What you'll come away with
For almost all of your assignments,
you’ll receive from me (1) notation of the piece(s), both in
standard musical notation and tablature and (2) a recording,
either in audio CD or MP3 format.
At the least, the recording will
include an example of the piece being played up to speed.
In most cases, however, you’ll receive several recordings of
the piece at different tempos, and often there will be
loops, that is, short sections of the song played slowly
over and over, so that if you play along with them and just
“let the notes happen,” rather than blasting through a
section, you’ll really get it under your fingers.
recording consists of a melody and a lead part, and you're
supposed to play one or the other, the melody will be the
left side of your headphones, and the chords will be in the
My recordings are saved as MP3s.
Most recently, we've been using
to share files; it's very handy, and you can keep copies on
your PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or just about any
device. Alternatively, I can put your materials on a flash
drive, MP3 player or other medium.
I encourage you to bring a recording
device to your lesson; or if you’d like, we can record the
lesson as one long MP3 file and I can put it on your flash
drive, MP3 player, etc. However, this does take a few
minutes out of your lesson, so if you’d prefer, you can
record them on your own device.
Also, if there’s a section or sections
that you’re having particular difficulty with, I’ll make a
loop of just that and include them on your CD.
There are a variety of ways in which
computers can make practice more efficient, and I will
encourage you to use them, such as Band In a Box or one or
more audio editors. Computers do not take the place of
practice or making music, but if you use them as tools, they
will help you improve your technique much more quickly so
you get the most benefit out of practicing. And, as
you build technique, you can concentrate on making music
instead of just getting the notes.
as your teacher, are to:
Raise your awareness of your own playing, so that you’ll
learn to listen to it and improve based on what you hear.
This is the number one key to improving your own playing.
Get and keep you on the path to improvement by assigning
pieces that are within your ability to play but will
Help you learn how to practice, and to use good practice
techniques. This is extremely important; good practice
techniques can make one person’s 30 minutes of practice as
effective as another’s 3 hours of practice.
Help you decipher difficult pieces of music, pointing out
rough spots, showing you different possibilities for
fingering, articulation, etc.
Give you exercises that will train your fingers so that
difficult movements become easier.
Give you recorded examples so you can hear what the piece
should sound like, both from a notes-only and from a
recorded loops of difficult sections to help you maximize
If you really
practice with the tools I give you, you will improve.