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.
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 coveredContinue reading “Tony Trischka’s Essential Practice Techniques for Bluegrass Banjo”
Identifying Keys There are two ways to identify a key: Look at the key signature. Analyze the chords of the song. If you happen to be playing from music written in standard notation, such as a songbook or hymnal, the easiest way to identify the key is to look at the key signature—the number ofContinue reading “Understanding Musical Keys: Identifying and Using”
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 justContinue reading “Understanding Musical Keys: Characteristics”
Don’t be fooled by the price. Music Practice: The Musician’s Guide to Practicing and Mastering Your Instrument Like a Professional by David Dumais is not a cheesy little booklet full of half-baked ideas with no meat on their bones. It’s a concise but thorough look at how to make the most of your practice time,Continue reading “Music Practice”
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. ConsiderContinue 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 thingsContinue 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.
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 calledContinue reading “The Roots of Western Music”