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Inspiration Wanted - Apply Within!
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for music students is knowing what to practice. In the early years students listened to their teachers and did what they told them to do, which is still of course perfectly valid. But the real turning point that sets a student on their own path is the ability to self motivate and take the reins without the aid of a mentor.
This usually happens around the time that the student falls in love with music. When a student starts out, they usually practice out of fear. Fear that they might be told off because their teacher will scold them for NOT practicing. So much later, when the student has some basic playing facility behind them, music all of a sudden becomes fascinating to them. This is when the craving to pick up the instrument starts to happen.
As the student continues to explore on his or her own, there are doubtless times when road blocks appear. I've always thought that improving happens in peaks and plateaus, where the plateaus of seeming UN-improvement seem to last forever! This of course is never the case because the plateaus are the times when the information is being absorbed which is so necessary.
However, it is during these plateaus that the student often gets stuck. Personally, I have always got through these troublesome times because I have always paid close attention to a little inner voice that would always tap me on the shoulder and say "You know you have a weakness when you play over diminished chords", or "Your sight reading in the 8th position needs a little work when you play in the key of Ab". And so on.
This little voice never went away over the years. She's still there today, tapping me on the shoulder every few weeks, making sure I am not resting on my laurels. But I have found that if I am committed to improving and really open to working on whatever I need to work on, I will always get the advice I need.
I think deep down we all know what our strengths and weaknesses are as players at any level. Therefore as we continue to grow and develop as musicians, we must always pay very close attention to our weaknesses and work on them. They usually stare us in the face. The trouble is, it is very easy to ignore what is usually obvious to us.
One thing I have found is that, unless I am really open to learning and in the mode of wanting to improve, that little inner voice tends to go away. She's not tapping me on the shoulder telling me what I need to work on unless I really want to know.
So I guess what I am trying to say here is ask yourself questions! What is your real commitment to music and what are your weaknesses? If you truly want to be a great player then you simply need to focus on your weaknesses.
Now as time goes on, and you cover the playing field regarding technique, harmony and melodic vocabulary, then that inner voice directs you to more and more specific things. She might say "You sound unsure when you play over that G7(#5) bit in the bridge of Stella By Starlight", or "Blowing in 3/4 time isn't really quite together yet is it? - let's work on that".
Now, I also find these days that my inner voice offers me inspirational things to practice. She might say, "You know when you played that augmented idea at the 10th fret over D7 - that's cool - work on that!" or "When you played that 2 5 lick but with open strings - yeah - develop that - that's interesting!". I get this all the time these days, giving me fuel to work on my things rather than other players' ideas. This is what intrigues me today.
Self improvement as a player seems to be a never ending quest for inspiration and ideas and I find the best source these days comes from within.
Music Licensing: The Cold Cash Facts About Money for your Music
Where music meets licensing, there's money to be made. How much money? "I have synched quite a few thousand songs into productions over the years," states Peter Jansson of Janssongs, Inc., "and have charged anywhere between US$1.00 and US$250,000 for each one."
Ouch, It Hurts When I Sing!
When I first set out to write this article about voice problems in singers, I was looking for two experts from contrasting fields of medicine ? "medical" and "holistic". What I found, instead, in the first practitioner that I interviewed, was a delightful mixture of the two.
Flaming Guitars! Minarik Fuels The Excitement of a New Generation of Musicians
From the Telecaster to the Flying V to the Iceman to the Warlock, some guitar designs are forever branded on our consciousness, and now there's a new one: the Minarik Inferno X-treme. The body shape erupts in furious fingers of flame. If ever there was a guitar design destined to ignite the imagination of young players, especially boys and girls who want to rawk, this is it.
Bagpipe Lessons In Your Own Home !
Bringing Bagpipe Tuition to Everyone, Everywhere.
How Many Chords Are There, Anyway?
Since chords (the main component of harmony) are one of the three most vital elements of music ? the others being melody and rhythm ? it would be useful to know how many chords there are. And it doesn't matter whether you play piano or guitar or some other instrument ? chords are chords.
Music Business Contacts: Music Business Registry connects artists, managers, publishers, producers &
"The difference between success and failure is information," notes Ritch Esra, and he should know. Along with his partner, Stephen Trumbull, Esra is a leading part of the number one most-reliable source of information on "who's who" and "who does what" in the music business. Best of all, they can tell you where everybody is located.
Rickenbacker 4003 Electric Bass Guitar
The Rickenbacker 4003 electric bass guitar is oneof the few electric basses to have earned the accolade"classic" as a title for itself. The Rickenbacker 4000Series guitar is attributed for creating new dimensionsof bass playing capabilities. Basses by Rickenbackerare made by hand in America, using traditional methodsrefined and honed.
How To Play Piano Using Chord Symbols
Chord symbols (for example, Fm7, Cmaj7 or G6) are a type of notation used frequently in jazz and other areas of modern music to notate chord progressions and changes. This type of notation differs from that of classical music in that chord symbols don't show the function of a chord the way the Roman numeral notation does. Chord symbols, for modern music with lots of changes, are much easier to read. They function as a sort of shorthand for change-heavy music and are written with four chord parts in mind: the root, the quality, the extension, and the alterations.
Review: Medications - All Your Favorite People In One Place
One of the most intriguing aspects of music is how easily it can transform one's mood. The right notes, at the right tempo, and all of a sudden, BAM! You're in a good mood. This 3 piece from Washington, DC knows exactly how to pull this off. Consisting of members of the now defunct band "Faraquet", Medications oddly enough, sounds a lot like Faraquet. It's peculiar how a band consisting of the same musicians can sound very similar. After the Faraquet breakup 2 of the founding members created Medications and while the sound is very similar, the new third wheel does add some new elements into the mix. A mere 6 months since the release of their Medications EP, they have returned with their first full length Your favorite people all in one place available now on Dischord.
The King of the Delta Blues Singers - Robert Johnson Still Stands at the Crossroads
Probably the most enigmatic Singer and Guitarist of the twentieth Century is now one of the most revered and respected of all Musicians who make up the Genre of the 'Blues'. I speak of course about the wonderful Robert Leroy Johnson. Born in 1911 in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, in a Deep South plantation, he, in his pitifully short life, has become one of the founding Fathers of the Blues.
Health and Beauty Tips for Your Brass: Keep It Shiny!
Did you know that the health and beauty of your brass instruments require extra special attention? It's true-their wellbeing and happiness depend upon it. While we're not talking about putting your tuba on a weight-loss program or taking your trumpet to the spa for a makeover, you do need to treat your brass instruments with care or they'll refuse to come out and play. So, grab that brass and get ready for a workout-it's time to clean!
Play Too Loud And Well Cut The Power!
"Turn it down!"
All About Eminem
Marshall Mathers, was born October 17, 72, and could be by far the most notorious and recognised rap music musicians of this age, having the alias Slimshady. Slim Shady is perhaps best known for being one of the very few influencial white rappers in the hip hop industry, and not only one of the most critically acclaimed.
Polychords and the Jazz Improviser: How to Practice & Apply Polychords to Improv
In the world of music, many Jazz improvisers and Classical composers eventually venture into exploring poly-harmony within their respective art form. Poly harmony is the simultaneous sounding of more than one harmonic concept. The preponderance with poly-harmony began the late 19th-early 20th centuries with classical composers as Stravinsky and Debussy. About sixty years later, jazz musicians as John Coltrane and Richie Bierach incorporated such ideas into their music. The benefits of learning poly-chords will enhance an improviser's repertoire of harmonic concepts. Thus they can create harmonic colorings that can influence a listener's outlook. This article will focus on how once can practice and incorporate tertian polychords into their improvisational styles. Many of the examples and references within this article will make use of the seventh chord and triad. One should to explore other tertian harmonies such as ninths, elevenths, and all other similar formulations.
Does Your Band Need a Manager?
New bands looking to book gigs and establish contacts often start looking for a manager to handle the business aspects of their music. This is especially the case in cities with big music scenes, like New York, Los Angeles and Austin.
Make Money with Your Music ? the Top 5 Ways
Songwriters dream of making their living by writing, and sometimes performing, their songs. But until that day comes they've got to make a living somehow! Sound familiar?
Music to Echo Your Mood
In what way do the kinds of music (rock, rap, classical,instrumental, etc.) change or alter our mood and in what waydo our moods effect what music we listen to?
Creating Your Own Compositions
The idea of actually creating a complete piece of music to play frightens many students. They just don't understand how someone could come up with something, put it down on paper, and call it their own.
People are Turning to Meaningful Songs for Emotional and Spiritual Relief:
A New Breed of Aspiring Songwriters Is In The Making. What are the Sacrifices of the Solo Singer Songwriter in Today's Changing Culture?
Shut Up And Sing
What is it with these performers and their politics? Do they really think that people who pay $100 or more to hear them sing want to hear them utter political opinions? The audience pays hundreds of thousands of dollars to see and hear a performer PERFORM. You want to spout politics, run for freakin office, you moron! When performers use a paid venue to play politics they are abusing the paying audience, the venue, the sponsors and everyone connected to their artistic performance. It's an inappropriate venue and inapproprite behavior to voice your political viewpoint, you jerk! And they wonder why people boo.
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