Archive for March, 2017

1. Use a metronome.

It´s all about timing.  If music is the art of alternating sound and silence, the precision with which you can understand and subdivide time is crucial to the groove. Practicing with the metronome at slow speeds will improve sense of timing and practicing at higher tempos will help you achieve accuracy and precision. Don´t forget to incorporate metronome exercises in your practicing schedule and you´re guaranteed to hear the results!

2. Play with other people.

Art does not exist in a vacuum. Even if you are a solo singer songwriter that hates sharing the stage with anyone else but his guitar, you can benefit from playing with other people. Music is a interactive skill that requires deep sensibility and quick reflexes, but more importantly, its about learning to listen.  Getting together with other players and learning to communicate with them through music will undoubtedly help you to gain a deeper understaning of yourself as a musician

3- Transcribe songs by ear.

Music is first and foremost, a listening art.  Although there are thousands of resources to help you learn new songs, nothing beats sitting next to the cd player for hours on end, and picking apart your favorites songs note by note. Transcribe a song by ear every week and you will quickly develop an ability to recognize and find notes on your instrument. Your bandmates and ears with thank you.

4- Learn other styles of music.

They say nothing interesting happens inside of our comfort zone. That is definitely true for music.  After a while playing your music style of choice you´ll start to develop a matching vocabulary as you become more comfortable with it. This is all good and well, but sometimes its easy to keep repeating the same ideas over and over again. That´s when a roadtrip across different genres of music can refresh our musical outlook and give you new ideas and concepts to apply in your music. Sometimes, forcing yourself to play things you usually dismiss can open up new avenues and take  your creative spirits to paths you never imagined before.

5- Practice 30 minutes daily (better than cramming 6 hours one day a week)

They say that  practice makes perfect.

5 tips for bassists

So you have seen the light… After many sleepless nights you have finally understood what your soul was aching for: bone shattering lows and thick chunky grooves, earth shaking notes are what make your heart sing. Welcome to the wonderful world of bass playing. You are in good company, from Jaco Pastorius to Paul McCartney,  from Victor Wooten to Pino Paladino, the bass is one of the most powerful and expressive instruments out there. Here we have gathered some tips from experienced bassists that might save you valuable time in your quest to master the instrument.

1. It’s all about the fingers!

Tone. Feeling. Mojo. These are words used to describe that elusive sound that separates the masters from the students. No matter how expensive your instrument is, no matter how many effects are plugged into your loop channel, no matter how much you turn that amp up to 11. It’s all about the tone, and as many masters have taught us, tone is in the fingers.  Exploring the sonic possibilities is a life long journey, and there certainly is a lot of gear out there to keep you busy,  just don’t forget that whatever equipment in your signal path it all starts with your fingers.

2. Use your ears (don’t rely on patterns)

Navigating a fretboard can be intimidating, thats why a lot of guitarists and bassists  lean on scale or chord patterns they can easily move around to transpose. Although useful, you can start to rely too heavily on the “visual” part of the patterns, hampering your ability to develop your ears. Remember that though visual patterns are a great memorization tool, music is about listening, so don’t forget to open your ears.

3. Learn to play in the pocket

Maybe you have heard drummers and bassists talk about the “pocket”. The concept may sound foreign but you have certainly felt its effects. That feeling when the rhythm section is completely looked into groove? thats the pocket. Some people have defined it as a precise timing between kick drum and bass notes, others call it playing with perfect timing, others simple call it “groove”. Whatever you choose to call it, playing in the pocket is one of the elements that separates the casual player from the dedicated professional.

4. Play for the song

We’ve all been there. You’ve been practicing that sick slap riff all month and want to show it off the first chance you get. That slow flute solo in the middle of the song? perfect place to practice your finger acrobatics.  The solo ends and the band looks at you befuddled. Remember that the best musicians never stop listening to each other, and always play for the song, and not for the instrument.

5. KISS (Keep it simple, stupid)

Besides being one of the most famous rock and roll bands of all time, KISS is also an acronym for Keep It Simple, Stupid.  The sure fire way to distinguish between an amateur and a professional is, ironically, the notes that they DON’T play.

If you want to improve your bass guitar skills find more information at Shine Music School.

Or rent a bass guitar at Instrument Rental Barcelona.

If you love music, and most of us do, it’s easy to find oneself humming tunes while driving to work, or singing along with friends in the park. But do you think you could write your own song? If you are learning an instrument, perhaps this is your goal. Here are some useful ideas to help you with your songwriting. Then you can combine it with your guitar or piano, and you are one step closer to fulfilling your musical dreams. At Shine Music School in Barcelona we offer lessons in guitar, piano and singing! Contact us for more info!

 

At the Shine School of Music in Barcelona, we enjoy teaching singing and it’s one of our most popular classes. But singing a lot can take it’s toll, have you ever been singing at the top of your voice in the shower or at a rock concert? You may have experienced loosing your voice or a sore throat! These are things that can affect professional singers. Here are some tips and tricks to help you warm up your voice for singing. If you would like to take singing lessons with us, contact us for more info! Anyone can learn to sing!

Barcelona is well known for being a hot spot for musicians, from all walks of life. Maybe it’s the beach and mountains, maybe it’s the unusually warm weather or the carefree attitude that its people exude, but whatever it is, Barcelona has a unique energy that inspires and nurtures artistic expression. Flamenco chords dripping from random street corners, hustling reggae musicians singing with a raspy voice in the metro, laitn american Orquestras searching for their own sound. The city has always been bursting with a creative energy that has gifted us with many extraordinary artists.

One of such talents is Joan Manuel Serrat. Born to an anarchist father in the popular barrio of Poble Sec, Serrat became the voice of a generation, singing in catalan when it was frowned upon if not openly prohibited, and singing about the daily life in Catalunya after the civil war. Infused with the sensibilities of the “coplas” and traditional music of his early childhood, his sound captures the essence of Mediterranean nostalgia, and built a  cultural bridge between latin american and catalan music in the XX century.

Coming out of the rock scene from the early nineties, Pau Dones and his band Jarabe de Palo, redefined what was to be expected from spanish rockers. Their intensely popular song “la flaca” propelled them to international stardom, breaking records across all the spanish speaking world. Not to be defined by their early success, they have kept pushing the envelope and constantly surprising their audiences with their creativity.

Too punk for rock, to rocker for punk, José María Sanz Beltrán, better known for his stage name, Loquillo, has had a tumultuous career. Alongside his band Los Trogloditas, and recently by himself, he has earned his place in the rock pantheon of Barcelona´s greats. Navigating easily between popular genres, he has eluded being pigeonholed by his style and continues to be one of the cities favorite prodigal sons.

Barcelona has always been characterized for being a melting pot of identities. The city lends itself for cultural cross-pollination. It’s no surprise then, that a group like Ojos de Brujo found its footing in the streets of el Raval. A genre-bending experiment in musical creativity, these talented musicians have fused their influences in a large pallette of sounds that they have come to define as jipjop flamenkillo, a tongue twister of a name but a clear and focused execution of modern fusion styles.

Walk around the streets of the gothic quarter on a Friday evening and you will soon understand why this city is loved by the creative types. Maybe it’s the fact that the city defined itself in a opposition to the XX century dictatorship in the country, or the amount of talented immigrants who like to call Barcelona their home, whatever it is, the musical effervescence felt around every corner has surely inspired many souls, and lures the artist with its energy.

Do you wanna be part of the music revolution? Learn more at the Shine Music School, Barcelona’s top music education academy.