Have you ever played a song or a piece with a marking in the middle stating♩=♪ or something similar? If this puzzling marking left you scratching your head, you’re not alone! After all, since our days in elementary school music class, we’ve been taught that whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes, and so on, all have distinct rhythmic values.
Selecting the right reed can be confusing, especially for beginners. To a certain extent it is a personal choice and will take experimentation and experience to figure out what’s right for you and your playing style. Even for experienced musicians, it is often a difficult and frustrating aspect of playing a reed instrument. The following information from A Guide to the Art of Adjusting Saxophone Reeds, by James Rötter, gives some tips.
A scale is a collection of pitches that follows a set pattern of ascending or descending intervals. A major scale, for example, may start on any note, as long as the subsequent notes follow the appropriate pattern of whole steps and half steps. The same is true of minor scales—but with a different pattern of steps, of course.
Never underestimate the value of performing, whether at home for family and friends, or in a ‘proper’ concert venue on a special grand piano. Performing for others, and the ability to get up and do it, is an important life skill as it builds confidence and self-reliance – and not just in the sphere of music.
When it comes to holding an instrument, generally, many players complain that it becomes difficult, that their neck starts to hurt, that their shoulders start to hurt. But, actually, there’s a very easy way to approach it.
David Kalt has always loved guitars. As owner of the iconic store Chicago Music Exchange, he’s surrounded by guitars all day. Recently, Kalt combined his two biggest passions, music and technology, and founded Reverb.com, an online marketplace for musicians. The site boasts 9,000 unique visitors every day, and has grown 35% each month since its February launch.
A few years back, while giving a presentation on homemade musical instruments at the University of Washington, Dr. Craig Woodson created a masenqo—a single stringed violin from Ethiopia—out of dental floss, a Styrofoam box, a plastic tube, and some chopsticks. “There was an Ethiopian woman in the audience, and she got up and walked out of the room,” he remembers. “I thought, oh my gosh, I’ve insulted this woman! But then she came back in and her eyes were wet with tears, and she said to me, ‘I had no idea when you started to play that very simple instrument, that it would take me home.’”