Marvin Stamm – Improvisation for Beginners

Most people have only heard Marvin Stamm on Paul McCartney's first no. 1 hit after the Beatles: "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" from Ram. Marv plays the flugelhorn solo that leads into "Hands across the water..."  In this video, Marv talks about emotional and intellectual approaches to improvisation.

By | May 26th, 2011|Gig Bag|

10,000 Hours of Practice Makes Perfect? (Part Two)

In Part One, we looked at theories proposing that 10,000 hours of practice is required to become an expert in almost any field.   So is that all it takes?  In a word: No.  Quality counts; it's not just the hours, but the way those hours are spent that determines the benefits of practice. Practice [...]

By | December 9th, 2010|Gig Bag|

10,000 Hours of Practice Makes Perfect? (Part One)

Practice > 3 Hours a Day > 7 Days a Week > for 10 Years How much should you practice?  In This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, Daniel Levitan writes about the ten-thousand-hours theory, which proposes that 10,000 hours of practice is required to become a world-class expert in [...]

By | November 11th, 2010|Gig Bag|

Play > The LP Kevin Ricard Cajon

Plus: Just 2 Days Left for the OpenMic.US Aspire Cajon Give-Away Every home needs a cajon.  Mine quickly became the loudest and most fun (or most annoying, depending on where you are sitting) seat in the house.  LP has been expanding their lineup, and the Kevin Ricard model is one of the best-sounding boxes yet. [...]

By | September 28th, 2010|Drums|

Play > Backbeatless R&B/Hip-Hop Groove #74

Back on Cinco de Mayo, we learned to play tambourine thanks to Latin Percussion (LP).  Today, we pick up a groove from Tommy Igoe courtesy of Vic Firth -- another company with a strong and generous education program. Vic Firth (awarded Best-Dressed Male by MMT at NAMM 2010) is himself a leader in percussion education, [...]

By | September 9th, 2010|Drums|

Everything You Play is Wrong: Smoke on the Water

Invert the Chords > Lose the Pick > Play Smoke on the Water Montreux, Switzerland: 1971.  Frank Zappa and the Mother's of Invention play a concert in the theatre of the  Montreux Casino on Lake Geneva.  Deep Purple is in attendance, preparing to record Machine Head using a mobile studio rented from the Rolling Stones.  [...]

By | August 12th, 2010|Guitar, Songs|

Songwriting Camp at StudioRock

If you have a budding Lennon, McCartney, or Gaga in the house and live in the DC area, StudioRock of Northern Virginia can help them bloom this summer.  In addition to their regular lessons and rehearsals, StudioRock kicks off the Summer Camp season with Sonwriting I from July 19 - 23.  Students can use guitar [...]

By | July 5th, 2010|Gig Bag, Songs|

Play > Tambourine: Cinco de Mayo Style

There are a couple companies that go out of their way to educate drummers.  Today we look at Latin Percussion (LP) in honor of Cinco de Mayo.  This holiday is close to our hearts as Margaritas are the official drink of the MMT household. Advanced Tambourine Techniques with Jim Greiner Jim responds to the global [...]

By | May 5th, 2010|Drums|

Play > Hey Ya! by OutKast

One Two Three Uh! Here's an easy guitar song lesson from the generous Justin Sandercoe.  Four open chords, a simple strumming pattern, and a measure of 2/4 to mix things up. Listen to Hey Ya! on Jango Lyrics to Hey Ya! More Easy Guitar Songs Once you've got this down Justin has two sets of [...]

By | May 2nd, 2010|Guitar, Songs|