The Making of a Record – Part 3 Getting People to Hear and Interact with Your Music

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?

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The Making of a Record – Part 1 The Work Before the Work

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…

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New Digs

After fourteen years of teaching about forty students a week and being hands-on at Creative Music Adventures, I’m taking a little break. As many of you know I was up at 4:45 a.m. five days a week to be at a high school where they participated in a curriculum I developed. Keeping that schedule, working on finishing the books/method, performing and producing left little time to sleep.

Putting new siding on my house before taking off...

Putting new siding on my house before taking off…

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Circle of Fifths – Step One Applying the Circle of Fifths

Several years ago I had an adult student who was a great jazz player. She felt all of her issues in playing music came from not understanding the circle of fifths. She came in with the diagram and explained it to me perfectly. I said that it sounded like she knew the information really well. But she insisted that I help her use the information within the context of a performance/piece, rather than in a theoretical sense – and especially not restricting it to key signatures.

It took me a while to wrap my head around what she was looking for, but I’m glad she was so adamant about this. Because the series of exercises we worked through and I later refined has become a staple for all of my students from and intermediate level and up. It helps with learning and memorizing large volumes of repertoire (in any genre), improvisation, composing, ear training and reading… Just to scratch the surface.

Here is the first step:

The Current State of Affairs The more you can do...

After a lesson with a student who has been working with me for nearly 14 years, I took a moment to assess the state of our room as I walked out, letting him tear down his gear. I was inspired to take a quick picture after realizing that this may not be a typical scene to many folks who teach, practice or took lessons at some point in their lives.

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Dancing Dots – Sheet Music and Recording Piano ensemble

Here is piece that can be played on 2-4 pianos by four pianists called “Dancing Dots”. It emphasized dotted-quarter + eighth notes and dotted-eight + sixteenth note rhythms among other things.

Listen here:

(Click here if you can’t see the player in the email.)

Here are the links to the parts and score:

Injecting Music into Music Lessons

All of us who have played, taught, listened to or experienced music in any way know the power it holds. Many people can trace certain important times of their lives to specific recordings. Several musicians, myself included, can trace the reason we play music back to one or two recordings. Many people who play music have often been pulled out of major ruts in their practice/playing after hearing a recording. There are people who don’t have anything to do with playing music who simply can’t function without it.

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