Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Beginning TRUMPET Players Beware!

In the world of a beginning brass student (trumpet, trombone, euphonium, baritone,tuba), things look very overwhelming and the teacher seems to be the all knowing, so what the brass teacher says, usually seems as though it's the only way for things to be done.

Trumpet with sunlight streaming into Knox Chap...
Trumpet with sunlight streaming into Knox Chapel, taken during Christmas concert
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

Brass teachers can tend to leave holes in the instructions to a young student as to the proper way for them to produce sound.  Most trumpet students end up with a pinched sound or extremely airy sound due to the lips not properly forming a relaxed embouchure.  This eventually leads to extreme frustration for the student and seems absolutely insurmountable because they can't find the answer to correct their problems.

Basically, by relaxing the upper lip, lower lip, and using the mouth corners to create the aperture the student can instantly create a relaxed open sound without having to over blow.

If the student is under the impression that it takes "talent" or a "natural ability" to play their instrument, this can also create a defeated feeling.  So it's VITAL that the trumpet instructor / brass instructor relay the message to each student that it is habit that is being created when practicing.  So if the student is careless in the beginning, they will have habits that they must fix or break in months and years to come.  I've found that sound problems usually indicate far more than just tonality issues.  A trumpeter's tone can indicate pinching, an overly open aperture, a lack of air usage, or a strained embouchure.  This will inhibit flexibility, range, endurance, and control of various volumes!

    Keith Fiala / Anna Romano
    Article Directory: EzineArticles        


Monday, July 24, 2017

The Pucky Sounds of the Classical HARPSICHORD

The harpsichord is related to the organ and the piano, to mention a couple that has been created with the same idea of the harpsichord. The harpsichord was developed around the same time that the clavichord came around, which was sometime during the 16th century. It is a stringed instrument that is played by pressing the keys. When each key is pressed, it strikes the string and this is what causes the string to vibrate in order to make a sound.

Harpsichord, angle view
Harpsichord- Photo   by     Princess Ruto
For a while, the harpsichord was a popular instrument that was often used during the baroque music period. Its popularity may have been maintained had it not been for the creation of the piano. Once the piano was created, popularity fell from the harpsichord as the piano became the preferred instrument.
The harpsichords design is not too different from that of the piano, probably because the basic design of the piano originated from the harpsichord. The sounds produced from the strings of the harpsichord alone are not very loud. In order to enhance the sound, each string is set over a bridge that allowed the string to vibrate freely. The harpsichord also resembles the piano in appearance when one takes the time to compare the two.

With such similarities, one might wonder why most would abandon the harpsichord for the piano when the piano was invented. It could have been that the piano was more efficient and more versatile than the harpsichord, though the harpsichord is still played today in modern music. While it may never again be anywhere near as popular as it once was, the harpsichord appears to still have a place in music and it might never be obsolete. While it shares similarities with the piano, it is still its own unique instrument that offers its own unique sound.

While most will favor the piano over the harpsichord, there are some who play the harpsichord because they like the sound. It is not an overly complicated instrument to learn how to play. Someone who has interest in learning how to play it and finds a good teacher will have little trouble. The sheet music is also fairly basic and few will have much difficulty in gaining good control of the instrument. Someone who is familiar with playing the piano will have even less difficulty because the basics are more or less the same.


Finding a harpsichord to play might not be as easy as finding a piano, but they are still being constructed. Finding a used one might the best idea for someone who is new to playing the instrument because a new one can be quite expensive. Finding a teacher who can teach the harpsichord may also prove easier than one would think. Again, the basics of playing the harpsichord are not too different from the basics of playing the piano. They are related instruments and share many similarities that make it possible for one to have little trouble in playing both. The harpsichord is certainly an instrument that is worth the effort for anyone interested enough to give it a try.

    By Victor Epand
    Victor Epand is an expert consultant for used CDs, autographed CDs, and used musical instruments.
    Article Source: EzineArtilces


Sunday, July 23, 2017

3 Steps to Playing Comfortably for a Crowd

Most people are not comfortable performing in front people. When I say of performing, such as an instrument, or singing, or acting, I mean more than just knowing how to do well at your chosen craft, I mean doing it well and in front of people. It’s the “in front of people” part that gets us every time. How many of us sing like a bird in the shower but then when people are watching we can’t carry a note. Here are three steps to start you on the road to comfort (never complete) when called on to shine.

Bebe? Baby? I don't know. But she was a hottie...
Bebe? Baby? I don't know. But she was a hottie, could sing for miles, and had the crowd eating out of her hand. Her various crotch grabs and atypical "Bush sucks" ranting - even with her broken english - ran a little dry for me.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1. Don’t neglect to practice. Whether you sing or play an instrument practice is the key to being relaxed. The more familiar you are with what you are performing, the less anxiety you will have about messing up.

2. Don’t back up. Piano teaches pass this on all the time. If you mess up in the middle, or any place in your piece, don’t back up and repeat the offending passage. Keep going. Chances are your audience didn’t even notice.

3. Try not to be critical of your technical skill. Focus more on your overall performance. How does it sound as a whole? If you’re a pianist and you worry during your piece about your fingering then you’re ignoring the song and how it sounds. Worry about technicalities when you practice. Which should be often.

With time playing in front of and for other people will come much easier. You'll be a natural. So use every opportunity to show your stuff!




Saturday, July 22, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About the Violin From A-Z - LUTHIER

Hello today I am carrying on with my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. We are now on L for luthier. A luthier is someone who builds violins and other stringed instruments such as guitars, mandolins, lutes and cellos. The art of the luthier is divided into two categories those who make instruments that are plucked and those who make instruments that are bowed this second category also contains a further specialization known as an archetier, a person who makes bows.

Varnishing a violin by Hildegard Dodel, luthie...
Varnishing a violin by Hildegard Dodel, luthier in Cremona
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

The violin as we know it today was created by Andrea Amati of Cremona Italy. Amati was originally was lute maker and gave birth to an entire family of renowned luthiers, his son also becoming a master with several noted apprentices.

The most famous of all luthiers is undoubtedly the legendary Antonio Stradivari also of Cremona Italy. Stradivari started out as a student of Amati but soon eclipsed him. To this day Stradivari is still known for his violins which are now worth millions.

Violin making is an art and science. The luthier must have many skills he must be a wood sculptor delicately carving the shapes of the instrument. He must be an engineer designing and constructing the lines and surfaces of the piece. He must be an acoustician, improving the sound and design of each instrument that he makes. Using his experience and technique to refine the subtle nuances of every instrument built.

Lastly the luthier must be a musician if he cannot actually play the instruments that he produces then his skill is less than worthless. The luthier must understand the musician's needs and wants and must be able to supply them.

    Eric B. Hill is an professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Friday, July 21, 2017

Learning to DANCE at Home

There are many ways in which a person can learn to dance if he or she is of the mind to do so. The problem is that many people shy away from learning to dance, despite a sincere desire to do just that out of fear of being seen in the learning process. This is such a sad reason to avoid bringing the joy of dance into your life and one that can be so easily avoided if you are willing to make the efforts that would be required.

dancing lesson
Dancing Lesson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
First of all, you can learn to dance within the comfort of your very own home. You do not need a dance hall or studio with mirrors to learn to dance even though they are helpful to the process. In all truthfulness it is quite possible to learn to dance at home without even procuring a teacher.

There are many DVDs and instructional tapes and videos on the market that can teach the basics of many different styles of dance. If you aren't sure what type of dance you are most interested in, it isn't a terrible idea to begin by ordering some DVDs in order to find out what specific type of dance interests you most. The really neat thing about doing this is that you can being the learning process in your very own home with the curtains drawn and no one will ever need to be any wiser. 

Of course if you are going to learn at home you might want to clue your spouse or partner in and see if he or she would like to join you on the path to discovering the joys of dance as a form of entertainment as well as a means of bringing an extra level of physical activity into your life. The really good news is that this sort of physical activity won't feel like exercise and if you play your cards right with your partner it just might lead to other forms of physical activity. Keep in mind that many people find dance to be a very romantic precursor to other romantic pursuits. 

Backing away from the romance department you can even find a great and occasionally merciless audience in your children. They also make great practice partners and guinea pigs and if you control the allowance, then you might even manage to squeeze out a compliment or two to help your potentially wounded ego through the event. Kids are great fun though when it comes to dancing and (younger kids anyway) are almost always willing to kick back and have a laugh at mom or dads expense. If you want to make a really fun afternoon of things, challenge your kids to a 'dance off' you just might be surprise at who is the last one standing.

Learning to dance at home can be a rewarding experience if you apply the things you learn. Not only do you get the benefit of a new hobby but also you manage to do so without the uncertainty and insecurity that is often a common part of lessons. Having an audience can be a frightening thing, however, once you've passed the child test you should be ready for the most ruthless audience any dance studio can give. You should also keep in mind that other students in the class (should you ever decide you are ready to take an actual class) are probably just as nervous about their level of skill as you may be.



The 3 Best DRUMMERS Ever

Drummers are a strange breed. They are the loudest instrument on a track and are notoriously difficult to get right. The drummer needs to keep the rhythm going and the other band members will be using the drummer to keep pace. All this pressure isn't for everyone and playing the drums is a bit like trying to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time, it is almost impossible for an untrained guy to be a good drummer. But who are the best three drummers? It is a tough decision but below are the best drummers of all time.

Mike Portnoy.jpg
Mike Portnoy“ von chascar

Mike Portnoy - Tattoos all over his arms, a beard and long hair. Mike certainly looks the part and his drummer isn't half bad either. The founder of Dream Theatre, Mike is a drummer like no other. He was born in New York and is mainly a self taught drummer. He is the youngest drummer in the drummer's hall of fame and has been the best progressive rock drummer in modern drummer magazines reader's polls an unbelievable 12 years in a row, simply phenomenal.

Benny-greb-souledge.png"Benny-greb-souledge" by VinylVictim

Benny Greb - Benny's gigs are selling outs every time. Benny doesn't look like a typical drummer. This tall, spectacle wearing, bearded bloke is another excellent drummer. Born in Germany in 1960 Benny has had a lifelong interest in all types of music but it is drumming where he excels. He was playing in his first punk band when he was just twelve and quickly became one of the best drummers in the world. Benny works extremely hard and can be found jamming with a wide variety of styles. As well as gigging Benny is an avid teacher offering his famous drum clinics to other would be drumming genius.

Jason Bittner -Jason was taught how to play the drums. Born in New York in 1970, at the age of ten Jason took drumming lessons. He was a natural and in 1988 he studied at Berklee music school. Jason has won numerous modern drummers magazine awards including up and coming drummer and best recorded performance. Jason's speed on the drums is unbelievable; sometimes it almost looks impossible the speed with which he plays complex drum patterns.



The drums are an essential instrument in any band but there is no doubt that drumming is a skill that is difficult to master. These three individuals have obviously put the hard work and practice in that is necessary to attain the levels they have reached.