Looking for an effective way to improve your musical ability in a relatively short period of time? There is a simple tool that can work these wonders for you. This tool is a microphone. There is nothing quite like recording and playback to evaluate your progress. As we run through our songs, we get used…… Continue reading Sharpen Your Skills—Record Your Music
Lessons from a pro! Tony Trischka’s Essential Practice Techniques for Bluegrass Banjo is a great way for a beginning banjo player to pick up important tips on best practices, but it can also be useful for the intermediate player seeking to brush up on key skills. Either way, foundational technique is the focus. Topics covered…… Continue reading Tony Trischka’s Essential Practice Techniques for Bluegrass Banjo
Studying scales regularly will pay off when you are playing with others or when you just feel like doing something a little different.
Early on in your musical practice, you will be introduced to the concept of musical keys. Keys are important to understand because every key has a distinct sound created by a hallmark set of notes. Every key is based on a scale. If you play a C major scale on any instrument, you have just…… Continue reading Understanding Musical Keys: Characteristics
If you are serious about achieving excellence in music, regardless of your preferred genre or instrument, this book is well worth the nominal cost.
Those of us who play music typically do it for the love of it, not necessarily for any benefits it might bring us. However, research indicates that playing an instrument goes a long way toward making us healthy, well-balanced individuals. Here’s how: Enhanced brain function. About 90% of the brain is stimulated during music practice.…… Continue reading Benefits of Making Music
Summer can be very busy, but don’t forget to learn and brainstorm. Spend some time enjoying nature, researching animals, and growing healthy plants. Brush up on your birdwatching vocabulary. Discover how wood type affects the sound of your guitar. Explore the 11 physiographic regions of Kansas. Learn about rare and popular breeds of livestock. Consider…… Continue reading Get Ready for July 2016
June is just around the corner. Take some time to sharpen your knowledge of farming, music, crafts, and history. Find out how glyphosate-resistant crops work.Brush up on your mandolin technique.Teach your kids how to knit on those rainy days.Discover the story of the Stetson hat.Make a strawberry shortcake.Collect five things every beginning charcoal artist needs.Consider…… Continue reading Get Ready for June 2016
Summer is fast approaching! It’s time to battle the bugs, brush up on music skills, and plan some family time for Memorial Day. Discover the historical geography of the United States.Choose the right string gauge for your guitar.Deter garden bugs before they show up for lunch.Start a homemade construction project.Learn how to communicate with a…… Continue reading Get Ready for May 2016
One of the most interesting aspects of traditional American music is its lineage. Traditional songs morph over time, perhaps getting their start in foreign countries and adapting themselves to fit the American experience. As that experience changes and travels to new places, so does the music. Such was the case with cowboy music, also called…… Continue reading The Roots of Western Music