6 Crucial Elements of Musicianship

There are several dimensions to becoming a bonafide musician. It’s not just talent that gets you there but practice and dedication, to say the least.

One can slot these into a number of categories. Here are 6 elements of musicianship that are considered essential:

1: Your Gear

Getting your gear right involves 3 aspects: personalization, care and the selection process itself. First, you have to find the perfect instrument for the music that you play. This could mean buying more than one instrument. The next step involves setting it up while also performing routine maintenance. Ensure that you customize it to your needs.

colourfastmusic22: Sheet Music

This involves the practice of reading sheet music and relating it to the instrument you intend to master.

3: Ensemble

This pertains to the ability to play with other musicians. Of course, it depends on the genre. Given which, it could means playing with other musicians in a rhythm section. This could also mean following a conductor or blending in with an instrument section.

4: Performance

It’s vital that you know how to engage an audience and in general, put on a show. This involves creating an amazing stage presence while also developing a way to play an instrument with style. This also includes techniques to be a successful recording musician too. It isn’t bad to get yourself a mentor or even take online music courses as well as books.

5: Repertoire

This skill involves developing a catalog of music that you can perform regularly.

6: Music Theory & Interpretation

This element will help you to understand music and how it is constructed as a whole concept. In turn, this will help you build a compelling performance.

3 Internal Signs of Damage to a Used Piano

Buying a used piano is hardly different from buying a used car. It could turn out in two ways – either it will bring you pleasure or cause you to spend money on several repairs.

It’s important to be well-informed before buying a piano because salesmen will always be salesmen.

In order to avoid buying the wrong used piano, it’s vital that you look for hidden problems, both internal and external.

Here are 3 internal signs of damage to a used piano:

1: Worn-out Hammers

Since each hammer is covered in felt, being worn out over time can affect the quality of timbre. Ensure that you look for deep grooves to the hammers that are caused by strings. Apart from this, check for whether any wood is exposed through the felt. Play the treble keys in particular and look for any harsh clumsy sound. No matter what, do not re-glue felt to the wood.

coloufastrmusic12: Soundboard Damage

The soundboard is a large piece of wood that is underneath a piano. It is also found behind the upright piano too. Cracks and warping tends to damage the soundboard and will alter the timbre of the piano. This causes weird buzzing and rattling sounds. Check to see whether any reinforcement ribs have come undone from the soundboard. Also, look to see if the bridge is uneven, cracked or unglued from the soundboard too.

3: Pinblock Health

The pinblock is a wooden piece near the bridge that holds the tuning pins for each string in place. If this gets damaged, then you might hear a buzzing sound or worse still, bad pitch. Listen for keys that produce two or more notes. Check for cracks or splinters or even loose tuning pins. Also, not unless the piano is a Steinway or a Baldwin, it makes no sense to replace a damaged pinblock.

What You Need to Know About Tablature

While most music educators emphasize learn the use of staff notation. But there’s a lot of debate about using tablature.

While rock and pop musicians embrace it, classical and jazz musicians avoid it. This goes for formally educated musicians too.

Is there a difference, you might ask?

Tablature is generally used for guitar music. Each line indicates a single string on a guitar. This could be the six-stringed guitar, bass, ukelele or even the banjo and the mandolin.

Apart from that, there are a number of variations. But the most simple version includes lines for strings and numerals for frets. Other symbols that might appear on tablature include chords, stems and articulation markings.

Now, there are definite benefits to using tablature. The first of them is that it is simple to use for beginners since it shows the reader the exact string and fret that needs to be used so as to sound the right note.

It’s also clear that it is pretty logical and easy since beginners will be able to play music quicker using tablature. Apart from this, it also isolates pitch and forces budding musicians to play by ear and focus on rhythm too.Also, you don’t need special software to create tablature.

Best part: you can share it easily too.

Some of the obvious advantages that come with using tablature include being universal to all musicians and instruments. The relationship between pitch and rhythm is easier to indicate using tablature. Musical patterns such as scales and arpeggios are also easily identifiable using tablature.

Finally, beginners can assign the easiest fingering to each piece of music they since tablature gives them that flexibility.

What You Need to Know About a Signature and Forever Piece

Some musicians feel as if they must constantly learn new music. This is despite the fact that they might not be professional musicians.

This is for the reason that abandoning a music piece after you’ve just learnt it isn’t a good idea. Of course, you’ll miss the best part: mastering the piece and giving it your touch. This is the best part since you will make it yours!

Now, there’s nothing wrong with learning music. But it’s important to take the pieces that you’ve learnt to a whole new level. In other words, make one of them your signature or forever piece.

Which begs the question: What is a signature piece?

It’s a piece that you’ve learned well, have fallen in love with and enjoy playing for family and friends too. No matter what it is, you are ‘associated’ with the piece.

In fact, your friends and family might be reminded of you whenever they hear it. In some situations, they might even call it ‘your piece’.

One way to know to find out which is your signature piece is what you play whenever you’re near an instrument of your choice.

Alternatively, a forever piece has more value to a musician than merely for the purpose of performance. That piece will make you feel that its composer has written it for you.

In some sense, it brings happiness and peace into your Life while also being a piece that you will play often but never the same twice.

So, there should always be two pieces that musicians should always keep in mind. One, that you have confidence in performing and second, a piece that will give you comfort and peace when playing it.

5 Pros to Playing Music By Memory

Memorization is a part of the any type of learning. This could be the multiplication tables or even history facts.

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This is no different when mastering an instrument. You need to memorize note names, position of each note on the staff and on the instrument.

In fact, playing a music piece requires one to use their memorization powers. But not everyone equal when it comes to memory powers.

For that matter, playing music for the first time in front of an audience can be scary. One should think twice before attempting such a feat. If there is no choice, then it is best to practice twice as much.

Finally, it all depends on whether you are comfortable or not. This depends on whether the piece is easy to memorize too. It just depends on the individual’s abilities.

Having said that, here are 4 benefits to memorizing music:

1: Once you memorize a piece, you can focus on technique. In other words, you can focus on playing the music better.

2: In the instance where you have to perform on the spot, you won’t need sheet music. This is especially true if you need to play impromptu at social gatherings.

3: Memorizing music helps you improve finger or hand positions on your given instrument. This is because you aren’t looking at sheet music but are aware of where your fingers are.

4: Finally, it helps you improve aural memory. Given the situation where you get distracted, you won’t need sheet music. You’ll be able to play the piece without any music aid.

5 Tips to Master Your Instrument

Mastering an instrument isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and persistence.

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Yet the benefits of mastering an instrument can be great. So, here are 5 tips to consider when learning the instrument you’ve picked:

1: Observe Proper Posture

Good posture helps you to play music better. Sitting or standing, it’s vital to find the right position along with your instrument. Not only will this avoid strain but also prevent back or neck pains.

2: Use Add-ons and Accessories Where Necessary

Certain add-ons and accessories make playing your instrument easier. First of all, ensure that the instrument you pick is right for you. Check the size, shape or weight. Also, accessories can make your Life easier. Some of these include lighter strings, cushioned stools or simple straps.

3: Work on proper fingering techniques

The best way to have proper fingering technique is to not develop bad ones. Before you play your musical instrument, ensure you develop correct positioning and playing techniques. Ensure you do your homework before you begin playing your instrument.

4: Keep practicing

It’s one thing to practice to perfection. It’s another thing to practice your instrument in the right way. Most people balk at the idea of practice because it seems so boring. That said, teachers now use method and practice books that help you enjoy practice. This will aid you in practicing every day.

5: Develop sight-reading

Sight-reading is being able to read a piece of sheet music with ease. It’s like reading a book. If it comes without effort, then this can work to your goal of mastering an instrument.

5 Tips for Beginners in Music Production

Gone are the days when you could only use instruments to make music. Now you can do just about anything with the right software on a computer.

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Despite that, it can still be daunting to produce music especially if you are just starting off. Having said that, here are 5 tips for beginners in music production:

#1: First and foremost, read the manuals for the sequencers. Everything that you read will come in handy sooner than you think. Better still: take them wherever you go and read them as much as possible during your spare time.

#2: Avoid buying too much software as this will confuse you and result in not having enough time to master it all. Also, you will end up missing on important things that can make a real difference to making good music.

#3: Simplicity is paramount to being a music producer. Don’t rush to install every free plug-in that you get. Instead, make sure you use only the good ones by taking recommendations from friends and fellow producers.

#4: A very important aspect of making good music is picking a quiet spot. Apart from this, it should be comfortable enough minus all the usual distractions. Better still, it should be as far away from other people so as to prevent them from complaining about the noise.

#5: The best tool to be used when mixing is a set of monitor speakers. Don’t buy them on the cheap as it will not help the final output of your work. If you’re short on funds, make sure you save enough so that you can buy the best set available.

4 Reputed Music Schools in the United States

Whether you are a parent looking for a music school for your child or for that matter, looking to further music education, there are a number of prestigious schools in the United States.

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That said, here are 4 reputed music schools in the United States:

#1: Berkelee School of Music

Founded by Lawrence Berk in 1945, Berkelee is one of the leading schools with over 3000 students. There are a number of interesting majors such as Music Therapy, Songwriting, Contemporary Writing and Production and Music Management/Business.

#2: Juilliard School

Being one of the most recognized schools in the United States, it started in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art but was changed to the Juilliard School of Music as its name was changed in 1946. Its students study dance, drama and music while its name has been changed to just Juilliard School.

#3: Jacobs School of Music

Without a doubt, this is one of the finest schools in the United States with a student population of about 1600 students. Known earlier as the Indiana University School of Music, it was renamed as the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. The William & Gayle Cook Music Library is famous for being a notable facility for its students and having almost 600000 items.

#4: Eastman School of Music

The Eastman School of Music opened in 1924 and welcomed 124 students. Today, the school has 500 undergraduates apart from 400 graduate students enrolling for its courses. In fact, it receives about 2000 student applications.

Music makes People Better Readers, reveals a Auditory Neuroscience Lab study

For a number of years, researchers and scientists have found that people who learn an instrument also do very well in academics as well and in areas such as attention skills, reading, vocabulary and non-verbal reasoning.

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However, the only question that remains is why these students enjoy such an advantage.

For this, Nina Kraus, a director at the Auditory Neuroscience Lab, is studying how music works with the brain’s plasticity or adaptiveness so as to help students become better readers as well as students too, regardless of socioeconomic status.

This advantage until now has been difficult to study since most music classes are one-on-one and available to students of a high socioeconomic status. So, it has been difficult to find out whether it was the music that affected their ability to study better or some other unrelated factor.

However, despite this doubt, Kraus is certain of music’s benefit to one’s academics. She believes that even though reading is not an auditory activity (while music and language skills depend on auditory processing), the need to map speech sounds from incoming auditory input to orthographic representations plays a key role so as to read better.

In fact, a number of children who have language and learning impairments tend to perform much better when they receive music training of music-based interventions.

To prove whether this work with high school children, Kraus and her colleagues split a group of students from an inner-city Chicago school by placing one half in a music training program while the other half was in a Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Course.

After two years, it was found that the students in the former group were quicker to respond to speech-in-noise stimulus that also proved that their brains had adapted and improved. Without a doubt, the music training program had made a difference!

How to Practice Music Scales or Songs Effectively

Almost every musician that you meet runs into periods when practicing their instrument reaches a grinding halt.

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While it’s only time until you find the inspiration to begin practicing again, there are other ways to ensure that you pick up the pace sooner rather than later.

Of course, a number of teachers would have their students repeat a piece of music up until boredom, which leads to mediocrity, will set in.

Rote practicing is hardly the way to go when it comes practicing music at all even if this might come across as blatantly challenging methods that have been used for years, decades and centuries.

If there’s anything that’s true, it is the fact that practicing a song about 20 times until you get better and better at it will just not work. In other words, when you play a piece repeatedly just for the sake of repetition, this will hardly help you master it at all.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you don’t repeat playing certain exercises and songs but just that you do it with a completely different mindset. That’s all!

That said, the key to really improving when you practice a music piece repeatedly is focus your effort on a small part of the piece until you perfect. After this, you can ‘add on’ a new set of notes and then perfect that sequence of notes as well.

And keeping this mind, you have to remember that you have to keep listening to how the piece (group of notes as mentioned earlier) sounds each time you play.

Ultimately, effective music practice involves thinking about how you approach perfecting a song or scale.