Nerding out with this video showcasing the ways Reason can be a powerful tool in music education. Thus far, Reason has given me 10 years of experimental musical bliss, with many more to come.
Learn the basic techniques you’ll need to get a great recording of an acoustic guitar!
In the 8th grade, my football coach phrased it thusly:
“Excuses are like a**holes. Everyone has one, and they stink.”
Fourteen years later, though I have little interest in football or alpha-male coaches, I still agree with his point.
It’s really easy to come up with excuses for any aspect of your life in which you’re frustrated. At the moment, I can’t wait to record an electric guitar line into a song I’m working on, but my guitar’s in the shop. I could chose to throw up my hands and say, “Welp, can’t work on it today!”, or I could use that limitation to my advantage, which brings us to the flip side of this coin:
Limitations Are Your Friends
Instead of giving up, I can use my guitarlessness as an opportunity to rerecord my vocals, or really polish the drum track.
The value of limitations is particularly relevant to the digital musician who can add an unlimited tracks to her song, and has thousands and thousands of digital instruments from which to choose.
In high school, when I was learning to make music with Reason, I got to a point where I was obsessed with finding new, cool sound banks, and saving up for a super-fancy computer so I could make even more music. My musical output ground to a halt, because instead of accepting my limitations and working within those constraints, I was making excuses.
“Telling yourelf you have all the time in the world, all the money in the world, all the colors in the palette, anything you want—that just kills creativity.”
Hat tip to Austin Kleon for the quote, from his wonderful book Steal Like an Artist.
Here’s some further reading and a TED Talk on unlimited choices.
In this lighthearted tutorial, Carlo Nuevo shows you how to lay down a track, complete with drums, synths, and vocals. It’ll get you making music in no time.
People are doing some amazing things with our favorite $0.99 powerhouse groovemaker app Figure.
Although this project was done with a single iPhone recorded many times, you can easily sync up multiple iDevices and jam with a friend.
After graduating college, I started work at a preschool in Minneapolis. My guitar had been gathering dust, but after a month of playing it in the classroom, I was amazed to see that my guitar and vocal technique was really improving. Even though I was just playing kid songs, the simple act of playing every single day was having powerful results. It certainly helped that five-year-olds are about the most forgiving audience one can hope to play for.
This article describes how one can dramatically reduce the amount of brainpower required for a given task through practice and “overlearning.”
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