Practice Tips for Musicians

Maximize Your Time with These Practice Tips

Why do we practice? Sometimes it’s fun to pick up or sit down to your instrument and just play around, but that’s not really practicing. Practice, by definition, is a repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency. We as musicians are continuously honing our skills, reaching for the next level of competency and ultimate mastery of our instruments. Practice is work! And with these practice tips, you’ll be able to make the most of all the effort exerted during those precious practice hours. We’ll go through simple dos and don’ts of maximizing your practice time. And, like anything new, it’s going to take some practice
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Overcoming Stage Fright

10 Tips for Overcoming Stage Fright

Your palms start sweating, your muscles tense up, your heart beats so loud you think that, certainly, the whole audience can hear. Stage fright, also called performance anxiety, is a common ailment that affects many musicians, from beginners to professionals. If you’re one of the millions who suffer from stage fright know that you’re not alone, that it’s not your fault, and that there are activities and exercises you can do to help naturally overcome the anxiety. First, let’s understand why we feel stage fright. It’s all a natural reaction due to the body’s fight or flight response, a biological survival adaptation that kicks in when we feel threatened. We
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benefits of music

Song for Thought: The Many Benefits of Playing Music

Encouraging young ones to take instrumental or vocal lessons not only will  help them foster a love and appreciation of music, studies prove the benefits gained through music education will last throughout an individual’s lifetime. If you’re a musician yourself, you likely can vouch for how music has helped shaped your life, and the measured benefits of playing music that you’ve enjoyed when performing and when pursuing other interests. That’s because learning to play music may actually re-wire your brain, bringing about a wide array of beneficial traits that extend beyond the music room. The varied skill sets we develop while learning to read, play and perform have helped bring
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Popular Cover Songs

Top 10 Most Popular Cover Songs

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, than the original artists of the following Top 10 Cover Songs should feel quite flattered. We’ve searched through our massive sheet music catalogue to present to you the very best cover songs that you might not even had known are covers. Take a look at the popular hits below and see if you know the original artists. We’re sure you’ll agree this list is brimming with amazing musical talents from a variety of eras and genres! 10.  “Without You” by Mariah Carey Written in 1970 by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of the British rock group Badfinger, “Without You” has reportedly been
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10 Stretches for Musicians

Our Go-To Routine: 10 Essential Stretches for Musicians

Many people may not understand how physically demanding playing music can be, especially for those of us who have to hold the weight of an instrument through a long performance (we’re looking at you, marching euphoniums), or who often play lengthy, complex works solo (hello, concert pianists and strings musicians). Keeping your body in good physical shape is essential to playing your best, no matter your musical instruments. Endurance, control and overall flexibility will aid in preventing common injuries like tendonitis and muscle sprains, improve your posture, and ultimately help you to become a stronger musician. In addition to your regular cardiovascular and strength-building exercises, the following are helpful stretches
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10 Tips for Sight Reading Music

10 Tips and Tricks for Sight Reading Music

Sight reading seems to be one of those challenges that either a beginning musician loves or has recurring nightmares about. For those of us in the latter category, we’ve consulted with music educators who specialize in the important skill of sight reading music to make it less scary and (maybe even) a little enjoyable! Practice beforehand… Time signatures and key signatures are, well, key to being a successful sight reader. For a quick review of how to understand time signatures and key signatures, check out our basic sheet music reading primer. First, familiarize yourself with and practice a wide variety of time signatures so that you’re ready for any situation.
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Challenging Classical Piano Works

Test Your Skill with Challenging Classical Piano Music!

Maybe you’re looking to pick a piano recital piece that’s sure to receive a standing ovation. Perhaps you want to impress friends at a impromptu dinner party session. Or, you could be on the hunt for a personal  challenge, classical piano music that will improve your finger dexterity or speed. Well, you’ve come to the right place! How difficult a classical work, or any piano piece, is to play can be interpreted many ways. Perhaps speed is a particular challenge for one pianist, while ornamentation is more demanding on someone else. Here at Musicnotes, we’ve opened up and explored our own portfolios to present to you works that have tested
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armed service songs

Memorial Day Music Class: The History of Armed Service Songs

Here in the US, we celebrate Memorial Day the final Monday in May to honor Americans who have died while in military service. Traditional festivities include parades, picnics and programs paying tribute to those who gave their lives in service to our country. Of course, these events are the perfect opportunity to feature the armed service songs from each military branch: “Anchors Aweigh” for the U.S. Navy, “The Caissons Go Rolling Along” for the U.S. Army,  “The Wild Blue Yonder” for the U.S. Air Force,  “The Marines’ Hymn” for the U.S. Marine Corps and “Semper Paratus” for the U.S. Coast Guard. Each of these armed service songs has a rich
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How to Read Sheet Music

How to Read Sheet Music: Channel Your Inner Musician with These Simple Steps!

Have you ever heard a song on the radio and thought, “Hey, it’d be really cool to know how to play that.”? Do you have friends who play musical instruments, and you want to get in on the fun? Do you just want to expand your general artistic knowledge? Well, learning the basics of how to read sheet music can help you achieve all of these, and in a shorter amount of time than you might have thought! At its very simplest, music is a language just like you’d read aloud from a book. The symbols you’ll see on pages of sheet music have been used for hundreds of years.
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Free Musicnotes apps

There’s An App for That: Useful Apps for Musicians

Need to distract your cat with an iPad game? There’s an app for that. Want to check for nearby ghosts? Yup. App for that too. (It’s an EMF detector.) Got a work rival or annoying classmate you want to perform digital voodoo on? As Iggy Pop sang in ‘Search and Destroy,’ “Look out honey, ’cause I’m using technology!” In our ever-evolving world, nearly anything you’d like your iPad, tablet or reader to do is simply a download away. As musicians, apps are changing the way we learn, practice and perform. Musical apps can help you remember a chord, they can take the place of heavy, cumbersome gig gear, and there
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