The Easy Ear Training team have been tap-tap-tapping their feet to Cumbia music this week. If you haven’t heard of it before, read on to find out more about this fun Latin American genre. We also have new resources for rhythm, singing, songwriting, jamming – and as you take on all that, some tips to boost your musical confidence!

Musicality means… Jamming

Musicality means JammingMusicians who can “jam” just seem to be oozing musicality. They also look like they are having the time of their lives!

If you’re an outsider it may seem like you will never experience that type of musical freedom. This week’s Musical U blog is all about why jamming is important and what musical skills you can learn to take part in this creative musical experience. Find out more in Musicality means… Jamming.

Still not convinced that you should be jamming with your buddies? Guitar Hippies gives you plenty of reasons why you should get out there and start making music with friends.

If you do decide to take the plunge and have a jam session, you should keep in mind common “jam etiquette” rules that help things go smoothly for everyone. Guitar Addiction has some great tips from musicians who enjoy jamming with friends and Kim Alexander shares her 20 tips for a great jam with friends.

Think You Can’t Sing?

Think you can't sing? 800Have you ever worried your singing was bad but didn’t know how to improve it? This is a common problem among amateur, karaoke-night, and even professional singers.

Fortunately there’s an easy way to diagnose what problem you might have: record yourself singing and then listen back while asking yourself these 10 questions. This will help you find the areas that need improvement and become the singer you have always dreamed of being.

If you cringe at even the thought of recording yourself, you need to read this from Inspired To Sing: The REAL reason you hate listening to yourself. It may just be all in your head…

Tried the 10 Questions and still not loving that voice of yours? Here are 6 more tips to improve your present singing voice from Spinditty.

A Musical Confidence Boost

MusicalConfidenceMU-1As a musician it is common to be lacking in confidence. It even happens to the professionals. This week the Musical U team have collected together 6 helpful tips on how to give yourself an instant confidence boost.

Maybe you do feel confident as a musician but need a confidence boost to get on stage. Scottsdale Music Academy has some tips for helping musicians become confident performers and Piano Central Studios has some tips to boost your confidence before recital day.

Songwriting Now: The Latest Tricks

Songwriting Now: The latest tricksMusic and the creation of music is constantly evolving, especially with the variety of technology available today. This week we ask “What is modern songwriting like?” Discover artists’ and producers’ latest tricks and techniques with seven example tracks of current popular songs.

For more modern songwriting tips, David Penn, founder of Hit Songs Deconstructed, breaks down today’s hits to discover which songwriting trends are current in today’s hit music and why being relevant is important for a songwriter:

Dreaming of becoming a famous songwriter? Why not enter the UK Songwriting Contest? You never know!

Open Your Ears to Cumbia Music

Open your ears to Cumbia MusicOne of the best ways to get inspiration for your own music playing or writing is to actively listen to a variety of music from different genres. This week we introduce you to Cumbia music! Originally from the Colombian coast, Cumbia has influenced other genres of music within and outside Latin America. Go grab your dancing shoes and join us for this special musical journey to South America.

If you enjoyed that brief intro to Cumbia music and want to hear more, this ought to get you started: Digital Dream Door lists the 100 most important songs in the history of Cumbia music.

For more of the modern sound of digital Cumbia check out Sounds And Colours Magazine for their most recent digital Cumbia mixtape, featuring the latest popular releases.

To learn more about the history of Cumbia music, The City Paper in Bogotá has a lovely article about a Cumbia festival that takes place by candlelight in the town of Guamal, honoring the music’s history.

Rhythm Boot Camp

rhythm bootcamp-everday practiceThe last tutorial in our rhythm bootcamp series emphasises the importance of including rhythm practice in all your daily music activities. Included are two great practice tracks – one rock and one Latin that you can improvise over or use to jam with your band mates. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and rock out in perfect time!

Building a good drum practice routine is simple – if you eat a well balanced “meal”. Harmony Central has three easy steps to establish a daily practice routine based on the food pyramid.

Of course good rhythm isn’t just for drummers. The importance of practicing rhythm every day goes for all musicians. For example Guitar Domination has some additional advice on ways to include a drum beat in everyday practice and flautist Carolyn Keyes explains why you must make time for time and gives some first hand advice why learning great rhythm is paramount to a musical career.

I hope we have opened your ears to a new genre of music this week and given you some tips to help your songwriting, boost your musical confidence and inspire you to get some friends together and jam. Have fun with it!

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