Health and Fitness

Guitar Backing Tracks - Why You Need Them

Why do you need guitar backing tracks? Because it's the closest thing to performing with a band you can do. Playing with other musicians is the best thing in the world for your guitar playing. But what if no one's around? What if it's 3 in the morning? That's when having guitar backing tracks helps out. Now you have a band at your disposal. Problem solved! Also let's say you just mastered the hottest lick you have ever tried. Nicely done. But that's only the first part of it. You need to be able to play it along with a band. Sitting in your room and playing the licks over and over is great practice, but when you go to play it with a band it just may fall to pieces. You have probably been in this situation. Everything sounds great at home, but not so great at the jam. So take your new lick and jam over a bunch of different tracks in a bunch of different keys. Then you will REALLY be mastering the new lick. What if you are the type of player who almost passes out when it's your time to solo?

Guitar Backing Tracks - Quality Counts

You already know that you need a collection of guitar backing tracks in your jam room. Whether you have a bunch of play-along CD's or a ton of tracks on your iPod doesn't really matter. What does matter is the quality of these tracks. If your hoping that your downloaded guitar backing tracks you found on the internet are going to inspire you, you may be disappointed. If the drums sound like a cheesy 80's film and the guitar is about as exciting as a high school assembly, are you really going to want to pick up your guitar and play with them. Probably not. Go for the ones that will inspire you. Get some Play-Along CD's that feature a REAL band playing and sound like they are having fun. That is going to be a hell of a lot more inspiring to you as a player. You are also going to want tracks that have dynamics and offer a bunch of different keys and styles. You have spent tons of money on books and lessons. You have spent tons of time practicing and learning new techniques. Don't let it all go to waste by skipping this very important step in your guitar playing.

Guitar Backing Tracks - A Better Way to Learn Scales

Guitar backing tracks not only make you a better soloist and improviser, but they also can help you to learn scales better. Many players can't stand the thought on running up and down scales all day long. Some would rather not learn them at all. What if practicing your scales was actually fun? Let's say you are just not into learning scales. How can we do this? Take a scale that you already know. We will use the minor pentatonic scale for an example. Most players already know it. Through on a guitar backing track in the key that you will practice. With the track playing, start to just play up and down the scale getting used to the sound. Listen to each note against the chord changes. Now stop the guitar backing track and work out 2 licks using the scale pattern. Make sure they are on different sets of strings. Maybe use 3rd and 4th string for lick number 1 and 1st and 2nd string for lick number2. Now that you have your licks, start up the guitar backing track again and start playing the first lick.

The Future of Online Music

To get an idea of where online music is headed it is important to understand the history. Let's think back to the time when music downloads first became popular. For me it was spurred in the early Napster days. Everyone was out there going crazy grabbing any and all music they could find without consequence. Then the RIAA came along and said "wait guys that's our copyrighted content you're downloading." Since that time the RIAA has been fighting an uphill battle to end copyright infringement. After the early days of Napster and peer to peer file sharing a new crop of sites popped up offering legal music downloads. Even Napster went legit signing deals with major labels to offer unlimited access to their offerings. In order to make this a reality the record industry had to come up with a way to protect their investment. Along came digital rights management (DRM). New DRM technologies have been used to limit access to media. In essence as long as you are subscribed to Rhapsody for example you can download and listen to as many songs as you like.

10 People to Surround Your Band With

No man-or band-is an island. The success of any musician is the cumulative effort of many people. As you set out to become a legend, there are ten people you want to surround yourself and your band with. Whether you hire these folks, or simply find them and build a mentoring relationship with them-they have the expertise you need to get where you want to be: on top. 1. Stylist Stylists aren't just for corporate bands. Someone who is an expert in style and public opinion can give you an objective view about how other people see you. Talk to a stylist about your overall sound and the vision of your band and get some feedback about ways you can express that with your on-stage appearance. 2. Graphic Designer A graphic designer is going to be able to help you design your "brand". That can include everything from your website design, to your t-shirt graphics and your album cover. These are items that make a huge impression on people long before they have a chance to hear your music. Most graphic designers appreciate it when you bring them solid ideas and examples of things that inspire you.

The Vibrating Sounds of the Vibraphone Keyboard

The vibraphone is a percussion instrument that is played by striking the bars with a mallet. This instrument somewhat resembles the xylophone, but it is a different instrument in that its bars are made out of aluminum instead of the bars on the xylophone that are often made out of wood. Like some other instruments, the vibraphone has a pedal that is used to control how long a bar can make a sound. When the pedal is up, the sound that the bars will be short, because the pedal is dampening the sound; when the pedal is down the bars are not dampened and so will continue for a longer period of time. Though the idea behind the instrument may have been around for a very long time, the vibraphone itself has only been around since the early 1900s. It was first created in 1921 in the United States. It was not long after this that variations of the instrument were created. More or less from the start, it was mostly used in jazz music. Though people have occasionally used the instrument in other music genres, it remains a jazz instrument.

The Handcrafted Electrical Music Machine the Synclavier

The synclavier is not an instrument; it is an electronic device that adds something to music. More specifically, it was a synthesizer and sampler that was created by New England Digital. It was first introduced to the market in 1975 and was quickly picked up by musicians who relied on electric instruments. Music producers were also attracted to the synclavier because of its unique sound. The synclavier was the first of many to come as music changed and more digital technology was integrated into music. It would not be long before other newer version of the synclavier would be out on the market. When the synclavier first came out, it was extremely expensive. As a result, many musicians who had the benefit of one had acquired it through a music producer or recording studios. Other musicians were out of luck because they simply could not afford it. People who had the money to spend on such an item were not disappointed. Synclaviers were built with custom parts by hand and were built to the highest specifications that were set at the time;

The Unusual Exotic Sounds of the Zither

The zither is a string instrument that has been around for a long time, so long, in fact, that the earliest model of the zither has been found as far back as 433 BC. When looking at a picture of it, it seems fairly basic in design. Constructed out of wood, the zither has strings stretched across a bridge at each end, which allows the strings to vibrate freely. Many will have a fingerboard on the side to aid in putting pressure on the strings to create the desired notes. The strings can also be tuned by using the pegs to adjust the tension on the strings. Though the zither has been around for such a long time, the basic design has not changed too much. Even today, the basic design still closely resembles zithers from earlier times. What has changed is the shape and the decoration on the zither. Some are more plain in appearance, while others have intricate and very decorative designs painted onto the body in order to make the instrument more unique. Even with these decorative changes, the sound of the zither is still more or less the same.

The Country Music Sounds of the Mandolin

The mandolin is a stringed instrument that looks a lot like a teardrop-shaped guitar. Like the guitar, it is strummed or plucked with a pick in order to play the instrument, and the strings are placed over a bridge to let them vibrate freely. A member of the lute family, the mandolin was developed from the mandore which was tuned to a higher pitch than the mandolin. It was originally an acoustic instrument, though it can be electric these days as well and while the basic shape of the mandolin is oval, there are mandolins that have unique shapes for those who prefer to play something that looks a little different. Modern mandolins have eight strings, which are divided into four pairs referred to as four courses and are played with plucks, though the mandolins in the past were played with the fingers. The instrument has also changed over time. In the past, they had three courses, while today there are a number of variations. The common ones will have the eight strings, but others will have six strings, 12 strings or 16 strings.

The Lyrical Accompaniment of the Lute

In general, a lute is a stringed instrument that loosely resembles a guitar, but has a round body, a deep and round back, a fretted or unfretted neck and is a member of the family of European lutes. The instrument is played by plucking the strings, which vibrate and create the sound. The strings are placed over a bridge which allows them to vibrate freely and the body of the lute is hollow in order to intensify the sound so that others can clearly hear the instrument. While the instrument is not overly popular today, it was incredibly popular during the baroque music period when people would play the instrument alone or as an accompaniment with other instruments. When the lute was created is not clear. There is much speculation about how long it has been around. Some say that a variation of the lute may have existed during the time of the Ancient Egyptians, but others say it may not have existed until the 1500s. It is difficult to tell when exactly the lute was first created because there were so many instruments that existed throughout history that somewhat resemble the lute.

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