Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 242 #285)

The Highway RickEy Show!!!

While Joe is gallivanting around Europe with Eric, Highway RickEy is dimming lights and firing up computers and projectors in B1! This was not smoke and mirrors; it was a truly great lecture on the use of Media Center and Amazing Slow Downer to organize your music files and improve the quality of your practice.

RickEy began by distinguishing between "practicing" and "playing". If you're spending time working to improve, that is practice and it should be thoughtful, it should include a timing device like a metronome or a practice track and it will be hugely improved with a tool like the Amazing Slow Downer. If you're playing in a performance setting, for friends or even just to amuse yourself, relax and have fun. "Play" should be fun, after all, that's why we make music. But remember to take "practice" seriously.

Amazing Slow Downer is computer software (runs on PC, Mac and iPhone) that allows you to change the pitch and speed of a song as well as develop short loop segments. This is a fabulous way to practice! RickEy demonstrated the program and shared practice methodologies with us.

He also outlined how to use Media Center to organize and tag your music library. For PC users, this is a fantastic program to organize, sort and call up songs and playlists - again, great ways to improve your practice regimen.

Both programs are linked on the YouMissedMonday website gear tab.

The computer is your friend for a higher quality of practice - put it to use! As RickEy says:

"Master less, but master something!"
              Open Jam!!!

              Grant Kessler and Al Taylor will be hosting an open jam the next two Mondays from 3:30-5:30. This is very casual - stop by anytime to play, listen, or ask questions. We'll be in the room Shoji usually teaches in, just south of the Old Town main entrance in the old "soccer club" building.
              Class Notes
              • Our winter recital is on the calendar, December 17. You should start planning and practicing your songs now! Sign up sheets are due November 14 and should include short bio info on the back.
              • Emphasis will be placed on reducing the time between songs at recital this time. The next two weeks is a great time to practice playing the end of one song and launching a second song in short succession. Shoji and the B1 Band welcome this if you'd like to work on it!
              • Joe's out of town October 31 and November 7. His private lessons won't happen, but all group classes will proceed as normal with master subs Zoe Savage and Shoji Naito in charge.
              • We hear a harmonica player left a kit full of harps at the Matchbox recently. If they're yours, give the club a call. This is a good reminder we should all put our names and phone numbers on our harp cases!
              - Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew