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…
No Instrument? No Excuse.
Instruments are expensive, especially the good ones. A bow for an upright bass or a violin can easily be found for $40,000 or more. A freaking bow.
Still, not having an instrument shouldn’t stop you from making music. Check out these guys playing on a broom guitar, and shovel bass.
Evidence of Practice: Kaki King’s Guitar & Light Show
The first time I heard Kaki King about ten years ago, her playing blew me away. This mesermizing TED performance is evidence of lots of practice, and not just the musical kind. Playing around with effects and images is another way to keep practice interesting. Check her out!
Oud Playing To Make Your Jaw Drop (also guitar, bass, req, and drums)
Joseph Tawadros and his oud, 2011
All practice and now play is not a good idea. Now and then I like skip any kind of practice advice and feature great musicians and albums you might not have heard of before. Check out the video below.
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.
A Killer App for Practice With a Rhythm Section
iRealB is one of the best practice tools I’ve come across in many years. Absolutely brilliant! If you need to practice with a rhythm section in just about any style (jazz, bluegrass, pop, rock, etc.), you’ve got to get this app. It’s available for both iOS, MacOS, and Android devices). Here’s a comprehensive video walkthrough of most of its features:
Resolutions, Goals, and Music Practice
In astronomy, we’re searching for other planets that might be earth-like in what’s known as the Goldilocks Zone: not too hot, not too cold, but just right. There may even be a galactic Goldilocks zone. As far as short-term, immediate goals go, the Goldilocks Zone is a goal that will make you work, make you think, make you strive a bit beyond your current abilities, but which you can achieve in the time you’ve got. If you’ve got 15 minutes, pick one easily-achieved short-term goal and pursue it. All this abstraction isn’t all that helpful, so let me give you a real-world example.
Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow A journey of one thousand miles begins with a single footstep. ~Confucius _________________ A few days ago I realized that posts for the last few months have been interviews, with little writing, and I miss writing, because…