More Slow Practice

PocketDrum: Virtual Drumset

PocketDrum is a virtual drumkit that you can take anywhere to learn and play. The portable drumkit provides you with the most realistic drumming experience without the burden of a huge drum set. The Bluetooth enabled sticks connect wirelessly to the AeroBand App so you can jam freely, play along, or learn the basics of drumming. The PocketDrum uses spatial awareness and haptics to make it feel like you’re playing the real thing, you can even play without any noise if you connect your headphones. And to make things even more realistic, each stick vibrates with each hit, with different vibrations based on the bounce of drum and force of the hit. The drums also deliver different sounds based on the force of the hit, allowing you to better control your dynamics. 

iRig Micro Amp

iRig Micro Amp is a new portable, simple and easy to use battery-powered guitar amplifier with app connectivity and a decent enough power of 15W. This thing is perfect for everything from a bedroom or desktop to jamming with friends or street busking. The USB connection allows you to connect an iPhone/iPad directly or to a Mac/PC with the included Amplitube 4 software.

Another cool feature of this item is the fact that you may get it to go using only 6 AA batteries, which would cut your power in half but that still would be enough to get your practice going with reasonable power. It also gets you 3 different analog channels: Clean, Drive and Lead with crisp, rich sound plus all the regular main controls such as bass, treble, and medium. It also gives you the chance to hook up a regular player using a standard jack or set it up with your headphones should you want to listen to yourself more discretely. Well built and with a rugged look the iRig Micro Amp sure is worth a glance.

Kind of Blue 60th Anniversary

In 1959, Miles Davis went to Columbia Records in Manhattan to forge a new style of music improvisation. With the company of other legendary musicians, like John Coltrane and Bill Evans, Kind of Blue was recorded; the greatest selling jazz album of all time. Miles chose to take an interpretive dance approach to improvisation, developing ideas and using space to create his unique style. This new style of modal jazz pushed musicians to express themselves through melodic creativity. Take a look into the history and music theory of Kind of Blue with Sweetwater’s Jacob Dupre (piano/trumpet), accompanied by Michael Patterson (bass) and Sean Parr (drums). Karl Stabnau (alto sax) performs the solo on “Blues For Alice,” as played by Charlie Parker.

Music Notation Explained [Video]

Though for some, this might be simplistic, 12 Tone does an excellent job in this video explaining music notation.

Lumi Illuminated Keyboard

Playing a musical instrument is one of the great joys of life. But learning how to play the piano from scratch might be an expensive hobby if you have to pay for lessons. Digital instrument maker Roli have announced the LUMI Keyboard, a smarter way to learn and play music.

The illuminated keyboard and companion app teaches users how to play the piano from scratch, before transforming into a tool for jamming and even composition. The LUMI app will stream your favorite songs and light up the notes to play on the small keyboard, which is designed to snap on to other sets for an expanded instrument once you master the basics.

The app also has lessons on scales, chords, and playing techniques, among other things. LUMI Keys will also work as a MIDI controller, and it comes with ROLI Studio Player. watch the video below

The Secrets of Successful Musicians

A Taste of Crescendo

I am so honored to be the Artistic Director and Conductor for John Cameron Changing Lives. Our show coming May 4th in Edmonton at the Winspear and May 24th at Jack Singer Hall in Calgary raise funds for mental health. I would encourage you to come see the show, knowing your attendance goes to a great and worthy cause. All the while, you’ll have a great time!

7 Easy Tips To Improve Your Piano Practice

And… practice makes permanent! 😉