a song goes way beyond simply playing the original, as it is, on your acoustic guitar. Sure, you could do this, but you will only end up with an at best average acoustic rendition of the song you are creating the unplugged version from.
A much better approach would be to observe, listen, and learn from the thousands upon thousands of existing unplugged songs that have been done over the years. There are just so many cool and unique things available to you when creating your acoustic arrangements, that you need to know about. Many of these things you would not be aware of if you were to try and go it alone with a trial and error approach.
In this article, I am going to introduce you to 5 killer acoustic versions of songs that have been arranged by various artists. Together, we will pull these unplugged versions apart to see what has been done to the song compared to the original. By the end of the article you
Vibrato is one of the most important guitar techniques to master if you want to sound like a pro. All the most skilled players have great vibrato, while the majority of other players simply think this skill it will just improve on its own (without practice). In reality, your vibrato technique MUST sound good, otherwise your overall guitar playing will sound like crap.
To develop amazing sounding vibrato, you have to strip down the technique to its bare essentials, work on developing each one in isolation and then begin integrating them all together.
The following are five key pieces of advice that will put you on the right path towards mastering vibrato and making your guitar playing sound amazing:
One. Understand Exactly What You Are Searching For
As you practice vibrato, know for certain what sound you are searching for and what sound you don’t want.
Truly amazing vibrato and really bad vibrato are nothing alike. Amazing vibrato is always:
Does guitar practice seem more like a chore than something that you genuinely enjoy doing? This is a bad sign, and will only lead to slower overall progress… here are the two reasons why:
1. You’ll practice guitar less whenever you feel bored. As a result, you will make progress very slowly.
2. If worse comes to worse, you will end up not practicing at all, and maybe quitting guitar altogether. No doubt, this would lead to a massive decline in your guitar skills.
A great way to make guitar practice fun is to consistently track your progress. This simple (yet extremely important) action will benefit you in these ways:
1. You become much more focused as you practice. To start tracking your progress, you’ll need to first create goals to work towards. This will help you get better at guitar much faster because it gives you something to compare your current level to.
2. You begin competition against yourself to get better results. When you track your musical progress consistently, it becomes like a game
If you want to take your guitar teaching skills to the next level, you must NOT make the same exact errors all other guitar teachers are making. If you do this, your students will become better players much faster while also staying with you as their teacher for many years to come.
Don’t commit these huge, yet very common guitar teaching mistakes:
Guitar Teaching Mistake #1: Not Getting Your Students To Practice
You must inspire your students to practice consistently (and have fun doing it). If they don’t practice on a consistent basis, they won’t get results. This makes you look like a poor guitar teacher.
Guitar Teaching Mistake #2: Not Keeping Track Of Your Students’ Progress
These are the four ways tracking your students’ progress helps everyone involved:
1. It gives your students unquestionable proof that they are getting results. This gives them motivation to practice and get better faster.
2. Your students get the proof that YOU are a great teacher, and they feel inspired to study with you for longer periods
You can transform any guitar arpeggio from boring to awesome without playing it super fast. To do it, you just need to use creative exercises that make the pattern sound musically expressive.
1. Add A Break Into Your Arpeggio
If you simply repeat the same arpeggio up and down over and over it will eventually become boring. Rather than doing this, break each ascending and descending section into separate licks.
2. Expand And Harmonize Your Arpeggios Using Inversions
You can continually repeat an arpeggio over and over without it becoming old by doing the following:
– Lengthen the pattern using its inversions
– Use inversions as a way to harmonize the notes in your arpeggio
You must have great fretboard visualization skills to be able to expand an arpeggio using its inversions. Choose any arpeggio and attempt to locate its notes across the entire fretboard (for example, find the notes A C E for an A minor).
The guitar is a great musical instrument. It is relatively inexpensive, fairly portable and it is easy enough for you to learn the basics. As a matter of fact, it is totally up to you to take your playing as far as you want. There are lots of people all over the world who learn to play the guitar every day, regardless of their age. Grandparents and kids alike are fascinated by this musical instrument and want to know how to play it. Luckily, learning guitar is not that difficult, as long as you understand the five basic and essential principles that govern it. What are these principles? Read on to find out:
1 – Practice
This seems rather obvious because we know that practice makes perfect. However, you will find that everyone continues to give you the same advice whenever you ask for tips. This is due to the fact that a big part of learning how to play the guitar revolves around your finger memory i.e. motor skills. Initially, your brain will tell your fingers what to
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