For a lot of people, the image of a talented virtuoso conjures up images of pianist in a concert hall, or an expert violinist. However, the double bass is a beautiful and necessary instrument that forms the backbone of any serious orchestra; and a number of emerging studies show that playing it can help your brain, as well.
In this article, I’ll give a quick rundown of some of the major mental and physical benefits that learning and playing the upright bass provides.
1. LEARNING THE BASS CAN HELP YOUR CHILD READ BETTER
The basic premise behind the claim is that musical performance and practice helps expose children to sounds they wouldn’t otherwise have encountered – thus firing the areas of the brain associated with sound processing, and analysis. This is known as “neurophysiological distinction”.
Developing neurophysiological distinction in a young child gives them the tools to tackle complex words and sounds in an academic setting, giving them skills that can aid in all areas of learning, but provide a special significance to reading and writing.
2. THE DOUBLE BASS IS GOOD FOR YOUR MEMORY
This isn’t necessarily a benefit unique to the upright bass, but it is one that it can give you nonetheless. Organized music lessons have a positive effect on overall IQ and general cognitive function. What’s more, the longer you keep at it, the larger the positive effects are. Memory tests administered to a control group and a group who had a musical background indicated a significant score increase in the test subjects who had affiliation with organized music education.
3. PLAYING CAN MAKE YOUR BRAIN HEALTHIER
Playing the bass is a worthwhile pursuit for a number of reasons. Studies performed on developing children showed not just a difference in brain activity, but a physical one as well – those that participated in music showed a significant increase in brain volume, as well. In layman’s terms, the grey matter in the brain is the part responsible for processing information. That means an increase in volume can have benefits such as increased attention span, improved social behavior, and a greater mental acuity and cognitive response time. Grey matter is a sign of a healthy, functioning brain – it’s the part that does the thinking.
4. THE DOUBLE BASS IS GOOD FOR PHYSICAL HEALTH AS WELL
Playing any instrument has elements of good posture and position, but the upright bass may be an instrument where these qualities matter most. Not only is it one of the more physically demanding instruments due to its large size and heavy strings, it also is typically played in an upright, standing position. This makes proper posture essential for learning, and encourages a healthy spinal column and correct vertebrae alignment that carry benefit through one’s entire life.
5. THE BASS CAN OPEN PROFESSIONAL DOORS
The upright bass is a wonderfully dynamic and versatile instrument – professional musicians that learn the double bass have a leg up in the music industry due to the flexibility of the instrument giving it a niche foothold in several different genres. Bassists are always in demand because they are a necessary part of so many different kinds of musical styles – be it jazz groups, live music, recording artists and bands, or symphony orchestras.
6. THE DOUBLE BASS IS GOOD FOR STRESS
This is something that people tend to forget about when weighing the pros and cons of learning a new instrument – doing something you enjoy, especially in a group setting, is very good for you psychologically. It’s one of the reasons that music therapy is often prescribed for behavioral disorders in both children and adults. Participating with others making music is one of mankind’s oldest and most revered pastimes, and for good reason.
If you’ve been considering taking up the double bass, I hope this article has convinced you the positive benefits are absolutely worth it. The bass not only helps your musical ear and body, but helps encourage brain health as well.
“Is cello hard to learn?”
The process of learning the cello is not difficult, but it’s important to keep in mind that the cello is not an instrument of instant gratification. It does require focused, daily practice time and a good teacher to guide you along the way.
How far you progress with cello is a direct result of the amount of quality time you put into practicing the instrument. Even someone who puts in just 30 minutes a day will notice a significant improvement after a few weeks, regardless of their age.
A student who continues to take cello lessons and practice beyond their first year has the potential to develop into a talented amateur, and a young student with the right dedication could continue their studies all the way through to a rewarding professional career.
Is Cello Hard to Learn?
When learning how to play the cello, very little is spoon-fed to you by the instrument. Keyboard and fretted instruments (such as the guitar) are a little easier to learn the basics. Simply putting your finger on the right key or fret will allow you to produce the note you want to hear.
With the cello, you need to have a teacher guiding you through the early stages to ensure you’re learning in a healthy way. This will lead to a lifetime of enjoying the instrument. If you have the right teacher, anyone can learn the fundamentals of playing cello.
As with most instruments, the cello will come more easily to someone with experience reading notes and rhythms. Most of cello music is written down, rather than transferred aurally from teacher to student. But with a little patience, students of all ages can learn the musical language without prior knowledge or exposure.
Does Age Matter When Taking Online Lessons?
Young students make great beginner cellists. Often with youth comes unbridled enthusiasm for learning a cool new instrument and a mental elasticity that helps them absorb new information like a sponge.
These advantages can carry a student a long way. The excitement encourages them to practice more on their own and their ability to retain information helps them progress quickly in their studies.
One difficulty that young students face though, is the challenge of critically analyzing their playing. As a result, they need an outside observer to help them identify things that cause them trouble, whether it is posture, intonation, tone quality, etc. Young beginners are also generally less coordinated than their adult counterparts and will remain that way until well after puberty.
Adult beginners have their own set of advantages. Firstly, they’re better in control of their bodies which helps them make changes to technique and posture more quickly. They also have a strong ability to critically analyze their own actions, and better sense of how they want to sound.
As a result of their ability to critically analyze their own playing, adult learners can sometimes go straight to the criticizing part. This can lead to discouragement when they don’t immediately sound the way they want. However, the student is probably playing at a level appropriate to how long they have been studying.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practicing in between lessons is another necessity that makes learning the cello much easier. Without daily practice times, you will find your teacher going over the same concepts week after week during your lessons. Make a commitment to find a small chunk of time each day to practice playing the cello and you’ll set yourself up for success.
If you only have five minutes, play some open strings for tone quality. Have a little more time? Add in some scale practice. If you have even more time, pick apart the challenging sections of your newest solo piece. There is always something you can practice, but focus on the most important concepts with the time that you have.
Start Learning Cello With Online Lessons
You no longer have to wonder if the cello is hard to learn. With a teacher guiding your technique, regular practice times, and a willingness to learn, you too can become an excellent cellist.
You won’t have to worry about twisting your left arm into an uncomfortable position like violinists, or pushing air through several yards of tubing using only your lungs like a brass player. Instead, you’ll get to enjoy the comfort of the relaxed seated position for the cello.
Overall, the cello is an incredible instrument with a wonderful depth of sound and breadth of repertoire. To get started now, register for your first cello lesson Online right here at Los Angeles Music Teachers with one of our many talented instructors. You will see our buttons below.
The Advantage and Disadvantages between Learning on an Electric and Acoustic Guitar
When it was first launched, all acoustic guitars could project sound acoustically. No amplification was necessary from outside. In fact, they were not designed to take outside amplifications. However, modern acoustic guitars are designed otherwise. They can take amplifications from outside.
Advantages of learning with an acoustic guitar
• Acoustic guitars generally have calm, nice and pleasant tones so no matter how bad you are, the tone projected from your guitar will not be so bad.
• It is more difficult to play an acoustic guitar than an electric guitar so if you learn with the former, playing the latter will be a breeze. This can be likened to learning how to drive. Acoustic guitars are like cars with manual transmission while electric guitars can be likened to cars with automatic transmission. Since manual cars are harder to drive, if you learn with them, driving an automatic car will just be as easy as ABC.
• Acoustic guitars do not require amplifiers and additional cables so it saves you some cost.
Disadvantages of learning with an acoustic guitar
• One of the things that make acoustic guitars more difficult to play is its higher gauge strings which makes it harder for users to hold barre chords. Electric guitars offer better gauge strings.
• The higher gauge strings on acoustic guitars are more likely to produce buzzing sound so they require better skills.
• Acoustic guitars usually have wider fretboards and these are more difficult for beginners to handle. Besides, they are more fragile than electric guitars.
• Beginners usually find it difficult to play the heavy strings of acoustic guitars.
Unlike acoustic guitars, electric guitars make use of electric amplification to produce sounds. They pick up string vibrations and convert them to electric signals which are sent to the amplifier.
Advantages of learning on an electric guitar
• They have headphone input for you to practice without disturbing people around with noise.
• It is easier to hold barre chords on electric guitars because they have softer strings.
• Since the pickups and amplifier project all the sound, the strings are easier to learn.
• Electric guitars have lighter gauges, thinner necks, and smaller bodies, so they are not only easier to carry around but they are also easier to play than their acoustic counterparts.
Disadvantages of learning on an electric guitar
• Being able to play an electric guitar does not mean you can automatically play an acoustic guitar.
• Being able to find a good tone is more difficult on an electric guitar.
• An electric guitar requires an amplifier and that is an additional cost.
Conclusively, whether you learn with an acoustic guitar or an electric one, you will need several years of practice and dedication to be a master of the game. Even the best guitarists around the world still continue to learn. Lastly, it is also necessary to bear in mind that newer guitars will still be produced and they will have better features than older and existing ones so you need to be abreast of the new guitars that are coming into the market.
Contact: Los Angeles Music Teachers Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: 818-902-1233
Lesson on How to Get the Most out of Your Music lessons
When learning how to play any musical instrument (such as piano, guitar, saxophone, etc.), you can progress fast or you could move at a snail’s speed. It all depends on your learning approach. Most music teachers focus more on making sure that you don’t miss your learning sessions. Of course, missing daily practice sessions will slow your progress down, but your learning approach is more important than the time spent on it.
Students make several mistakes in their approach and these mistakes impact the result they get from their practice sessions. Here are some of the mistakes and their solutions.
1. Playing without concentration
Some students practice with their musical instrument while doing something else. Most commonly, people play an instrument while watching the TV. Learning requires full concentration as it requires the whole of your mind. When you play an instrument without full concentration, it is just a repetition of what you have already learned.
It is a waste of time because you won’t learn anything more. Whenever you want to practice, you have remove anything that may cause a distraction, so you can listen to what you’re playing and look out for flaws.
2. Playing without looking for flaws
Another common mistake is playing an instrument through a piece of music without taking note of your flaws. If you do that, you won’t improve. You’ll only turn your training session to a formality. You will continue to move on with your flaws. You’ll slow down your progress that way.
Instead, watch for flaws while you’re playing the music. And if you come across any bad spot, stop and try to improve on the spot before you move on.
3. Playing through a musical piece repeatedly
It is true that practice makes perfect. You’ll improve when you keep playing through a piece again and again, but the rate of improvement will be very slow. You’ll keep playing through your flaws over and over again.
It is better to stop each time you encounter a problem. Find the cause and solution to the problem before you move on. You’ll learn faster that way.
4. Playing a passage over until it sounds better
Some students prefer to play over a problematic area until they observe an improvement before they move forward. The problem with this learning technique is that it is not certain that you’ll breeze through the spot when next you play the piece.
It is better to get to the root of the problem. Find out the real problem and the cause of the problem. That way, you’ll be able to proffer a technical solution to the problem. When the problem is solved, you’ll be able to play it better subsequently.
You need full concentration and engagement for identifying problems and solving them. When your brain is fully engaged in this, you’ll be able to take note of the problems and their solutions. Most importantly, everything you learn will stick with you for a long time. This is the most effective approach to learning how to play any musical instrument.
5 Tips to Conquer Stage Fright on Any Instrument
With proper training the added adrenaline and energy that accompanies stage fright can become an asset. The following tips will teach you how to overcome your stage fright on any instrument
1: Prepare For Your Lesson
Many people have performance anxiety while working with their teachers; this can lead to underperforming in lessons. Most of us students can relate to saying or thinking, “I could play it right by myself! Why can’t I play it for you?” Here are some ways to prepare better for your lessons.
Warm-up before your lesson. So this is obvious, but it took me until my senior year of college before I did it consistently. If it helps, think of your lesson as officially starting 30 minutes before you meet with your teacher. Then you can drive, or walk to the studio.
Develop clear objectives with your teacher each week. It was always intimidating going to a lesson not knowing if my teacher would ask me to play a piece I hadn’t prepared. Instead, ask your teacher to brainstorm objectives with you for the next week of lessons, so that you know exactly what to expect.
Perform your practice objective the day before lesson. At the very least perform the piece/objective for yourself, better yet perform in front of a camera or friend to increase the stakes.
2: Improve Memory
If you are comfortable with your memory of the piece, you will feel less likely to fail, and that will decrease performance anxiety. One way to improve your memory, is to “chunk” your music into meaningful groups.
Chunking in psychology is the process of organizing individual pieces of information into larger more meaningful groupings. For example, if I asked you to memorize the following items:
Cat, dog, ferret, lemon, apple, cherry
You would naturally chunk the information into the categories of “pets” and “fruit.” You would think:
(Pets) – cat, dog, ferret
(Fruits) – lemon, apple, cherry
In music, you can chunk the scales and chords that you see.
For example if you are learning the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven (below), you could chunk the whole first measure into the grouping of “C# minor chord.”
3: Creating Mental Checkpoints
Another memorization practice that I follow is creating mental checkpoints in a piece. This keeps me from relying too heavily on muscle memory.
To create checkpoints, place post-it notes at the beginning of the most important sections (example below). These are your checkpoints. I shoot for a check point every 10-30 seconds – more in the challenging sections.
Now see if you can start right on each checkpoint without looking at the music.
To take it a step further, start at one checkpoint, play for a bit, and then intentionally mess up. Then see if you can start at the next checkpoint without consulting your music.
If you can, you will be much more likely to recover during a higher stakes performance.
4: Building Confidence with Practice Performances
Avoidance may be subtle. Sometimes we avoid performances by procrastinating and not practicing my piece. Other times we avoid by becoming overly perfectionistic and detail-oriented (by becoming hyper detail-oriented, I can avoid performing the whole piece for myself).
To get out of the negative loop, you can follow a plan to put yourself in increasingly challenging performance situations. For example:
You can also put yourself in performance situations by routinely practicing/jamming with musicians at a similar level to you, playing at churches, or playing at retirement communities and nursing homes.
5: A Pre-Performance Ritual
Even if you are feeling crummy, anxious, or unmotivated at the beginning of the day, a pre-performance ritual can help you snap into the right mindset.
Exercise – perhaps a short jog, to get blood flowing to my arm muscles and to my brain. And burn off some of the excess adrenaline.
Piano Warm-Up – Scales, arpeggios, etc so that I am re-acquainted with the instrument. (I rarely play my pieces immediately before a performance, because I think it psyches me out).
Meditation – This calms my nerves and refocusses the extra energy on the task at hand. I visualize/audiate the sounds and emotions I want to create.
By the end of this routine, You will feel alert but relaxed. You're ready to perform!
Drumming With Eighth Note Rock Beats and How to Read
It is easy to argue that the most important skill a rock drummer must have is to play grooves. It is also easy to argue that the most common grooves in rock are eighth note based. Therefore, if you want to be a rock drummer, and you’re just getting started, learn this sheet.
Here’s what the notation means. The top line, with the “X” noteheads represents the hi hat or ride cymbal, played with your right hand (we’re assuming you are right handed). The second space from the top represents the snare drum, played with your left hand. Finally, the bottom space on the staff represents the bass drum, played with your right foot on the bass drum pedal.
Any of the examples on the sheet can be counted correctly by saying “one and two and three and four and” sequentially while you play each of the eight notes in each example. In other words, when you play the first note in example #1, say “one,” and then say “and” when you play the second note and then say “two” when you play the third note and so on and so forth.
“Muscle through” these patterns very slowly at first by just literally doing what the notation says to do. For example, with beat #1, which is the beat in the upper most left hand corner of the sheet as pictured, if you simply do the following, you will be playing the beat:
1) play the hi hat with your right hand and the bass drum with your right foot simultaneously. (say “one” out loud while you do this)
2) play the hi hat with your right hand. (say “and”)
3) play the hi hat with your right hand and the snare drum with your left hand simultaneously. (say “two”)
4) play the hi hat with your right hand. (say “and”)
5) repeat the previous steps but substitute the words “three” “and” “four” “and” for each step in sequence. (“one” becomes “three”; “and” remains “and”; “two” becomes “four”; and “and” remains “and”)
6) repeat the above over and over, and space the notes evenly, and you’ll be playing the beat. start very slowly and practice the pattern until it becomes easy to play. then you can gradually speed up.
7) use this same process for all the beats on the page the music sheet
You will need to go deeper than this, but for a complete beginner, this is a really good way to get started. Try this and if you have any questions about how to work through it, feel free to to ask us with the links below. Or if you're ready to take lessons contact us about finding you a drum teacher near you!
Lesson on How To Create Melodies For Your Song Writing based on Your Chords
Melodies are easy to create once you have created a good chord progression. First you need to learn all of your chords in Major and Minor Keys. Here is a list below in the key of C Major. Then a list of all of the secondary dominant chords that are possible. Just those two things will give you lots of possibilities, but outside of that you can then "borrow" chords from the parallel minor. That will give you almost anything that has ever been done in pop and rock music.
Here's lesson below with a list below of all of the Major Chords, Parallel Minor Chords, and secondary dominants (every chord can be approached by it's dominant chord).
I ii iii IV V vi vii dim
C Dm Em F G am B dim
A7 B7 C7 D7 E7 (Secondary dominants) for interest
Cm Ddim Eb Fm Gm Ab Bb (Parallel Minor Chords)
Here's some common chord progressions that use some of the "borrowed" chords.
I IV bVII I
Vm IV I
I IIImaj IV IVm I Creep by Radio Head
Using Parallel Minor Chords
Eb C Eb C Eb C Bb Ab F Ab F
Bb - C (bVII - I)
Ab - C (bVI - I)
C - Db - Eb - Fm
C - Gm - F - C
C - Ab - F - C
Cm - Ab - Eb - Bb- Cm
Here's a complete list of all the chords available from all of the scales above.
C, Cm, Dm, Ddim, Eb, Em, E, F, Fm, G, Gm, Ab, Am, Bb, Bdim (all of them)
You can also take chords from any of parallel MODES.
No matter your level of proficiency, you can create great melodies along with your chord progression using any of the two approaches outlined below.
It is a good idea experiment with different chord inversions while playing your chord progression. You can try each of the inversions one at a time as you move on with your progression. You may seek the guidance and supervision of an experienced keyboardist or guitarist on this.
The melodies will be obvious as you make connections with the chords. Bear in mind that you may not actually hear the whole of the melody at once, but you should be able to filter out the skeleton of the melody from what you hear. As you continue to practice, you’ll be improving on the melodies and more parts of it will be coming out. With time, you’ll be able to produce an interesting melody.
At this point, you should not bother about whether you are getting the notes right. Rather, follow your ears. Listen to the melody and continue to make corrections as you deem necessary. Let the process flow naturally and organically. Getting the notes correct will come naturally. The more you practice with the chord progression, the more the notes will fall in the right place. If you don’t like this approach or it is difficult for you to follow, you can adopt the next one, discussed right below.
The approach involves attaching a particular rhythm to your chord progression. Lay it down on a recorder. You can then play it repeatedly. Listen as you play it. If you play the melodies so many times, you’ll be able to listen to them without recording.
After playing the chord progression, close your eyes and try to hear the melody. Try to arrange the musical set pieces mentally. At this point, you should be able to come up with several melodies. You may also record the melodies as you align them with your chord progression. The more you memorize the progression, the easier it will be for you to hear organic melodies naturally. You’ll no longer need to fiddle with your musical instrument to come up with a nice melody.
Instead of focusing on your musical instrument, unleash your creativity. Listen to your head and dig out the melodies in them. Letting your voice run at the same pace with your ears is one of the best ways to come up with nice music.
Of course, there are several other ways to create melodies and music, but the two approaches above are easy to adopt and they are effective as well. Most importantly, regardless of what approach you choose, always let your imagination work. Don’t focus on only instruments. The musical instruments are distractions. They’ll sever the synchronization between your ears and voice. So, it is better to use your voice, record it, and transcribe it. When you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to create nice melodies more effortlessly.
The Birth of Jazz was somewhere around the 1910’s. The saxophone was patented in 1846 and by the 1850’s lots of saxophonists began to play the instrument in the European military bands because of the considerable volume it could produce compared to the other woodwind instruments. At the same time, classical musicians, picked up the new woodwind instrument and began to write for it and play it in a classical style.
One of the earliest classical pieces written for the saxophone was in 1860, called “Fantasie for Saxophone and Piano”, by Jules Demersseman, who was an early virtuoso on the instrument. It took a while for more serious classical composers to begin to use it in their works, but Debussy used the saxophone in 1901 and Ravel in 1903, which was several years before jazz was born.
Besides Adolphe Sax himself, there were a number of saxophone players who made the saxophone famous before jazz. For example, this is rare footage of a couple of saxophone virtuosos (Rudy Wiedoeft and Benny Krueger) who were playing saxophone in a Classical/Ragtime style.
For anyone who has an interest in the beginning stages of the saxophone, this video of saxophone playing is guaranteed to surprise you and make you smile! https://youtu.be/Db9P-u1_2bE
How To Choose a Time Length that Best Suits Each Student
Knowing how to choose a lesson length is an important aspect of learning music. This is why it is very common to hear people ask, “what is the best time length for music lessons?”
These 5 basic factors are established to enable music students to get the best time length for their music lessons.
Goals are established to give learners a clear idea of what they want to achieve. Goal setting is an important aspect of learning that cannot be underestimated even in the music world. Learning how to choose an appropriate goal can go a long way to help you obtain the best time length for music lessons which depends largely on your ambition.
It is imperative to learn to play accurately. Interestingly, this cannot be achieved without a high level of concentration. It is a bad habit for a musician to make mistakes while playing. This doesn’t reflect growth in any way. Your concentration levels will determine the length of music lesson you take. Consider taking a shorter lesson especially if you find it difficult to concentrate for a longer period (about an hour).
Music teachers play an important role in helping learners achieve their goals regardless of the lesson length set. When it comes to learning music, there is simply no need to dish out long tiring lessons. The most important thing for every music teacher is to provide the necessary information required to improve learning. This can go a long way to enable the learner to find the best lesson length set. Note that too much information can overwhelm the learner.
Experience, they say, is the best teacher. It is important for learners seeking to know what the best time length is for music lessons to ensure that they build on their experience levels. Studies have shown that the more experienced a person is at a thing, the longer he or she will concentrate which can be very helpful in building confidence.
Like experience, ability is built over time. Your ability to focus on the project at hand (learning music) can help you identify the best time length for music lessons. Develop your ability to learn and you will find ample time to achieve perfection.
Finally, your practice and budget will also play an important role in improving your lesson length. So ensure to practice effectively and ensure to go with a lesson that you can afford.
If you have more questions, please contact us at www.losangelesmusicteachers.com
Musical performances have always been part of history. Since the advent of the piano, as a musical instrument, performers have always stunned their audience at concerts so phenomenally. History is replete with the remarkable achievements of piano grandmasters such as J. S. Bach and Franz Liszt. Generally, learners can gain the right technical approach to this practice by seeking the best piano lessons in Burbank. Here are some helpful piano training tips that can substantially elevate a learner’s skills when incorporated.
1. Maintain a natural posture
Keyboardists are always advised to maintain a calm posture and portray good deportment when addressing the keyboard. This can be effectively achieved by ensuring a comfortable seating posture while maintaining an appropriate distance from the keyboard for enhanced ease of movement.
2. Ensure proper use of the full arm
As a constituent of the full arm, the forearm provides support to the hand which in turn supports the fingers. It is best to ensure that the forearm is well-positioned to ensure easy movement of the hand (sideways, upward and downward).
3. Make the wrist flexible
Playing with a supple wrist can bring about a seamless execution of gestures. The legendary music tutor, Beethoven strongly advocates the development of a unique feeling of musical impulse when playing slurred notes. This would require the light withdrawal of the hand purposely.
4. Play with a compact hand
By default, the hands are meant to be kept in a compact position when playing the piano. Apart from helping to keep the arm and hand calm, this also helps to enhance finger movements.
5. Flow naturally with the fingers
There is no need to exert force while playing the piano. As a best practice, players should try to keep the muscles relaxed, as well as maintain a natural arch when working with the fingers.
6. Follow the right finger motion (fingering)
It is very easy to play the wrong note when adopting the wrong fingering. To avoid creating execution difficulties, pianists should ensure that they articulate gestures with the right fingering.
7. Try to be consistent
To achieve greater reliability, it is best to ensure full consistency by maintaining a regular hand shape.
8. Understand the structural function
The left hand is the foundation of playing the piano. This is where the bass line which is responsible for clarifying harmonic rhythm, maintaining timing, providing direction, sustaining the rhythmic energy, and setting the tempo is located. Ensure to work with the left hand by listening and building from the bass up.
As it is commonly said, practice makes perfect. Following the best piano lessons in Burbank can set anyone on the right track to perfection.
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