August 2013

Under the Microscope with Joe H - Pro Piano Teacher and Creator of 'Syntorial'

For our first Featured Teacher interview we sat down with Joe H., a professional pianist, teacher, composer and producer for film, advertising, and private businesses, and most recently, a music software developer.

15 Strumming Songs For Beginning Guitarists

Classic rock and folk music offer a wealth of simple songs that are great for those who are just starting their guitar lessons. These tunes feature mostly open chords--chords that use the open guitar strings. Open chords and strumming techniques form the foundation of beginning guitar. Taking the time to get good at this sort of rhythm playing will make it much easier down the road when learning more advanced techniques. If you want to practice the basics while still playing actual music (good music, too), here's a list of easy strumming songs to check out:

How To: Tune Your Guitar

One of the first things you'll learn while taking guitar lessons is how to tune your guitar. If your strings are out of tune, then nothing is going to sound right. Plus, learning to tune orients you with all the parts of your guitar. It's important that you know your instrument inside and out.

Mick Goodrick Supplies a DIY Manual for the Advancing Guitarist

Mick Goodrick is a guitarist, author, teacher, and to some, a philosopher. Goodrick is an unsung hero in the guitar world and probably one of the greatest players living today. As a professor at Boston's Berklee College of Music, his analytical and clear approach to exploring music in general and guitar in particular has influenced countless players and composers. The Advancing Guitarist is a book Goodrick wrote in 1987 that has since become a cult classic among guitarists and other musicians.

How To: Perfect Your Piano-Playing Posture

Posture is one of the first things you'll learn in piano lessons. It may seem unrelated and boring, but having the right posture will enable you to play to the best of your abilities. It also allows for greater comfort and increased stamina, which will help you out down the road. Here's a simple checklist for making sure you have correct posture:

1. Body is positioned on the front half of the bench or stool

2. Feet are planted firmly on the floor

3. Knees are slightly under the keys

4. Angle of legs is just over 90 degrees at the knees.

How To: Refine Your Picking Technique

Picking is fundamental to learning to play the guitar. It involves using your fingers or a special pick to strum the strings of a guitar. Each method makes a different sound, so many advanced guitarists learn many picking methods. Either way, you can’t learn to play guitar without learning to pick first. Here’s a short guide to familiarize yourself with this essential component of guitar playing. We’ll cover the four most popular picking methods, then show you what’s good, and what’s not so good, about each.

New York, New York! Fall in Love with the City’s Musical Culture

How do you even begin to describe New York City? It holds a lot of different meanings for a lot of different people. But there's no denying it's one of the cultural capitals of the world. Thousands of artists from all over the world come here every year to make it big in the big city. As they say, "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere."