How To Get Started With Improvisation

In this blog let’s look at how you, the online music student, can get started with exploring the world of improvisation. A topic that may seem overwhelming, mysterious, and perhaps intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With a few tools in your music toolbelt, you can be set up for success when it comes to improvising, taking the mystery out and injecting your music experience with fun and excitement. 

What Is Improvising?

Let’s get started with defining what improvisation is. In basic terms, improvisation mirrors closely what happens when having a casual conversation about a topic. For example, let’s say that you and your neighbour meet on the street and start talking about how your day is going. This type of conversation is off the cuff, not rehearsed, but sounds polished. It doesn’t require much thinking since the questions and statements are usually things that you might have said hundreds of times. “How are you doing”, says the neighbour to you. Your response might be “It is going really well, how are you doing?”. Your neighbour might reply with “It is going great, what have you been up to?” to which you might say “I’ve been busy taking some online music lessons from Brady Arts Academy which has been going fantastic!”. The language used to talk to your neighbour is simple, understandable, and relatable to the topic of the conversation. If a third person joined the conversation they would be able to understand the context of the conversation and contribute at the opportune time. This in a nutshell is what improvising in music is, an instantaneous composition within the context of a set of parameters as defined by the participants of the music. 

What Improvisation Isn’t?

Improvisation typically isn’t a random act. An improvised solo can sound “in” or “out” depending on choices made by the improviser. There is an emotional component as with any music, but there is a point where the listener may be aware that some choices made by the improviser sound random to the point where they might not make sense. For example, if in the conversation with your neighbour you talk about the weather, you might start out by saying “I’ve been enjoying the sun!”. If however, you suddenly start discussing the type of laptop you have and throw in random words or sounds, the conversation might not make too much sense anymore, regardless of the emotions put into the conversation. 

Here is what this might look like in a conversation with your Neighbour: “I’ve been enjoying the sun! The HP Laptop I use has a lot of Ram. l;akjsdfoijweaofij sounds laksjdf;laksjdf noise, al;skdjf;laskdjf, farming!”. As you might imagine, the neighbour that stopped and asked how you are doing might raise an eyebrow at your answer.

Three Elements of Improvisation

Improvisation can be broken down into three elements, melody, harmony and rhythm. Depending on what instrument you play, one of the three elements might come easier to you than the others, but this doesn’t mean that working on all three elements isn’t needed or beneficial. A drummer might have an easier time picking up on the rhythmic element of the music, but a drummer might get lost in the form of a song at times. In order to find the spot in the song, if the drummer is aware of the melody or harmony it is easier to find where in the song the band is. Let’s break down the three elements and discuss how to get started working on each of the elements. It should be said that while in a theoretical sense there might be right and wrong notes, but in practicality, it is up to the musician to lay out a path in a solo that might make sense in an overall context of the solo. After all, music is about dissonance and resolution. 

Melody, something that is usually played one note at a time, is perhaps the most common element that listeners are drawn to. In a song you like, listen to the melody, the notes of the melody and the lyrics. Typically there is a structure of having a verse followed by a chorus than a different verse followed by the same chorus. As an improviser, being aware of the melodic structure of the song and the words or feel of the song can offer a direction for the solo. Let’s say that the song we want to improvise over is a blues song that is about the struggles of being a neighbour. Keeping with the storyline of the song, an improviser would likely stick to a minor (or sad) scale to keep within the context of the song. Some improvisers will use notes outside of the “context” of a song. In a theoretical sense, there is a right and wrong note, in a practice sense however, the notes that the improviser chooses can be theoretically wrong but make sense within the structure of the solo. Some say if you land on a “wrong” sounding note, the “right” sounding note is only a semitone away. If you are not familiar with note reading, check out our blog Learn Your Notes in Six Easy Steps.

Harmony on the other hand relates to chords, notes that are stacked on top of each other, that have a movement that leads us through a song in a logical order. While this blog won’t go into harmony deeply, one way to get started in the blues is to understand what the note order does to a chord. The best place to start talking about harmony is in front of a keyboard or piano. If a chord is made out of three notes, you have a root, a third, and a fifth that define the chord. The third is an important note as it defines the chord as major or minor. 

C – E – G played at the same time gives you a major chord

C – Eb – G played at the same time gives you a minor chord

Exploring the harmonic relationship between chords gives the improviser an understanding of what scales/notes are strong, weak, consonant, or dissonant over a given chord. It is the grammatical context of the words we use when writing in our mother tongue.

Rhythm on the other hand allows us to create musical ideas within the rhythmic context of the meter that the song is in. It is what makes the music choices infinite. Playing all quarter notes followed by a mix of quarter notes and eighth notes offers a rhythmic variation. Timing or feel is also important to understand. If a song follows the blues, for example, the emphasis is placed on the second and fourth beat of the bar. 

Regardless of how good of a note reader, ear player, or in-between player you are, the reality is that improvising is about using a language to express ideas. Just like learning a language, adding on one word a day means that eventually, you will be able to complete sentences, and then paragraphs. The more you know about the language the more you can express thoughts and feelings about various topics of discussion. Listening to a lot of music, musicians, and transcribing musical ideas will feed the ear. Knowing about the harmonic context of scale/chord or melody and harmony will feed the brain. Some may be great improvisers by ear, some by knowing all the theory, but those who work at the craft by developing both the ear and the mind find advancing as an improvise a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Now that you are aware of these tools and strategies, what else can you do to help your journey to becoming the musician you want to be? Check out THIS BLOG if you are an Adult Learning to Play Music and CONTACT US for private online music lessons to fast charge your progress on any instrument.

How To Listen To Music

Listening to music is something that everyone does on some level, but to the developing musician, taking time to sit down and listen to all the elements of a song is an important developmental step. Listening to music in the background is part of everyday life. Whether you are in an elevator, vacuuming your home, or driving in your car, music has the power to elevate an experience. However, to really appreciate what music has to offer and what it is about, taking an active role in listening to music is important.

In this blog, we will explore passive versus active listening, how to set up a perfect listening space, and what to listen for.

Passive versus Active Listening

As mentioned, passive listening is when music is in the background. When cooking a meal, standing in the elevator, or taking a walk, having music in the background adds to the experience. Subconsciously there are benefits when passively listening to a piece of music that a developing musician is trying to learn. The ear does seem to pick up small amounts of information but it may take a longer time to commit elements of the music to long-term memory. 

Active listening on the other hand is beneficial to committing elements of music to long-term memory. When sitting down and making music the primary activity without any distractions, the listener can take the time to appreciate the finer points of the musical piece. This might be similar to reading a book. Imagine reading a book while listening to a movie at the same time. The reader may recall elements of the book, but likely will have gaps in the plot development because of the distraction of the movie. Similarly, when listening to music while doing other activities, elements of the music may be missed. Lyrics may not be completely understood or sections of a song may be missed. Instead of making the music a secondary activity, take the time and focus on the music. This is active listening.

Setting Up A Listening Environment

No matter how big or small the room or if you have speakers or headphones, setting up a perfect environment to listen to the music you love and want to learn is important. Much like having a corner to read a book, having a dedicated space for active listening will set you up for success in developing as a musician. Comfort is important, so make sure you are able to find a cozy spot that will allow you to stay relaxed. Minimize distractions not only from other electronics such as a smartphone but also distractions such as bright lights or other noises. If you are using speakers, it helps setting up speakers so that the full stereo can be appreciated. Sitting in between the left and right speaker, make your sitting distance similar to the distance between the left and right speaker. This will give your ear a great stereo balance. When using headphones, try out both closed and open headphones that cover the entire ear. Closed headphones will drown out more outside noises, giving you the best chance of focusing on the actual music

What to listen for?

Now that you are aware of active listening and have your listening space set up, let’s put on your favourite song, turn down the lights or draw the blinds, close your eyes and really listen to the song. Feel the meaning of every word, focus on each note that is being played. Think about the setting of the song. Is this song describing a happy or sad moment? What is the inflection of the voice like when singing the lyrics? What is the structure of the song? Where are the loud and soft moments of the song? Are there any tempo changes? What instruments do you hear? Do you notice any unexpected harmonic or rhythmic elements? Make note of these observations and see if you can figure out what is going on in the song melodically, harmonically, and rhythmically. Keeping a logbook helps and becomes a great resource for practice sessions. Make note of a solo that you wish to learn more about and try to play it on your instrument during your next practice session.

Now that you are aware of these tools and strategies, what else can you do to help your journey to becoming the musician you want to be? Check out THIS BLOG if you are an Adult Learning to Play Music and CONTACT US for private online music lessons to fast charge your progress on any instrument.

What Do You Need For Online Music Lessons

The Pandemic has shown that Online Music Lessons Work, but what is needed to make sure that you get the most from your online music lessons? While there is a difference depending on what instrument you play, in general, the technology needed isn’t too expensive or complicated to set up and use. 

Let’s break this down into three steps

LIGHTS – finding a space that makes sense to have as a stationary setup for lessons

CAMERA – finding the equipment needed to make lessons as fruitful as possible

ACTION – other considerations before you log on for your music lesson

Light and Space

Looking around your home for a space that has enough room and is properly illuminated is important. Natural light is the best, but if this isn’t possible, getting some LED Ring LIght Clips for the computer will work. The main idea is that you want the instructor to see you. Make sure that as much of your body is in the frame as possible. Most instruments require attention to posture. If possible, make your practice space the same space as where you take your lessons. Having all required tools in reach during a lesson cuts down on time wasted looking for things, which gives more value and focus on what the instructor is getting paid to do, offering strategies to you to make you the best musician possible.

Camera and Equipment

When you have space figured out, the next task is to find out what equipment is needed to elevate your lessons. While it is possible to do lessons from your smartphone or tablet, these devices alone are not designed to deal with the acoustics of instruments. While there are options to purchase better microphones for smartphones or tablets, doing lessons on a computer is the better option. If you have a desktop or laptop, investing in an audio interface, a microphone, and headphones or stereo monitors is the ideal goal. 

A two-channel audio interface from Steinberg or PreSonus can cost around $150. This is a box that has inputs for microphones or instrument cables and a USB connection that runs from it to your computer. 

A microphone can differ depending on what you play, but for the most part, a Shure SM57 or SM58 would be a good choice. These microphones are the most common dynamic microphones and are found in most recording studios. If possible, having two microphones is best. This allows you to set up one microphone for your instrument and one microphone as a talking mic. Of course, if you are a vocalist or play a direct input instrument, you can get away with only one microphone. 

The last consideration is headphones or speakers. For the most part, having a set of open headphones is best. These type of headphones allow you to hear yourself which is fantastic if you play an acoustic instrument. There are various options between $100 to $300. The Sennheiser HD599SE are a great option. 

There are also package deals that will give you an audio interface, an entry-level microphone, and headphones. These can be found for around $350. You will also need XLR cables and a microphone stand which can vary in pricing but are not too expensive. Chances are you will be able to find used options.

Action and Other Considerations

With your space and equipment setup, it is time to focus on a couple of other items before starting your lessons. The first is your internet connection. If possible, go with a wired connection. This cuts down on weak signal issues and reduces the number of variables to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong connecting to your instructor. If this is not possible, being as close to your WiFi router as possible is the best plan. Also, if your home has other people using the internet, ask them if they can minimize their internet usage during your lesson. 

No matter what platform you are using, make sure you a familiar enough to be able to share your screen and participate on the whiteboard or chat. The ability to share screens is an important asset in online lessons. 

If you are wondering what apps or other digital tools are available, check out our blog on 5 Must-Have Digital Tools for Online Music Lessons

Now that you are aware of these tools and strategies, what else can you do to help your journey to becoming the musician you want to be? Check out THIS BLOG if you are an Adult Learning to Play Music and CONTACT US for private online music lessons to fast charge your progress on any instrument.

How To Start A Band

After doing online music lessons and setting up a perfect practice space it is time to put all those hours of practicing at home to use by starting a band. After all, for most, the idea of practicing individually is to eventually play with other like-minded musicians and perform or record music.

How to get started depends on your network, the opportunities presented in your local community, and what the ultimate goal of the band is. Is the band a passion project? Perhaps it is a creative outlet for original music? Is the purpose of the band to generate money? All of these variables will ultimately shape how the band is operated, who is in the band, and what the band’s ultimate purpose will be.

Deciding on Musical Genre or Direction

As with many aspects of life, everyone has a different taste when it comes to music. When it comes to creating a band, the first decision to make is what style of music the band will play. This will help later on when trying to find musicians to play in the band. Depending on the genre, it will also have an impact on how big the band may be. If the main idea of the band is to play original singer-songwriter music, perhaps a duo of guitar and vocals would be suitable. If the musical genre is to be swing music, the band size can go from 3 to 21 musicians and more to cover the various instruments found in that band. Of course, it is also important to see if there are people playing the instruments you envision in your local community. This is not to say that you can’t have a choice of what instruments are in the band. For example, if you are looking to start a Jazz Band but there isn’t a drummer in town, having a jazz band without a drummer is perfectly fine.

Finding Like-Minded Musicians

A band without members that get along on a musical and personal level is heading down a path of frustration. This is not where music should be. As with a lot of activities in life, finding a person with the right attitude is important. Someone that is easy to get along with, isn’t defensive when it comes to pointing out musical choices, and has a positive attitude towards the direction that the band is going in. 

There also needs to be an understanding of what level of musicianship is needed for the band. Everyone strives to be the best they can be, but frustration can be minimized if there is a clear understanding of the level that a band is at when seeking band members. If a band is too advanced for a member, there is added stress for that specific member to keep up with the group. If the gap between the skillset of the member and the band is too great, everyone may get frustrated making band rehearsals less productive. 

The best way to find the perfect bandmate is through a personal network. See which friends or colleagues are musically inclined and have the same taste in music. When working together with familiar people, the stress and frustration of starting the band can be diminished. It may take an effort though to keep the stress diminished as the band progresses.

Another way to find musicians is through services like BandMix, social media platforms like Facebook, or even platforms like Craigslist. When posting on platforms it’s important to give a true representation of what kind of person you are looking for, the genre of music, the frequency of practices and gigs, and the location of band practices. Keeping the post positive in nature will attract more respondents. On platforms like Facebook, there will be local groups or pages which can be used to post on. This will get the message across to more like-minded musicians.

Personal Practice vs Band Practice

It is also important to point out the difference between personal practice and band practice. In a personal practice session, one focuses on enhancing the skills on an instrument which makes executing the required musical passage as smooth and clean as possible. During band practice, however, it’s about finding a cohesive way to integrate all members to do justice to the music that is being played. Oftentimes in an amateur band, time is being spent on playing elements to address the individual player rather than the group. For example, if a guitar player doesn’t know the position of a C Major Chord and has to stop the entire band to figure this out, it may be productive to the individual but certainly will not be productive to the other musicians that have to wait. 

Showing up to a band practice knowing your part will minimize frustration and maximize productivity during the band practice. It is important to be attentive, open-minded, and take notes during band practice. 

Finding Music To Play

Now that there are members in the band to play music, the next step is to find music to play. Depending on the skillset of the musician and the instruments in the band, there are some considerations to think about. If the band plays original music, a collaborative effort may be appropriate. Having songwriting sessions where the band makes a few decisions ahead of time will make practicing together more efficient. If the band plays mainly cover songs, it’s important to build a list of songs with reference tracks so that each member can have a chance to listen to the song. Musicians that mainly play by ear should have a clear understanding of structure in their head or on paper so that when it comes time for the band practice, time isn’t wasted on finding out what key a song is in and what the structure of the song is. 

There are also instrument-specific considerations. In general, horn players are more likely to be able to read music than guitar players. This may result in having some band members play from memory because they may not be able to read sheet music while other members may need to rely on sheet music. In the band practice session, having a discussion and making notes on the general structure of the song, who solos were, and what band member is in charge of musical decisions like cut-offs is important. When it comes time to play a gig, however, everyone should have an open mind and ear to react to unplanned circumstances. At times a song may have an extra bar in the first chorus vs the second chorus. If that extra bar is skipped by accident, everyone needs to have an understanding of the song to know that this happened and to move on in order to minimize the impact of this accidental situation.

Finding a Time and Space to Practice

As with many things in life, having a frequency and familiarity with an activity will contribute to the enjoyment and productivity of that activity. Band practices are no different. As creatures of habit, having a regular practice day and time is important. This can all be figured out through a few phone calls, text messages, or emails. Another idea is to use apps like WhatsApp and set up a group chat so that everyone can see and contribute to the conversation in real-time but when they are able to do so. Making communication as easy and efficient as possible will ensure that everyone can have a voice and get access to the information they need to show up prepared for practices and gigs.

Finding a regular space can be challenging depending on where you live. Ultimately a band member has a setup in a house that has the required backline for the band. However, if this isn’t possible the next step may be to seek out a practice space in a practice facility. In Toronto, one of the more popular and affordable practice spaces are the Rehearsal Factory and Lynx Music. In your community, similar practice spaces may exist. If however, they don’t, an alternative may be to approach a local church, community centre, or even a senior’s home. In the case of the seniors home and depending on the genre of the band, in lieu of paying money to rent a space, a senior home may accept a few free performances for their residence.

Other Considerations

There are some other considerations when it comes to starting a band. At the top of the list may be how finances are handled. If the band has members that do music as a hobby, creating a band fund where everyone pools money to operate the band may be the best way to go. There will be expenses associated to running the band which everyone could share. In a band that has a mix of hobbyist and freelancing musicians, it is important to recognize the various reasons why a member is in the band for. The hobbyist may not care about making money from gigs but the freelancing musicians rely on money being generated. Having an understanding ahead of time for this scenario will help create an environment of positivity. 

It may also be important to record a demo and post it through a social media platform. This will help when approaching venues to play in and can create a community of fans around the band. Loyal followers will be important to make the gig a rewarding experience for both musicians and audiences. Of course, the first fans of the band may be the family and friends of the musicians. Having a social media presence will help expand on this familiar fan base to get the music out to more people who may not have a direct connection to the band members. 

Finding gigs when the band is ready will become an important part to keep the band evolving. Utilizing a personal network is again beneficial. Perhaps there are band members that work for a company looking for a band for their next employee picnic. Maybe a neighbourhood is putting together a local community event and would like to involve local members as part of their entertainment. Being on the lookout for music festivals and Rib Fests is a good next step, but more preparation to approach a more formally structured event is needed. A website and social media channels may be required to showcase videos of the band which can be sent to event organizers. There are also platforms like GigSalad which can help in finding the right gig for your band.

Now that you are aware of these tools and strategies, what else can you do to help your journey to becoming the musician you want to be? Check out THIS BLOG if you are an Adult Learning to Play Music and CONTACT US for private online music lessons to fast charge your progress on any instrument.

How To Set Up The Perfect Home Music Practice Space

Setting up a music practice space can be extremely beneficial to the developing musician, no matter if this space is a corner of a room or a separate room in a house. A familiar space containing all the required tools at the ready means that more time is spent practicing and less time is spent trying to get organized. In this blog let’s explore a few strategies to get a well organized music practice space.

Make It A Dedicated Practice Space

When it comes to cooking, having a kitchen makes meal preparation a lot more efficient and enjoyable. All pots and pans, utensils, and plates are in an accessible area. Being familiar with the layout and knowing exactly where one needs to go to get the tools to prepare a meal means dinner will be ready a lot faster. If one is making dinner in an unfamiliar kitchen, the quality of the meal may be impacted because the tools for the job may be missing or not where one expects them to be.

Much like a familiar kitchen, having an organized Music Practice Spaces allows for a familiar environment where the layout is known and the required tools are found quickly. It also allows to minimize distractions which will elevate a practice session making it more fruitful. Ideally the goal should be to walk into a practice space that is ready so that one can sit down and start practicing right away.

There is also a mental benefit to having a dedicated space. Humans are creatures of habit and routine. The brain seems to be able to settle down on a task a lot quicker when there is an element of familiarity. By having a dedicated space setup, the brain knows that when it is in the practice space, it’s time to play an instrument. 

Tools to Keep In A Music Practice Space

One motivational strategy is to always have an instrument setup. Leave the instrument out of its case so that all that is needed is to reach for it. This also has the added benefit that it’s always in sight. If an instrument is seen, it is likely to be used more often. Keep it In sight and in mind!

Keeping all required tools in arms reach is important. Depending on preference, this starts with having access to paper, pencil, and an eraser. While there is a level of convenience to using a tablet and stylus, some students of music find that using an actual pencil on paper helps the brain remember things better.

While on the topic of tablets and apps, it may still be useful to have a real tuner and metronome. While it may be useful having all required apps on our smartphones, it may be distracting to pick up a smartphone to use a tuner but then find that there is a text message. Having a dedicated tuner means that there is less of a risk of becoming distracted with one of the many other apps that are on a smartphone. 

For the same reason as having a separate tuner and metronome, having physical books provide a less distracting and more personal practice experience. Making personal notes in the book adds a personal touch to the practice experience. There is also a sense of progress that is observed when writing in a faster tempo marking because an exercise can now be executed at a faster tempo. Of course, a mistake or two can also be made here and there so having an eraser nearby is useful. 

Keep a Journal

Going back to being able to come and go as needed due to various elements in life including children, pets, partners, or other activities that may interfere with your practice session, having a journal provides a quick way to make notes, look back, and plan ahead. Starting with a thought of the day might help get in the right headspace to practice. Looking at where an exercise was left off last time will give a quicker way to start right into what’s next. One can also plan ahead by making notes at the end of a practice session. For example, perhaps an exercise is played in three keys. For the “next session”, pick three other keys to play the exercise in so that no time is wasted thinking of what keys an exercise has already been played in and what keys are left to do. Musicians that are dedicated to journaling have a sense of accomplishment when looking back a week, month, or year.

The perfect music practice space can contribute to a more productive practice session. Always have your instrument and tools in sight, be aware that mentally you are in control, and keep a journal so you can record your progress.

Now that you are aware of these tools, what else can you do to help your journey to becoming the musician you want to be? Check out THIS BLOG if you are an Adult Learning to Play Music and CONTACT US for private online music lessons to fast charge your progress on any instrument.

Do Online Music Lessons Benefit Me and Are They Helpful?

As a parent of a 7 year old and a private trumpet teacher, I wondered if online music lessons are a viable option or a complete waste of time? Looking at this from both perspectives I can honestly say that with the proper equipment and teacher, not only do online music lessons work, they are in some ways better than in-person music lessons.

What matters more than anything is taking the time to set up your environment for success. It starts with having a dedicated space for music lessons. The mindset of the student and teacher need to be aligned with each other and last, there is a technology component that needs to be considered.

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of what is that makes online music lessons better in some ways, let’s compare in-person and virtual lessons

What’s The Difference Between In-Person and Online Music Lessons?

There are some obvious differences between the two and ultimately as THIS ARTICLE points out, when deciding the most important aspect is weighing out the pros and cons for your situation. The best pro for in-person lessons is the ability of the instructor to listen to tone production of the instrument. The natural tone produced by the instrument can tell a well-trained instructor a lot about how the student is playing on an instrument. While this is the strongest reason to pick in-person over online, an instructor can find ways to overcome this obstacle.

Where virtual truly shines is the convenience aspect for both instructor and student. As an instructor, having access to all the virtual tools, PDF music, and other resources is extremely helpful. Not all books are digitized and not all resources an instructor has are available. For the student the best feature is that you don’t have to pack up and go somewhere for a lesson. Spend more time practicing and less time commuting.

Do You Need Special Equipment?

Depending on your instrument you will need to invest a bit of time and money for a well functioning setup. With the exception of drums, the more common instruments benefit from a USB Microphone attached to a computer, for example a BLUE YETI microphone. Much like a high quality screen, a high quality microphone is the starting point of capturing audio. 

The best device for lessons is a laptop or desktop computer. Smartphones and tablets are able to be used but make adding microphones and communication challenging due to small screen sizes. 

The last component is a good stable internet connection. For households with multiple devices and users, it’s recommended that when music lessons are happening, other members of the household use the internet connection in a conservative way. Planning ahead and downloading an episode from your favorite Netflix TV show helps. 

Is Virtual Good for Students?

This question does depend on the student and the instructor. Setting the technology piece of the equation aside for a minute, setting up a path to success for online lessons requires a bit of planning ahead. Make sure that the environment for lessons is consistent. Mentally it helps to always have music lessons in the same spot of the house as it tells the brain that it’s now time for lessons. Having a clutter free space with minimal distractions will maximize the time of the lessons. If possible, do your lessons where you practice.

The instructor will play an important role in making the experience good for the student. A good instructor will have a proper setup for the lessons including a talking mic, a mic for the instrument, the ability to properly use screen sharing, and a way to engage the student to keep the lesson on track to success.

The other benefit with online is that the student and teacher can now share recordings of each other in between lessons. While every instructor policy is different, this new way of keeping in touch is convenient for both parties and can help in keeping on track. 

As with most things in life, virtual is not always a good fit for everyone. Some instruments do require more consideration than others when it comes to deciding if online music lessons is a good fit or not. Ultimately there are ways to make music lessons work online from a technology standpoint, so all that is left to do is thinking about the personal preferences when making the decision to have lessons in-person or online.

Now that you are aware of the differences between how you take your lessons, what else can you do to help your journey to becoming the musician you want to be? Check out THIS BLOG to get tools that will help you with your practice sessions and CONTACT US for private online music lessons to fast charge your progress on any instrument.

5 Must Have Digital Tools to Help With Your Online Music Lessons

Your Online Music Lessons can be elevated by using these free or low-cost tools so you can become the musician you want to be faster.

The truth is, by using tools like metronomes, tuners, play-along apps, and software that allows us to slow down and change keys, your time spent in the practice room will be maximized and will allow you to measure gradual progress, a motivation that will lead to having more fun and advancing on your instrument. 

A Metronome App for your Apple Device

Using a metronome in your practice session can often lead to better time, feel, and faster progression of technique which ultimately makes playing any instrument or song more fun. These are some of the reasons why you should practice with a metronome. There are several free and paid versions of Metronome apps for many platforms, including smartphones. One of the best options we found is PRO METRONOME by EUM LAB. This app allows you to hear, see, and feel the beats on your Apple device of choice.

A Tuner that makes being in tune fun

Like metronomes, tuners are an important tool in any musician’s practice tool belt. With the progression of electronic tuners, there was little that could be improved until Tonal Energy Tuner found a way to make being in tune more fun.

Drone Tones to Help You Hear the Tuning

A highly effective and really fun way to improve your ears is using Drones to internalize intonation. The natural sounds of cellos are best when it comes to drones and the Drone Tone Tool uses just that in an easy-to-use website or a downloadable App.

A Play Along App That Is as Customizable as a Real Band

After the hard work of being in time and in tune is done, practicing to play real music is the fun payoff at the end of your practice road. There isn’t always a band in your home to satisfy this need. In comes iReal PRO, a tool that allows you to get popular songs right onto your Apple Device and allows you to change keys, tempos, and music styles.

When a Song is Too Fast or in The Wrong Key

With the access to songs being so easy thanks to search engines like YouTube, one frustration for the online music student might be that the song is simply too fast for now or that it is in the wrong key. Fear not, because with the Transcribe chrome extension you can slow down/speed up the tempo, change the key, and even loop a section of any video that you find online.
Now that you are aware of these tools, what else can you do to help your journey to becoming the musician you want to be? Check out THIS BLOG if you are an Adult Learning to Play Music and CONTACT US for private online music lessons to fast charge your progress on any instrument.