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Ear Training For Musicians

Ear training is needed in order to reach or identify chords, intervals, pitch, keys and so on. It is a part of enhancing one’s rhythmical sense as well. One of the major parts of most ear training programs is “rhythm recognition”. The most important component of music is rhythm. Regardless of genre or origin, all music is characterized by some kind of rhythm.

Some music is classified as purely rhythmical which means that even if it does not have an identifiable melody, if there’s the rhythm there is music. Since rhythm is an important part of a music and the ears are needed to experience it, then ear training is necessary for musicians to understand and use rhythm. Rhythm aural skills exercise generally involve the learner either creating a rhythm along particular strategy (for example: create a quarter-note beat in 4/4 time) or replicating one from a recording, using his or her hands, feet, voice, or all of the above.

Over time the rhythms involved can become more complex, to the point that the learner is comfortable with rhythms of all kinds. Being familiar with this kind of rhythm will enhance your skills more and will give you more confidence in playing the instrument. Even drummers can use aural skills. One needs to listen attentively to every musical piece that is being played. These skills will give the musicians the ability to reproduce the rhythm by ear. Great pianists have the ability to do this, but even beginners can learn this method by being determined and passionate. One should be able to practice every day in order to work this out.

Guitarists and pianists are also particular need of these skills as they also responsible for keeping time and awareness of the various patterns of rhythm are essential. Every musician should respond to changing rhythms. The ear training will give them the ability to listen well especially if they are playing in the group. Determining the right rhythm is important for musical artists. In playing the piano, one needs to understand and feel the rhythm. Playing by ear is difficult at first but with constant practice, you’ll be surprised about the results. Learning to play the piano requires the proper amount of time, the right place, and instructor. Practicing every day is necessary in order to enhance your skills. Bear in mind that every person has his/her own style of playing.

What is important is the progress that you have when learning. Ear training is important in playing the piano. Some people can best learn by ear while some can learn by studying musical books or online tutoring. For some, a good piano teacher is important for proper learning. Playing the piano requires a lot of skills. It can be difficult at first but you should not be discouraged.

Stay motivated so that you will learn fast. Learning the piano should be done by heart. No matter how difficult it may be at first but with constant practice, everything will turn out right. Seek the help of your instructor or any artist if you have any questions.

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Vocal Scales

When warming up your voice and beginning your practice sessions, it is a good idea to relax your body and to use vocal scales to slowly warm up your vocal cords.  Warming up and relaxing is extremely important so you don’t injure your voice or strain your throat.

Relaxation

Stand tall.  Pay attention to your posture.  Stand with your back straight and your head held up, looking straight ahead.  Put your arms down by your side and breathe in slowly.  Breathe out slowly, emptying your lungs of air.  Tighten your fists while slowly breathing in and out.  Relax your fists.  Tighten your leg muscles while slowly and gently breathing in and out.  Relax your leg muscles.  Feel your body begin to let go of tensions.  Feel your muscles tighten and relax.  Move to your jaw muscles.  Tighten and relax your jaw muscles while you breathe gently in and out with deep, slow breathe.  Shake your arms and then let them relax by your sides.  Softly rotate your head, letting your neck muscles gently relax and feel your throat and neck ease and let go of tensions.  Open your mouth as far as you can, stretching your facial muscles.  Gently close your mouth to the original position again.

If you practice these relaxation techniques every day, you will become familiar with how your body feels when it is in a relaxed state.  Being relaxed will help your body be at ease and will help your vocal cords relax and elongate.  Once you are relaxed, you can begin to sing.

Singing

Warm ups and practices should begin with vocal scales.  Begin by standing up straight with your arms at your sides.  Sing one note.  Hold it as long as you can without difficulty.  When you begin to run out of breathe, release the note.  Sing another note, as long as you can, and release it when breathing becomes difficult.  Try different notes such as the traditional Doh, Ray, Me, Far, So, La, Te, Doh.  Change the shape of your mouth as you sing.  Form Os and Es and Oohs with your mouth and face as you sing the notes as long as you can.

Once you have practiced holding notes, sing up and down the scale.  This is referred to as arpeggio.  Sing short notes, called staccato, and long notes as well.  Change the length and pitch of your voice as you sing notes.

Practicing Vocal Scales

You should practice relaxation along with vocal scales every day.  This should take no more than 30 minutes to do the relaxation and easy vocal scales.  Remember to record your practice sessions so you can listen to them and compare your previous recordings to your current recordings.  You will be amazed at how different you sound after just a few weeks.  Regular practicing and relaxation techniques can really make a difference to the beginning singer.

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Best Way To Become A Singer

Many hopeful singers hope to be famous.  Some singers just want to be the best singer they can be.  Whatever your reason, there are tried and true methods to becoming a singer.

Singing

First, to be a singer, you need to be able to sing.  Some people naturally have great voices.  Others need to learn how to control their voices and make them sound incredible.  Either way, your voice will benefit from some discipline and training.  The best 3 learn to sign programs all cost around $200.

Singing Made Simple by Roger Burnley ($200)

Sing With Freedom by Per Bristow($177 for DVD version, $147 for Digital Version)

Singing Success by Brett Manning ($200)

There are many free singing lessons available on the internet.  You can even go to your local public library and find books and other media on singing.  Anyone can learn to sing.

Personal Presentation

Being a successful singer is not just about being able to sing.  Singers are entertainers, after all, and need to entertain and have a public persona in addition to having talent.  When you are starting out, don’t overlook the power of your local town.  Sing anywhere and everywhere you can.  Start with local Karaoke.  Anytime you can be heard, let yourself be heard.  The more publicity you get, the more people will remember your name, get to know you, and even become fans.  Don’t be afraid to do gigs for friends and family for free.  Visit local bars and lounges.  See if they will give you an audition to perform in their establishment.  Create FaceBook and MySpace pages where you upload your demo materials.  Create a web page and have demos and appearance information out there for all to see.  Get your name and voice out to the public.

Not Just a Singer

If you take the time to watch local performers, you will notice that the ones who are really popular are those that don’t just sing.  They also play instruments.  They entertain, put on a show.  Standing by yourself, singing to a CD of music is boring.  Learn to play at least one instrument, piano and guitar are the most popular instruments for singers.  Join a band if you can as the lead singer.  Adding to your performance in a positive way will only help you along your singing journey.

Record companies and fans alike have a propensity for artists who are truly talented.  Singers are a dime a dozen.  Beautiful and incredible voices abound.  Singers who are also songwriters and play instruments?  Those are rare and hard to come by.  Songwriters are not usually the singers.  Those who play instruments well are the band, not the singer.  So, if you can sing, learn to play an instrument and learn to write your own material.  That is a winning combination.

Take Criticism

As you begin to get your name out and appear in public, be prepared for criticism.  Although it may not be voiced in a positive way, listen to it.  People criticize for a reason because they don’t like something about your performance.  Be willing to modify your material, your own songs, your look, whatever it is.  Listen to your critics because they are doing you a huge favor.  They are like record producers.  They will tell you all the things you don’t want to hear but need to know.

Becoming Famous

Now, for those of you who want to become famous, there are two options to choose from.  Option One includes appearing on a reality TV show.  You laugh, but there are those who have made this work for them and have become very famous from their appearances on TV.  Option Two is the hard way.

Option Two includes recording demo CDs.  Sending those demos to record labels, having connections, and creating your own good karma.  Most of the time getting your big break depends on who you know, throwing yourself in front of people who matter, and schmoozing.  You will never get discovered if you aren’t known.  Even if your goal is to be famous in your little hometown, you still have to make it known you have talent.  People are not going to come knocking on your door to ask if you can sing.  You need to bring it to them.

Being a good singer takes a lot of hard work.  You have to build a local fan base before you can be successful on a larger scale.  Sometimes, people find they are perfectly happy with their local fan base and don’t need anything else.  Do what you love and work hard at it.  That’s what being a good singer is all about.

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