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Vinnie Mah

June Holiday Music Camp 2022

June Holiday Music Camp 2022

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June Holiday Music Camp 2022

June Holiday Music Camp 2022

Vinnie Classroom’s June Holiday Music Camp 2022 is finally here. Covid-19 restrictions have forbidden us from running our very fun and exciting music workshops for the last 2 years. Join us in this highly anticipated music program!

Music Camp Overview

  • Round robin system, each participant will go through 4 stations in total. Each station runs for 30mins.
  • Each group has a maximum group size of 3 participants. Total 12 participants per session.
  • Date: 21st, 23rd or 24th June. Participants can sign up for any of the dates as long as there are available slots.
  • Time: 10am to 12pm.
  • Program Fee: $59 (No gst or admin fee)

Overall Expectations

  • Participants will get to experience the instruments they have always wanted to learn!
  • Our program’s lesson plan is structured around MOE’s music lesson guidelines. This helps them to feel more confident with their music lessons in school.
  • Making new friends is a must in this program! Participants will get to interact with students from various schools and levels, enhancing their social-emotional skills.

How to Sign-Up for this June Holiday Music Camp?

Message us on Facebook Messenger or drop a text on WhatsApp right now! Slots are limited so do hurry 🙂

Facebook Messenger ChatFacebook Messenger ChatWhatsApp Chat
Random Music Note Generator

Random music note generator is great for ear training

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Random music note generator is the best!

Random Music Note Generator

As music teachers, we often wish for a random music note generator that can help us train our students. Thanks to the wonderful Dave Cohen, the much desired software is born! Below is a screenshot of the software in action!

Ear Training

Random Music Note Generator can be confusing to use!

I know you are hoping to dive straight in for some serious ear training right now!
Here’s the link to the amazing software : https://random-music-generators.herokuapp.com/melody
However, let us be your guide before you spend time feeling the agony of this very customizable system. Starting with the most important settings you need to get it right, Note Range.

Setting it up!

Note Range

Because the system is designed for almost any instrument, it covers an extremely wide range of music notes. The software is written in midi! Therefore, it has a range of 0 to 127.

Music Note Range

But since MIDI code makes little sense to most musicians, let’s go with note range as per the piano layout! To set the system for your instrument, follow the settings below.

Ukulele is from C4 to B5
Guitar is from E2 to E5
Bass is from E1 to E3
Piano for Melody, try C4 to C6


Melody Characteristic

Scale Pitches: This option allows you to generate a random passage based on the Key (Tonic Note) and the Scale (Tonality). This option does not allow you to choose a specific group of notes out of the entire scale.

Custom Pitches: This option allows you to generate a random passage based on the music notes you have input. This option requires you to know exactly what notes you want the system to use. However, you will need to enter them in terms of Note name and Octave range. An example will be, Middle C will be C4.

Max Jump: This option tells the system how far apart can the adjacent note jump away from each other.

  • Max Jump = 1: C to D
  • Max Jump = 2: C to D or C to E
  • Max Jump = 3:  C to D or C to E or C to F
    etc …

No. Melodies: This option tells the system how many random melodies do you want to generate at a go. From my experience, generating 20 melodies takes about 0.01324820582038 seconds. Well, pretty fast.


Rhythm Characteristic

Time Signature: How many beats in a bar!

Tempo: How fast!

Constant Rhythm: If you select this option, all the random notes generated will be following the same Note Duration you have choosen.

Varied Rhythm: If you select this option, then the system will create a random rhythmic pattern for the random notes. Maximum randomess!

Note Duration: Crotchet? Quaver? Your choice!

Number of notes: This is a little odd for me to understand but it basically generates the number of notes you want per passage. So if you choose the default 10 for a 4/4 time signature. The system will generate 10 notes and effectively create 2 and a half bars of music. I recommend you to stick to the correct number of notes based on your time signature. For example, 4 or 8 notes for a 4/4 time signature.

Presets

This option is useful if you do not wish to set the entire system all over again everytime you shut your browser. There are also some built-in presets that you can explore.


All ready! Hit that Generate button now!

Well not quite. After exploring the melody generator, I’m sure you are curious about the Rhythm and Chord Progression generator. I will dive deep into those in the next article but below is a brief summary of what they are capable of.

Rhythm: This is great tool for drummers! It generates a random rhythmic pattern and students can try to pick it up just by hearing.

Chord Progression: If you take music examination (for example Rockschool), you will know that the hearing test has 2 sections. The 2nd and most dread section is to identify chords in a chord progession and then performing it back to the examiner. This tool will definitely help students to devise strategies and techniques to tackle this tricky test.

Conclusion

To conclude. The ability, or lack of, to hear music note has always been a nightmare for many musicians. Don’t start envying those who were born with the perfect pitch! They often complain about how they get nightmares when other musicians don’t play in tune. Above all, music note recognition, much like singing the pitch of the note right, requires training. And while this tool is amazing, it is not going to instantly gift you the ability to hear the music notes. Proper guidance, techniques and practice is a must to attain this seemingly impossible feat.

JHS Rat Pack Joyo Splinter

Proco Rat Clone Pedal | The Hits and Misses

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Proco Rat, possibly one of the most cloned pedal.

JHS Rat Pack Joyo Splinter

Unless you have been living under the rock, JHS just released their version of the Proco Rat clone pedal! So far, it has been taking over the industry like the Black Death. But is the JHS rat clone any better than any other clones that came before? Or, has it surpassed the original and claimed the throne of THE rat? Let’s take a look at the top 10 Rat clones that came before.

 

Joyo – Splinter

Joyo Splinter

Joyo Splinter is actually very cleverly named! The 90s will definitely know the Master Splinter of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reference! Splinter is inspired by the Proco Fat Rat, spotting the exact same controls. It is switchable between a more amp-like tone versus the original tone with mosfet/germanium clipping diodes versus stock silicon clipping diodes. The stock and fat switch does as it says, boosting the lower frequencies to produce a beefier tone at the flick. Cowabunga!

Pros: Getting the classic Fat Rat at a fraction of the price. Sounds really awesome!

Cons: The filter knob seems to be tuned too dark for most usage. I had to set it to 10 most of the time to get a decently bright tone. I explained more about this issue in my video below!

Master Splinter Theme SongMosky Black Rat Distortion

proco rat clone

The Mosky Black Rat Distortion is perhaps one of the most talked-about rat clones in recent pedal history. This is simply due to the fact that it is dirt cheap and comes in a tiny form factor! Traditional pedals are not exactly big and modern ones are getting smaller. However, the trend of mini pedals took off about 3 years back and everyone has been building their mini rigs ever since. Proco on the other hand has not been helpful. Fans have been asking for a mini rat for years. But instead of announcing a pedal in the “standard” mini pedal format, Proco went ahead with their usual rebellious character. The Lil Rat is 2″ wide instead of 1 inch like all other mini pedals.

Pros: Sounds very similar to the original Rat under Vintage mode. Turbo mode changes the pedal into the Turbo rat, introducing a fuzzier tone. Easy repairing and modification as it uses regular electronic components instead of SMD. Again, dirt cheap.

Cons: Does not look cool on your pedalboard with that cheap enclosure build quality. Obnoxiously bright blue LED requires a tape or resoldering a new LED/resistor to dim.

Little Bear R.Attack RT2

Rat Clone Dirty Turbo Vintage

A little less known Rat clone, possibly because it isn’t very affordable and the company has since disappeared. You can still find them available from time to time but the price has remained high despite being an old model. However, it is still one of the better rat clones in terms of tone. The only difference I can hear is that it sounds a little darker than the original. Though that isn’t something we can’t fix with an EQ pedal or in post.

Pros: It has 3 modes, Dirty/Turbo/Vintage, that is 3 pedals in one!

Cons: It uses cheap parts especially the pots and jacks. These will be the first to fail over time.

Mooer Black Secret

Mooer Black Secret

Not to be mistaken for Mosky, the Mooer is a different company even though they are both from China. Spotting the same mini pedal format and 2 modes of Vintage and Modern, even I got confused when I first realized they are 2 different pedals. This pedal features the same Op-Amp LM308 as the original Rat and that says a lot about the tone you can produce out of this tiny enclosure. Truly a tough fight between the 2 M.

Pros: This pedal uses the LM308 IC chip!

Cons: The tiny level and filter make it hard to see or adjust on stage with dim lighting.

 

Conclusion

We are all entitled to our opinions and legal matters should be left to the companies. As end-users, we are at the vantage point and definitely spoiled for choice! If you want something cheap and don’t see an issue with a China-made pedal? Go for it. If JHS’s 9-in-1 clone makes you drool, go for it. If you think the only right Rat is the original Rat, go for it. Because at the end of the day, the audience doesn’t care about which version of the Rat or clones you are using. They care about if your song (not tone) sounds good to them.

To find out how you can learn to play the guitar and compose cool tunes like our demo, click here.

To sign up for a free trial lesson, click here.

NUX Ace of tone

NUX Ace of Tone – The Go-to Overdrive Pedal

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NUX – Ace of Tone

Time to forget about Klon because NUX Ace of Tone does it all! This dual overdrive pedal is inspired by the Ibanez TS-808 Tubescreamer and the Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal. Both of these are highly sort after and hardly available for sale! Coincidentally, they are the go-to overdrive pedals for artists like John Mayer, SRV and Eric Clapton. So if you’re in the market for a good blues OD, you may have found something to fill up that last slot on your pedalboard.

NUX Ace of tone

You choose the order in your signal chain

One of the most annoying situations for guitarists is probably arranging the order of the pedals in the signal chain. We stick these boxes on our pedalboard using industrial strength velcros! Taking them off is not an easy task. NUX was considerate enough to allow us to change the order of the 2 effects with the pedal with a flick of a switch! Naise.

Nux Ace of tone signal chain

Sounds almost identical to the real deal

If you buy an inspired pedal in 2009, it will always be more of a joke than something that impresses. But technology and engineering have come a long way and NUX is one of the top companies today that is able to take a famous tone, analyze and create a version of their own. Of course, isn’t that what China does anyway? Copy and clone! Well let’s put it this way, Japan is the OG in reverse engineering a product, adding in their own R&D, and chute a better product back to the world. Nux is pretty much on this track!

 

Full video review on youtube

Words can’t share enough about this pedal. Why not view the full video review of the NUX Ace of Tone and find out for yourself?

For FREE trial lesson, click here.

Learn more about our music lessons, click here.

To find out our teaching approach, click here.

Squid Game Fan

This is how Squid Game Soundtrack is recorded | Its a whole new world

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Squid Game has some pretty unique soundtrack!

Squid Game FanSquid Game has soundtrack that is unlike most TV series and movies we have watched! Apart from the heavy use of Western classical music, the team has composed some really uniquely Korean soundtracks. Splashing a very strong Korean cultural flavor to the show. The director Hwang Dong-hyuk mentioned in interviews that he wanted to use children’s games played in Korea so as to add the cultural identity. We are guessing the traditional Korean sound is part of the whole package too.

Traditional Korean Music VS Western Classical Music

The show talks about how the rich bet on human lives like horse racing. A clear separation of power between the rich and poor. Our guess is that the traditional Korean soundtrack is a deliberate choice against Western classical music! Depicting the rich and the poor. The players wake up to the third movement of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, indicating the rich having control over the player’s life and demanding them to start their day. However, traditional Korean soundtracks will be played when the players are playing the games. If you are interested in a deeper analysis of the classical music used in this show, Classic FM wrote a great article on it!

The Squid Game Theme Song

While this tune is only heard at the start of the show when the man (assuming player 456) was explaining the game, it left a deep impression on many viewers. Using traditional musical instruments like the Daegeum(대금) and Janggu (장구), the music brought viewers back to Korea before Kpop exist! You can hear the soundtrack here.

Squid Game Intro Scene

Squid Game Intro Scene

The entire soundtrack is a masterpiece

Apart from using traditional Korean musical instruments, “I remember my name” has a very sad piano arrangement, and “The rope is tied” portrayed the mysterious feel with an electric guitar. The soundtracks are composed to help bring the particular scene alive and the success of the show. Not trying to discredit the brilliant acting or cinematography but you probably won’t feel sadness in certain scenes if these soundtracks are not done right. No, we are not going to talk about Ali or Ji-yeong. 😭

Click here to find out how you can sign up for a Free Trial Lesson to be an awesome musician to compose soundtracks like these.

If you wish to find out more about our keyboard program, or electric guitar program,  click here.

keytar singapore

Joanna Lim wrote the toughest song ever | Parallel Vortex

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Joanna Lim wrote the toughest song, the Parallel Vortex

Joanna Lim is no stranger to composing tough songs like Parallel Vortex! In fact, there is a reason why this amazing keyboardist is a friend to the god of keyboard Jordan Rudess. However, there are more than meets the eye. We are lucky enough to sit and chat with Singapore’s goddess of the keyboard.

Joanna Lim

Firstly congratulations again on your 2 babies! Firstly your very adorable son Denver and secondly your album Parallel Vortex! Can we confirm that you are the most hardworking Mother/Musician in Singapore?

Thank you for having me, Vinnie! I guess being a mom really unlocked strengths and abilities that I never knew I had. Haha 

Being a mother is serious work! What is the driving force behind writing your album while raising a baby?

I think being a mom is really the toughest job in the world (kudos to all moms out there!). Parallel Vortex was actually written before having a kid. I told a Chinese newspaper reporter that I wanted to write something for my late dad who passed on in 2008 due to cancer.  After much procrastination and agonizing years of writing and recording, I finally got it out of the system in 2020. I was recording till my third trimester because I knew I would not have time to do so with a kid around.

keytar singapore

I know you from your Zero Sequence days! Totally impressed by those forward-tilted keyboards with fast running note actions. That was a long time ago, what has changed for you?

Age. Haha. Playing with a keyboard tilted is not good for your wrists. As time goes by, my setup for gigs becomes smaller (lazier to carry more things!) and more efficient (thanks to technology!)
I do miss those days with the adrenaline rush from all those fast notes. Nowadays, I get my adrenaline from open jams with improvisations. I love those spontaneous moments and the chance to play with many different musicians.

You play the piano, keyboard, and saxophone in your songs. If you want to introduce yourself with one of your songs, which will it be and why?

This is a tough one because every track represents different stages of my life. If I were to pick one, perhaps the first track – Parallel Vortex? The song has a mix of everything. From heavy guitar riffs, double pedals, and synth to mid-tempo fusion solos and it has a symphonic ending.  Pretty much gives you the summary of the entire album.

saxophone singapore

As a musician from Singapore, what do you have to say to budding musicians who have the aspiration to be like you?

Friendship and family first. Never sacrifice the above just to pursue your music career. Love people and the musicians, jobs, and inspiration will come to you. Be yourself. 

Do you have any juicy stories to share?

I don’t really have any juicy story to share. haha
However, do check out my husband’s albums too! Simon Yong’s second guitar instrumental album – The Nasty Catawumpus was also released in 2020. We wanted to release our albums at the same time. I guess the “healthy competition” between us pushes each other to write and record. Now we have each started writing for our next album (cannot lose out. haha)

Click here to find out how you can sign up for a Free Trial Lesson to be an awesome musician like Joanna Lim.

If you wish to find out more about our keyboard program, click here.

Amanda Tee - The Only Absolute

Amanda Tee | You can definitely relate to her new song about Covid-19

By | Acoustic Guitar, Music Articles | No Comments

Amanda Tee, Singapore’s folk-song enchantress wrote a tune about the Covid-19

I remember it was circa 2007 when I first saw Amanda Tee slinging the guitar the wrong way on stage, way before anyone would even entertain the idea of a Covid-19 world. We were so innocent back then and life was simpler. I initially associated her with Jimi Hendrix but quickly realized her style to be unique and entirely different from the psychedelic rock master. That young girl has since released multiple albums and singles, each better than before. In today’s post, I sat down with her to talk about her latest single, The Only Absolute.
Amanda Tee - The Only Absolute

Your new single, The Only Absolute, seems to be talking about your life experience. Can you share more about the inspiration behind this song?

Yes, you’re right! This song was written in the middle of all the uncertainty we were embroiled in last year. Not knowing what was going to happen with the pandemic getting worse and with the country in lockdown, 
 

This song really embodies the thought process of a lot of people last year, when they had the time to sit down and think. 

 
I thought about being young and hopeful, and about having grown up very lucky, with the people I love around me. About my fellow musician friends who were bummed about losing a significant part of their income without any idea when they can play again but still exploring options on how to get by in the meantime. Also, those remarks made by my comfortable middle-class friends, who felt that government assistance was too much for those who need it, “they should have been more prepared for a rainy day like this”, “we shouldn’t have to bear the tax burden for these people”. Soon I started thinking about the awfulness of the world, then when it got too deep I realized maybe I needed to get out of that black hole. I remember the people I care about and how they can be the pillars in my life to keep calm and carry on.
That’s really it. I’d thought it would be less relevant to the world by the time I released it, but I guess I thought wrong!
Amanda Tee

I know you even before you first released your music in 2014, Amnesiac. It has been 7 years since that album! What has changed?

A lot has changed since 2014. I remember I was still printing CDs when I released that album. It was just the beginning of Spotify and other music streaming platforms. Because of the increased prevalence of music streaming over the years, the emphasis is all about frequent single releases now! Rather than anticipating 2-3 years for album releases. It’s a big change. However, it’s heartwarming to see all the original artists in Singapore moving with the times and adapting to it.
Amanda Tee

Who are your songs written for?

People who enjoy folk music, old-school singer-songwriter lyrics, along with some not-so-straightforward musicality. Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, Tori Amos, and a whole lot of other songwriters have been huge influences to me.
Amanda Tee

If you have to choose a song you wrote that defines you as Amanda Tee, which is it and why?

To be honest, I think my new single The Only Absolute would be it. This song has all the instrumentations that I love in folk music and melodies that I love.


As a musician from Singapore, what do you have to say to budding musicians? Especially to those who have the aspiration to be like you?

Just do it! Don’t think too much about whether it’s the right thing to do. Don’t let anyone else do that thinking for you too. 

So what is next?

I’m planning to release a full album later in the year, so keep your ears peeled for that! Meanwhile…

Click here to find out how you can sign up for a Free Trial Lesson to be an awesome musician like Amanda Tee.

If you wish to find out more about our guitar program, click here.

Mamady Keita

Mamady Keita | The passing of a Djembe legend

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Mamady Keita, The Djembe legend

We never fail to spread the gospel of Djembe legend Mamady Keita whenever we conduct our Djembe programs in schools. It is with sadness that we learn about his passing today. The music industry is forever in debt to him.

Mamady Keita Djembe

Djembe Program in Primary Schools

Students these days learn more than just the recorder, the Djembe program is one of the highlights! Students are often very excited to attend and give their fullest attention. Some feedback that it is great because it means a break from their academic lessons while others enjoy the fun of playing music. Northland Primary is one of the few schools in Singapore that conducts the Djembe program for the primary 5 and 6 students.

Djembe Singapore

Well researched and prepared music program

We are not embarrassed to say we as Singaporeans have very little understanding of the African instrument and culture. However, living in a mutli-racial country, we are often curious about other cultures! Hence, we did extensive research on the subject here at Vinnie Classroom. Ensuring we will be able to pass on the right information to the next generation. Our trainers also attends occasion lessons under local Djembe master Kelvin Kew!

Listen to Mamady Keita

Thanks to modern media solutions, you can now tune in to Mamady Keita’s music instantly!

Click here to listen to him on spotify now.

Click here to find out how you can sign up for a Free Trial Lesson to be an awesome musician like Mamady Keita.

If you wish to find out more about our drum program, click here.

Guitarist Singapore

Shern Wong wrote a song for his late father | Musicians in Singapore

By | Electric Guitar, Music Articles | No Comments

Shern Wong, Musicians in Singapore

This is a series of blog posts where we get to speak to musicians in Singapore and today we are featuring Shern Wong. Shern is no stranger to the local music industry on this sunny island. However, most students we teach have little clue about the music scene in Singapore because it is rather inaccessible. For instance, musicians perform in a nightspot that isn’t kids friendly. Also, promotional materials typically fail to reach their audiences. Hence we are using our platform to do our tiny part in contributing to the community!

Shern Wong

Let’s begin the interview!

Thank you again for doing this interview 🙂 Let’s begin!
  1. You just released an album earlier this February and now an upcoming Single this June! Are you officially the musician in Singapore who has released the most music in 2021?
I honestly don’t know! Never thought much about it. Perhaps amongst my personal musician friends maybe I have released more music than them. Everyone’s so focused on releasing singles these days I’m the only crazy (old-fashioned) one who still believes albums are relevant. But then again we still have half a year to go for 2021 so we never know. Maybe someone will release a double album!
2.What inspired you to write your songs? Who are they written for?
My latest single “Song for Dad ” was written for my Dad who passed away in December last year. I would say I get inspired by things that happen in life: personal experiences and things that happen around the world and of course relationships. I hope that people can relate to the songs that I write no matter what the subject is.
3. I know you since your teenage years when you are in the band Defuse! How do you compare yourself from your yesteryears and now?
I used to think that good music was only songs that were technically impressive and had complex difficult to pull off guitar solos/drum parts and insane high-range vocals. I used to scorn simple songs with only three chords strummed on an acoustic guitar. Nowadays, I believe that good music is music that makes you feel something, and simple songs can be great as well. 温柔 by Mayday is a good example of a simple song that sounds great and invokes a lot of emotion. I long to write a song like that someday.
Singapore Music

Musicians in Singapore are a tough bunch!

4. If you have to choose a song you wrote that defines you, which is it and why?
 
It really is difficult to choose a song that defines me because I feel that there is a part of me in every song that I write, and everything I’ve written is a reflection of my musical taste. But if I had to pick a song that resonates the most with the type of music I enjoy (rock music with bluesy elements) it would be “Sunshine Sugar Baby”. Also, the theme of the song is about breaking away from the feeling of jadedness, which is something musicians face constantly.
5. As a musician from Singapore, what do you have to say to budding musicians who has the aspiration to be like you?
Practice hard. Be humble and open to criticism. Do your best, accept the fact that you won’t be able to please everyone all the time. There’s no shortcut to greatness, your skills improve as you do things and create music, so don’t be afraid to try, even if the task seems difficult at the moment. Stop hesitating, if you want to do something, do it: you will never be truly ready/prepared for it because there’s always one more higher level to achieve.
6. Do you have any juicy information to share?
I heard that the boys from Defuse are getting together to release some material in future. (Hopefully) Stay tuned!

Listen to Shern’s music today!

Chapel Lung

Chapel Lung | Shern Wong

Hop onto Spotify to listen to Shern’s album Chapel Lung.

Follow Shern on social media to find out how you can go the old school way and buy his CD! (If you know what that is)

Check out the teaser for Shern’s latest Single below! The actual release will be on 20 June 12pm!

Click here to find out how you can sign up for a Free Trial Lesson to be an awesome musician like Shern.

If you wish to find out more about our guitar program, click here.

how to practice your instrument

How to practice your instrument | We analysed our best students

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How to practice your instrument

how to practice your instrumentThe question of “how to practice your instrument” is perhaps one that has been asked many times but often ignored. Here in Vinnie Classroom, we see a fair share of students who are able to grow steadily on their instrument and those who are pretty much stagnant. Hence, we decide to write this article about the common excuses and how to tackle them. This article aims to help those who feel that they are in limbo with their instrument to get better!

I need a better instrument

drum lesson zoom

Our student doing drum lesson over Zoom video conference

While this is true to a certain extent, it is often not the case why you are not improving on your instrument. Music teachers around the world have been proving the fact that we are able to perform the same passage on both the student’s instrument and our very own workhorse. But that’s not to say it will be easy to make it sound good on the cheaper made instruments. The key here is understanding and tunning yourself to the instrument you have on hand. Every instrument has a slightly different setup and feels, this in return requires you to adjust your playing habits to accommodate. So no, don’t go shopping for a more expensive instrument until you understand what you are shopping for.

I don’t have time to practice

piano zoom lesson

Our student doing piano lesson over Zoom video conference

Time indeed is tough to manage for many of us. School students, especially those in Singapore, struggles to find time out of their heavy load of school work. Adults are often filled with commitments they must fulfill before setting aside time to indulge themselves with their instruments. However,  times and times again, we have seen students who ace in their academics doing really well on their instruments. We also have working adults with kids progressing steadily despite their tight schedule. So what’s their secret?

Perhaps the most important ingredient when it comes to time management isn’t how well you plan your day. It is about addiction. How addicted you are to improve on the instrument?

Some of our students see practicing their instrument as a form of relaxation from their schoolwork. They aim to finish their schoolwork swiftly to earn more time on their instrument. This does not equate to filling in the blanks on that pesky homework with random answers. That will often stall them, resulting in more time needed in correction work. Instead, they make sure they understand their subject well and do it with a clear mind.

Working adults does things with a different approach, they plan their schedule properly. Setting aside valuable time during the day to clock some mileage in. It could be when their children are showering, the few minutes in the morning before they head for work, or even right before dinner is served. Again, the concept is still the same. It boils down to how much do you want to improve on your instrument. Clocking in the mileage is a sure-fire way to getting better.

I did practice but I am not improving!

zoom piano lesson

Our student doing piano lesson over Zoom video conference with multi camera angle for better experience

If you did all of the above and are still not improving, then we need to dive into your practice routine. After all, we are diving deep into understanding how to practice your instrument in this post! Many of our students who are confident they practiced but not showing results, often practiced wrongly. Yes, there are specific ways to get that effective and efficient practice in.

  • Do not play the song from the start till the end!

This is a typical mistake that students do. The idea they have is as long as they played all those notes on the score, they have practiced. Well technically yes they did practice but they merely practice how to relate the note on the score to the note on their instrument. Often times ignoring timing, technique, articulation, and dynamics. So if you are guilty of doing this, stop. Instead, zoom in down to just a few bars at a time. Work on them until you are able to perform them perfectly. Once you are ready, you can then add more bars to that practice routine. Eventually, you will be playing the song from start till the end but with a very clear mind of every aspect of the music.

  • Do not practice without a metronome

Metronome is likely a student’s worse nightmare. Every so often, a student will blurt out “can we do without the metronome”. Understandably so, the metronome is a merciless machine that embarrasses you as soon as you are out of time. Syncing to the metronome can be a mammoth task for many. So why do we want to practice with a metronome and how?

For a start, a band can only function if everyone is able to play together. The timekeeper will always be the drummer. The band will sound bad no matter how well everyone is playing if the main timekeeper is unstable. Solo instrumentalist, however, enjoys the liberty of performing a song in Rubato. So unless you want to be performing alone, time to practice with a metronome!

Assuming you have never practiced with a metronome, start off by working on scales. Scales are a great way to help you tighten your playing to a metronome because the notes are fixed and you have already memorized them by heart. This means your ears, more likely the brain, have more capacity to hear if the notes and the metronome clicks are locked in together.

The clicks will disappear underneath your notes when you are in sync with the metronome. 

From there on, practicing without the metronome will feel almost alien. The most basic metronome clicks to the main tempo but the more advanced metronome allows for subdivisions. Meaning, you can now set it to click on every quaver instead of crotchet, or if you need to practice some triplets, or if the time signature is at 5/4. Ultimately, a good musician will be able to hear both the metronome and the notes they play at the same time. They can combine the 2 information together to get perfect sync to the tempo. So dust off your metronome and start practicing with it today!

I now mastered “How To Practice Your Instrument”

Hold up! While we wish to congratulate you that you’ve understood all that you need to do to be practicing your instrument effectively and efficiently, this article has not covered every aspect of it. It merely is a rough guide to getting better. Practicing an instrument, like any other things you wish to perfect, requires a lifetime of dedication. It requires a lot of motivations too and motivation can come from various factors. Fame, money, or personal skill accomplishment? Understanding why you want to improve on your musicality is perhaps the start of why you want to read this article in the first place.

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