You are busy, we get it. You have a family. You have a job. You play golf, you travel, or you read every Harry Potter novel in rotation. Whatever has got your time, has got it good. But you just want to learn to play the GUITAR!
So how do you fit your bucket-list item into an already packed schedule? Well, I am here to tell you the top (3) reasons adults love taking GUITAR LESSONS here at the wonderful, LITTLETON SCHOOL OF MUSIC.
1.) We are patient.
Because you are so keen on becoming a wizard on your free time, we know GUITAR LESSONS not the #1 priority in your life. At least not right away. But that's ok! We can't tell you how many times we have heard adult students enrolled say with a heartfelt sigh, "I just didn't have time to practice this week."
Don't worry. You are playing the guitar arguably MORE when you come to PRIVATE LESSONS, right?
So come get on our calendar and take as long as it takes to learn to play your favorite songs. It took patience for us to learn to play the guitar so we get it. We have that patience for you.
2.) Our MUSIC LESSONS are catered to your exact wishes (almost).
You get to order your meals at a restaurant just how you like them. You can program your television and radios just the way you want. Why not have some say in how your GUITAR LESSONS go?
Hold on! We are still experts at teaching MUSIC LESSONS. So we don't leave the direction entirely up to you. But we do have an easy, step-by-step way of getting you to your goals. However, if you don't want to learn the same songs everyone else likes, we will listen. We will teach you those songs instead.
Whatever your flavor in GUITAR LESSONS including ACOUSTIC GUITAR LESSONS, ELECTRIC GUITAR LESSONS, or if you like to alternate...we have the capacity. So let's go "un-plugged" like Eric Clapton. Or let's plug in and wail like Brian May.
3.) You Can Join a Band Here (If You Want)!
It's one thing to play along with your favorite records in your basement. It is another thing entirely to live out your dream in FULL with other learning musicians around your same age and skill.
This is where we help you shine. Check out our Pop and Rock Band Program to learn more about this unique opportunity that few music schools can offer or even try to offer. Also, we have been coaching bands of all ages since 2006. With 12 years of experience, we have seen a LOT of what can happen in a band.
The bottom line is, we help you shine. Whether it's in a band, in GUITAR LESSONS only, or if you want to combine them with other lessons like SINGING LESSONS...we are here for you.
So stop wishing and call us now! Registration is easy and lessons are first-come, first-serve. Click here to: REQUEST INFO. We can't wait to meet you and show you around!
As we approach 2018, we are so grateful for so many things. We are grateful to see the best and highest increase of enrollment in our 11 year history. We are thankful for more and more qualified and patient teachers who are joining our team. Overall, we are just thankful. We were asked recently by a parent to post about our Littleton Voice Lessons more. We heard you loud and clear! But instead of just telling you what we think about our voice classes, we thought we would tell you what others are saying instead.
We Are Patient.
Singing is a very rewarding thing to do. In fact, of all the instruments we teach at Littleton School of Music, Singing Lessons are by far some of the most interactive and engaging. But with all of that, they can also be the most nerve-racking. Students realize early-on that without the aid of another instrument, singing can feel very "vulnerable" or more "risky" to do in front of other people. That's where our patience comes in. A Vocal Student recently told us, "you know what I love about taking Voice Lessons here? The fact that you are patient with me. You let me sing my stuff and don't rush to correct every single note."
We Teach Songs You Want to Sing.
Many of our Voice Teachers have studied in high level institutions and continue to take Private Lessons themselves. They have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. In other words, they know how hard it can be to learn certain styles of music.
Classical Voice Lessons for example are extremely different than pop Vocal Lessons, and nothing like rock or heavy metal Singing Lessons altogether. While our teachers have had to learn these different styles of singing to become the best teachers possible, you don't have to. Come in with your iPod, phone, or "device" and let us hear what you like to sing. Don't have a device? Don't sweat it. We do! Recently a student left her setlist at home but a teacher was ready to use our own wifi connection and devices to pull up the song right away. She said, "I just love that you don't force me to sing songs that I don't want to sing like other teachers I have had."
We Host Several Recitals and Shows Every Year.
Students love singing for us in Music Lessons. They even like to combine their Voice Lessons with Guitar Lessons, Piano Lessons, Bass Lessons, or even Drum Lessons. The point is, they enjoy sharing their passion for music in general. But eventually it becomes time to show others what they've got.
Our students can decide anytime to participate in our recitals and open mics and sing. In these shows, students can sing for a smaller crowd. And for the more ambitious students, they earn their way into our larger rock music showcases like our upcoming Pink Floyd show and sing as a solo act or in a band. How cool is that? We recently registered a Voice Student who was too nervous to even think about singing in front of a crowd. She then bravely signed up for a show at a local coffee shop that we hosted. She was blown away. Afterwards she said to more than one teacher, "I love that you host these shows so my family can come and take pictures and cheer me along!"
There you have it! We are so honored to be serving Littleton, Colorado for more than a decade with fun, patient, and engaging Music Lessons. Give us a call today at (303) 972-7625 or request more info here. We would love to see what style you want to learn. Who knows? Maybe we can help you join a band in our band program, or you can sing as a solo artist at a local show. If you can dream it, we can help!
With Black Friday just a few days away, you may be searching for a new guitar, or keyboard, or just more music gear. If you are, cool! Here are some helpful notes when you step into the local guitar store this Friday specifically to look for a new or used guitar.
Recently I found myself in the market for a new guitar. I’d known for months that I needed a new acoustic guitar. The music I love to play just wasn’t working with what I had. I found that the guitar I had was great for singer/songwriter music, but not optimal for instrumental pieces.
I’d finally talked myself into looking for a new guitar. But when you’re looking for a new instrument, you’ll find yourself playing the game "20 questions" with yourself. Maybe some questions are more technical like “what type of pick-up(s) does the guitar have?” or "what type of wood was used to make it?" But the fun questions can include: “How cool does it look?” or "Is it my favorite color?"
Here are a few things I learned in my most recent endeavor!
What type of music are you playing?
Of course if you’re playing acoustic music, you’re probably not looking for an electric guitar! Each genre of music tends to have their guitar standards. Metal tends to lean towards Jackson or Schecter guitars. Blues and rock players like Gibson and Fender. While Martin and Taylor guitars rule the acoustic sound.
What do your top 3 favorite artists play?
You might find that your favorite "guitar gods" all favor the same type of guitar. That really helps your search! In my case, I found that Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, and Joe Satriani all play Ibanez guitars. Sold! Find out what your favorite artists prefer and that’ll help you find the sound you’re looking for!
Pick up a few guitars
On paper they all look great! Maybe you’ve already got your eyes set on “the guitar”. Play it first! Each guitar has a different neck, weight, bridge. There are so many factors into what makes a guitar feel good and your guitar should feel perfect! Once you think you’ve found the one, don’t be afraid to checking out another guitar or two… just to be sure.
Give it time
If you’re anything like me, you’ll walk into a guitar store and want to buy seven guitars right then and there. I’m always far too eager to add a new guitar to my collection. From this though, I’ve learned- take your time! Don’t rush any decisions. You want to be sure this is the guitar that’s right for you in the way it sounds, looks, and feels.
Keep these tips in mind next time you go check out a new guitar and I’m sure they’ll help narrow it down to the perfect guitar. Once you've picked up the new axe, visit us at Littleton School of Music and we'll help you learn to play to your potential! Come see why we are a great choice for Denver Area Music Lessons in Guitar, Voice, Singing, Drums, Piano, Bass, and more!
We all know that being a musician is a labor of love. There is no magic potion that takes you from barely knowing an A chord to shredding Van Halen in a day. There are no shortcuts! So why am I offering ways to “instantly” get better? Is it even possible to help you play better by reading this article? Why, yes it is.
Playing better doesn’t mean skipping steps. It doesn’t mean going from beginner to advanced in 3 short days. "Better" means using what you have as a musician currently and making it sound the absolute best that you can. These “tricks” can be adapted for any level of musician and work!
Take 2 minutes to warm up to your instrument. Take a moment to get in the game and get ready to perform or practice. You’re not going to play your best the moment you pick up a guitar. Go through an exercise or hit a few chords. Once your hands have warmed up to your instrument you are ready to play better than if you had just grabbed it and started jamming.
Often times we forget about dynamics. You control the volume more than your amplifier does. Generally we start crushing the drum kit or play chords as loud as we can as soon as we start learning to play. But your accent notes can get lost in the loudness. If you want people to hear your chord changes, you can make them louder but also make the other notes quieter. Put yourself in control of the volume and you’ll add so much more to your playing.
No. I am not asking you to play at 1 beat per minute. It’s just a natural tendency to speed up once you’re grooving, especially if you’re with a band. One person speeds up, and everybody else does. Another person speeds up and a song that started at 120bpm is now 150bpm. That sure is a huge difference! Pace yourself and let your songs "breathe"... so to speak. Nobody wants to hear the faster, 3-minute version of Stairway to Heaven.
Play With Emotion
No matter how technically proficient you are, if you’re not feeling the song, you are missing the point! A sad song never sounds better than when you are sad yourself. Be in the moment with your song. Try and learn to feel the emotion the song calls for...and play into that feeling.
Let that last note ring out
Whether you’re just practicing or you’re on stage, let the last note ring out. That last note means you’ve accomplished something! It’s the last note in your scale exercises or the last chord of a song. Let it sing long as a victory! If you end a song too quickly it may be jarring for your audience. Even if you think you let songs ring out, give it another few seconds to sink in.
So from here on, every time you pick up drum sticks or your guitar keep these in mind and you’ll instantly hear a difference. What’s stopping you? Go grab a guitar now and start rocking! And of course we always love to mention that if you are looking for Guitar Lessons and general Music Lessons in Littleton, CO we are a great place to look! Call us today and we can help you secure your spot. (303) 972-7625.
Drummers have a reputation for being… well, just plan wild! It’s no mystery that drummers tend to be the loudest and craziest musician in your group. If you’ve ever jumped behind a kit it may baffle you how one can move all four limbs at different times and make it music. In our Littleton Drum Lessons we see all kinds of amazing things. So before you go buy a drum machine, here are a few things that make drummers so cool!
Got a problem?
Drummers have been scientifically proven to be great problem solvers! After playing various beats, researchers then gave drummers a quiz of 60 questions that required problem-solving skills. The drummers who kept the steadier beats scored higher on the test.
Even in a band of shoe gazers the drummer has to keep their body moving. A touring drummer is shown to exert the same energy as a football player during a game. Any instrument will isolate certain muscle groups, but drummers work out more muscles, as they use more of their body for their instrument. Also, unlike most instruments, drums require you to get that cardio going!
Playing drums can increase your focus and even your memory. Students who have had a hard time focusing in classes have increased performances when introduced to drumming! In many cases, patience with Alzheimer’s that were introduced to drum therapy, have maintained memory and in fact, regained function of their memory.
If your band is one arm short of a Def Leppard cover band, start looking for a drummer! Drum machines don’t have souls or that wild personality to keep your band on your toes. If you’re looking for a rocking drum instructor, come visit us at Littleton School of Music and meet some of our great instructors. You can sign up and start lessons today! Come see why we are such a great option for Denver Area Music Lessons.
Let’s face it- we’re on our phones more than we’re on our instrument. Maybe that’s because you can’t particularly take your drum kit into a classroom, or break out playing the guitar solo to “Free Bird” on the train.
Here are a few handy apps to keep your musical brain running and learning even when you can’t practice your instrument!
Guitar Tuna is the best tuning app for guitars. If you’re new to guitar and don’t know how to use a tuner this is perfect! The first app I’ve known to tell you if your pitch is too high or too low. Once your string is in tune the app will notify you with a little “ping” sound- which is a great audible notification. Guitar Tuna also has a chord library to help any level of musician. Check out multiple voicings of chords from C major to a C7#9!
The best website for looking up charts, and tabs to your favorite songs, on multiple instruments is an app! What makes this app awesome? Guitar is in the name but you can also find drum and bass tablature. Also, the charts you find- you can transpose them to different keys just with a click- how amazing!
Finally, a metronome app I can hear over my drums! With past apps, I could never hear my metronome when playing drums. The clicks on this metronome are very bright so you can hear every beat. The layout of this app makes it simple to adjust your tempo with a tap feature, dial, or typing in your BPM. Adjust your time signature and accent notes too! It’s a great app that’s easy to use.
Music Tutor is like flash cards for sight-reading! Want to get better at reading bass clef? Treble clef? Ledger lines? The range of learning with Music Tutor is fantastic. You can start with just a few notes on treble clef, or challenge yourself to read sharps and flats on any given clef!
Just because you can’t play your instrument every moment of the day like you want to, doesn’t mean you can’t practice. If you have a favorite music app that you like to use- please comment and let us know!
We’re here! It’s the week of Littleton School of Music’s top hits of the 80’s tribute show. All of our groups are excited and ready to take the stage at The Toad Tavern this Saturday. That being said, we like to call this week dress rehearsal. Now, that might make more sense if you’re in a play or music class at school, but what does that mean for musicians and bands in our Rock Band Program?
Dress rehearsals for performers of any kind are key to a successful performance. Musicians included. This is just a run through of how you want your performance to be. And the more attention to detail, the better! So let’s get into some things that help you have a successful dress rehearsal, and even better performance!
Map out what you want to say
Now, you don’t need a word for word script. But in between songs are you going to talk to the audience? Maybe introduce band members, or a new song? It’s important to map out your talking points. You should know what songs you want to talk between, and loosely what you want to say. You don’t need a script but have a game plan. Most importantly say it during dress rehearsal!
Timing your set
Yeah it’s cool that you know these songs. But do you know how long it takes to play all of them? Venues allow performers to perform within a time limit. Sometimes that’s 25 minutes, sometimes it’s one hour! What’s important is you know how long you’re on stage and if your set is too long. We know you’re saving your best song for last. If you don’t time yourself, you might find that you ran out of time and don’t have enough time to share that cool song.
It’s not just practice, it’s a performance
If people wanted to listen to music, they can listen at home. But when you perform they want a show! Stage presence can really bring your music to life. So don’t be shy at dress rehearsal! Give it 100% because that’s how you want to perform!
One more note about performing. I practice in pajamas. True story. I’ll get up in the morning, and just grab my guitar. It’s a great way to start the day! But when I’m on stage, performing, I do not play guitar in my pajamas! Plan what you and your band are going to wear to the show to make an even bigger impact with your performance.
You’re music is solid. Be confident in your musical abilities. That’s the number one part of any show. All the stuff above is second to your music. But you sound amazing! So practice your music, but also practice what it’s like to be on stage so you can make the most of your performance.
We’ll see you at the show!
Do you want to be a part of our Rock Band Classes? Do you want to start with Private Music Lessons and work your way up? Whatever type of lessons you want from Guitar Lessons to Piano Lessons to Singing Lessons, we've got you covered. At Littleton School of Music we love getting your call or you can simply REQUEST INFO and send us your thoughts. We look forward to meeting you soon!
Chances are you’ve met a guitar player who’s said they’re “too good” to play in that band. Or maybe a singer who’s just “too talented” that they prefer to play solo. I remember being new to music and hearing these people talk was daunting. How could I ever learn to be that good? Well, if you’re letting someone else’s ego intimidate you- STOP!
The truth is no musician is too good to play along with another. Jamming with other musicians can only make you better. Let me reiterate- you cannot get worse at music by playing with other people, only better! To encourage you to start finding other musicians, I’m going to share how working alongside others has made me better at my craft.
Check out what else is out there
Ok. As a guitar player I admit, I naturally want to seek out other guitar players. But some of my most innovative playing has come from jamming with other musicians that play different instruments. When you’re working with a drummer you’ll quickly find that rhythm is all that matters. Drums don’t have melody or notes like A-sharp. So the one thing that drums and guitars can do together is rhythm. Once you start listening to music from a different perspective you can add a different texture to your playing. Seek out guitarists, bassists, drummers, mandolins, and banjos. I’ve had the most fun working with a friend that sang and played cello!
Same instrument, different approach
It’s inevitable you’ll want to hang with a friend who plays the same instrument. Find out which of you knows the coolest songs, or the hardest riffs? A bit of healthy competition is great. At the same time, take this opportunity to learn from a fellow drummer or guitarist. You both might know your major scale, but what if you play it different ways? Often times I’ll find myself jamming with a guitarist that has a different taste in music. If you’re a punk guitarist, you might learn something cool from a metalhead!
Teaching and learning
“The student becomes the teacher”. If you’re new to your instrument, you can clearly see the benefit of jamming with other musicians. But maybe you’re starting to get a little better at guitar and you know somebody who just bought his or her first one. Go jam with them! Teaching somebody how to play an E chord is a lot different than just playing it. You have to look at your instrument a different way. And drummers! Try teaching your guitar player a beat. Learning a new instrument, even just the basics, can be challenging and fun. It’s all music and the more you know, the more you can apply on your own craft.
If you want to jam with musicians in the Denver area or Littleton area, Littleton School of Music hosts a Jam night once a month. So if you’d like to start jamming with other musicians, let us know! You can get in touch with us here. If you’re really excited about meeting other musicians why don’t you check out our calendar. We’ve always got fun musical events. You won’t want to miss it!
Is one of them holding the guitar the wrong way? It sure seems like it but in fact, Jimi Hendrix (left side) is famously a left-handed guitar player! It may never have crossed your mind, but guitars and other instruments are massively built for right-handed people. Think about which way the strings have to be put on, or a drum set is set up, or even the way you hold a flute.
Here are some fun facts! Approximately 10% of the population is left-handed. Out of the entire population, roughly 35% of adults play a musical instrument. That means that of all musicians worldwide, everybody you know who picks up an instrument at least once a week, only 3.5% of all musicians are left handed. Wow!
You could say that being left handed is a challenge in the music world. It certainly can have disadvantages, like finding the coolest guitar, but here’s just a small list of famous musicians that are lefties and have made it big.
Jimi Hendrix- Jimi Hendrix experience
Kurt Cobain- Nirvana
Toni Iommi- Black Sabbath
Billy Ray Cyrus
Cameron Liddell- Asking Alexandria
Zacky Vengeance- Avenged Sevenfold
Paul McCartney- The Beatles
Paul Grey- Slipknot
Robbie Merrill- Godsmack
Paul Wilson- Snow Patrol
Nathan Maxwell- Flogging Molly
Phil Collins- Genesis
Dominic Howard- Muse
Joshua Eppard- Coheed and Cambria
Carter Beauford- Dave Matthews Band
Ginger Fish- Marilyn Manson/ Rob Zombie
Just because you can’t find that cool guitar in a left-handed model, don’t be discouraged. There are so many amazing musicians that fit in that 3.5%. Don’t think you can’t take lessons either! If you’re in the Denver area, or Littleton Area, and want to learn to play an instrument, beginners are welcome, and so are lefties! Call us today to set up your first lesson to become the next Jimi Hendrix.
Ok, so we as musicians aren’t really known for our attention span, having the cleanest rooms, or for that matter our organization skills. In fact, here’s a quote I live by- “Creativity is messy and I am very creative.”
That doesn’t mean you should strive to be the messiest person you know! Keeping your music organized can actually make you ten times more effective and efficient as a musician. No more spending 20 minutes looking for that one missing sheet of music! Let’s get organized so you can get rocking quicker!
1.Binders, binders, binders!
If you’ve taken one lesson here with us at Littleton School of Music, or 100 lessons with us,chances are you’ve been told to bring a binder. Because they work! Keep all your music in one easy to find binder or folder. Also be realistic! If your binder has 2,000 sheets of paper in it- maybe it’s time to let go of some of those sheets from 2 years ago. If you still need all 2,000 nuggets of information, don’t be afraid of having two binders.
2.Sections of Knowledge
Music can really be split into 2 easy sections- Songs and theory. Instead of looking through every page of your binder for that one song, keep all your songs in one section. Use dividers to help you find your subjects easier. My guitar binder has the following sections: Scales, exercises, chords, solos, songs.
In my career as a musician and teacher, I’ve learned well over 1,000 songs. Could you imagine trying to remember that many songs? I sure can’t! The best musicians I know have binders dedicated to only charts. Chances are you probably won’t remember how to play every song you’ve ever learned. But that doesn’t mean you can’t play them. The skill is still there- Just listen through the tune while reading the chart and it’ll come back to you. As your repertoire grows, keep charts of your favorite tunes and alphabetically organize them to easily find them later.
Yes we are creative people full of inspiration, but there’s always a method to madness. Don’t let disorganization get the best of you. All work and no play can be dull but I promise you a tiny bit of work keeping everything organized will give you more efficient practice time, band practices, and lets face it- it’ll take away the stress of tearing your room apart looking for one piece of paper. Reach out to Littleton School of Music today and let us help get you on the right track to becoming a more organized, effective musician!
Our weekly blog is brought to you from the creative minds of our staff who are eager to share musical ideas and keep your mind moving in a musical direction.