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  #101  
Old 11-11-2009, 05:43 PM
McFly McFly is offline
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Default Re: Musician Tips

Buying your first instrument or one that is a step-up from your beginning instrument? Don't forget about used instruments. You can many times not only find used instruments cheaper, but many times it will be a better instrument, too! Take a professional player on your instrument to try some different ones out for you if you can.
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  #102  
Old 11-11-2009, 05:45 PM
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When thinking about what instrument to take up playing, consider the popularity of the instrument. There are a LOT of guitarists, drummers, saxophonist, and pianists out there. If you play oboe or accordian, you could be a rare commodity!
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  #103  
Old 11-11-2009, 05:47 PM
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There is the rare exception who never needs to warm up, such as the old lead trumpet for the Basie Band who "warmed up" by playing one high F before the gig. It is doubtful that you or I are that rare exception - warm up to avoid injury and increase endurance and accuracy.
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  #104  
Old 11-11-2009, 05:49 PM
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Consider your posture when you are playing. Are you creating unnecessary strain for yourself through poor posture? Save yourself some back trouble later in life!
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  #105  
Old 11-11-2009, 05:50 PM
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Sometimes your body knows how to play something challenging better than your head. Now and then, try focusing your mind on something other than the music when you are trying to get the mechanics of a certain passage correct.
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  #106  
Old 11-12-2009, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Musician Tips

Everyone should have a teacher or mentor on their instrument - even of you are the best in the world. You don't have to be the best player to be a great teacher who can help a talented player get to the next level.
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  #107  
Old 11-12-2009, 03:55 PM
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Ever think about giving your teacher a call or email during the week when you are struggling with a particular passage? Why not? They are a resource that is more than happy to be there for you.
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  #108  
Old 11-12-2009, 03:57 PM
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Proper care of your instrument goes a long way. It's also good for breaking up a long practice session or something to do while listening to some music!
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  #109  
Old 11-12-2009, 03:58 PM
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For a beginning musician, renting an instrument or buying a cheap used instrument is a perfectly viable approach. That way, if things don't work out on that particular instrument, you can move to a different one without having a lot of money invested.
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  #110  
Old 11-12-2009, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Musician Tips

Even if you are a Rock, Pop, or R&B musician, you'll do well to learn the proper technique for your instrument or voice. Even if you decide to then play or sing in an unconventional manner, you'll at least know the boundaries you are crossing and be less likely to do permanent damage.
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  #111  
Old 11-12-2009, 04:03 PM
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No matter what genre you play in, you must learn to "sight-read", even if in a liberal sense of the term. For a classical or jazz musician, this will mean being able to play on command a set of sheet music you have never seen before, and play it with the dynamics, articulation, tempos, rhythms, pitches, phrasing, and feel indicated. If you are a non-studio Rock musician or R&B artist, this may amount to having an aural memory that is so sharp, you can catch all of the musical elements listed above and reproduce them after simply listening to a recording once.
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  #112  
Old 11-12-2009, 04:05 PM
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Practice is the lifeblood of your personal advancement in musical playing/ singing ability. If you don't devote time to it, you stagnate. For a musician, that can be an icky feeling : \
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  #113  
Old 11-12-2009, 04:06 PM
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Remember, that sometimes it's ok to just "jam". That may mean improvisation, playing a tune you know and love, or running some scales.
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  #114  
Old 11-12-2009, 04:08 PM
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Is something feeling weird physically every time you play? A back pain? A headache? A muscle spasm? Please don't ignore your body. Make a visit to a doctor before the problem becomes worse.
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  #115  
Old 11-12-2009, 04:10 PM
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No one likes to be told that they are not capable of doing something. And, if someone is personally motivated by a constructive inner passion, that certainly factors into things. All the same, consider your physique and the physique of your child when selecting an instrument for you or her. A small person may have trouble playing a full-size tuba or double-bass.
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  #116  
Old 11-13-2009, 03:14 PM
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Going to study music full time, or sending your child to study music at a college, university, or conservatory? Some things to take into account are: Who will be their primary teacher on their chosen instrument? Are they comfortable with the size of the department? What is the track record of employment and/ or further education for graduates of the school? Is there ample opportunity for performance? What is the reputation of the school? What is the performance level of the school's ensembles? Is there an alternate teacher on their primary instrument should things not work out with their beginning teacher? Does the city or community outside campus afford opportunities for performance and education?
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  #117  
Old 11-13-2009, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Musician Tips

Do you play or sing any songs that you have long since memorized? Take the opportunity to go back and revisit the printed sheet music. You may be surprised to find a few details you had forgotten over time!
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  #118  
Old 11-13-2009, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Musician Tips

Before choosing a music teacher, it is a great idea to get a word of mouth recommendation and have a casual interview with the teacher.
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  #119  
Old 11-13-2009, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Musician Tips

When buying a used instrument, you must try it out in person before buying it. Craigslist can be a good source of used instruments.
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  #120  
Old 11-13-2009, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Musician Tips

When checking out a used instrument, try to get as much information on it from the seller as you can. Why are they selling it? Were they the only previous owner? Did they ever have any problems with it. And remember, they may or may not be telling you the whole truth.
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