StaffPad Music Notation App – Awesome

28 04 2016

StaffPad is a wonderful looking new music notation application for Windows. Unfortunately it is not available for Apple. Although I haven’t tried it out since I am an Apple guy it sure does look incredible. So clean and quick. You can notate your ideas before forgetting them!  It cost a modest US$69.95  Check it out at StaffPad.net

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Learning How to Play Guitar by Playing a Game

22 03 2013

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String Wars is a game that can be played using a real guitar

“The most enjoyable and effective way to learn guitar!”

So many of us are gamers and love music as well.  Stringwars is a great way to do both at the same time.  I can see it being a tremendous boost for getting students to practice.  When we are having fun learning it doesn’t seem like practice.  I unfortunately do not play guitar myself but I am going to get my students to try it out and see what they think.  You can even record your performance for assessment.  Great fun!  Learn to play guitar and enjoy music.  Try out String Wars





Online Music Mixers for Music Production

21 03 2013

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-03-21 at 1.05.41 PMLoopLabs is one of the many new Music Application in the cloud sites that offers the ability to upload and remix music online.  Some pretty heavy names have been users including: Bacardi DJ, Lebron James/Sprite, ESPN, Microsoft, Sony/PSP, Calvin Klein, Miller Brewing, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Dodge, Toyota, Maverick Records and many more.  Check it out at LoopLabs





Guitar, Bass, and Drum Backing Tracks for Assessment

9 11 2012

I have had trouble assessing my rhythm section players when they play with other instruments as part of a band as the other parts are either wrong or too loud.  One of my guitarists found a solution online at “Songsterr”.  It offers a music minus one platform for guitar, bass, and drums.  They also have rhythm tracks.  This solution has been great.  It gives the students something to practice with as well as if you become a member it will also let you mix and slow down the tracks.  So you can make the drums louder or softer depending on the situation.

They also offer quite an extensive lesson section that teaches how to play different styles as well.   The music library is spot on for today’s youth and includes many of the favorites.  Check it out at “Songsterr”





Cool New MIDI Instrument – Percussa Audio Blocks

28 05 2012

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Audio Blocks is one of the coolest new instruments I have seen.  These look like so much fun.  Audio Blocks by Percussa are a new MIDI instrument that you can input your own samples to create completely original and new compositions of your own.

I wish they were a bit cheaper to buy.  A set of four blocks runs around $600 US.  A little steep.

Here is some info from their site.

Improvisor is a MIDI sequencer application which plays back multiple step sequences with up to 64 steps in length.

Each sequence is entered using velocity and semitone patterns, relative to a root note.

Semitone patterns can be played back using different velocity patterns or the other way around.

Semitone patterns can follow each other, which means they will add to each other’s relative semitone steps.

By drawing your own semitone and velocity patterns, and making patterns follow each other, you can create completely new melodies, which you didn’t imagine before!





Guitar and Vocal Effects for LIVE as well as the Studio

12 05 2012

VoiceLive Play GTX is the first ever combination of complete vocal and guitar processing, VoiceLive Play GTX takes everything that VoiceLive Play gives to singers and adds award-winning TC Electronic guitar effects and AmpTones. Artist presets offer signature vocal and guitar sounds while full editing ability allows you to define your unique style. Pro or Practicing, acoustic or electric, VoiceLive Play GTX is the singing guitarist’s dream machine.  And if you are going to use it on stage you can even get a special microphone that has a switch right on the mic so that you can turn it on and off as you like.  It is full of presets that imitate some of the most famous songs by the most famous bands.  It is even affordable at around $250 US.  Check it out!

Click on the links to see a video hosted by Dire Straits guitarist singer on how it works.

200+ song & artist inspired presets for vocals & guitar
Dedicated guitar effects processing from TC Electronic. No amp required
Key for harmonies and pitch correction set automatically from guitar input
Plug in your MP3 player to the AUX input and sing along using Vocal Cancel feature

Read an in depth article about the unit in the New York Times





Song Composition – Rapping Romeo and Juliet

14 09 2011


Rapping is both an interesting and accessible composition style that can teach students all about musical form, rhythm, phrasing, dynamics, timing, lyric creation, digital audio recording and more.

For a lesson idea that will link you into the English department, ask them which play they are including in the years curriculum. In my case it was Romeo and Juliet. I got them to translate the soliloquy into modern language and create a rap performance. It was not only hugely successful and fun, the students learning more about song construction, music theory, and performance than they will ever know.