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Your best musical advice in one post!

Rick Fielding 09 Dec 01 - 12:44 AM
DonMeixner 09 Dec 01 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 09 Dec 01 - 12:54 AM
Rick Fielding 09 Dec 01 - 12:55 AM
M.Ted 09 Dec 01 - 01:52 AM
Bert 09 Dec 01 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 09 Dec 01 - 04:10 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 09 Dec 01 - 04:11 AM
Dead Horse 09 Dec 01 - 06:12 AM
Deckman 09 Dec 01 - 06:36 AM
Allan C. 09 Dec 01 - 06:51 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 09 Dec 01 - 07:40 AM
katlaughing 09 Dec 01 - 07:48 AM
Mooh 09 Dec 01 - 08:11 AM
Mary in Kentucky 09 Dec 01 - 09:04 AM
Justa Picker 09 Dec 01 - 09:04 AM
GUEST,Fortunato Sunday Morning 09 Dec 01 - 09:13 AM
Morticia 09 Dec 01 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,frankie 09 Dec 01 - 10:14 AM
Celtic Soul 09 Dec 01 - 10:15 AM
Jeri 09 Dec 01 - 10:35 AM
53 09 Dec 01 - 11:40 AM
Rick Fielding 09 Dec 01 - 12:20 PM
Midchuck 09 Dec 01 - 12:27 PM
Cappuccino 09 Dec 01 - 12:50 PM
WyoWoman 09 Dec 01 - 01:11 PM
Peter T. 09 Dec 01 - 01:12 PM
53 09 Dec 01 - 01:39 PM
Bert 09 Dec 01 - 01:49 PM
Alice 09 Dec 01 - 01:55 PM
catspaw49 09 Dec 01 - 02:12 PM
Sandy Paton 09 Dec 01 - 02:12 PM
CarolC 09 Dec 01 - 02:55 PM
Dave Swan 09 Dec 01 - 03:01 PM
death by whisky 09 Dec 01 - 03:50 PM
death by whisky 09 Dec 01 - 04:06 PM
Steve in Idaho 09 Dec 01 - 05:52 PM
Bill D 09 Dec 01 - 06:22 PM
53 09 Dec 01 - 06:58 PM
ddw 09 Dec 01 - 07:21 PM
Mooh 09 Dec 01 - 07:45 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Dec 01 - 08:21 PM
53 09 Dec 01 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 09 Dec 01 - 09:50 PM
Robin2 09 Dec 01 - 10:37 PM
Mark Clark 09 Dec 01 - 10:48 PM
harpgirl 09 Dec 01 - 10:59 PM
DonMeixner 09 Dec 01 - 11:20 PM
marty D 09 Dec 01 - 11:23 PM
katlaughing 10 Dec 01 - 12:00 AM
GUEST,BigDaddy 10 Dec 01 - 12:18 AM
alison 10 Dec 01 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 10 Dec 01 - 05:34 AM
harpgirl 10 Dec 01 - 09:24 AM
Steve in Idaho 10 Dec 01 - 09:49 AM
Kim C 10 Dec 01 - 09:55 AM
MMario 10 Dec 01 - 10:08 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 10 Dec 01 - 10:19 AM
Fortunato 10 Dec 01 - 10:55 AM
Francy 10 Dec 01 - 11:54 AM
Jack the Sailor 10 Dec 01 - 12:42 PM
Midchuck 10 Dec 01 - 12:44 PM
Kim C 10 Dec 01 - 01:09 PM
LR Mole 10 Dec 01 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,roundthehouse@worldnet.att.net 10 Dec 01 - 06:24 PM
Jack the Sailor 10 Dec 01 - 06:39 PM
Rick Fielding 11 Dec 01 - 12:30 AM
Bert 11 Dec 01 - 12:50 AM
Les B 11 Dec 01 - 01:42 AM
marty D 11 Dec 01 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,The Duck of the Irish 11 Dec 01 - 02:03 PM
Amos 11 Dec 01 - 07:15 PM
WyoWoman 12 Dec 01 - 12:09 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Dec 01 - 07:42 AM
Cappuccino 12 Dec 01 - 08:45 AM
Rick Fielding 12 Dec 01 - 12:14 PM
JohnInKansas 12 Dec 01 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,Les B. 12 Dec 01 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Coyote Breath 12 Dec 01 - 01:08 PM
harpgirl 12 Dec 01 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,Frank 12 Dec 01 - 02:12 PM
John MacKenzie 12 Dec 01 - 05:01 PM
Lonesome EJ 12 Dec 01 - 06:53 PM
Justa Picker 12 Dec 01 - 07:12 PM
GUEST,Singout 12 Dec 01 - 07:50 PM
Crane Driver 13 Dec 01 - 04:01 PM
GUEST,Chip A. 14 Dec 01 - 03:51 PM
pattyClink 14 Dec 01 - 03:54 PM
GUEST,mkebenn@work 14 Dec 01 - 08:10 PM
mzkitty 15 Dec 01 - 03:26 AM
WyoWoman 29 Dec 01 - 02:08 PM
Cappuccino 29 Dec 01 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Bert 29 Dec 01 - 02:21 PM
WyoWoman 29 Dec 01 - 02:28 PM
Marion 02 Jan 03 - 01:38 AM
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Subject: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 12:44 AM

Well OK, here goes nuthin'. How about if we try to give our very best suggestions in one cohesive post. Ahhh, two or three if need be! Doesn't need to be just guitar....any instrument, or voice things that each person really believes in. Could be interesting and helpful....and definitely better than a poke in the eye with a sharp ninth.

This is a continuation,(at ms. kat's suggestion) of:

click

Rick


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 12:52 AM

Learn to entertain. People go to see Seamus Kennedy not just because he plays and sings well. Many people do that. Seamus is entertaining. People go home a tell what great time they had and how much fun it was. They don't care that Seamus played a CMaj7th/sus4.

Remember when you are standing on stage singing, playing reciting, whatever, and you can see those two or three guys in the crowd just in front of the speakers. The guys who you know are commenting to each other on your lack of profound skill. Or really looking over the equipment. Or are being critical of you technique and you can read their lips when they to each other, "I'm better than he/she they are/is."

Remember this, you are working and they aren't.

Don


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 12:54 AM

BEST MUSICAL ADVICE IS: Practice, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

AND HAVE FUN DOING IT!!!!

Ah, Rick glad to see you've rectified the errors of a long past thread and returned to simplicity and friviolity, life is too short.

Your friend and collegue

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 12:55 AM

OK, I'll start. With guitar, or banjo, or mandolin, or dulcimer etc. the right hand (assuming you're playing right handed) and fingers are THE TOOLS. You simply have to do the boring drudge work of memorizing right hand attack techniques if you want to be a smoothe player. That means before attempting anything complex with the left. Gotta get that right hand 'muscle memory' operating whether it's rolls, arpeggios, flat pick strums, or Burl Ives 'thumb and pluck.

Earl Scruggs says 'you have to practice a bluegrass 'roll' (a series of four notes) 10,000 times before it's ingrained in your subconcious. I believe he's right.

Once you've done the 'hard work' of getting the right hand 'tools' working without thinking about them, the left hand stuff is sooooo easy.

In another thread I suggested putting your instrument in an 'open tuning' (no left hand needed at all) while you practice the right hand.....watch TV, or stare out the window, to ease the boredom....'cause it WILL get boring...but oh brother, is it worth it!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 01:52 AM

Take as much time as you need and learn to play stuff right--It doesn't matter how it takes, because once you've got it right, you can use it forever--


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Bert
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 02:13 AM

Leave your guitar out where you can get to it. DON'T put it away in it's case.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 04:10 AM

This was given to me years ago by Ted Edwards, to project your voice (no mikes in most folk clubs) pick out the best looking girl on the back row and sing to her, that way everyone thinks your looking at them and everyone can hear you. Try it, it does work!


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 04:11 AM

One more thing, it can work too well, it's the way I met my wonderful wife of 23 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Dead Horse
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 06:12 AM

1. The first few times, you will be nervous.
Don't be afraid the crowd is going to eat you, they won't. 2. Don't mumble or play too soft.
1. The first few times, you will be nervous.
3. Keep trying, but know your limits.
1. The first few times, you will be nervous.
4. Listen to all advice, then try to sort out the good.
1. The first few times, you will be nervous.
5. If possible, play/sing along with others before you go it alone.
1. The first few times, you will be nervous.
6. There is no need to be nervous.
1. The first few times, you will be nervous.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Deckman
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 06:36 AM

Good thread Rick! About 100 years ago, when I was a serious vocal student, I was given some very good advice regarding the tecnique of "projection." This refers to the ability to 'project' your voice clearly to anywhere in the room, or concert hall. I loved the above comment suggesting that you sing to just one person in the room ... that can work. This vocal coach I had suggested that I imagine that there is a solid brick wall, six feet high, between he and I. He was standing one side, me on the other. My task was to sing my voice OVER that brick wall, clearly and on pitch, WITHOUT raising my head or volume. As I got better at it, I could actually lower my volume almost to a whisper, and be heard VERY clearly across the room, down the hall, and around the corner. TRUE! It requires much practice and focus. But even today, one hundred years later, I do believe that I am still known for my ability to make myself clearly heard even when I'm almost singing in a whisper. CHEERS, Bob(trying to be helpful)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Allan C.
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 06:51 AM

Practice playing your instrument in the dark. This will force you to feel the positions of your hands and will teach you to listen to the sounds you are making.

Where possible, play along with someone else. This can stimulate you to try new tunes or new styles.

Teach someone what you know. If an opportunity presents itself, share what you have learned with someone who shows an interest. Remember that they would not ask you unless they thought you knew something worth sharing. Often teaching will help you to solidify what you have learned. It can also cause you to examine aspects you had never before considered.

When singing, try to hear the meaning of the lyrics and to impart that to the manner in which you present the song. It is one thing simply to read a poem aloud and another to portray the feeling of it. Experiment with increasing or decreasing volume. Exaggerate the emotions the words invoke. Be theatrical/histrionic when practicing. Then tone it down a little, (if need be,) when performing.

Practice.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 07:40 AM

All great advice. I think that making it fun, and being entertaining are two of the most important ones. My one bit of advice is to make the song "yours." That doesn't necessarily happen, no matter how much you practice. It's hard to verbalize exactly what that means, but you all KNOW what it means. Many, many years ago I ran a Potlatch (a less tired word than hootenanny, with the admirable goal of being the person who gives the most.) There was a person who played every song in the same key, with the same three chords, strumming a banjo. Every song was at the same rhythm. He was probably the least accomplished person there, musically. And yet, I loved to listen to him. He sang with everything that he had, and was so totally lost in the song that I became lost in it with him. I have heard people who can play the most impossibly complex arrangements, who bore me to death. Music is not technique. It is not scholarly presentation. It is FIRST of all, communication. If a folk singer played his guitar in the woods and no one heard him, would it be folk music?


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: katlaughing
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 07:48 AM

Practice, even if it isn't fun at first. It will become more fun as you improve your ability and the drudge part of it, i.e. scales, etc. will have been worth it.

Tune your ear by listening to as much music, of several different kinds, as possible and really pay attention to the different instruments and their melodies, pick them out, singlely, and concentrate on following each one. This will help with harmonising and also with playing with others.

Let the music/lyrics paint a picture in your mind. This will help to emote/convey the feelings of them to your audience, whether singing/speaking/playing, etc.

Another good'un, Rick, Thank'ee!


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Mooh
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 08:11 AM

Much good advice here, I hope I'm not repeating any.

Learn to read music, hear intervals, improvise, perform, and at least some common nomenclature. This stuff doesn't have to be mastered, but it doesn't also have to be ignored or unstudied. If we hope to pass on our culture and art, we need the means of communication.

Be tolerant of the musical choices of others. Be open to debate about the differences between musical choices, but do not compromise your own musical instincts and interests.

Practice. Study. Listen. Share.

Peace. Mooh.

Last, whether or not you read music like a pro, being a casual musician, a "back porch picker", is as honourable as being a "pro" (whatever the hell that is). Play and enjoy it honestly and sincerely and it's every bit as good as the playing of the masters.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 09:04 AM

A choral student once demonstrated diaphragm breathing by lying flat on his back on the floor. When you do that you can feel how it's supposed to feel.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Justa Picker
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 09:04 AM

With respect to children learning an instrument, the inherent desire to want to play MUST come from and be instigated by the child. Do NOT force or push a children to learn an instrument, if the desire is not there.

If you are starting out as a kid, make sure the teacher is well schooled in music theory, and can communicate theory concepts in a way a child can understand it. Learn theory.

If you plan to make a career in music learn theory. It is invaluable especially for improvisation and opening up new concepts and ideas, as well as for doing arrangements for not only your instrument but other instruments.

Learn to become proficient in as many different styles of playing as possible. You'll increase your ability to find gainful employment as a musician.

Seek out objective opinions on your abilities from those you respect, not those who are inclined to patronize you (family, friends, etc.) Be realistic about your abilities, and attempt to improve upon them all the time. If you have been playing for a few years and are not improving at what you're doing, find another outlet and resign yourself to the fact that you just don't have it - unless it gives YOU pleasure to keep on doing what you're doing.

If you are blessed with God-given talent, learn to be tolerant and patient of those with lesser abilities than yourself and a develop a sense of humility . (Arrogance is a major turnoff, no matter how much you might excel at playing.)

Further, if you do plan on music for a career, (and no one can dissuade you), you have to want it more than anything else in the whole world, and be able to achieve a sense of self satifaction just from playing/performing.

Unless you are one of .2% who luck out with a record/distribution/concert deal, the music business will not give you back a tenth of what you give to it...so it's very important to "want it". Learn to love Kraft dinner and peanut butter sandwiches, and the simpler things in life.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Fortunato Sunday Morning
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 09:13 AM

TURN OFF THE TELEVISION. UNPLUG IT. PUT IT IN A CLOSET.

1)Make a music room or corner in your hoMe. Furnish and organize so your instrument is handy, on a stand for example. A good chair to play on. Have your tuner or picks or song books or cd player, etc. whatever you use in that area. 2)Buy a music stand. 3)Get yourself a metronome or "Dr. Beat" and count yourself through your songs, learning to maintain the tempo and the timing. SINGERS, WHERE DO YOU COME IN? 4)Organize your lyrics/sheetmusic/chord charts. 5)Unless your last name is Guthrie or Seeger or Tyson or Lennon or Carter or Cash, GET A GOOD EDUCATION OR A TRADE AND A DAY JOB.

Unless you're damn lucky you're going to need it.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Morticia
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 09:40 AM

"Mummy, mummy, when I grow up, I want to be musician"
"Make up your mind, son"*BG*. My advice is simple.....if it stops being fun, stop doing it.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,frankie
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 10:14 AM

When learning a new tune I do something called "burnishing". I learned of it from a magazine interview with Christopher Parkening. He suggested practising slowly and applying more pressure with your fretting hand than you would while performing. This really gets the positions and notes in your memory and builds strength in the fretting hand.
To kind of reiterate what Allan C said above I think it's really important to also entertain yourself while performing. Don't be so intent on pleasing the crowd that your not listening to what you're playing and singing. Allow yourself to be moved.
Great thread Rick.

f


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 10:15 AM

Always keep learning. Never ever think, "I made it...this is the tops!"


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 10:35 AM

If it stops being fun, I'd first suggest stop doing it that way. It's likely to be methods that make something un-fun rather than what you're trying to learn.

If I try to learn something that's very frustrating, I take little breaks. I get to the point where I'm about to scream "AARGH!" and I'll strum the hell out of a 3 chord song, or get up and do something else for a few minutes. Those breaks are just as important as coming back to the instrument.

I'm the sort of person who prefers to accomplish all of one thing in one sitting. This doesn't always happen. As long as I keep coming back to that thing I can't do, I'll eventually learn it. Sometimes it's a matter of not being able to see "the big picture" because I need to see the details first. Sometimes practicing other things will give me the details, the small skills, even though I may not even realise what skills I need or that I'm even learning them.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: 53
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 11:40 AM

leaving your guitar out is asking for trouble cause something will happen to it when you least expect it, i know it takes a little bit of extra time to put it away and take it out but i think its worth it for your guitars sake. BOB


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 12:20 PM

Wow....Great suggestions!

I know I suggested that we just give our best advice and leave it at that, but I can't help but editorialize just a bit...

What Don and Jerry said makes a huge amount of sense to me. If it's in your nature and personality to 'entertain' or make it feel like 'real fun'....go for it! You don't need a whole lot of technical stuff to really make a group of people or kids or even someone on the skids or in a sick bed, feel so much better. Not everyone is 'wired' that way, but if there's a 'bit of ham in you...smoke it!'

Now for two more cents worth:

The instrument you HAVE is not neccessarily the instrument that will make you play the best, or have the most fun with. If you can't SEE your right hand (and you think you need to, to play better, maybe you need a smaller (thinner) instrument. If your left hand fingers really hurt (after a few weeks) maybe you need to get an easier playing instrument. (at least get a repairperson to check the action)

The ultimate example of this is someone with a convex front, playing a guitar with a convex back (Ovation)...not the greatest fit!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Midchuck
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 12:27 PM

Own two guitars (or whatever it is you play), at least.

A good one that you keep safe in its case and a not-so-good one that you can leave out where you can grab it when you have five minutes free.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Cappuccino
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 12:50 PM

Allow me please to repeat the best physical advice I ever heard - wash your hands before playing guitar. It really does make sense, particularly if you've been setting gear up.

Regards - Ian B


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: WyoWoman
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 01:11 PM

1.) Find what you love, then do it 'til you drop. 2.) Keep finding stuff you love; it'll keep you from dropping. 3.) It's not about you, it's about the music. (This is why, before I perform, I always pray "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace," or some similar prayer/incantation to remind myself that my voice and ability are in service to something outside myself and that it comes through me, not from me. When music is a form of participation in and contribution to community, it's magical. Otherwise, it feels -- and sounds -- spiritually hollow, which pretty much negates it -- for me, at least.) 4.) Very, very often, less is more.

Love this thread ... ww


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 01:12 PM

This is such a great thread. The only advice I have is from the audience perspective (and a sometime actor) is to avoid at all costs separating yourself from the audience, without going out and sitting in their laps. I have often seen the link to the audience break so easily -- either the artist is lost in his own world uninterestingly -- this seems to be a failing of the technically proficient for some reason -- or the band is talking amongst themselves as a secret society with their own jokes (audiences really hate that -- they start their own conversations in response), or using the audience as a chorus without giving them a chance to do it properly.

It is also worth saying that in my experience audiences are really desperate to see people do well -- they will put up with all kinds of problems if you are new and sincere.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: 53
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 01:39 PM

if i don't play everyday i feel lost and my guitar gently weeps, i think that by playing everyday it help me become abetter teacher and a better guitarist, plus most of all i just love to play. BOB


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Bert
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 01:49 PM

And singers! Learn to use a microphone. Most modern microphone are designed for idiots - they have a strong blast shield to protect the mic from inexperienced users.

Your sound man will set up such a mic right in front of your face, pointing directly into your mouth. That works for those who don't know how to use a mic but doesn't give you any control or even the best sound. And it hides your mouth from the listeners.
So turn the mic so that it points upwards and lower it so that you are singing across the top of the mic (you might have to fight the sound man to do this). Vary your distance from the mic depending how loud you are singing. Very close right under your lip for quiet passages and further down and away when you are really loud.

If you are singing acapella take the guitar out of it's stand and hold it in your hand for better control.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Alice
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 01:55 PM

Find a good teacher. Practice and continue learning on an ongoing basis, even after you stop take lessons. Be yourself - don't imitate. Find the music that is close to your heart and fits your voice/style/instrument/ability. Keep growing. Never stop, even if you don't perform. When the opportunity to perform arises, you will be ready, if you have continued to add to your repertoire and continued to sing/play for yourself. Get together with other people to make music for fun. The more you do that, the more confident you will be when you perform.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 02:12 PM

This will probably grab some flak, but...............

Take the time to learn a bit of piano. Have your kids do the same if they show any interest at all in music. The keyboard of a piano is the most visual aid you can have in learning and understanding music theory. When you read a text the piano makes it easier to simply apply what is being said....you can both see and hear immediately what is happening. Whether you are counting half steps or whole, or working out a chord structure.....hell, virtually anything you do.....you can both see how the "action" takes place and hear what the sound result is. Doing this will also train your ear to hear better and we'd probably reduce the "chord requests" around here by about 75%!

I'm a lousy guitar player. I enjoy myself, but have never worked too hard at it. But I am very serious in suggesting the above to those that have a hard time hearing chords and progressions. It makes a lot of difference.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 02:12 PM

I'm with Jerry Rasmussen on this one. Many years ago, the great Scottish ballad singer, Jeannie Robertson, listened to a tape of a very non-professional singer (one of the travelling folk in the Highlands) and observed: "Oh, he's a good singer; he tells his story well!" My advice: THINK about the words you're singing and what they really mean. I've occasionally heard very polished performers singing on what might be described as "automatic pilot," the words just pouring out by rote. I guess they had sung those songs so many times they thought they didn't have to think about them anymore.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: CarolC
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 02:55 PM

Be willing to be bad until you've had enough time (and practice) to get good. I don't know if this applies to any other instruments, but it certainly does apply to the accordion.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Dave Swan
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 03:01 PM

Yep, practice, practice. Practice 'til you're tired. But not to the point of stress.

In rehearsal or performance, energy cannot flow through tension.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: death by whisky
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 03:50 PM

And when you've got the piece perfect,burn it and move on to the next.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: death by whisky
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 04:06 PM

Should have said....had a session with Seamus a few weeks ago. First he said "I want to boke",and then,"Those strings are old enough to vote".Good craic...!


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 05:52 PM

I know that all music is for listening to. And the stuff I like the best I learn to play. I'm not a very good guitar player, and I only sing because Lyle Lovett does and gets paid for it and that makes be a great unpaid singer, but I love the old songs I do. I practice a lot. Probably a couple of hours a day - with a full time job it is hard to do more than that and still have a life - and I am always working on at least a couple of new songs.

I've never perfected a piece so haven't trashed any yet but do get caught up in the new so easily that sometimes I need to relearn the old.

The other thing I have learned is that I am not a very good person to be up front with the crowd. I can harmonize and play a passable lead but I'm not an up front person. I think it is why I like Paltalk so well - all I need to do is play and sing.

And finally - practice -

Steve


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 06:22 PM

listen to your very favorite performers and ask yourself what it is about them that you like.....chances are, it's style and projection and 'flavor'...not just technical perfection. I have heard singers with perfect enunciation who had no 'life' in their singing, and blazing fast banjo & guitar pickers who sounded like a piano roll. I'd rather hear Norman Blake play "Black Mountain Rag" than .....well, than a couple others, because he 'feels' what that melody is doing.

And Jeannie Robertson was right...some singers TELL the story..(did you ever watch some ballad singers close their eyes so they could move 'into' the song and not be distracted by the people listening?)

finally, record yourself and listen to it and critique it as if it were NOT you....


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: 53
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 06:58 PM

i agree with spaw, the piano does provide a lot of theory for a lot of different instruments. BOB


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: ddw
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 07:21 PM

Practise your timing. Then the next day, practise your timing some more. And when you have it down pretty well, practise your timing some more.

I have always maintained that timing is about 85 per cent of ANYTHING you do on stage — acting, singing, playing, whatever. A lot of pretty mediocre voices by most standards have gone a long way on phrasing (which is just vocal timing). Elvis, Jerry Lee, Ray Charles, almost all the old blues men and many, many others are good examples.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Mooh
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 07:45 PM

I'm with Spaw on the piano thing. I was able to teach myself several other instruments because of a secure grounding in keyboard education. That and an upbringing of choral singing and a very musical household while growing up.

Hands down, the best guitar students I have are also current or former piano students with at least 2 years of study. We really get down to business. I have a drummer taking guitar with me and he's got fabulous rhythm instincts, and an ear refined by exposure to music through his parents his whole life.

I knew about chords, scales, rhythms, and harmony before I ever got into guitar and then folk, rock, and blues music and I find it interesting that there are so many questions about these very subjects on this and other forums. I got lucky I guess.

Still, I wish I had more time to study...

Peace, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 08:21 PM

Never piss your audience off by thinking you are better than them and doing them a favour by appearing. Audiences can ask for their money back..... audiences can also just not show up again......

LTS


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: 53
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 08:24 PM

the piano is a great tool for the musician. BOB


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 09:50 PM

if you are in a instrument jam or a song circle, and if it is very unusually good, let the music be the top priority. Don't break a good flow of songs or tunes with something silly or out of the flow of music and, again, if it is an exceptional collection of people or whatever, let them take over if you are not up to speed or at their level and you will hear exceptional music. If you are more interested in taking your turn or singing something out of the blue book, the music will suffer and you will have lost a very rare opportunity. This would be the exception rather than the rule of course.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Robin2
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 10:37 PM

Lots of great advice here! I would add two things:
Never play an instrumental piece faster than you can play the hardest passage with accuracy. KEEP IT SLOW, and practice slow, over and over. Your speed will pick up naturally as you become more comfortable with it.
After you've learned a piece, make yourself play or sing it with your eyes closed. When we remove the visual, all that is left is the aural, and you can REALLY focus on what you hear.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Mark Clark
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 10:48 PM

Dead Horse mentioned this in a good list of tips but it can't be overemphasized... Play with other people. Work out arrangements, play parts and get the timing down to a professional level. Even if you don't intend to perform with others, learn to play well in an ensemble. It will do a great deal to improve your musicianship, your ear and your timing.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: harpgirl
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 10:59 PM

The thing I found lately that helped me in performance was I decided to project the JOY I feel being able to play music.

With three cords from the Pete Seeger banjo book on my $25 dollar banjo and singing two of my favorite old timey songs, I won First Place in Beginning Banjo at the Florida Old Time Music Championship!

I know it wasn't my technical skill. But I looked and felt happy and that's why I won, I'm sure!!


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 11:20 PM

No, It was a nice shiney silver bracelet blinding the judges.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: marty D
Date: 09 Dec 01 - 11:23 PM

Harpgirl said "I know it wasn't my technical skill. But I looked and felt happy and that's why I won, I'm sure!!"

Find a teacher like that. You'll be glad you did. I've taken lessons in the past from teachers who rarely even smiled, let alone laughed. One was so obviously only concerned with getting my money and watching the clock that I finally had to ask him "do you actually CARE whether I ever learn to play"? He looked puzzled and said "what you do with the information is YOUR business." He knew a lot about music (though I don't think he ever actually entertained professionally) but very little about people.

Shop around. A (qualified) happy teacher will probably be a good teacher. A miserable one will definitely NOT be good. Thanks to advice from Mudcat I found an excellent teacher over a year ago.

As a therapist, I know that to be effective, I have to either like my client or find them interesting enough that I might one day like them.

marty


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 12:00 AM

Can't emphasize enough what Spaw said about piano.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 12:18 AM

A fellow musician once passed along two peices of advice that were given him by Bo Diddley. "When you go out on that stage, keep your billfold on you. If you leave it backstage you may not see it again," and "When you walk offstage at the end of the show and they're giving you a standing ovation, don't wait too long before you go back out there. They might be gone."


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: alison
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 12:29 AM

Enjoy what you are doing... and find others you enjoy doing it with.... *grin*.... it makes the practicing seem worthwhile......

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 05:34 AM

"A moving target is harder to hit" and "have a car outside with the engine running".
RtS (never deterred by lack of talent)


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: harpgirl
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 09:24 AM

...well, yes...blinding the judges with the glint of silver jewelry by Don Meixner does help!!!!


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 09:49 AM

I can't play the piano, the only string names I know for sure are the big and little ones - E I believe - and my ear is my guide. If I'm playing in a group of the folks I play with we only play as fast as our slowest player. And I thnk our music is exceptional.

If we do decide to tear up a piece - really fast - then the slower pickers usually chord along or set it out and smile at the fun -

Timing and practice - only answer -

Steve


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Kim C
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 09:55 AM

Play from the heart and don't sweat the small stuff.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: MMario
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 10:08 AM

I'll agree with CarolC;

Not that you shouldn't strive to improve, and should always try to do your best - but in the oft repeated words of a director of mine "Dare to Suck!"


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 10:19 AM

1) Practise whenever you need to for as long as you want to

2) Stand back from the microphone

3) Volume, vibrato and "grace notes" are a poor substitute for hitting the note

4) never lean your freshly tuned guitar against the bar/wall/fireplace

5) Sing and play from the heart


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Fortunato
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 10:55 AM

Guest, Big Daddy. Great quote!

Reminds me of the advice we used to give musicians new to the club scene in DC:

1"Never, ever eat the fish sandwich at Eddie Leonard's Sandwich Shoppe."

2"Yes Root Boy Slim did do that, but he's Root Boy and you're not."

3"If you're going to be a musician and work the clubs in this town, don't bother with the marriage and the divorce, just find a woman you don't like and buy her a house, it'll be cheaper."

Regards, Fortunato.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Francy
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 11:54 AM

Sing For The Song.........Frank of Toledo


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 12:42 PM

If you make a mistake, ignore it, keep going. The works especially well when combined with Harpgirl's looking and acting happy.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Midchuck
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 12:44 PM

One good tip from Dick McCormack:

A performer who performs only for the audience is a whore. A performer who performs only for himself - for some abstract ideal of what he wants to create - is a crashing bore unless he's a genius. And almost none of us are geniuses.

You have to split the difference to give a good performance.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Kim C
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 01:09 PM

So that means we're all half-whores, then? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: LR Mole
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 01:28 PM

Trust the muse: she's bigger than you are. That's why they call it "music".On the other hand, you have to be ready.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,roundthehouse@worldnet.att.net
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 06:24 PM

So many great things have been said on this thread. Here's a couple more non-genre specific ideas for you to chew on...

1)If you are going to perform, practice is not enough, you need to play out. You need to do it again and again and again until you have had a ton of experience, made a ton of mistakes, learned to rely on your band or support them, learned to enjoy recovering from the goof as much as pulling off the perfect song.

2) Yes, learn to use your mike, (singing into it, not across it (sorry Bert). Your sound depends on the full use of the microphone. Buy a good one while your at it.

3) Work on the chat: Introducing your song or set of tunes is the thing that brings the audience with you. Set the stage for the song with as few words as possible, but the tone of what you say brings the audience into the material before you even start. A little bit of me falls in love with my audience each time I perform.

4) Performing well means revealing yourself and that makes you vulnerable. Never ask for feedback right after a show. Always, enjoy the moments you reached someone or had a special moment just in your own self.

Of course, there are so many more tiny things, and they change all the time. Isn't that the joy of playing music and performing?

Claire


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 10 Dec 01 - 06:39 PM

Claire

I think the best way to attack the mike can depend upon the type of mike and on how you sing. That is great advice about learning how to use it.

Rob


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 12:30 AM

Ask for advice! Don't worry if you think it's a stupid question. Good musicians are almost always generous with their knowledge

Most recent "stupid" question I asked? (to a fiddler) "Would you give me an example of 9/8 time, and how do you like your accompanist to phrase it"?

Rick


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Bert
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 12:50 AM

Claire, you're right, with modern mikes you can do that and get away with it 'cos most of them nowadays come with overdesigned blast shields. Try it both ways with the mic you are using and see which you like best. But don't just get right up close and shout and think that you're doing great.

An example of 9/8 time! reminds me of a Callers Club (UK) meeting I went to once and someone asked for examples of different times. Tommy Cavanagh stood up there with his accordian and using Irish Washerwoman as an example, played it first in 2/4, then 3/4, 4/4 and 6/8 times. Bloody amazing!


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Les B
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 01:42 AM

A couple of things come to mind: When you're nervous about doing a song or tune, pause for just a moment before you launch into it and really mentally focus on "locking on" to the proper tempo. I find most of my screw-ups have come from rushing into a piece, and, rushing the beat. Of course, if you start too slow, you can always speed up during the performance :) !

I also think that while you can practice at home until you think a piece is perfect, it's never going to sound the same twice in public. All you can do is get comfortable with it -- and then listen for, and enjoy, the odd little twists and turns the Gods of Sound have decided to lay out for you that day.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: marty D
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 12:38 PM

Can I do a second one? Two years ago Rick browbeat me into learning about the musicians who originally made the songs that I wanted to play. Good advice. Now I have something to SAY before I sing a Carter Family or Doc Watson song. Impresses my friends no end.

marty


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,The Duck of the Irish
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 02:03 PM

When you get a chance to play in front of an audience, it's important to play a song you know very, very well. Don't try to play the song you are working on, or the song you want to play the most(you will blow it). You may be bored with it, but you will probably get thrugh without messing up (which will set you back, and embarrass you). So play it safe, and start with what you know best!


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Amos
Date: 11 Dec 01 - 07:15 PM

1. A long long time ago a wise friend of my parents advised me to be "in" the song I was singing -- meaning to actually immerse yourself in the time and place the song portrayed. This lends remarkable conviction and passion to songs, especially those that are built on strong images of past times.

2. Singing -- when you are stretching a syllable, stretch the open vowels, not the consonants -- this makes the sound carry and have anopen tone to it. Dylan's nasal tones (ths is mah sonnnnnnnggggg) are a marked contrast to this guideline,, and I've never heard anyone compliment his singing voice except for its built-in passion (see rule 1 above).

3. Learn triads (tonic, subdominant, dominant) all over the map when you are learning to play a guitar. Then play with ways to transition from one key (e.g., D-G-A) to the other (G-C-D, for example). Then add sevenths and minors. Bear in mind you can play the vast majority of American folk songs, blues, cowboy, calypso etc with just three or four chords so throw yourself into it and have fin.

4. Do what Rick says above for your right hand.

5. Find the perfect person in the back row and sing out to 'em. Look them right in the eye. It will help win the whole audience.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: WyoWoman
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 12:09 AM

Hear and see and feel the perfect song in your head, then keep at it until there's no wobble between what you hear in your mind and what you sing out into the listening.

Come down on top of the tone instead of craning to reach up to it. This way you won't sound thin and flat and you'll have a better chance of actually nailing the pitch.

Recognize when you're in the wrong key and be willing to stop the song and get it into a key you can actually sing.

Listen to the bass. You can figure out your entrances easier listening to the bass than to the lead guitar.

KNOW YOUR KEYS ... If you're going to sing with musicians and you don't play an instrument, know at least the keys in which you sing your favorite songs.

Have charts. If you want someone else to play for or with you, do them the honor of having words and chords written out so they aren't made responsible all the time for figuring out what's going on in the song. some of this is ok, but a little goes a long way. ...

ww (who has made every stupid mistake you can possibly make and speaks from experience)


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 07:42 AM

Marty D: Rick did say, "Ahh, maybe two or three." I'd just like to say a word for people who love to play, and will never be any good. These posts seem to be very performance oriented, and that's fine. I had a friend of mine in college who really wanted to play guitar and sing, but had no ear and a terrible voice. He could clear a neighborhood of dogs with one line of a song. But, he really wanted to learn to play guitar. He asked me if it was stupid of him to want to play for his own enjoyment. We all should be playing for our OWN enjoyment, First. I not only encouraged him to buy a guitar, I gave him lessons so that he could play it. He made Alfalfa sound like Pavarotti, but he had such fun playing and singing! And, he was a good man... he never shared his "talent" with others. And never got any better.

This post is for all who will never be good enough to stand in front of an audience. Jerry


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Cappuccino
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 08:45 AM

The important point that Spaw made about piano was * seeing * things. You understand why chords are the way they are when you see them on a piano keyboard... you might take years of looking at a guitar fretboard to see any relationship between the C and D shapes!

- ian B


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 12:14 PM

Amen Jerry! Many folks were simply scared off right from the get-go, with relatives and friends telling them they couldn't sing, (or couldn't play sports, or looked funny, or were too dumb for...)

Sometimes I work with students who are terminally shy or simply haven't a clue what music's all about.....except that something tells them they wanna do it. I'll bust my ass for that person, 'cause I already know something that they may not yet be aware of: and that's that with a seemingly tiny accomplishment (like learning Skip to my Lou with two chords) comes a quantum leap of confidence. Having your own music for the private times, and some confidence for the public ones, is a pretty good combination.

Ahhh, forget the 'one post" thing, lets drive this sucker into the ground!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 12:38 PM

Too many good things to compete with, but I'll throw one off-the-wall suggestion.

Be very conscious of your hearing!

Sound levels needed to project to an audience are often high enough - at the stage - to be harmful to performers. Sound levels frequently used - at least around my area, are loud enough to injure the audience.

Loss of hearing is common among concert orchestra performers, and I know a number of acoustic guitarists who show significant loss just from years of playing. You can't avoid it all - it comes with age, but you can protect yourself from the worst exposures.

Earplugs can be an option when you can't avoid exposure, and they can be quite inconspicuous; althought the best are somewhat expensive. Most modern concert orchestra performers use them. (And, I'm told, most of the rockers.)

John


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Les B.
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 12:49 PM

Wyo Woman makes an excellent point about knowing the KEYS of the songs you're going to do.

I would add that often the key in which you learn a new song in the secluded privacy of your home is not the key that will work best when you sing out in public, especially if you're not using a mic and really having to project to be heard.

I generally find I need to go a step or so higher - like from C to D, or G up to A, to keep from "bottoming out" when singing the lower notes. I think your voice box tightens up with the slightest bit of nervous tension.

Sometimes it's taken me two or three jam sessions to find a workable key that will make a song really ring out.

This of course also means you have to know the song in alternate keys, or capo up if you're accompanying yourself on a capo-able instrument -- strangely it's frowned upon to do so with mandolins and fiddles !


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Coyote Breath
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 01:08 PM

This was something I got from someone else, not advice but a comment. I was figeting about waiting to go on at an "open mike" at the Poison Apple in Chicago back in 1966. There was this young guy up on stage singing something boring or perhaps being boring when he sang I don't really remember. I was standing next to Mississippi John Hurt (I was so engrossed in myself and my annoyance that I hadn't noticed him) He could see that I was annoyed and agitated and that I wanted that guy up there to get on with it and get off the stage so I could do my thing. He smiled this wonderful smile, cherubic smile, and said "He sure is having fun". Things changed for me at that comment. I suddenly realised that if it wasn't fun it wasn't worth it and if it WAS fun, then nothing else mattered. I was humbled and enlightened at the same time. So my advice (given by others in other responses to this thread but worth repeating)

Have FUN!

CB


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: harpgirl
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 01:36 PM

...KC, that tip about following the bass line to know when to come in is VERY USEFUL!!! One never knows where a lead guitarist's fancy licks will take one, so to speak!! Thanks! hrpgrrl


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 02:12 PM

One of the most important things I've learned as a musician is that you need to learn to trust yourself above anybody else in the world. Your instincts will be better than any advice you can get although it pays to listen and take some in but not to the point where it interferes with your own inner voice.

With every rule about music, there is someone out there to break it. That's because they followed their own instinct about what to do first. If Django had listened to other guitarists instead of developing his own talent regardless and because of his handicap, it would have been a great loss to jazz guitar.

I don't believe that there are any real musical "whores" out there. Everyone in music has a different reason for doing it and if they follow their own "inner voice" they find a way regardless of what they play. One person's "whore" might be another's inspiration.

Dizzy Gillespie played the trumpet all wrong. He puffed out his cheeks (a no no in trumpet pedagogy). Louis Armstrong sang technically all wrong. (Didn't know music theory either) He rasped his way to glory. Woody Guthrie sang simply, the way he wanted to and wrote songs that would never have found their way into the conventional songwriting mode. Dylan couldn't sing, play very well, wrote the way he felt and is magnetic as a performer onstage and wound up with an honorary music degree from Harvard. Does this tell you something? Irving Berlin wrote many of his great songs without knowing how to read or write music. He could only bang on the black keys of the piano and had to call in trained musicians to help him find the right chords to his songs. (He heard them though). Some say Kenny G can't really play very well. Oh yeah? Who cares? Charlie Parker wasn't a great reader either. He didn't know how to talk about music theory, he just invented it by listening to his "inner voice". Bach broke every rule he ever created. Pete Seeger played the banjo pretty much by ear although he had some musical training but didn't study with anyone. He also sang wrong by holding his head up so you could see his adam's apple. Some singers have terrible diction (not Pete) but they are successful anyway. You might say, "well they're all geniuses. They can do it their way". Well so can you.

There are some who never played a musical instrument, sang or did much formally with music but they had musical talent and listened to themselves and made more money in the music field than many trained musicians. They became publishers, songwriters, producers and therapists.

Get a teacher if you think you need one but the best teacher is you. Listen to what you need and go for it. The rest follows. I bet my life on it.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 05:01 PM

When I was a little person, my Mother always used to say,"Don't pick it, it will never get better". Well with the guitar just keep picking, and it will get better, I promise.
Failte.....Jock


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 06:53 PM

1) Take chances. When you have a song down to perfection, try changing inflections, progressions, etc. Don't be afraid to screw up! Its better to make mistakes while pushing the envelope than it is to yawn while playing it safe.

2) Record your performances. It will give you an element of objectivity that will help you improve tremendously.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Justa Picker
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 07:12 PM

Feel, is inherently more important than technical prowess. (I cite B.B. King as one example.)

If you are blessed with both, consider yourself one of the "chosen few".


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Singout
Date: 12 Dec 01 - 07:50 PM

Wow! What great advice. I am a new (54!), beginner. So much in the above I can relate to. The right hand is actually harder to learn (strumming) than the cords! And a song can get boring, I notice, if I don't try to vary the strumming some.

Funny, having no talent, but a love of music, I was thinking that when the song sounded odd, that the cords must be written wrong. Hmm, hard to believe I could be off key! The F gives me a lot of trouble. In some songs, I can match it, but in others, I can't hit it at all. Now I need to take voice lessons! Actually, today I happened on some songs that are perfect for my voice--so much easier to sing. I'm not quite up to changing the cords yet. Also today I found a one-chord song (D). Yep. "Green Green Rocky Road." It's a good one to practice strumming with. If I ever have an "act" I will start it with my one-chord song, then go to "Drunken Sailor" (2 chords, D & Em). Show the audience that anyone can do this!!!

Thanks for "listening" and for the great advice! Penny


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Crane Driver
Date: 13 Dec 01 - 04:01 PM

1) The only way to be a good musician is to be a bad musician- if you're not playing, you're not getting better.

2) After you've played badly enough, you'll start to play tolerably. After you've played tolerably enough, you'll start to play well. And so on.

3) If you can't play well yet, you haven't played badly long enough. Play badly some more.

4) Talent isn't given, its bought. You buy it with bits of your life, that you'd otherwise have frittered away on something worthless, like earning a living(!)

5) You've got to want it enough to give something else up for it.

6) You've got to believe in yourself as a musician. If you haven't time to practice today, at least pick the instrument up and hold it for a moment. You're training your mind to see you as a musician.

7) Listen to the sort of music you want to play. Immerse yourself in it, and it'll come out in your own music.

8) It doesn't matter whether you want to play for your own pleasure or for an audience - enjoy what you're doing.

9) Don't try to make a list of 10 items when you can only think of 8.

Andrew


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Chip A.
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 03:51 PM

I don't have enough sense to add anything but I'm getting a lot out of this, so...........refresh!


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: pattyClink
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 03:54 PM

Good post Frank. I just learned the other day about Irving Berlin's lack of skill in music theory/playing. He literally had a piano made that would allow him to play in the one key he could grasp and with a crank transpose the sound up or down to the appropriate key to be heard. This is a guy who produced a lot of truly memorable songs, made a colossal fortune, and wound up beloved by a couple generations. Even if you don't like his stuff, just imagine what would have happened if he had instead been easily intimidated.

I have learned that all along I should have learned fewer songs but sang them more. Don't be intimidated by what other people can do, just polish your little gems and share them, few as they might be.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,mkebenn@work
Date: 14 Dec 01 - 08:10 PM

My best piece of advice is for singing. I grew up in the sixties, and I wanted to be Roger Maguinn. I'd sing in that high register and sound awful. my dad was listening to me one day and said " Why don't you sing in your own voice?" I,of course, looked at him with my best "hopeless square" stare and went on warbleing. It took me years to understand what he meant. My voice is much closer to Mr. Cash's than Roger's. I started singing from deep in my chest in my normal range and the diffence is incredible. Be yourself, sound like yourself. Mike


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: mzkitty
Date: 15 Dec 01 - 03:26 AM

To me, the most important tool I possess as a musician is an open heart. Keeping it open, (a vunerability of sorts), allows me to be in touch with the soul and emotion of the music...

Understanding that underneath all the outer "packaging" that seems to seperate people, our basic feelings and emotions are the same.

So many people don't have the ability...or luxury...of expressing and releasing those emotions as we musicians do. I suppose it's not "safe" in a lot of the busniss world to show true feelings. So, real, honest, heartfelt emotion and response begins to be buried under layers of "conditioned" reponse...("How are you?"..."Fine...and you?" ...."Fine.....").

A heartfelt song can magically link others to a feeling again...allowing themselves to be safely led through emotions of a memory and/or experience they'd forgotten about. A very private thing, indeed, but I'm sure you players have seen it...felt it. A noisy person in the audience might suddenly quiet down, close his/her eyes, and you can FEEL them with you. Sometimes it's a smile....whatever the signal, WE know it.

Talent, practice and all the tricks of the trade have their place..we certinally need them all. But, there is nothing more important to me to have onstage than an open heart. People can feel the difference...and they'll return again and again. They may never even know WHY they come back...but that doesn't matter. (Just in case you don't get what I'm saying, picture Andy Williams singing "Like A Rolling Stone"...are you grinning?? Get it???)

One more thought concerning the open heart "tool" ...it helps in keeping our own emotions and feelings healthy and sometimes even balanced! Which gives us a head start right from the beginning of even the most impossible of shows.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: WyoWoman
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 02:08 PM

Learn songs you love, regardless of where they come from or whether they fit in the "right" genre. Then make them your own. Don't try to categorize yourself, don't categorize others, and don't judge people who like different kinds of music than you do. It takes all kinds to make a musical world. But don't go to a bluegrass jam and try to impose your jazz licks on the rest of the room. Find (or create) a jam that's a good fit for you and don't be self-righteous about your music or technique or instrument. Be welcoming of others, even if you can outplay or outsing them, hands down.

WW


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Cappuccino
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 02:12 PM

Yes, that's good, Wyo. Be welcoming of others... yes, I like that.

- Ian B


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: GUEST,Bert
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 02:21 PM

Remember, When you get up on that stage that YOU ARE THE GREATEST. That's right, it doesn't matter how good the others are. You are singing YOUR song the way that only YOU CAN. There's no one can do it quite as well as you can so give it all you've got, they're gonna LOVE YOU.


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: WyoWoman
Date: 29 Dec 01 - 02:28 PM

Or not. But at least you'll have the satisfaction of having done what you do with compete integrity -- also an important tip.

ww


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Subject: RE: Your best musical advice in one post!
From: Marion
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 01:38 AM

Whatever your instrument or skill level, know how to play Happy Birthday, and keep it memorized.

Marion


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