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Saturday, August 20, 2011

So Far, So Good

An update on my ear training progress so far. 

I've gotten off to a good start with my ear training, mainly working on simple intervals and I am starting to easily recognise them at different pitches. I've stuck to ear training nearly every night apart from a few nights where I wasn't able to have time to have a good run through. My theory has improved a lot and I'm taking in a lot more instead of just going through pages in the book. I've also started on some jazz pieces, which I feel I'm going well at.

All in all, I think I'm off to a good start. 
5:48 am - 0 comments - 0 Kudos
Monday, August 08, 2011

Goals, Jazz, Ear Training and Theory

So I'm pretty much what I like to call pitch and tone defective. Basically I can't sing for shit, but also I usually have trouble picking out songs by ear. Until recently, that is. A week or so ago I was in my guitar lesson and my teacher asked me to find chords in a song by ear. Obviously, I gave it a go but wasn't too sure I was getting them right. However, I managed to pick out every chord by ear (albeit was a four chord Taylor Swift song, but it was still a start). This was also while I had a head cold that stopped me from hearing properly. With that, a little thought started bubbling in my head and I got myself thinking surely if I can do that with a cold I can do it when I can hear things more than 4 meters away. So I have set myself a little challenge of doing ear training every night and check back on my progress every week or two weeks to see if I can't improve my ear.

Along with that I want to pick up my theory knowledge. Now I do have a good working knowledge of theory, but it's pretty basic in terms of the music class I want to take during my senior years in high school. Next year I have decided to study another music course which will bring me to a grand total of 2 classes, a good chunk of my week's lessons. The music I'm doing now is basically practical work and industry skills, the one I want to take up is heavily theory bassed. I've had my hand on William Leavitt's Modern Method For Guitar for some time. I even put sticky note book marks into the pages where the theory I really need is. The only problem I'm having with that is I just want to get through the pages so I can say "Yep, I've done that" But pretty quickly I've realized I'm going through the book without really studying. So this is my second goal study my theory and take it in so I can get my knowledge up to scratch.

The last thing is auditions. Recently my school has decided to introduce a whole new jazz band because the one we have now (which I'm in) has strayed from jazz quite a bit. Now, my guitar teacher was the director of the former jazz band so I didn't really have a formal audition. With the new jazz band being brought in there is a very high chance of the current members having to reaudition. I'm the type of person who doesn't really get nerves until the very last minute and then I start panicking and thinking "I'm not good enough to be here". So my last goal is thinking ahead and preparing myself for the possible audition, as well as getting my jazz playing up to a new and shinier standard.

So there's my goals. This blog is mainly to give me some motivation to do these things and also to track my progress so I know I'm on track. 
11:23 am - 1 comments - 2 Kudos
Saturday, July 30, 2011

AutoTune Me

So I will admit this post is a bit of a ramble, but I've watch 72 minutes of Megavideo already, so let's pass the time

I got to a school that is on the IB program. I don't know if anyone else has experienced/ is experiencing this but it's basically 4 years of high school where you get a score out of 7 for a set variety of subjets. In your last year of it before you are freed into your senior schooling (year 11 and 12 here) you are forced to complete a 'personal project' in order to get a certificate that basically says you managed to keep your eyes open for the past 4 years. 

The only good thing about this project is that you can choose whatever topic you want within reason. Being the musically inclined person I decided to use the topic of music and the mind. As part of the project you need to create a product to show what you researched actually stuck. So I wanted to write and record a song. Now I'm no singer so I asked a few of my friends who had amazing voices if they would want to partake. Thankfully they said yes. After I had written the song I gave them about 2 weeks to learn it with the backing track after instruction of how it should be sung. We then went to one of the singer's music teachers to record the song. That's where I found out that they hadn't practiced the song and the hour lesson was spent trying to memorize the lyrics infront of them.

Skip forward a few weeks to the last weekend before the whole project is due. I have written that I completely finished the product vocals and allwhich I admit wasn't my smartest moment seeing as I was planning to record the vocals on that weekend. So by this time I only have one singer because the other one has prior commitments AKA her job which is fair enough. I was happy at this point to spend a couple of hours with the other friend to get the lyrics down. The morning before the day I was supposed to record I got an email saying that she was bussy all weekend including friday night. Not happy. I was then left to either change my completed essay or sing myself. I chose the latter because apparently I don't like writing all that much. After many hours of frustration and vocal effects on garageband with a bit of autotune thrown in I managed to complete the song to a level where your eyes wouldn't drop off listening to it. I'm also still claiming in my essay that it was my friends singing, to save what little dignity I have left.

I'm usually against autotune, and if this was an important project I would have been pissed at my friend, but I still think I managed to find a good excuse for it this time around.

The end /end rant /wow that's a lot of words  
3:02 am - 1 comments - 2 Kudos
Sunday, July 03, 2011

Maybe I Should Listen to Myself

Current mood: amused

So while diging through some old files on one of my USBs I found this little beauty from a couple of years ago. What an insightful 14 year old I was.

Steps to Success 

1. Form band.
2. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
3. Start a youtube account and put up some covers. Get recognition and take constructive criticism.
4. Write our own songs, record them, put them on youtube, gain constructive criticism. Also use the youtube account to do some vlogging with the band to get in touch with the people who are watching.
5. Book a gig at a local venue, doesn't have to be long or pay well.
6. Get used to performing, writing good songs and create a fan base.
7. Record an EP, sell at gigs, if you have enough money put it on Itunes - announce this on your youtube account and at your gigs.  
8. Set up you own website or Myspace account - direct as much traffic as you can to it by either putting a link to it on your youtube videos or putting it on flyers when advertising gigs. Put up some of your songs and videos, create a blog, put up some info and photos ect.
9. Rehearse, perform, upload, vlog. No particular order, but always, always rehearse. 
10. Put together a press pack and send it off to radio stations or record labels.
11. Put together an album and try to get it into CD store and sell them at your gigs.
12. Don't forget your youtube account, this is where many of your first fans came from, keep uploading videos, vlogs and even covers of other songs.  

1. Write song.
2.Record/film song
3.Post on youtube and wait for feed back.

I thought it was quite useful, but I'm not to sure about the assumed YouTube success, but hey, we'll never know these things unless we try them 
2:46 pm - 4 comments - 2 Kudos
Friday, July 01, 2011

Look into the future (dun dun duuuuun)............

Does anyone one else see little kids and try to match up their personalities or looks with someone they know? (And I really hope that doesn't sound creepy). I recently completed a week of work experience at a local primary school. The class that I was working with were all about 5-6 year olds and I often found myself trying to see what they would be like when they were my age (in high school/ 16ish). There was a handful of kids there that I could see turning out to be like a few of my friends at school simply because they seemed to act similar to them. A few more of them I could see being real jocks and even a couple that I could see spending the rest of their primary school years living in their imaginary world. 

There was one little girl that I even identified with myself. She was the quiet one in the class, always well behaved, just like me at that age. But because she was like that she sort of blended in with everyone so when it came time to answering questions she would either be one of the last to be picked or completely overlooked. It was a bit sad, really because it was clear that she was one of the smartest kids in the class. I also hope that she doesn't get overlooked for the rest of primary school because I still remember really only being noticed by teachers when they were trying to use me as an example to get the rest of the class to shut up and listen. 

Anyway, theres my little story, hopefully some better ones coming and a few more to do with guitary stuff, methinks.  
12:33 pm - 1 comments - 2 Kudos