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Understanding Electric Guitar for Musical Directors

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Understanding Electric Guitar for Musical Directors

This post will outline the relevant aspects of electric guitar for Musical Directors. I’ll cover the common models, give a brief overview of the various controls, touch briefly on amplifiers and demonstrate the main effects used on electric guitar sounds.

I’m aiming this post at Musical Directors in the Musical Theatre world, but it may be useful for any musician, band leader, composer or arranger who wants to understand electric guitar better.

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Learn Music Faster – Count for Yourself

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Learn Music Faster – Count for Yourself

At the beginning, when you are first learning an instrument, the teacher will undoubtedly count for you from time to time, if only to demonstrate how beats and counting works in music. However, as soon as you are able, try to start counting for yourself. It’s totally fine to do this out loud at early stages. I encourage this and I wish more people did it (see post on using your voice). Those who do learn faster.

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Learn Music Faster – Tap Your Foot

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Learn Music Faster – Tap Your Foot

Students who learn to tap their foot to the underlying rhythm of whatever they are playing tend to pick it up quicker than those who don’t. This is especially the case if it involves a difficult or complicated rhythm.

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Learn Music Faster – Count In

Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Learn Music Faster – Count In

Whenever you start playing, always make sure you count yourself in. This should usually be at least one bar in the time signature you are about to play. Do this every time you have stopped and are about to start again, for whatever reason. It doesn’t have to be out loud but it should be even and in time.

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Learn Music Faster – Make Mistakes

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Learn Music Faster – Make Mistakes

There’s a great moment in the Simpsons where Homer tells Bart and Lisa “Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.” We can all see that’s the wrong lesson, yet we all recognise that feeling.

Practice is about getting things right, isn’t it? About playing perfectly, eliminating mistakes. Any error is a sign of failure.

Wrong!

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Learn Music Faster – Take Responsibility for Your Own Learning

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Learn Music Faster – Take Responsibility for Your Own Learning

The students who learn fastest tend to be the ones who come to me and say they want to learn particular songs, styles, techniques, theory or any other aspect of music. They have thought about what they want and then told me what they want. They are taking responsibility for their own learning.

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Learn Music Faster – Know / Believe that it’s not about Talent

Posted by on Apr 14, 2016 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Learn Music Faster – Know / Believe that it’s not about Talent

Some people seem to pick some things up quicker than others. With music some students seem to pick up concepts and techniques quickly while others take weeks or months. It’s easy to feel that there is some kind of natural talent that some people have and others don’t.

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Learn Music Faster – Enjoy the Process of Learning, not the Dream of Playing

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Learn Music Faster – Enjoy the Process of Learning, not the Dream of Playing

Almost everyone would love to be a great guitarist, pianist, drummer, etc. Unfortunately that dream alone is unlikely to sustain you through the thousands of hours of practice necessary to reach that level. If you’re going to achieve greatness you’re going to have to find a way to enjoy the thousands of hours of practice themselves.

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Learn Music Faster – Use a Slow Downer tool

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Blog, News | 2 comments

Learn Music Faster – Use a Slow Downer tool

There are several pieces of software that allow you to slow down songs and pieces of music without changing the pitch. Many of these also allow you to loop sections of the track. This is incredibly powerful both for practicing pieces and also for transcribing (working out the notes and chords in songs by ear).

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Learn Music Faster – Have a Sense of Humour

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Blog, News | 0 comments

Learn Music Faster – Have a Sense of Humour

The students I have who maintain a sense of humour through lessons tend to be the ones who progress fastest. I don’t entirely know why this is, bit it’s true. So if you can, take a light hearted approach to your learning too.

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