Archive for the 'Top 10 Tips & Facts' Category



Artist Interview – Donn Bradley (Audition Tips for Singers)

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Donn Bradley

Donn Bradley

As many of you already know, the audition process for obtaining singing roles in opera, musicals and other shows can be quite challenging. Just like singing, auditioning is a skill, and it can take a few tries to get a grasp of how the process works.

Today we will be sharing singing and audition advice from Lyric Baritone and Character Tenor – Donn Bradley. Donn is a native of Santa Cruz, CA, and current resident of wherever the work is, USA. Donn is a versatile singer, with solid technique in Opera, Musical Theater, and several popular styles.

He has performed five major roles with Townsend Opera, and narrated five major works for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra including Façade by William Walton, and performed as Bass soloist for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with VITA Academy in Sacramento (2008).

Previous major Opera/Operetta roles include: Ko-Ko in The Mikado (2012), Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance (2011), Njegus in The Merry Widow (2010), Monostatos in The Magic Flute (2009), Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore (2009), Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus (2001), Papageno in The Magic Flute (1998), The Pirate King in Pirates of Penzance (1998), and Louis in The Wandering Scholar (1997).

Hi Donn, thanks for taking the time to interview with us.

What inspired you to start a career in music?

I have been able to sing my whole life, though my Continue reading ‘Artist Interview – Donn Bradley (Audition Tips for Singers)’

10 Tuba Facts

By Brendan Lai-Tong

Since its introduction into symphony orchestras in the mid-19th century, the tuba has gone largely unheralded as a vital member of the brass section. Its large collection of brass tubes creates a deep rich tone.

Tuba

Although it is the anchor of the orchestra’s brass section, most people know little about the instrument. Once you get to know a few facts about the history and use of the tuba you’ll find a new appreciation for the instrument, or at least you’ll be able to recite enough rare tuba facts to amaze a captive audience.

  1. The Tuba was invented by Willhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz in September 12, 1835.
  2. Tuba is a Latin word meaning trumpet or horn. Continue reading ’10 Tuba Facts’

10 Interesting Facts About Flute

By Brendan Lai-Tong 

Flute

When many people think of flutes, they think of  a transverse flute, which is typically used in bands and orchestras. The flute has been a part of history for thousands of years and has evolved over that time into the instrument that is often seen today. Here are ten facts you may not have known about the flute:

  1. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, a flautist, a flutist, or, less commonly, a fluter.
  2. There are many different sizes of flutes within the flute family: piccolo, alto, tenor, bass and contrabass flute.
  3. Standard concert flute is Continue reading ’10 Interesting Facts About Flute’

10 Tips for Improving Sight Reading

By Stephie Stewart

How many times have you seen someone sit down and play music you know they’ve never seen before and play it beautifully? Doesn’t it make you wish you could do that too? Well, the good news is that you can, but it might take a little bit of work. The truth is, most people aren’t naturally great sight-readers. They work at it and they practice it. Sight-reading is more often a learned skill than a natural talent.

“All right,” you say, “so how do I learn to sight read?” A good place to start, would be to start working out of sight-reading method books such as the Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests series, Improve Your Sight-Reading! Series, and Creative Jazz Sight Reading.

Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests

Four Star Sight Reading and Ear Tests

Improve Your Sight-Reading!

Improve Your Sight-Reading!

Creative Jazz Sight Reading

Creative Jazz Sight Reading

That being said, method books aren’t always for everyone, especially if you aren’t starting at the very beginning of the process. Here are a few tips for anyone who wants to improve their sight-reading, regardless of playing level or experience.

1. Just do it!

As cliché as it might sound, the best thing you can do to improve your sight-reading is to practice sight-reading. Make it part of your regular practice schedule. Find some music that is a few levels below your current level, and just play through it. (Big anthologies are great for sight-reading – there’s a ton of music of varying levels in a single book.) Don’t worry about making it perfect – just concentrate on getting through it. Don’t allow yourself the luxury of working out the hard parts. Do start out a little under tempo if playing up to tempo seems too daunting. As you get more comfortable, slowly increase the level of difficulty of the music and the tempo.

2. Look before you leap

Before you actually begin to play, take a minute to look at what’s coming at you. Look at Continue reading ’10 Tips for Improving Sight Reading’

10 Interesting Facts About Trombone

By Zachariah Friesen

Here are 10 interesting facts about trombone that you may not have known. Allow me to indulge you:

1. The trombone is derived from an instrument called a sackbut.

Yes, you read that correctly, sackbut. The name sackbut is derived from the Middle French words saquer and bouter literally means “pull, push”. This is a very fitting name for the instrument since it was the first instrument to have a movable slide. This is unique to the instrument. The sackbut was mainly used in sacred and court music settings during the 1600s. Interestingly, the trombone has changed very little since its precursor, the sackbut. Many other instruments have been improved with major revisions to their original design. Apparently, trombone was the closest to perfection!

2. The trombone is said to be the “Voice of God”.

Some say that Beethoven and other composers described the Continue reading ’10 Interesting Facts About Trombone’

10 Tips to Motivate Your Child to Practice

By Jenny Silva

We’re sure that everyone with children knows how challenging it is to motivate a child to practice. Every day there are activities that are vying for your child’s attention. Consistent and smart practice is essential to growing as a musician. The sooner your child can start to develop a regular practice regimen, the more apt they will be to succeed in their musical endeavors. Here are 10 tips to help motivate your child to practice:

1) Make practicing part of the routine – same time every day.  Ideally, it should be before the fun stuff – TV time or computer games. Play with what time of day works best for you. My kids are morning kids, and so morning practice works well for us.

2) Set realistic expectations for Continue reading ’10 Tips to Motivate Your Child to Practice’

Tips for Woodwind Doublers

By Carolyn Walter
Woodwind “doubling,” or performing on multiple members of the single reed, flute or double reed family, is a fairly common practice.  From an arranger’s standpoint, utilizing players who can double on multiple woodwinds vastly expands the available stylistic and timbral palette available, especially when there can only be a finite number of players in an ensemble.  It may seem a bit unfair, but doubling is even expected in certain musical subcultures.  For example, a member of the sax section in a jazz big band is often expected to pick up a clarinet or flute for portions of a number. In some cases they may be asked to cover a whole song on the alternate instrument.  When a woodwind specialist works in a musical theater pit orchestra situation, their music will sometimes call for the use of not only clarinets, flutes and saxes but oboe, english horn or bassoon as well. If an artist is already skilled at one woodwind, it is often the case that Continue reading ‘Tips for Woodwind Doublers’

10 little-known bassoon “facts”

By Charles Moehnke

It could be argued that all facts about the bassoon are little-known facts. That being said, most of them would also be pretty boring so I thought I’d focus on “facts” instead. The quotation marks mean we can have some fun while we learn!

“Fact” #1:
The bassoon is not an oboe.
You’d be amazed by how many times I’ve been asked, “You play the oboe, right?” The oboe and the bassoon are both in the double reed family and we do sit near each other in the orchestra, but they are, in fact, different instruments! All musicians who are already aware of the subtle differences between Continue reading ’10 little-known bassoon “facts”’

Top 10 Little Known Facts About The Trumpet

By Brendan Lai-Tong

There are few instruments more familiar to the public than the trumpet. Influential artists such as Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Maurice Andre and Phillip Smith helped bring the trumpet into the public spotlight.  The trumpet is a versatile instrument that is present in a wide variety of musical genres such as classical, jazz, rock and more. As a result, there is an extensive amount of Continue reading ‘Top 10 Little Known Facts About The Trumpet’

Top 10 Little Known Facts About The Piano

By Brendan Lai-Tong

There are few activities more rewarding than learning to play the piano. While it is an amazingly complex instrument that takes years to master, it can also be fun for players of all levels. One of the greatest aspects about the piano is that it is immediately approachable and very versatile.
This is due in Continue reading ‘Top 10 Little Known Facts About The Piano’


About Take Note:

Thought-provoking articles by musicians for musicians, music lovers or those that want to learn more about it!

Shop at:

Sheet Music Plus

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 315 other followers

Twitter Updates


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 315 other followers

%d bloggers like this: