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How To Efficiently Learn Music (And Do It Quickly)!

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So you get the call to play with an artist. You are available to do the hit and now you need to learn the music. This post will help set you up for success so you can learn the music quickly and have more time for other tasks at hand. If you prepare correctly, you won’t be spending most of your time writing charts and you will only need a little daily maintenance to keep things in check until the gig.

Continue reading How To Efficiently Learn Music (And Do It Quickly)!

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New Year’s Reminders (that you should already be doing)!

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Here are 15 tips that you should already be incorporating into your career as a professional musician. With everyone making resolutions for the New Year, I prefer to call them reminders. I remind myself of the goals I had, and check in to make sure I am still on track, or adjust them as necessary (or add new ones to replace completed ones). This post is full of knowledge I learned in high school and college that I continue to put to good use on a regular basis. Continue reading New Year’s Reminders (that you should already be doing)!

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12 Things I Learned After I Graduated Music School

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In this month’s post I will list twelve things I learned after I graduated from music school. These are tips I learned that I couldn’t get from a textbook or from my teacher telling me. I am still learning more everyday, but I feel these are things I deal with regularly, that every musician should know. A few of them have already touched upon in previous blog posts so feel free to go back and read those. Continue reading 12 Things I Learned After I Graduated Music School

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How Much Should You Charge?

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I have been asked by fellow musicians how I come up with pricing for the different things I am hired to do. This could be anything from performing live, recording for a client, teaching lessons, giving a clinic/masterclass or anything that requires your time and your skills or expertise. This month’s post will help you figure out how to set your prices so when someone asks you to work for them you aren’t caught out fumbling around for numbers. Continue reading How Much Should You Charge?

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Mastering Sight-Reading Made Easy!

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After helping a lot of my students with their auditions, sight-reading is what instilled fear in almost all of them. I’m not saying you can’t be a great musician if you don’t know how to read music or read extremely well, but you will be missing out on many gigs and opportunities to make more money. There are plenty of heavy intensive reading gigs that you are saying no to if you choose not to get your reading chops up to speed. This post will give you things to think about when approaching your reading, as well as helpful methods to improving your reading quickly and efficiently.

Continue reading Mastering Sight-Reading Made Easy!

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Audition Better!

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It’s almost september and a fair amount of my private students have been asking for help with their various back-to-school and ensemble auditions. A couple of them have even asked for competition audition help. I had a long conversation with a great friend (and soon to be Doctoral recipient) Mark Small. Mark and I have been friends since high school and he is an amazing woodwind player finishing up his Doctorate degree from the University of Miami. Before that he was in Michael Buble’s band for 6 years (among other prestigious groups). He has auditioned for more ensembles, and competitions than you can shake a stick at, and we bounced our do’s and don’t’s off of each other in hopes to making your audition process easier. Continue reading Audition Better!

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Become a Better Musician With These Practice Tips (in less time)

Allen-Iverson_PracticeDo you hate to practice? Well you’re not alone. I don’t know very many people that get excited to practice the same way that they get excited to perform. When you’re practicing, it is usually alone, probably doesn’t sound good (at first), and is tedious (and possibly boring) among other things. Whereas when you perform, there are people watching, giving instant gratification of your talents, can be done with other musicians, and sounds polished and perfected. So how do you turn your practice time into a more enjoyable event? Continue reading Become a Better Musician With These Practice Tips (in less time)

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Get The Gig, Keep The Gig!

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This blog post is going to help you figure out how to get the gig you want and then how to keep it. This isn’t a “step-by-step”, but more of a “these guidelines will point you in the right direction”. Every situation is different. This is just a introduction to some of the topics and will most likely be expanded upon at a later date.

 

The thing you should always keep in mind is that the music business is still a business, even though the medium is music. Most people go to see music performed in a social setting. It’s even described most of the time as “I play this” or “I play that”. That description alone makes it sound “fun” or “recreational” and not a serious business.

 

You may or may not know who I am, but you definitely know some of the people I have worked with. I have been playing music professionally for over 20 years and making a living at it with the ability to pay all of my bills. I work constantly and the information I am going to mention below has been taken from my personal experiences as well as several other musicians who all work consistently solely in the business of music. Continue reading Get The Gig, Keep The Gig!

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Are Your Ears Ringing, and Why You Should Be Worried About It!

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Do your ears ring sometimes? Do you know what that is? Do you know that it is dangerous?

“You only get one set of ears, be careful of how you treat them.” That is what my ear, nose, and throat doctor said as I inquired about getting customized earplugs. Why was I getting earplugs? Tinnitus. What is tinnitus? It is that ringing in your ears after you watch a concert from the 3rd row. It’s that same ringing after turning up your headphones too loud while going for a run, rocking that new Kanye track. It is basically that ringing you hear when there is no other sound. However, it is not limited to just a “ringing” sound.  It has also been described as a buzzing, humming, hissing, whistling sounds, as well as clicking, ticking, roaring, “crickets” or “locusts (cicadas)”, tunes, songs, beeping, or even a pure steady tone like that heard during a hearing test.

Why is that ringing dangerous? What is causing it? Continue reading Are Your Ears Ringing, and Why You Should Be Worried About It!

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Become A More Successful Studio Musician!

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Are you recording in a studio? This post will give you tips and hints to make sure you are well prepared, so that you are the one getting all the calls.

 I will share with you information taken from my personal experiences as well as what I learned interviewing top studio musicians who record constantly all over the world. I also sat down with some of those same studios’ recording engineers to let you know what they look for in choosing a musician for a session. The one thing they all agreed upon was the more time you spend in preparation (with a high attention for detail), the easier the session will be when it comes to dealing with any changes or curveballs, and the smoother the overall session will be. Also, three of the top things mentioned in creating Continue reading Become A More Successful Studio Musician!