Reddit reviews: The best music books

We found 14,504 Reddit comments discussing the best music books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 5,352 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about Music:

u/thefryingpan · 20 pointsr/trance


So basically there's gonna be a few things you're gonna need. First and foremost is your DAW. I use and I highly recommend Ableton Live 8. It's powerful and versatile and works both in Mac and Windows. And once you learn the interface, it's pretty easy to get ideas down on the page. Plus it comes with a great set of built-in plugins.


The next thing you'll need is a good pair of studio monitor speakers. This is really important because you're gonna need to listen to the full audio frequency spectrum to get the mixdown of the parts of your track just right. You want studio speakers because they have a flat frequency response, unlike say most crappy desktop speakers. A good starting point is M-Audio. Check out their BX8a or BX5a Deluxe studio monitor lines.


To go along with that, you're probably gonna need a decent audio interface (sound card). I recommend getting a good external firewire or usb card. The company I like and card that I use is from FocusRite. Check out their Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface. You're gonna want a card that has outputs that will work with your studio monitor speakers. Most of them are balanced 1/4" or XLR connections. I recommend getting something with balanced outputs, as this will minimize any noise that might otherwise be created, and will assure you get the best sound out of your speakers.


Next you're gonna want to invest in some decent synthesizers. As a starving college student, I don't have a lot of money to throw around myself, so I only have software synths, but there are some really excellent ones out there. These days, software synths are becoming more and more powerful and give hardware a real run for their money. Most of the soft synths made out there are in either the VST or AU format; these formats are pretty much the standard that basically all modern DAWs like Ableton will be fully compatible with. A couple of the ones I really like are:

Native Instruments Massive

Lennar Digital Sylenth1

U-He Zebra 2.5


reFx Nexus

reFx Vanguard

FAW Circle

Spectrasonics Omnisphere

Spectrasonics Trilian

Arturia Minimoog V

GForce Software Minimonsta

FXpansion - DCAM: Synth Squad

Rob Papen's Virtual Instruments

One thing to realize is that most of these plugins won't run by themselves. You must run them in a host application, like Ableton to work. I find that this confuses beginners sometimes. You just have to make sure you setup whatever DAW you decide to go with, to look at a specific plugin directory, and then make sure you install all your plugins to that folder so your DAW can see them and they can be ready for you to use (not just your soft synths but other plugin units like fx for example).

As you can see, there's a lot of great synths out there, based on different types of synthesis. And for me this is a really fun aspect of trying to make music. I am still learning myself, as there is so much to learn, but I suggest you try some of those synths out, get to know them, and learn synthesis.

Synthesis is a whole monster onto itself, so I also suggest going online and searching for tutorials on youtube to help with that endeavor.


As I briefly mentioned above, synths aren't the only types of plugins you will need in music production. There's other plugins that you will need to use like compressors, filters, equalizers, vocoders, distortion unit, gaters, chorus, and delays and reverb to name a few crucial ones.

There's a whole world out there of these type of plugins, with many great people/companies making some AWESOME plugins. In fact, there are WAY-TOO-MANY to mention here. But alas, to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I will list a few, in no particular order, that you can check out:

Audio Damage

PSP Audioware


Togu Audio Line

u-he's Uhbik


Studio Devil


Camel Audio

Sugar Bytes


Most synths will come with presets. Again, the fun for me is trying to come up with my own patches and sounds, but at first, some of those synths will look like spaceship control consoles. But I promise, once you learn some of the basics of synthesis, most of those synths will have the same basic functions that you will immediately recognize. So when you first start out, go into those presets, and instead of just simply using them in the parts you write, go into the synth, pick some presets that you like, and try to figure out how those patches were made. Play around with the settings and knobs and see how the sound changes. This will help you translate sounds that you might come up in your head, and then translate them "to the page". I could go on forever about synthesis but I've just hit the tip of the iceberg.


So do you have to have a degree in music to make electronic music? While it certainly helps, you don't need to know music theory to start making electronic music. Honestly you just need to have a good ear. Also, you will need patience, and dedication, because it's not going to come overnight. There's a lot of established electronic music producers out there that started out with basically little background in music theory. You just have to stick to it, and learn on the way!

If indeed you know little music theory and you're just starting out, a great book that I suggest you pick up RIGHT NOW if you're at all serious about starting production is Music Theory for Computer Musicians. It's ~$20 on Amazon. FTW!


Now, the next thing that really helps to have around in your studio, is a good midi controller keyboard. Now with most DAW's you'll be able to write midi parts out just by the click of your mouse, but trust me, this isn't really fun. Having a midi keyboard makes your life, a whole lot easier, it's more fun, and you can get parts down faster onto your DAW. You won't need anything too fancy. I suggest looking at the M-Audio Axiom line of keyboard midi controllers. The 49 key ones are nice ;)


Now, some people like to create their own percussion elements. Whether by recording their own sounds, or tweaking the shit out of existing samples they might already have. This can be time consuming, and when you're just starting out, you just want to get ideas down. Since you're starting out, and you said yourself you just wnat to start making the beats you hear in your head, I'd suggest looking into getting some solid percussion sample packs. You're not gonna be at the level of making your own, so you're gonna need a little help when you start out. And many established producers use percussion sample packs which will have many single shot drum samples of kicks, hats, snares, claps, fx. Some packs will have loops, but I generally stay away from them. I suggest using the single shot sounds, and try and create your own loops from scratch. The place I like to go to get some solid packs are


Vengeance Sample Packs


Another good resource is COMPUTER MUSIC Magazine. It comes out every month, from the UK, so go to your nearest chain bookstore, because they're bound to have it. CM has great articles and tips, and reviews on the latest software and hardware that's coming out. They also have great interviews, and it also comes with a CD that comes with a lot of good free and trial software that you'll find useful. There's also usually a video interview from a top DJ/Producer/Electronic Artist which are always really insightful and great resource as you can see the perspectives of music making straight from other artists themselves. For these interviews, they'll usually go explain and show you how they made one of their tracks; like I said, an awesome resource from which you'll get some great tips.


I hope that what I've written you will find useful, and will be a good starting point. If I think of something else, I might yet add it here. And of course like it's been said, you just gotta go in your DAW and FUCK AROUND; that's the only way to get better - through PRACTICE. And go to places like YouTube and search for production videos. You'll find some good tutorials from which you'll learn some good tips, synthesis, and production techniques.

If you stick to it, dedicate yourself, you'll get there in no time. You're gonna find yourself making those beats you hear at night in your head, and turning them into reality.

EDIT: Added Music Theory and Other Plugins section :)

u/RedRedRoad · 24 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Comprehensive List of Books Relating to Music Production and Creative Growth

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On Composition:

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Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies - Dennis DeSantis
Amazon Link
This is a fantastic book. Each page has a general idea on boosting creativity, workflow, and designing sounds and tracks.

Music Theory for Computer Musicians - Michael Hewitt
Amazon Link
Really easy to digest book on music theory, as it applies to your DAW. Each DAW is used in the examples, so it is not limited to a specific program. Highly recommend this for someone starting out with theory to improve their productions.

Secrets of Dance Music Production - David Felton
Amazon Link
This book I recently picked up and so far it's been quite good. It goes over all the different elements of what make's dance music, and get's quite detailed. More geared towards the beginner, but it was engaging nonetheless. It is the best 'EDM specific' production book I have read.

Ocean of Sound - David Troop
Amazon Link

Very well written and interesting book on ambient music. Not only does David go over the technical side and history of ambiance and musical atmospheres, he speaks very poetically about creating these soundscapes and how they relate to our interpersonal emotions.


On Audio Engineering:

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Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio - Mike Senior
Amazon Link
In my opinion, this is the best mixing reference book for both beginners and intermediate producers. Very in-depth book that covers everything from how to set-up for accurate listening to the purpose of each mixing and mastering plug-in. Highly recommended.

Zen and the Art of Mixing - Mixerman
Amazon Link
Very interesting read in that it deals with the why's more than the how's. Mixerman, a professional audio engineer, goes in detail to talk about the mix engineer's mindset, how to approach projects, and how to make critical mixing decisions. Really fun read.

The Mixing Engineer's Handbook - Bobby Owinski
Amazon Link
This is a fantastic companion book to keep around. Not only does Owinski go into great technical detail, he includes interviews from various audio engineers that I personally found very helpful and inspiring.


On the Industry:

<br />

All You Need to Know About the Music Business - Donald S. Passman
Amazon Link
This book is simply a must read for anyone hoping to make a professional career out of music, anyone wanting to start their own record label, or anyone interested in how the industry works. It's a very informative book for any level of producer, and is kept up-to-date with the frequent revisions. Buy it.

Rick Rubin: In the Studio - Jake Brown
Amazon Link
Very interesting read that is a semi-biographical book on Rick Rubin. It is not so personal as it is talking about his life, experiences, and processes. It does get quite technical when referring to the recording process, but there are better books for technical info. This is a fun read on one of the most successful producers in history.

Behind the Glass - Howard Massey
Amazon Link
A collection of interviews from a diverse range of musicians who speak about creativity, workflows, and experiences in the music industry. Really light, easy to digest book.


On Creativity:

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The War of Art - Steven Pressfield
Amazon Link
This is a must-read, in my opinion, for any creative individual. It is a very philosophical book on dealing with our own mental battles as an artist, and how to overcome them. Definitely pick this one up, all of you.

This is Your Brain on Music - Daniel S. Levitin
Amazon Link
A book written by a neurologist on the psychology of music and what makes us attached to it. It's a fairly scientific book but it is a very rewarding read with some great ideas.


On Personal Growth and Development:

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How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
Amazon Link
Although this seems like an odd book for a music producer, personally I think this is one of the most influential books I've ever read. Knowing how to be personable, effectively network, and form relationships is extremely important in our industry. Whether it be meeting and talking to labels, meeting other artists, or getting through to A&amp;R, this book helps with all these areas and I suggest this book to all of you.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
Amazon Link
Similar to the recommendation above, although not directly linked to music, I assure you reading this book will change your views on life. It is a very engaging and practical book, and gets you in the right mindset to be successful in your life and music career. Trust me on this one and give it a read.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Amazon Link
You know the feeling when you're really in the groove of jamming out and all worries tend to slip away for those moments? That is the 'Optimal Experience' according to the author. This book will teach you about that experience, and how to encourage and find it in your work. This is a very challenging, immersive, and enlightening read, which deals with the bigger picture and finding happiness in your work and life. Very inspiring book that puts you in a good mindset when you're doing creative work.

The Art of Work - Jeff Goins
Amazon Link
A very fascinating book that looks at taking your passion (music in our case) and making the most of it. It guides you on how to be successful and turn your passion into your career. Some very interesting sections touching on dealing with failure, disappointment, and criticism, yet listening to your intuition and following your passion. Inspiring and uplifting book to say the least.


Happy reading!

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u/Issac_ClarkeThe6th · 1 pointr/piano

Can’t comment on the Hanon, but I do have a recommendation you may be interested in. I’ve been playing classical for a while, but in the last year decided to take jazz improv on top of it. There are a few things that if you really work at then will show stellar results.

First thing is chord voicing, these are truly your bread and butter as a jazz pianist. If you ever play in a group, then these will give you a great sound with many many options to choose from.

It would take a very long time to write out a bunch of voicings, but here’s an example. For major chords there are two main interchangeable voicings which we’ll simply refer to as A and B voicings..
-A voicing is formed by starting at the root, then moving up a major third, then building a minor 7th chord. For example C root, then E minor 7. If you look at it, you’re really just playing the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th. You can drop the root once you learn minor and dominance chord voicings, but seeing not only the expanded C major chord, as well as the chord writhin a chord (E Minor 7 within the C major 9) is extremely helpful.

-B voicing is a major third up from the root, then a minor 7th chord, finally inverted twice. This will give you another voicing option so you don’t use the same chords over and over. Now for any major chord, you have three options (Root, Rootless A, Rootless B).

There are more chord voicing beyond that, but that brief example should give you an idea of what’s out there. There are A and B voicings for Major, Minor, and Dominant chords, with Dominant chords having many many options.

For now I would recommend learning you major 7th, dominant 7th, and minor 7th chords in all 12 keys. Play the root an octave lower, then with both hands play the given rootless voicing above it. This will give you an excellent foundation to build from.

Next most important thing is Modes and Scales. Each chord has a corresponding scale with notes that will sound great over a particular chord. Again due to the vast array of options, I’ll give you a starting place to go from.
-Major chords can be paired with major scales. Pretty cut and dry.

-Minor chords will be paired with the mode Dorian. Dorian is similar to a minor scale, but instead of being formed with a flating the 3rd, 6th, 7th Of any major scale, it’s formed by flating the 3rd and 7th of any major scale. So D Dorian would be all white keys.

-Dominant chords can be paired either the Mixolydian Mode. Mixolydian is formed by flating the 7th note in a major scale. So G Mixolydian would be all white keys.

Now there are many MANY options just like with chords, but this will give you a very firm place to begin improvising. As an exercise to get you playing the right scales with the right chords, play in your right hand a particular scale up two octaves and a third, while playing in your left hand the corresponding chord every 8 notes. You’ll see it line up perfectly. When you can do that reliably at 80 bpm with you major, minor, and dominant chords/scales, you’ll be in a great places.

Last but not least is basic Roman numerals theory. If you know what Roman numerals sound good going to each other, then you’ll be in a great place to not only improvise, but to even write and improvise your own songs on the fly. Again, there’s a whole lot we could cover, but to give you a taste, we’ll talk about probably the biggest progression in Jazz. The ii-V-I.

If you break it down a ii-V-I is the culmination of what we’ve talked about so far in this post. First, why this progression. Well the V-I is a common pull in music. The dominant is one of the first in the overtime series, and it’s pull to I is extremely strong. Almost if not more in some cases powerful than the pull of a vii-I. That’s cool, but what about the ii? The ii-V is actually a very strong pull in its own right. So ii now leads us into V, which then takes us home to I.

For great examples of this in action listen to Afternoon In Paris, and Take The A-Train.

Now once you have those chords in place from earlier, you can fill in the minor 7th chords for the ii, the dominant 7th chords for the V, and the Major 7th chords for the I. So in the key of C this would look like d minor 7th for ii, g dominant 7 for V, and C major 7 for I. Once you can do a ii-V-I in every key, practice playing the corresponding scales while you ii-V-I. Or you could also add rootless voicings to the ii-V-I by doing ABA voicings (Minor A, Dominant B, Major A), or BAB voicings (Minor B, Dominant A, Major B).

I would highly recommend buying a copy of The Real Book. This is a set of over 150 standard lead sheets for famous and great jazz songs. Both songs I mentioned above are in the book. Take the book, find a song, and break it down using Roman numerals. After a while things will make sense as far as what chords go where, and things will really start to click.

If you’re interested in further reading, I would highly recommend The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine. This book covers many many topics, and will take you far. I like the book a good bit because by any topic, it will show a real excerpt from a jazz standard of a chord used so you can see how what you’re learning is utilized.

I know this is a lot to do, but just pace yourself. You can’t build a house in a day, but if you’re patient and diligent, the world of Jazz Improve is a fun and exciting one. Best of luck, and if you have any questions feel free to comment or shoot me a dm.

u/Yeargdribble · 12 pointsr/piano

Here's my obligatory write up of people in your position.

Beyond that short treatise, I figure I should touch on another thing having to do specifically with something you mentioned.

&gt;Additionally, I do have the discipline to do scales/arpeggios.

This is great, but be careful about the approach. It's easy to get extremely technically focused as you try to "catch up" technically on a secondary instrument, to the point that you become obsessive about the scales themselves rather than their application. These also can feel very comforting and eventually... comfortable.

All to often people make the mistake of focusing on one scale to the detriment of others, say focusing on getting C major from 110 to 120 while there are other keys that are barely at 60. I suspect you know better than that, but the pitfall you're more likely to run into is trying to get all of your scales to a point... and then push that tempo rather than focusing on music.

You really need to read... a lot. You need to work on actual songs even though they will be children's songs and silly crap. At the very outset you likely won't be doing any true sightreading, but you should push to be working on that ASAP.

I think for piano more than most instruments, there's more to be learned by progressive pieces of music than with pure technical work. For monophonic (and mostly monophonic; e.g. bowed strings) instruments, you're mostly covered if you have scales, arpeggios and maybe some advanced sequences. That literally is 95% of music... fragments of scales, arpeggios, and sequences.

With piano, that doesn't even scratch the surface. You'd need to add cadential patterns to that list and those are almost infinite in a way that the rest are not. And that's still not even tackling the real issue... composite rhythm and the coordination issues it causes, especially when complicated by all of the other technical barriers.

Experiencing very small, approachable hurdles like these by working through lots of childish books really helps deal with these issues that are relatively unique to harmonic instruments.

It's easy to get complacent and feel like you're making progress by plopping down to run your scales and arpeggios daily, but I'd recommend strictly limiting the amount of time you allow yourself to spend on these. It's easy to feel like you're making real progress when really you're just mindlessly repeating them. Drills are comfortable for some of us. It sounds like they are for you and they definitely are for me, but we have to be careful not to let them be a means unto themselves.

It's much harder to sit down and really mentally work on simple songs that have small coordination hurdles for you, particularly when they don't feel inherently musically rewarding, especially to those of us who previously had a lot of experience being very virtuostic and musically expressive on our primary instruments. But this is the true path forward.


I like this book for scales. I'd strong encourage you to avoid doing all of the scale variations it has. Simple HT 2 octave in every key should be the goal long before you worry about some of the others and I'd argue that the real value isn't even in any of the variations. You'd get more out of doing single hand 3rds and 6ths than the separated versions which you'll very rarely run into in reality. They are nice coordination parlor trick, but I don't feel like they have a lot of value and like I said, you'll get more practical stuff from working on simple songs in method books than you will bashing your head against some of these. Save them for much later (like years) if at all.

Likewise, I wouldn't agonize over the dom7 arpeggios either. There are much more common and useful patterns found in all sorts of music. However, DO focus very intensely on the cadences and triad arpeggios.

I like this method book overall. I'm not even saying it's the best... it's just one and it works. I'd honestly recommend visiting a used book store and just buying a lot of beginner books of all different series. Focus less on pushing hard toward progression in on series and more on just consuming a huge volume of different music. Or, you might work through this series of Alfred books and then use other such books are sightreading practice once you start getting better.

Get this book for sightreading as a start. It's offensively easy, but it's really where most people should start and I wasted far too much time trying to poorly sightreading much harder stuff for too long because I just didn't realize the collection of small deficits that were tanking my ability to improve despite my fairly solid technical facility.

Read with a focus on keeping your eyes on the page and reading a bar ahead. You obviously know how this works from violin whether you think of it or not, but there's a lot more notes to drink in on piano. You've got to learn to know what your pace is for reading and accurately playing. Carry these concepts over to the children's books that will be more complicated than this particular book.


I will strongly caution you not to try to play hard music. It's such a waste of your time. Lots of people get very good at playing a handful of very hard pieces, but they are based on pure finger memory. These people have no functional skill at piano and can't prepare almost anything new with less than several weeks or months of brute forcing it into their hands.

When you let yourself jump from hard song to hard song, spending weeks or more on each, you'll eventually realize years in that you haven't actually gotten any faster at learning new material. It shouldn't be that way. I'm sure you can sightread (and would be expected to) for tons of gigs on violin. You could probably throw together some fairly advance solo rep in a week or two. Meanwhile, many pianists who've been playing for decades couldn't play an arrangement of some song they heard on the radio in less than a month. It's a sad state of affairs. It's just part of piano culture and many only end up learning maybe 5-10 pieces of new music every year.

Be mindful of the fact that much of your growth as a violinist is due largely to the ensemble experiences you've had... constantly reading tons of new music that's not at the bleeding edge of your ability. You've probably had times where you learned more music in a month that some pianists learn in an entire year, but it has made you a functional player... not someone who has to hide away and practice for 3 months to come back and have your part of the string quartet music learned.

Read! Read a ton and read easy. Your reading skill is the the specific skill that lets you be able to learn new music faster. The better you read the more music you can consume...the more you consume, the more you improve on lots of tiny thing that let you consume even more faster. Unlike almost anything else in music where improvement tapers off, with reading, you just get faster and better at it.

It's definitely a case I make for anyone wanting to make a living (or even side money) playing piano, but honestly, even just for people who want to really enjoy piano as a hobby, putting in the (fairly enormous and painful) upfront investment in good reading is what leads to a point where you can really just sit down and enjoy music.

u/frajen · 6 pointsr/Jazz

When I was younger, the concept of improvisation in music gave me a reason to live. I was 17, I didn't want kids and there was no point to middle-class suburban life. But if I could come home from whatever my job was, even if I hated it, I could sit at my piano and play how I felt... if I could express myself through music, in a way I could never do so in words - then I would be happy.

I wrote about that idea in a college entry essay, and it has never left me, 13 years later I still feel the same way. Granted, I feel a bit more responsible about many things in life, but at the end of the day I still hold on to that belief.

Initially, jazz was the vehicle through which I learned improvisation, so I feel very close to the music, even if I really don't play in a traditional jazz style. Improvisation was the outwards expression of my feelings; before I learned about jazz, I could only read notes on a page to play music, and I was way too shy to talk or even write about how I was truly feeling, let alone share that with other people.

My "life" has essentially revolved around music ever since high school. I've played gigs, gone on tour, recorded/put together an album (doing the artwork, manually putting together the CD jewel cases), taught music theory/composition/performance, organized shows/event calendars, funded bands/projects, ran venues/music spaces, produced music for video games... I work a regular day job nowadays, but my #1 passion is and will always be music, whether I'm performing it or enabling others the opportunity to perform.


I took classical piano lessons as a young kid for ~6 years, then I quit. I had a little bit of technical knowledge and form but I never really "enjoyed" the music I was playing.

I played drums in grade school. While in drumline (marching band), another drummer asked me to play some keyboard parts for his band. Like 3-4 chords during a Pink Floyd song ("Wish You Were Here" actually, you can hear the synth towards the latter part of the song), and some bird chirping sounds. For other songs, I would swing a hockey stick around while wearing a hooded coat (kinda like a grim reaper) while the band played some Black Sabbath covers.

Well it turns out that we won a Battle of the Bands in front of a few hundred high schoolers, got some money, and I had my young ego blown up then, going from unknown nerd to "piano player with the hockey stick" - but at least people knew who I was. I even bought a keyboard so we could gig around town (I still have it, this ridiculous thing, even though the screen doesn't work anymore)

As I practiced with the band, I was introduced to the idea of "soloing" - other classically trained musicians might understand the helpless feeling I had when I was told "just jam over this blues" - I had no idea what I was doing. One of the guitarists in my band told me about the blues scale, a set of 6 notes that I could riff endlessly over and somehow they all sounded great to me.

A year later (and another battle of the bands won), I was invited by the same guitarist to hear one of his friend's dad's jazz trio. I was told his dad, a drummer, had once opened a concert for Parliament. I get to hear this trio, and they are playing Miles Davis' "So What" according to my friend. I'm ask my friend, "How are they playing all that, improvising?" And he says "Yeah"

At this point I'm like, "Well let me jump in there, I know the blues scale!" And my friend is like "Nah dude, you can't do that!"

Later that night he plays me this recording of Thelonious Monk "Epistrophy" and is like "this is jazz, man, you can't just play blues scale over it"

My classical ears heard this song and I thought to myself, "This is some bullshit music. Sounds terrible. This guy sold records? I can do this!"

I went home and realized quickly that I had no idea how to actually play "randomly" - my fingers would not allow me to. I needed some sort of direction, short of just riffing up and down the blues scale.

The internet was starting to become a thing at this point, so I jumped online and looked up how to improvise jazz on a hip new search engine called "Google" (lol). With a little digging and the help of Napster, I ended up finding an mp3 of Keith Jarrett "The Koln Concert Part IIc"

I listened to that shit so many times. How could someone just sit down and PLAY that?

The summer after my senior year, I used two websites (Jazz Improvisation Primer and LearnJazzPiano.com) and Mark Levine's Jazz Piano Book to learn about jazz and how to improvise. I spent 4-5 hours a day going through the book, listening to music from the websites, reading about music theory, and practicing on my parents' upright.

When I went to undergrad, I sold my drum set and brought the keyboard along. Really glad I chose that path.

On campus, I found other jazz musicians and tried to hang out with them whenever I could; even though I wasn't a music student, I lived in a dorm really close to the music department, and my classes were also relatively close. I ended up going to my first jam sessions my freshman year, and while I struggled to keep up (I was literally pushed off a piano bench once), I found a few kind souls who were willing to be patient with me and let me play with them. Many of them are doing great musically/career-wise now, and my heart warms up SO much whenever I think about them

Anyways, I transcribed solos, played off lead sheets, and listened to jazz all the time that year, trying to practice an hour or two every day or at least every other day. The first tune I ever completely transcribed was Cannonball Adderley "Autumn Leaves" and it took at least half a year, I probably spent a month alone on the first 4 bars of Cannonball's solo

I don't know exactly when it happened, but my girlfriend at the time was really into Prince/Michael Jackson and the summer of my junior year, during an internship in California, I somehow found myself watching the Britney Spears' "Toxic" music video and figuring out how to play it on piano. Sure it was "pop crap" but something about the little string riff caught my attention. That summer I started learning a ton of radio songs and I realized that I could use my jazz transcribing skills to learn almost any rock/pop tune, since the basic harmonies/melodies were generally much simpler than dealing with something like the changes to Coltrane's "Moment's Notice".

I filled up ~200 notebook pages of chord changes and reharmonziations of pop/rock/musical/video game songs I had grown up with, thinking to myself, "Isn't this what all those bebop heads did in the 40s? Take their favorite childhood tunes and turn them inside out?" Around this time, I started playing solo piano gigs, quoting these familiar tunes occasionally, enough to grab an audience, but keeping the whole "cool jazz" feel to them.

When I came back to school I started playing around town a lot, and by the end of undergrad, I finally felt like I could sit down and just play how I felt. I can't pinpoint exactly when this happened, but it was a big turning point in my musical life. I had a friend record me at the on-campus music studios, which became my first album. I decided that I would go "on tour" around the country, playing at venues in college towns/big cities, partly to prove to myself that I could make it as a musician, partly because road trips!!!!!

I could write a book about those 4 months but basically at the end of it all, I had played in ~50 cities, smoked a ton of weed, realized I could "keep up" w/some of the best jazz musicians (playing in New Orleans, LA, and NYC for a week each), and was broke as shit. The money thing scared me. I grew up what I considered to be middle class, but I couldn't stomach having $20 in my bank account with no paycheck in sight. As a musician, playing jazz, I realized how difficult it would be to live comfortably.

At the same time, I knew where I wanted to settle down. I moved 2000 miles, took a corporate day job near San Francisco, and was incredibly lucky to find relatively affordable housing out here (prices were high a decade ago but not as bad as they are now, I think).

Most "new" stuff in my life from that point on (in terms of music) didn't really specifically deal with jazz, although I did play a lot of jazz gigs both solo and with a quartet (clarinet+rhythm section) over the next few years. Got into lots of other kinds of music, started DJing a bit, saved up money from my day job to find other musicians gigs/avenues to play, eventually got into electronic dance music, raves, music production, but anyways. There's a somewhat related post about that here

I stream improvisational piano on Twitch occasionally, and there are definitely touches of jazz, although I would never compare myself favorably to anyone who practices and studies jazz consistently. Over the last 5-6 years, not playing with other jazz musicians has kind of dulled my chops, plus I don't really practice that way anymore anyways... but I'm quite OK with that. I still love sitting down and just playing how I feel, and it's kind of cool in this modern age that people all around the world can listen and enjoy it if they want - good for the ego heh ; )

Music is fucking great. Keep listening, keep playing : )

u/Enrico_Cadilac_Jr · 4 pointsr/drums

Very basic beginner tips:
You're spot on with picking up sticks and a pad first (I should also mention a metronome because drumming is ALL about keeping time, but this is bare basics so for the sake of my bad typing skills and your wallet I'm going to omit it, but know this HAS TO BE YOUR NEXT PURCHASE (also there's dozens of free metronome apps FYI)).

This is all you will need to begin drumming and it shouldn't cost you more than $30. As far as for what kinds/brands, just buy two matching sticks that feel comfortable in your hands and a pad that's 'bouncy'. (Don't worry about wood types or tips for the drum sticks yet, you're still a far ways away from that being a concern)

Now that you have sticks and a pad, the next move is to learn how to hold them. This is going to be hard without any visuals, so bear with me here lol. Hold your right hand forward as if you were to accept a handshake. With your left hand, place the stick in the center your palm so that the blunt end of the stick is facing the ground. Now close your fingers around it to create a fist. Adjust the height of the stick in your fist so that only 1 inch of the blunt end is protruding(sp?) from the bottom of your fist. At this point, it should seem like your holding the drum stick the same way that you might hold a hammer; you're close but there's two more VERY IMPORTANT steps. Next, adjust your thumb so that it rests on the shaft of the stick. (Imagine that with your fist you're trying to now give someone a thumbs-up and that your stick is just a big extension of that thumbs-up, that what this should all look like) Finally, while maintaining this hand position, turn your wrist 90 degrees so that your palm and stick are both facing the ground.
Now repeat with your left hand.

If done correctly, you should be making a 'V' shape with your sticks. As well, if done correctly, you should be able to hold both stick with only your thumb and fore-finger. (Just to cover all bases, your middle, ring and pinky fingers are simply there for minor support, most grip strength and stick control comes from finding the fulcrum (or balancing sweet spot) of the stick and pinching it with your thumb and fore finger)

Confused yet? Good! Just a few more things and I'll feel like I'm really doing you justice here lol:

Just start off at first by trying to get your sticks to hit the pad and bounce back at you. Don't 'bury' them into the pad; make them work for you, not against you. Don't worry about speed, intensity or consistency just yet, it will all come in time.
Obviously, alternate your hands. You'll find that you have a dominant hand (99.99% chance it's your writing hand) but don't forget that, unless you plan on starting a Def Lepard cover band, your going to need both hands, so give them both the appropriate amounts of attention they deserve!

Once you got both hands hitting with equal confidence, just go back and forth with your right and left hand and try to focus on making them both sound, look, and feel as even as possible.

New drummer LPT's:
-Buy a metronome ASAP.
-Forget about speed, it WILL come naturally.
-Buy, download, torrent, steal, GET this book and go through it. It is the golden standard for pre-drumkit drumming. If you master this book, you have mastered the concept of drumming.
-Hold off on a drumkit. They're big and expensive; you'll really want to make sure that you REALLY want to commit to drumming first.
-Finally, YOUTUBE will teach you all this and more for FREE!

Good luck, sorry for the novel but I really hope this helps.

Sources: drumming 12 years, currently professional touring drummer, tried to teach a friend how-to a while ago and he's... not terrible :P

u/SocialIssuesAhoy · 9 pointsr/piano

Hey there! :)

Your question is a VERY difficult one to answer, as it depends on a lot of variables concerning both yourself and the route you decide to take. However, the EASY answer is to say that you cannot achieve a masterful level of proficiency at the piano on your own. This does not hold true 100% of the time, but MOST of the time it's true.

That being said, you can certainly learn a lot on your own before being held back by your lack of a teacher. It will probably go slower, and take longer, and most importantly you won't know for sure if you're doing things correctly or not (this is the biggest thing) and also you won't have someone to ask questions. But it's of course better than nothing and I would never discourage you from it if it's your only option right now!

When I say that you can't know if you're doing things correctly or not, that really is a huge thing. That feedback which a teacher can provide is essential to knowing that you're learning things right. Teachers also can teach you things that will just be glossed over/skipped otherwise, they can guide you to various things that you'd never think of, and they can tailor your lesson plan to you and adjust it as needed.

Here's what you CAN do, right now:

  1. Try learning songs by ear. Don't bother with anything except the melody, playing it with the right hand. Pop songs that you like are going to be the best place to start. This may be hard to do for awhile and will require persistence before you can pick up on it but it's a good skill to have. It's ear training :).
  2. If you go on youtube, you can find all sorts of tutorials for songs. This will not teach you proper technique, nor will it teach you how to learn songs "in the real world", meaning sheet music, which is the preferred way to distribute music and learn it and preserve it. However, it will give you a way of learning songs which you like (again, pop songs are usually best) and it'll start working on your finger dexterity.

    The most important thing though, is that you need a lesson plan. Since you don't have a teacher to give you one, you need something to replace that. My suggestion would be to look up the Alfred's adult beginner lesson book. Click here for an amazon link to see it! You can just order it online, or find a local music store and look for it/ask for help finding it. Personally I shop at Evolas, I think they may be fairly local though (I'm in Michigan). A piano lesson book provides structured learning and will cover things that you need to know in an ordered way. Lesson books are not perfect; they don't take the time to explain things in TOO much detail because you're supposed to have a teacher going through it with you, and explaining things themselves. However they DO have some explanation of every lesson, and once you know what you're SUPPOSED to be learning about, you can always turn to google for more information about it.

    The lesson book is my single huge recommendation to you. It's probably your best bet. It's by no means perfect, but I don't know what you can do better. You will have to pace yourself; do your best to make sure you understand a concept completely and learn the associated song well before progressing to the next lesson. Again, this will be difficult without a teacher but it's doable!

    My source for all of this is that I've been playing piano for twelve years, and have been teaching for the past 3-4. I'm generally an observant, thoughtful person and this is the sort of thing that runs through my mind :). I would like to close by making you an offer... I will still maintain that you cannot do better than to get an actual teacher and take regular lessons. HOWEVER! Should you choose to seriously pursue this to the extent possible, I would like to help you as much as I can! So at ANY point, if you have ANY question whatsoever, you are free to PM me, and I will do my best to answer! I will teach you things that you're confused about or want to know more about, or anything at all that you can think of. So I'll essentially offer myself as a teacher over the internet. It's very limiting, but it may help you to have someone who you can ask those questions that hopefully you'll have :).

    Good luck, whatever happens!
u/StrettoByStarlight · 6 pointsr/piano

I was in the same boat as you a few years ago, I played classical my entire life then started to pick up some jazz when I entered college. This is super useful, as it has really helped my playing overall and now I can make a decent amount of money playing around town because i have diversified my skillset. As a classical player I can understand where you are coming from when you say you want to learn scales. I was definitely the same way when I started, very obsessive with the theory and involved in jazz, and I think that if you have been training your brain to approach the piano a certain way your whole life, you shouldn't try to change it now. I agree with OnaZ on his book choices, and you should start picking up your modes, but don't worry about them a whole lot, they are not the end-all-be-all of jazz music. Modes are just a tool you can use to achieve a desired sound or color. If you understand the way you find modes (different configurations of a major scale) then you don't need to spend hours and hours drilling them into your head. I think you'll find that once you start playing jazz and picking up tunes, etc, the modes and bebop scales will kind of fall into place.

More than anything, I suggest you find a teacher! And a good one! One that plays jazz primarily. I would suggest contacting a university nearby and see if you can get connected with some people in your area for lessons.

So! If I had to go back in time and give myself some advice to how to really pick up jazz it would probably go something like this:

  1. Listen to Jazz:

    Only recently has jazz become something that you can learn in a school/university. Throughout the majority of jazz history, jazz was learned by people listening to jazz musicians. It is, more than anything, aural tradition. Find jazz that you enjoy, not just stuff that people say you should like (although you are going to have to listen and learn to appreciate some albums you may not care for). Definitely check out An Introduction to Jazz Piano (Although it leaves out my main man Red Garland:( )

  2. Transcribe:

    Start picking up licks and riffs from your favorite players. Just steal them. The first step to becoming a good jazz musician is emulation. You don't have to transcribe whole solos (although this is ideal) you can just grab parts of them and learn some riffs here and there. Blatantly rip off the greats and start building up a bag of tricks. If you are already a little comfortable with some blues scales, I would highly suggest maybe doing a few transcriptions of Horace Silver. He is a great guy to start on and his timing/feel is impeccable. He plays a lot of blues that you check out on youtube or grooveshark.

    Listening and transcribing are going to probably be the most helpful, I find that a lot of players (especially guys coming out of classical into jazz) have more trouble with the rhythm and timing of jazz, and not the scales or notes. Honestly, I like to make the argument that rhythm is superior to harmony/melody in jazz (but that's just my opinion). The Jazz Theory Book is a great place to start. I would definitely recommend picking that up, although it is cheaper than a teacher, it definitely will not replace a good one!

    Wow, that is a pretty intimidating wall of text (sorry about that)! I tried to edit it down as much as possible, I could talk about this stuff all day. Although jazz can seem very intimidating at times, don't get frustrated! Your classical chops will really help you out. I really hope you find this music to your liking, I think it is the best stuff around. Good luck!!
u/[deleted] · 8 pointsr/synthesizers
  1. Accept the fact that if you want to be any good at making electronic music it will take a lot of practice, and studying. You will have to work in order to make anything of it, otherwise your music will be nothing more than a passing curiosity to friends and acquaintances, which isn't a bad thing but should give you an idea of what you actually want from your interest and what you're willing to put in.

  2. Protect your ears. They're your greatest asset. Buy earplugs, carry them with you wherever you go, and wear them when you're in a situation involving loud noise.

  3. Learn to play a musical instrument. It doesn't matter which one, although piano is popular because synthesizers are often available in a keyboard-package, but note there are synthesizers available in wind (blown) and string (plucked) instrument packages as well. Gaining a skill in playing an instrument will greatly assist you in developing a foundation for creating music.

  4. Learn about VST's.

  5. Investigate the available audio trackers and digital audio workstations in order to choose which you would prefer to make music with. Do not attempt to learn multiple programs at once, but rather master the use of one program at a time, and then branch out to other programs as needed in order to use them with one another. It's perfectly reasonable to begin with free software and move on to commercial software at a later time, and a great deal of free software is capable of professional results. Personally I would suggest you start with either MusE or Psycle, but whatever you choose be sure to take the time to read the manual.

  6. Check out Synthesizers.com, a manufacturer of modular synthesizers. Do not start by buying a product from this website, as you'll need a fair bit of experience and money before you can invest in to a modular synthesizer. The product page for each module available for sale on this website however has a section for "usage and patch tips" which can give you a really good idea about each of the individual features commonly (and not so commonly) found on a synthesizer, how to use them, and what they're good for.

  7. Read all of the Synth Secrets articles from SOS magazine freely available on their website. The articles are listed, from top to bottom, from the newest to oldest, so you should start with the first article at the bottom of this page and work your way up. You may tempted to skip articles, or start with the last, but as each article builds upon the previous article you'll get the most out of them by following them in the order they were released.

  8. Check out Lypur's YouTube channel. It's got several videos concerning music theory. I realize that the videos focus on classical music theory, but electronic music isn't just about sound design, but the instrumentation as well. An underlying knowledge of music theory will greatly increase your ability to execute ideas and communicate them to others. You can expand upon your music theory knowledge even further by following this online course.

  9. Read Rick Snowman's Dance Music Manual. While this book doesn't cover music theory, it does cover general techniques, broken down by various electronic genres. I’ve read this book and it is highly recommended.

  10. Read The S.M.A.R.T. Guide to Mixing And Mastering Audio Recordings. You won't need to read this book until you've started to really put together songs, but when you have it will clearly illustrate to you how to mix your music, so that instruments sit well together in a song, and to master a recording so that it's ready to be released publically.
u/thebaysix · 6 pointsr/drums
  1. Depending on where you live, you might be able to get through the early stages of your drumming life without a kit (acoustic or otherwise) at all. Try and see if there is any place near you where you can rent a kit for an hour. If you live in a moderately-sized city this shouldn't be hard.

    If you can find a place, this is a great option because it is a low cost, low risk (like you said, what if you learn drums aren't for you and lose motivation - you don't want to be stuck with a bunch of expensive drum stuff) way to play on a decent kit. This is what I did for a long time before buying my first kit.

    If you can't find a place or if you're insistent on buying you're own, I would look for a cheap used starter kit (high hats, snare drum, bass drum, maybe one tom, and a cymbal - should be able to get a decent kit for &lt;$200) on craigslist or your local music store. I would not recommend a new kit, those will be significantly more expensive and you won't really even know what you're looking for in a kit anyway. I'm not personally a fan of electronic kits, but if you want to, try one out at a music store and if you'd like to learn drums that way, by all means do so.

  2. Rudiments! Rudiments! Rudiments!. The links on the sidebar should help you out too. Also, there are a few big books that all drummers have practiced with, the most important of which is probably Stick Control. There are other ones too but get this. Practice with it. It won't be the most exciting thing you do at your kit, but it will make you a lot, lot better. Trust me. (You don't actually need a kit to practice, buy a practice pad!)

    Even with all this, I would still recommend that you get a couple of lessons. Even if it's just 1 or 2 lessons, it will really help you a lot to have someone to help you get started. The first time you sit down at the kit will be the hardest, and having someone to talk to and converse with will do wonders. If you can't get lessons, it will be harder but certainly not impossible. Remember that it's only going to get easier as you play more, so don't get discouraged.

  3. Sometimes it can get really frustrating, I'm not going to lie. Sometimes your brain tells your hands or feet to do something and for some unknown reason, your limbs don't comply. This happens a lot at the beginning and you will get better as long as you practice, even if it doesn't feel like you're getting better. Honestly, all those rudiments and books I mentioned above are great, and will help you get good fast, but for God's sake just sit down and play. Play to a song you like, play random noises, improvise, try to compose a song. Whatever. Just play. If drumming is for you you should be having fun by now. You should never get too frustrated because you should be having a lot of fun while playing. So that's that.
u/Xnense · 2 pointsr/piano

I live on the pacific coast so I can’t help with the teacher part but I have just started jazz piano about a six months ago after playing piano for a year, I feel that you should first familiarize yourself with piano in any way you can before moving into jazz and paying for lessons, once you’re experienced you should buy the sixth edition of the real book and learn how to read jazz standards. These are songs that are in the book (400+ songs) are classics that pretty much all experienced jazz musicians can pick up on and can play along to. It’ll only have the melody on the chords to go along with it, you should learn the melody and play it the way you feel is best and play around with it and then harmonize it with the chords. Once you get familiar with this you should try your best to solo over it along with the chords, you might sound like ass but you’ll have to practice to get an ear for soloing, eventually you’ll get better and pick up and learn techniques. One of my favorite jazz pianist YouTubers made a great video that gives a list of some of the easier jazz standards that are mostly in the real book, they are great for gaining a foundation in jazz. It’s important that you know how to play all types of chords to best play jazz standards, if you’re interested message me and I’ll send you directions for a good exercise for this. Lastly when learning jazz standards it’s best to listen to the song and the chord changes a lot first to get a feel for the song, learning the vocals also helps with expression. Once you get a foothold for all of these basics then you should look for a teacher, I suggest taking a few months before that.

u/Edgar_Allan_Rich · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

I'm assuming this is a be-all, do-all type of room that includes tracking and mixing. I'm going to give pointers based on a "perfect world" scenario. It's up to you to make the necessary compromises.

  1. Your monitor position is not great for mixing or tracking; for a few reasons. You got the angles right for the ideal sweet spot, but the monitors are close to the front wall boundary. The ideal placement is somewhere around a third of the room length away from the nearest boundary (9' room length = monitors at ~3' from front wall). Setting monitors on top of a desk is also not ideal because desks will most likely move with the speakers, thus effecting bass response. Desks also cause bad early reflections, and monitors on a two-tier desk will be sitting approximately half way between the floor and ceiling (thus breaking our 2/3 rule again). My suggestion would be to mount the speakers on heavy duty brackets screwed directly into the wall studs 2/3 of the way up the wall above you, pointed down. You will be able to get a wider sound field without sacrificing floor space due to the geometry, avoid reflections, and get better bass response because they will be coupled to the highest amount of mass possible (wall studs + slab). This was my personal solution at home and I have pristine stereo imaging and excellent bass response as a result. This obviously isn't an easy option for most consumer monitors though because not all of them have mounts. The alternative option (although pretty weak) is to at least use Auralex Mopads between the monitors and the desk to keep the two from coupling. I've used them and you will hear an immediate difference. Acoustics are all about mass, and you either want as much mass as possible keeping monitors still or as little as possible to let them move. Two schools of thought, both of which have applications, but setting them right on top of a wooden desk is the worst of both worlds.

  2. It looks like you have bass traps in the corners, which is good. Ideally these should be 4" thick Owens corning 705 or a mineral wool of similar density. Yes, you can stack two 2" thick sheets together to get the same result as long as you don't use the stuff with the aluminum on the outside. 705 is better than 703 for bass traps because of the density. 703 is good for mid frequencies, so you can save a buck and get some of that for the door panels, but I'd go with 705 anyway because bass will go through the panel and then through the door (assuming it's a lightweight interior door) into the hall, acting as another bass trap. Do not pack pink stuff behind the corner panels. It's not worth it and it kills some of the bass trapping.

  3. The panel above the piano will not be doing much. A more effective placement for that panel would be to use 4" of 705 mounted parallel to the wall but with air space of 2+ inches between them. This will trap lows down to ~50 or 60hz, mids, and highs. Mounting the panels directly against the wall will not allow them to absorb low end. The airspace is necessary to stretch down to deep low absorption. Mount as many of these types of panel as possible in this sized room for the flattest bass response. Expect to have some pretty bad modes below 80hz without more bass trapping. Ideally you'd cover as much wall and corner as possible.

  4. Lots of insulation around a room will make it sound pretty dead in the highs, which make be to your liking. you may be happier though by taping crate paper or grocery bags to the faces of your wall panels. This will reflect the highest highs, keeping the room sounding a bit less claustrophobic. It's cheap and effective.

  5. I don't see any ceilling treatment or mention of ceiling height. I'd install (at the very least) a 4" thick cloud above the drum kit and above mix position to kill early reflections. Ideally you would cover the upper corners where the ceiling meets the wall with 4" bass traps as well. This will greatly improve clarity. You can never have enough bass trapping in a room.

  6. If that's a closet next to the drums, I'd fill it with bales of pink stuff as an additional bass trap (yes, just leave them packaged and stack them up).

    If you're interested in where I got my information, I basically just followed any advice I could find from Ethan Winer, but a lot of it didn't make sense until I built my studio and ran some of my own calculations using this porous absorber calculator. I found it very interesting that a really thick layer of the pink insulation works way better than the dense fiberglass stuff at controlling low end for cheap. The reason people like the dense stuff so much is simply because it saves space, but it's actually pretty ineffective compared to say, 8" of pink stuff.

    If you plan on mixing in this room I would highly suggest the books Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio and Home Recording Studio: Build It Like the Pros, as they both go over small, existing room treatments in great detail.

    Good luck with your room.

    Quick edit: Don't be tempted to put your monitors on their sides just to look cool. If they have tweeters then they should be standing upright to give the best imaging.
u/adrianmonk · 2 pointsr/audio

OK, the negative numbers thing is confusing at first, but there's a reason behind it. This will be easier if you understand logarithms, but hopefully it will make sense even if you don't.

Basically, an equalizer works by splitting the sound into different frequency bands, then passing each band through an adjustable amplifier.

An amplifier's job is to take a sound and make it louder. Well, really it's dealing with electricity, so it takes an input voltage and makes a higher output voltage. For example, using numbers I just made up, suppose the input is 0.02 volts and the output is 2 volts. It's basically multiplying the voltage by 100. If the output were 0.2 volts, it would be multiplying it by 10 instead of 100. So you've got ratios of 10 or 100 or whatever else.

In the audio world, logarithms are used when talking about these ratios. This is partially for convenience (the ratios can get really big), but it's also because it corresponds more closely to the way the ear perceives sound.

Continuing the example from above, the base-10 logarithm of 10 is 1, and the base-20 logarithm of 100 is 2.

Actually, I sort of lied. In audio, decibels (symbol: dB) are used. A decibel is simply a way of writing a ratio. It's the same as a base-10 logarithm, except then it's multiplied by 10. (Hence the "deci-" prefix.) So in the example above, the amplifier whose output is 10 times its input is increasing it by 10 decibels. Because 10 decibels means "a ratio whose base-10 logarithm is 1". The amplifier whose output is 100 times its input is increasing the voltage by 20 decibels, because 20 decibels means "a ratio whose base-10 logarithm is 2".

To summarize what we have so far:

input voltage | output voltage | ratio | base-10 logarithm of ratio | decibels
0.02V | 0.2V | 10 | 1 | +10 dB
0.02V | 2V | 100 | 2 | +20 dB

But not only can amplifiers (and equalizers) multiply voltages and make them bigger, they can also make them smaller. That is, they can cut the volume level instead of increasing it. This corresponds to a fractional ratio, like 1/10 or 1/100 instead of 10 or 100. And when you take the logarithm of a fraction, you get a negative number. So let's extend the table a bit:

input voltage | output voltage | ratio | base-10 logarithm of ratio | decibels
0.02V | 0.0002V | 1/100 | -2 | -20 dB
0.02V | 0.002V | 1/10 | -1 | -10 dB
0.02V | 0.2V | 10 | 1 | +10 dB
0.02V | 2V | 100 | 2 | +20 dB

You may have noticed that this table could use another row right in the middle. If an amplifier can either increase or decrease voltage compared to its input, can't it keep the voltage exactly the same? Yes, it can, and this is called unity gain. Updating the table:

input voltage | output voltage | ratio | base-10 logarithm of ratio | decibels
0.02V | 0.0002V | 1/100 | -2 | -20 dB
0.02V | 0.002V | 1/10 | -1 | -10 dB
0.02V | 0.02V | 1 | 0 | 0 dB
0.02V | 0.2V | 10 | 1 | +10 dB
0.02V | 2V | 100 | 2 | +20 dB

So that's what the numbers on the equalizer knob mean:

  • -15 dB (all the way counterclockwise) means you are multiplying the voltage by about 0.0316, because log(0.0316) = -1.5, and 10 * -1.5 = -15 dB.
  • 0 dB (pointing straight up at 12 o'clock) means you are keeping the voltage unchanged, i.e. multiplying it by 1, because log(1) = 0, and 10 * 0 = 0 dB.
  • +15 dB (all the way clockwise) means you are multiplying the voltage by about 31.6, because log(31.6) = 1.5, and 10 * 1.5 = +15 dB.

    More or less, a practical implication of this is that a good starting point is to have all the equalizer gain knobs (the blue ones marked -15, 0, and 15) set to 0. That's the neutral position where they are neither increasing nor decreasing their frequency band.

    If you look elsewhere on the mixer, you will see these dB ratios show up several other places. For example, up at the top where the mics plug in, you will see a GAIN knob that goes from 20 to 60. That means the voltage from the microphone is being amplified anywhere from 20 dB up to 60 dB, depending on where the knob is set, so it is being multiplied by something between 100 and 1,000,000.

    You'll also see the dB indicated on the main fader at the bottom of the channel strip. You'll see that the 0 dB point is near the top, which means when you have the fader close to the top, you are passing through the signal without changing its level, and if you have the fader all the way at the very top, you're boosting it by relatively little.

    And you will see that the LED lights in the channel's meter are marked in dB as well, with 0 dB and +6 dB.

    Anyway, (finally) back to practical issues and trying to actually answer your question. My suggestion was you could try boosting up to 5 dB at around 2-5 kHz. To do this, you'd basically do something like:

  • Set the MF1 frequency knob (green) to 3kHz (pointing straight up).
  • Set the MF1 gain knob (blue) to 0 dB (pointing straight up), then turn it 1 or 2 notches to the right. The first notch would be +3 dB and the second +6 dB.
  • Now you will have a little bit of boost around 3kHz, but that may not be the best frequency. So try moving the frequency knob around in a range from about 2 notches to the left to 2 notches to the right. This will change where the boost is, and you may find that a certain frequency works better with a particular person's voice.
  • Sometimes, once you've found the frequency you really wanted, you don't need to boost (or cut) as much, so you might move the gain knob part of the way back toward 0 dB.

    Of course, this idea might not help. It's kind of a case-by-case thing.

    Sorry that was so long!

    By the way, a really good resource, if you're in the mood for something book length, is the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. It's chock full of useful practical and theoretical information. Of course, mixing sound is a bit of an art and takes practice, so no book is a shortcut to perfection, but it does help.
u/AesonClark · 8 pointsr/audioengineering

I don't have much experience with Garage Band, but also do not frequently hear much about its use amongst solid engineers. My first suggestion is to download another DAW before you put too much time into learning ones ins and outs, keyboard shortcuts, etc.

A solid option if you are of humble beginnings is to go with Reaper. They give you an unrestricted demo version on their website. When you inevitably love it and get the hang of it and get your paycheck do go back and pay them for their hard work making it.

Next I'd say learn to download plug-ins. There are many free options online that sound fantastic compared to even paid ones just a few years back. Browse this sub and others, and by all means I always advocate Sound on Sound because man have they got the slew of articles.

Just use the googs. Find some sites you like and learn, learn, learn. Finally when you're speaking of "prepping for release" I would say don't try to learn mixing purely on your own.

Go find someone who is willing to talk about their mixing theory and talk to them about how they go about it. Even if it's just someone from Reddit in a Skype session there are people who have done it and who do it and they're usually willing to talk. That way your questions can get some answers and you get better faster. However, if you're taking their advice make sure you hear their stuff and know you like how it sounds.

Finally, if you're pretty sure you've got the mix and want to release a few songs in an EP or good gracious even a CD (ahh!) then have a mastering engineer get their hands on it. That's how it goes. They don't have to be the $2000 a day kind of guy but someone who identifies as a mastering engineer who you research and read good things about will be helpful. Always always always listen to someone's work before having them do a service you're signed up to pay for. If they do it and you don't like it you still owe them money.

In the way of direct answers:
Q: What is the common practice to EQ'ing everything?
A: Start with subtractive EQ (cuts instead of boosts) and cut out spots that overlap on two instruments so that one shines bright and the other shimmers in the background. You want to cut out all of the sounds with EQ so they fit together like a nice little puzzle. When two instruments are competing too closely maybe shift the octave on one. (Yes, when you're the artist it pays to be thinking of EQ blends as early as the songwriting and even brainstorming process.)

Q: What sort of compression should be looked at for all the instruments?
A: It shouldn't. If you don't understand compression you will not make it sound good by flipping on compressors on everything. Tweak tweak and tweak anything and everything and go online once again and learn the compression. In the meantime put your vocals in a 2.5:1 ratio with a fast attack and medium release and barely use the compression as need and leave the rest alone. Let that mixing engineer we talked about do the compression, and ask again what their theory or ideas when setting compression are.

Q: other general 'effects' and alterations that should be made
A: Use those plug-ins we talked about. Also in the way of phasing it sounds like you don't understand phasing. I'll let you dig up the articles this time. You should have some sites you like now. Phasing is about how time and space affects the way sound waves line up with one another and also flipping the phase can do things. You'll figure that out. But in the mean time you can also play with plugins that do interesting stereo effects.

I don't really know why I chose this to respond to, but if you do these things you'll be off to a good start. If you have Half Price Books (or the Internet and a finger that can click these links) go find yourself a copy of the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook and become a master. Or Modern Recording Techniques. Or even a Dummies book. as there are good ideas everywhere. You find them by hearing things and deciding what you like and what you don't. Information is a buffet! Take what you need and leave the rest.

u/farkumed · 1 pointr/piano

Hey man, I'm kind of the in the same boat you are. By that, I mean
I used to play for about 7 years with lessons once a week, but I never really practiced much and put effort into it. At the beginning of this October, I started to take it up again and started playing every single day, making sure to do scales, play from Hanon, trill exercises, argpeggios, etc... and then moving on to playing my pieces. I play anywhere from an hour to seven hours a day depending on how I'm feeling instead of playing video games or watching tv and average about 3-4 hours a day. The last piece I had played before quitting a while back was Chopin's Nocturne Op.9 no.2, but it was an absolute wreck. I was able to completely refine it within the month of October and I moved onto other stuff. I tried tackling some Rachmaninov and Beethoven, but they were beyond my skill level for now so I decided to table them and I'm currently in the middle of refining Claire de Lune and taking another stab at Rachmaninov waltz I tabled. Claire de lune a fairly simple piece, at least technically, and if you've learned a basic George Winston song, it should be well-within reach. You might have fingering troubles with the chords and the key is a little hard to play in, but that's about it.

Practice your major and minor scales. They are a huge part of fundamentals that people overlook way too often. They help with fingerings and memorization of the keys on the piano.

buy a copy of this http://www.amazon.com/Hanon-Virtuoso-Exercises-Complete-Schirmers/dp/0793525446
it has a ton of exercises ranging from trill exercises, scale runs, arpeggios, chord trills, etc... Play a few of the first 10 exercises every day maybe 3-4 times and it's a great warm-up. It's immensely useful in building up your hand strength and stamina so doing it everyday is a must. Use a metronome while doing this because keeping tempo and not rushing/dragging will be very important. It also helps to monitor your progress as you get faster and faster. Play the exercises as fast as you can without messing up 3 times perfectly before moving onto the next tempo.

Break the piece into multiple chunks. They are pretty clear sections of the song so work on each section individually until you get each section down perfectly. Write down fingerings on tricky chords or runs so that you can remember them and not have to fumble around the next time you come across it. Take it nice and slow. Rushing it will only take more time in the end. I wouldn't worry too much about tempo and just worry about getting the notes right for now.

In the end though, getting a teacher is probably your best bet as they can give you more detailed instruction. What I said for you is if you're looking to pursue this without any instruction similar to what I'm doing right now. My goal by the end of this year is to be able to play Chopin Etude Op. 10 no. 4 by the end of this year practicing about 3 hours a day at least a tempo of 140 (I think I can do it). I currently am not taking lessons either, but I personally am not at the level yet where previous training hasn't covered me.

This is my goal for the end of the year if you're interested.

u/brabdnon · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

Hey cool. It’s vocal thread day. My time to shine! Kidding. I’m an amateur like most folks here. I’ve only been making tunes for about a year and half or so. But I see myself as a singer, primarily, a bad one, but still a singer. I answered something similar in a different thread but in general you can do vocals/melody/lyrics a couple of ways. The first way is to write some poetry then attempt to come up with a melody that fits it. If you’re good at keeping a melody in your head or written down, you could write lyrics, make a vocal melody and then flesh out the rest of the song. It’s like making skin for a person then making the muscle and skeleton afterward.

The second and most common way, as prescribed by Maynard from Tool, is to make your tune first. Build the skeleton and muscle first, then custom fit the skin over top. Maynard on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast talks about how he needs a finished, done track before he can do melody and then lyrics. He says he needs a stable foundation before building a room (the melody) and decorating it (the lyrics). He mentions that every time he has tried to cram some of his poetry into a track it has failed his standards.

After a little experience at the craft, I can corroborate what he says. It’s so much easier to put everything together first. When you’re constructing music though, if you want to sing on it, pre-plan your sections. Here is verse. Here is chorus. Then a bridge. Then verse 2, and two more choruses. Any structure you like, really. That’s just an example. You have to change the song for these parts so your singer or you know when to start. If you’re exceptionally good at counting (I am not, since I’m rhythm deaf, I said I was bad) you could do those parts on top of an unchanging foundation, I.e, the track never changes. You can change the drum pattern, the chord progression, something to help block out parts and make your song interesting.

Once you have that skeleton and muscle mapped out you can put the skin on your song. My best tracks have all been from that place.

Good luck my friend. Welcome to music creation. It’s pretty great.

Bonus help:
This is a fantastic book I highly recommend. You can be a know nothing and this book will guide you well.


u/Jongtr · 3 pointsr/musictheory

I think every theory book I've ever read has opened up my mind in some way - while always being unsatisfactory in other ways (incomplete, too dense, too little on some forms of music, etc). My experience and interest is largely in popular music of all kinds, less in classical, so that has biased my reading somewhat; but I can recommend all the following (not 100%, but worth reading):

Eric Taylor: The AB Guide to Music Theory, pts I and II - good review of the basics, aimed at pupils studying for grades. Not deep in any way but good if you're just starting out. Solidly classical, which could be a downside for some. The concepts up to grade 5 are shrunk to useful pocket size in [this] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Steps-Music-Theory-Grades/dp/1860960901/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1466150641&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=theory+of+music+grades+1-5) - 100% recommended for any absolute beginner.

George Heussenstamm : [Harmony and Theory, pts 1 &amp; 2 (Hal Leonard)] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hal-Leonard-Harmony-Theory-Diatonic/dp/1423498879/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1466150878&amp;amp;sr=1-2&amp;amp;keywords=Hal+Leonard+Harmony+%26+Theory) Usefully split into Diatonic and Chromatic. I've read a few texts on standard classical theory, and this is the most approachable, IMO.

William Russo: [Jazz Composition and Orchestration] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jazz-Composition-Orchestration-William-Russo/dp/0226732150/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1466151290&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=russo+jazz+composition) Taught me more than I thought I wanted to know about counterpoint. Most of which I've now forgotten (not much call for it in the bands I played in...). But if you're not into big band jazz (at all), maybe not worth it.

William Russo: [Composing for the Jazz Orchestra] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Composing-Jazz-Orchestra-William-Russo-ebook/dp/B01EZ8OKQW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1466149432&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=william+russo) Neat little guide book on jazz arranging (NOT composition).

Mark Levine: [The Jazz Theory Book] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jazz-Theory-Book-Mark-Levine/dp/1883217040/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1466151006&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=levine+jazz+theory) 50% recommended. Well written and presented, eye-opening in many ways, but beware - chord-scale theory! (controversial stuff, in ways he doesn't admit.)

Robert Rawlins and Nor Eddine Bahha: [Jazzology] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jazzology-Encyclopedia-Jazz-Theory-Musicians/dp/0634086782/ref=pd_sim_14_5?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;dpID=41YkvVcCfEL&amp;amp;dpSrc=sims&amp;amp;preST=_AC_UL160_SR120%2C160_&amp;amp;refRID=ZR730GKYPSZYA2THNXGT) The somewhat dry antidote to the above. 50% recommended. Should have been good, but somehow hard to read, easy to put down. Unlike Levine, no quotes from jazz standards or recordings - all music examples are written by the authors.

Dominic Pedler: [The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songwriting-Secrets-%2522Beatles%2522-Dominic-Pedler/dp/0711981671/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1466151087&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=pedler+beatles) Outlines the vast number of theoretical concepts that the fab four would be astonished to learn they employed. Includes a useful appendix on basic concepts of tonal harmony. If you like pop and rock (and theory) but don't like the Beatles, still worth reading.

But then if you like the Beatles AND theory... [Alan Pollack's site] (http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/AWP/awp-alphabet.shtml) is essential reading. (Pedler is deep, but doesn't examine EVERY song. Pollack is briefer, but does.

Allan F Moore: [Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Popular Song] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Song-Means-Analysing-Interpreting-Recorded/dp/1409438023/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1466151140&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=allan+moore+song+means) Does what it says in the title - and goes deep! (way beyond the plain old superficial harmony concepts peddled - sorry - by Pedler :-))

Walter Everett: [Rock's Tonal Systems] (http://www.mtosmt.org/issues/mto.04.10.4/mto.04.10.4.w_everett.html) More stuff to raise the eyebrows of any rock musician. "Wow - we really do all that?"

Paul F Berliner: [Thinking in Jazz] (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thinking-Jazz-Infinite-Improvisation-Ethnomusicology/dp/0226043819/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1466151218&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=thinking+in+jazz) Not a music theory book in the usual sense, but discusses how jazz musicians think about improvisation.

u/SuperRusso · 9 pointsr/audioengineering

I'm going to disagree with a few people here. Getting an education to get a job in audio engineering is most definitely a bad idea in my opinion. Is this education worthless? No...but it's usually not worth what they're asking.

Audio engineering is a hard career to be successful in. I should know, as I've been doing it for quite some time. I've finally gotten to the point where as a free-lancer I can afford a car and house note, which is good. But there were plenty of sacrifices along the way. None of which I regret, of course. But I wouldn't have wanted to tack on extra debt going to school to get a job in a field that does not require a degree.

In all my time doing this, probably around 15 years professionally, nobody has ever asked me how to prove I know how to do this stuff. My resume speaks for itself. I've worked in studios in LA, Hawaii, Az, and now I'm a production sound mixer in Louisiana. I run sound for bands in venues around my city when I'm not on a movie. I own a recording studio for music and for foley and ADR for films. Currently, I'm on a shoot in Florida where I've been for 3 weeks. I got to shoot foley with one of the worlds greatest foley artists (Ellen Heuer). it's a great life!

My advise is do what most of my peers did. Get an internship at a studio. Or if your interested in movie work, assist a sound editor or a production sound mixer. Offer to be a sound utility for free. Or approach a local sound venue and offer to assist the live sound guy, wrapping cables and plugging in mics. Or call a local sound company that does festivals and other events, and offer to clean the snake at the end of the night.

Even if you do decide to get an education, the school will always be there, waiting for you if that's the route you decide to go. But a healthy amount of time in this field not paying for that education will both help you do better in school if you decide to go, and help guide you into a program that's right for both you and the specific set of skills you want to garnish. Or, you might find you don't need it.

The point is that yeah, just "looking things up on the internet" is not a good way to educate yourself. It's a good supplemental thing to do, to be curious and read. But hands on experience is much more valuable than any education I've ever come across in this field, and worlds ahead of just reading a book.

Now, not going to school isn't an excuse to not work. You simply have to take responsibility for your own education. Read books, talk to people who are doing the things you want to do. Learn from them. Help them, and make yourself invaluable to them. Make them wonder how they every got along without you there.

There are far too many opportunities to learn from within the industry than on the outside of it in a classroom or technical college. My career has been quite all over the map, ranging from music production to movie work. Here is a list of books that are about those various fields that I recommend.

The Daily Adventures of Mixerman - A great look at a recording session, and honestly one of the funniest books I've ever read.


Zen and the Art of Mixing - mixerman


Zen and the art of Producing - Mixerman


Behind the Glass vol 1 and 2 - Howard Massey - Great interviews with producers and engineers. DEF check this one out. one of the best books i've ever read about recording.


The Recording Engineer's Handbook - Bobby Owniski - General information about gear, mic placement techniques, fundmentals of sound, etc...


The Sound Reinforcment Handbook - Live sound techniques


The Location Sound Bible - Ric Viers - Great entry into sound for TV, Film, ENG, and EPP. Pretty much covers the bases of recording on location


That should get you started. Whatever route you choose, good luck!

u/HashPram · 2 pointsr/guitarlessons

&gt; Say if I can't find a teacher right away, how would you say I should try striking that "balance" you talked about? Any resources you'd suggest for each element (technical/musical/theoretical)?

Technical and musical elements are quite difficult to advise on because they are quite individual. Some people are very expressive but aren't necessarily brilliantly technical players and some are brilliantly technical but make music that sounds like robots, and all shades in-between.

If you pushed me I would say that something like Yousician's free lessons will get you off the ground as far as basic technique is concerned. Their free service is perfectly adequate for a complete beginner.

As far as musicality goes that's more difficult to teach. Really you're looking to try and "feel" something while you're playing and it's not quite the same as feeling an emotion - you're trying to feel the flow of the music. I found it helpful when I was first learning to play along to a track and not worry too much about getting it right - just noodle around trying to get into the feel of the thing. Playing with other people helps here too.

As far as theory goes that's easier.

Standard theory (you can call it 'classical' theory if you like but it applies to pretty much any form of music except really early music and more modern experimental stuff):
The AB Guide to Music Theory Part I
Music Theory in Practice Book I

(As you'll see from the Amazon listings there are more books in the Music Theory in Practice series, and there's an AB Guide to Music Theory Part II as well).
Get someone who knows what they're talking about to check your answers!

Jazz theory:
The Jazz Theory Book


Chord Progressions for Songwriters

Bear in mind that music theory is a bit like art theory in that it's largely descriptive rather than prescriptive - it describes common practice and therefore gives you some guidelines but it's quite possible to follow all the rules and still come up with something that's fucking dreadful. So when you're writing try not to get bogged down with "is it correct?" - just ask yourself "do I like it? does it sound good?".

&gt; What would an ideal (or even okay) progress would look like according to you?

I would say classical guitar grade 1 within 1-2 years is normal progress. If you're ambitious then 6 months to 1 year.

u/sleeper141 · 5 pointsr/audioengineering

Mics- 414s are fantastic mics no doubt. But there are many,many other more affordable options out there that are competitive in quality. I'd suggest checking out some higher end MXLs, they are super versatile and pretty too.

don't worry about thunderbolt. people were recording low latency drums and etc....long before thunderbolt came out.

monitors...well, the NS10s are pretty standard. if you can make a mix sound good on those it will sound good on anything.every major studio but one (studio a in dearborn) I've been in has them. If you are really burning for something new I'd suggest some genelic 1030a there the older model but they were used on pretty much every hit song in the early 2000s. Everybodys got them. I know the speakers and trust thier response. and they're affordable.

preamp- This is where I personally invest the most money... there are as many preamps as snowflakes. I like the Focusrites ISAs, Rupert Neve designs, go high end... but honestly I have been fooled by the stock original MBOX pres. You're not a true engineer till you have fiddled with a non functioning micpre and thought "that sounds better" lol.

compressers- plug in compressors are great. which is why i suggest spending the money on the preamp. however it never hurts to have a hardware tube compressor/limiter handy. I recommend the ART VLA II.

plugins- trident EQ, fairchild 660, old timer, PSP vintage warmer, 1176, LA2A, smack!, MC77, there are a TON of good plug ins to choose from.

headphone monitoring? Not to sure about that one, Headphones are for performing only. I have the 80 dollar sonys for clients. ,they come with a nice bag to store them in. I don't mix with headphones( thats a whole can of worms dealing with psychoacoustics)

drum mics- shure makes good durable kits, I see them in use all over the place. CAD aren't to bad either. don't go cheap..but don't go overboard either. Approach it like preamps, go with a trusted brand name, they're selling a set of mics specifically for drums, kinda hard to fuck that up right? (IMO its more important to have a good room.)
this kind of reminds me of a joke.

how many drummers does it take to change a lightbulb?
none. they have machines for that now. just throwing it out there.

computer and software- I say go protools. but thats all i know, i was certified in 2002 and havent had a need for anything else. I have never been in a studio that wasnt using it, there are a couple in nashvile that use sonar...well, that was a few years ago.

I am not here to shit on mac. but i have used both in the industry throuought the years and they both perform fine. The last studio I was at used a quadcore w 4 gigs on XP with PT8 and never had so much as a hiccup, recording 24 tracks at once @ 24/96. I take the policy of if it isnt broken, don't fix it. I also have a person issue with avid, I refuse to upgrade to 9 or 10 because they allow any interface to be used...except there older ones. bullshit.

Trust me on this one...the client isnt going to give a shit what OS you are using until it your computer crashes. if you load up your computer with tons of cracked plugins and have poor organization and maintenance, its gonna take a shit on you.

further reading- this is probably the most important advice i can give you. read a little bit and get a total understanding on what everything does, because there is a lot of bullshit in this field.





good luck

u/zf420 · 5 pointsr/drums
  • Drum lessons or stay at home learning from me and a resource?

    I definitely recommend drum lessons if you can. Especially since you have no real knowledge of drumming, this will help immensely. Someone to tell him "No, hold the stick like this" will help in the long run and save him from making habits out of bad technique. This doesn't mean that he can't learn by himself, it just means he will learn quicker, and hopefully have good technique.

  • If we go for drum lessons, is there a text book he'd learn from so there'd be daily practice homework? If it's learn at home from us, what book?

    Yes. As soon as he starts lessons I'm sure the teacher will recommend a few good books. They aren't really textbooks, though, as much as drumming exercises. I don't know a whole lot about different books, but I have heard good things about Stick Control for the Snare Drummer. Other than that, any basic rudiments book will be fine something like this.

  • Drum pad and sticks or hand drums? Or both?

    Interesting question. I'm not really sure how to answer this. Does he want to play hand drums or a drumset? I know when I first started I thought hand drums were dumb (My only experience was playing a djembe in a drum circle in 6th grade music class with a bunch of rhythmically challenged idiots). There was something about all the drums and cymbals put together that just made it so powerful and awesome to me. I'd say whatever he likes to play, let him play. If he falls in love with the bongos, so be it.

  • We're moving into a house in 4 months... adult drum kit or kid size stuff? I know there's stuff marketed to kids online, should I stick with the adult size stuff?

    This is a tough one too. I've never really messed with kid's drums, but I'd say take him to guitar center and let him play the full size kits. If he can play it comfortably and is able to hit all the cymbals with a little adjusting, I'd say get a full size kit. I just wouldn't be a fan of getting a kid's kit that he'll grow out of in a couple years. If you have the extra cash, though, it'd probably be more beneficial to get the kid size drumset.
u/disaster_face · 1 pointr/musictheory

the reviews aren't really wrong... it does have its flaws, but there isn't really another book that does it better. i've read quite a few harmony books and it is the most comprehensive basic harmony book that i've found. it's also pretty much the standard for college courses.

Tchaikovsky also wrote a book on harmony. It is good and very inexpensive, but very short. he writes extremely efficiently though, so there is really a lot of info in such a small book, but obviously not as much as Tonal Harmony. It's also older than Tonal Harmony, so some more modern ideas are not included. That said, it's a great way to quickly learn a lot, and at the price it's really a no-brainer. It doesn't have exercises or lots of examples... just good info.

Also, I should mention that all these harmony books teach using the classical tradition of placing heavy emphasis on voice leading. If you are, for example a guitarist writing pop and rock songs, you may not see how the information will be relevant to what you do, but I would encourage you to go ahead and read through it, as it will make your writing better, and give you a more complete understanding of music. Also, there isn't really a good basic harmony book that doesn't teach this way.

Also, if you are interested in Jazz Harmony there is absolutely no better book than this one.

u/PhysicallyTheGrapist · 1 pointr/drums

In addition to learning songs you like, rudiments are always a good foundation. I've never used Stick Control, but I like these (free) resources:



All good hand exercises, some of them (singles, doubles, paradiddles) are good for your feet as well, although I wouldn't bother doing flams and drags with your feet. Also splitting rudiments between a hand and a foot is good, as is playing rudiments with two limbs and having your other two limbs play a repeating pattern underneath (ostinato).

If, as you say, you "listen to really heavy music, super fast drums" and you wish to be able to keep up, you're certainly going to want to get your single stroke rolls (hands and feet) pretty fast.

Edit: And make sure to use a metronome, especially when you are first starting out.

2nd Edit: I suggest buying a double pedal sooner rather than later if you like / plan to play music that uses a lot of double bass, even though most people on this forum will probably tell you otherwise.

3rd Edit: Every drummer's technique can look a little different and still be "good" (at least imo), but I think this is a good video on hand technique. As are these.

u/Snuug · 1 pointr/piano

I know it's a contentious group of pieces, but I've had incredible luck with Hanon. If you can read music and play hands together, I highly recommend it.

I took lessons for 13 years, but since I've been in college I've been self teaching. I've always really loved piano and I have decent technique, but I never really learned things in a way that wasn't sloppy. I decided I wanted to change that, and I sat down and learned all 3 parts of Hanon exactly as instructed in the book. It's not a perfect method, but I play through it every day now and honestly my technique is miles beyond what it used to be. I wish I had learned as a beginner so badly it hurts.

So my suggestion to you is this: buy this book (http://www.amazon.com/Hanon-Virtuoso-Exercises-Complete-Schirmers/dp/0793525446/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1414561983&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=hanon), play through it every day (no matter how boring it may get) exactly as instructed. It takes a little under an hour to play the whole book at tempo, and I imagine you'll be preoccupied learning all of the etudes for quite a while.

I'm a firm believer that we can all craft ourselves into excellent pianists, and all I think you need to do that is repertoire and a will to practice and make a sound that you like. Once you have the technique from the Hanon down, you can get started on any number of pieces. Another very good method is Bela Bartok's Mikrokosmos, which my mean, Hungarian teacher made me slave away at for years. It comes in 6 volumes, the first of which is (http://www.amazon.com/Mikrokosmos-Pink-English-French-Hungarian/dp/1423493044/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1414562208&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=mikrokosmos).

If you were to learn a significant amount of the material from either of those methods, you would be a significantly better pianist. If classical piano isn't necessarily the route you want to go, you'll still be well served by either/or.

The most important thing is to play whenever the urge strikes you, in my experience. It becomes a bit of an addiction, but there's such a huge world of piano music out there that you'll never grow bored with it, and you'll certainly never run out of things to do. Best of luck.

u/Do_not_dare_give_up · 10 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Hi there!

I've been producing Electronic Music as a hobby for almost 10 years.

Here's a quick guide to help you get started:

you will need a DAW (Digita Audio Workstation), this is your tool and work environment in which you will create and mix your beats.

Depending on if you are on Windows or Mac you have a few different options.

FL Studio - This is the DAW I started producing in, back in version 8.something. It is widely considered one of the best starter DAW's because of the very intuitive user interface and HUGE library of native samples and plugins. FL Studio is sometimes looked down upon by some producers, who don't seem to take it seriously as a professional DAW. In my experience these producers often lack experience themselves, FL is a great DAW and in the end it is what you do with the tool that matters ;).

  • some famous producers that use FL: Avicii (rip), Martin Garrix, Camo and Krooked, Benga, Spor/Feed Me, ...

    Ableton Live - This is the DAW I currently use, I switched from FL to Ableton for the simple reason that it was easier to collaborate with a friend of mine who also used Ableton at the time. I feel that FL Studio's native plugins and instruments are a bit better than Ableton's, but I personally like Ableton's interface and workflow better than FL's.

    What is very specific about Ableton is the "Live Session mode", where you can arrange your sounds and loops in groups that you can trigger live with a midi controller, which is very handy for live performances (obviously) but also often used as a song writing tool, especially in hip-hop and futurebeat genres. - famous artists that use Ableton: Skrillex, Flume, Netsky, Dada Life, ...

    These are the two DAW's I have personal experience with, but there are other options as well: Steinberg Cubase, PreSonus Studio One, Apple Logic Pro, and many more. Best to do your own research and download a few trial versions to see which one you like best.

    2. After you decided on a DAW and "legally" obtained one, it's time to start making music. By that I mean "time to start making very shit music that you will look back on with huge cringe a few years from now" because that's exactly what it is like.

    I don't mean this in a discouraging way, on the contrary! It takes loads of time and effort before you'll start noticing you're improving. One of the most important things to keep in mind is to be self-critical and open to criticism. Don't assume you know better when you're just starting out, be an empty cup because it's impossible to fill one that's already full.

    Here's a very inspiring monologue on the subject by Ira Glass

    3. Tutorials and books. Here are some books and tutorials that helped me out a lot, and hopefully will help you too!

    Mastering Audio: The Art and Science - Bob Katz widely considered to be the producer's bible.

    The Mixing Engineers Handbook - Bobby Owsinski


    Sadowick's ultimate Ableton Guide a full beginner to intermediate guide of Ableton Live, purely for this tutorial series alone I'd reccommend using Ableton. It's very comprehensive. Sadowick also has lots of other very useful tutorials on his channel, but is currently on hiatus because of his battle with cancer :(

    SeamlessR this entire channel is gold. Seamless uses FL Studio but what he teaches is applicable to most DAW's. Lots of great tutorials on synthesis, mostly Drum and Bass focused but very interesting.

    ADSR Tutorials very informative tutorials ranging from mixing to synthesis. Often about House and Techno, but most techniques are really applicable to every genre.


    if you start with these you'll come a long way, if you have any questions; pm me.

    EDIT here are some subreddits you might be interested in as well:




u/guitarnoir · 3 pointsr/Guitar

When I was first starting out, way back in the last century, there were few places to go to learn this type of thing. And those that had the knowledge were usually less then excited at the thought of sharing their knowledge with you, so that you could become their competition.

But times have changed, and we have this Internet thing, and everybody is sharing everything. Maybe it isn't the Info Age, as much as it is the Era of Sharing, and sharing means a lot of crappy stuff gets thrown in the mix.

So choose your trusted sources carefully, and see who their trusted sources are.

For a good primer in guitar electronics, I recommend reading this book. It's dated, but it's basic info is good, and it's free to read in your browser (takes some time to load):


I'm anticipating another book on guitar electronics from a source who's previous work I like:


This is a good video to understand shock hazards associated with play the electric guitar:


When it comes to other aspects of guitar adjustment, Dan Erlewine has been the go-to source for decades. His books on guitar repair and maintenance are the gold standard. This first book I've linked is more for the guitar repair professional, and might be a bit much. But the second book I've linked should be must-reading for anyone curious about adjusting their guitar to play it's best:



Although I haven't actually read any of the books by John Carruthers, I studied under him and on the basis of that experience I would recommend anything he's involved in:


There are a bunch of John Carruther's videos on YouTube:



I like this book because it's illustrated so well:


Dan Erlewine is a consultant at the guitar tools and supplies seller Stewart-MacDonald. They are a good resource for not just tools and supplies, but they have educational videos, some of which you can get via email, and some of which can be seen on YouTube:


Many of the boutique pickup makers have blogs on their sites, where they talk about pickup design and characteristics.

Just learning good practices on installing strings on various types of guitars is an important starting place:




And if you can master the secrets of floating tremolo set-up, you can impress your friends and strike fear into the heart of your enemies:


There are so many more good sources, but that should give you a start.

u/JoeWalkerGuitar · 1 pointr/guitarlessons

My best advice for you is to find a project for focusing your improvement. It's fun to be able to jam in different styles and settings, and it's a worthy long-term goal, but it's impossible to tackle so many things at once. Find a band to start/join, doing covers or originals. Or find some people to jam with every week. Or take lessons. If you can find a good teacher, lessons will be the best thing for you. Even if you can learn a ton on your own, you'll always have questions along the way that are best answered in person by a master player.

Once you find that project to focus on, center your learning around it. Figure out what theory will be useful. (I second smackhead's endorsement of musictheory.net. Also, Music Theory for Guitarists is a great theory book.)

Learn songs by ear as much as possible. It improves your ears, fingers, and mind. Even if you forget how to play it later, you'll improve through the process, and have that extra experience with you. Imagine learning 1000 new songs in the next year. You'll develop the ability to hear a song in your head and know how to play it, so that you'll never have to remember how the tabs go.

And for some serious motivation, check out some articles on my guitar blogs: From the Woodshed and Deft Digits. Good luck!

u/peanutbutterbeetle · 2 pointsr/drums

YouTube lessons can be helpful, but almost certainly never as helpful as an instructor. YouTube lessons can't see you making mistakes and can't correct them. You can't talk to YouTube lessons. They're alright for beginners but I would definitely recommend getting some one-on-one advice, even from people who aren't professional teachers.
There's this amazing book called Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer (https://www.amazon.com/Stick-Control-George-Lawrence-Stone/dp/1892764040 ) and it's full of great practice exercises that can help both you and your son. It's not a full kit book, but it's meant to strengthen your sense of rhythm and technique, and can help with speed aswell if you use a metronome. If you don't want to buy the book, I'm sure there's a .pdf somewhere, but the book is always better in my opinion.
Don't waste your money on Drumeo and Drumeo Edge. The whole Drumeo program is basically watching somebody else play drums and trying to mimic it. I can't speak for other online drum lesson services as I don't have much experience with them.
Find some music you like on YouTube, and use the speed feature to slow it down and really listen to what the drummer is playing. You can start slow and break it down and slowly increase the speed until you're playing it just as fast as the drummer in the song. It's a great way to teach yourself how to learn songs.
Learning drums takes a lot of patience (and can be quite expensive!) so I'd advise you to take great care in how you hit your drums. Drumsticks aren't very expensive and neither are drum heads, but when you're nailing them so hard you break one a day, it adds up quickly. Same goes for cymbals, but those are quite expensive aswell.
When you buy the second kit, I'd advise you to invest in a mid-range kit, not too great, but not garbage either. When you listen to songs and then your drums sound crappy, it's quite discourage. Get some mid-range cymbals as well, Paiste offers some pretty good beginner's cymbals.

u/ReverendWilly · 1 pointr/drums

&gt; Is taking on a drum student and saying something like "This means I need to learn to play kit!" really fair to the student?

Maybe not... but I've played kit before in bands (when the drummer takes a break from his throne for a pit stop at the porcelain throne...) and always been complimented on my timing. I just don't have the rudiments across different drums, so I feel like I should learn that. I've no aspirations to become a percussion instructor or put it on my business card, but it is music, and that one has always been on my card :-)



&gt; How you teach little techniques (holding the stick, hitting cymbals, foot technique) will affect the student for the rest of their playing career.

Yes, and I've seen people learn technique on a variety of instruments that hindered their playing forever. Even (especially?) if they learned from a teacher with a music-ed degree. Seems that's always a risk, particularly when people don't shop around for teachers. But I totally get where you're coming from, esp as a trained musician yourself. I will say a couple of things to that, and I will avoid being defensive. If any of this reads as such, try to find a different voice in it.

First, even to my cello students, I don't just teach cello; I teach music, and I tell them this. For other students I teach music, theory, and composition. For this student, I told his parents that I'm not a kit drummer, but I can teach him music; and if he can play music, he can play music on drums [insert list of self-taught drummers here?]. I have experience with hand percussion (professional, if you count using a cello as a cajon... ¡kek!), but I don't call myself a percussionist or drum teacher. I do say I have a drum student, though, which gets a laugh from some colleagues. I've coached for other instruments and ensembles, all the way up to conservatory level especially for audition prep. I wish I auditioned for Curtis and Julliard when I was a teenager, but no, I had to feel cool and go to Berklee instead. (Big mistake; hindsight is 20/20, right?)

Secondly, this student was taking lessons with a teacher at a store last year and quit. His parents encouraged him to try a different teacher and I'm working on getting him excited about music. I can't force anyone to learn who doesn't want to... but I can show him good music, watch his reaction to find what music actually moves him, then get him to stop "practicing" and start "playing!" I always say that doctors practice for a living; musicians get to play :-) When he started with me he brought Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer and explained why he hated it. Fair. I hate it too! So we work on other stuff. Should I teach him traditional grip or match? French grip? Open handed instead of cross? Open handed traditional so the right hand holds the stick underhanded?? I'm gonna find what works best for me and teach him that way. Gotta be careful because I'm ambidextrous &amp; do some things left handed (golf, soccer, snow and skateboard goofy-footed, use tools in either hand, etc). More likely I'll find a way that works for him and teach him that way. He'll be self-taught with a coach. Does that sit any better with you? ^(this isn't personal, but I genuinely appreciate this feedback, it's useful self-reflection!)

u/nannulators · 5 pointsr/drums

Coordination and timing are big obstacles to overcome, but the more you play, the more naturally it comes. I never took lessons until I could get college credit for them (roughly 5 years after I started playing), and most of that was so I could learn to read music and maybe pick up on a few things. The biggest help for me was the fact that I could learn by ear, so if I heard it enough and tried it enough, I could figure out pretty much any song I wanted to play.

I would definitely invest in Stick Control, even if you can't read music. It's easy enough to read and it's really helpful in breaking habits when you have to think about what hand you're supposed to be striking with.

Really, the most important thing is just keep playing. Tap along to the radio. Tap along to everything. The more you play, the faster you'll break yourself from coordination/timing issues and the better you'll be. /u/crabjuice23 suggested trying different genres of music. I 100% agree. Play along to anything you can. If you hear something you like but can't quite stick it, slow it down in your head and keep playing it until it's comfortable and you'll have it full speed at no time. Patience is huge.

u/kelcema · 13 pointsr/livesound

Oh wowzers.

So starting with your gear:

  • I don't see any sort of system processor or even basic crossover. How are you getting the right frequencies to the tops versus the subs? That also leads to the fact that you've already blown one of the tops. That's part of Ye Olde School of Hard Knocks - "Back In The Day," like before the Internet, that's how people learned about their system- blow something up? Learn to re-cone, and then figure out why it happened to avoid it in the future.

  • As noted re the vintage of the mixer. An entry level digital board would have served you better.

  • Can't comment on the "various performing &amp; recording mics" without knowing just what you have. Did you get any DI boxes?

    &gt;All the speakers are beautiful wooden cabinets, handmade, w/ high quality neodymium tweeters, JBL parts, etc.

    "handmade" means proprietary- they won't meet riders (if you ever encounter one) for the most part. More importantly- they'll be frowned upon because there's no consistent specs that an engineer could look up. I'm not saying they won't work in the long run, but start setting aside money now for a replacement plan. On the same thread, you're going to need to learn about the specs of your PA to set appropriate limiters to protect your speakers going forward.

    &gt; Still working on monitors, looking at active EVs at the moment.

    Having monitors (if you're looking to provide for bands) is going to be vital. Ideally, they're all the same, but as you grow into this... you might start with two and then add two more once you have money coming in.

    &gt; Though part of me is worried about more equipment when I haven’t started recouping investment on what I have yet.

    At the same time, if you don't have a "full package," it's going to be harder to recoup ANY of your investment. I'm going to be blunt here: No wedges? Home made boxes? A bit outdated mixer? If there's another option for a provider in your area that does have these things under control, that's who is going to get the business. If you're not getting the business, there won't be a cash flow to allow you to get the things you need to complete your package.

    Story time! Couple friends of mine were big into the EDM scene in the area, back ca. 2000-2004 or so. Decent JBL SR-X rig. Now, they weren't getting it out enough to really be viable, but that's not really the point of my story. What happened to them is that one show, they blew out one of the 18" cones. Since they hadn't been charging enough to be setting aside cash for repairs, they didn't have the money to repair it. Because of this, two things happened: They had to charge a bit less going forward because they didn't have all of the capabilities that they previously had, and they had to run their remaining subs a bit harder to compensate. I think they eventually blew at least one more sub-- and the downward spiral continued.

    Education Opportunity: Start with the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook. It's dated in that it doesn't cover a lot of more recent developments with types of equipment, but the underlying theory and principles of live sound haven't changed. This will help you to learn gain staging, setting limiters, and really how your gear is doing what it's doing.

    Building a Business Plan

    So to be candid, this step should have been completed prior to buying ANYTHING. Without a solid plan of how to move forward, you find yourself wasting money on things that don't fit the plan. Believe me, I've been there. My shop has piles of stuff that were purchased in the "early years" that aren't in use now, and most likely won't be used ever again. I have a couple things that were purchased and have never been used on a show; I "thought" they were needed, but they weren't. [We also have a collection of randomly mis-matched cases. That makes a truck pack really challenging, but that's just something I never realised was a thing early on.]

    &gt; already been running into issues w/ lots of friends wanting free/discounted use. And my own confusion about whether to focus on renting or producing my own events

    Being "the person with speakers" is always attractive to people who want them for free. :-) As for the second part, I think you're a ways off from producing your own (people paying for tickets to attend) events. Being a "promoter" is really something that takes a lot of work to make profitable, and to be blunt, you don't want to also be worrying about the sound at the same time.

    &gt; (I think the answer short term is renting w/ a contracted sound guy).

    Hiring a sound tech is going to eat into your profits. At the moment, you need to be able to "bank" as much of your event income as possible. So, that's where it's going to be vital that you learn how to best deploy your limited resources. As you grow, and either the events are complicated enough that you need an assistant, or you have a second rig and you need them both deployed at the same time, that's when you'll bring in another person.

    This whole situation may seem daunting, but you can do this. Learn about the specs and capabilities of your rig. Figure out how you blew that top (did you kill the whole thing, or just the HF or LF of the top?), and implement protection into your system. And then learn how to repair the damage- those skills will help you in the future, if you can recone a speaker instead of needing to pay someone else to do that!

    Feel free to reach out with specific questions, or post "I'm confused!" threads here, and we'll help the best we can.

u/jaeger_meister · 2 pointsr/drums

Yeah, the particular album with Oscar Peterson isn't the best for study - as you won't be able to listen to what an experienced jazz drummer would do in those situations - but it is a great practice tool since drumless jazz recordings are so rare. In particular I love "Pennies from Heaven", it's a great mid-tempo swing to jam along with. And if you can work up to up-tempo swing, "I want to be Happy" is a serious workout. 7 minutes of 250 bpm spang-a-lang to really build those chops.

Oh, and if you haven't yet, invest in a copy of the real book and encourage your friends to as well. You can flip to almost any random page and have a great jam sesh. And with a little rehearsal you can gig those tunes as well. Not the most avant-garde stuff, but you've got to start somewhere :) Now go give that ride a good spank for me. Happy jazzing!

u/iwant2drum · 3 pointsr/drums

keep it up dude! Seeing as you are a young drummer, I want to offer some advice for you to improve. You seem to lose some stick control throughout the song . I would highly recommend you work on improving your technique by going through books such as Stick Control for the Modern Drummer. You can use this as a warm up and play like 4 lines perfectly multiple times or something similar. This book is only a suggestion, there are many ways to improve technique. You just have to make a conscious effort to work on it. A good mixture of practice vs playing will keep you engaged and feel great about improving at the same time.

When I was your age, I spent a lot of time focusing on different patterns and independence and didn't really work on technique until a bit later, and I can say from experience that even though I was practicing a lot, I wasn't practicing near max efficiency because I didn't make technique a priority early on. Working on your rudiments and having great technique makes basically anything easier to learn and makes it sound 1000 times better.

I hope you find this helpful. I use to teach mainly beginners and intermediate players and if you ever want some advice or guidance feel free to shoot me a pm. Keep drumming!

edit- I looked through some of your other videos. I think your stick control was a lot better in some of them. You definitely have talent and I hope you keep at it and keep improving!

u/ahipple · 2 pointsr/Jazz

Mark Levine's excellent The Jazz Theory Book includes a great list of mandatory repertoire at the end of the book, which I've edited down considerably to this list based on my experience in jam sessions and gigs. For a full-time working jazz musician though, there are many, many more essentials that I'm sure I'm missing. Also, I've tried to omit tunes already mentioned.

I've noted (Alternate Titles) in parentheses and [parent tunes with the same changes] in square brackets.

The tunes:
Ain't Misbehavin', All Blues [3/4 blues], All of Me, All of You, Alone Together, Autumn in New York, Beautiful Love, Billie's Bounce, Black Orpheus (Manha de Carnaval), Blue Bossa, Blues for Alice [Parker blues], Bluesette [3/4 parker blues], Cantaloupe Island, Caravan, Ceora, Chelsea Bridge, Cherokee, Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars), Darn That Dream, Days of Wine and Roses, Desafinado, Dolphin Dance, Donna Lee [Indiana], Doxy, Embraceable You, Footprints [3/4 minor blues, sort of], Four, Georgia on My Mind, Giant Steps, God Bless The Child, Green Dolphin Street, Have You Met Miss Jones, How Deep Is The Ocean, I'll Remember April, In A Mellow Tone, Invitation, In Walked Bud [Blue Skies], In Your Own Sweet Way, I Remember You, Israel [minor blues], It Could Happen To You, It Don't Mean A Thing, Joy Spring, Just Friends, Limehouse Blues [not actually a blues!], Lover Man, Maiden Voyage, Milestones, Misty, Moanin', Moonlight in Vermont, My Favorite Things, My Foolish Heart, My Funny Valentine, My Heart Stood Still, My Little Suede Shoes, My One and Only Love, My Romance, Night And Day, Now's The Time [blues], Oleo [rhythm changes], One Note Samba, Out Of Nowhere, Over The Rainbow, Poinciana, Recordame, Rhythm-A-Ning [rhythm changes], Ruby My Dear, St. Thomas, Satin Doll, Scrapple From The Apple [Honeysuckle Rose], Skylark, Softly As In A Morning Sunrise, Someday My Prince Will Come, Song For My Father, Sonnymoon For Two [blues], So What, Stardust, Stompin' At The Savoy, Sugar, Summertime, There Is No Greater Love, There Will Never Be Another You, Tune Up, Wave, The Way You Look Tonight, Well You Needn't, When Sunny Gets Blue, Whisper Not, Without A Song, Yardbird Suite, Yesterdays.

u/triple110 · 160 pointsr/IAmA

As a pseudo-musician/sound engineer here's a couple of tips I learned over the years.

  • Avoid being a gear head. It's great to get all the latest and greatest equipment but it really isn't necessary to make great music. A simple pro-audio card for your computer, a small mixer (12-16channel), and a couple of SM57/SM58 mics will give the power to make great music.

  • Try and bring as much of your own gear to live shows with extra back up cables. Don't depend on the venue to have it. Nothing worse than showing at 5-7pm for a 9pm door open scrambling to find a music store that's still open over a bad cable.

  • Learn some audio engineering and sound reinforcement. It helps in creating a dialog between you and production studios and live gig engineers. If I ever had to recommend a book it would be Yamaha's Sound Reinforcement Handbook

  • Keep detailed notes about the songs you create including settings, equipment used, etc. It saves a lot of time trying to reverse engineer a song if you try and recreate in a studio or on different gear.

  • Utilize the internet for creating connections other musicians to create music and collaborate. You can even get feedback by doing live 'jam' sessions on sites like ustream.com or justin.tv

  • Learn the basics of copyright law and contract law if you plan to get signed and/or go public with your music.

  • Your live performances should focus on the performance. Don't worry about recreating you studio songs exactly. People come to your show to be entertained and less about hearing the music.

    Lastly, have fun. Learn to accept your mistakes. Even the best bands in the world don't replicate their album songs exactly for many reasons most of which is because you can't and it detracts from the energy of the performance.

    I hope that helps
u/imgonnasaysomnstupid · 2 pointsr/piano

Piano teacher for 5 years here. This is more or less a directly copy and paste from a previous comment of mine.

Obviously, I'm going to recommend you find a teacher as soon as is possible if you really want to advance. BUT there are a lot of things you can do on your own to learn effectively.

  • First, do not practice to the point of frustration. This may sound odd, but 20-30 minutes spend at the piano at the same time each day is much more effective then an hours on end. It more about building up patterns of behavior that are conducive to learning. Set a pattern that you follow every day and be sure to set aside extra time to experience more piano music. Listen to jazz, classical, pop, broadway, film scores, anything that is mostly piano and is recorded by a professional. This ear training will be much more valuable then hours at the keyboard.

  • Secondly, aim a little lower at first. There are tons of method books out there and all of them have value. At this point in your education note reading and ear training are the most important to focus on. Get books that you can easily understand (even if they are children's books!) and read, read, read! the more you read, the better you'll get! Think of how you learned to read when you where a child. At first everyone reads small books with three or four letter words and they read a hundred of them. Then they move on to pop-up books and read hundreds of those. Then short stories, also in the hundreds. This processes is not up for debate, it's how we learn. Apply that to you piano study! The pieces you have already learned are great but have obviously left a few holes to fill in your education. Don't be discouraged, it takes years to become proficient at music reading but you can do it if you put in the effort!

  • Third and finally, learn your scales. There are a few books used by almost all piano teachers to teach basic technique and dexterity. I like to use Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist in Sixty Exercises and start with #32, 33, and 34. Then move on to #39, which is all the major and minor scales. I start my kids on this after a year or two, and my adult students as soon as possible. You will also benefit greatly from learning the fist twenty or so. Those focus solely on the practical study of hand coordination and dexterity, rather then the more theoretical study of major and minor keys. Another is Czerny: Art of Finger Dexterity for the Piano. There are also few others I'm not super familiar with. I would NOT recommend the Czerny without a teacher! that book is an asskicker and could seriously hurt your wrist/forearm without proper guidance.

    I hope this helps a little. Remember that you have just started and you have to crawl before you can walk. Take it easy and make sure you understand everything before moving on to the next step. Good luck and have fun!!
u/tyrion_asclepius · 2 pointsr/piano

Whoa, I started with those exact 3 songs when I started learning the piano almost 10 years ago! Anyway, I suggest you start with this book to learn some fundamental music theory. I like this book because it has multiple scales and lists the chords and arpeggios for each key signature and goes through the circle of 5ths. You don't necessarily have to go through this book in order, just make sure you follow the fingering patterns carefully and play the scales, chord progressions and arpeggios slowly so you can internalize them and familiarize yourself with the layout of the keyboard.

If you'd like to become a proficient sight-reader (which I highly recommend, being good at sight-reading will help you in the long run), start practicing with reading some simple pieces. Go through the Alfred's book and see how well you can read through those pieces on the first run. If you feel like you need more sight-reading practice, the Mikrokosmos books will provide you with plenty of material to sight read. I also like this book of hymns. Remember, if you can't play it nearly perfectly (at least in terms of getting the notes right) on the first run, it probably means you should work on reading through that piece. So keep practicing!

If you have the money, you might be interested in investing in this series of books. Each level contains Baroque, Classical and Romantic pieces, as well as etudes and music theory, which really helps with building up a well-rounded foundation. But then again, the best use of your money would be ideally spent on a good teacher.

If you'd like a song at a similar level to what you're currently learning, I also learned this version of Canon, Ballade Pour Adeline, A Thousand Miles (because it's a fun piece and why not :)), and Summer by Joe Hisaishi during my early piano years.

But to be honest, I don't recommend learning any of the pieces I just listed above, because they will take you too long to learn. In the same amount of time you spend learning those songs, you could be progressing much faster if you focused on learning fundamentals and picked much easier pieces. And I mean pieces as simple as Minuet in G major and Minuet in G minor, maybe even simpler.

I feel obligated to write all of this since you're starting from a similar place that I was when I first began learning piano. Jumping into pieces that sound beautiful or amazing isn't the most efficient method of learning. Take this from me who went from being fixated on learning the entire Fur Elise → River Flows in You → Canon in D → Rondo Alla Turca and other songs wayyyyy beyond my level, to dropping all of it in and just starting from the very basics because I realized I sounded like utter ****, even if I could play the notes and it sounded fine to my family/friends who didn't play piano. I also wasn't making much progress in terms of learning, since each new piece would take me foreverrrr to actually learn. Building up your fundamentals is the way to go, because once you get to the level where you can actually play those beautiful pieces, the learning process will be so much faster. I know starting from the bottom and working your way up can be a slow and sometimes even tedious process, especially when you have to go through all these pieces that seem really easy or boring, but trust me, it will be worth it and far more rewarding in the end. :)

u/rcochrane · 2 pointsr/jazzguitar

&gt; Obviously if I were to jump into a jazz improv session I couldn't say "wait everybody, tell me the exact order of the chords you're going to play and I'll memorize some scales to them really quick".

Exactly, this is how rock players tend to approach jazz and it's hopelessly difficult for most situations. Plus, even if you manage to do it you're unlikely to sound like a jazz musician. I wasted a fair bit of time trying to do this back in the day. Here's a clip of Hal Galper laying into this approach; incidentally, you should watch all his clips, they're great.

In particular, I wouldn't worry at all about "jazz theory". I'm not even convinced such a thing exists. I mean, if you want to you can work through a college textbook like Levine but it won't make you a jazz player. I think /u/awindupgirl is 100% right on this.

Echoing what others have already said I would say your first steps are:

  • Start listening obsessively to jazz. Not jazz-rock, not avant garde, not recent stuff but bebop and similar stuff from the '40s &amp; '50s. Include some vocal jazz (Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan etc) because you'll also need to...
  • Start learning standard tunes. That means you can sing and play the melody and play the chords without looking at the lead sheet. I know everyone moans about them but get the Real Book and use that for now. This list is useful guidance. [EDIT: Also, lead sheets for most standards can be turned up by a Google image search.]
  • It will help to learn some jazz chord grips, which tend to be different from what rock players use. This resource will get you started. When you go to a jazz jam, most of the time you'll be comping (playing chords) so this is a key skill.
  • Slowly start attempting to solo on the changes to tunes you know using chord tones, like /u/beardling described. If you know your CAGED arpeggios from your rock days, that will help massively. When trying to solo, always keep the melody of the song in your head. You're playing the song, not noodling to a backing track.
  • Also, start transcribing. That means picking a solo that's not too fast and complicated-sounding on a tune you already know, and listenign to it over and over with your guitar in your hand until you can play some of the phrases you hear. This takes a long time and is extremely frustrating. As with many things, the people who succeed are the ones who don't give up just because it seems impossible.

    Most of the time you spend on the above should be spent listening and playing, not book-learning.

    You'll probably find this page, and the whole rest of the site, useful. It's not everyone's thing but I'd also recommend checking out Kenny Werner [EDIT: link].

    Finally, good time is the single most important thing in jazz. Set the metronome to click on the 2 and 4 like Emily Remler tells you in the video in the sidebar and really nail your timing. You can play any note on any chord and make it work but if you're out of time nothing will sound good.
u/PacoPunter · 1 pointr/maschine

So first step to improvement is self examination. As long as you are hungry and looking for ways to improve it's going to happen with practice. All things considered you are doing pretty well for doing this one year and not having a background in music(saying your self taught is I guess what this means) is. So right now what is the difference between you and most people on soundcloud. Frankly not much. But out of let's say 1000 people who are at the level where you are how many say, "Yeah what I got is pretty good" compare to yourself who says "Alright, what I got is fair but how do I take it further". There are people out there better than you but if you are hungry and want to learn you will eventually pass them.

Now regarding your product. Beats are fine. If you were collabing with someone who wanted a simple beat for them to burn on its fine. But fine doesn't cut it with so many people out there. You need to learn how to use equalization, compression, filtering, delay, reverb. These are just as important as what you compose. You have a vision right? You hear other people's beats that you want to get close to. The more you learn the dynamics and effects the better your will be. And yeah when it's appropriate automate your tracks man. Not to a point where you step all over an artist but enough to engage the listener. Rule of four, if something doesn't change in four measures people check out.

I highly recommend this book for someone like yourself.


Lastly yeah you should be collaborating. You will touch base with people who are ahead of you now but like yourself there's always someone trying to come up. The more you practice w people the better. Keep at it man. You will get better it's just part of the process.

u/13531 · 3 pointsr/Guitar

My advice would be to focus on learning music theory, and applying said theory to your play. Everyone here loves to recommend justinguitar.com, and I'd agree. I'd also check out Steve Stine on YouTube (index of playlists). Best theory teacher I've seen in a long while. I'd also absolutely recommend musictheory.net.

Lastly, the Berklee guitar method books will simultaneously teach you to read music and to play your instrument. These books are the single best thing I did to progress my guitar skills.

Reading music helps greatly with understanding theory. Despite what you may hear from old-timers, reading music is extremely useful.

Another very useful skill to practice is ear training, which when combined with your theory knowledge, allows you to play music by ear. I'd suggest playing back some slower jazz guitar tunes on YouTube and figuring them out measure-by-measure. There's also Matt Warnock's Play Jazz Guitar group on Facebook which combines all of the above. Matt has a doctorate in Jazz Guitar Performance. He picks a tune each month, and everyone in the group works on it throughout the month, starting with the melody, to comping chords, to improv soloing. There are players of all skill levels, and I mean all. He provides excellent, free critique to everyone. I'm going to throw him a bone and buy a few of his books shortly since his excellent group has helped me so much.

Edit: I'd like to add as well that I don't really consider myself a jazz player; it's just that jazz skills are very useful and may be applied to virtually any genre.

u/nanyin · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

There are a lot of resources online - youtube etc, but I prefer books so when I decided to teach myself how to play around 2 and a half years ago I used Alfred's Adult all-in-one, progressive sight reading, and Easy classics to moderns.

Once I felt comfortable enough with sight reading, I just started buying whatever I liked. I also sit down and transcribe the music I like. Just got done learning this track from pride and prejudice, and it barely took a week to learn! It's so wonderful to see my fingers flying across the keys, I can't even describe it.

You might also like flowkey.

Good luck, and I'm sure you'll thank present you for starting - say 5 years from now, when you're sitting at your piano and feeling generally amazing after a particularly good improvisation :)

u/Monkee11 · 4 pointsr/jazzguitar

if you can read sheet music decently I'd recommend William Leavitt's Modern Guitar Method - It's fairly tough for new guitar students because most of them don't know how to sight read, but if you can do that then this is a really great resource and will teach you scales and chords in different areas all over the guitar. This book doesn't hold your hand, so go in expecting that it's dense and might take time a long time to get through.

Outside of working through books, it sounds like you want to know the fretboard notes more than anything, so I'd recommend learning in this order:

  • Memorize the notes on the low E string and the A string. (playing e minor and a minor scales vertically [up one string] are useful for this so you don't have to worry about accidentals much yet)

    playing vertically is important to know but isn't very efficient

  • Memorize the notes on the 5th fret (ADGCEA) and come up with an acronym to speed things up and to be able to find notes between 5th and 12th frets much faster - A Dog Got Caught Eating Apples for example

  • Check out an app (also an online version) called [Tenuto] (https://www.musictheory.net/exercises) and practice Fretboard note identification, and eventually interval training (learning chords tricks you into doing this too). I especially like this on mobile because you can learn the fretboard pretty well when you're on the bus or taking a dump or whatever. Use the test mode and you'll see yourself getting way faster over time and eventually you'll start to see frets as letters instead of numbers.

  • My biggest advice to most guitarists who want to be well rounded is to learn chords. Chord knowledge is super useful on guitar - you can start to see intervals/arpeggios/scales really well by knowing chords on guitar - they're like the skeletons that outline scales and arpeggios.

    my advice for this is to learn E shape, A shape, and D shape barre chords, assuming you already know CAGED+F open chords. That paired with a good knowledge of the E and A string and you are off to a great start. Guitar takes a lot more work than piano in order to see chords and be able to move around efficiently.

    Tl;dr get the app Tenuto, also available on pc here and work through William Leavitt's Modern Guitar Method (i'm in no way affiliated with either - I'm a professional musician and teacher and they're both tools that I use daily)
u/SleepNowintheFire · 1 pointr/makinghiphop

Regarding speakers for your studio, you don't need the huge hi-fi speakers that big studios have, they use those mainly to flatter artists and industry reps. For mixing, you should get a set of speakers with a relatively flat frequency response that spotlights the midrange and has low distortion. The Avatone Mix Cube is good for this. You only really need one because a lot of mixing is in mono. The Yamaha NS10s are also good (these are more expensive and are pretty standard in most studios. The thing about these speakers is not that they sound good, but that, on first listen, you'd probably think they sound bad; they highlight problems in your mix.

I imagine if you're doing hip-hop a lot of your listeners will listen on headphones so it's useful to do some mixing on headphones (you might do mono mixing on your nearfield and work out panning and stereo stuff on headphones, for example), so get two good pairs of studio headphones-one for you, and one for people you record (unless you're building this to record yourself, although if people know you have this cool studio they might want to get in on the action and it'd be good to be prepared for that if it does happen-you might also want to record a feature on your track or something).

Get a DAW and know it back and forth. I would say for your purposes, unless you're already well-versed in Pro Tools or already have a copy of it, don't get Pro Tools-there's a huge learning curve and it's by far the most expensive. Reaper has a free demo that you can use indefinitely and FL Studio and Audacity are free. Ableton is what most producers use but it's not really made for tracking or mixing, so what some people do is they produce in Ableton and bounce the track to another DAW to mix.

Microphone-wise, ideally for vocals you want a large-diaphragm condenser. A small-diaphragm will work too but LDCs are standard. You can record on a dynamic mic but they usually need a lot more gain which might mean more noise and you'll need to be handy at mixing to get the sound you want out of a dynamic mic.

If you're investing in a big project like this, read a lot and know what you're doing. This book will get you started on mixing techniques and the basics. This one is a must, it starts out with some chapters on how to acoustically treat the room you're working in which even though it isn't glamorous or fun is totally vital to a good studio.

u/alessandro- · 1 pointr/piano

This is pretty good! It's impressive you were able to work that out by ear.

If you can learn to read sheet music, that will really help you out a great deal. If one issue you have is reading rhythms, you need to use a counting system. (The system I use is described in this PDF.) An excellent resource for reading rhythms is the book Rhythmic Training, which you can get inexpensively, especially if you buy it used. (Edit: note that this book is for professional/college level musicians, so if you can't get all the way through, that is completely OK. But going through the first few chapters slowly and steadily and clapping the rhythms is probably a good idea.)

For reading notes on clefs, you kind of just have to do it. It takes a lot of practice and will be slow going at first, but will get easier. One book for piano that includes both the very basics of music theory and some things on technique is Alfred's Basic Adult All-in-One Course. Maybe you could ask for Book 1 for Christmas, if you celebrate Christmas?

As far as technique goes, one thing I notice is that the index finger of your left hand is collapsing at the first knuckle (screenshot). That shouldn't happen. You might find this video (by piano professor John Mortensen) helpful on what your hand should look like when you play.

Good luck as you keep playing!

u/japanesetuba · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

A big thing is to not let your practice routine stagnate. Take it from a (tuba) performance major who learned most of his stuff without lessons. You need to keep fresh material under your fingers. Pick up the Jazz Theory Book and use some of the examples in there for scale and key studies.

Also, I would highly recommend studying classical rep as well, work ona new solo peice every month, and try to play (and work up) one etude (at least) every week.

You practice should look like this, in essence:

10-15min of warm-up with long tones (focusing on superb sound and tone at ALL dynamic ranges), and easy, finger warming chromatic scales and the like.

30min of etude practice (try to do a new one every week)

30min of solo rep/stuff from band you need to work on

whatever time is left to you doing scale studies and jazz improv.

As far as getting better at jazz, the biggest one I know of is simply transcribing solos of other players and playing them. It takes for FUCKING ever, but if you're serious, it's what you do. Since I only ever play Bass Trombone in jazz band, it's not really worth it to me, but if you're looking to get better at tenor, man, listen to some coltrane and write down what he's doing for at least one chorus and play it with him. You start to assimilate some of the licks he uses and get an innate understanding of how to navigate the chords. Start with blues based songs, since they're the easiest. Move up to rhythm changes when you have solid material for any blues song. After that, man, you'll be set.

ALSO, you can always google and find some great stuff written by other great players, either on forums or on professional player's personal websites. I learned alot of what I know doing that when I didn't have lessons.

If you have any questions, send me a PM and I'll do my best to help out.

u/KoentJ · 7 pointsr/drums

If you can spare the money I most definitely recommend finding a teacher. You will want to start with rudiments (they can be boring, but you'll be glad you did them in the long haul) and while you can pick them up from books, having a teacher giving feedback helps a lot. You don't have to stay with a teacher on the long-term, if you make it clear that you just want a solid base most teachers know what you mean and want.

If you don't have that money, these are three books I highly recommend to anybody who wants to play any percussion instrument:


Description: This book is full of rudiments. Like ctrocks said: This book is evil. You will most likely both grow to hate and love it. Hate it for both how boring rudiments can get (to me, at least) and how hard they get. But love it for the results and seeing how all those rudiments advance your playing immensely. I suggest picking this up as soon as possible.


Description: The 'sequel' to Stick Control. This book adds accents and even more difficult rhythms. I would suggest picking this up at an intermediate level.


Description: Don't let this book fool you. It all starts out really simple. But this is one of those books that really lays down a foundation you will be very grateful for. And when you're getting to a more advanced level, you will see how you can translate a lot of these syncopated rhythms to the entire drumkit. I suggest picking this up as soon as possible.


Description: This book is very well named. You will want to grab this book after you got the basics down, imo. You want to work on the independence of your limbs as soon as possible, but not too soon. Yet again: rudiments. But now rudiments that require all limbs.


Description: We're starting to get into the bigger leagues with this book. I honestly don't quite know how to describe this book except for the word: challenging. Challenging in a very, very good way. I recommend picking this up once you're starting to get into a more advanced stage.

These books are for the basics, imo and in the opinion of many fellow drummers as far as I know. But don't forget: the books are merely tools. You don't want to be only playing rudiments, you'll go crazy. I tended to go for a trade: every half out of rudiments rewards me with a half our of putting on tracks and rocking out. Resulting in one-hour sessions a day. Hope this helps!

Edit: Feeling bored so added more books and descriptions.

u/CrownStarr · 8 pointsr/piano

Thing is, that sort of thinking doesn't really work too well in jazz - there isn't really "repertoire" in the same sense as in classical music. Some standards are more complex than others, sure, but the difficulty is really what you make of it. In jazz, you generally work from what are called "lead sheets", where all you have is the melody and the chords. Here's one for When I Fall in Love. Pretty simplistic, right? Here's Oscar Peterson playing it. The lead sheet is the basic framework for what he's playing, but all the embellishment and runs and extra chords and everything is just coming from him. So you can't really say whether When I Fall in Love is an "easy" standard or not.

As for how to learn, the single best way is to get a teacher. But if you just want to start dabbling, I would suggest getting some books of transcriptions of famous jazz pianists, just to start getting the feel and sound of it in your mind. Those books will have real performances transcribed note-for-note, so you don't need to know how to read lead sheets or improvise to play them. I would also check out Mark Levine's Jazz Piano Book to start learning the theory behind it all, and a Real Book to start practicing with. If you're good at teaching yourself things, the combination of those two books will give you years and years of material.

But I want to re-emphasize that getting some kind of teacher or mentor will help enormously. It's good for classical music, as you know, but jazz is even more like learning a foreign language, because it's improvised. If you just want to dabble for fun, that's fine, but if you get serious about jazz, find someone to guide you, even if it's just an hour a month.

u/jseego · 2 pointsr/piano

This book has solid overviews of the various playing styles, including for left hand

For improvisation, you are not going to sound good right away. What it sounds like you are doing is basically exercises, just running pentatonic scales over chords - that will sound very exercisey. "Okay, Cm7, playing C minor pent, okay, F7, playing F pent..." etc. What you want to do is look ahead to the notes in common and work on your ear training around that. So, instead, you might go: "Okay, Cm7, gonna play C - Eb - F - G, then the F7 comes up and you continue to A - C - D - F....

Basically, point is you can still play pentatonics, but try to create runs and melodies that move over and through the chords, not just shifting the scales once per chord.

It's not something you think about - you want to get used it and how it sounds so that you can focus on using a combination of ear and theory to make musical sounds and shapes that you want, and the fabled melting away of the notes and chords happens.

As rough as it is, you gotta do that kind of thing in all keys as well. It really opens up the piano and reveals secrets of how things work.

Also, listen a lot and try to play along with your favorite recordings. Take a class / find other improvisers who are at your level. It helps so much.

Final thing is, there is more to improvisation than getting the notes right. A solo with wrong notes and great rhythm and lot of passion is much more interesting and listenable than a solo with all the "correct" notes and no feeling and just running uninspired rhythms. Try soloing with just roots and fifths of the chords and see how much fun you can have. Try soloing with absolute abandon and let your hand just flop around and see what kind of interesting sounds you can make. Prepare your mind to forget about the notes...that's the eventual goal (even though you can still be strategic about scale degrees and chord tones and such).

Good luck and have fun!

u/tbp0701 · 1 pointr/Jazz

u/Lemwell gave you an especially great answer, and the others are quite good as well. So I'll simply provide some resources.

Here is a link for a free download of the Aebersold Redbook. There's a lot of great general info in there for all instruments, but it does discuss chords and voicings.

Probably the best jazz piano resource is Mark Levine's The Jazz Piano Book. (linked to Amazon, but available at several places. It's available spiral bound so it fits nicely on a music stand. It has a great deal of information about chords, leading, and everything else jazz piano related.

For a fun, easy beginning, do you know the blues scale? If not it'll be in the free Aebersold book, but it's 1-b3-4-b5-5-b7-1. So a C blues scale is C-Eb-F-Gb-G-Bb-C. Practice playing that over a standard C major chord. Then try mixing it up, finding some phrases you like. Then try the F blues scale over an F major, and a G blues scale over a G7. Then put them together in a 12 bar blues and see what you come up with.

u/goober500 · 1 pointr/drums
  1. If the reviews for that pad's good, then get it. I own a Billy Hyde drum pad and a Vic Firth drum pad. Both are good, but I prefer the Billy Hyde pad as it's less bouncy. However, when building stick control it's good to have some bounce.

  2. The one practice pad is fine for now. When you practice, you can play seated and use your left foot (or both) to tap out pulses like you would a hi-hat. For example, tap out quarter notes with your left foot while your hands play eighth notes alternating.

  3. For the Ted Reed book you should be fine for most of it. Another book you should (MUST) get is George Stone's Stick Control.

  4. Ted Reed's book can be played using a practice pad and a drum kit.

  5. Honestly, I'd get a private tutor right away then drop them later if needed. They'll help you save a lot of time with technique and direction. Starting a new instrument can be frustrating, so having some guidance is a huge benefit. Also they'll help prevent you from developing bad habits.

  6. You can tap your feet while practicing seated. However, to learn foot technique you'll need a pedal. You can buy drum kits for cheap second hand online, which are fine for practicing. Check out kijiji. They may not sound like a professional kit, but they operate the same. I still practice on my old starter kit while I have my nicer stuff at my jam space.

    Hope this helps somewhat.
u/sunamumaya · 5 pointsr/Guitar

You need a method, not random bits of knowledge. You may use Justin's, or you may look for a book.

The secret here is structure, which is only provided by a method. Otherwise you'll always feel your knowledge is scattered all over the place and hence barely usable.

A good method should at least:

  • give you tools for identifying the notes on the fretboard. I highly recommend this book, in addition to whatever method you choose.
  • the CAGED system - essential knowledge. Once you master this, you'll easily be able to play: the chord, the arpeggio, the major scale and modes for each of these five shapes, anywhere on the fretboard.
  • accent the role of the major scale (the Ionian mode of the diatonic scale), because if you know its shapes in all five (CAGED) positions, you already have the shapes for all other modes, and using modes becomes simply a question of choosing the respective harmony, not learning new shapes. Also, by simply removing certain notes from it, you automagically get the pentatonic scale. You get the idea, most common use scales and modes may be played using the major scale patterns.
  • teach you intervals and how to build chords, which are simply intervals stacked on top of each other
  • point out the use of arpeggios in soloing, as opposed to scale soloing only, this makes a world of difference if you want your solos to be interesting
  • teach you rhythm and how to play in time, even (or perhaps especially) when soloing

    Once you have a structure, the Internet truly becomes an awesome resource, because now you can research the issue at hand with a better sense of purpose and more specifically.

    So don't fret, this isn't a stupid question, it actually shows you are ready and willing to progress, you'd be amazed how many people become dismissive at this stage, and think they've achieved mastery, because it's "all feel and talent, man," and don't even see how much there is to learn and improve.

    TL;DR: get a method by trying several, then stick to the one you choose.
u/hennoxlane · 14 pointsr/edmproduction

So... your only technique in mixing is moving your faders?

I don't want to sound rude, but that's not enough to get your mix to sound good. It's only going to get you a starting balance.

I'm not going to write a book here, but I'd like to give you a short overview of what concepts an average mixing process comprises of (in a nutshell and NOT comprehensive,... there's enough information out there to learn about each topic).

  • Editing: check phase if you're layering instruments/recording stuff with more than one mic, clean up your tracks,...
  • Gain staging (that's - more or less - what you're describing)
  • Equalizing tracks
  • Compressing tracks
  • Panning tracks
  • Transient shaping
  • Sweetening the mix (room tone reverb, delay, saturation, ...)

    Seriously, educate yourself on mixing and your sound will get an enormous boost. There's a ton of resources out there, including some of my favorites:

  • Mixing secrets for the small studio
  • Mixing audio - concepts practices &amp; tools
  • Zen &amp; the art of mixing
  • shameless plug, but I've started a video series on mixing as well, maybe you'll find it useful: Start To Mix

    With regards to mastering, I would really consider sending your mix to an external mastering engineer. You will get a much better result, not only because these people specialise in what they can do, but a second pair of ears is always a good idea.

    Hope you find this useful &amp; best of luck!
u/Dat_FUPA · 2 pointsr/drumcorps

Here's my disclaimer: if you don't have access to a drum and at least one other person to practice playing clean with, you're already at a disadvantage. No pad feels exactly like a drum and when it comes down to the wire in an audition, what determines who makes the line is usually who can play clean consistently no matter where he is in the line.

Buy this:


No matter where you want to march, it will be your ultimate tool. It will lay the foundation of your playing, and it will give you amazing facility on the drum. Play through all of it. Play through it at every dynamic. Play five lines and crescendo the whole thing. Do whatever you can to essentially turn the thing inside out on itself so that you get as much experience playing things your hands have never felt. The key here is repetition. You want to shed layers so that your hands become so refined that anything you're asked to play is practically second nature.

Once you've played through the entire book ten times, buy this:


Repetition, repetition, repetition. Variation, variation, variation. If something sounds disgusting, practice it until it's beautiful. You need to dedicate substantial time to practicing, and you need to always practice with a metronome. I advise against most phone metronomes, because they tend to be inconsistent. I recommend practicing for 90 minutes and then taking a 30 minute break. Practice consistently. Don't do eight hours one day and then take a week off. Two or three hours a day is ample practice time. You've got to be deliberate and take your practice time seriously if you want to make it. If you're unsure about whether or not you want to march, I'd advise against auditioning because the people who really want it are usually the ones who make the line.

Get on YouTube and check out some different lines from the past maybe three seasons. Listen to as many as you can and see which lines really pique your interest. Then get on Google and look for audition materials (either from past years or current materials). A lot of corps require you to buy their audition materials so if that's an issue for you, you could try another corps. Or you could step up your game, get back on YouTube, try to find some videos of the drumline warming up, and figure out their exercises on your own. Be wary though; that's a pretty significant undertaking.

My best advice is to take initiative, and to try harder than you want to. You'll have to do both of those things if you spend a summer with a corps anyway, so it's better to start now. Best of luck to you.

u/comited · 10 pointsr/piano

I started 2 years ago, @25yo. This is how I progressed.

Step 1: I picked up Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One and played out of it for about a month. At the end of that month I felt confident enough to play for my grandmother, who inspired me to begin. She encouraged me to go go no further without the instruction of a teacher

Step 2: Got myself a teacher. We began mostly with scales and exercises, then moved on to Keyboard Musician. This book is made up of smaller pieces ranging in difficulty, and incorporates some theory.

Step 3: Practice, practice, practice. I have been at it for two years. I try to practice on my lunch break on every business day, typically for 45 minuted to an hour. Which usually means I get 3-4 days of good practice in a week. Its not enough but I have been able to make progress, and am definitely glad I made the commitment.

I am now choosing bigger pieces to play, typically spending a month or two on each, but I always have 3-4 things going at once. Here are some examples of what I am currently playing or have played: example 1 (1st movement only), example 2 (not me playing ;) ), example 3

Of course you could be looking to go a different route. Many people learn to play by ear and skip the whole reading music part. Learning to read music has been one of the hardest parts for me. Anyway that you do it, just do it. Good luck to you.

u/notdanecook · 30 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Hey there! I'd like to consider myself a pretty experienced drummer, so hopefully I can be of some help to get you started.

If you aren't too familiar with reading music, I would highly recommend getting Syncopation for the Modern Drummer . It's a great starting book for reading music and familiarizing yourself with common snare &amp; bass drum patterns that can be applied to the drum set.

If you want to learn more how to play the complete drum set, which I'm guessing you'd like to do, check out The Drumset Musician . It provides a basic intro to coordination and ability to use all your limbs separately. (One of my biggest struggles when starting out was forcing my hands and feet to not do the same thing at the same time on the drum set)

Other than those books, YouTube will definitely be your best friend, so don't be afraid to use it!

Best of luck to you, and I hope you end up enjoying the drums as much as I do!

u/shadewraith · 2 pointsr/Guitar

One thing I tried doing was learning every chord in every position and every inversion. I'm not done writing them up, but I have charts for dominant, major, minor, and half-diminished chords I could scan for you. I also have the arpeggios to be played over the chords.

Another thing is to learn are your scale modes. I'll pick either 4 modes in 1 position or 1 mode in 4 positions and practice each scale for 5 minutes.

You could improve your sight reading with this. It's not meant to be studied, but to be opened up to a random page and played.

I'm also a fan of speed and dexterity exercises. You don't have to shred, but sometimes you need to get from point A to point B in a hurry. After playing these for a while, you'll also feel less fatigue. My favorite books for this are John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom and Frank Gambale's Technique Books

Also, if you really get into jazz, I highly recommend The Jazz Theory Book. It will help with your improvisation and teach you how songs are structured, which will help you with other genres. A more classic theory book that's good is The Complete Musician.

After you get technique stuff down, it all comes down to where you want to be as a player. What do you want to play? Do you want to write? Do you want to do covers? Maybe you want to teach.

Sorry this was so long. I love teaching music myself, so if you want to learn anything specific, PM me and I should be able to help you out and send you some materials.

u/krypton86 · 9 pointsr/edmproduction

You basically need to do two things: 1) start analyzing music that you like, both its form and function (harmony, for instance), and 2) start to study the art and science of mixing. Get a good book on the subject like Mix Smart or even The Dance Music Manual and start studying.

Mixing your tracks well can turn a okay song into a serious floor-shaker simply by virtue of significantly increasing its production quality. A simple tune that sounds amazing can have a huge emotional impact on the listener, and so much the better if the music is really well written to begin with.

This, of course, is where the analysis comes in. Try to identify why you like the tracks that you like. Is it the way the songs build? Then replicate the form of the song. Is it the way the harmony makes you feel? Then learn how to play that harmony and try to understand what's happening from a theoretical point. In my opinion, you should take it upon yourself to learn basic music theory at the minimum, but if you have a good ear you probably don't need to fret about it too much. Producers that can read and write music aren't too common (the really good ones almost always do, though).

For a while, you'll probably just sound like the producers that you like, but eventually you'll begin to internalize what you've learned and your "voice" will develop. It a natural progression as an artist to mimic your heroes — don't fight it.

u/Canvaverbalist · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

&gt; Rhythm comes built into your body. You have a heart beat and if you close your eyes in a quiet room you can feel and hear the blood pumping in your ears. Your body is designed to be rhythmic.

Complementary reading:

(WARNING: I'm not an expert on anything, this is me trying to push an idea that I like upon which I've done no serious research at all, approach with skepticism and caution!)

I remember reading in The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger (which I don't have anymore and can't go back to) how the synchronicity of our neurons firing played a major role into creating this layer of self-vs-the-world feeling essential in creating a sense of consciousness in the human brain, to the point that a slight delay could have been at the source of some sorts of schizophrenia like feeling totally disconnected with the world or at the opposite of the spectrum a feeling of being only one with our external stimulus. (I found this, but haven't read it yet to ensure of it's content: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4423156/ )

So it's not just the rhythm of our hearts, it's actually the brain connecting everything at the same time (the lights from that apple hitting your eye, the breeze of the wind, you arm moving, your sense of balance - bref, bringing all your senses into one self contained experience) and keeping this sensation as a regular and predictive "tempo" is also essential.

Music plays with and satisfy that sensation. "My arm will take that glass - yep, it did, I have control over it" and "The snare is gonna hit really soon - yep it did, I'm still in contr-- wait what's that sound? This is interesting I didn't predict that! I bet it will be there again... yep there it is!"

Please! Feel free to correct me or add to it, I find this is a fascinating subject.

COMPLEMENTARY READING: "This Is Your Brain on Music" by Daniel Levitin, https://www.amazon.ca/This-Your-Brain-Music-Obsession/dp/0452288525

u/tmwrnj · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Find a decent teacher. A good teacher will identify your strengths and weaknesses, then gently push you out of your comfortable rut. You might need to ask around locally and try a few different teachers before you find a good fit.

The intermediate to advanced lessons on JustinGuitar.com are worth a look. The jazz and songwriting modules might be of particular interest to you.

Truefire have some fantastic courses on jazz and rock improvisation, all the way up to professional standard. It's not cheap, but the all-access pass is excellent value if you're serious.

If you're serious about mastering the guitar, take a look at Leavitt's "A Modern Method for Guitar". The book goes back to basics with classical notation, scales and harmony. There are no shortcuts and it can feel like a hard slog, but you'll reap the rewards for your work.

The Sodajerker Podcast is full of invaluable ideas on the process of songwriting. They talk to some of the best songwriters in the world about their creative methods.

If you're interested in jazz guitar, check out Jens Larsen, Morten Faerstrand and Jazz Guitar Lessons on Youtube and the lessons and forums at JazzGuitar.be.

u/blithelyrepel · 3 pointsr/Learnmusic

Second the recommendation of scales and arpeggios, in all keys, major and minor. You can start off with just a few, the easiest ones (go in order of the circle of fifths if you want), and continue to add on. Start slowly and, most importantly, EVENLY, building a good foundation for speeding it up later and applying it to technical passages. But there's no real recommendation anyone can give you for "X amount of times," because scales and arpeggios are things you'll continuously practice no matter how high of a level you get to. At a higher level once you've mastered them, you may not have to do the entire set every day, but you can then apply them to pieces by choosing from your arsenal certain exercises that practice the techniques needed in a tricky section of Rach or such.

A good resource for other technique exercises is the book of Hanon exercises. It's been used for many decades, and includes lots of scale/arpeggio-type exercises, and you can work your way through them. Be aware, though, that they're VERY tedious (literally just pattern building through each key), but it sounds like you have the ability to self-motivate yourself. Be careful not to treat these just as exercises, though, and go through them robotically and monotonously, because it's very easy to see them as such. They're just tools developed to help finger agility, speed, and recognition of patterns so you can apply them to full-blown pieces. It's like a tennis player who practices a certain type of grip for 50 serves a day. Great if she can do it through the exercise, but if she reverts to her old grip when she starts playing a game (putting it into action), the grip practice was wasted. Application of theory into pieces is sometimes the hardest thing to do.

I know this has been a giant essay, but lastly, none of us can really give you an individual recommendation. It seems like you've got the self-motivation to learn yourself, but if you are interested in really getting a structured routine, get a private teacher, if only for a few lessons, to help you develop what kinds of things you need to work on.

u/reydeguitarra · 2 pointsr/musictheory

I am currently using this. It has been very good for me so far, but I don't know if you will learn "tough" sheet music in a month. I have played the piano for nearly 20 years, so I definitely understand standard music notation. This book doesn't go on and on about notation, it just gives a brief explanation and makes you go at it. Since Christmas, I feel pretty comfortable sight reading individual note lines, somewhat comfortable with intervals, and pretty good with the chords that they use most in the first 50 or so pages.

So yeah, my overall opinion is that it's effective. It's not the most exciting music to play and you might have to spend quite a lot of time on it if you hope to read notes from the whole fretboard (after almost 50 pages, I'm still only in the first 5 frets).

u/Joename · 2 pointsr/piano

Rather than trying to understand theory/progress yourself, you might want to consider having a conversation with your child's teacher to talk about progress, and with your child to talk about enjoyment.

If she is enjoying herself and the teacher is happy with her progress, then I think that's all you really need to know.

Here are two small things you can listen for as a layman

Is she learning the piece by trying it over and over and over again from the beginning and struggling through to the end, or is her teacher breaking it up into chunks for her, and she is practicing those smaller chunks? She should be doing the latter. The main part of learning is learning how to learn. Her teacher should be actively coaching her on how to have a successful practice session.

Also, is she simply playing what she knows over and over and over again, or is she working on new pieces, or new parts of a piece of music? It should be the latter.

A good way to very generally assess progress is to ask the teacher how many pieces she has learned. If she has only worked on 2 or 3 pieces in the entire first year, I would say that is a warning sign that she needs a new teacher. If she is progressing through a method book and has sampled a collection of many smaller pieces, that is a good sign.

If you do want to take a more active role and understand more of what she is learning, start learning your child's method book or pick up Alfred's All-In-One Level 1: https://www.amazon.com/Adult-All---One-Course-Lesson-Theory-Technic/dp/0882848186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1473689244&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=alfred%27s+all+in+one+adult+piano+course+level+1 . This book will teach you the notes, terminology, and will introduce you to the challenge of learning to play that your child may be encountering.

Best of luck!

u/giarox · 4 pointsr/piano

Everyone is right about getting a teacher, particularly for the basics and more advanced concepts as well. I personally started playing through a high school class for a semester then was taught all over again by a guy from my church.

Since then however I have been playing on my own (with books) and learning by ear as well. Here are my recommendations

  • get a teacher, even if its for three months
  • get a good book. Ive used three beginner piano books and my top recommendation goes to the elder beginners piano book, which I used in high school. It is nice because it teaches at a good pace, it doesnt assume youre amazing or a genius and there is a good amount of practice before new topics
  • second is Alfreds piano book, my current book. Which I love and personally prefer, as someone that has been instructed before. I just feel it moves at too quickly a pace for an abject beginner. there isnt as much practice as I'd like and I'd be left behind if my foundations werent already decent
  • third, while still a good book.....I honestly can't remember the book right now. I'll update when I get it. It is a great book long term but it skips through topics really quickly. Much better as a supplement to one of the others
  • failing to get a teacher, youtube and particularly Lypyur/Furmanzyck is a great resource for much of what you'd need to learn as far as theory. He is a great teacher and I highly recommend his stuff
  • Have a goal, a otpic or song that you aspire to and can work towards tangibly. Thats up to you but people here can help you as far as breaking it down and being able to get there
  • and an extra tip, a shameless plug for r/PianoNewbies, where you can learn and improve with other beginners
u/Vetalurg · 2 pointsr/piano

I was in the same boat a couple of moths ago, went to musical school from ages 6-13, stopped when I moved to another country. Haven't touched piano for 6 years. Decided to get back into it, bought a digital piano 2 months ago.

For key signatures, I recommend practicing scales and arpeggios, acquiring this book can certainly help. For music theory, I highly recommend checking out Dave Conservatoire. He has made a bunch of videos about general music theory.

Sight reading is something you pick up with experience, a good exercise is to sightread absurdly easy pieces (start with grade 1). I was never much into sight reading, but I do have this PDF which might be helpful. There should be plenty of sight reading exercises on the web.

I am not sure what you mean by this, is it training relative pitch or improvising on spot and playing exactly what you have in mind you want? I seem to improve both of these things while transcribing music into a score. I guess composing could work as well. I started out painfully slowly, (took me 5 hours to transcribe first 20 seconds of Come on Eileen). But, just like any skill, you will get better at it with experience. The software I use for ranscribing is called Sybelius, but if you can not afford it (or if you do not support pirating) there are free alternatives.

Arguably, the most important thing is staying interested. Playing scales, learning music theory, listening to the same song 50 times because you can not figure out a chord or timing can be extremely boring at times. So playing a piece that truly challenges your hands will reward you much more than practicing tedious scales.

u/TheMentalist10 · 21 pointsr/piano

I've been playing for a long time now, and have never experienced this thing which you term 'piano culture'. Of course there are competitive people in every field—from music to lawn-mowing, probably—, but do you have to associate with them? Absolutely not.

It should not be at all challenging to find a teacher who is willing to teach away from the exams. You may find that you want to take them down the line, or see how well you're progressing by practicing material from the grades. This is fine, as is staying away from them altogether.

At the end of the day, if you want to learn: learn. Self-teaching is not frowned upon at all, it's just more of a challenge and, on average, you probably won't progress anywhere near as quickly as with guided instruction. If your enjoyment motivates you to learn solo, then do that. Lots of great musicians have, and will continue to.

Edit**: If teaching yourself is your favourite option, I recommend the Alfred's Basic Piano Course series! Best of luck :)

u/nate6259 · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I have spent some time in mastering studios, and I can try to shed some light on this to the best of my knowledge. As a precursor, master recordings usually exist on stereo analog tape whose mix has been bounced from the multitrack mix. That is, until you get somewhere into the 90's when elements started to be recorded either partially or fully in digital. That's why on eariler era CD's, you'll sometimes see "A/A/D" or "D/D/D" etc. on the back of CDs to signify whether it was recorded, mixed, or mastered via digital or analog means.

  • Mastering for the listening format: If an album was originally mastered for vinyl and/or cassette tape, then it would benefit from a remaster for digital formats, since the digital mastering process is very different from analog formats. Digital audio always has a very specific top threshold or "clipping" point (sometimes measured as 0dB full scale) and so it can give a mastering engineer the ability to push the compression and limiting (which can be a good or bad thing depending on the techniques used and your opinion on the digital "loudness wars"). I was fascinated to learn that an improper vinyl master can create a physical groove too big and cause the needle to skip.

  • A/D (Analog to Digital) conversion: The quality of conversion has come a long way over the past 20-30 years, and so it's not uncommon that an album may have been digitally transferred for CD replication back in the 90's, but could sound much better through more modern converters. The A/D conversion process has a huge effect on sound quality.

  • Overall sonic "enhancement": This usually comes down to EQ and compression techniques. Mastering engineers may utilize both analog equalizers (for broader tone shaping purposes), or more "surgical" digital equalizers to both enhance and/or clean up the sound more than earlier masters. This may also involve some form of noise reduction. More mix-specific qualities like reverb and other effects are usually not touched.

    Generally speaking, I have found that a remaster sounds cleaner and brighter, which I think is a combination of both the improved conversion, and processing to fit our modern sensibilities, since today's listeners are more used to a slightly "louder" (more compressed/ peak limited) sound, as well as added openness to the high end of mixes.

    Edit: For further reading, this book by Bob Katz is a bible on the process of mastering.
u/danw1989 · 3 pointsr/Jazz

Classical pianist for 15 years, and I'm going on 3 years as a self-taught jazz pianist. I can honestly say that the book I have used the most is The Jazz Piano Book. Learning modes, memorizing the circle of 5ths, 3-note voicings, left hand voicings (a la Bill Evans and others) are all things included in the book. It will teach you how to interpret lead sheets, taking basic "scale/chord" theory knowledge and applying it to improvisation, and it also will teach you a variety of tricks used by the professionals. Mark Levine, the author, writes in a cohesive, down-to-earth voice (although sometimes a little corny), and it makes it really easy to understand what he's talking about. Other books you may want to look into are A Creative Approach to Jazz Piano Harmony, A Classical Approach To Jazz Piano, and of course, LISTEN TO GREAT PLAYERS! There's a saying in jazz - probably the most true of them all - the textbooks are the records!

Hope this helps get you started.
Remember, knowing the fundamentals is the key to learning the complexities of jazz. Seriously, I can't stress this enough. Always pay attention to your technique, and always play with the best possible sound. And more than anything - enjoy the process of learning. Have fun!


u/anothersivil · 1 pointr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

If you're going to dump tens of thousands of dollars into a degree, it's usually a good idea to put it towards a degree that will help you pay it back. Unfortunately, music production is likely not going to be that for you. In electronic music production especially, nobody really "hires" you to produce music. You spend years honing your craft and, if you work really freakin' hard and are lucky, somebody will notice you, sign you.... and you still likely won't make any money off of it unless you explode into super stardom like Deadmau5, Tiesto, etc.

You're also not likely to find a public school that has anything like EDM production, so it'll be a private school... and that shit will be expensive.

Save your money and teach music production to yourself via YouTube and practice, practice, practice. Seriously, YouTube is a goldmine for music production knowledge. There's also a great subreddit, /r/edmproduction.

There are some programs that might be worth it, though. I've got a friend taking the 6-8 month (I can't remember exactly) Dubspot program for Logic, and his reports to me say that it's worth every penny... but only if you put more into it than just showing up to class and doing the assignments. There are also schools like SAE that do 6-8 week courses in different topics of music production. A friend of mine did their Intro EDM Production one (I don't remember the exact name), and it was totally worth it. What they have to teach you is nothing that can't be learned off of YouTube, but some people really benefit from having a structured learning environment like that to get them started... especially for things like music production that have such a steep learning curve. It's also much, much more affordable than a "degree" from a college. Pricey (around $2K, maybe?), but still way more doable.

Obviously the Dubspot and SAE stuff aren't available to you for the in-person classes unless you're willing to move from your hometown, but they also have online stuff that may be worth it. In the end, do a lot of research before spending your money.

EDIT: Also, check this book out: the Dance Music Manual. The specific technologies they mention are a bit outdated, but the techniques described are just as spot on now as they were 15 years ago. It's also not specific to any tool, technology, or digital audio workstation, which makes it ridiculously useful to you whichever route you end up taking software/hardware wise.

u/JoshFrets · 3 pointsr/guitarlessons

This is such an important (and IMO urgent) question for so many.

Sadly, the vast majority of guitar instructional material is either a) written for the unserious learner or b) written to not scare away the up-until-now-unserious learner.

That's why you see so many books and blogs on understanding theory (or playing jazz) that are full of TABs––in order to get the now-serious student to buy the book (or sign up for the course, etc) you first have to reassure them that everything is tabbed out and they won't have to read music, as if TAB and theory weren't at odds with each other.

Kudos to /u/igotthejack for this:

&gt; While doing this focus on the note names while you play so by the time you're done you've also memorised all the notes on the fretboard.

And Ben Levin's youtube series is one of the few instructional pieces that doesn't make me want to stab myself in the face with one of the many pointy ends on a shredder's guitar.

Other quality standouts include:

First, Learn To Practice by Tom Heany

Music Reading For Guitar By David Oakes

Modern Method For Guitar Vols 1, 2, &amp; 3 by William Leavitt

The Real Easy Ear Training Book by Roberta Radley

But there's good news in this too:

Because the vast majority of talented guitarists are so busy chasing their tails trying to figure out how to sweep pick faster or two-handed tap in the LandoCalrissian mode, even reasonably talented players with mediocre reading skills and a halfway decent knowledge of practical music theory get hired to play really great gigs.

That's my experience anyway. And getting hired for those gigs put me in contact with so many world-class players, which a) did as much as anything else to make me a "real" player, and b) helped me realize how so many of the things in the guitar-teacher-circle-jerk-echo-chamber are unimportant.

I think if you can get your practicing organized, fall in love with the metronome, record yourself (and listen back) often, and train your ear, you will be one badass player in a reasonably short time.

And if you learn the instrument in a way that lets you communicate with other non-guitarist musicians, you set yourself up to get actual paying work (and music theory gets waaaaaay easier).

My suggested order is:

  1. Names of notes (to the point you prefer them to TAB coordinates: that's not the 8th fret of the 3rd string, it's Eb)
  2. What notes go together in keys (ie know the Circle of Fifths so well you're never in doubt as to whether it should be called D# or Eb)
  3. Understand how chords are built (so you're unfazed by something like | Fm7b5 Bb7b9 | Ebm9 | even if you've never played it before).
  4. Understand how chords get built into progressions. (so when you glance that last example, you immediately think "oh, ii-V-i. Eb harmonic minor.)
  5. Rhythmic notation (I'd say at least 80% of the guitar charts put in front of me on a paying gig are chords with rhythmic hits and no further melodic notation to read.)
  6. Chart reading (knowing what "DS al Coda" and "second system" and "tag" and "ritard" mean, and what musician slang like "football" and "trashcan" and "railroad tracks" and "split the difference" mean.)

    Shameless plug, but I built a system that teaches these in a tiny daily lesson delivered by email. 1-4 are done, 5 &amp; 6 are on their way soon. Free for now, just sign up for the first one (Note Names) and it'll walk you through all 6 in order (I'll be done with 5 &amp; 6 by the time you finish 4).

    After that, read through the David Oakes &amp; William Leavitt books mentioned above and you'll be 80% of the way to professional musicianship. A dedicated student (who already has a fair amount of technical proficiency) could pull that off in 6 months.

    TL:DR - The fact that you are even asking a question like this leads me to believe that you'll do just fine. Good luck!
u/BookThemDaniel · 25 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Source: I play piano (3 years of lessons, 2 years self-taught) and have started picking up guitar (6mo self-taught)

Piano and violin can be rough to learn without a teacher. If you just want to play music, there are a lot of free resources available for guitar - justinguitar.com is fantastic. There is a subreddit for learning guitar which has a very helpful and supportive community.

Now, if you maintain that classical piano is really your thing, then I can certainly relate, but I will warn you that the available free video lessons are largely missing. There are tutorials on youtube around specific songs or specific topics, but nothing as structured as justin's site (at least that I've found).

My recommendation is to pick up a method book - I used Alfred's Basic Adult Piano Course: Lesson Book, Level One, which is about 10$ on Amazon - and work through it page by page. Join a forum like the adult beginner forum at pianoworld, where you can post videos of your progress and people can help you with the trickier items like posture and hand positions.

There is a subreddit for piano here as well, which is worth subscribing to as well.

u/Silentverdict · 1 pointr/audioengineering

I'm relatively new to the mixing game, started a few years ago in college and started back up now that I have a house and room to mix again, and those two resources were my favorites especially when I started learning.

First, you might not need all the info, but I highly recommend Mike Seniors book "Mixing secrets for the small studio". It's around $20, but totally worth it:


The most important parts are:

A. he helps you get started on getting a good sounding room and speakers, which you need at least some of or you won't know what sounds good.

B. he goes through a mix step by step. Pros probably don't need that rigid of a format for going through a mix, but as a beginner, it's a great way to know what you should be listening for. It also keeps you from spending hours just messing around with no idea where you're headed, which is what I wasted too much time on early on.

One other resources helpful for beginners, if you wanna watch a lot of videos, is the Recording Revolution youtube channel.
https://www.youtube.com/user/recordingrevolution Most of his content is aimed towards new mixers, and he routinely does new series where he'll go through a mix step by step and show you how he does it, often using just stock plugins. While you might not follow everything he does (Sometimes he gets a little mix bus heavy, which I don't think is the best way to start for beginners) but his explanations on how plugins work is usually sound.

Anyway, lots of other great tips on this already, just thought I'd add my 2 cents.

u/dftba-ftw · 2 pointsr/piano

Lol are you me?

Your story is scary close to mine, I took lessons from 9-12 and just started to try and get back into around 23.

I can tell you what I did, I'm still kind of figuring it out myself:

I bought a P115 (600$), I didn't have the option to use my old unweighted piano as it broke many years ago, I could have gone with the P45 (450$) but recent college grad with decent paying job so I said fuck it and dropped the extra 150$ based on this subs recommendations.

That being said playing on a decent weighted keyboard is infinitely more enjoyable than playing on an unweighted keyboard; I think if I had had something like a P45/P115 (they use the same key action so they feel the same) I would have stuck with lessons as a kid longer. It is just so much more enjoyable to sit and play at.

As for getting back up to speed I try and practice 30 mins ~ 1 hour a day in 15-20 min sessions.

I usually do a Hannon Hand Exercise then I do a scale/cords ( I'm just working my way through major and minor scales one per day).

I bought Alfred's All-in-One Adult Beginner Course and blasted through the first 3/4ths of the first book and now try and do one little chunk (lesson and associated song) a day or over the course of 2 or 3 days based on it's difficulty.

I try and sight read something new everyday and really focus on technique and dynamics, so I'm working my way through Kabalevsky's 24 Pieces for Children one piece a day, nice and slow, focusing on dynamics, technique, and tempo.

Lastly I picked two songs I wanted to work on that are just slightly above my current level and maybe a little bit below the my level when I quite all those years ago. The way I practice those songs is by picking out the hardest measure and working on it nice and slow, hands apart and together, then work on the next hardest measure, and so on and so forth.

So that's what I'm doing, maybe you can find a nugget of help in all that, I did a fair amount of research on how to practice and what to practice ( had some really boring days at work lol )

u/roseicollis · 1 pointr/LofiHipHop

I do! Don't have a lot of beats so far but I'm working on it haha. You can check them out here if you want.

Also if you really want to learn music theory I recommend the book "Music Theory for Computer Musicians" by Michael Hewitt, you can also "borrow" it online if you catch my drift. It's a series of 3 books if I'm not mistaken (second covering harmony and third one composition). Then maybe you'd want a piano scales book (like this). Knowing your scales is pretty important if you want to compose music, you'll have to practice those and the book is really helpful for that. You can also find free versions online of similar books (I think r/piano has a link for one in their beginner's guide).

But again, really not that necessary for lofi hiphop unless you want to go deep. Music theory however is not wasted knowledge, so go for it if you're really motivated.

u/Ragnatronik · 2 pointsr/makinghiphop

I'm always recommending this book here: Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio. By far the most helpful resource I've come across for mixing. Great layout, written by a guy who knows his shit and includes relevant quotes from other top professionals, and funny at times. It basically covers everything starting from room acoustics and treatment, and then on to mixing from the ground up. A little textbooky but I enjoy the technical drivel.

SOS magazine is another great resource and for more than just mixing. I think their archives are down atm because they're building a new site, but once that's back up they have a ridiculous amount of pro tips and reviews for free. Mike Senior who wrote Mixing Secrets is also a frequent contributor to this site/mag.

None of that above is hip-hop focused, but applies to all genres. I used to always look for any videos or interviews with Da Beatminerz since they were one of my favorite production crews growing up. Same thing with El-P, Pete Rock, DJ Shadow, Dan The Automator, etc. Sometimes at shows they'd have cool trinkets for sale; I remember picking up this video on CD of Qbert that showed a glimpse into the life of a touring DJ which was pretty inspirational to me.

u/Travisism · 6 pointsr/electrohouse
  1. Buy a DAW -- I like Ableton Live

  2. Learn Your DAW with no specific music preference in mind. -- Check out www.linda.com for a great starter course on ableton.

  3. You like electro house, so buy this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0240521072/ref=oh_o01_s00_i00_details -- This is a great introduction to electro house music. It goes great with Ableton and will teach you how to create your own synths, and understand all the tools all proper DAWs come with (compressor, EQ, synths, programming your own synths, composition, etc etc). Will make you a lot less afraid of Ableton.

  4. Move into more specific tutorials on sites like www.sonicacademy.com

  5. Scour youtube for tutorials for your favorite sounds

  6. Buy VSTs you like (I would die without Massive)

  7. ???

  8. Profit.

    Also, make sure to inject your own playing around in your DAW between every step. Your biggest hurdle will be becoming comfortable with the software you choose because they are HUGE.

    ps; If you pirate something, please buy it before you release a song. Don't be a leech.
u/ChaiGuevara · 1 pointr/askscience

I'm not aware of any specific study that directly addresses your question, but based on existing, similar research, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a correlation.

The Mozart Effect has long held that listening to classical music potentially increases spatial-temporal reasoning, a skill highly core to success in mathematics. As classical music is obviously purely instrumental, perhaps there is an inverse link in which mathematically-minded people tend to be more attentive or appreciative of patterns rather than lyrics.

If you're interested in a more in-depth read about how our brains interpret music, and what makes us like the music we like, I'd highly recommend reading This Is Your Brain On Music. Again, I don't recall the book addressing any studies that directly answer your question, but there's a lot of intriguing information to gain if it's a topic of interest to you.

And since everyone else is, I may as well add in that I too am mathematically-minded and tend to focus on pattern more than lyrics.

u/beatdriver408 · 1 pointr/edmproduction

Well, I'm sitting here loading 23 dvd's of my new sample library, so I have some time to write :)

First of all I'm going to cite ITB gain staging honestly in digital you don't have to gain stage unless your effects plugins have an assumed range... slate (which does make input level assumptions) really hammered this home to me on the first project I did.

Gain staging is boring and takes a bit of time (and you have to revisit it if of you put in lots of piano or fortissimo sections after you set it initially), but it makes the mix go a lot faster. It also solves the issue of "crap this VST patch is way loud!"

I use live, so track routing may be specific to that.

Source (either audio, or instrument) -&gt; sonalksis freeg to bring source to -18db RMS -&gt; slate vtm -&gt; slate vcc channel -&gt; (optional side chain compression) -&gt; (optional instrument compression, like to make a snare sound different)-&gt; (optional effects like reverb or eq) -&gt; output routed to a bus or group

bus or group -&gt; slate vcc bus -&gt; compressor for that instrument type / group (like FG-Grey for drums, FG-Red for synths) -&gt; hybrid static/dynamic EQ here (which is really a mutliband compressor/expander)

bus or group always also goes to a dummy track (with no output) that has an instance of MMultiAnalyzer on it (for finding collisions and/or relative loudness of the groups). I do this on a dummy track so you can see the level after the output of the groups or bus's fader, ie, what the level is going into the master channel.

when mixing I first set the loudness within a group, and the ride the faders/automate levels among groups to balance the mix.

master chain
freeG-&gt; slate vtm -&gt; slate vcc -&gt; MAutoDynamicEQ -&gt; compressor 1 (usually slate fg-mu) set to barely move the needle off of -1db -&gt; compressor 2 (usually fg-red) -&gt; very fast compressor (built in or stillwell the rocket) at 1.5 ratio ~-9db to -12db threshold (for the fast stuff, think of it as the knee before the limiter) -&gt; ozone (limiting and dithering only, with no gain and -0.30 for target) -&gt; MLoudnessAnalyzer (for LUFS EBU R128 loudness for final mix check)

So to answer your question, since I almost always do my main compression via glue / bus compression on a group or bus, I would eq on the individual channel, before the compressor, if I considered it "part of changing the noise of that instrument." Compression for "make it fit in the mix and make it louder" is always handled on a bus, and The Glue compressor as well as VBC are really good for that -- a lot of people don't seem to know that's what "the glue" is made for.

Also, yes, that's three compressors in a row on the master chain. The reason is for the reaction speed differences, and coloration.

I don't use a limiter for the final gain stage, it's just there to prevent clipping. I try not to let the limiter hit more than 1.5 or 2db -- at 3db or more it's definitely hurting the mix even with IRC III or Elephant

I think you can see this all in action on a project here:


Books I can't recommend enough:

Bob Katz
Mike Senior
Rick Snoman

TL;DR There's more than one way to do it, but after I read some books I tried a new way (to me) that I used on my most recent project and thought it was great for producing a nice loud (but not sausage) master.

My PC is high end though, on my older pc I couldn't run all this stuff at the same time.

u/Archaeoptero · 3 pointsr/edmproduction

Sounds like the problem isn't music theory, but applying it to composition.

I can recommend two things. First of all, you have to spend A LOT of time noodling around on an instrument. I'm sorry to say, but while the push may be useful for its purpose, it will not train you to recognize and spontaneously create melodic elements that deviate from simple chord progressions and leads. I learned on a piano, and I spent hours a week just jamming and noodling around to see what worked, what didn't, and how to add different elements like passing chords, dissonance, counterpoint, bass composition, modal improvisation, and so forth. This is just stuff that you naturally pick up after practicing a while. Try something new here and there, and you may find that it works quite nicely.

The second is to study the music of other composers. For this, I can't think of anything better than jazz. Classical music can help too, but it gets a bit more complicated and doesn't apply well to electronic music. Jazz is modern and simple enough to study, but can be musically complex (using those things like passing chords, modes, etc). It teaches one to get out of comfortable poppy chord progressions and melodies.

You might want to try this book http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Piano-Book-Mark-Levine/dp/0961470151. I've heard good things about it.

u/PhatTimmyT · 1 pointr/worshipleaders

I'll echo several comments on this thread. Take some time to learn theory yourself. Learn to read music. If all you knew how to do was speak English but never read English you would be missing out on so much beauty. I'm not saying become a proficient sight reader but at least learn about the written language of music.

Some ways to do that are to audit a music theory class at a local college, go through the lessons at musictheory.net, or pick up an easy adult piano course book like the one below which is how I got my start learning to read music before heading to college. The piano is the best instrument to learn how theory fits together on and learning theory on the piano has made me a phenomenally better guitarist.
http://www.amazon.com/Adult-All---One-Course-Lesson-Theory-Technic/dp/0882848186/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1452649895&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=adult+piano wh

A great place to start with these musicians is to begin using lead sheets. I've done this with several churches I've consulted with. (I'm work with a few church consulting firms helping churches transition music styles if they need to go more contemporary or blended to be more relevant to their community.) Taking an older church lady who is used to reading the block chords in hymns and using lead sheets to transition them to chord charts has worked 100% of the time. Lead sheets help them follow the count, which is what they're used too, but only gives them the melody to read. Songselect.com and praisecharts.com has all the lead sheets you'll ever need.

As a worship leader it's your responsibility not to grow complacent and learn, learn, learn as much as you can about music. Disciple these junior-high students into great church musicians. Meet them in the middle and share a common ground with them. You learn some theory and they learn some improv. Win-Win. Also, be patient.

u/alfiepates · 1 pointr/livesound

Don't make the mistake I did and just start buying gear. Sure, having all this fancy stuff is wonderful, but having just the stuff you need, and knowing how to use it is way better.

I cut my teeth working local amateur-professional theatre. It was a wonderful way to start and while I don't work with that theatre anymore, I will occasionally drop by and lend a hand on shows, etc.

The other thing you could do is fire off some emails to rental companies asking for work experience. A spare pair of hands around the shop is always useful and you can learn a lot.

Alternatively, if you have a vague understanding of audio already is reading this book. It's a bit wordy, but it explains very well all the concepts you'll need to understand. I'd advise reading it cover-to-cover, you'll probably have to set aside some afternoons.

Whatever you do, good luck! This is an awesome industry to be in, and your enthusiasm will take you far.

u/asgiantsastros · 2 pointsr/musictheory

If I understand what you're saying, then yes, Amaj7 with a 9 will sound good in certain cases. It's actually pretty popular to combine the 7 and the 9 in jazz chords. You can definitely have more than one extension to a chord, it's just pretty cumbersome to write Amaj7 add 9, so most of the time it is omitted to be just A9 or Amaj7.

If this kind of thing interests you (combining different types of chords and adding notes in the chord), definitely get a jazz theory book. Below is one a fairly popular one. It is one of the best ways to progress from amateur to journeyman, in my opinion. Get through that book and you'll be able to play in jam sessions with other musicians, be comfortable talking theory, while elevating your own playing to a degree you probably didn't think possible, etc.


u/shadfresh · 6 pointsr/electronicmusic

I have a few recommendations for you to get you started:

  1. This book: Music Theory for The Computer Musician , it's a great way to start off if you're unfamiliar with music theory. It gives you the basics and foundation of theory and while showing you how to apply it to various DAWs. It's a fairly easy read and there are quizzes and a CD with examples from the lessons. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

  2. Here are some good subreddits:

  3. As others have mentioned, there are no shortage of resources online. There's tons of Youtube videos and forums where you can find tutorials.

  4. I also recommend listening/reading up on different types of EDM to give yourself a better understanding of what differentiates each genre. For example, check out the "House Music" wiki. Look at the description and try to understand what the "elements" of House music are: Rhythm structure, characteristic sounds, etc.. Do that for the genres you like first, and then venture to others you may not be familiar with.

  5. Lastly, if you're serious about it, stick with it. Just like anything, the more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it. Also, keep in mind it's not a cheap hobby or easy (time wise). You can do a lot of basic stuff with you Macbook and Logic (or whatever DAW you prefer) to get yourself started. I would hold off buying much hardware until you are comfortable with basics. If anything I would start off with some headphone and speaker monitors. (the links are to what I'm using and recommend to get started).

    I hope at least some of that is helpful...Good luck with everything!
u/JuanPRamirez · 2 pointsr/piano

I run a discord serve aimed at helping people that are new at piano, but if that doesn't work for you I also recommend these sites.

MusicTheory.Net - to give you the overall idea of what music theory should be.

PianoLessonsOnTheWeb - for overall piano lessons. Not much seen into this guy personally, but what I have seen is pretty good.

Bill Hilton - absolutely awesome youtuber that provides some good ideas and techniques on what to do

Michael New - Overall really good at describing music theory.

Alfred's - Overall one of the most highly regarded beginner series known out there. Highly recommend.

Paul Barton - Overall to be amazed by his godly voice/humbleness and his overall playing (inspiration)

Discord - Shameless plug of my very own discrod server!

u/wirther · 2 pointsr/guitarlessons

I don't really play jazz music, nor do I listen to it that much, but I do hate the basic pentatonic sound. My recommendations for getting beyond on that would be:
1.) Read this book.
2.) Memorize the notes in scales/chords so that you can instantly recall, for example, what the major 6th from B is or anything else. Actually learning the notes that make up scales/chords instead of just the patterns on the fretboard is necessary, I feel, for the next step.
3.) Learn to target the notes of the chords that you're playing over more, instead of just doing the autopilot in a random scale thing that a lot of beginners do. That's a pretty standard skill in jazz, to be able to spell out the changes you're playing over. Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to playing target notes so much though, after you learn how to do it.
4.) Learn as many chords as you can.

After typing all that, I reread your post and it seems like you're going for the jazz fusion sound. My tips still help and that Mark Levine book I linked to will definitely still be useful to you, so don't chalk that up just because it doesn't look like a fusion book. But I also recommend now looking for some online lessons of that jazz fusion style you were talking about. That style of guitar seems to be pretty popular in terms of online lessons, so I don't think you'll have trouble finding anything. I would further recommend that you find some course that markets itself as a complete course in fusion guitar. If it costs money, then pay for it. Maybe pay for the fusion lessons instead of the Mark Levine book, if you're short on change. The reason why I say to pay for complete lessons, instead of trying to find some free lessons online, is that a complete course is just so much easier and better to work with than random, uncategorized lessons. You'll learn a lot more from some online course that's professionaly put together, than from some random dude on youtube who just makes videos in his spare time.

u/cuntbitchdick · 3 pointsr/Jazz

get all of your scales down. And I just mean like major/minor or Ionian/Aeolian. Just know your way up and down all of them, as well as all arpeggios. Knowing these shapes will help you to navigate charts easier. Second just start looking at charts, and don't even start playing in time with the music right away. Go through slowly and play the arpeggios (up to the seventh) of every change. Then play the song at speed and just go up and down each arpeggio. Eventually just start adding notes in between here and there and keep going like that until you are a master, and are ballin for shock calling. Seriously though, after doing that for a while start to look at things like major minor scales, and the altered scale, which are both very common in jazz (herbie hancock, wayne shorter). A good piece of literature on the subject is a book by Mark Levine called "The Jazz Theory Book" here it is on amazon for like thirty bucks, but well worth it imho. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1883217040/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_5?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;psc=1&amp;amp;smid=A2D0XUFQTHPTMU Best of luck.
The beginning of this part of learning jazz always sucks but it will be as much fun as you make it. Don't give up. This is a genre very worth learning how to play well.

u/AperionProject · 3 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

A few key things will help you:

Practice everyday, at least 30 minutes. Most of us can't afford the time to practice hours and hours a day, but 30 minutes consistently is necessary.

Get a piano teacher to work on improvisation with. This is THE best way to develop yourself.

Although I'm a big proponent of improvisation NOT being exlcusive to jazz (I think a musican should be able to improvise regardless of instrument or genre) there is an excellent book for piano you should definitely have: The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine

Make sure you know all your scales very, very well. Every type of scale - major, minor, modes, diminshed scales, etc. And practice improvising around the circle of 4ths (or 5ths) with a metronome on beats 2 &amp; 4. This will help your rhythm and everything out a great deal.

u/srr728 · 2 pointsr/Guitar

I wouldn't be too worried about the nut. Chances are that they didn't need to do any change to the nut when going from factory 9s to 10s. I've put 10s on all my Fenders and haven't had any issues with the nut action. Even if it was filed slightly, the chances are that it isn't going to really cause any issues going back to 9s, but you won't know for sure until you get it strung up and see what the nut action is like. As for the rest of it, basic setup on a strat is pretty straight forward. You may need to adjust the truss rod slightly in order to get the proper relief, but it isn't difficult. Just do it slow and make small adjustments at a time. The most tedious part is really adjusting intonation and/or if you want the trem to be floated. It isn't difficult, it just takes patience as you have to keep re-tuning after every adjustment.

As for taking all the strings off, you shouldn't have any problem with this. I've never had any issue with taking all the strings off when I restring, because I usually do a fret board clean (and oil if it is rosewood or ebony) and a quick fret polish. The only real worry is the need to reset the trem if you want it floated, which in this case you would have to do anyways since you are changing gauges. It really isn't difficult to do a setup. Just read up/watch some how-to videos and take your time. Also, if you plan on doing your own maintenance I highly recommend checking out this book. It is definitely a great reference/guide for most repair/maintenance work.

u/big_floppy · 2 pointsr/drums

Stick Control. Most drummers will say it's best to start with this book but I'll be honest- it's not fun. Don't expect to be wowed by drumming with this book. It's meant to build good form/technique and other solid fundamentals that are very important to drumming.

Either way, if you're looking for something a bit more exciting, I'd say search youtube for beginner lessons on the kit and/or your pad.

Good luck!

u/goomba870 · 1 pointr/edmproduction

FL Studio is a great start in my opinion. If you've already put 10 hours in, and are making some cool sounds that you feel good about, you've already overcome one of the largest obstacles!

One way to take it to the next level is to try to re-create a song you like, or part of it, in FL Studio. Take for example this section of your first link. You could roughly recreate that in FL Studio without too much pain. Just don't give up until you get the sound you're looking for. Maybe start with the drum parts, figure out the 1,2,3,4's of it, and try to put that into a loop in FL. Then bust out the synthesizer for the saws on top of the drums. You said you don't have much synth experience, so layering some saws over your drums and tweaking things until it sounds correct would be a great exercise.

For MIDI gear, a small keyboard would be great for experimenting and learning. Maybe get one with some pads and knobs that you can map to your sweet FL saws that you were layering? I'd say skip the drum machine for now, you can do all of that sequencing in FL and 1000x better IMO. However drum pads are nice, where you can bang out patterns and fills using your hands. You could try something like the MPK25 USB controller which has keys, pads, and knobs all in one.

The main thing is to really sit down and learn. You've already got good software and the passion, that's all you need. A small midi keyboard or controller might help you get started, but don't get lost in different devices, plugins, etc. as they will just slow down your learning as they provide instant gratification while you miss out on learning the fundamentals. Books can be helpful as well, I'd recommend the Dance Music Manual. Don't lose your passion, practice or study every day. Read and watch videos! Ask questions!

u/lwp8530 · 2 pointsr/Guitar

They are both brilliant and will last a lifetime, I've had them for around 5 years and they still blow my mind, and keep me learning.

Some others I own and think a great are:

[Creative Guitar 1 and 2 by Guthrie Govan] ( http://www.amazon.com/Guthrie-Govan/e/B0034Q44JU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1) In my opinion the best guitarist around. He has a mastery over the guitar at a level I have never seen! These books are excellent a written in a ways that enjoyable and easy to understand

[Single Note Soloing, Volume 1] (http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Guitar-Single-Soloing-Volume/dp/0769209726/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;refRID=0MRB4A99W8P09SX6GMQG) and [Volume 2] (http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Guitar-Single-Soloing-Volume/dp/0739053841/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;refRID=1GGV91GVW1H6MM5AQ6C0) by Ted Greene. Excellent for jazz soloing.

[The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine] ( http://www.amazon.com/Jazz-Theory-Book-Mark-Levine/dp/1883217040/ref=pd_sim_b_17?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;refRID=1FP5R211R7V7ZDP5Q4GT) THE book on jazz, this is without a doubt a must own!

If you want to get really deep and crazy take a look at the Scott McGill books:

[Scott McGill] (http://www.amazon.com/Scott-McGill/e/B00J36EZ58/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1)

And lastly for an insane look at rhythms [Advance Rhythmic Concepts for Guitars by Jan Rivera] (http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Rhythmic-Concepts-Foreword-Machacek/dp/0615979831/ref=pd_sim_b_2?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;refRID=0J05GGH3PGDQRWPRB298) Metric Modulations, Polyrhythms and Polymeters galore! I feel with most guitarists rhythm is often overlooked and getting your rhythmic playing down separates the men from the boys. It's amazing how good rhythm can make the simplest of solos mind melting.

u/MouthyMike · 1 pointr/guitars


That is a really good source of useful information. It goes as far in-depth as you wish to go. There is information that is useful to every level of guitarist and luthier as well. Clearly explains the basics every guitar owner should know. Using this book, I set up my LTD with FR Special on it in drop C the very first time I did it. Really simple procedure and my guitar stays in tune very very well. Divebombs go back up right in tune every time.

I suggest trying different strings, different tunings, and different setups (varying string height etc) to find what you like and what feels good. Take it to a pro if you don't want to go to that much trouble, although it is pretty easy if you have any DIY skills. Try to let them know what you plan to mostly play on it.. different styles will favor a certain setup. That book tells how guitarists including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King and several more have their guitars setup.

u/Tiger_Widow · 1 pointr/edmproduction

bad advice so far imo. You shouldn't try to learn something by randomly messing about until you eventual 'learn' it. Learn theory by reading books written on theory. Start with the basic conceptual stuff like what melody and harmony is and why it works the way it does. Learn your ABCs: major and minor scales, modes. How to build chords, Scale degrees and intervals. the cycle of fifths. The consonant &lt; &gt; Dissonant spectrum and how it relates to melody and harmony e.t.c.

THEN you can 'mess about', but in a structured way and explore the stuff you're learning as you learn it. Simply knowing scales is the equivalent of being able to say "hello" "yes" "no" "my name is" e.t.c. You've really got to get into the underlying relationships of intervals and harmony to begin getting a grasp of how to apply meaning (emotion/rhetoric/feeling) to your music.

the books by Michael Hewitt are a decent start as they apply this stuff in a computer music context. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Theory-Computer-Musicians-Michael-Hewitt/dp/1598635034

later down the line you can get into more complicated stuff like diatonic harmony, classical form, post tonal theory e.t.c.



It all depends on how far you want to go with it and ultimately how much control and scope you want to have. A lot of EDM producers are relatively theoretically mute. But it doesn't stop them from making decent music within the practice/genre they're versed in (but that's a different conversation a little outside the scope of your question ;) )

Also, study your favorite tracks, use what knowledge you have to deconstruct music you like, copy the chord progressions, arrangements, mimic timbre, vibe and theme e.t.c. Get familiar with the nuts and bolts of what makes the music you like sound so good to you, and then apply that general orientation in a creative manner to your own workflow.

Hope this helped!

u/hightrancesea · 3 pointsr/audioengineering

&gt; You are wildly incorrect. Never before has a compression plugin been too fast for the sampling rate. A compressor would have to have an attack time of 0.00002267573 seconds for this to even make sense.

Compressors multiply the incoming signal by a time-varying gain signal; the total bandwidth of the ideal output signal is approximately the sum of the two. So if you have an input signal at 10kHz, any compression gain signal with a bandwidth over 12.05kHz will alias without additional oversampling in the compressor plugin, which not all plugin manufacturers implement. For any attack time below 1 millisecond, a 12.05kHz-bandlimited approximation of the compressor gain signal will look pretty terrible, but without bandlimiting of the gain signal, you'll get aliasing. Hence, the need for oversampling.

&gt; Furthermore, there is plenty anti-aliasing filters built into DAWs and converters to prevent just the type of distortion you describe.

Anti-aliasing filters are used to prevent aliasing when you start from a higher sampling rate, whether that's infinity (analog) or for an oversampled signal. I don't see how building them into the DAW or an ADC/DAC do anything for the aliasing that occurs inside a plugin.

&gt; You get no advantage bouncing at a higher sampling rate if your plugins over-sample.

And I heartily agree with you on this as can be seen in my original reply. Unfortunately, not all plugins over-sample.

&gt; You have a very incorrect view of how digital audio functions. I highly recommend this book:
&gt; https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Audio-Science-Bob-Katz/dp/0240808371
&gt; It goes into great detail about just how this sort of things work.

Thanks for the recommendation, but for the basics of digital audio, I instead recommend Oppenheim and Schafer's Discrete-Time Signal Processing for the mathematical theory as well as JOS's series of digital audio processing online books for more application-oriented concepts.

u/CorkyRoboto · 1 pointr/edmproduction

Awesome dude! I'm a huge Seven Lions fan, as well as Mitis. Any melodic dubstep really. It sounds like you have found your taste, and a style that you truly love. Now just focus on developing your way of turning that taste into something you're proud of.

Pick something that you feel you need a lot of improvement and work on that. If you're making melodic music I would focus on just that.... melodic stuff. Learn music theory. Buy this book

This book is what really helped me understand music. I am still learning new things everyday about theory. If you wanna make anything like Mitis or Seven Lions you will heavily benefit from theory. Both of those dudes have a solid understanding of music theory and the basic foundations of a song.

Send me that link dude!

u/gizm770o · 3 pointsr/techtheatre

If you are looking to do sound I would definitely pick up a copy of Yamaha's Sound Reinforcement Handbook. It is a super helpful book for giving you a basic knowledge of systems, how they work and how to make them work for you. It is somewhat out of date but is still super useful. The Audio Dictionary is also a very helpful resource.

Also make sure to get a very good knowledge of power and electrical theory. I'm always amazed at how lost a lot of audio engineers/sound designers seem to be when it comes to power. It is an extremely important part of what we have to do.

u/OZONE_TempuS · 5 pointsr/Bass

I subscribed to Mark Michell's (Scale the Summit bassist) website Low End University that covers a myriad of topics both bass and non bass related, I'd say its a little more advanced material than what Scott Devine offers but both are great and have some good stuff for free.

As for books, I'd always been really interested in music theory behind jazz and certain video game OSTs and I can't recommend Mark Levine's The Jazz Theory book if that's your sort of thing. As someone else posted, Alex Webster's book is marvelous for not so much composition but being able to fluidly play intense rhythms and using three fingers.

u/Earhacker · 45 pointsr/edmproduction

First of all, you have to decide what you want the focus of the track to be on. You talk about bass a lot, so I guess that's your focus. So start by lowering all faders to the bottom (start with silence).

&gt;When mixing, what are my goals to get my levels at?

Skip to the main part of your song, a part where everything is playing. Raise the fader on your bass channel so that it peaks at about -12dB on your Master channel meter. Now, without looking at any meters, raise the fader of your next most important channel (in EDM, usually the kick) until it sounds good alongside the bass. Then do the same with the next most important channel until all three sound good together and repeat until you've raised all faders by whatever amount.

By the time you're done, you will probably be peaking at -6dB. Don't worry if you aren't, so long as you're not clipping.

Not every part of your song will fit into this mix, but it's a pretty good place to start. Now you get busy with automation in parts like your intro/outro and breakdowns.

&gt;To make my track professional sounding, I'm using a spectrum analyzer, so what do I want the shape of all the levels to be?

Forget about the spectrum analyser. They have their uses, but real men mix with their ears. Professionals mix with their ears. Stop worrying about the numbers (so long as you're not clipping!)

&gt;Is bass supposed to be higher than the rest because it's perceived as lower?

Not necessarily. You might find that your bass fader is higher than the rest, but that's because you made it your focus. It would be different if you were making a rock track, where the guitar or vocals would be the focus of the mix.

&gt;How do I get things like my lead to stand out without squashing hats and other sounds?

We call this "separation," and you do it with EQ. If your leads are interfering with your hats, chances are that they are sharing some of the same frequencies. What you have to do with EQ is separate the frequencies of each channel so that they don't clash. This is where you would use that spectrum analyser, at least until you develop a good sense of frequency with your ears alone. Solo the hats and look at where they peak on the spectrum. Now cut that frequency from your lead with EQ. Don't go nuts, a cut of 5-6dB is more than enough. Now do the same in reverse - look at where the lead peaks and cut that from the hats. The two tracks should now play nicely together without clashing.

By the way, I'm of the opinion that with EDM, where the producer is in full control of the sound design of all the elements of a track, if you need to drastically EQ any track, then it's better to just rethink the sound selection. Why bother trying to force a lead to fit a hi-hat when you have many GB of other hi-hats on your hard drive, or when you have a synth with total control of the frequencies in your lead? It's true, you can't polish a turd, and you can't make two polished turds look good together either.

&gt;Often I test it in my car with a subwoofer and my levels for bass are low but I'm already almost clipping.

It's probably just that other channels have bass information that doesn't need to be there, leaving no room for your actual bass. Since you're now mixing to focus on your bass, this should be less of a problem. To go along with what I was saying about frequency separation it's common to just high-pass filter every channel to about 120Hz except the bass and kick, so that they are the only thing heard in that whole frequency band (which is what your subs are playing).

&gt;I just need like an in depth text resource

My recommendations are The Art of Mixing and Mastering Audio.

u/barryfandango · 2 pointsr/piano

/u/improvthismoment is right about how jazz is generally learned, but if you prefer to sight read insead of lifting from recordings, there are lots of great jazz transcriptions out there that can help develop your style and vocabulary. The World's Best Piano Arrangements has a generic sounding name but is a pretty dynamite book that has taught me a lot.

If you're interested in getting going with real jazz piano, The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine is a classic that has kicked off many great jazz piano journeys. Good luck!

u/autumnfalln · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Aw, I'm sorry you're feeling sick and bummed out. I'm in the same exact boat! I'm got super sick yesterday, and today I'm feeling no better. And this week is my Spring Break! I had plans to be outside and stuff. Sigh. I guess it's better that I got sick when I didn't have school though. =/

I saw this video last night and I couldn't help but smile! It's silly, but I like Taking Back Sunday a lot, and I thought it was really cool of them to do this. Plus, the chorus is like...genuinely awesome, haha! And they showed bunny and chinchilla puppets (I have a bunny, and I had a chinchilla that passed away two years ago).

If that doesn't put a little grin on your face, then this ought to do the trick! =D

Oh, and here's my item: piano practice book.

Please feel better and thank you so much for hosting this contest!

u/NorrecV · 1 pointr/piano

You should get a piano bench that is adjustable. I started with the one linked below, although I'd shop around as the price may have jumped up. I don't remember spending 50 dollars, but considering it's lasted 6 years I guess it was worth it. It's not 100% adjustable since it has "levels" and you might end up needing a height between levels. The acoustic piano benches that are fully adjustable cost $200+ though. A bench at the proper height will help avoid back pain after playing for a little while.

Scales are good to learn, you can do this as a warm up. I just listed two that seem to come up often and only had a single black key in them. I wouldn't recommend learning only scales as that would get boring. My teacher would have me do one scale as a warm up and when I could play it two-octave, hands together, including the 3 primary chords and inversions, and the arpeggio (the book we used had all of these on one page) then we'd move to a new one.

Now I'm going back and playing the scales of any pieces I'm working on at the time during warm-up. I do 4 octaves contrary motion. So it starts out normal then half way left hand starts going back down and right hand keeps going up. When right hand hits the 4th octave it starts going down and left hand starts going up again. Makes them feel fresh. I can learn scales faster than pieces so soon I'll have to start rotating scales in that aren't tied to pieces.


Edit - this is the new book I use for scales. The old one was fine but this had a little more info in it. There were some sections at the beginning that explained how scales were formed before getting into the usual big list of all of them.


u/KFung · 1 pointr/piano

Hey there!
Since you don't have any musical background, a great place to start is learning how to read sheet music and general music theory. A great website for you is http://www.musictheory.net/
Under lessons, you can learn a ton about sheet music.

To be honest, I'm not a great Piano player. I just recently picked it back up. I do, however, have a musical background and even with the information I have, it is still difficult to pick up. I don't have a teacher but I will eventually get one whenever money isn't so tight. Piano isn't something you learn how to play overnight nor is it something you can "master". You can always improve and there is always something to learn.

The last piece of advice I could give you is buy a workbook! It's especially helpful. I personally recommend:

Good luck and have a blast on this new journey you're about to embark! Remember, don't give up! You got this!

u/shocknob · 7 pointsr/edmproduction

Music theory is kind of interactive since you should play the notes and listen while learning scales and chords. So you can use a book but you can also learn most of the stuff online.

This site is great for learning music theory from the ground of. Those a step-by-step tutorials and are just nice to start with:


If you're looking for tips to actually write and compose melodies, this is a more abstract but still nice guide:


Experimentation is always the key. You need some theory yes, but more importantly you should play your keyboard and listen to the notes/chords and find out what sounds nice.

If I would have to recommend a book, this is piece here is old but still gold:


u/Gizank · 4 pointsr/Guitar

The same way you learned the E string, you can learn the A string with A-shape barre chords. (Then you can learn the C, G and D shape barres.;)

I have spent some time using just about anything I could find for help with learning the fretboard. I use a little trainer app on my phone, and I also used this book. The author uses a system based on five patterns for finding all positions of any given note on the fretboard. ("Pattern 1 has roots on the second and fifth strings, two frets apart.")

In addition, as cthrubuoy says, knowing about the octaves is very useful.

Try learning just the natural notes, or try drilling yourself regularly. Put your finger behind a fret and then identify the note. Or pick a note and find all of them. 10 minutes of this a day can be a HUGE help.

I also memorized a few landmark notes on the fretboard. Places where E, F, B, and C are stacked on top of each other, for instance, helps to learn the notes around them. Also, knowing that in standard tuning the nut (open), the 5th, 10th, 12th, and 17th frets are all natural notes could be useful.

In the end, what works best is consistently applying yourself to getting it. Until I started working at it every day (a few months ago) I could pretty much tell you the E string, and some of the A string, and anything else I would have to count out.

u/NickCorey · 3 pointsr/Guitar

My advice is to buy some books. There's a lot of info on the internet, but it's all spread out and often chopped up into pieces, which can make it a bitch to make sense of. If you're going to go the internet route, though, check out guitarlessons365.com (not affiliated in any way). The vast majority of the lessons are free and the music theory section is completely free, not to mention very good.


Regarding books, this is a great, easy to read book on music theory that won't hurt your head. I'd start either here or with guitarlessons365.


For guitar books, Fretboard Logic is a must read. Definitely buy this. It focuses on the 5 position system (CAGED). If you're interested in learning the 7 position system for the major scales and other 7 note scales, check out guitarlessons365.


After that, I'd check out this as well.


Worth checking this out as well.


Here's another important book. I'd probably buy this last, though.


u/stevewheelermusic · 2 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers

I've been a drummer since I was 8. Quite rusty right now as a lot of things have kept me from practicing (moving to apartments for years, etc.). Honestly, it's never too late to start. Are you going to be playing Carnegie Hall in a year? Wildly unlikely. But as long as your expectations are grounded in reality, that learning anything takes time and practice, you should be good.

As for practice and sense of tempo/timing: it is imperative that you buy a good metronome and practice with it regularly. You don't necessarily need a Dr. Beat, though I have one, and it is useful at times. But you do need some kind of click to play off of.

Can you read music? If so, there are some really good technique books out there that I'd recommend that are classics. Most people hate grinding technique, but I find it oddly relaxing. Here's some good books:

  • Stick Control
  • Syncopation
  • Master Studies - (Do wait on this one a bit and start slow. It is possible to injure yourself if you get too carried away. Stone Killer exercises are no joke)
  • New Breed - This one's actually a full drum set book. Quite challenging. May want to wait on this one a bit or try to just play one or two of the lines together (eg. right and and right foot).

    The first two books are probably where you should start. With all of these, start the metronome at molasses level slow - like 60 bpm or maybe even slower if you're not accurate at that speed. Get comfortable with that speed - maybe 15-30 mins at that speed without any mistakes. Then bump the timing up slightly 2-4 bpm and repeat. At no point should you be tensing up. If you are, you need to stop immediately, shake out your arms, and back down the tempo a bit.

    Make sure that you're making more use of your fingers than your wrists. Wrists can be good to start the stroke, but your fingers should be doing a lot of the work.

    There's a lot of other technique stuff that you can do, but the above alone could take you 5-10 years of solid daily practice if you're being thorough.

    Good luck!
u/temp9123 · 1 pointr/TrueAnime

If you're interested in playing, definitely check out iReal Pro. It comes with the progressions for over 1,300 jazz standards and will play synthesized backing tracks that you can transpose to any key or adjust the tempo.

You can also make your own - for example, improvising a sloppy solo on "Auld Lang Syne" in F takes nearly zero brain power to do - but since I couldn't find a similar jazz standard, I ended up putting together my own based on The Public Domain Christmas Jazz Fakebook I found on /r/jazz a long time ago.

Also, while you're at it, start burning your scales (most major and minor modes across all keys, blues, bebop, pentatonic) into muscle memory. One good Youtube channel for jazz piano is Walk That Bass. I also have Mark Levine's The Jazz Theory Book, which comes well recommended but is rather heavy on the theory. For somebody getting started it's better to get a feel for jazz and the method to its madness by transcribing individual pieces and solos. Always use a metronome. Don't get too dependent on the pedal; avoid if possible.

I'm not the most experienced pianist, but playing jazz is by far the most heavy in mechanics and theory music I've ever approached, but it's very rewarding and extremely cathartic once you get into the groove of things. Churning out lines and licks one after another is wonderfully fun and pleasant to listen to once it starts getting even somewhat close to habit - well, except to any unfortunate neighbors who are stuck hearing the same progressions day after day.

u/valier_l · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

You say you play an instrument so I'll work under the assumption you have a basic understanding of chords/chord professions.

There are many different types of "jazz" music and ensembles- big band, Dixieland, Latin fusion, etc. but based on your question I'm guessing you're asking more about small combo-improv-heavy Jazz.

The basic idea is that you have a chord progression and typically a melody is played once or twice, then followed by improv solos. These solos work within and around that same chord progression.

A good way to get started is to pick a song you like, find the chord progression, and start practicing the notes on repeat. Don't try to play in tempo, just go through each chord and play the scale. Then start over and do the same thing but do scale in thirds instead. Then do arpeggios. Then start to embellish a little. Another great learning technique is to listen to pros solo on a song you like, then try to mimic their licks.

If you're looking for a good place to find chord progressions for pretty much every jazz standard, get yourself a [Real Book](The Real Book: Sixth Edition https://www.amazon.com/dp/0634060384/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_sI1oxbFVNBDBW)

Fair warning: improv has a VERY long learning curve. You'll probably suck at first. That's okay.

u/BetterGhost · 3 pointsr/Guitar

This is a really short description of each, but hopefully will help.

CAGED system is a way of knowing how to play chords all over the neck. If you know the notes of the fretboard and where the root note is in each chord shape, then you can use that to play any chord, in any position using only the C, A, G, E and D chord shapes. If you're looking for a C chord near the 13th fret, there's an C on string 2 fret 13. The D shape has the root note on the 2nd string, so if you play a D chord shape at the 12th position (which uses the C root note on the 2nd string), that'll be an C chord. Alternatively, you could think about it this way... if a D chord is at the 14th position, slide a full step down to the 12th position and you'll have a C chord.

Next, if you know the scale positions and the root note within each, you can combine the CAGED system with scale positions and blend them.

The keys to understanding this are 1) understanding the CAGED system, 2) knowing scale positions (you mentioned pentatonic and mixolydian - just pick one scale type for a start), and 3) knowing the notes of the fretboard. Once you have a solid understanding of those, a bit of practice will get you over the hump with combining them.

The thing that helped me put all of this together (apart from hours of practice with backing tracks), was a book called Guitar Fretboard Workbook. The exercises are short and helped with memorizing note positions on the fretboard, and it has a good explanation of the CAGED system as well.

I hope this helps.

Edit: corrected chord name.

u/schmarschmucks · 5 pointsr/musiccognition

I honestly think that learning some music theory will help. It gives you a deeper understanding of why things sound good when they do, and what things are likely to sound good together. To me, learning theory isn't really learning "someone else's music." Think of music like a language. Learning grammar and syntax won't stop you from making unique and beautiful sentences.
Also, I recommend reading This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levintin. Good luck! :)

u/jessequijano · 1 pointr/piano

music theory on youtube


see if you can hook up your instrument to a computer or get a modest priced/used one that can and get synthesia


pickup this book; you can take the cdrom that comes with the book and load those midi files into synthesia. This will allow you to ensure you are doing the exercises in the book correctly


Learn the landmark system (instead of the typical Every Good Boy Deserves Chocolate and FACE methods of learning the Treble Clef


I also recently had this book recommended to me but it has not arrived yet


I just started using this app to train my ear to identify notes


My method so far about 8 months into learning. My best friend is a professional musician (lives far so can't help me practically) and unlike some opinions floating around he was very encouraging of using Synthesia as long as I continued to pursue actual music reading in parallel. There is a button on Synthesia to show the sheet music so you can do both. That said sitting with just the book or a piece of music that is familiar in front of you and forcing yourself to spend some time with it alone is very fulfilling and will come slowly as you work with all of these materials. Good Luck!

u/OrendaBass · 5 pointsr/edmproduction

Def want acoustic Treatments for sure. I've stumbled across some pretty crazy deals on Ebay from time to time. Upgrade your monitoring next and get a small sub. Try to get monitors and subs that are the same series, as they are often built to work together and have easy cutoff switches that end/start at the others frequencies. Something like this is ideal for a great price: https://www.ebay.com/i/182475564279?chn=ps&amp;amp;dispItem=1

Avoid monitors that are ported in the front (i.e. rokit krk's). If you want bass traps, make your own. Just goolge the process. Keep in mind a bed is already and excellent bass trap, if there is one in your room. Generally want monitors at ear level. This book is a wealth of information on this topic and many others. Maybe check it out as well: https://www.amazon.com/Mixing-Secrets-Small-Studio-Presents/dp/0240815807/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1501967590&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=mixing+secrets+for+the+small+studio

Good luck with everything! Enjoy yourself!

u/YogurtBatmanSwag · 5 pointsr/musictheory

You mentioned you like jazz, feel free to hang out with us /r/Jazz

Internet is great, and there is a lot for good free ressources. You'll have to go through a bunch of crap though, it can be confusing for a beginner and takes valuable time away to an already time consuming hobby.

So here are a few books I personally recommand.

Jazzology, an encyclopedia of theory centered around jazz that you can use with any genre. It's really good.

The real book, a good way to learn jazz standards with sheets that aren't so painful, using solfège for melody and letters for chords. This is the format I use with students.

The Jazz Theory book, or anything from mark levine.

The Complete Musician is good if you can find it for cheap, which is no easy task.

The definition of perfect pitch includes knowing the names of the notes. Without this knowledge, it's just "having a good ear". A good way to practice it is picking random notes and visualizing what the chord will sound like before playing it. That vizualisation aspect is the amazing thing about absolute pitch and helps with composing. The tuning or knowing what key you're in things are cute but fairly irrelevant.

Anyway, have fun.

u/OnaZ · 3 pointsr/piano

Scales would be the obvious place to start. Work on one scale every week for the whole week. Find a resource online for proper fingering or pick up a cheap resource like this. Hands slowly separately. Then hands slowly together. Work with a metronome.

Try to find a teacher as soon as you can. Even a few formative lessons (1 to 3 months) will do wonders for your playing down the road and give you the best possible chance to develop good technique.

Music flashcards are good. Back in my day they were actually on paper, but nowadays there are apps which do a better job. Make it a priority to be comfortable reading music.

Now that you have your keyboard, I strongly urge you to examine your chair height. Most people sit too low and this starts causing extra wrist tension. Look for the forearms to be level or sloping slightly downward toward the keyboard.

Good luck! Take it slow, don't expect anything to come quickly. Be patient. Have fun!

u/faderjockey · 9 pointsr/techtheatre

For engineering concepts, and a great general reference on sound systems and how they work, the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook

For sound system design, the best reference is Bob McCarthy's Sound Systems: Design and Optimization

For another great book that discusses both system design as well as artistic sound design, John Leondard's Theatre Sound is top notch.

Shannon Slaton's Mixing a Musical: Broadway Theatrical Sound Techniques is a great picture of how the "big shows" are run.

For a beginner's guide to sound, the [http://www.soundcraft.com/support/gtm_booklet.aspx](Soundcraft Guide to Mixing) is a good primer: not as technically dense as the Yamaha book.

There are others out there, these are my favorite.

u/Brianomatic · 2 pointsr/Guitar

This is your brain on music. The idea that when something musical surprises us, you know you might let out a little snicker and think "wow that's really good" or "interesting I wouldn't have done that but I like it" is like an inside joke we can appreciate. I can't help but think of that all the time now. Also the fact that we are programmed from a very early age to interpret and appreciate music. Just a great book in my opinion.

u/S1GNL · 2 pointsr/edmproduction

Yeah, sidechain compression kick/ bass is a topic that is probably the most discussed one on youtube :D

I recommend you to spend some time with this book. Taught me a lot! It’s rather for mixing engineers than for producers. But as we are our own mixing engineers, we should know all of that stuff that’s in there! That book could be much more expensive imo.

  1. Kick EQ:

    First, lo-cut (HPF) the kick. Start with 18 dB per octave slope at 30 Hz.

    Some people recommend to scoop out the frequency bands which are mostly prominent "on the other side".
    E.g. Kick bell cut at 30-60 Hz, Bass bell cut at 60-100 Hz.
    Well, I think that’s an old technique which has been used in the past in the analogue world for acoustic drums and electric bass guitars. We can use gazillions compressors and EQ’s ITB and sidechain everything with everything, so why limit ourselves?
    I follow Mike Senior’s advice: Always high/ low pass first! If you can high/low pass it, don’t use bell cuts/ boosts.

  2. Bass Ducking-Compressor:

    Start with these compressor settings for the sidechain ducking, but don't necessarily stick to them,
    and adjust later to taste:

    High(est) Ratio your compressor provides, fastest attack (it's ducking, so we don't give a shit about transients here), release adapted to your songs 16 th (maybe 32 th, depends on the kick you use) note tempo, so the “coming back” of the bass fits in the “groove”


    I start with a gain reduction of - 9dB, sometimes more, sometimes less. Adjust until the bass is kind of just the “tail” of the kick. Make it tight.

    Now turn up your monitors or sub (or make a car stereo check). Is there a sort of rumbling/ wobbling -&gt; adjust the lo-cut of your kick and/ or increase the gain reduction. Don’t do the kick EQ adjustment in solo mode! Your kick might sound really terrible in solo mode, but if that’s the EQ setting you need for the kick/ bass combination, then that’s the setting you need.

    If you have parts where the kick plays without the bass, like intro or something, and the sound is just too thin, then automate the EQ’s lo-cut, so the lo-cut only is active during the bass included parts.

    Hope that helps. Get creative!
u/bringy · 5 pointsr/piano

As others are saying, I think you're going to be hard-pressed to put together a solid audition in six weeks if you don't have any jazz experience. But you've got four years, right? There's no reason you can't go out your sophomore year. If you really want to get into jazz piano, I recommend checking out Mark Levine's Jazz Piano Book. Each chapter represents months, if not more, of practice, but you'll have a very strong foundation to build on if you keep with it.

I think going out for choir would actually be a great idea. Singing in harmony with others is one of the most satisfying musical experiences you can have, and it's GREAT ear training. Plus, there's no reason you can't continue playing solo repertoire, right? If you hang out in the music department a bunch, you might even be able to pop in on jam sessions or start a band with some like-minded musicians. Not to mention what's out there if your school is near a major metropolitan area.

u/DJSamedi · 2 pointsr/Music

How did I get into it? I started as a DJ. Next logical step I suppose.


Read up. Here are some of my favorites, and I do recommend buying them as you will probably refer to them often.

This would be my top pick: http://www.amazon.com/Dance-Music-Manual-Tools-Techniques/dp/0240521072

This is one on psychoacoustics, which I've found had some helpful knowledge: http://www.amazon.com/How-Music-Works-David-Byrne/dp/1938073533

And this is one on the history of electronic music, which I personally LOVED reading. Great information, and if you truly respect the scene as a whole, you should 100% read this: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Night-DJ-Saved-Life/dp/0802146104/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1419810859&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=last+night+a+dj+saved+my+life

As far as software goes, they are all kind of a personal thing. Some offer things that others don't. My recommendation is to try before you buy, especially considering production software is expensive.

In addition, there is also a large choice of hardware you can use for production. You should look into getting a keyboard and some good monitor speakers at a bare minimum. If you stick with it, I would suggest you buy yourself a drum machine/step sequencer. My personal recommendation is Native Instruments 'Maschine.'

EDIT: A word.

u/Bebop_Ba-Bailey · 5 pointsr/piano

It's hard to find stuff on Jazz Theory on Google for sure, much less recommendations for music transcription. I really can't think of a good place to start with regards to the songs you should try to transcribe, but there are books I've used that have plenty of suggested reading/listening listed. Hopefully you don't already know about these...

The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine (it can be kind of pricy, here's a link to it on Amazon) which has a whole regimen of listening suggestions in its curriculum, focusing a good amount on jazz harmony, and melodic improvisation.

I learned a lot about jazz chords and voicings from Miracle Voicings by Frank Mantooth. Working through these books will help you understand better how to approach jazz chords, which should help you better conceive of what you're hearing when you try to transcribe them.

EDIT: The book has been republished as Voicings for Jazz Keyboard by Frank Mantooth

u/tit_curtain · 2 pointsr/piano

B&amp;H has the px160 with stand, pedals, and bench for $450 new.


Guitar center has a lot of used digital pianos. They price them to be competitive with used listings on ebay. Looking through listings on guitarcenter and sold listings on ebay might be as close as you'll get to a blue book value.


PX150 and PX160 have the same action, either would be fine to start on. Getting a yamaha p115, kawai es110, or roland fp30 might be a better fit for some, but the level of improvement is not huge. Unless you really dislike the casio tone, either keeping the px150, or selling it to get the px160 bundle I linked above, would leave you with a perfectly fine instrument to start out on.

A teacher is recommended, but if you go with method books, faber adult all in one or alfred adult all in one are fine to start with.



If you get to the end of the third alfred book and can play through the pieces in the 'ambitious sections' at the end of the book, you might want to consider an upgrade. Until then, don't worry about it. A PX150 is just fine.


u/darknessvisible · 2 pointsr/piano

I haven't seen a (free) scale and arpeggio manual online, but a complete training book is available for $5 at amazon. You may as well buy one because it will last a lifetime and it will give you a rock solid foundation to build your repertoire upon.

For free sheet music the best place I have found is the Petrucci Music Library at imslp.org. Best of luck on your piano journey.

u/solidh2o · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

Most piano teachers will give you this book to start:


I spent a long time learning as a child, went back to teachers a couple of times as an adult to get a refresher. If you can get through book 1 and book 2 in the series, you can pretty much play any pop song, and holiday type song and it allows you to start to gauge tracks at an intermediate level. From there it's how much you want to practice.

1 hour a day every day for 2 years will do more for your ability than any number of lessons. Teachers are a guide, it's all about your willingness to work at a new skill. If you can't do an hour, do 30 minutes, or even 15. But daily practice is the key. If you can't commit to 15 minutes a day, you should consider what else you're prioritizing if you really want to learn to play.

Also, the whole 10,000 hours to mastery is especially true for any kind of music. an hour a day means 30 years to mastery. 8 hours a day means 5 years. This is why musicians typically get really good in high school - by around 6th grade most people are crossing over from hobby to passion, and then start committing real time to their passion before real world problems get in the way ( like work, marriage, kids, etc.).

u/BubblesOfSteel · 3 pointsr/audioengineering

Read the Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook

The Sound Reinforcement Handbook

It has all the fundamentals you need to work with live sound.

You’ll do well to find someone who already knows how things work and shadow them on some gigs, preferably in different venues, indoor and out. Church sound can be a good place to start, but remember that any installed system has already been set up and configured so things go pretty easy.

If you play an instrument, get out there and play as much as you can, so you understand how it feels on stage and can relate to the musicians you’re running sound for.

Good luck!

u/harmlessmusic · 7 pointsr/WeAreTheMusicMakers
  • Learn how to NOT RUSH. It is a tendency of every beginner musician I've ever known. The easiest way to force yourself to stay slow is to subdivide in your head (Subdivide AS MANY TIMES as you need to stay slow. You may be physically playing notes slowly, but if you're thinking at the fastest rhythm possible, It will be next to impossible to rush). Use a metronome/click track on the slowest possible setting and play songs you're comfortable with until you can keep a steady beat.

  • Learn about rudiments. These are the building blocks for a lot of different rhythms. I'd highly recommend picking up a good book on rudimental drumming and practice the examples forwards, backwards, and sideways! This book is my number one recommendation for ANYONE serious about learning rhythm.

  • As several people have said, dynamics are incredibly important for percussion. As a quick example, take any rhythmic passage, then practice accenting the downbeats, the upbeats, then alternate, then accent TWO downbeats, two upbeats, three downbeats, three upbeats, etc. Immediately you will get a feel for the importance of dynamics.
u/wolfanotaku · 3 pointsr/piano

You want to learn to play them comfortably in any key, and you want to make the feeling of playing them very natural. At first you'll have to play very slowly and that's completely okay and it's even the right thing to do. Play as slowly as you possibly need to so that you get the movements just right. Your teacher may ask you to play them for him/her during the first year (or maybe not that long) to ensure that a) you're during them and b) that you're doing them with correct technique.

A good book to get is The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios &amp; Cadences. It has all of the scales in each key as well some arpeggios and chords which you can start to play with too. It also has a very small blurb on what to do for scale practice. Personally I do them each day before I practice other things.

u/sexytimepiano · 1 pointr/piano

You can start by buying these two books and reading them cover to cover: Jazz Theory by Mark Levine and Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine That's a good first step. There's plenty of other books out there obviously, but I've had good success with these. Learning Jazz is all about becoming acquainted with a new musical language and internalizing it to the point where it becomes as natural and automatic as speaking. This takes a lot of practice. Good luck and be sure to listen to lots of jazz!