Jamming is one of the most important practices in music. It can also be one of the most daunting. Playing an unfamiliar song with people you might not know can be a challenge, especially for beginners. But it’s an essential skill to develop if you ever want to perform in a band.
This is probably why Autotune infuriates so many serious musicians: those variations in pitch aren’t mistakes in the performance; they are the performance. If you clean up those “errors” and quantize everything to the “correct” pitches, all you’re left with is dry, robotic music.
Six years ago, when Mike Orr made his first cigar box guitar, he wasn’t thinking about beginning a second career. He came across cigar box guitars while surfing the Internet one day, and decided to make one as a Christmas gift for his son. He studied the design and made it his own. Then, he […]
There aren’t too many hard and fast rules when it comes to singing. Most singers can feel and hear their problem spots. “If your voice feels good and sounds good, it probably is good. If it feels bad and sounds good, something is wrong,” says Jeannette LoVetri, director of The Voice Workshop in New York […]
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.’”
If you’re a singer, chances are there is that one performer who you want to sound like. It could be anyone from Andrea Bocelli or Charlotte Church to Janis Joplin, Barbra Streisand, or Freddie Mercury. Perhaps there’s a certain style you hear and love, regardless of the singer. Some singers are drawn to classical sounds […]