Archive for March, 2009


Online Music Lessons – A Good Way To Learn?

   Posted by: admin   in Guitar Lessons

There are many musical instruments to choose from, depending on budget and personal preference. There are also various ways to learn. The traditional way is to learn your instrument on a one to one basis with a teacher. You could also learn from a book, a CD or DVD, or online. The problem with learning from a book is that you cannot hear how the notes are supposed to sound and compare yours to them. This is especially true if you want to learn to sing. Reading about how to sing and actually hearing the notes are totally different.

Learning online, even though you might not have considered it before, has some great benefits. First of all, online learning provides a complete audio visual experience. You can see how to position your fingers on your instrument and also hear the exact note you should be aiming for. Online learning can be either free or very cheap, unlike a tutor, and you can begin your lesson whenever is convenient for you, rather than make an appointment with a tutor and have to travel to his or her house or studio.

If you are a slow learner, you can repeat the online lesson. A personal tutor normally charges an hourly rate. Some people simply cannot afford to attend lessons or travel back and forth to them, especially after paying the cost of a guitar, piano or other costly instrument. Without online lessons, they might not be able to learn at all.

Learning to play a musical instrument online might not be right for you, however. For one thing, when you have a tutor and make a mistake, your tutor will correct you. The tutor will be watching your fingering and the way you handle your instrument. He or she will also be listening to your music and you will get feedback. The online learning process is one way. If you are making a mistake, nobody is going to tell you and you might learn bad playing habits which are difficult to get rid of later.

If you decide to learn an instrument online, there are a few things you ought to know before starting. First of all, there are literally hundreds of online courses so it will be confusing to find the right one. The prices range from nothing to the price of a private tutor, but pricing is not the only consideration. The quality of the online lessons is as important as the cost, if not more so, so you should check several out before committing yourself.

A good course will include audio, video and perhaps animations too. Some also include email consultation or software to help you with your learning.

A sensible thing to do is to check out forums for your preferred instrument. For example, if you wish to learn the guitar, you can read reviews in guitar forums. Somebody might have learned online and rave about a particular course. It is handy to see what other people thought of the course you are considering and find out whether it sounds suitable for you.

Many courses also offer a money-back guarantee after 30 or 60 days, which is reassuring. This means that the course creators are very confident that you will be able to learn your instrument and they have faith in their online lessons. A course with a guarantee is preferable to one without.

You can choose from beginner or advanced lessons. Did you learn to play your instrument in school many years ago and are looking for a refresher course, or are you totally new to the world of music? This can affect which online course would suit you best.

Some people can learn with a tutor and find it hard to discipline themselves to learn online when there is not another person physically present. It depends on your individual learning style. Other people would feel more comfortable and relaxed learning from the comfort of their own house. It depends what would work for you. Perhaps you tried using a private tutor and it did not work out.

Whatever your musical preferences and style, there should be a good online course for you. Take a look at what is available and you will be surprised how many online lessons actually exist. Learning online means you can learn quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home, for a fraction of the cost you would pay a private tutor.

Kevin Sinclair


Review of the Santana CD Festival

   Posted by: admin   in Beginning Guitar

One word describes the CD Festival from Santana… AWESOME!

Refreshingly, this was one of those CDs I was able to just pop in and comfortably listen to from beginning to end. Every track is enjoyable and was pretty easy for me to listen to from start to finish.

Festival is a nicely varied, mix of 11 tracks that are very well written songs by this clearly gifted artist. With many of the songs displaying a lot of the kind emotion that makes for a really great listen. Seemingly drawing from what I can only imagine are him own personal experiences. At different points touching on the most real emotions like love, and the pain of failed relationships can certainly be heard.

Overall Festival is an outstanding release. What I call must have music. I give it two thumbs up and is most definitely a worthy addition to any Rock collection. Truly an outstanding Rock CD. One of those that is completely void of any wasted time, as each track is simply superb.

While the entire CD is outstanding the truly standout tunes are track 2 – Let The Children Play, track 6 – Let The Music Set You Free, and track 11 – Maria Caracoles.

My Bonus Pick, and the one that got Sore [ in "Stuck On REpeat"] is track 1 – Carnaval. Great track!

Festival Release Notes:

Santana originally released Festival on August 28, 1990 on the Legacy Recordings label.

CD Track List Follows:

1. Carnaval 2. Let The Children Play 3. Jugando 4. Give Me Love 5. Verao Vermelho 6. Let The Music Set You Free 7. Revelations 8. Reach Up 9. River, The 10. Try A Little Harder 11. Maria Caracoles

Santana: Carlos Santana (guitar, bass, percussion, background vocals); Leon Patillo (vocals, piano); Pablo Tellez (vocals, bass, percussion); Tom Coster (keyboards, synthesizer, percussion, background vocals); Paul Jackson (bass); Gaylord Birch (drums, tympani, percussion); Chepito Areas (congas, timbales, percussion); Raul Rekow (congas, percussion, background vocals); Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, Orin Waters, Francisco Zavala, Joel Badie (background vocals). Recorded at Wally Heider Recording, San Francisco, California.

Clyde Lee Dennis


Good Songs for Guitar Beginners

   Posted by: admin   in Guitar Lessons

As the old adage goes, music is the language of the soul – it speaks what words cannot reveal. No wonder most people would love to hear or learn to play musical instruments such as the guitar.

Playing the guitar, in particular, is one of the best ways to express the sentiments or feelings of a person. It is also one way of expressing the artistic skill of an individual who loves music. That is why many people are enticed to learn how to play this instrument.

When somebody is playing the guitar, it is assumed that the person has taken some guitar lessons from an instructor or that he has learned to play the instrument all by himself. Whatever method of learning is employed, it is important to use the correct techniques in order to learn how to play the instrument properly.

One of the best ways of learning to play the guitar is to use some simple guitar songs that make it easier comprehend the guitar tablatures. If a person knows how to “sight read” a particular guitar song, it is easier for him to learn how to play the guitar. This is more appropriate in a higher level of expertise. Some experts assert that some guitarists have started by singing along with their favorite songs and trying to play it on the guitar as they go.

The importance of using easy guitar songs to learn how to play the instruments is broken down into different aspects. Here is the list:

1. It helps the beginner learn the proper pace and rhythm of the song.

Easy guitar songs initiate proper pacing and rhythm enabling the beginner to learn to play the guitar easier. Just by listening to the song, the beginner can easily make some use of the strings and try to associate it with the tempo and the pattern of the notes.

2. Creates an ear for music

Using easy guitar songs provides the chance to create an ear for music. Once the guitarist learns how to listen attentively, he will be able to distinguish the right note coming from the right tab from those that are wrong.

Indeed, using these easy guitar songs can really make a big difference in every beginner’s learning session. As the experts insist, it would be easier for a beginner to learn the instrument if he will use tools that are not hard to use.

Ian Williamson