Tips

10 Steps to Learning a Notated Piece of Music

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Fun, Tips | 267 comments

1.         Acquaint yourself with the piece. This means listening to it, if possible, so you have an idea of what it should sound like.

2.         Practice the scale relating to the key of the piece. As a preparatory exercise, you could practice the scale relating to the key of the piece, making yourself aware of where sharps or flats occur.

3.         Co-ordinate hands as you go.  Begin with the first phrase, repeating until it is easy. If you are playing an instrument where co-ordination between hands is required, include this, although sometimes the technique of separating right hand and left hand parts before putting them together is applicable depending on the piece.

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4.         Make sure you settle on fingering that is comfortable and works well in the piece and use this fingering every time.

5.         Repeat until easy.

6.        Do not always start from the beginning of the piece. When the first phrase, as well as co-ordination, has been achieved concentrate on the second phrase.  You may find you have trouble joining the first and second phrases, so practise going from the end of one to the beginning of the other until it is easy.

7.         Work on the next phrase in the same way.  However, when you come to joining the second and third phrases, make sure you work only on this join.  Be careful not to always begin the piece from bar one.  This can waste time.

8.        Pinpoint the areas to work on.  Many times I have heard people play the first four bars of a piece brilliantly while the rest of it slowly falls apart.  This happens because whenever a mistake or difficulty has occurred, the practitioner has begun the piece from bar one, played until they hesitated or tripped up and gone back to play from bar one again.  Obviously nothing will get sorted out this way, although your first bars will be brilliant!

9.           Learning music is also about training muscle memory, so teach your fingers the ‘dance’ routine by drilling the movements. As you do this you will also be learning the sound of the piece and how it feels to play it.

10.         This method of learning can also be applied on a smaller scale.  You may, for example, find a section within a phrase is giving you trouble.  You will then need to work on this smaller section in the same way as you work on your phrases, breaking them down into individual notes and beats if need be.

Here is what one piano teacher, who has influenced a ton of wedding band in Melbourne, says about implementing this method of learning;

“We worked a bit more on “St Louis Blues”. Once again I understand the importance of breaking things down into small sections and repetition. I could tell that my student was struggling a bit with it but as soon as we broke it down and repeated it a few times she was able to get it.” – Leon Sampson

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Tips on Designing a Promotional T-shirt

Posted by on Dec 23, 2016 in Tips | Comments Off on Tips on Designing a Promotional T-shirt

 

Many people think that designing a T-shirt used for promotion is an easy thing – just stamp on the logo at the chest, and it’s all done, right? Those who had the pleasure of working with designing and printing T-shirts know very well that it is not that easy.

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When you are designing with a T-shirt that will be used to promote a brand, keep in mind that you are not designing just some usual garment. Any material that is used for promotions is not supposed to look just pretty and cool. Its purpose is to communicate and at the same time advertise the product or brand. Because of this reason, there are certain rules that you need to follow.

 

You need to discuss the style that you are going to use to print on the T-shirt. Often there is a style guide, yet at the same time, there are none. Some of you are lucky enough that are working in a company that already has a book filled with pages detailing the steps on how to place the logo and the kind of colors that they should or should not use. There are even those that provide “spiritual” guidelines. If you don’t have these style guidelines, here are some of the things that you need to make it clear:

 

  • Set the target, its purpose and expectations in a general sense
  • Put a timeframe on how much time you need to design the promotional T-shirt
  • The things you can do and not do
  • Show some samples of what your audience will like to see

 

With all that in place, you start your drawing. The drawing phase is easy since all you have to do is just put up the outline. Let your mind freely draw anything that comes to mind when you think about the subject you are trying to portraywhile you design t-shirts.

 

It can be difficult for artists to get out of their comfort zone when they are working with an already established presence. Designers love to do something different, but the marketing directors that you are working for may not want to see their brand logo getting its reimagination, especially when you put up some fan art style. When it comes to this stage, it is best that you stick to the safe side. You present something creative and at the same time not going beyond the brand’s true image. You get to design a lot, so you get to present many samples and let them pick the one that is the best.

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