Saturday, July 29, 2006

About Music & Life

Articles by Duane About Music & Life

The Many Incredible Benefits Of Learning Chording Techniques On The Piano - Part OneMany piano players seem to spend their entire lives "chained to the written music." They can sight-read sheet music, but when it comes to knowing what to play when the music blows off the stand and onto the floor, they are entirely lost. [July 28, 2006 03:47:56 pm]
The Many Incredible Benefits Of Learning Chording Techniques On The Piano - Part TwoMany piano players seem to spend their entire lives "chained to the written music". They can sight-read sheet music, but when it comes to knowing what to play when the music blows off the stand and onto the floor, they are entirely lost. [July 28, 2006 03:52:24 pm]
How To Match The Melody Notes Of Any Song To A Chord In Your Left Hand!Is it really possible to know which chords go with which notes in a song without having to depend on the written sheet music? Can you pick out a song by ear and then harmonize that tune with chords that match it? [April 17, 2006 05:51:39 am]
How To Predict Which Chord Comes Next In A SongIt is quite possible to predict which chords will occur in a given song once you know the key of that song and understand the "guts" of music and how chord progressions work. [April 10, 2006 06:52:04 am]
How To Play More Notes On The Piano Without Reading More NotesMost people learn to play the piano by playing just the written music. Playing by written music is exactly what the phrase says it is -- playing the exact notation on a piece of sheet music. But playing by chord symbol is very different. Instead of following the harmony note by note, you follow the chord symbols (i.e. C7 or F) written above the harmonies, filling in the gaps with...well, whatever you want as long as it sticks to those chords. [March 13, 2006 10:36:31 am]
33 Tips For Becoming a Great Piano Player!"There are at least 33 elements that contribute to becoming a good pianist," says Duane Shinn, pianist and owner of Keyboard Workshop in Medford, Oregon. "There are probably more, but without these 33 principles a pianist cannot hope to rise to the level of his ability." [March 08, 2006 02:23:54 pm]
I Know a Man Who Can Take You To NarniaI know a man who can take you to Narnia. Well, not really Narnia, but to the very spot in England where Narnia was born in the mind of C.S. Lewis, author of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and the entire Chronicles of Narnia series, recently featured in the Disney hit movie. [February 04, 2006 06:10:23 pm]
I Like It, But Is It Music?Are you frustrated when you try to explain your taste in music? Fortunately, one of the benefits of learning a musical instrument is a better understanding of your own musical taste. Learn to play an instrument, and soon you will be able to discuss what works or doesn't work for you, in music. [January 14, 2006 08:00:59 pm]
To Make Your Kids More Successful, Teach Them Music!Besides being a sure way to become the life of the party, learning to play an instrument can make your children smarter, better adjusted, and better equipped to adopt a position of leadership in a diverse world. [January 14, 2006 08:12:57 pm]
Learn a Musical Instrument, Prepare for a CareerFrom education to video games, there are careers available for those who happen to have a background in music which the rest of us never see. Each of these fields requires time and study for proficiency, but they represent a career path that is nonexistent for non-musicians. [January 14, 2006 08:15:26 pm]
"The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" - Einstein Would Have Loved It!Einstein would have loved the movie "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" because it is filled with not only imagination, but also time dilation and wormholes that tunnel into distant regions of space and time and black holes and string theory and spacetime curvature... all implicated in his General Theory of Relativity. [December 05, 2005 06:34:21 am]
10 Top Reasons You Should Learn to Play 'Chord' PianoThere are roughly umpteen zillion reasons why you should learn enough chords to be able to "chord a song" at the piano. By "chord a song", I mean the ability to play 3 or 4 chords on the piano in some sort of rhythm while you or someone else sings the tune. To do this, you don't need to be a Van Cliburn; all you need to do is learn a few basic chords and be able to more back and forth between them in some organized rhythmic pattern. [October 13, 2005 01:23:35 pm]
Families That Hit Pine Cones Together Stay TogetherIt is said that families that pray together stay together. I think it's almost equally true that families that play together stay together. If play time is the glue of family life, our family is a sticky crew! [October 13, 2005 01:26:25 pm]
How To Dress Up "Naked Music" On The PianoWhat in the world is "naked music?" You know it when you hear it, but the words that describe it sound strange, don't they? We've all heard of popular music and rock music and gospel music and jazz music, but naked music? [October 13, 2005 01:26:44 pm]
Piano Playing For Adults: More Fun Than Sex And Not Nearly As Dangerous!The benefits of adults learning to play the piano are many and varied, but most of all, it's just plain fun. [September 28, 2005 07:19:44 am]
What In The World Would We Do Without Music?What in the world would you and I do if there was no such thing as music? Can you imagine a world without music? No songs, no tunes, no rock, no roll, no jazz, no hymns, no boogie-woogie, no country-western, no symphonies. No singing in the shower. No whistling Dixie? [September 19, 2005 07:21:44 am]
Does Music Impact Epilepsy - For Bad Or For Good?Even though music is not yet used as a formal treatment for epilepsy, the sheer fact that music has shown a potential ability to be a treatment for epilepsy as well as its ability to induce epileptic seizures would seem to indicate that music just might play a more significant role in the human experience than we ever imagined. [August 19, 2005 02:31:10 pm]
How To Play Piano Using Chord SymbolsChord symbols, for modern music with lots of changes, are much easier to read. They function as a sort of shorthand for change-heavy music and are written with four chord parts in mind: the root, the quality, the extension, and the alterations. [August 18, 2005 07:49:36 pm]
Music Therapy: Can Music Really Soothe The Savage Beast?It has long been suggested that "music soothes the savage beast." But is this true? And if it is, does this have any implication where humans are concerned? [August 17, 2005 02:55:43 pm]
3 Quick & Easy Steps To Playing Music by EarPlaying by ear is a valuable technique for many musicians; learning songs based solely on hearing them is a great way to understand song and chord structure. In fact, a great number of rock and pop musicians learned to play their instruments this way. Instead of picking up a book or taking lessons, they concentrated on figuring out the notes and rhythms to a song until it was mastered. [August 16, 2005 07:32:38 pm]
Do you really need college to learn to play music?In the last few years a new dimension to learning music has appeared in the form of the internet - the world wide web. Now instead of being limited to classroom courses, students are free to create their own schedules and learn at their own pace. [August 15, 2005 08:38:53 pm]
How Many Chords Are There, Anyway?Since chords (the main component of harmony) are one of the three most vital elements of music - the others being melody and rhythm - it would be useful to know how many chords there are. And it doesn't matter whether you play piano or guitar or some other instrument - chords are chords. [August 13, 2005 06:16:38 pm]
3 Secrets To Understanding What Makes Music TickIt's no secret that virtually everyone loves music in some form or other. The country-western fan may not like jazz, but he or she sure loves the sound of pickin' & grinnin'. And that's as it should be. If we all liked the same kind of music, there just wouldn't be the variety that is available to us now. We can choose from musical styles ranging from heavy classical and opera to rock to children's songs to Broadway musicals to gospel music to the blues. [August 10, 2005 08:52:22 pm]
Is Your Child Capable of Composing Music? Maybe the Next Mozart?History reports that Mozart was writing minuets by the time he was five years old. Amazing. At five years of age, I'm not sure that I knew the difference between my finger and my thumb and I certainly wasn't composing music. [August 03, 2005 05:25:54 pm]
Can You Really Learn To Play a Musical Instrument From an Online Course?Out of the 250 million people in the United States, about 25 million of them play an instrument of some kind, or at least used to when they were in school and would like to pick up where they left off. Another 30 million or so sing in a church choir, a barbershop quartet, or at the very least, in the shower. [July 30, 2005 05:15:35 pm]
Five Great Practice Ideas I Learned From My Piano Students!Sometimes the teacher learns more from the student than the student does from the teacher. Hopefully, not too often, but today I would like to share with you some great practicing ideas that have come from my piano students over the years. [July 28, 2005 05:48:54 am]
If Seals Can Sing, Why Can't You?Hearing that seals sing really shouldn't surprise any of us. Music is a central element of life. Walk through the forest at night in the eastern part of the United States and you can't help but be moved by the symphony of sound that is created when each woodland creature sings its part. [July 27, 2005 02:24:40 pm]
How To Make a Fortune Teaching Piano (or Guitar, or Drums, or Singing, or...) To BeginnersOpportunities for teaching music are huge. Every year millions more kids get to the age where their parents start thinking about getting music lessons for them, so your prospect list is constantly getting bigger every day. There are plenty of beginners to go around, so competition is really not an issue at all for a person who loves both people and music. [July 26, 2005 10:51:56 pm]
How Many Guitar Chords Do I Need To Know?Most simple songs contain just 3 chords - called "primary chords". So even a stark beginner can learn 3 simple chords well enough to strum along and accompany himself as he sings. But after that, the sky is the limit - there are thousands of possible chords, so it is up to the individual guitarist as to how many he or she wants to master. [July 09, 2005 04:28:01 pm]
Mp3's - The Future of Music?Mp3 music is audio that has been digitally encoded and compressed to make the amount of data smaller without compromising the overall sound quality. Because of it's portability, it promises to be the future of music. [July 09, 2005 10:30:31 am]
How to Become a World Class Expert in Just 20 Minutes a DayIs it really possible to become an expert in some field in 20 minutes a day? It's not only possible, but it's probable if you pick a small area of knowledge that you are excited about. [July 08, 2005 06:06:31 pm]
Improvising On The Piano: Jazz Musicians Do It -- Why Not Other Styles?Jazz pianists improvise all the time. So why not classical pianists, gospel pianists, and piano players of many other styles? [July 07, 2005 09:53:55 am]
Jazz: What In The Heck Is It?All of us know what jazz is when we hear it, but trying to define it is a different matter. With so many variant styles, coming up with an accurate definition of jazz is difficult if not impossible. [July 07, 2005 02:24:11 pm]
What All Do I Have to Know to be a Really Good Piano Player?Many students ask me a question that goes something like this: "What all do I have to know to be a really good piano player?" The answer is multi-facited and depends largely on the motivation and talent of the individual. [July 07, 2005 09:31:16 pm]
Learn To Play The Piano Better By Learning To Arrange Chords & Chord ProgressionsPiano arranging is the process by which you take a written piece of music and rework it with chords, adding new bass accompaniment, fills, or even slightly altering the song's structure. And while it's a process that takes years to truly master, anyone with a basic education in piano and a working knowledge of a few key techniques can create an inventive, satisfying arrangement. It all boils down to one thing: chord recognition. [July 02, 2005 07:25:30 pm]
Oh My Aching Head! Can Music Really Make You Feel Better?We all know, if only instinctively, that music has a profound effect on us. If we didn't believe that music affects us then singing lullabies to calm children and help them sleep wouldn't be universal. In reality melody, harmony, and rhythm probably impacts the human brain in ways that are far more profound than we realize. [July 02, 2005 07:21:23 pm]
Is Your Child Struggling in School? Get Him (Or Her) Music LessonsPlaying music has been discovered to have a direct and almost immediate effect on the brain of the student. Music lessons have been shown in a German study to have a significant impact on the way the brain functions after as little as five weeks. [July 02, 2005 07:24:24 pm]
Playing The Piano Using Chord Symbols Instead of Being Tied To The Written Sheet MusicPiano improvising and arranging is an art but definitely not a science. It is all based on chords and chord progressions. There aren't any steadfast rules for creating an arrangement, nothing to dictate the limitless potential of your imagination. Musicians learn to arrange by simply arranging - and improvise by improvising -- over and over again. It's a big game of trial and error. But it's also a scientific method: you keep the experiments that work, and abandon those that don't work. [July 02, 2005 07:25:53 pm]
Piano Playing Your Way: How To Have More Fun Playing The Piano Than You Ever Have BeforePiano playing doesn't have to be boring. There's no law that says you have to play a song the same way everyone else plays it. By learning some basic music theory and chord formations, you can have the time of your life playing music like you've always wanted to. [July 02, 2005 07:26:20 pm]
So You Want to be President? Learn to Play a Musical Instrument!From Bill Clinton and his sax to Richard Nixon and his piano, many Presidents and leaders have played a musical instrument. Does Condi Rice have an edge in future presidential elections because she is also a concert pianist? [June 30, 2005 12:44:09 pm]
Church Service Family Style: How a 3 Year Old Preacher & a Beagle Made Our Sunday UnforgettableFamily life can be full of both funny and profound moments, sometimes at the same time. Teaching opportunities come to parents at the most unexpected moments, and wise is the Mom or Dad who can use those moments to build meaningful memories into the lives of their kids. [June 29, 2005 12:27:20 pm]
Music Downloads: Free & Low Cost Ways For Musicians To Get Their Music Known All Over The WorldFor the musician, music downloads are an absolute breakthrough technology, allowing, for the first time in history, for a musician to develop a following without ever leaving his or her house! Marketing possibilities are unlimited for the musicians who avail themselves of this wonderful new technology. [June 23, 2005 03:47:08 pm]
Piano Playing is Easier than You Think When You Understand Musical FormUnderstanding musical form in music is one of the proven shortcuts to better piano playing (or better guitar playing, or any instrument). Form is like the blueprint to a house -- it holds the key that unlocks the musical map of a song or a musical compostition. [June 22, 2005 11:18:29 am]
How To Get An Avalanche Of Free Publicity For Your Home Business!There are many ways you can get tons of free publicity in the form of write-ups in magazines, newspapers, and even radio and TV. And sometimes you can turn family events into human-interest stories that editors like and will publish in their magazine and newspapers... [June 21, 2005 12:00:09 am]
Killer Piano Playing Secrets of a Chord Addict!When a lightbulb comes on in the mind of an individual who is seeking knowledge in some area, it's amazing how much progress can be made in a short time. For piano players and other musicians, that moment of insight that changes lives often has to do with understanding chords and how they progress to create music. [June 13, 2005 09:20:32 pm]
They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano... but When I Started to Play...Is there a "backdoor to piano playing?" Chords are a way in to the world of piano playing without having to go through the front door: years and years of scales, drills, rote practicing, etc. Chords are really a shortcut to understanding and playing music without all the formal training. [June 11, 2005 10:10:03 am]
Musicians: What Chords Do You Absolutely, Positively Have To Know?There are thousands and thousands of different chords in music - everything from basic major chords to minor 7ths to 13ths to suspensions to poly-chords. Someday, you might want to learn all those chords if you don't already know them. But meanwhile, there are 3 chords -- just 3 -- that you absolutely, positively have to know. If you don't know these three, there's hardly a song in the whole world that you could play. But by knowing just 3 chords, you can play hundreds, if not thousands of songs! [June 09, 2005 09:18:51 am]
Music & Citizenship: Can Playing a Musical Instrument Help Your Child Become a Better Citizen?Disregard the popular image of rappers with their ghetto blasters, terrorizing neighborhoods with eardrum-splitting cacophony. Consider instead our delightful school bands and orchestras... and ponder on whether those students might be becoming our best future citizens. Unlikely as it may seem, recent scientific research suggests this hypothesis might actually be true. It appears studying music can, in fact, impact the development of the human personality, especially in the area of socialization. [June 04, 2005 08:28:51 am]
Music & Emotions: Can Music Really Make You a Happier Person?How many times have you turned to music to uplift you even further in happy times, or sought the comfort of music when melancholy strikes? We all know it works -- we just don't know why. Now science is beginning to unravel some of the mystery behind the relationship of music and our moods. [June 02, 2005 05:27:30 pm]
Win Friends & Influence People Through Music -- Is It Possible?Can learning to play a musical instrument really help you "win friends & influence people?" It almost seems like a stretch, but scientific research seems to support the idea. Rock stars aren't the only ones to be popular; there is a direct correlation between music study and the ability to relate will with others. [June 01, 2005 11:06:53 am]
Music & Intelligence: Will Listening to Music Make You Smarter?Will listening to music make you smarter? Will learning to play a musical instrument make your brain grow larger than normal? Questions like these ones have been popping up all over the place in the past few years, and not just in scientific journals either. In recent times the media has been fascinated by the research surrounding brain development and music, eagerly reporting on the latest studies to the delight of the music-loving parents of young children. [May 30, 2005 09:33:37 am]
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Piano Chords & Chord Progressions!