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
Differences Between Nylon and Steel String Guitars
Acoustic guitars are available with either steel strings or nylon strings. Guitars with nylon strings are often referred to as classical guitars. Here are some of the main differences between the two different types of guitar.
When deciding what type of acoustic guitar to get, the most important factor is what type of music you want to play. The nylon strings on classical guitars contribute to a warmer, mellower sound, which is well-suited for classical, flamenco, and folk music. An acoustic guitar with steel strings would be more well-suited for playing country, rock, bluegrass, or just about any other type of music.
If you plan on playing with a pick, a classical guitar may not be the best choice for you. Most classical guitarists stick to fingerstyle playing and strumming, and most nylon-string guitars do not come with pickguards. Without a pickguard, your instrument can be quickly damaged by playing with a pick, so we discourage using anything other than your fingers when playing a classical guitar.
Classical guitars have smaller bodies and wider necks than standard acoustic guitars. They typically have slotted headstocks with poles that the strings are wrapped around. A full-size steel string guitar will have a larger body and strings which are held in place on the guitar's bridge with the help of bridge pins (nylon strings are tied on to the guitar's bridge).
You will see a lot of steel-string guitars with pickguards in place to protect the instrument from damage that is caused by using a pick. This is not the case with classical guitars since nylon strings are not usually played with a pick.
Which is better for beginners, Steel Strings or Nylon Strings?
If you are a beginner, you may be wondering which type of guitar is easier to learn on. Nylon strings may seem like they would cause less pain for your fingers if you are just starting out. The truth is, your fingers will take some time to become adjusted to playing a guitar regardless of what type of strings you are playing on.
If your guitar is properly set up, the type of guitar you have should not effect your ability to learn on it. Above all else, choose a guitar type that is best suited for the type of music you want to play and practice diligently until you get the hang of your new instrument.
If you are interested in taking Guitar lessons on Zoom or In Person, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-guitar-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
After vocal warm-ups and singing, it is essential that you also cool down your voice. You can use the same vocal exercises you used during your warm-up, starting with the most intense and working down to the least intense. Simply using the humming vocal exercise will also allow your voice to cool down and relax. Following these tips will keep your voice strong and allow you to perform at your best.
Vocal warm-ups are a critical part of any singer’s practice and performance routine. These quick and easy vocal warm-ups will refine your technique, build your vocal power and control, and help expand your vocal range.
At Los Angeles Music Teachers, our trained vocal instructors teach students all aspects of singing, including warm-ups and other vocal techniques that thousands of professional singers use every day to keep their voices in shape and sounding their best.
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-voice-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
If you're just learning to hold a Cello, then you're probably wondering, "what is the proper way of holding a cello?" Well it is very simple and we are gonna tell you with 6 simple steps.
First: Sit in a chair with a firm base. Some cellists prefer sitting towards the front of the chair, with the left foot slightly forward.
Second: Adjust the cello endpin so the body of the cello gently rests against your chest, and the cello is balanced between your knees.
Third:Use the knees to firmly steady the cello, not to grip the instrument.
Fourth: The neck and scroll of the cello should be to the left of your head, with the lowest tuning peg approximately the same height as your ear (this may vary depending on the instrument and cellist).
Fifth: Slightly angle the cello to the right so you are able to bow on all of the strings without having to readjust the position of the cello between your knees.
Sixth: Many cellists use endpin rests to help stop their endpin from sliding. Some of the devices used by cellists to secure their endpin include: round, rubber endpin holders (the round shape has earned the nickname "donut"), endpin straps, peg board sheets and carpet remnants
If you are interested in taking Cello lessons on Zoom or In Person, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-cello-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
BREATHING TECHNIQUES FOR BETTER SINGING
Now that you've mastered a few vocal warm-ups and exercises, always remember to maintain good posture and use proper breathing techniques. Two common breathing techniques are singing from your diaphragm and exhaling on a hiss. Keep reading to learn how you can perform these to improve your singing.
1. SING FROM YOUR DIAPHRAGM
When singing, it is vitally important to use proper breathing techniques to avoid hurting your voice. It is most common to breathe from the chest during everyday activities, including speaking, but singing requires breathing from the diaphragm. Proper breathing gives your voice more power, more control and a fuller, more expressive tone. Sing from your diaphragm to avoid straining your voice. Your body should be relaxed and balanced, with your weight slightly forward.
WHAT IS YOUR DIAPHRAGM?
The diaphragm is a muscle between your chest and your belly that governs how much air you inhale and exhale when you breathe. “Singing from your diaphragm” is a phrase for this important breathing technique, which describes the proper way to breathe in and out while singing.
The sound of your voice doesn’t actually come from your diaphragm, of course — sound is generated by vibrations of your vocal cords. The vibrations are caused by air being pushed out of your lungs. Your diaphragm is what controls the pushing and is responsible for putting power behind your voice.
2. EXHALE ON A HISSA hissing breath exercise is a great way to start when learning how to warm up your voice before singing. This technique forces vocalists to sing from their diaphragms and improves breath control.
To master the exhale on a hiss breathing technique, it’s important to:
Now that you've warmed up your voice and know how to breathe from your diaphragm and exhale on a hiss, you’re ready to sing.
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-voice-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
Right now in 2021 the piano/keyboard is the most requested instrument to play by young musicians at least in the U.S. It’s the number one instrument in most music schools with the guitar a close second. It’s probably the most versatile of all musical instruments and is used in every style of music. It can be played or accompany other instruments and is often played as a solo instrument. It also covers a range from the lowest of bass instruments to the highest piccolo sounds.
In addition, many musicians who’s main instrument is a woodwind, string, brass or percussion learn the piano because it is a very visual instrument that makes it easy to learn theory and work out compositions. Many composers think of it as “having the orchestra in their hands,” therefore most of the great composers for hundreds of years were pianists and used the piano to compose and that remains the same currently in contemporary music.
The electric keyboard makes it possible for more parents to be able to afford to buy a piano because electric keyboard companies are able to make them for as low as 50.00 and even good 88 key electric keyboards with weighted keys are less than 500.00.
If you are interested in taking lessons on Zoom or In Person, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-piano-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
How to Hold a Guitar Pick with Either Hand
If you are right-handed, you will want to fret with your left hand and hold your pick in your right. Before you pick up your pick, take a moment to shake out and relax your right hand. Next, form a loose fist with your thumb on the outside of your index finger.
Turn your hand so that your thumb is facing you. Slide your pick between your thumb and the middle of your index finger. Keep a relaxed grip on your pick with the pointed end sticking out away from your hand. Your pick should be held under the center of your thumb.
You typically want to leave about a half inch of your pick sticking out from beneath your thumb. If you’ll be strumming your guitar, you might want to leave a slightly larger section of your pick exposed. If you need to pick for accuracy, allow a smaller tip of your pick to stick out. This lets you get closer to your strings.
How to Strum Your Guitar
Hold your picking hand over the sound hole on your acoustic guitar or over the body if you are playing electric. Don’t rest your hand on the guitar; instead allow your hand to hover.
Now, use the pick to strum your guitar from the thickest string down. Don’t move your whole arm to strum your guitar. Instead, let the movement come from your wrist. Practice rotating your wrist like you are unscrewing a light bulb while keeping your wrist straight and your grip on your pick fairly loose and easy. When you strum, you should feel a rotation in your wrist, rather than bending.
You can strum a chord from the top string down or the bottom string up. Try alternating down and up strums to hear the difference between each type of strum. You can try other rhythms or combinations like down-down-up-down to convey different feelings or evoke a genre. For example, punk music will typically use only quick down strums while an old country standard could be slow alternating up and down strokes.
If you are interested in taking a beginner guitar lesson on Zoom or In Person, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-guitar-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
1. YAWN-SIGH TECHNIQUE - For this quick vocal exercise, simply yawn (take in air) with your mouth closed. Then, exhale through your nose as if you are sighing. This will help relax your voice and improve its range.
2. HUMMING WARM-UPS - Humming is one of the best vocal warm-ups because it doesn’t put a lot of strain on your vocal cords. Place the tip of your tongue behind your bottom front teeth and hum up and down the major scale while keeping your mouth closed. Each note should sound like (hmmm) including the (h) sound is less taxing on your voice.
3. VOCAL STRAW EXERCISE - To perform the vocal straw exercise (also known as straw phonation), take a straw and hum through it. Start at the bottom of your range and slide up to the top slowly and evenly. Then, hum your favorite song through the straw. You can also place the straw in a partially full glass of liquid and blow controlled bubbles in the glass.
4. LIP BUZZ VOCAL WARM-UP - As far as vocal warm-ups go, lip buzz (or lip trill, as it is sometimes called) is very simple. The goal is to make a motorboat sound by making your lips vibrate as you blow air through your mouth and nose. You can incorporate pitch slides as well.
5. TONGUE TRILL EXERCISE - The tongue trill vocal exercise is difficult for some singers. It involves curling your tongue and rolling your R’s as you go through your range from low to high.
6. JAW LOOSENING EXERCISES - When singing, you want to drop your jaw lower than when you are just talking. With your finger, trace back along your jawline from your chin to your ear. That curved space between your jaw and your ear is where you want to drop your jaw.
Pretend you are yawning with your mouth closed and feel where your jaw drops. Avoid just dropping your chin.
7. TWO-OCTAVE PITCH GLIDE WARM-UP - For this easy vocal warm-up, make an (eeee or ohhhh) sound and gradually glide through the chromatic notes of a two-octave range. Glide up and then back down. This will transition from your chest voice to your head voice.
8. VOCAL SIRENS EXERCISE - Much like the pitch glide, the siren exercise takes an (oooo) sound and gradually goes from the lowest note of your range to the highest and back down, like a siren for an emergency vehicle. The sound is continuous and covers the tones between the notes.
9. VOCAL SLIDES TECHNIQUE - This technique is also known as a portamento, which is Italian for (the act of carrying) Much like the siren exercise, you slide from one note to the next in your range, but you don’t sing the in-between notes.
If you are interested in taking a singing lesson on Zoom or In Person, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-voice-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
The clarinet is as versatile as it is fun. It is a great woodwind instrument to learn to play. If you're unsure on how to properly clean your instrument, our list of advice is designed to assist beginners. For more personalized, speak with your music instructor.
What Equipment Is Needed?
There are a few essential pieces of equipment for every clarinetist:
Did the clarinet come with a stock mouthpiece?
If so, it is time to upgrade a better mouthpiece that provides the desired sound. All stock ligatures should be eliminated as well. Cloth ligatures offer more control than metal ones, so most educators recommend that their students transition into the usage of metal ligatures to open up their sound.
The reed's strength should be determined by the mouthpiece. A “3” is usually the most common but it is not right for everyone. Be sure to speak with your music educator to find out about the strength that is right for you.
How Is Embouchure Improved?
This process doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an often overlooked performance aspect that involves the proper coordination between your upper lip, lower lip, chin and teeth. To begin, drop the jaw so that it is relaxed and not forced open. From there, move the jaw from side to side slightly, so that it can loosen up.
Once full relaxation is achieved, roll your bottom lip ever so slightly over your lower teeth and firm up the mouths's corners. They should be brought forward and in, much like a smile. Place the index finger against the space between your top teeth and use the upper lip to press downward onto your finger.
(The chin should automatically point downward once this step is taken.)
Remove the finger, do not move a muscle, insert 1/4th of your mouthpiece and keep the upper teeth resting on top. Perfect embouchure has been achieved!
What About Reeds?
Finding the right clarinet reeds and maintaining them in the proper manner is crucial to your success. Choose the correct reeds for your mouthpiece and the level of pressure used. Do not moisten reeds with saliva, as these acids are highly detrimental to cane.
When a new box of reeds is opened, do not test them all at the same time. The lip desensitizes and reed impressions are inaccurate. The break in process should be steady and slow. It does not take place in one day, they are played for a few minutes each day.
When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, rinse your reeds in water after playing and use a soft cloth to dry them before they are stored on glass. Reed adjustment requires trial and error, so be sure to speak with your clarinet instructor for further advice.
Any Practicing Advice?
Most new clarinet players are misguided as far as practicing is concerned. The amount of time spent practicing is not as important as how that time is spent. An hour of efficient practicing is more effective than three hours of distracted practice. Practice time should consist of warm-ups, enjoyable sheet music and technique practice.
Keeping up the technical side of things can be tough. Always practice technique, no matter what. Each practice should begin with a warm up, you can switch between sheet music and technique as necessary.
What If I Have a Bad Day?
Bad clarinet days are a very real thing. Practice can be frustrating at times. The trick is to remain calm. Don't force yourself to complete technique exercises or run through scales. At times like these, it is important to simply play through some of your favorite tunes.
Spending time playing what you want to play lets you get into the flow of playing more rapidly. Becoming frustrated? There's nothing wrong with skipping your practice session for that day. Remember: this process is a challenge. There are going to be good days and there will be bad ones. Don't be discouraged. Your determination will pay off in the long run.
If you are interested in taking a beginner clarinet lesson on Zoom or In Person, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-clarinet-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
The saxophone is one of the easiest of the woodwinds to learn at the beginning level but like all instruments it’s difficult to master. If you want to see some complete beginner’s progress, I’ve made videos of my students. It will show you what you can potentially do (if you practice every day about 45 minutes). These students were not taught to read music (reading adds a whole lot of other brain effort which slows down the process). The students in these videos are all playing by ear, just reading the chord changes but everything is improvised.
Here’s a few:
If you are interested in taking lessons on Zoom or In Person, please contact us at (818) 902-1233 or on our website at https://www.losangelesmusicteachers.com/online-jazz-improvisation-lessons-in-burbank-ca.html
Music Lessons Available on All Instruments:
Contact Us Now
Website by Never Alone Business Services