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125

You will always make mistakes, so the key is practicing in a way that eliminates mistakes. "Practice makes perfect" is a Big Lie. If you don't practice in a smart method you will never get that good -- so what is important is not just practice itself, but good practice technique. When practicing a piece of music or song, there are really two modes I ...


78

There are formulas and sets of harmony formulas that musicians know of. ie. Chord Formation. I, IV, V7 sets of harmony; Chord Substitution; Fifth Motion, Dominant motion; Diatonic Cycles of Fifths, Chord Tone Substitutions, etc. Each chords in each set have their own characteristics that you need to know what they represent. I can be indicative of what each ...


63

I recall seeing a show years ago. fIREHOSE was doing a "50 states in 50 days" tour, and this show was a triple bill with Madder Rose opening. Madder Rose's bassist popped his E string, and he just knocked the bassline up an octave, which really kicked the song into fifth gear. He then spent minutes trying to beg, borrow or steal a bass or bass string, which ...


46

I had a teacher who liked to say "The key to overcoming performance anxiety is through rigorous application of technique." This basically means: practice, practice, practice. Practice not until you get it right, but until you can't get it wrong. Practice until the technique you have to execute on the guitar is just as natural as clapping your hands. There ...


42

Absolutely. Nobody ever expects (extreme case) Itzhak Perlman to stand. Personally, I'd be a happy audience if a flautist sat on a barstool, as many guitarists tend to do. Now, performing while on a unicycle...


39

Stage presence is a complicated thing, if only because it comes in so many varieties. If we were to compile a list of guitarists considered to have a great stage presence, we would probably find that no two are quite alike. Let's start with the fundamentals - stage presence is the conveyance of feeling comfortable on stage and complementing your musical ...


39

There are several reason. The most basic would be “so that they could play together”. A symphonic orchestra is much bigger than a band, and being in perfect sync with the player at the other side of the stage or pit can be hard without visual cues. In smaller ensemble, such as a quartet, quintet, or even chamber orchestra, there might be no conductor or the ...


37

For some reason, practice isn't always enough for prepare us for a performance. That's not unusual. Some things that have helped me and others I've talked to include: "Practice" performing in situations that are less high pressure. Singing karaoke at a small bar or taking an improv class are examples. Meditation and/or visualization on a regular basis can ...


33

Well pretty much anything can be played as a performance piece but many of them would be very dull to listen to. Personally I find Hanon extremely boring and I believe many other people do too. Czerny less so but still there is not enough in most of them to make then sufficiently interesting for the listener in a concert setting. Having said that there is ...


31

Well, ok, I see what you're saying. Keep that record button down all the time then. If that makes you suck all the time, then so be it. Suck and slowly improve. If your music is only being listened to by you, how do you really know it's any good to begin with? You can't judge yourself while practicing. That's a skewed view. You have to judge yourself ...


31

Do you sit there and prevent the audience from clapping until you want that rest to finish its extended duration? I've always thought this is pretty much what a fermata like this is about. When classical music is performed, there are initial motions, playing of instruments, and final motions. Audience members who attend a lot of concerts usually understand ...


30

$2 for 10 minutes of stage time is nothing. If you include the changeover between acts the hourly rate is about what the waitresses earn before tips. If you get a free beer out of the gig you are ahead. If each of you get a free beer you are way ahead. You are not paying to cover costs, it will barely cover the power bill for the stage systems. It's 'honest ...


30

Here's how I'd interpret it. Excuse my lack of drawing skill. There are four beats in the right hand, each a crotchet in length. I've drawn lines between each beat to make them clear. The left hand seems to be using quintuplets, but they've omitted the little "5" you'd normally expect. So yes, it is a polyrhythm; 5 against 4. I've seen omitted markings ...


29

There are three possibilities: The musicians are "faking it" based on their knowledge of theory. This notion may be romantic but in my experience it is rather unlikely. There's simply too much that could go wrong. This isn't a jam session or a concert, it's a TV performance to showcase a singer. That said, in other situations they might be perfectly willing ...


29

I find any learning process goes in cycles: At first, you're pretty bad. And you know it. Then, you start getting better. You're playing pretty well. Everything is great. And then you realise that you're not as good as you thought you were. Back to step one. You sound like you've reached step three. It happens to all of us. I work with a lot of younger ...


29

I've never seen a flutist sit, but I've also not seen very many flute soloists. What I have seen is plenty of soloists that do sit, so you'd be in good company! And keep in mind that cellists, pianists, harpists, tubists, etc. sit. Why should you feel out of place for sitting? Do whatever helps you perform the best!


28

Two aphorisms: "Perfect practice makes perfect permanent." - Me "Don't practice until you get it right, practice until you can't get it wrong." - Lewis Carroll?


28

Musician's representatives, including the Musician's Union in the UK are diametrically opposed to the entire concept of pay to play. As they point out, somebody is making money from these gigs, and it is wrong for the performers themselves not to make money from them. The Musician's Union Fair Play Guide says that co-promotion deals can work: The MU’s ...


28

From a sound design / sound engineer context As an effect, distortion is any process that alters the sound in the harmonic (tone, timbre) domain. Overdrive is a type of distortion. It is achieved by saturating (overdriving) the valves in an amplifier (or a simulation of this dynamic). In that context, overdrive is a subset of distortion. From a guitar ...


27

Collective improvisation doesn't mean "everyone plays at the same time". Playing jazz is as much about listening as it is being able to play your instrument. In that kind of situation, a player isn't thinking about "what should I play next", but rather "what is the music, at this moment in time, missing that I can provide?" Cacophony is more likely to ...


27

I'm reminded of what my mother once told me. Music is not competition. Leave the racing to the horses. Having taught children myself and having lived in a house of teachers for 22 years I can tell you sometimes it is refreshing to be able to talk to your pupil like an adult. You are constantly running the proverbial mine field when trying to teach children. ...


26

As I'm sure you're aware, you can transpose any tune to whatever key you like. One reason to choose a certain key, is simply that it sounds good. It might be that you feel that notes of a certain pitch inherently sound pleasant on your chosen instrument. I happen to like the tone of my guitar with a capo on the 7th fret, for example. Or it might be that ...


25

The short answer is - because they can hear how the song goes, and they know how to translate those pitches into a chord progression on their instrument that quickly. Because they went to music school or because they have many years of experience or both. It's not faked or rigged or a trick. While it does look like magic, it is a surprisingly common skill ...


24

I write from personal experience -- I now always wear earplugs as an audience member in big gigs. When music is very loud, it impairs your ability to hear detail. Pitch and even rhythm become difficult to discern. At a certain level of loudness, your brain "fills in" the detail. This is why it's a good idea to play demo tapes loud to A&R men, but keep ...


23

I'd recommend just finding a number of fade-out songs and looking for live videos on YouTube (etc.) to see how they're handled. There are a number of ways, but here are some common ones: If the recorded version ends in a vamp, it'll be based off of a repeated harmonic progression. Just end the progression in a cadence at some point. Often there's a brief ...


22

Practice makes perfect. Really, there is no magic to it. Just keep practicing so that you won't make that mistake again. Practice or practise (see spelling differences) is the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase "practice makes perfect". ...


22

The key to overcoming this is simply to do it a lot, just like the key to getting better at playing is to practice. Kill two birds with one stone- practice in public. If you're constantly practicing where others can hear you, a performance ends up being the same as a practice and won't feel so psychologically nerve-racking. There's a spectrum of performance ...


21

You should do both! When I just start working with other musicians, I like to get a cover or two under our belts so we can feel each other out and learn to play as a group. Literally at the same time, I like to meet for songwriting sessions to start putting stuff together for originals. Both covers and originals will improve your skills, but perhaps in ...


20

Dealing with pressure Get a sound recorder or use your phone and record your performances. The extra pressure of recording yourself will cause similar pressure to an actual performance. Also practise occasionally with a metronome - once again, the pressure of having to keep a strict tempo will distract you. You may be surprised that your tempo is off, ...


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