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Practice Like a Pro part 5 – Performative Practice

This is the final article in my series on holistic musical practice, set out in the framework I like to call MoPToP. We looked at mental practice, the in depth process of thinking about the type of musician you want to be, where you are at present, what you need to do next and howContinue reading “Practice Like a Pro part 5 – Performative Practice”

Practice Like a Pro part 4: Technical Practice

Now we get to what most people think of when they think of practice, also the part you’re most likely to associate with unpleasant and uncreative chores. But this is where you assemble the toolkit that will enable you to realise your ideas – if you do it right, it will open up avenues ofContinue reading “Practice Like a Pro part 4: Technical Practice”

Practice Like a Pro part 3: Physical Practice

Continuing the series of articles on holistic practice habits for musicians, last time we looked at mental practice – figuring out the kind of musician you want to be and what you need to do about it and organising your creative ambitions ready to take into the rehearsal room or studio. Maybe you’re chomping atContinue reading “Practice Like a Pro part 3: Physical Practice”

Practice Like a Pro part 2: Mental Practice

Part two in a series of articles on personal musical practice, last time I gave an overview of my MoPToP framework describing what I see as the four main aspects of developing as a musician: Mental, Physical, Technical and Performative. Now it’s time to look at these in more detail, starting with: M – MentalContinue reading “Practice Like a Pro part 2: Mental Practice”

Practice Like a Pro part 1: Overview

How often do you practice at your instrument? This is a dreaded question among musicians at all levels, conjuring as it does visions of stern authority figures standing over sweating adolescents while they struggle with scales, arpeggios and formal studies written decades ago by “good” composers. For those about to rock, nothing could be furtherContinue reading “Practice Like a Pro part 1: Overview”

Standard Songs of the Modern Era

This was originally published at Fresh On The Net and is inspired by my colleague Neil March’s article on great cover versions and the subsequent discussion that took place in the comments. The subject of cover versions can be a touchy one for many independent musicians trying to build a creative career distinct from theContinue reading “Standard Songs of the Modern Era”

Demystifying Staff Notation part 2: Rhythm

Part two of my series on the basics of reading music in staff notation. This is intended as a logical, from the ground up explanation of music notation for people who either never learned but wanted to, or tried only to get put off and confused by the traditional barrage of unmusical theory, horrible roteContinue reading “Demystifying Staff Notation part 2: Rhythm”

What makes a relatable track?

Since I joined the moderating team at Fresh On The Net, a few people have asked me what makes us choose one song over another when the overall standard of submissions is so high. It’s a subjective question without a clear answer – even if I could give a reliable formula for a perfect submissionContinue reading “What makes a relatable track?”

Demystifying Staff Notation Part One: Pitch

To the uninitiated, classical music notation looks beautiful and terrifying, filled with bizarre looping symbols, black dots scattered around lines like footprints and numbers and fragments of text in strange languages peppered all around. Many people have confused memories of school music lessons about good boys deserving fine apples and other nonsense with no obviousContinue reading “Demystifying Staff Notation Part One: Pitch”

Notes From The Total Perspective Vortex – Finding Your Way In The Big, Big World Of Music

”For when you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says “You are here.” – Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe If youContinue reading “Notes From The Total Perspective Vortex – Finding Your Way In The Big, Big World Of Music”