Improvisation tips

Begin Putting the ‘Pro’ in Musical Improvisation

Perhaps the ultimate display of personal musicianship and expression, improvisation is a fantastic component to any developing musician’s study. Learning to play spontaneously isn’t easy, and it’s certainly a skill built on trial and error. However, there are a few things beginners can do to aid in their mastery of musical improvisation. First, you might be thinking, “I’m not a jazz guy, what do I need to practice improvisation for?”From Bach to Beethoven, improvisation has a storied history in classical music, allowing composers to show off their skills and attract attention and admirers. A recent study has even suggested that musicians who train in improvisation are able to unlock their
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Encouraging Good Practice Habits

Make Practice Time Rewarding and Fun with These 5 Simple Practice Tips!

With the new school year now fully underway, many households are getting into their groove and finding the right routine. In any musical household, one very important (yet sometimes overlooked) factor of a successful school year schedule is practice time. Following school, homework, extra-curricular activities and sleep, musical practice may occasionally get pushed to the wayside or left until the last minute, which, as we know, doesn’t really help budding musicians expand their skills and reach their goals. We’ve narrowed down five simple tips for encouraging good practice habits that children can carry on throughout their musical careers. When practice is rewarding and ‘fun,’ youngsters will look forward to that
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Challenging Guitar

Test Your Technique with Challenging Guitar Tab Selections!

Are you a guitarist looking to expand your playlist and/or skills? In need of a piece to impress at a school or band audition? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We love guitarists, and guitarists love Musicnotes for our selection, reliability and convenience. Our awesome customers frequently come to us for song suggestions. So, we decided to provide a fun mix of guitar tab challenges that make great pick-up-and-practice skill-builders. These aren’t songs you’ll most likely master quickly, but rather works you’ll develop over time. How difficult a piece is to play can depend on a variety of variables. Speed, length, mood and dexterous fingering may all be factors
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Tips to improve your vocal range

Simple Tips to Help Anyone Improve His or Her Vocal Range

One of the most frequent questions we’re asked by both aspiring and experienced vocalists is how to improve vocal range. Hitting those higher notes can make or break a performance, that’s for sure, but the most important thing is not to injure yourself in the process. We’ve consulted with a few of our vocal coach friends to present some simple tips to help you safely and comfortably improve vocal range over time. As with any new exercise program (you’re conditioning your vocal muscles to be comfortable at higher pitches), it’s ideal to consult with an expert first. In this case, a professional vocal coach will be able to help ensure you progress
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Music travel destinations

Destination: Music! Great Musical Travel Ideas

Every city has a soundtrack, and one of the most inspiring prospects of exploring a new locale is uncovering its pulse and the stories behind its unique sound. That’s why we decided to take a look at cities known for their rich musical backdrops, cities whose rhythms can be felt the second you step foot on their soil: our great musical travel destinations! Today we’ll highlight just seven of the countless cool musical cities to consider for your next holiday away. If a trip isn’t part of the budget this year, no worries. We’ve also included a few sheet music selections to help bring a bit of each city’s flair into your own music room. London A 10 minute photo shoot outside Abbey Road Studios in
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How to transpose sheet music

Music Theory Lesson: Learn How To Transpose Music

Digital sheet music aficionados like yourselves already know how easy it is to transpose your digital files into any key you want with a simple click of your mouse. However, if you’re playing from a non-digital file (gasp!) , it’s great to know the basics of music transposition. Additionally, just as a budding mathematician studies algebraic laws, it’s important for us musicians to have a firm grasp on the theory behind what creates all those emotive, provoking sounds, and learning how to transpose music will help with just that! Transposition is simply the process of changing the key of a piece of music. Any major key can be transposed into any other major key, and
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Audition Tips for Musicians

Accomplish Your Musical Goals With Our Top Audition Tips

A new school year/term  is quickly approaching, and that means audition time for many of us! Whether you’re hoping to join a particular ensemble, secure a soloist position or land a first chair spot, we’re sharing three of our best audition tips for musicians. You’ve chosen the perfect piece, spent weeks (or months) practicing, learned to control those pre-stage jitters, now all that’s left to do is step on out there and ace your audition. Even if you’re totally prepared there are things you can do to give yourself a little competitive edge come audition time. We’ll look at three awesome tricks that we’ve found to be successful, and we hope you share your words of advice
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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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