Tips for Classical Musicians

Category: Musician’s Life

Classical Music Fun Facts

The generation of today often associates classical music with being boring, pompous or even haughty. While there may be a bit of truth to these characteristics, this particular genre has had a significant share of “weirdness” over the last few centuries. Below are a few interesting classical music fun facts that are maybe not well known.

  • The tension associated with 230-odd strings featured inside a Grand piano is able to exert an outstanding force of 20 tones when combined on a cast-iron frame.
  • In 1993, The Helicopter Quartet was written by a very controversial composer by the name of Karlheinz Stockhausen. This quartet involved sending 4 members in this string quartet up into the skies in 4 different helicopters and each musician then played their part. While playing each musician was recorded and their music was broadcasted back for an audience inside an auditorium. The composer composed this particular piece after having unusual dreams that involved swarms of bees and helicopters.

 

classical music fun facts

 

  • The German composer known as Robert Schumann was known for plunging his hands inside the entrails of slaughtered animals in order to heal ailments. We’e not sure if that’s a classical music fun fact or just weird!
  • At the time when the American civil war had reached its peak the young John Philip Sousa watched one of the military bands. Even though this awakened a passion in him for music, when he first tried to learn how to play an instrument he failed miserably which resulted in him deciding to never return to music. He decided that he would rather pursue the path of a baker. However, after only three days as an apprentice at one of the local bakeries, John made a decision to return to music.
  • The reason why there are 2 skulls inside Haydn’s tomb is because the real skull went missing when it was stolen by a phrenologist. Another skull was then placed into the tomb. But in 1954 the real head had been restored and the substitute still remains in the tomb to this day.
  • Rossini wrote the famous aria “Di tanti palpiti” while he was waiting for a risotto meal inside a restaurant in Venice. A classical music fun fact that should remind you to always gran food, it can sometimes be when inspiration strikes!

Classical Music Fun Facts And More!

  • A single violin is composed of more than 70 pieces of individual wood.
  • Don Giovanni boasted that he was able to seduce 91 Turkish, 100 French, 1001 Spanish and 640 Italian women.
  • Many people know the Four Minutes and Thirty-Three Seconds by John Cage after it gained notoriety as it was around 4 minutes and 33 seconds of just dead silence. Another composition took this genre further when the Monotone Silence Symphony by Yves Klein consisted of a one prolonged note over 20 minutes followed by another 20 minutes of dead silence.
  • The London Symphony Orchestra was supposed to travel with the Titanic’ maiden voyage, however, they made a decision to change the boat they traveled on minutes before the voyage.
  • In 1960 at The Met, Baritone Leonard Warren died on the stage directly after singing the song Verdi’s ‘Morir, Tremenda Cosi’ which stands for “To Die, a Momentous Thing.”
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky a Russian composer suffered from a form of extreme hypochondria. His condition was so extreme that he was seen always holding onto his chin when he conducted his orchestra. He stated that if he let go of his chin he was scared that his head may fall off. He was also known for never drinking anything that was not bottled as he had a fear that he may catch a disease. Unfortunately in the year 1893, he received a diagnosis that he had Cholera and died the next day.
  • In the era of the 18th century dogfish skin was typically used in order to sand the violins.

Classical Music Fun  & Weird facts

Classical Music Fun Facts and Crazy Behavior

  • The duet Gioachino Rossini’s Duetto Buffo di due Gatti is composed of a single word “meow”. It is story about 2 cats arguing while the melody is said to be left mainly to the discretion of the singer.
  • An Austrian concert pianist, Paul Wittgenstein was called to military service when World War 1 broke out. Even though the man sustained significant injuries to the area of the right-arm which later had to be amputated he refused to give up on playing the Piano. Years after the war he went onto work alongside various celebrated and famous composers in commissioning new playing methods and piano concerti which allowed for more possibilities for one-handed musicians.
  • The soprano singer Dame Nellie Melba underwent a facelift operation that was unsuccessful and later died from an infection.
  • Yuri Gagarin the Russian cosmonaut sang the “My Homeland Hears” a Shostakovich song on the radio during his 1st space mission.
  • The Franz Schubert’s Symphony No.8 has often been called the “Unfinished Symphony” as only the 1st two movements were completed. Despite various theories, the reason as to why this piece remains uncompleted is still a mystery. However, one of the popular beliefs is related to that Franz abandoned this symphony once he was diagnosed with the condition known as syphilis.
  • When on a tour across England, Benjamin Franklin created an instrument which involved a set of glass bowls of various sizes which produced their on unique sound when a finger touches them. The Franklin’s “glass armonica” became famous among various 18th century composers that included Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss.
  • At the Sydney Opera House during the performance of the Boris Godunov, a live chicken fell from the stage directly onto one of the cellists.
  • Even though the Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture has been in use for commemorating the United States Independence Day for more than 3 decades, it was actually originally composed in order to celebrate Russia’s victory over France which was associated with Napoleon’s invasion that failed over Moscow. Tchaikovsky’s overture has been regarded as a theatrical and musical genius due to the real fireworks 16 shots fired from cannon artillery and church bells. However, Tchaikovsky himself hated this piece and actually stated that it was “loud and noisy” as well as “obviously written without warmth or love.”

 

Classical Music Bizarre History

 

  • Orlando de Lassus a renaissance composer was kidnapped a number of times when he was still a boy due to his beautiful and angelic singing voice.
  • Richard Wagner was known for been extremely hard to work alongside as he had a no-nonsense attitude and aloof and unfriendly personality. But was also believed to be drawn to a more feminine side. He was said to only wear satin or silk underwear and the letters that he addressed to the wealthy dressmakers revealed that he had a definite interest when it came to women’s clothing.
  • The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky may seem like the perfectly normal as well as significantly beautiful musical piece in today’s standards. But when first released in the 1913, it was different and unexpected and caused the audience members to throw things at the orchestra and riot. The press of this time attacked Igor Stravinsky and called his piece “puerile barbarity.”
  • Adelina Patti was the person to wear the most costly opera costume in 1895 at the Convent Garden. This costume had a value of £15 million.
  • Franz Liszt was asked by so many of his fans for locks of hair that he eventually purchased a dog and then sent the fur clippings of the animal instead.

Classical Fun Facts – conductors and composers included!

  • The composer known as Robert Schumann did not originally have intentions of becoming a composer. He first wanted to be a pianist. However, after a hand injury that was believed to be associated with a “crude finger” strengthening mechanism it made this dream impossible. He made a promise to his family that he would attend law school if he failed at his musical career, but he decided to stick with music and later became one of the more influential composers for the 19th century.
  • When the conductor known as Herbert von Karajan died, his wide Eliette inherited his fortune with a worth of £250 million.
  • As Slow As Possible a piece by John Cage is on performance currently at the St. Burchardi church. We will all be dead before the piece concludes as this musical project started in the year 2001 and is planned to end in 2640, therefore meaning the piece will be 639 years in length. The note change made last was in 2013 while the next change will not be heard until the later part of 2020.
  • In Austria, one of the most favorite brands of chocolate is the ‘Mozartkugeln’.
  • When The Four Seasons was written by Antonio Vivaldi, he wrote these notes in a musical score and asked his musicians to make sounds of falling rain or barking dogs. He also went onto compose sonnets for each season to portray a story behind the music.
  • The Symphony No. 1, the Gothic by Havergal Brian required more than 800 musicians that included 82 string players in order to perform.
  • Domenico Scarlatti composed the “cat fugue” when Pulcinella his cat decided to walk over his keyboard.
  • Even though Felix Mendelssohn a German composer was widely recognized as one of the child prodigies, he was not the only child in the family. Fanny Mendelssohn, an older sister to Felix was just as good a composer and musician as her brother. However, Fanny was not allowed to pursue her passion in music due to how the public viewed women in this era. Felix admitted that he had gone onto publish a few of her compositions as his own so that she would not have to face scorn or retaliation for them.

 

 

  • Well before the iconic batons, the orchestral conductors made use of very long staves which they would hit against the ground in order to notate a rhythm. This particular practice came to an end rapidly when Jean Baptiste Lully a French composer hit his own foot that resulted in a nasty abscess on one of his toes. After refusing to have the toe amputated, the wound turned gangrenous and he eventually died from the wound.
  • La Monte Young a celebrated pianist did a piano piece for David Tudor #1 which is in fact not a song. The piece is actually a type of theatrical composition that involves a performer bringing a bucket-of-water and bale-of-hay in order to “feed” the piano. The piece comes to an end when the piano has decided it is no longer hungry or has finished eating.

Classical Music is neither boring or maybe as innocent as you may have thought. The above facts and information detailed above prove that this was truly an amazing and interesting musical era. Which weird and wonderful classical music facts have we missed that you know? Please leave a comment and share with us.

If you love classical music then you might struggle with contemporary music and we’ve a great article here on what to do if you don’t like contemporary music. Enjoy!

July 5, 2017     0 Comments   , ,

10 Habits Common Among Successful Classical Musicians

As with all things, success leaves footprints and the same is true of classical musicians. We’ve found the top 10 habits of successful classical musicians. A thought on the minds of all musicians who graduate formal education is that of whether they will be able to take control of their musical journey and pave a way that will lead to a successful career. A specific method for career control does not exist; however identifying the traits which are common among successful classical musicians can certainly be worthwhile.

 

The 10 habits outlined below are seen in successful musicians and all aspiring musicians do well to take each one to heart.  

The 10 Habits of Successful classical Musicians

  1. Know Who You Are

You are the start of your music. If you want to tell the world that you are a musician worth taking note of and really be a successful classical musician, then you should be able to clearly articulate why you have a passion for music and why you want it to be the center of your life. Knowing your place in the music world, including what you already have under your belt and what you still have to learn, is another crucial factor. Make sure you are your own worst critic, that way you will be prepared for anything that comes your way.  

 

2. Don’t Settle For Being A Good Musician, Aspire To Be A Great Artist

Musicians are two a penny, but true artists are hard to find. A real artist has an adoring and loyal fan base and rewards their fans by constantly providing something new and improved. Work out what it will take for you to be a real artist, then make the moves you need to get there. Think about the people who inspire you, who do you consider to be a successful classical musician and use their examples in your life. Picasso, Mendelssohn, Charlie Chaplin, there are plenty to choose from. Step into their shoes and allow yourself to see life through their eyes.  

 

10 Habits Of Successful Musicians

 

3. Never, Ever Stop Learning

A real artist is always hungry for new knowledge, thirsty for incredible ideas and ready to drench their minds with things that inspire. Make interesting people a focus in your life. Read about them, listen to them, talk to them, ask them questions; in simple terms, do your best to be in the company of interesting people each and every day of your life. Don’t forget that unconventional sources of information can still be excellent sources of knowledge. People who never stop learning are the best company to be with, they are always transforming themselves and enriching their personal growth experience. Make sure that you are one of those people and you’ll be well on your path to becoming a truly successful classical musician.  

 

4. Perfect Performances Require Work

Comparing your own performance to your ideal performance is something you should not shy away from. Never lose your passion for constant improvement. Make a recording of yourself on your mobile phone. Let your friends hear your performance and tell them that you will only accept honest feedback. Take the time to listen to the musicians who inspire you the most. Volunteer to perform for the most incredible musicians that you know. This will show that your level of dedication far surpasses everyone else.  

 

5. Friends Are Crucial

Careers need people, not solitary confinement. Your contact list of friends, mentors, and contacts within the music industry should be well kept and ever expanding. There is great likelihood that it will be one of the people in your contact list who gives you that life-changing inspiration, introduces you to the right person at the right time, or opens the door to an opportunity that could otherwise have been missed. Having a big musical family certainly isn’t something to complain about.  

 

6. Become a Successful Classical Musician And Imagine Various Lives That May Be Within Your Reach

Stay open-minded to the various ways that you could make being a musician the center of your life. The options are very varied. You know the old saying (with a slight adjustment), ask not what the music industry can do for you ….. Working in the world of arts presents big challenges for everyone who makes this their career path in life. As a musician, your aim should be to present a great solution for them, rather than give them a problem to deal with. When it comes to recommendations on how to run the organisation in an improved way, tips on programming or innovative ways to appeal to the public, these people are more than appreciative of your ideas. Make a point of asking how you can be of help.  

 

How To Be A Successful classical musician

 

7. Inspire Others By Your Example

The mind of an artist, including ideas and ideals, is something others may struggle to fully understand. That is why the best way to stand out from the crowd is to live life in a way that shows exactly who you are and what you are passionate about. Let your example inspire other people and doors will soon open.  

 

8. Make A Habit Of Giving Back

Don’t underestimate the need to get sharing your own knowledge, experience and personal inspirations with potential listeners of classical music, as well as people in your locality and further afield. You are an artist and a musician, that means you will always have something great to share with others. People viewing you as a generous person who thinks of other people is sure to be a good thing for you too.  

 

9. Stay On The Path

Stay dedicated to your art – always keep respect for why you became a musician in the first place and resist any temptation to deviate off course – ultimately that is what will earn you the respect of the industry as a whole, as well as that of individuals. Today’s music industry dangles many temptations to leave the high standards of practice and study to the side.

 

 

Those in music education, administrators, and musicians themselves go to great lengths to create opportunities and get tickets sold. When it comes to it, if you really want to be trusted and respected in the industry you need to show that you are not someone who is willing to stray from the course of musical excellence.

10. This is where you add your own tip,

9 tips are enough to get you started, please share you comments and add what you think should be tip 10 in the comments below!

 

June 21, 2017     0 Comments   , ,

Working As A Classical Musician

A classical musician plays an instrument solo or as part of an orchestra or musical ensemble. They can either record music or perform live to the audience. Working as a classical musician means being able to do what you love and earn a living doing it, it’s what most of us strive to do!

 

Guide to working as a classical musician

 

Working as a classical musician – the options

 

  • Playing in a small group or in an orchestra, or as a soloist – with the direction of a conductor.

 

  • Performing live from time to time after hours and hours of rehearsing – the performances per se take a small percentage of your time, as you’ll be mostly in the studio at recording sessions

 

  • Practicing often in order to keep up the skills and learn some new music – need to know how much practice you really need? Then check out this blog post

 

  • Tuning and looking after your instrument and equipment

 

  • Often playing with multiple groups or orchestras at a time in order to make your living

 

  • Taking part in outreach programmes that take music into a community or working on education

 

  • Going on tour, performing across the world or the country and getting help from your agent to find auditions and work.

 

Classical Musician Working Tips

 

How Much You’ll Be Paid Working As A Classical Musician?

 

Pay rates vary depending on many different factors:

 

  • Whether you’re working freelance as a classical musician or have a permanent position

 

  • What sort of organisation or company you’re working for

 

  • What orchestra or venue you’ll perform at (club, regional theater, London theater, TV, pub, recording studio etc.)

 

The Musicians’ Union has some agreements regarding freelance rates with organizations such as the BPI (the British Recorded Music Industry) and BBC. They cover live performances as well as recorded sessions – you can find more information on it at the Equity website.Working as a classical musician is all about being paid a fair, industry rate and this can and does differ from country to country so check your local details.

 

For instance, a salaried orchestra musician working with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra could earn about £29,000 (circa $55000)  per year, all the way to £40,500 (circa $75000) per year or more at principal level. You can get extra for overnight trips, concert tours, overtime, or if you play multiple instruments.

 

In other orchestras based in London, you should earn around £29,000 to £52,500 per year, around twice as much as you’d get working at a major American orchestra.

 

Freelance rates are a bit different – they vary a lot according to experience and skills. According to research findings from 2012 by the ISM (Incorporated Society of Music) the average fee for each engagement (a performance or rehearsal) is £90-150 for orchestra players and £100-250 for solo instrumentalists.

 

Recording artists, on the other hand, might earn a lot more. The few soloists who become big names get very, very high earnings.

 

The salary for full-time musicians working as classical musicians in the armed services will vary according to service. The RAF advertised musician pay in 2016 at £24,913 and benefits, after basic trainers.

 

Classical Musician Working At The Ballet

 

Working Conditions For Classical Musicians

 

  • A working classical musician performs in many different places – from restaurants and hotels to churches, concert halls, theatres and opera houses.

 

  • If you’re part of a military band, you’ll need to commit to the armed services in return for a regular job and study bursaries.

 

  • You might need to go on tour abroad or in the UK and be away from your home for long periods from time to time.

 

  • You might need to work long and/or unsocial hours, including weekends and evenings.

 

  • A lot of musicians get employed on short-term contracts, taking on a few extra jobs in order to support themselves, like giving private tuition.

 

 

Getting Started Working and Earning As A Classical Musician

 

Usually, classical musicians begin learning at least one of the instruments they play when they’re very young. In order to become a professional classical musician, you need to reach high standards of performance in the instrument. The majority will have studied at a conservatoire (Music College) or at a university.

 

There are a few degree courses in music performance, music, and performing arts, too: The NC (National Certificate), as well as HNC and HND (Higher National Certificate and Diploma). Entry qualifications will vary according to the level of the course.

 

For most courses, there is an interview and audition, too.

 

Entry for a degree course is very competitive. Not only you’ll need the academic qualifications, you’ll need qualifications in music as well, most of the time. For a degree course in Scotland, you’ll probably need 3 to 4 Higher, preferably with music and Grade 7-8 on the main instrument you play from a body like the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music

 

For certain courses, you’ll need to be able to play two instruments, which may include singing.

 

You’ll usually need to show that you have some amateur experience.

 

You may get involved with a community or youth orchestra.

 

Working as a classical musician around the world

 

What Do You Need?

 

Basically, you have to be:

 

  • Particularly talented in music
  • Confident in your skills to perform in front of the audience
  • Capable of sight-reading – that is, being able to read and then play a musical piece without needing to see it before
  • Determined to improve your performance and succeed
  • Capable of taking criticism
  • Disciplined and motivated, able to spend hours and hours practicing
  • Good at working with others
  • Able to adapt t different musical styles
  • Able to deal with financial and business matters if working freelance

 

 

Training

 

Classical musicians will often continue with private classes throughout their entire careers in order to improve or maintain performance.

 

 

Getting Started With Your Classical Musician Career

 

Working as a classical musician is a very competitive career, so you can expect little job security.

 

You’ll need dedication, talent, and luck in order to be successful.

 

For musicians that are on the permanent staff of the orchestra, there’s a promotion structure that’s very competitive. It begins at tutti – the rank and file players – then principal, and section principal.

 

Some classical musicians conduct or compose music, too.

 

Some musicians will go on to train for other careers such as teaching or music therapy.

 

June 7, 2017     0 Comments   , ,

The Number of Practice Hours needed Each Day to be Timeless Classical Musician

Is it four hours? Or eight hours?

 

Just how much suffices? Is there something as way too much practice?

 

Is there an excellent or ideal variety of hours that one should practice?

 

What Do Entertainers Claim?

 

A few terrific musicians of the 20th century have actually shared their ideas on these inquiries. I remember having a meeting with Rubinstein years ago, in which he mentioned that no one needs to practice more than four hours a day, clarifying that if you required practicing more than four hours a day, then you possibly just weren’t doing it right.

 

Violinist Nathan Milstein claimed to have done this successfully. As soon as I asked his educator Leopold Auer just how many numerous hours a day he needs to be exercising, he responded that “Practice with your mind and also you will certainly do as much in one and a half hours.”

 

Heifetz had also expressed that he never ever counted on exercising excessively, in which extreme practice is” equally as poor as exercising insufficiently!” He mentioned that he exercised not more than three hours a day excluding Sundays.

 

From the examples above, it can be seen that this is not a negative concept– among my very own educators, Donald Weilerstein, recommended that I develop a 24-hour time period on a weekly basis where I was not permitted to use my instruments.

 

 

What Do Psychotherapists Claim?

 

Psychotherapists recommend the implementation of a “ten-year regulation” and “10,000-hour regulation” meaning least 10 years and/or 10,000 hours of purposeful practice is needed in order to attain a skilled degree of efficiency in using any type of music instrument– and this also applies to artists as well, one gets to become well-versed after twenty-five years of practice in order to achieve an exclusive worldwide degree.

 

Here are the things you should remember in the practice room:

50 Things to Remember in the Practice Room

 

Keep in mind that the actual trick right here is not the quantity of practice needed (as the precise number of hours is arguable) but the kind of practice needed to obtain a skilled degree of efficiency.

 

 

As the saying goes “Practice Makes Perfect”. If you want to be the best classical musician you have to be ready and willing to dedicate your time. A day in the life of a successful Classical Musician showcases how much time he/she spends in a practice room and what impact it brings to their lives.

 

4 Templates for Classical Guitar Practice Sessions

May 2, 2017     0 Comments   , , , ,

The Great Majority of Classical Musical Instruments

 

Bassoon:

 

 

As the name would suggest, the bass member of the woodwind family, and by far the largest, especially its lower-pitched relation, the extremely bulky double or contra-bassoon. Like the oboe, it is a double-reed instrument, although to facilitate the playing action (the instrument is normally held across and in front of the body) it is connected to the bassoon via a silver-plated, curved crook. Its most notorious cousin is the Baroque serpent, shaped very much as its name would suggest.

 

Winds:

 

Wind instruments are played by blowing into a mouthpiece. There are 2 types of wind instruments: woodwinds and brass

 

Woodwinds:

 

Include the flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, saxophone, and bassoon

The great majority of musical instruments fall readily into one of six major categories: bowed strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, keyboard, and the guitar family, the first four which form the basis of the modern symphony orchestra.

 

Strings:

 

 

String instruments are played by pulling a bow along the string, or by plucking the strings with your fingers (almost like a guitar).

The most widely used string instruments are the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. The violin has the highest pitch of the string instruments, followed by the viola, cello, and double bass.

The four principle woodwind instruments of the orchestra all work by means of a system of keys (usually silver-plated) which when variously depressed and released allow air to pass through differing lengths of the instrument resulting in notes of different pitch. In order of descending overall pitch, these are:

 

Flute:

 

Early forebears include the unkeyed fife. The most popular close relation is the recorder family, end-blown and largely unkeyed in the vertical position.

The four principle orchestral string instruments are (in descending order of overall pitch) the violins (usually divided into two sections, playing individual parts), the violas, the cellos and the double basses. Each have four strings arranged in order of pitch, can be played by means of a bow (arco) or plucked (pizzicato), but whereas the violin and viola are played with the instrument resting between the chin and the shoulder, the larger cello (or, to give it its full title, violoncello) is placed facing outwards between and slightly behind the knees, and the bulky double bass is played standing up or seated on a high stool.

 

Clarinet:

 

 

Like the oboe usually wooden, played vertically and held in the mouth, but with a wider bore and consisting of a single reed which when activated vibrates against a detachable mouthpiece. The standard instrument can be pitched in B flat (usually) or A, and the family is unusually extensive including the higher-pitched E flat, the B flat bass, the rarely-used C, the alto (a modern relative of the basset horn), and the even more obscure double-bass or ‘pedal’ clarinet. Occasionally the clarinet’s ‘popular’ cousin can be seen in the concert hall, the saxophone.

 

Oboe:

 

a narrow-bored wooden instrument descended from the medieval shawm, held vertically, and activated by means of placing the end-positioned double-reed in the mouth and blowing under high-pressure so as to force air between the two bound reeds, causing them to vibrate. Other members of the oboe family include the lower pitched cor anglais (or English Horn), and (far more rarely) baritone oboe and heckelphone (bass oboe). The instrument’s most famous predecessor is the Baroque oboe d’amore, often used by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Enthusiasts of Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque music will encounter earlier varieties of bowed instruments known variously as vielle, viol, or in its earliest form, fidel (hence the modern nickname for a violin, ‘fiddle’). The most popular member of the viol family is the cello’s precursor, the viola da gamba (literally ‘viol of the legs’).

 

Brass instruments

 

are also activated by blowing into them, although instead of using a form of reed over which the mouth is placed, the lips are placed against or inside the cup of a metal mouthpiece, and made to vibrate against its inner rim. In order of descending pitch, these are:

 

Tuba:

 

not unlike the French horn in basic construction, only more oval in shape and much bigger. The piston valve action is similar to the trumpet, only the valves themselves are situated in the middle of the instrument. A variety of sizes and types exist aside from the typical concert instrument in F (bass tuba), including the tenor tuba (higher), and double-bass tuba (lower), often referred to as a bombardon in a military or brass band context.

 

French horn:

 

The modern instrument is the most outwardly complex, consisting of a basic tube, rounded into a compact shape culminating in a conical bore or bell, into which a series of valves are centrally set. Before the valve system had been developed, the changing of basic pitch was facilitated by the insertion of a variety of crooks which altered the length of the basic tube, and the changing of certain notes by holding the hand in a variety of subtly differentiated positions within the bell.

 

Percussion:

 

A percussion instrument is probably best defined as one where a resonating surface is struck by the player, either by hand or by some form of stick. These divide roughly into tuned instruments which have a definite pitch or series of pitches, and those of indefinite pitch

Definite pitch percussion instruments include the marimba, xylophone. timpani or kettle drum, xylophone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, vibraphone. Occasionally, the piano and celesta (see left) are included in scores as part of the percussion section

 

Trombone:

 

The trombone is easily recognisable by its extended elliptical shape culminating in a conical bore, and its distinctive use of a hand-operated slide held out in front, in order to change pitch. The tenor and bass trombone are occasionally seen (especially the latter), although the alto and double-bass are extreme rarities

 

Trumpet:

 

Played horizontally via a series of valves on the top of the instrument which are opened and closed in various combinations to create different pitches. Occasionally, the piccolo (higher) or bass (lower) trumpets are heard (and the trumpet’s ‘popular’ cousin, the cornet), although more common nowadays in ‘authentic’ Baroque orchestras (which use instruments of the correct period or copies thereof), is the ‘natural’ or valveless trumpet

Indefinite pitch percussion instruments include the bass drum, cymbals, triangle, snare drum, gong, castanets, whip, rattle, anvil, tambourine, cymbals (struck and clashing), and a variety of drums (side, tenor, bass, tabor, bongo etc.).

 

Keyboard instruments:

 

Conveniently collected together as any instrument which is operated by means of a standard keyboard, the differences in operation are wide-ranging and carry obvious associations with certain of the above categories. These break down into four main types:

 

Plucked:

 

mostly instruments emanating from the 17th/18th centuries where a series of stretched and tuned strings are plucked by a quill or plectrum (e.g. harpsichord, virginal, spinet).

 

Struck:

 

Where the strings are actually hit, either by a tangent (e.g. 17th/18th century clavichord), or hammers (e.g. piano, celesta).

 

Guitar Family:

 

The ‘classical’ guitar is typically a Spanish-derived, a six-stringed instrument played using a plectrum or the finger-nails, with frets set into the fingerboard. Popular music tends to use amplification for both six-stringed instruments and the four-string bass guitar. The guitar family gradually supplanted the lute which had come to prominence during the Renaissance

 

Electronic:

 

where a number of effects approximating to those derived from any of the above instruments, as well as totally original sounds, can be achieved (e.g. electronic organ, synthesizer).

The standard instrument can be pitched in B flat (usually) or A, and the family is unusually extensive including the higher-pitched E flat, the B flat bass, the rarely-used C, the alto (a modern relative of the basset horn), and the even more obscure double-bass or ‘pedal’ clarinet. Like the oboe, it is a double-reed instrument, although to facilitate the playing action (the instrument is normally held across and in front of the body) it is connected to the bassoon via a silver-plated, curved crook. Played horizontally via a series of valves on the top of the instrument which are opened and closed in various combinations to create different pitches. These divide roughly into tuned instruments which have a definite pitch or series of pitches, and those of indefinite pitch. Definite pitch percussion instruments include the marimba, xylophone.

 

Aerated:

 

where the notes are activated by a column of mechanically propelled air within a series of tuned pipes (e.g. organ).

 

Oboe:

 

a narrow-bored wooden instrument descended from the medieval shawm, held vertically, and activated by means of placing the end-positioned double-reed in the mouth, and blowing under high-pressure so as to force air between the two bound reeds, causing them to vibrate. Other members of the oboe family include the lower pitched cor anglais (or English Horn), and (far more rarely) baritone oboe and heckelphone (bass oboe). The instrument’s most famous predecessor is the Baroque oboe d’amore, often used by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Enthusiasts of Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque music will encounter earlier varieties of bowed instruments known variously as vielle, viol, or in its earliest form, fidel (hence the modern nickname for a violin, ‘fiddle’). The most popular member of the viol family is the cello’s precursor, the viola da gamba (literally ‘viol of the legs’).

 

Clarinet:

 

Like the oboe usually wooden, played vertically and held in the mouth, but with a wider bore and consisting of a single reed which when activated vibrates against a detachable mouthpiece. The standard instrument can be pitched in B flat (usually) or A, and the family is unusually extensive including the higher-pitched E flat, the B flat bass, the rarely-used C, the alto (a modern relative of the basset horn), and the even more obscure double-bass or ‘pedal’ clarinet. Occasionally the clarinet’s ‘popular’ cousin can be seen in the concert hall, the saxophone

 

Strings:

 

String instruments are played by pulling a bow along the string, or by plucking the strings with your fingers (almost like a guitar).

The most widely used string instruments are the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. The violin has the highest pitch of the string instruments, followed by the viola, cello, and double bass

 

Winds:

 

Wind instruments are played by blowing into a mouthpiece.

There are 2 types of wind instruments: woodwinds and brass

Woodwinds include the flute, piccolo, clarinet, bassoon, oboe, and saxophone

 

most affordable french horn in the world

 

The four principle orchestral string instruments are (in descending order of overall pitch) the violins (usually divided into two sections, playing individual parts), the violas, the cellos and the double basses. Each have four strings arranged in order of pitch, can be played by means of a bow (arco) or plucked (pizzicato), but whereas the violin and viola are played with the instrument resting between the chin and the shoulder, the larger cello (or, to give it its full title, violoncello) is placed facing outwards between and slightly behind the knees, and the bulky double bass is played standing up or seated on a high stool.

 

The great majority of musical instruments fall readily into one of six major categories: bowed strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, keyboard, and the guitar family, the first four which form the basis of the modern symphony orchestral

 

The four principle woodwind instruments of the orchestra all work by means of a system of keys (usually silver-plated) which when variously depressed and released allow air to pass through differing lengths of the instrument resulting in notes of different pitch. In order of descending overall pitch, these are

 

Flute:

 

Early forebears include the unkeyed fife. The most popular close relation is the recorder family, end-blown and largely unkeyed in the vertical position.

 

Bassoon:

 

as the name would suggest, the bass member of the woodwind family, and by far the largest, especially its lower-pitched relation, the extremely bulky double or contra-bassoon. Like the oboe, it is a double-reed instrument, although to facilitate the playing action (the instrument is normally held across and in front of the body) it is connected to the bassoon via a silver-plated, curved crook. Its most notorious cousin is the Baroque serpent, shaped very much as its name would suggest.

 

Brass instruments are also activated by blowing into them, although instead of using a form of reed over which the mouth is placed, the lips are placed against or inside the cup of a metal mouthpiece, and made to vibrate against its inner rim. In order of descending pitch, these are:

 

Trombone:

The trombone is easily recognisable by its extended elliptical shape culminating in a conical bore, and its distinctive use of a hand-operated slide held out in front, in order to change pitch. The tenor and bass trombone are occasionally seen (especially the latter), although the alto and double-bass are extreme rarities

Indefinite pitch percussion instruments include the bass drum, cymbals, triangle, snare drum, gong, castanets, whip, rattle, anvil, tambourine, cymbals (struck and clashing), and a variety of drums (side, tenor, bass, tabor, bongo etc.).

 

Trumpet:

 

 

Played horizontally via a series of valves on the top of the instrument which are opened and closed in various combinations to create different pitches. Occasionally, the piccolo (higher) or bass (lower) trumpets are heard (and the trumpet’s ‘popular’ cousin, the cornet), although more common nowadays in ‘authentic’ Baroque orchestras (which use instruments of the correct period or copies thereof), is the ‘natural’ or valveless trumpet.

 

Percussion:

 

A percussion instrument is probably best defined as one where a resonating surface is struck by the player, either by hand or by some form of stick. These divide roughly into tuned instruments which have a definite pitch or series of pitches, and those of indefinite pitch

Definite pitch percussion instruments include the marimba, xylophone. timpani or kettle drum, xylophone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, vibraphone. Occasionally, the piano and celesta (see left) are included in scores as part of the percussion section.

 

French horn:

 

The modern instrument is the most outwardly complex, consisting of a basic tube, rounded into a compact shape culminating in a conical bore or bell, into which a series of valves are centrally set. Before the valve system had been developed, the changing of basic pitch was facilitated by the insertion of a variety of crooks which altered the length of the basic tube, and the changing of certain notes by holding the hand in a variety of subtly differentiated positions within the bell.

 

Tuba:

 

 

Unlike the French horn in basic construction, only more oval in shape and much bigger. The piston valve action is similar to the trumpet, only the valves themselves are situated in the middle of the instrument. A variety of sizes and types exist aside from the typical concert instrument in F (bass tuba), including the tenor tuba (higher), and double-bass tuba (lower), often referred to as a bombardon in a military or brass band context.

 

Keyboard instruments:

 

Conveniently collected together as any instrument which is operated by means of a standard keyboard, the differences in operation are wide-ranging and carry obvious associations with certain of the above categories. These break down into four main types:

 

Electronic:

 

where a number of effects approximating to those derived from any of the above instruments, as well as totally original sounds, can be achieved (e.g. electronic organ, synthesizer).

 

Aerated:

 

where the notes are activated by a column of mechanically propelled air within a series of tuned pipes (e.g. organ).

 

Plucked:

 

mostly instruments emanating from the 17th/18th centuries where a series of stretched and tuned strings are plucked by a quill or plectrum (e.g. harpsichord, virginal, spinet)

 

Struck:

 

where the strings are actually hit, either by a tangent (e.g. 17th/18th century clavichord), or hammers (e.g. piano, celesta).

The standard instrument can be pitched in B flat (usually) or A, and the family is unusually extensive including the higher-pitched E flat, the B flat bass, the rarely-used C, the alto (a modern relative of the basset horn), and the even more obscure double-bass or ‘pedal’ clarinet. Like the oboe, it is a double-reed instrument, although to facilitate the playing action (the instrument is normally held across and in front of the body) it is connected to the bassoon via a silver-plated, curved crook. Played horizontally via a series of valves on the top of the instrument which are opened and closed in various combinations to create different pitches. These divide roughly into tuned instruments which have a definite pitch or series of pitches, and those of indefinite pitch. Definite pitch percussion instruments include the marimba, xylophone.

 

Guitar Family

 

The ‘classical’ guitar is typically a Spanish-derived, six-stringed instrument played using a plectrum or the finger-nails, with frets set into the fingerboard. Popular music tends to use amplification for both six-stringed instruments and the four-string bass guitar. The guitar family gradually supplanted the lute which had come to prominence during the Renaissance.

 

The four principle orchestral string instruments are (in descending order of overall pitch) the violins (usually divided into two sections, playing individual parts), the violas, the cellos and the double basses. Each have four strings arranged in order of pitch, can be played by means of a bow (arco) or plucked (pizzicato), but whereas the violin and viola are played with the instrument resting between the chin and the shoulder, the larger cello (or, to give it its full title, violoncello) is placed facing outwards between and slightly behind the knees, and the bulky double bass is played standing up or seated on a high stool.

 

Oboe:

 

a narrow-bored wooden instrument descended from the medieval shawm, held vertically, and activated by means of placing the end-positioned double-reed in the mouth and blowing under high-pressure so as to force air between the two bound reeds, causing them to vibrate. Other members of the oboe family include the lower pitched cor anglais (or English Horn), and (far more rarely) baritone oboe and heckelphone (bass oboe). The instrument’s most famous predecessor is the Baroque oboe d’amore, often used by Johann Sebastian Bach.

 

Winds:

 

Wind instruments are played by blowing into a mouthpiece.

There are 2 types of wind instruments: woodwinds and brass.

Woodwinds include the flute, piccolo, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, and bassoon.

 

Strings:

 

String instruments are played by pulling a bow along the string, or by plucking the strings with your fingers (almost like a guitar).

The most widely used string instruments are the violin, viola, cello, and double bass. The violin has the highest pitch of the string instruments, followed by the viola, cello, and double bass.

 

Clarinet:

 

like the oboe usually wooden, played vertically and held in the mouth, but with a wider bore and consisting of a single reed which when activated vibrates against a detachable mouthpiece. The standard instrument can be pitched in B flat (usually) or A, and the family is unusually extensive including the higher-pitched E flat, the B flat bass, the rarely-used C, the alto (a modern relative of the basset horn), and the even more obscure double-bass or ‘pedal’ clarinet. Occasionally the clarinet’s ‘popular’ cousin can be seen in the concert hall, the saxophone.

 

Bassoon:

 

as the name would suggest, the bass member of the woodwind family, and by far the largest, especially its lower-pitched relation, the extremely bulky double or contra-bassoon. Like the oboe, it is a double-reed instrument, although to facilitate the playing action (the instrument is normally held across and in front of the body) it is connected to the bassoon via a silver-plated, curved crook. Its most notorious cousin is the Baroque serpent, shaped very much as its name would suggest.

 

Enthusiasts of Medieval, Renaissance and early Baroque music will encounter earlier varieties of bowed instruments known variously as vielle, viol, or in its earliest form, fidel (hence the modern nickname for a violin, ‘fiddle’). The most popular member of the viol family is the cello’s precursor, the viola da gamba (literally ‘viol of the legs’).

 

The four principle woodwind instruments of the orchestra all work by means of a system of keys (usually silver-plated) which when variously depressed and released allow air to pass through differing lengths of the instrument resulting in notes of different pitch. In order of descending overall pitch, these are:<br />

 

Flute:

 

Early forebears include the unkeyed fife. The most popular close relation is the recorder family, end-blown and largely unkeyed in the vertical position.

 

The great majority of musical instruments fall readily into one of six major categories: bowed strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, keyboard, and the guitar family, the first four which form the basis of the modern symphony orchestra.

 

Brass instruments are also activated by blowing into them, although instead of using a form of reed over which the mouth is placed, the lips are placed against or inside the cup of a metal mouthpiece, and made to vibrate against its inner rim. In order of descending pitch, these are:

 

Trumpet:

 

Played horizontally via a series of valves on the top of the instrument which are opened and closed in various combinations to create different pitches. Occasionally, the piccolo (higher) or bass (lower) trumpets are heard (and the trumpet’s ‘popular’ cousin, the cornet), although more common nowadays in ‘authentic’ Baroque orchestras (which use instruments of the correct period or copies thereof), is the ‘natural’ or valveless trumpet.

Definite pitch percussion instruments include the marimba, xylophone. timpani or kettle drum, xylophone, glockenspiel, tubular bells, vibraphone. Occasionally, the piano and celesta (see left) are included in scores as part of the percussion section.

 

Tuba:

 

Most affordable Tuba instrument

 

Unlike the French horn in basic construction, only more oval in shape and much bigger. The piston valve action is similar to the trumpet, only the valves themselves are situated in the middle of the instrument. A variety of sizes and types exist aside from the typical concert instrument in F (bass tuba), including the tenor tuba (higher), and double-bass tuba (lower), often referred to as a bombardon in a military or brass band context.

 

Trombone:

 

The trombone is easily recognisable by its extended elliptical shape culminating in a conical bore, and its distinctive use of a hand-operated slide held out in front, in order to change pitch. The tenor and bass trombone are occasionally seen (especially the latter), although the alto and double-bass are extreme rarities.

Indefinite pitch percussion instruments include the bass drum, cymbals, triangle, snare drum, gong, castanets, whip, rattle, anvil, tambourine, cymbals (struck and clashing), and a variety of drums (side, tenor, bass, tabor, bongo etc.).

 

French horn:

 

The modern instrument is the most outwardly complex, consisting of a basic tube, rounded into a compact shape culminating in a conical bore or bell, into which a series of valves are centrally set. Before the valve system had been developed, the changing of basic pitch was facilitated by the insertion of a variety of crooks which altered the length of the basic tube, and the changing of certain notes by holding the hand in a variety of subtly differentiated positions within the bell.

 

Percussion:

 

A percussion instrument is probably best defined as one where a resonating surface is struck by the player, either by hand or by some form of stick. These divide roughly into tuned instruments which have a definite pitch or series of pitches, and those of indefinite pitch.

 

Keyboard instruments:

 

Conveniently collected together as any instrument which is operated by means of a standard keyboard, the differences in operation are wide-ranging and carry obvious associations with certain of the above categories. These break down into four main types:

 

Guitar Family:

 

The ‘classical’ guitar is typically a Spanish-derived, six-stringed instrument played using a plectrum or the finger-nails, with frets set into the fingerboard. Popular music tends to use amplification for both six-stringed instruments and the four-string bass guitar. The guitar family gradually supplanted the lute which had come to prominence during the Renaissance.

 

Plucked:

 

Mostly instruments emanating from the 17th/18th centuries where a series of stretched and tuned strings are plucked by a quill or plectrum (e.g. harpsichord, virginal, and spinet).

 

Aerated:

 

Where the notes are activated by a column of mechanically propelled air within a series of tuned pipes (e.g. organ).

The standard instrument can be pitched in B flat (usually) or A, and the family is unusually extensive including the higher-pitched E flat, the B flat bass, the rarely-used C, the alto (a modern relative of the basset horn), and the even more obscure double-bass or ‘pedal’ clarinet. Like the oboe, it is a double-reed instrument, although to facilitate the playing action (the instrument is normally held across and in front of the body) it is connected to the bassoon via a silver-plated, curved crook. Played horizontally via a series of valves on the top of the instrument which are opened and closed in various combinations to create different pitches. These divide roughly into tuned instruments which have a definite pitch or series of pitches, and those of indefinite pitch. Definite pitch percussion instruments include the marimba, xylophone.

 

Struck:

 

where the strings are actually hit, either by a tangent (e.g. 17th/18th century clavichord), or hammers (e.g. piano, celesta).

 

Electronic:

 

where a number of effects approximating to those derived from any of the above instruments, as well as totally original sounds, can be achieved (e.g. electronic organ, synthesizer).

 

How To Be The Best Performer

 

Get more information on Classical Instruments HERE.

 

Here’s an Introduction  to the instruments of the orchestra

    0 Comments   , , , , , ,

50 Things to Remember in the Practice Room

Being Aware/Conscious

After a couple of weeks of intense practice we musicians tend to run in automatic mode. We know what to do and when to do it—but that doesn’t mean we are getting the most out of our routine.

That’s when we have to bring back a little consciousness to renew our contract with music.

Here’s what you should consider during your practice sessions:
1. Feel comfortable with the temperature of your cubicle. You can only learn when you are comfy.

2. Have all your accessories in one place.

3. Breathe and slow down—you are about to start something religious.

4. Focus on focus. Leave everything behind, clear your mind and enter the PRACTICE mode.

5. Warm-up! 15 minutes at least. Take care of yourself so you can make the art you love so much for years to come.

6. Stretch before playing your first note.

7. Have your pencil ready to jot down your progress and make markings.

8. Once you are ready to STUDY, keep your “mental control”. Focus on what you are learning—not about the pizza you’ll eat afterwards.

9. Use a mirror as part of your practice. See how you look like and what can improve your tone/performance.

10. Posture is essential to improve sound—and other things.

11. Prepare a plan before your sessions and stick to it. Know what each minute of practice is dedicated to.

12. Follow your plan no matter what. Trust your preparation beforehand.

13. Build the music. Don’t practice everything at once. E.g. The first hour you learn notes, the second intonation, then rhythm then everything together. Then everything separate again and building it one at the time for a couple of weeks. It’s a long process but it’s the most efficient.

14. Spend time building your technique. When inspiration finally arrives you will have a viable way to express yourself. Get into those etudes!

15. Listen to a lot of music and hear the professionals’ interpretations. Learn from styles and composers.

16. When you practice slowly, you forget slowly. Mr. Perlman said that!

17. The metronome is discipline’s no.1 ally.

18. Repetitions will engrave things in your brain forever.

19. Know the structure of your piece. A little music theory never hurt anybody 🙂 .

20. Imagine the rest of the orchestra while you play your part. Keep them in mind while performing.

21. Phrasing a line is making music. Not phrasing is playing notes.

22. Make a good dynamic contrast—but don’t lose the sound in the (p) pianos.

23. Style is what characterizes the piece.

24. Rhythms HAVE to be accurate.

25. Play in tune. All you have to do is: LISTEN. Mr. Perlman said that as well.

26. Read a book or two about the history of the composer you are interpreting.

27. Get free scores at imslp.org or get them on Amazon.

28. Once you know the style of a piece, you’ll perform the right strokes.

29. Vibrato has to be controlled.

30. Articulate! Play clean.

31. Coordinate both hands.

32. Re-check posture. You’ve been working a lot and might’ve move into a more comfortable position. Adjust.

33. Your breathing has to support your playing.

34. Take a break when your mind is exhausted, don’t waste time.

35. Stay hydrated to maximize efficiency. Drink a lot of water.

36. Take vitamin C to stay healthy.

37. Don’t Facebook while on breaks – stay with the music in your head as long as possible.

38. Keep your mind focused on what you practiced. Keep practicing in your mind. Think and rethink rhythms, notes, etc.

39. It’s all about surviving, really. Effective practice takes a huge amount of concentration. Survive your 3 hours session and then you can rest.

40. After a couple of hours you will leave the focus-house and that will be fine.

41. Push your limits. Stay longer if you can.

42. Leave when you are not productive, not when you get tired.

43. Remember: Practice is the only thing that will get you there.

44. You want to be good; then you have to give it all.

45. Be constant. Do it every day.

46. Move drip by drip and SMILE. There is no finish line.

47. Believe in your dreams and do give up what you are not passionate about. Then, follow what you are passionate until you get there. Enjoy the ride, and don’t stop until you reach it.

48. Remove distractions while working. It helps concentration.

49. Live a calm life.

50. Love what you do.

Now you have something concrete in your hands (a list)—it’s time to take action.

It’s fun and entertaining to read lists like the above but only when you take action can you improve your persona.
Remember: smart practice is a combination of:

· Knowing what to do

And

· Sticking to it no matter what.

I hope these items serve as inspiration to work at your best level.
FOR THE EMPIRE,

Carol

October 27, 2013     0 Comments   , , ,

The Ignorant Musician (ME)

I was confused. Musicians were using the word “technique” in seminars and master classes and I felt they were speaking Mongunese. To me, it sounded like I needed tools from the Home Depot and work on my technique.

Yeah, laugh all you want. But that was a tough year. I had been playing my instrument for 3 years and was recently accepted to major in violin performance.

The term “colors” was another confusing one. How do you explain colors in music to a guy who is lost in a conservatory?

I was lost—and the worst violinist there. I felt bad. Who likes to be the least awesome? No body. And if you are last chair of the second violins (me), it’s pretty obvious.

I had to do something about it immediately. I studied my options but had no clue how to come out of that last chair. The only thing I knew was that my life was about to change…

I didn’t appreciate being the sucky violinist and I should’ve.

The first year as a conservatory student was the best for my development. I was lost and my skills sucked. But when you are the worst musician you can learn from everybody, not only the star players but from the average as well.

They are still better than you.

No matter what you hear or see or experience inside the conservatory, everything will affect you directly. You will level up rapidly because you’ve never seen or heard that before.

If you are passionate you’ll catch up quickly and I promise you’ll leave them behind. At least those who don’t commit the same way you do. Get rid of those first, then follow the star players.

Listen to their performances and don’t envy their playing. Admire them and know they’ve been doing it longer and working harder.

Awesomeness doesn’t come from drinking natural water,

it’s grown.

When you find yourself in the last position, analyze your options and learn from the guys on top. Your goal should be to be like them, no less.

You’ll be up for a long and difficult ride. Welcome to the path of the erudite.

For the empire!

Carol

July 14, 2013     0 Comments   , , , , , , ,

How to be Uncomfortable

What do a first violinist, second violinist, violist and a cellist need in order to play completely together?

(it’s not a light-bulb joke 🙂 )
The Answer: Get Uncomfortable
Counting calories is uncomfortable, so is practicing at 6 am. But what choice do we have? What about the results you are seeking?

Quartet rehearsal is not comfortable when the violist keeps rushing (we violinists never, ever, ever, ever rush, especially when playing 1st). Wouldn’t it be great if you all just play it incredible the first time?

But it isn’t that way.

So, how do we deal with being uncomfortable?

Fear no more! I’m here to lead the way! (Cheers, applause, mass noise, wooooooo). Thank you, thank you!

First of all, if you think about it, uncomfortable doesn’t mean you are in pain.

It means you are not within your comfort zone.

And that is also OK because when you jump out of your comfort zone, you explore new possibilities.

If my math is right, you’ll be exposed to a bizillion new things (good and bad) that you weren’t exposed before when you sat in your comfort zone. Exposure will leads to experiences and experiences will make you smarter. Isn’t that what everybody wants?

Is there any way at all I can make the uncomfortable

comfortable?

YOU CAN’T. But there are some tricks you can use to soften the process and still get incredible results.

How to be Ok with Uncomfortable
* Savor Every Moment – Put your first vegetable in your mouth and touch it lightly with your tongue. Now chew. It tastes bad but it’s not painful. Immerse yourself in the flavor, even if it gets uncomfortable, realize there is no pain. I bet you never tried this way before. Repeat the process various days and see if it gets better.

* Realize you are not alone – There are 7 billion people with the same problem. For them a couch is more comfy than flossing. Uncomfortable will always be uncomfortable, you can only learn how to soften the impact.

* Become the Hulk – Man up! Scream, awhhhahhhahahahhhh for a few seconds and just do it. Then freak out!

* Get a little uncomfortable – Start waking up at 10 am. The next day at 9:50 am, then 2 days later 9:40 am and so on, until you reach 7 am. Changes are gradual—otherwise you won’t succeed.

* Look for it – Find discomfort and get into it. Practice being uncomfortable and adjusting. Keep thinking about the results.

* Observe yourself – Develop the ability to see yourself running away from discomfort. Go back and say: “No, I’m learning to take discomfort” and then immerse again.
ARE YOU PART OF THE EMPIRE YET?

Carol

May 15, 2013     0 Comments   , , , , ,

Musician’s Guide to “Playing Fast”

 

It has always been the ultimate goal of many musicians. Sometimes, it’s even the reason young students sign up for music lessons; and definitely the “why” you and me spent so many hours locked up in a practice room.

 

 

We want to play it “A tempo”

From day 1 you imagined yourself on stage playing your solo with a great orchestra. That’s the goal. It’s hard to realize we must go through certain stages; an inevitable process. Playing fast is more than just being awesome, it’s actually knowing what it takes to earn that awesomeness. It is also being able to notice every single detail going on while you are performing.

Are you in tune? Is your performance clean at this tempo? Is my hand(s) working to facilitate movement? Play fast is one thing. Playing fast with all of the above completely mastered it’s another thing. After listening to a live performance of all the Paganini caprices, I personally get really excited. I feel the need to be able to execute/have the technique to play these caprices. I believe it’s vital to watch the pros in action. Get pumped up and find the motivation to start taking small steps in the right direction.

All the Elements Together

Playing Fast Requires Time. How much? It depends.

1. On the difficulty of the piece—

2. How many time you’ve done it, and

3. How bad you want it.

If you want it badly you are half way there, said someone I can’t remember right now. Every time you do something, anything, your brain carves some tunnels. These tunnels can brume away easily if they are not deepen enough. How?

Repetition and Time

At some point after hundreds of repetitions you won’t need to do it anymore (don’t worry it will take years so don’t even think about it). For now keep repeating smartly and you’ll be on the right track.

1. Think you are a turtle. It helped me. Move from one note to the other and feel everything; your finger playing that note, intonation, the distance between the new note and the old one and so on.

2. Understand the learning process. It’s not 3 days of slow boring practice. You need a plan.

3. As a rule, practice what you learned the day before (so it can be carved deeply) but still move on to new things.

Patience

…it’s also a big ingredient. Knowing that it won’t be “a tempo” tomorrow morning is a big realization. I understand, your eager to play it the way you would at Carnegie Hall. Yeah, that’s the goal but not now. The soonest you get to really understand that, the better and more efficient will your sessions be.

Believe in your abilities and wait.

1. Follow a working plan. Spend at least a month to see bigger improvements.

2. Don’t get frustrated. Big things are not accomplished overnight. Baby steps are essential.

3. Look forward to the end but don’t rush it. Try enjoying the process of building your different techniques and applying musicality.

Musician’s Best Friend; Mr. Beat

Or any other kind of metronome. He is your best companion. He will help you play accurate and evolve with conscience. Mr, metronome will treat you like if you were a baby. And that’s a good thing ;) .

Things to consider:

1. He is your best friend only if you follow him. Don’t lose him. To be efficient is to follow your best friend.

2. Work strategically. Select some excerpts of the pieces you are working on and perform them really slow simulating the conditions you will be executing when you play fast. (e.g. Same part of the bow).

3. When you are satisfied move up. Perhaps 5 points up and try to stay on top of your technique as well as the musical understanding.

Slow Practice

Separating all the technical difficulties and practicing them one at a time can very much helps the final result. It will allow your brain to cook things better.

As you work your way up, individual technique practice will enhance each area so that the entire technical aspect works towards one another.

1. Remember the tunnel carving. Repetition makes these tunnels deepen to the point that the info stays forever.

2. Slow practice is crucial for coordination of both hands.

3. To have a smart practice session, you must analyze from different points of view at all times.

Final Thoughts

As you continue to grow as a musician, you will find that organization is probably the number one thing to focus in order to have a satisfactory performance. You want to play fast? Great! Now, let’s see how we can do that with a good level of musical and technical understanding. You must know your music, the orchestra parts, accompaniment, main lines, how your part develops and where to, and how your line fits among the rest.

When the fast part arrives, controlling your emotions will play a big role. Staying steady and being a good musician should be the priority at all times. Have fun, show off what you have practiced and keep growing as a musician. If you did your homework, you will be growing as a person as well.

Carol

November 16, 2012     0 Comments   , , , , , , , , , , ,

Great Resources for Classical Musicians

Are you a bookworm? Me too. Although I don’t have a glamorous historic past among the books, I’ve found that books help me write better and have top understanding on the subjects I discuss here on Tips for Classical Musicians.

Great action novels (which I enjoy very much) are a great resource too. They get my vocabulary going and my imagination escaping away from this world.

These books gave me so much and hopefully they’d do the same for you.

Remember that if you control your personal life, you will succeed in your professional.

First, I’d like to introduce you with two of the greatest books I’ve ever read in the financial and business department. Want to set small business in music? No problem. The $100 startup will give you tons of ideas—not a music related book though. When I read it, I found myself constantly getting new ways to start a business in music.  The book was written by the same guy who introduced me to Travel Hacking.

I Will Teach You to Be Rich is another essential read. Rami gives you an inside on how to manage a life where you take 100% control of your money. If you apply his advice, your future will brighten. Great way to be on top of your life.

                  

Now, these next 2 books you have to buy. Not if you want to or feel like it. You MUST

They will guide you through your complete formation as a classical musician. But I am already a professional? Buy it! You will still learn so much from these guys. Everything from scales practice and stage fright all the way to careers in music and strategies to succeed. You have it all in these 2 books. You won’t regret it, I promise.

                   

Personal Development

As a personal-development freak, I read many blogs and always try to remain efficient and productive. Most of the time I have a book or two (usually more) on the subject in my tablet. Among my favorites, here are 4 of them. Easy to read, lots of good stuff and advice you can’t get anywhere else.

TREASURES FOR LIFE!

                                     

Fiction

I’m a little picky with fiction. I usually give the book about 50-100 pages and if I’m still bored, that’s it. Believe it or not, I have stopped many books half way because I’m bored. I recently finished these two and they got me hooked all the way to the end.

Girls, read The Tombs if you are not into action-videogames-guns-manly adventures .

Guys, Hitman is AWESOME! get it right away.

 

What I Look Forward To

The first part of Hitman was incredible, and the second part just released only a few days ago. Oh, I’m getting it. The Secret of Success have great reviews and I’ve heard a lot about it lately. Tim Ferriss and Chris Guillebeau are two of the people who I really admire. Reading their stuff makes me want to give the extra mile in search of expanding the possibilities and enjoying every moment while doing it. I’m sure that The 4 hour Body and the Art of Non-Conformity will definitely enlighten my path.

                                                  

A Survival Guide for Classical Musicians

I can’t finish this post without recommending my own work, ooopsss! A Survival guide for Classical Musicians is the companion guide to my blog. Over the years I’ve been studying personal-growth and how to apply it in the practice room. How to grow as a person in order to become a better musician is kind of my slogan. If you get the guide (only $7) you’ll get a free report on Travel Hacking. And you will be supporting the website, the community and the stability of the content being produced. Your support will ensure the future of this blog.

Thanks again for your sponsorship!

 

Carol

 

November 13, 2012     0 Comments   , , , , , ,

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