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How to Help Musicians During Times of Quarantine

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, and people around the world are struggling. Artists and performers are one group that have been hit hard economically. Many musicians make...

An Introduction to Latin Music: Cumbia History

One of the most popular dances in Latin America, cumbia has come a long way since its early development among African communities along the pacific coast of Colombia. It is...

Reading Chord Symbols: A Pianist’s Guide

The piano is a “harmony” instrument, meaning that we can play many notes at once. Certain combinations of notes give us harmonies that we call chords, and the ability to...

Overcoming the Social Distancing Blues: Ways to Boost your Spirit and Relieve Stress while in Quarantine

COVID-19 has been classified as a pandemic, governments world wide have begun shutting down regular communal activities and ordering everyone to stay indoors to quarantine the potentially sick and limit...

Practicing to Sound like John Mayer

John Mayer is arguably one of the most influential guitarists of our time and has shown this through his technical ability, songwriting skills, and paying homage to the great blues...

Classic Female Blues and Race Records

At the end of our previous article of this Blues series, we saw the beginning of the adoption of the term “blues” within the sheet music industry. The increased use...

The Birth of the Blues

Without a doubt, modern music has come a long way since the first musical recordings made in the late 19th century, but certain forms of music from that time period...

How to Memorize Music: A Pianist’s Guide

Introduction Have you ever watched a great pianist perform a complicated piece from memory? Impressive, isn’t it? All those notes and details, perfectly remembered and then fantastically re-created in the...

6 Excellent Practicing Strategies Commonly Missed by Pianists

Introduction Why do we practice music? Your answer may be something to the effect of, “well, we practice so that we can play the music,” which is pretty much correct,...

10 Tips for Guitar Players with Small Hands

Large hands with long fingers are common physical traits found amongst some of the best guitar players. Just do a quick Google search and look at the hands of Paul...

An Introduction to Cha-cha-chá Drumming: Rhythms and Applications

Now that we have a basic understanding of the history of cha-cha-chá music we will take a more practical approach to how it is played. We will assess the percussion...

I’m Yours by Jason Mraz – Learning to Arrange for Solo Guitar

So far we have learned how each note of the C major scale feels and sounds when it is played over each chord in the progression. As you become more...

Can You Feel the Love Tonight Solo Guitar Arrangement

The Elton John classic, “Can you feel the love tonight,” is most famous for its feature in Disney’s The Lion King and is a massive part of many people’s childhood,...

Guitar Effect Pedals – Auto Wah Pedals

The Auto Wah effect is like the lazy younger brother of the standard Wah Wah. First of all, Auto Wah pedals come in much smaller casings than a Wah Wah...

Guitar Effect Pedals – Tuner Pedals

In our series of articles for guitar pedals, we’ve looked at effects like Overdrive, Distortion, Delay, Fuzz, and many other fun effects. However, we’ve neglected to look at possibly the...

No Woman No Cry Solo Guitar Arrangement

"No woman no cry," one of Bob Marley’s most famous songs, was released in 1975 as a Live single. It is proof that simplicity can be effective, as its repetitive,...

Guitar Effect Pedals – Looper Pedals

Looper pedals are some of the best tools or effects pedals available for guitarists as they can play many different roles. The most obvious use is to record and loop...

With or Without You Solo Guitar Arrangement

In the first two lessons, we have covered the basis of C major in the first position. All the songs we will learn in the course will stay in this...

An Introduction to Cha-cha-chá Drumming: Rhythms and Applications

Now that we have a basic understanding of the history of cha-cha-chá music we will take a more practical approach to how it is played. We will assess the percussion...

Practising Music Away from Your Instrument

It should go without saying that as music students, a sizeable amount of the time we spend thinking about and, well, practising music will be done at or with our...

Solo Guitar: Combining Scales with Chords

The biggest challenge of playing unaccompanied guitar is supporting your melodies with the much needed harmony, to do this well we need to carefully arrange our melody to ergonomically fit...

Understanding C Major: First Position, Chords, and Scale

We hear music in keys. Each piece of Western music can be transposed into 12 different keys, so it makes sense to learn each key centre thoroughly. C major is...

Great Solo Guitarists and Solo Guitar’s Use in the Musical World

Why Solo Guitar? To play the guitar--or any instrument--unaccompanied opens up a world of opportunities from gigs and concerts to simply being able to satisfy one’s own need to play...

The Women of Classical Piano: A Brief History and Overview

As musicians, our preoccupations in study and performance trend towards the compositional side of notoriety. When we think of the ‘greatest’ musicians, the names we tend to utter first are...

A practice regimen that will get you sounding like John Mayer

John Mayer is arguably one of the most influential guitarists of our time and has shown this through his technical ability, songwriting skills, and paying homage to the great blues...

Discovering Keys: From Then to Now

It’s easy to get caught up in the nuts and bolts of studying music. Intervals, scales, chords, key signatures, chord progressions…once we dive into the deep pool of musical fundamentals,...

Discovering Keys: Minor Keys

We’ve already covered a lot of ground in this article series on keys, however there is one important area that we’ve largely avoided in our studies thus far: minor keys....

John Mayer’s Commonly Used Techniques

It may be tempting to think that all it takes to sound like John Mayer is to get the right guitar, amp, and pedal combination. If only it were that...

Discovering Keys: Part 2

Applying Scales and Chords to the Study of Keys Part II In Part I of this article series, we illustrated how some of the most basic tools in our musical...

Discovering Keys: Part 1

Applying Scales and Chords to the Study of Keys From the beginning of this series, we set out to achieve a succinct but comprehensive understanding of what keys are and...

John Mayer’s Influences: How They Shaped His Playing Style, and How They May Shape Yours Too

Every guitarist experiences a common barrier at a certain point in their musical journey -- we get paralyzed by the sheer number of things there are to learn on the...

No Need to Give Up! Special Tips for Small-Handed Pianists [Part I]

“How can you play the piano with such tiny hands?!” I have been asked this many times in my life. Yes, I do have small hands; my maximum reach is...

An Introduction to Latin Music: Cha-cha-chá History

Its slow tempo and steady 4/4 metre mean that cha-cha-chá is often the logical first step not only for drummers looking to adapt Latin rhythms to the drum kit, but...

Guitar Chords: How to Progress from Beginner to Advanced Chord Shapes

One of the most common barriers that beginners face when they first pick up the guitar is the overwhelming number of chords to learn. Many will attempt to learn as...

The Guitar Effects Pedals Behind John Mayer’s Wide Ranging Sound Palette

Every guitar player has a unique preference in tone, genre, brand of guitar, and even guitar picks. Other than being guitar players, you’d be hard pressed to find many similarities...

What are Keys: Learning About Chords

What are Chords and How Can They Help Us Learn About Keys? Chords have been a staple device in the music of the Western world for, well, a long time....

The Guitars and Amplifiers Behind John Mayer’s Legendary Tone

John Mayer is arguably one of the most influential guitarists of our generation. While he has mentioned that he doesn’t believe that he is as impactful or creative as someone...

What are Keys: Learning about Scales

What are Scales and How Can They Help Us Learn About Keys? Have you ever had conversation with someone about their bygone days of learning a musical instrument? Often the...

John Mayer: How a Pop Icon Can Help You Improve Your Guitar Skills

You may know John Mayer for some of his 7 Grammy Award winning (and 19 Grammy nominated) pop and rock music, but did you know that he is one of...

What are Keys and Why Should We Know About Them?

In the Key of... “In the key of…” -- we rarely get far into our musical endeavors before we find ourselves faced with this phrase. Minuets in the key of...

Guitar Effect Pedals – Clean Boost Pedals

Clean boost pedals don’t usually get as much love as flashier effects like overdrives and delays, but they do find a place on the pedalboards of many professional musicians. They’re...

Jazz Standards on Guitar: All of Me

As we learn to play in the various styles and genres of music, it is crucial to become familiar with the repertoire of that genre—and jazz is no different. The...

Common Injuries Suffered by Drummers and how to Avoid Them

Learning a musical instrument is a physical activity that requires both physical and mental exertion. Different instruments utilise different limbs, muscle groups, and individual muscles, and it’s important to be...

Guitar Effect Pedals – Chorus Pedals

Chorus effects pedals create another class of modulation effects that people often confuse with flangers and phasers. Technically, a chorus effect is very similar to a flanger, just with a...

Ultimate Injury Prevention: How to Gain Body Awareness for Pianists

Piano playing requires extremely repetitive muscle movements. For example, if you play quarter notes consistently at 120BPM, after an hour, the repetition will require your muscles to contract and release...