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Learning How To Improvise
Those of you who have been reading my articles for some time now know that I believe improvisation to be the cornerstone of musical creativity. Why? Because without the ability to just play, we become stifled and the "real" music that is within each of us withers and dies.
Now, if you're a writer, you have lots of support in this area. There are books, (many, many books) that explore the topic of freewriting to its fullest. There are plenty of exercises and advice from professionals in the field. There are even classes designed to "free the writer within."
But what about music? Where can the aspiring piano improviser go to get help and advice on this topic? Traditionally, they would turn to Jazz - a word synonymous with improvisation. Jazz is a big believer in learning scales and chords. In fact, there are 1000's of scales and 1000's of chords to learn. This can be a turn-off for the beginning student who simply wants to dive in and express through music.
Learning how to improvise need not be difficult. There are only 2 things required:
1. The ability to trust your intuition
2. Knowledge of a few chords
Learning a few chords is the easy part. The part that gives more students problems than anything else is getting over perfectionism and the fear of making "mistakes."
I remember when I first started playing the piano. I wanted very badly to "create" something. Little did I know that by wanting so badly to create, I was blocking the creative impulse. You see, we must learn to play first!! Very hard for many adults because they want to make something "worthy" of performance. If they only would ease up a little and relax and not worry so much about what was coming out of them, then they would begin to experience the joy of improvisation.
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!
Celtic Music: The Japanese Connection
My friend, guitarist Brian Hughes, toured with the Chieftain's in Japan as an opening act with Loreena McKennitt. He then went on to perform with the Chieftains in North America and Europe when they were promoting their album Santiago. In Japan they played about ten shows between Tokyo and Osaka, mainly at soft seat classical concert halls. The seating ranged from 1500 to 4000 capacity. They were booked through the agent Plankton who specializes in Celtic music. Although the audiences were enthusiastic Brian felt that Celtic music was still a niche market in Japan.
How to Create Backing Tracks If You Dont Play All the Instruments... or Any
Congratulations! Your singing has become amazing, and it's time the world knew. You've also written some songs that are just kick you-know-what. They need to be recorded, MP3ed and put on the net ASAP. But you've got two problems. First, you can't afford a studio, let alone a band for all this stuff. Second, you don't play all, or any, of the instruments.
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.
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!
Self-Expression Without Criticism
When I was 9 years old I played the Saxophone and thought I was pretty good at it. Unfortunately, I had a teacher who didn't think so and he went out of his way to make sure I knew how he felt.
The Art of Music
Music is the art of arranging sounds in periodic time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
Review: Coheed and Cambria - Second Stage Turbine Blade
Ever wonder what would happen if you mixed the progressive showmanship of Rush with Dashboard Confessional's emotional escapism? Me neither, but Coheed and Cambria has been described as that exact mix-up more times that I'd like to recall. While it's easy to understand the Rush comparison, with lead singer Claudio Sanchez's high-pitched vocal delivery. The emo label is a little less obvious, the band's sound may fit into the 'emo' genre, but the lyrical content certainly does not.
MP3 Music Subscription Services. A Good Deal?
There's a reason Apple Computer dominates the legal 99-cents-a-download digital music scene: It does it right. Apple's iPods set the style and ease-of-use standards that other portable music players must try (so far unsuccessfully) to match. Its iTunes Music Store and iTunes software are equally unparalleled.
Musical Improvisation Basics - 8 Vital Things To Remember
This article discusses 8 vital things to remember as improvisers - whether advanced or just getting started:
Is Rhapsody Music Downloads Service Getting A Good Rhap?
Rhapsody music, from RealNetworks is one of several reputable legal digital services for legal music downloads. In order to download online music or hear songs from them you have to pay for them first. In Rhapsody's case, the cost is $9.99 per month after a 14 day free trial (the cost may reduced if you purchase it quarterly). Along with Rhapsody, these also include iTunes, Musicnet, Musicnow, wal-mart downloads, and the newly revived Napster.
Taking iPod Culture into Clubs as Well as Cyberspace: Jonny Rocket Interviewed by The G-Man
Already making plenty of noise in the marketplace is a new concept called Playlist, which exists both as a club and as an online music competition (see www.ipod-dj.com for details on how to enter and what you can win).
Killer Piano Playing Secrets of a Chord Addict!
I wish you could have seen me play the piano when I was just learning. I was the nearest thing to "hopeless" that you could imagine. I was into baseball, not music ? and my heroes were Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams. (And by the way, I still have a picture of those 3 guys on my wall.) My dream was to hit baseballs like them, not to play the piano.
This article is designed to help anyone to enjoy karaoke and improve their singing performance whether it be as a "virgin" karaoke singer or as someone starting out on a singing career. It contains tips designed to help old hands and newbies alike achieve a better karaoke singing style. The best piece of advice is to bear in mind that one of the whole idea behind karaoke is that it doesn't matter how good(or bad) your singing is - you are singing for your own enjoyment. The people in the karaoke bar are there usually because they enjoy karaoke too, so it is not expected that you perform like the next American/Pop Idol. In fact some of the most boring karaoke nights I have been to have been spent watching a succession of pretty decent singers. If I wanted that I would go and see a show.
Greg Koch Fender Guitar History
The Greg Koch Fender guitar began to take shapeall the way back when Greg Koch was in the thirdgrade. Greg cut out cardboard Fender Stratocasterguitars, then Koch used his sisters sewing machinepedal as a wah-wah. By watching, listening and copyingwhat he heard on records he was able to advance quickly.
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.
How Much of Your Potential Will You Release?
Do you ever feel there is an inner voice speaking to you, telling you that you're not very good, or you can't do it, or there's just not enough confidence and repertoire with you? This is the voice that calls itself "I" right? Let's refer to this as Self 1, and Self 2 as the normal you, the real you that has the masses of potential.
Jealous Again - Jealousy Among Musicians
Jealousy ? do you feel it? Do you sense it in others? Does it hinder your relationships with other musicians? Does it sap your confidence? Does it block your creativity? Here are some questions to help you get clearer about the jealousy in your life.
How to Compose Using ABA Form
ABA form is like a musical sandwich. You have the 2 slices of bread with the contrasting meat and cheese on the inside. Instead of bread and meat, you use musical materials. Perhaps an 8-bar phrase for the A section followed by a 4 or 8-bar phrase for the B section. A nice little musical sandwich.
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?
Rabbitt Productions - Up & Coming Atlanta Producer
When you think of music in Atlanta you generally think of Crunk Music but there is more to Atlanta's musical soundscape than that. Lots of young musicians in the A-Town venture off into different musical directions. One such musician/DJ/Producer is DeJuan Boyd, head of Rabbitt Productions.
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