Students have often come to me asking if they are “ready” for a musical situation. Whether it be an audition, adjudication, festival, accompanying gig, college program, a certain ensemble, a tour, etc. – my answer is always the same… Participate in as many musical situations as possible where you are the worst one. Be musically overwhelmed as much and as often as possible. We grow the most from these experiences. And if we are taking lessons, earning a degree or just trying to be the best version of ourselves that we can be; growth is the most important thing we can aspire towards.
Over time as I’ve gotten the opportunity to hang out and discuss music with people who have had very successful performance and recording careers, there is a common thread that they all emphasize in their own playing and admire in the playing of their peers. This common thread is rhythm. It can either be the commitment to and admiration of deep and individual time-feel, high levels of rhythmic accuracy, advanced rhythmic phrasing or to their ability to make the most basic musical parts feel so good.
A couple of years ago I began to shift away from using the word “solo” with many of my jazz students. This was especially the case for beginning improvisers or the ones who were preoccupied with the chord progressions or playing a barrage of disconnected patterns or licks. Many of them started to sound way better in a very short amount of time.
What to Look for in a Private Music Teacher A Guide for Parents Starting their Children in Music Lessons
When children begin music lessons there is always a lot more happening than just starting lessons. Parents bring their experience as former students or inexperience in music to the table. Experienced teachers bring well-formulated habits and routines that may or may not serve the new student. Inexperienced and young teachers may relate exceptionally well to a young student but not have the ability or experience necessary to efficiently move students from one goal to the next.
Many creatives in music have strong opinions about their musical ideas and what effect they want these ideas to have both within the work itself and on their fans and audiences. The freedom to make these autonomous decisions feels really great if we’re afforded that opportunity. However, it doesn’t always mean the end result will benefit or even be that great.
So you have an LP, EP or single that you want to release. The recording is done and you’re really excited to share your music with everyone. If you simply want to get it out and don’t really care whether 1, 100, 1,000 or 1-million people hear it; then go for it. It’s really easy to print a few CD copies of your record and/or have the major streaming services carry your music.
Before rushing the release to the world, it’s best to consider a few things first.
- Why are you releasing this record?
- What do you want to accomplish with this release?
- How large is your fan-base and is it big enough to help spread your music to new fans?
- Are you a relatively new or unknown artist hoping that this record will gain you new exposure and fans?
Welcome to part two in the series of posts about making a recording. This post will talk about the roles that people play in a recording and how to define those roles. If you missed part one, you can click here to read it.
Here is part two of the Circle of 5ths series. This one talks about improvising our own melodies…
If you can’t see the video – click here.
A couple of months ago Anna Freedman asked me if I would produce her first record of original music. Anna is a really accomplished musician who plays piano, sings and writes music. We worked together as teacher/student when she was in high school. Now she plays around Seattle and teaches at Creative Music Adventures as well.
I asked Anna if I could share the process of bringing this recording to fruition through a series of posts here to help folks who may be interested in recording their own music (or helping their students make recordings). She was nice enough to agree to this idea. So here is the first part of the series…
Hello everyone. I’m finally getting my routines set up after moving my stuff down to Los Angeles. It’s been a whirlwind mostly due to juggling some music projects with trying to unpack and find which box my socks were in.