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Breathing Basics for Singing

Normal breathing involves a shallow inhalation and an even exhalation followed by a pause before it all starts again. But when you sing, breath control means taking your breathing off autopilot. You not [more…]

Determining What You Need for Your Home Recording Studio

Home recording studios can vary tremendously. A home studio can be as simple as a cassette deck and an inexpensive microphone set up in the corner of your bedroom. Of course, you can opt for something [more…]

Beating the Bongos

When someone mentions playing bongos, you probably think of a beatnik poet embellishing his obscure poetry with flourishes on a pair of these little drums. Though this image may seem somewhat ridiculous [more…]

Stringing an Acoustic Guitar

One difference between changing guitar strings on and acoustic versus and electric guitar is that an acoustic uses removable bridge pins to hold the strings in place at the bridge. Bridge pins require [more…]

The Circle of Fifths: A Brief History

In the sixth century B.C., the Greek scholar and philosopher Pythagoras decided to try to make things easier for everyone by standardizing, or at least dissecting, musical tuning. He had already discovered [more…]

Miking the Drumset in Your Home Recording Studio

If you're like most musicians, getting great-sounding drum recordings seems like one of the world's great mysteries. You can hear big, fat drums on great albums, but when you try to record your drums, [more…]

Perfect Piano-Playing Hand Posture

Hand posture and comfort are vitally important while playing the piano or keyboard. Poor hand posture can cause your performance to suffer for two reasons: [more…]

Proper Hand Position for Playing Guitar

Guitars are user-friendly instruments. They fit comfortably into the arms of most humans, and the hand position that comes naturally is pretty much the position from which you should play. In this article [more…]

Exploring the AABA Form in Songwriting

The song form known as AABA was the form of choice in the first half of the 20th century. It's still used today in songwriting, but has fallen off in popularity. However, it's good to know this form because [more…]

Identifying the Fab Four Singing Voices

The four singing voice types are soprano, mezzo, tenor,and bass. Even though these names sound like characters in a mob movie, they're nothing to be afraid of. Under each voice type heading, you discover [more…]

Practicing Your Singing: Getting Started

If you truly want to become a great singer, you must practice using your singing voice. It's okay if you aren't sure what to do when you practice your singing. Knowing where to practice, when to practice [more…]

Guitar Basics: Strumming an Electric Guitar

Strumming means dragging a pick (or the fingers) across the strings of the guitar. You drag the guitar pick in a downward motion (toward the floor) to sound the chords formed by the left hand, but you [more…]

Holding Your Bass Guitar

If you watch other bass players, either live or on television, you may notice an array of different ways to hold a bass guitar. Some definitely look cooler than others, but you may have difficulty playing [more…]

Right-Hand Warm-Ups on Bass Guitar

Just as with any other physical activity, you need to prepare your body for the task of playing bass guitar. Without proper exercise, your hands simply won't be strong enough or coordinated enough to endure [more…]

Perfect Postures for Playing Guitar

You can either sit or stand while playing the guitar, and the position you choose makes virtually no difference to your tone or technique, provided you maintain good guitar-playing posture. Most people [more…]

Cleaning Your Bass Guitar Part by Part

Cleaning your bass guitar is the most basic of maintenance jobs, and the first step is to wash your hands. No, really! The finish on the wood and hardware shows every fingerprint. So the least you should [more…]

Choosing a Resonator or Open-Back Banjo

Five-string banjos can be either resonator banjos or open-back banjos. There isn't a big difference, physically, to the way these two types look, and which type you choose depends largely on your own preferences [more…]

Writing Country Songs Plain and Simple

Country music prides itself on being the heartbeat of the working class. The common messages and plain language ("Write it like you talk it" is a popular saying among country songwriters) of its song lyrics [more…]

Meeting the Many Mixers for Home Recording

One main tool that every home recording studio needs is a sound mixer. For the home recordist, mixers come in several varieties: the analog desk, digital mixer or computer control surface with sliding [more…]

Dissecting a Bass Guitar Groove

Whether it's the blues, rock, reggae, jazz, or R&B, the bass guitar lays the musical foundation on which the rest of the band plays. A good bass guitar groove can make or break a song. But what is a bass [more…]

Tuning Your Guitar to Itself

Relative tuning is so named because you don't need any outside reference to which you tune a guitar. As long as the strings are in tune in a certain relationship with each other, you can create sonorous [more…]

Choosing the Right Notes for a Bass Guitar Groove

The bass guitar is the foundation of any band, so playing a good bass groove can make or break a song. Here are a few guitar-playing guidelines to remember when you're creating a bass groove. [more…]

Understanding the Bass Player's Function in a Band

The bass player has the most crucial role in the band. Everyone in the group depends on the bassist's subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) lead. If the guitarist or saxophonist makes a mistake, hardly [more…]

Coming Up with Concepts for Songs

Songwriting can be a rewarding experience, but there's more to it than just writing down song lyrics as they pop into your head. Before you set your pen to paper to write the words to your song, it's good [more…]

Understanding Concertos in Classical Music

Concerto ("con-CHAIR-toe") started life meaning "concert" in Italian. In today's musical lingo, though, a concerto is a piece of music in which one player [more…]

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