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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.
Guide to Finding Music Online
Are you frustrated because finding your favorite songs on the net has become more of a chore than an enjoyable activity? Read this simple guide to finding music online and your troubles will be out of mind before you download your next Green Day hit!MP3s are compressed music files that are one-tenth the size of regular audio files. As a normal audio file requires about 40 megabytes to download, and MP3 requires four.
Interested in Improving the Sound of Your Stereo? Consider Records
Introduced in 1982, the compact disc was intended to provide better sound than the 40-year-old long-play record album, popularly known as the LP. Using a laser rather than a diamond needle for playback the compact disc was smaller, more convenient to use, and less susceptible to damage than the LP.
Beginner Guitar Lessons - Learn Guitar without Ever Leaving Your Home!
So, you think you'd like to learn to play guitar, but you're put off by the high cost of lessons? You don't want to put up with a teacher showing you a bunch of theory and boring songs that you don't want to learn and won't get you where you want to go? Look no further, online instruction is now available that provides comprehensive beginner guitar lessons to anyone who wants to learn to play guitar quickly and easily.Do I need to read music? No! Most online programs use a very visual approach, using picture diagrams and videos that actively demonstrate techniques so you hear what you need to play, not read it.
Musical Improvisation Basics - 8 Vital Things To Remember
This article discusses 8 vital things to remember as improvisers - whether advanced or just getting started:1. Your technique is probably miles ahead of your ability to think.
The Art Of Practicing - How To See Real Results
I have always believed that success, in practically any subject you can think of, is a direct result of "clear thinking". That is, the ability to understand very clearly what needs to be achieved and the action to set about surmounting very necessary hurdles in order to reach those goals.
Green Day: Punk Rock Masters Taming Mainstream Radio Their Way
Before they got together as Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool were merely three extraordinary hopefuls hoping and looking for their big break. The trio has no formal training and got their 'practice' from playing for free at punk clubs on Gilman Street in Berkeley, California.
Today's technology for the recording musician has been getting better and better with each passing month it seems. Software and computer interfaces are getting much less sophisticated and more user friendly for the average Joe.
How to Create Hip, Mature, and Lush Harmonies [correction]
Rarely is a chord played with its tones contained in a single octave, the root on the bottom, the third in the middle, and the fifth on the top.Usually chords are "voiced!"This basically means that the positions of a chord's tones are scattered over the keyboard.
How to Use the Entire Piano Keyboard
There are 88 keys on the piano keyboard. Most pianists use about 1/3 of this number most of the time.
Buying a Violin
"How do I buy a violin, (or fiddle)?"That question has risen to the top of the fiddle FAQ list, even above "What's the difference between a violin and a fiddle?"This is an account of how Richard Blackwell, my student, actually purchased a violin.He had been using a good quality student violin on loan from his sister.
What is Piano GHD Syndrome?
Do you remember the movie, Groundhog Day? In this wonderful movie, TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) relives the same day - Groundhog Day, over and over and over again. No matter what he does, he wakes up the next morning and it is once again Groundhog Day.
Creating Caverns - an Improvisation Exercise
In a recent post to my Yahoo group, I mentioned that I created the piece "Caverns" using one chord. I'd like to explain how I accomplished this.
Try Some New Music!
Stuck in a music rut?It happens. After listening to your favorite song 1,379,614 times, you will, eventually, get sick of it.
Chords or Melody First... Which is Best?
There are basically two ways you can compose a piece of music. The first and most traditional way is to write out the melody and then harmonize it.
Beauchamp Brings Diversity to Music
Everyone has a talent. For Miami, Okla.
Music Industry Secrets Revealed - How To Become Succesful The Music Industry Without A Record Deal
Before the internet, unsigned music artists couldnt make a living, off the thing they love and enjoy the most: Their music! They would have to send in demos to major record companys, hoping that the CEO's would love their music and actually call them up on the phone offering them a recorddeal! But what they dont know is that the CEO's dont give a f*#% about music!! They ONLY offer recordeals to artists who they know will become succesfull!To say it in another way: They NEVER risk millions of dollars on bands that they dont see any future with!Today there's thousands, maybe millions of music artists looking for a way to make a living off their music. Those artists may now have a chance!Former A&R Agent - Interscope Records, Fisnik Imeraj has written an eBook explaining just what the unsigned music artists should do! Publish their own music! Thats right! Since the internet is already invented, then why not take advantage of it?In his new book Fisnik Imeraj explains to the ambitious artists how they can publish their own music on the internet, and keep 100% of their profits themselfs! He explains every part of music publishing on the internet! From creating a website to marketing their music! And the best part is that any artist can start with virtually NO money!!If you ever dreamed of becoming a successful music artist, you should definately purchase this book! It might change your life! The book can be downloaded instantly after payment on http://www.
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.
Buying A Guitar - Do You Know What To Look For?
Buying a guitar is an important decision that my students have often asked me about. They want to know what they should be looking for.
Writing Hit Songs
There are a lot of factors to writing a hit song. First, you should focus on writing a good song.
Formation of a Song (Recording)
As industry insiders, we sometimes forget that when discussing the recording process, the rest of the world really has no idea what we are talking about. Hopefully this will provide an explanation of the song formation process in layman's terms so that there may be less disconnect between the professional and the consumer.
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