Music & Creative Arts

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Playing Quintessential Blues on Slide Guitar

Slide guitar may have become a stylistic choice over fretted guitar out of necessity by players who didn't have the skills or patience to fret the guitar and found it easy to slide a smooth, rounded object [more…]

Finding a Screenplay for Your Film

Finding a screenplay is easy — but finding a good one is hard. But if you look carefully, you can find many talented, up-and-coming screenwriters who have good or maybe even great scripts just waiting [more…]

Playing the Blues Guitar: Acoustic Meets Electric

Electric guitars came on the scene only in the late 1930s, and then only to those who could afford them. Thus, the acoustic guitar in blues had a long run, and the style continued even after the advent [more…]

Knowing What to Expect from Your Voice Teacher

A voice lesson is usually a time when you're alone with your voice teacher, so you want to feel comfortable with that person and also feel positive about the work you're doing on your voice. In order to [more…]

Discovering the Blues of John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) is firmly established as one of the true giants of the blues, along with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Howlin' Wolf. Hooker is often called the [more…]

Defining Romanticism in the Arts

Many art historians will tell you that Romanticism slips through your fingers when you try to define it. That's partly because Romantic artists didn't have one style like the Impressionists or Expressionists [more…]

Tuning Your Drumset

Regardless of the size of a drum or what its drum head is made of, the fundamentals of getting a good sound out of a drum are the same. You need to tune your drum to its sweet spot in order for it to sound [more…]

Exploring the Delta Blues

Delta blues also goes by the moniker Mississippi blues, but either term refers to the blues style of playing that came out of the Delta region of Mississippi, the fertile cotton-producing area of the state [more…]

Editing Your Home Recordings

If you're going to get into editing your music in a home recording studio, you need to know a couple of useful skills. These include being able to edit individual notes and phrases, and finding and replacing [more…]

Picking Locations for Your Film

After you've locked down your script — meaning there are no more changes — comb through it and determine where you want to shoot your scenes. Some software programs, like [more…]

Finding the Right Practice Space for Ballet

The right place to practice ballet is a place where you feel comfortable. And in order to feel comfortable, you need two different things — space and privacy. [more…]

Bending an Ear to Atonal Music

Atonality is a condition of music in which the constructs of the music do not "live" within the confines of a particular key signature, scale, or mode. To the uninitiated listener, [more…]

Figuring Out What You Need to Succeed in Acting

If the thought of spending years studying acting, working in bit roles, and getting paid sporadically (if at all) depresses you, then maybe acting isn't for you. On the other hand, if you truly enjoy acting [more…]

The Art of American Realism

Some American artists followed traditions developed in Europe; others preferred homegrown styles. Realism — painting that is grounded in the ordinary and captures day-to-day life — was a natural for pragmatic [more…]

The Rococo Influence in British Art

Although the Rococo movement never got a foothold on British soil, English artists still felt its influence like a fresh breeze from across the English Channel. Without becoming flamboyant, a new, lighter [more…]

Recognizing the Many Faces of Art Forgeries

Art forgeries come in three general categories. One is the straight copy. The straight copy is just that — the forger copies exactly an existing artwork without making changes. The second is called a [more…]

Switching Out Guitar Strings

Playing the guitar can be a sweaty, muscular, gritty activity — if you're doing it correctly, that is. And while your guitar can handle pretty much any abuse you deliver [more…]

Tracing the Rise of Manga's Popularity

Although manga (pronounced MAHN-gah or MANG-ah) may seem like a fairly new art form, humorous and satirical illustrations trace back to 12th-century Japan. Although now understood to mean [more…]

Frédéric Chopin: Polish Piano Virtuoso

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) was a thin, frail virtuoso pianist from Poland (see Figure 1). Chopin ("sho-PANH") single-handedly revolutionized the world of piano music. He changed everybody's idea of what [more…]

Spurring Musical Creativity for Composing

You can't overestimate the value of a good musical imagination. It's the single most powerful source for composing music — if you can tap into it. The imagination is so powerful, in fact, that it was long [more…]

Examining Mozart's Operas

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) lived at the height of the Classical period in music history — a time of elegance, beauty, refinement, and grace. He wrote 22 operas — 10 of them as a teenager. Although [more…]

Bebop's Birth into the Jazz Scene

Bebop jazz was born from the unique difficulties faced by jazz musicians during World War II. Because of limitations on many aspects of the jazz world, the growth of bebop coincided with the breakdown [more…]

Watercolor Painting Paper: Sheets, Blocks, or Pads

When you're buying paper for your watercolor creation, you don't want to skimp on paper quality. Cheap paper can't take the abuse required of watercolor. Good watercolor paper is made of 100 percent cotton [more…]

A Brief History of the Banjo

Modern banjo-playing has historical roots that go back over 150 years to late 19th and early 20th century classic banjo styles, mid-19th century minstrel banjo styles, and even earlier African musical [more…]

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Composers

Despite the incredible variety of styles within the world of classical music, great composers share certain consistent qualities that make their music great. [more…]

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