A Lick a Day: Soundslice Serves it Up!

Learning licks from someone on an instrument different from yours is a great idea, because is exposes limitations of your instrument, but also exposes patterns on your instrument that can be changed or broken, in a good way. Say, learn Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday melodies on your instrument, or check out these short licks…

Sweet New Metronome You Feel Instead of Hear

Check this one out! What a great idea, especially the ability to synchronize the beat across a group. How about 75 of them for a concert band? Or 20 for a jazz band? Maybe they would cut a deal for large orders like that. I’d ask them, if you’ve got the money. Or even four…

The Flying Fingers of Jeremy Ellis

Looking to hone your rhythmic ability? Gadgets can be a fun way to do it. Here’s Jeremy Ellis demonstrating insane amounts of practice with his finger wizardry on the Maschine Mikro and below that, on its bigger brother, the Maschine Studio. Pretty mad skills!

Calling All Wind Musicians: Do This NOW (Please)

Without intonation, music doesn’t resonate, and if things are really out of tune, it can be a painful experience. Jazz trumpeter Ingrid Jensen gives an excellent example of how to play in tune. Here’s Ingrid in a video from JALC’s Jazz Academy to tell you more about playing with drones:

Playing With Yourself: Practice Gadgets

I’m always looking for examples of musicians doing cool things with loops; people like Andrew Bird. A friend turned me on to this video by Mike Love that’s one of the best examples I’ve come across. Especially impressive is the looping that starts around 4:20.

Getting Loopy: Elijah Aaron covers TLC’s “No Scrubs”

Loop pedals are such a great way to have fun while you practice, no matter what instrument you play. You hone your rhythmic skills, you focus on a short snippet of music at time, you can layer these snippets to your heart’s content, and best of all, you receive immediate feedback. Here’s Elijah Aaron showing us how it’s done right, with a cover of TLC’s No Scrubs

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.

Chromatik: An Online Music-Learning Resource

Below is the video on playing thirds that Chromatik chose to include on the site, and what’s really cool (you have to click through to see it), is that on Chromatik, the issues I talk about are illustrated with music theory and written notes. Super-cool! Much more useful and informative than my original video, which is great! I love the internet. When information is free, everybody benefits.

Heard: A Practice Recording App with a 5-minute Buffer

It can be tough to know exactly what to record beyond a specific performance of a song or section. Sometimes, when I’ve been improvising or goofing around during the warm-up, or making a “creative error” while transcribing a solo, I really like the results. When I stumble across a neat musical idea, if I don’t stop to capture it by repeating it or writing it down, it’s gone, usually never to return. Now there’s an app for that.

SoundSlice: YouTube Learning Goodness

If you’re like me, you get a lot of learning done on YouTube, but isolating a passage and repeating it, let alone notating it in some way, is difficult if not impossible. Not any more! Check out SoundSlice.

SoundSlice is a fantastically useful tool geared towards guitarists, but it’s useful for anybody who learns by watching video. Adrian’s done many cool things as a programmer (check his site), and has an album out of his most popular fingerstyle tunes here, most of which you can also find on SoundSlice, like the Beatles tune, Yesterday. Check out the link to Yesterday for a good example of how the site works.