Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Practice Advice and Words of Encouragement

Just because you practice your instrument everyday doesn't mean necessarily mean you will get better. If you practice mistakes all the time then you won't improve.
Make sure you practice your music with as much accuracy as possible.
Imperfect practice will never produce great results, but perfect practice will.
The metronome is easily one of the best tools you can use to improve your playing.
Take the time to learn how to use your metronome properly and it will become your best friend when it comes to making you a faster, better, and more accurate musician.
Whether you are running scales, working with your metronome, strumming chords, or playing songs, most people will strongly benefit from at least one hour of practice a day.
The more time you put in with your instrument the better you will be.
Make sure you learn how to tap your foot when you play to help you stay in time with the beat.
It's important for every musician to know how to stay on time and follow the rhythm of the song properly, and tapping along with your foot will help you play more accurately.
Never give up!
Persistence is the key to making your dreams become reality.
No one ever completed their goals by giving up.
Learning an instrument is a challenging process, but it's also something we can all achieve.
Everyone has struggles with their instrument. As long as you remain persistent, keep practicing, and keep trying to have fun when you play, you will make your dream of being a great musician a reality.
Stop looking at mistakes as failing.
Look at mistakes as feedback and learn from them.
When you make a mistake you are rewarded with feedback so you can perform better then next time.
As long as you remain persistent and keep trying you never fail.
Only when you give up completely and never try again do you fail.
As long as you can imagine achieving a goal, a desire, a dream, you can make it happen.
Believe in yourself.
You have all the power and ability you need in order to make your dreams come true whether it be in music, or anything else in life.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Weight Resistance While Playing Your Instrument

One of the best tools on the market to help you play faster are RiffBANDZ. RiffBANDZ are basically rubber resistance bands you wear while you play. Building muscle is a great way to increase your speed in anything you do, including playing an instrument.

I started using RiffBANDZ around the summer of 2011. From the moment I started playing while wearing them I was instantly hooked. I love having added resistance to help me improve upon physical activities, and these RiffBANDZ turned out to be perfect.

The first pack I bought came with three individual resistance bands. You can use one for a little resistance, or all three for a bigger challenge. At one point, I bought an additional set so I could practice with six bands. That was way more difficult than just three! It definitely worked though. My fingers felt super nimble and were just flying all over the place once I took the bands off. This is what I did to keep my fingers in top notch playing shape to break my Guinness record again in HongKong.

For those of you who play fingerstyle on guitar, or play the bass with your fingers, you could even use these on your picking hand to build up strength and speed for picking faster.

Currently, I use my RiffBANDZ to get a super fast warmup for band practice and shows. Sometimes I'll wear them for an entire practice session to get a better workout. I highly recommend this to anyone looking to improve on their playing. Even if you aren't interested in playing super fast, RiffBANDZ are perfect for a speedy warmup and will definitely making playing anything easier.

Soon, I will have a video(s) up where I demonstrate using these. For now, check out guitarist George Adrian in this video to see the RiffBANDZ in action:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Huge Convenience - Small Guitar Stand

I have some portable guitar stands from Re-AXE Products called Axe-Handlers. They have such a simple design yet provide me with such a huge convenience.

Being a guitar/bassteacher, I have to put my instrument down a lot when I'm moving around the room where I teach. I used to have to balance my guitar/bass in between some tables and hopefully not knock it over.

Where I sit in my office, I don't really have room to place a traditional guitar stand. With my Axe-Handler, I can place it on any flat surface. Having it on one of the tables that sits next me has provided a safe and reliable place to set my guitar/bass. I've even ran into my instrument a few times when it's been sitting in the Axe-Handler, and the portable stand was more than sturdy enough to prevent my instruments from taking a big spill.

Because of it's small size, it's awesome being able to put my Axe-Handler in my guitar case so I can have it available wherever I go.

I really think this is a must have for any guitar/bass player.

Check out some of these videos to see just how useful this product really is: