Drum Lesson on Standard 8th Note Groove
No drum beat is more iconic or important to learn than the standard 8th note groove.
In fact, it provides the basic foundation for most of the music that we listen to.
You’ll have heard it countless times in pop, rock, blues, metal and a variety of other musical styles.
In a standard bar of popular music, we have 4 beats in each measure of time in music. That’s why our first job as drummers is to count the band in when starting a song. We've all heard the drummer count the band in "Ready .... 1 ...2... 3 ...4" That's because music is written in one and two bar phrases.
On beats 1 and 3, you play the low-pitched bass drum. On beats 2 and 4, you play the high-pitched snare drum.
Keeping great time is your most important job as a drummer, and the bass and snare are the key instruments that will make you into a first-class timekeeper.
Great drummers move from bass to snare in the same way that a pendulum moves from side to side.
This creates a feeling of motion that encourages listeners to dance, rock out, and get lost in the music!
Don’t forget the hi-hats.
The final part of this groove is the 8th notes which drummers typically play on the hi-hat cymbal.
You can think of these 8th notes as the essential glue that holds the groove together.
Drummers play the hi-hat on all 4 beats as well as the spaces in-between.
So how does that work?
If you were to count the hi-hats out loud, you would count them as “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and”. This gives you 8 notes in total, hence why this known as the standard 8th note groove.
Our drum instructors can teach you all the basics of becoming the drummer that you want to be. If you're interested in taking drum lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, please contact us at (818)902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-music-lessons-burbank-ca.html
So, you (or someone in your family) has finally signed up for those violin lessons you've been wanting for ages. What to do about an instrument?
We at Los Angeles Music Teachers firmly believe that for beginners, rental is the best option for the first few months (at the very least). Purchasing an instrument is a very personal thing which requires the development of the musical "ear", or the ability to distinguish the qualities of one instrument from another.
It takes time to reach this point. From our perspective, it makes sense to wait until one has sufficient experience before making a major investment in an instrument.
Another advantage to renting a violin or cello is that size exchanges can be made at any time. As your child grows the size of the violin or cello also needs to grow. At some point, your child will outgrow the first instrument. The rental insurance coverage for theft or damage assures peace of mind, which is particularly important when it is a child who is handling the instrument.
Considering all of these benefits, making rental payments for a time can constitute money well spent. And, if one decides to purchase an instrument later on, Depending on where you rent the Violin, a percentage of what has been spent in rental fees can be applied towards this purchase.
Tips on care and maintenance:
If you have any questions you are welcome to call us for advice on best practices for renting or buying a string instrument like violin or cello. Our teachers will also help answer any questions and guide you as you take lessons. If you're interested in signing up for lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, please contact us at (818)902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-violin-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
Music is not a competition.
But if it were, the guitar would win that competition and there would be trophies, a podium, champagne, fireworks, plus an abundance of large and colorful sashes. Here's our list of measured reasons why guitar is an Amazing instrument.
1. It’s portable
When a guitarist wakes up on a glorious summer’s day, they simply amble down to the park with an acoustic. The same can’t be said for a drummer with a 10-piece kit, who has to lurk in their waterlogged basement, battering away in the gloom like Gollum, and eventually dying from a vitamin D deficiency.
2. It’s cheap
After a shaky start back in the 70s, budget guitar factories in Asia can now make their CNC routers perform like keyhole surgeons, and you can now pick up an electric for around $100..
3. It looks awesome
Well, obviously. But, too strap on a guitar is to feel yourself imbued with outlaw cool. To hit a power chord is to send a tidal wave of pheromones sloshing through the venue.
4. It’s handy in a fight
When a gig turns nasty, it pays to have a solid slab of timber in your hand. Just ask Keith Richards, Pete Townshend or Pete Doherty, who have all felled foes with a well-timed swing of their Guitars.
5. It’s sociable
“This is a chord. This is another. This is a third. Now form a band”. So went the advice of 70s punk fanzine, Sideburns - and it pretty much sums up the lightning-fast transition between picking up a guitar and finding yourself in a van hurtling towards a Festival.
6. It’s versatile
Some days you want to be Nick Drake, others you want to be Kerry King. Guitar is the only instrument out there that truly sheds its skin.
7. It’s expressive
If you’ve got a personality, the guitar will bring it out, with your soul seeping through your fingertips in the form of bends, vibrato, slides and slurs.
8. It’s therapeutic
Somehow, smashing through a few visceral open-position chords makes everything feel better, in a way that tooting on a kazoo doesn’t.
9. It’s best for songwriting
Whether you switch things up with an alternate tuning, stick on a capo, stomp an effects pedal or batter on your soundboard like you’re in Stomp, there’s a thousand ways the guitar can unlock your creativity. It seems unlikely that Jimmy Page could have written Communication Breakdown if he’d played the triangle.
10. These Amazing Guitarists play it
Slash. Jimmy Page. Keith Richards. Kurt Cobain. Jimi Hendrix. Johnny Thunders. Joe Strummer. Noel Gallagher. Are you noticing a pattern here? By picking up the guitar, you’re running with a baton handed down by rock’s most untouchable Icons.
If you're interested in taking lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, please contact us at (818)902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-guitar-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
Music is written down using notes on a staff.
Notes are symbols used for musical sound. A staff is a set of five lines and four spaces on which notes are written to indicate their pitch.
The Treble Clef is the top set of lines, the staff, in a piece of sheet music. It shows you the notes to play with your right hand. The lines and spaces have letter names. The spaces are labeled FACE starting with the first space at the bottom. The lines are labeled EGBDF (Every Good Boy Does Fine) starting at the bottom line and going to the top line.
The Alto Clef is directly in the middle of the staff, in a piece of sheet music. Many do not learn this clef, as it is primarily only used for the viola, the viola da gamba, the alto trombone, and the mandola. The lines and spaces have letter names. The spaces are labeled GBDF starting with the first space at the bottom. The lines are labeled FACEG starting at the bottom line and going to the top line.
The Bass Clef is the bottom set of lines, the staff, in a piece of sheet music. These are the notes that you play with your left hand of the piano. The spaces are labeled ACEG (All Cows Eat Grass). The lines are labeled GBDFA (Good Boys Deserve Fudge Always) starting at the bottom line and going up to the top line. And the last piece of important information is that the low C in treble clef (the note that is in the middle of the piano keyboard) is the note just below the staff on the first ledger line below the treble staff AND that note is the same note as the first note ABOVE the bass clef staff (the note on the first ledger line above the bass clef staff is ALSO middle C. So there is one note which is SHARED by both the treble and the bass clef.
If you're interested in taking lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, please contact us at (818)902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-music-lessons-burbank-ca.html
Here is how to read drum notes. When to play a note is where the second layer of symbols comes in. And the most important symbol of this layer is this:
It will be placed at the very beginning of each piece of drum sheet music and you can safely ignore the number at the bottom for now.
Rather, focus on the number at the top which tells you how many notes can fit into a bar (i.e. a part of your sheet; more on that in a second…).
So? 4 notes, right? Right!
But what about this “bar” thing?
Well, 4 notes for an entire piece of music wouldn’t be cool. It would give about 0.1 to 4 seconds of music (if you made it awfully slow).
But fitting in, say, 400 instead of 4 notes wouldn’t be helpful either, because unless you’re an advanced musician, you need to count notes to be able to follow along. And you’d certainly lose track when trying to count to 400 and to play drums at the same time.
That’s why sheet music writers came up with the idea of bars (or “measures”) which are signified by a vertical line like this:
This way you can fit 400 notes into a piece of sheet music – giving you minutes and minutes of music – while only having to count to 4, because now the sequence of 400 notes would be broken into 100 bars containing 4 notes each.
Drum Music Notes
So you have your piece of drum sheet music in front of you and you’re counting “1, 2, 3, 4”? Cool!
But what to actually play while counting?
This is what notes tell you.
The most important ones are listed below and in order to read drum sheet music you need to be able to distinguish them by the way they appear in the “note” section (circle filled or unfilled; with or without vertical line; with or without tail).
But: don’t try to learn them by heart now; rather, come back later once you encounter problems in your actual reading of drum sheet music.
For now, let’s focus on the “length” column and imagine we were counting “1, 2, 3, 4” again. You’d then count and hit your drums as follows:
“Whole” and “half” notes are good for understanding the concept, but they actually almost never appear in drumming. So let’s look go over the remaining three note values one by one:
A quarter note takes up one beat, so you’d hit on count “1” and be done with it by the time you count “2”. Let’s assume for a second that what follows would be another quarter note, and another, and another. These 4 quarter notes would fill up a whole bar and be counted as follows:
“1, 2, 3, 4” and a hit on each of those counts – that’s all there is to it.
An eighth note, by contrast, only lasts half a beat, so half of each of your counts. You’d hit on “1” and the eighth note would end exactly mid-way between counts “1” and “2”.
But how to determine the exact middle between two counts? Well, by way of a more finely-grained counting system.
Instead of “1, 2, 3, 4”, we’d now count “1, and, 2, and, 3, and, 4, and”. And hitting on count “1”, we’d now that the eighth lasts exactly until our first “and”.
So let’s again assume that a whole bar would be filled with eighth notes. This would give us a sequence of 8 eighth notes and look like this:
How do you play that? Right: you hit on counts “1, and, 2, and, 3, and, 4, and”
Ready for the finale?
Sixteenth notes are shorter yet. They only last for one fourth of a beat. So we need a yet more finely-grained counting system:
“1, e, and, a, 2, e, and, a, 3, e, and, a, 4, e, and, a”. Hitting on count “1”, you’d know that one sixteenth note would exactly last until count “e”.
And how many sixteenth notes will fill up a whole bar?
16! And in a piece of drum sheet music this would look and be counted this way:
If you're interested in taking lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, please contact us at (818)902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-music-lessons-burbank-ca.html
The saxophone, when properly played, is extremely flexible and is capable of a wide range of expression. While the instrument is still sometimes unfairly maligned, a few simple steps can ensure that young saxophonists play with beautiful sounds that blend in any ensemble.
First, quality equipment is essential. While performers should never be led to believe that a sound can be bought, a great mouthpiece, reed, and ligature set-up can make the performer’s job much easier.
Form an Embouchure
The saxophone embouchure is still often misunderstood. A collapsed chin, puffed out cheeks, and the like will never lead to the best sound. Likewise, the saxophone embouchure should not be overly tense or restricted. Instead, follow a simple step-by-step process for best results.
First, for a great embouchure, rest the weight of the head (through the top teeth) on top of the mouthpiece. The neckstrap should be pulled up to a position where this can be achieved with the head in a natural, “looking-straight-ahead” position. For those students who find the vibrations traveling through the teeth from the mouthpiece off-putting (and for any who want to protect their mouthpieces from sharp teeth), a plastic or rubber mouthpiece patch is vital.
Next, the lower lip should be rested on the lower teeth, not pulled over them. The reed should rest on the puffiest portion of the lower lip. Indeed, before the embouchure is sealed, the corners of the lips should be pulled in towards the center, further puffing up the lower lip. Finally, the embouchure should be sealed, with the lower jaw pointed down, and with plenty of space between the back teeth. There should be no upward pressure from the lower jaw.
Proper Air Support
Next, the matter of air should be considered. The saxophone is a wind instrument, and an inefficient one at that! It requires a steady stream of charged air, no matter the dynamic being performed. Often, young players are told from the beginning of their performance careers to “Back off!” Unfortunately, this often leads to anemic playing that is unstable in the extremes of register and dynamic. Instead, young players should be allowed to play out a bit more (with controlled sounds, of course), until they have had time to develop. Then, it will be much easier to perform even at the lowest dynamic and in any register with a quality, in-tune sound.
A simple tool can be utilized to help insure proper embouchure tension and airstream support. While not foolproof, playing reference pitches on the mouthpiece alone can get any student much closer to proper playing techniques. For the soprano saxophone, a concert C#6 (two octaves above middle C) should naturally come out when the mouthpiece alone is played. Similarly, the alto mouthpiece should produce a concert A5, the tenor a G5, and the baritone a D5. If any given mouthpiece is being played higher (or if the student seems to be constricting so much that no pitch comes out), that may point to too much tension in the embouchure. Inversely, a too-low pitch is a byproduct of too loose of an embouchure, too slow of an airstream, or a combination of the two.
Once the basics of tone production are comfortable for the student, they should be encouraged to listen to as many great tonal examples as possible. In this day of YouTube, there are a wealth of both wonderful and terrible role models at the students’ beck and call, so some professional guidance is in order.
With these simple pointers, students of any age will be much more likely to be able to consistently play with a beautiful saxophone sound. Then they and all those around them will be able to enjoy what truly is the most voice-like of wind instruments!
If you're interested in taking lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, please contact us at (818)902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-saxophone-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
Sample 1: Turn your hand over so the palm faces up. Let your thumb curl inward.
Sample 2: Turn your hand back over, but keep your thumb curling inward. That’s your natural hold.
Sample 3: Place your bent right thumb so that half of its tip rests on the lip of the frog and half of it rests on the bow stick.
Sample 4: Allow the part of the thumb above the nail to lean against the hair.
You have difficulty getting a natural-feeling bow hold, one that produces the desired tone colors, strokes, and dynamics.
As the foundation of your bow technique—literally how you and your bow connect—your bow hold can either support your technique or hinder it. Given the variety of bow holds demonstrated by talented artists throughout history, some argue that what you do with your bow is more important than how you hold it.
However, these variations exist because of anatomical differences between players, the musical tastes of the times, and misinterpretations, and not because it doesn’t matter.
A good bow hold feels so natural you hardly notice it and rarely think about it. It balances the elements of both flexibility and strength, facilitating complete command over the bow as a tool to produce a variety of tone colors, strokes, and dynamics. A troubled bow hold, on the other hand, has limitations in terms of flexibility and strength.
1. Rest your right arm at your side. Notice how your fingers curl slightly. Keeping this relaxation in your fingers, and your wrist floppy, bend your elbow and bring your hand up to shoulder height. Notice the spread of your top four fingers. Even if your thumb is already curling in toward the other fingers, turn your hand over so the palm faces up and let your thumb curl inward, most likely to touch the middle finger at the joint closest to the middle finger’s tip (Sample 1).
2. Now turn your hand back over, but keep your thumb curling inward (Sample 2). That’s your natural bow hold.
3. Now add the bow. Hold the bow stick in the left hand, hair facing you. Place your bent right thumb so that half of its tip rests on the lip of the frog and half of it rests on the bow stick (Sample 3).
4. The thumb should be slightly angled rather than vertical to the stick. Allow the part of the thumb above the nail to lean against the hair (Sample 4). This provides support and security. The thumb will likely rest here except when playing near the tip of the bow.
5. Keeping this position, rest the upper half of the bow on your left shoulder, hair down, bow stick parallel to the floor. Balance the bow between your shoulder and the right thumb tip. Keep your thumb bent down to the hair or the bow might roll away from you. Without upsetting the balance, lightly lower your fingers to the stick as the fingers fall naturally—the first three over, the pinkie tip on top. Your forearm will likely rotate inward. That should be a light, relaxed bow hold.
If you're interested in taking lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, please contact us at (818)902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-violin-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
Let’s first look at where each drum or cymbal sits on the staff.
There are various version of this “drum key”, but once you get the concept you can read them all. So please notice that:
For instance: You play the bass drum and hi-hat foot with your feet so they are furthest down in the staff. By contrast, the cymbals are situated up above your drums (and much higher than your pedals), so they are placed highest in the staff.
If you are interested in taking singing lessons on Zoom or In Person, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-drum-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
In your first lesson on flute, a beginner may find that holding the flute and getting the hands comfortable balancing it and keeping the fingers in the proper position is one of the most challenging things for a beginner. In order to get the fingers in place and to hold a flute properly, we have to talk about the proper posture, hand position, and angle for the instrument. By mastering these techniques, you’ll be able to play the flute in no time. Besides getting a sound out of the head joint, learning how to hold a flute is the most important concepts you’ll be taught when you start flute lessons. Once you can hold a flute, you can begin to enjoy the beauty of playing this timeless instrument.
The Flute is a member of the woodwind family, the flute is one of the oldest modern instruments in western civilization. Flutes are common in orchestras, marching bands, jazz, swing, and other popular genres of music. As with any instrument though, playing the flute starts with understanding how to hold a flute.
To learn how to hold a flute, your flute instructor will focus on four key points. The following techniques will be emphasized:
1. Proper Posture
Proper posture is important for playing any musical instrument, especially woodwinds. When you’re learning to play the flute, your posture will help you with your breathing and enable you to create clear, strong, resonant tones. Because of the importance of posture, this is one of the first points to address when learning how to hold a flute.
Whether standing or sitting, make sure your spine is held straight and upright. Position your head squarely over your shoulders so you’re not hunched forward or leaning back. However, don’t hold your body too rigidly. Make sure you remain comfortable enough to take full, deep breaths and move your hands as you play. Being too stiff can impede your playing.
2. Left Hand Position
After you’ve learned the best posture for playing the flute, it’s time to learn hand positions. You’ll start with the left hand, which controls the keys closest to the head joint near the mouthpiece (also known as the embouchure). Rest your left thumb on the first key of the bottom of the flute body, then curve your fingers around the other side.
Your left index finger, middle finger, and ring finger, and rest on the 2nd, 4th, and 5th keys of the flute. Allow your pinky finger to gently touch the side key. You’ll hold the weight of the instrument in your left hand by supporting the flute on the palm between your thumb and index finger.
3. Right Hand Position
With your right hand fingers, you’ll hold the end of the flute near the foot joint. Tuck your thumb under the instrument to support its weight, making sure that your right palm faces away from you. As with your posture, you’ll want to hold the flute firmly yet always give yourself the comfort and flexibility to play with ease. Focus on making a loose “C” shape with your right hand.
Near the foot joint, you will see three bottom keys on the body of the flute. Your right index finger, right middle finger, and right ring finger will rest on these keys individually while your right little finger plays the first key on the foot joint.
4. Holding the Flute Parallel
Finally, as you learn how to hold a flute, it’s important to make sure you hold the instrument parallel to the floor. This creates optimal air flow as you play, allowing you to produce bright, clear tones without squeaking.
Letting your flute “droop” is a common mistake made by new players. Always make sure the instrument is held horizontally, directly parallel to the floor, instead of playing at an angle. Focus on making a 45 degree angle with your elbows to help you maintain the proper position.
Learn How to Hold a Flute at Los Angeles Music Teachers. Whether you’ve been playing the flute for years or you’re a total beginner, Los Angeles Music Teachers has flute lessons for players of all ages and skill levels. Learn everything you need to know about this beautiful instrument with private lessons from Los Angeles Music Teachers.
If you're interested in taking lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/request-info.html
In this piano lesson, we are going to discuss one of the most basic concepts in music. What is an octave and what does it mean, and what does it look like on a piano?
Over the several hundreds of years the piano has taken to develop, the number of keys has changed dramatically, from as little as 32 keys when the piano was first developed, to up to 96 keys on a modern Bosendorfer Imperial. But why is this important to you when buying a piano today? Is it important to know how many octaves your piano has? Acoustic pianos usually all have the same amount, but when you're buying your first beginner piano for your kid you may only want a 61 key Keyboard instead of the full 88 key electric piano. There is no need for 88 keys until you or your child is more advanced. Those last 12 or so upper keys and 12 lower keys are rarely used except in classical music.
Generally, a piano has 7 and 1/4 octaves.
A standard modern upright, grand or digital piano has seven and a quarter octaves; seven full octaves, and three extra treble notes; B-flat, B and C. That's a total of 88 keys. There are variations, mainly in digital instruments, which we'll discuss in this article.
What is an octave?
An octave is defined as a series of eight; the term is derived from the Latin word "octo," meaning "eight." The same reason an octopus is called as such; because it has eight legs. See the image above to see how it looks on the piano keyboard.
You can easily identify the 7 octaves on any piano by looking for the pattern of 2 black keys followed by 3 black keys. That is where every octave starts and ends. The note C is to the left of the first group of 2 black keys and then it ends on the next C. That is a full octave. Every beginning piano lesson starts with that discovery.
The word "octave" can refer to two different things in music; an interval and a scale. An octave scale is a series of notes, iterating through the seven notes of any particular scale until you arrive on the note you started on, but one octave higher.
G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G.
You'll notice that we start on G, we iterate through all the notes of the G Major scale, and we finish on G. However, it's not the same G that we started on; it's the next G up on the piano.
We refer to this as being an octave higher; essentially it's the next occurrence of the note you start on. This also ties into the octave as an interval; in the same way that a fifth is five notes apart, and a fourth is four notes apart, an octave is eight notes apart.
On a modern piano, the very bottom note is A. There are seven more As on the piano, making for a total of 7 A octaves. Older pianos finished here and just had seven octaves; modern pianos have an extra three notes; a B-flat, a B and a C, to make seven octaves plus three notes.
If you are interested in taking lessons on Zoom or In Person in Burbank, Glendale or North Hollywood, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-piano-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
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