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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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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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Staying Fit And Eating Healthy On The Road!

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As a professional musician, I travel a lot. Domestically and internationally. This means my schedule is constantly changing. I have had to be flexible with my day to day activities (like practicing, learning new music, paying bills, sleeping, etc), but most importantly with taking care of my body so that I can continue to travel the world playing drums. This includes my physical fitness routine as well as my eating habits. Fortunately for me, one of my very good friends is a personal trainer who has worked with professional athletes from the NBA and NFL, and my mother is an RN in the field of infectious disease control, working with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and top doctors. I have not gotten sick in over a year, and my pants size has only gone up one number from high school (32 to a 33). I’m going to share the tips I use to keep this music making machine running in tip top shape.

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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.

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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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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!