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Musicians, Not Theorists, Issue #004 -- Private Lessons and Chords
January 22, 2014

"Musicians, Not Theorists" gives you the information you need about the practical uses for music theory. With today's range of musical styles, the possibilities are endless. I'll show you the ways of chord building and scale finding. Learn the rules and why it's ok to break them. Explore new musical phrases to boost your creativity.

Table of Contents

  1. Website Update: A New Element and More New Worksheets!
  2. Why YOU Need Private Lessons
  3. Chord Quiz
  4. Practice Tips

News: Chord Worksheet and Callout Boxes!

A couple of new things here: a new worksheet, and a new looking thingamajig on the website!

New Chord Worksheet

That's right! There is a new worksheet available for download. This new one features major chords and there will be another focusing on minor chords soon. Head on over to the worksheet section on the website and check it out.

New Callout Boxes on the Website

I found a new trick! I found these things called Callout boxes. (Apparently they've been around for a while, and I just didn't know how to use them. Derp.) Oh well. Anyway, I found a way to highlight certain things on a page. From now on, I'll be using these on my pages to highlight or "call out" certain bits of the lessons or articles that are especially important, certain habits or dangers you want to watch out for, or certain tips that can help you do things better or more efficiently. Here is an example of them on the homepage. (It's the grey box.)

Now Offering Private Lessons!

That's right! You can now take private music lessons from your's truly. I have started teaching music lessons over the internet via Skype. Don't have Skype? Download it here! I'm teaching Fiddle/Violin, Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Bass, and general music theory concepts. If you are interested in signing up, or just would like more information, check out this page.

Why YOU Need Private Lessons

Taking private music lessons can greatly help your understanding of music theory and make you worlds better at playing your instrument. I know this because I took lessons for over a decade, and am still constantly learning from others.

In order to play with more people and to constantly be around better and better players, (and possibly make some actual money!) you have to constantly be getting better at your instrument. Taking private music lessons is the absolute best way to accomplish this because it not only gives you accurate instructions, but gives you a deadline (next week's lessons) to keep you on task and motivated. I have taught some students on the "every other week" basis, and it never fails: they never practice till the last minute. However, when you have a lessons every week, you know that you have to see your teacher sooner, and you are more motivated to get practicing before then.

Chord Quiz

Since we have a new Chord Worksheet up, I figured we'd do a Chord Quiz in this issue of Musicians, Not Theorists. If you get stuck, you can always check out the page on Basic Triads, but try to do it in your head first!:

Just fill in the notes of the chords. (All of these are major chords.)









If you'd like the answers, or if you'd like me to check yours, simply reply to this email and let me know.

Practice Tips

-Play Things in Odd Keys: This practice tip is for everyone, but especially string players. When you play things in keys that you aren't used to, a couple of different things happen. First, you end up using notes that you don't use most of the time, so you inevitably end up getting better on your instrument because you're branching out and building skill outside of your comfort zone. Something else happens for string players though. When you are forced to play notes you're not used to, you have to pay close attention to the notes you are playing so that you will play them in tune. When you do this, you are training your ear to focus more closely on the pitch of the notes. The more you do this, the more your ear will get in the habit of listening more closely to notes in general. This means that when you go back to playing in keys that you ARE familiar with, you will be able to hear the notes EVEN BETTER. Win, win.

Go check out the Practice Tips page and write your own. You might get featured in next month's newsletter! Thanks for reading guys, and keep playing!!

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