Free Audiobook: How to Read Music

Basic Music Theory: How to Read, Write, and Understand Written Music is now in audiobook format!

If you’re new to Audible, you can listen to the book for free.

Michel Blows a Serpent (Practice Playing In Tune)

Want to learn to play in tune? You should. Read on. Playing in tune is a skill often overlooked in practice. Here’s a great example of playing in tune: Michel Godard playing a serpent. The serpent is an ancient low-voiced instrument similar to the Medieval cornetto, and it produces a mesmerizing sound in the hands of a master like Godard (see the vid below or listen to the mp3).

Compose Yourself: Songwriting & Composition as Practice

Songwriting as a means of practice is a great idea! The engagement with the sound you’re making goes deeper than when you practice scales, or other techniques, because you own (on many levels) the sounds you’re creating. And you don’t have to have special skills to do it, just dive in and start figuring it out.

Score Study 2.0: Stravinsky’s “Petrushka”

This interactive score of Petrushka is a gold mine for anyone interested in the piece. Stravinsky wrote Petrushka when he was 28 years old, in 1910-11. It’s a wonderful piece of music, and even if you’re not a classical musician, this site is a feast for the mind and the ears. Follow along in the highly interactive score, learn about what the different parts represent, learn about the historical context, and listen to commentary from music luminaries on the piece. There is something for everyone here: players, teachers, and even young children.

Symmetrical Scales: Chromatic and Whole Tone Scales

So, the chromatic and whole tone scales are really useful to have under your fingers and in your ears. If you don’t know either, practice the chromatic scale first, as it’s the most useful.

Good luck and have fun with your practice!