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Guitar lessons sometimes seem like an easy task, but keeping your students engaged is a very hard task.

Sometimes, exploring is a good way to make your lessons fresh, and while it may seem distant, some youtube creators manage to be great teachers.

Rick Beato is one of those content creators on youtube, he is a music teacher, producer and has been making content on YouTube for quite a while, getting over 2 million subscribers on the platform.

One of the biggest difficulties when it comes to guitar lessons is that beginners find it very hard to play the first notes and chords, but in reality there are a few tips that can

That’s where Rick’s videos come in.

Varied Content

Rick Beato’s channel has a lot of different content, of course, all of it about music but, one of the most interesting things about him is that his taste is hard to define.

You can easily click a video from him and watch him break down a Beethoven piece, one analyzing the top 10 songs on spotify or getting every detail about Phil Collins’ drums.

Why is this important? Well first of all he is able to connect with a wider audience instead of dismissing certain genres. This also reverberates in his teaching and tutorials,  because he knows his audience comes from many different places.

When he gets into the guitar lessons, he won’t teach classical, rock, jazz, flamenco, that is up to the person learning.

Guitar Lessons

Guitar Lessons

There are a few videos on guitar lessons by Rick, but there is one that is worth checking out as he talks about the experience teaching his children how to play guitar during lockdown.

He then proceeds to talk about some of the things that every beginner should remember when starting to learn how to play guitar.

In this video Rick helps solve some of the most common mistakes every beginner makes when starting to play guitar. These common issues are:

Rhythm and Strumming

Most people have a hard time strumming and at first the play the guitar with the thumb strumming down, and then with a bit more time they let loose of the wrist, however there is no rhythm

Finger Positioning

At first when learning chords, it feels like a strange game of twister where your fingers feel uncomfortable, and it may seem like a very common problem with easy solutions, but some of these solutions can really take a beginner a long way with just a few tips.

Sometimes it’s about the transitions between one chord to the other, and other times it comes to scales, but there is no denying that finger positioning is something that is very easy to get wrong, and because it is something so basic, it’s easy to feel discouraged from learning the instrument right away.

Not Muting Strings Properly

Many beginners don’t pay attention to what they are actually supposed to play, what this means is that they may get the strumming and finger positioning, but if they are playing notes that shouldn’t actually be played, it’s going to sound messy and bad.

This is also due to the fact that the strings that should be muted are usually the open strings, this makes it so that, if it is played, it’s going to be very present in the chord.

From one Chord to Another

It feels so hard to finally get every finger in place and then they have to change in order to play another chord.

This is often one of the first hardest things a beginner guitarrist face.

It’s not just about doing it, it’s also about maintaining the rhythm of the strumming intact while doing it.

The solution to these beginner guitar issues can be solved in many ways.

Today the recomendation is to watch Rick Beato’s tips, not only because it’s not a very long video, it’s because every minute of it will be useful when confronting your new guitar.

Why Are His Videos Worth Your Time?

Rick is an experienced teacher, but he manages to show so much in so little time that it makes for perfect content for YouTube.

Today, many people of all ages start to learn how to play instruments and get into music through YouTube and this can be a very interesting learning process.

Getting to this channel can be quite good for a beginner not just because of guitar lessons, but the way he approaches every music genre and respects every different type of sound.

This can be seen in other videos where he breaks down songs or goes through music in the form of video essay/class and it can be a very interesting and fun learning experience for a beginner musician.

 

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As musicians, sometimes we look for new ways to improve the way we make music, perform and experiment. Sometimes our exploration can take us to mobile apps, which can offer a wide range of functions and tasks such as Enote. Enote is an app that offers digital sheet music with the ability to access a big library of interactive sheet music via the app that may change the way you perform.

Among the features are instantly transposing it, switching between movements or measures, turning pages, changing the size of scores, and printing them of course.

One of the founders of Enote, Boian Videnoff, who is also the chief conductor of the Mannheim Philharmonic said:

“I had been complaining to Josef about why digitalisation wasn’t happening in the music world, and he was making fun of me having to drag a whole suitcase full of scores with me when I travelled. We decided together to tackle the problem,”

Josef Tufan is an IT management consultant, and co CEO of Enote.

How is Enote Innovating?

 

Before the app, the only real “digital sheet music” interaction was through pdf, but that wasn’t really any different from the original paper experience, in fact, it’s more limited, and the only thing you could do was zoom in and out and store it in any plattform, which is great but not really innovating or transformative experience.

As said before, there are a few things that Enote can do, but one of the most useful functions is being able to inmediatly transpose a notation thanks to optical music-recognition technology. This is something that would otherwise take some time to do, but thanks to the app you can do this in no time.

It’s also just the beginning, as every new creation has the potential to evolve, and improve all of its features over the years.

A Well Recieved App

Of course one of the applications of this new software would be in music education. As education in general gets used to a more digital enviroment, there is no reason as to why it should be different in music. This app helps with this transition, making a few things easier for those getting into the world of music.

In an article with the Guardian, it shows some of the support the app is having from a few recognized musicians including a statement from Daniel Barenboim:

Its supporters from the world of music include the baritone Thomas Hampson, the cellist Mischa Maisky, the violinist Lisa Batiashvili, and Michael Barenboim, the violinist and concertmaster of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, who is the son of the conductor Daniel Barenboim and the pianist Elena Bashkirova.

“Everyone in the music world is talking about it and I’m sure we’ll all be using it sooner or later, including my father,” the younger Barenboim told the Guardian. “It will be a gamechanger for musicians. The possibilities are very exciting, especially for the field of music education.”

AI in Music

It’s interesting to see that even though it’s happening now, the world of classical music has been very hesitant towards the implementation of new digital and technological inventions.

The team that worked on the app was full of historical musicologists, AI expertes and mathematicians in order to achive the precision necessary for the app to work.

It was a hard task because it involved programming the ability to learn and recognize every little thing from the music that was written down as if the AI was a musician, this means, that there is a sort of sensibility that was needed for this kind of task.

In the end it all came out perfectly and after five years, the world’s first library of native digital sheet music, has finally been realeased.

There is quite a lot of experimentation with AI in music, in fact, there are full AI music albums. But this is another thing completely, not just because of the little margin for error, but the difficulties of replicating the way a skilled musician would modify and interact with a piece of music.

We’ll have to wait and see how much this app evolves and how it could improve other areas of music such as music education.

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Sonic Youth is considered to be a band that in many ways reinvented rock and music in general, due to how they managed to have such a raw sound and still keep beautiful melodies in between all of the dissonance produced by instruments that are not only given an experimental nature with strange uncommon tunings but are also played in ways only they could feel like doing.

The founding members are Thurston Moore (guitar, vocals), Kim Gordon (bass, vocals, guitar) and Lee Ranaldo (guitar, vocals). They were in the beginning all the way through the end while other members such as the drummer, bassist and keybordists were more about a come and go situation. After a few drummers Steve Shelley (drums) kept the spot in 1985, and Jim O’Rourke (bass, keyboards, guitar) who was with the band from 1999 to 2005.

The band appeared in the midst of one of the most varied decade in music, the 80s was full of glam, electronic beats, synths, new wave, punk, britpop, hard rock, it was a big colorful mass of different musical experiences and they were all exploding at the same time. Sonic Youth broke away from these genres and made a sound that would become the inspiration for countless other musicians around the world.

The band had its debut in 1983 but it wasn’t until 1990s Goo and 1992s Dirty that they became a real mainstream success, in their own way.

Cheap Guitars and Priceless Tunings

Like many other bands in their humble beginnings, they were not able to get expensive great quality guitars, but the thing is that didn’t really matter if they weren’t going to use them like you’d normally would.

According to Moore and Ranaldo the idea was that using standard tuning could only get you so far in terms of creativity and different sounds, so what they decided to do was experiment with different tunings without being bound to any sort of rules. This wasn’t a one time thing or two time thing, it was a recurrent way to come up with new ideas, which meant that coming up with a new way to tune the guitar was also connected to a new song or a few.

This mindset is one of the things that gave them their original sound and also one of the reasons they get so much praise for reinventing the way you play guitar.

Sonic Youth in the Soviet Union

In an interview with vulture.com, Thurston Moore recalls one of the weirdest shows they had as a band. It was a show in Russia when it was still the Soviet Union.

In 1989, we went to the Soviet Union when it was still the Soviet Union and played some shows there. That will always stay with me because it was at a time when very few Western musicians had gone there. Nobody had ever heard of us, let alone heard us. We would play in front of audiences that were basically Russian families who were coming out for a night’s entertainment. It was like no PA to speak of, just a couple of beat-up guitar amps that we would have to sing through. We were really out of our element. People just watched us in curiosity and wonder. There was hardly any response. We were doing like drumsticks under the guitars, Confusion of Sex material. It was pretty crazy. One of the gigs just got released recently, a Live in Moscow album. It was just confusion by these Russian families sitting there. It’s a memory I’ll never forget — not just the gigs, but just the entire experience of being in the Soviet Union as this kind of sort of poor art-rock band. The food was inedible. It was really an experience and education, seeing these real failed aspects of what should have been progressive socialism but wasn’t progressive. We actually went down and played in Georgia, which was a little hipper. There were actual punk rockers.

But I did meet somebody who actually saw one of those shows. He said that it changed his life and he left the Soviet Union, came to America, and started a band called Gogol Bordello. Eugene Hutz was a kid at one of our gigs in Kiev [Ukraine] and I met him many years later. He introduced himself to me and said, “When I was a teenager, I saw you play in the Soviet Union and that was my catalyst for getting out of there and doing music and art.” If there’s anything great about going to Russia besides these funny, weird memories, it’s that.

Sonic Youth is not just an important band for rock, it’s a band that was determined to express themselves in new strange way through new methods of composition and an honest energy.

If you haven’t listened to the band give it a try, maybe start with Goo, which was their first big succesful album.

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