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!
About this BLOG:
Our blog for parents is brought to you from the creative minds of our staff who are also parents and understand how you think. Read here for tips on what kids say, what other parents say, or to learn more about our school and how we can serve you, too.