Musicnotes.com Blog http://www.musicnotes.com/blog The official blog of Musicnotes.com Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:02:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Give Hands-Free the ‘Thumbs Up’ and Win a Bluetooth Page Turn Pedal! http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/08/14/bluetooth-page-turn-pedal-contest/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/08/14/bluetooth-page-turn-pedal-contest/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 16:02:18 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=9178 Enjoy total page-turning freedom with the AirTurn Bluetooth pedal. Paired with your iPad or tablet and the FREE Musicnotes apps, the AirTurn Bluetooth page turn pedal makes it simpler than ever to play your digital sheet music anywhere and everywhere. Since the AirTurn hands-free pedal is one of the things we like most, we’ve decided to give a complete AirTurn Concert Package to one lucky Musicnotes follower! In order to enter the contest, you just need to visit our Facebook page and ‘like’ or comment on the “Hands-Free Thumbs Up” AirTurn Contest video post. One grand-prize winner will receive an AirTurn PED Bluetooth SMART wireless foot control, a MANOS universal
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Enjoy total page-turning freedom with the AirTurn Bluetooth pedal. Paired with your iPad or tablet and the FREE Musicnotes apps, the AirTurn Bluetooth page turn pedal makes it simpler than ever to play your digital sheet music anywhere and everywhere.

Since the AirTurn hands-free pedal is one of the things we like most, we’ve decided to give a complete AirTurn Concert Package to one lucky Musicnotes follower! In order to enter the contest, you just need to visit our Facebook page and ‘like’ or comment on the “Hands-Free Thumbs Up” AirTurn Contest video post. One grand-prize winner will receive an AirTurn PED Bluetooth SMART wireless foot control, a MANOS universal tablet holder and a goSTAND portable mic/tablet stand.

When you ‘like’ or comment, you’ll also be in the running for a second-place prize of the AirTurn PED Bluetooth pedal and a third-place prize Musicnotes swag bag, chock-full of T-shirts, mugs, gift cards and other Musicnotes gear. Winners will be chosen at random on August 31, 2015.*

Simply go to our Facebook AirTurn video post, ‘like’ or comment before August 31, 2015, and you’ll be entered to win one of these three great prizes!

Learn more about all the great products from AirTurn.

Click here for full terms and conditions.

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See Your Choral Sheet Music Headquarters in Action! http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/08/13/choral-sheet-music-headquarter/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/08/13/choral-sheet-music-headquarter/#comments Thu, 13 Aug 2015 21:02:03 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=9164 Feeling a little blue or even downright sad? Looking for a fun way to boost your heart health? Want to help set future generations up for academic success? Singing with a choir has proven to benefit your overall well-being in these ways and more! According to a 2009 Chorus America study, there are nearly 270,000 choruses in the U.S. alone, with at least 42 million people participating in choral singing weekly. That’s a lot of voices, not to mention a whole bunch of choral sheet music. It’s no secret we here at Musicnotes are huge proponents of choral participation. In fact, our Director of Choral Catalog, Jonathan Miller, has traveled
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Feeling a little blue or even downright sad? Looking for a fun way to boost your heart health? Want to help set future generations up for academic success? Singing with a choir has proven to benefit your overall well-being in these ways and more!

According to a 2009 Chorus America study, there are nearly 270,000 choruses in the U.S. alone, with at least 42 million people participating in choral singing weekly. That’s a lot of voices, not to mention a whole bunch of choral sheet music.

It’s no secret we here at Musicnotes are huge proponents of choral participation. In fact, our Director of Choral Catalog, Jonathan Miller, has traveled the country speaking with choral directors, educators, organizers and participants to pinpoint their various needs when it comes to choral sheet music. (Miller, himself, is the founder and artistic director of Chicago A Cappella.)

Convenience, selection, simplicity and support… Musicnotes.com delivers on all fronts when it comes to choral sheet music. We’ve even created a short video to demonstrate just a few of the many ways Musicnotes can help your choir.

Whether you need a song QUICK for tonight’s rehearsal, are in search of choral scoring for a NEW pop hit or want to study, practice and markup your arrangements on-the-go, Musicnotes is your choral sheet music headquarters.

Want to learn more about our state-of-the-art 100% FREE sheet music apps for mobile phones and tablets? Watch demos of the iOS app and the Android app and see all the cool things you can do with your newly downloaded choral sheet music.

Working on your upcoming school year repertoire? Read Jonathan Miller’s choral music programming tips.

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Your Questions Answered: Why Free Sheet Music Costs More Than You Might Think http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/08/06/free-sheet-music-2/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/08/06/free-sheet-music-2/#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2015 20:40:47 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=9137 A question that comes up from well-meaning customers now and again is why all of the sheet music at Musicnotes.com isn’t free. The (very) short answer is, because we love music. Like, really, really love music. And we want to be able to ensure future generations are able to fall in love with music, too. We’re aware that there are websites that claim to offer ‘free sheet music.’ The problem is, not only are these sites illegal, the unlicensed, unprofessional arrangements they’re advertising come at a much higher hidden cost, the burden of which is put on music’s greatest supporters. Often these sites ‘sell’ advertising space, so they’re making a
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A question that comes up from well-meaning customers now and again is why all of the sheet music at Musicnotes.com isn’t free. The (very) short answer is, because we love music. Like, really, really love music. And we want to be able to ensure future generations are able to fall in love with music, too.

We’re aware that there are websites that claim to offer ‘free sheet music.’ The problem is, not only are these sites illegal, the unlicensed, unprofessional arrangements they’re advertising come at a much higher hidden cost, the burden of which is put on music’s greatest supporters. Often these sites ‘sell’ advertising space, so they’re making a profit while literally and blatantly stealing from the music’s owners and creators.

I just don’t agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.Taylor Swift

When you download 100% officially licensed and legal sheet music at Musicnotes.com, a substantial portion of each sale goes directly to the song’s publishers, writers, performers and creators.

In fact, Musicnotes has a huge list of publishers that we work with, including a whole bunch of small and independent music publishers. We’ve invested a lot of time and talent to make sure all of them receive their fair compensation accurately and promptly. To us here at Musicnotes, loving music doesn’t just mean loving to play and enjoy the art of music, it means loving all of the hardworking people who make the music possible.

In addition to the music creators and publishers, some of those hardworking people just happen to work here. Our in-house staff of professional sheet music arrangers, engravers and editors meticulously transcribe many of the titles available on our site. That’s how we can offer the brand-new One Direction or Adam Levine or Disney film song as sheet music before you’ll find it anywhere else. They also transpose their official arrangements into any key you would need and make sure each high-resolution digital sheet music file is laid out cleanly and precisely.

So what else happens when you download licensed, legal sheet music at Musicnotes.com? You can instantly sync that music to our 100% free downloadable mobile and tablet apps. Our technology team here at Musicnotes is second-to-none, and they’ve imagined, constructed and exhaustively tested our iOS and Android mobile apps to ensure your music is always with you when you need it. (Psst… Have you tried out our new playback features on our iOS and Android apps? Yeah, our tech team continues to amaze us and make us exceptionally proud every day.) All of our apps are free for ANYONE to download, and we even offer a selection of pre-installed public domain songs at no-charge to test them out with.

Artist compensation, professional engraving, key transposition, apps… if you can believe it, your sheet music purchase at Musicnotes.com comes with even more! It provides access to digital sheet music’s most knowledgeable support staff, ready and happy to answer any questions you may come across during your sheet music shopping or playing process. Not to mention all the folks behind-the-scenes making sure that your shopping experience is simple and completely secure with a Norton™ Safe Shopping Guarantee , that we have any and all the music you’re looking for, and that you know of all the special sales and offers we’re running.

For those of you here looking for free sheet music, we do offer a selection of rotating public domain titles as our gift each month. Our free sheet music gifts come with all the same added values as the rest of the sheet music at Musicnotes.com. You can also join our 100% free Musicnotes Rewards loyalty club and earn sheet music prizes by shopping, writing reviews, sharing Musicnotes with your friends and more. Musicnotes Rewards was created by music lovers for music lovers. Enjoy!

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10 Telltale Signs You Might Be a Theatre Kid http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/08/01/theatre-kid/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/08/01/theatre-kid/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 12:34:59 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=9113 Do you  break out in random song and dance? Do you have a kitten named Grizabella? Have you spent hours upon hours searching out the perfect audition piece? Did you previously fail to fit our Band Geek, Orch Dork or Choir Nerd lists? Well, my musical friend, you might just be a Theatre Kid. There are more than a couple former Theatre Kids working at Musicnotes headquarters, and we’re always on the lookout for the next great Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway (or even Off-Off-Broadway) show to offer sheet music for. Take a look at some of our unmistakable Theatre Kid signs below, and offer your own Theatre Kid traits in
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Do you  break out in random song and dance? Do you have a kitten named Grizabella? Have you spent hours upon hours searching out the perfect audition piece? Did you previously fail to fit our Band Geek, Orch Dork or Choir Nerd lists? Well, my musical friend, you might just be a Theatre Kid.

There are more than a couple former Theatre Kids working at Musicnotes headquarters, and we’re always on the lookout for the next great Broadway, West End, Off-Broadway (or even Off-Off-Broadway) show to offer sheet music for. Take a look at some of our unmistakable Theatre Kid signs below, and offer your own Theatre Kid traits in the comments to win an exclusive Musicnotes “Theatre Kid” T-Shirt (sorry, matching character shoes not included).

Sign #10

1comp

Your stage hair could survive a hurricane.

Sign #9

2comp

Having a strong voice is both a great blessing and an unbearable curse. Perhaps you’ve also been accused of over-dramatizing.

Sign #8

3comp

Because when you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dyin’ day!

Sign #7

4comp

Bonus points if any of them are signed/framed!

Sign #6

5comp

… and that before that she was Maureen in ‘Rent.’ Also, that ‘High Society‘s’ Anna Kendrick was nominated for a Tony at age 12 (way before she was playing ‘Cups‘).

Sign #5

6comp

Showtunes really are the perfect music for studying, and driving, and doing chores… heck, when AREN’T they the perfect music?

Sign #4

7comp

You can’t let a rouge chair get in the way of your ‘stamp STEP step HEEL heel.’

Sign #3

8comp

So. Much. Blush.

Sign #2

9comp

And then you get confused when a fellow Theatre Kid starts to walk downstage left.

Sign #1

10comp

Exhausting, stressed, frantic and soooo worth it come opening night.

Did you agree with the items on our list? Any in particular that you could relate to? What would YOU add and why? Leave a comment detailing your proudest Theatre Kid moment in the comments section below, and one participant will be randomly chosen to win a FREE Theatre Kid T-shirt, courtesy of your fellow kids at Musicnotes.

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The Best Sheet Music Selections for Developing Your Musical Skills http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/24/musical-skills/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/24/musical-skills/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:32:56 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=9084 Are you looking to improve your finger dexterity or wrist flexibility? Do you want to increase sight reading speed and accuracy? Maybe you’re working on an overall mastery of scales, syncopation or repeated notes. No matter what musical skills you’re trying to advance, Musicnotes has a wide array of downloadable sheet music to foster and support your growth as a musician. We’ve chosen 8 works well-known for their skill-building and technique-advancing benefits. Take a look at our list below, and suggest any must-play pieces you have in your own musical skills portfolio. Skill-Building Sheet Music for Piano “Hanon’s The Virtoso Pianist“    Charles-Louis Hanon’s “The Virtuoso Pianist” is a staple
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Are you looking to improve your finger dexterity or wrist flexibility? Do you want to increase sight reading speed and accuracy? Maybe you’re working on an overall mastery of scales, syncopation or repeated notes. No matter what musical skills you’re trying to advance, Musicnotes has a wide array of downloadable sheet music to foster and support your growth as a musician.

We’ve chosen 8 works well-known for their skill-building and technique-advancing benefits. Take a look at our list below, and suggest any must-play pieces you have in your own musical skills portfolio.

Skill-Building Sheet Music for Piano

Hanon’s The Virtoso Pianist

Hanon 1  Hanon 60

Charles-Louis Hanon’s “The Virtuoso Pianist” is a staple for piano students as well as those wanting to preserve finger speed, agility, strength and wrist flexibility. The series of 60 exercises is available for instant download through Musicnotes.com as 3 value collections.

Part I of the collection includes exercises 1-20, the “preparatory exercises,” created to devlop finger strength and independence.

Part II, exercises 21-43, Hanon labels “further exercises for the development of a virtuoso technique,” meant to promote mastery of scales and arpeggios.

Part III, “virtuoso exercises for mastering the greatest technical difficulties,” covers scales in thirds and octaves, repeated notes, repeated double notes and more.

Two-Part Inventions” by J.S. Bach

Two-Part Inventions

Widely considered fundamental literature for piano students, the Two-Part Inventions provide 15 succinct contrapuntal exercises composed by Bach specifically for the education of his pupils.

Ascending in order of key, each of the movements stands on its own as an engaging lesson in style and technique.

Purchase Bach’s complete “Two-Part Inventions” as a value collection at Musicnotes.com.

The Well-Tempered Clavier” by J.S. Bach

Well-Tempered

Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier (Das wohltemperirte Klavier) is considered by many pianists to be the “Old Testament” of piano literature. With pairings of Preludes and Fugues for each major and minor key, Bach’s masterwork still serves as one of the most robust tools for piano students.

The entire first volume – 24 Preludes and Fugues, is available for instant download at Musicnotes.com as another value collection.

The Goldberg Variations” by J.S. Bach

Goldberg

Another collection of Bach works, “The Goldberg Variations” has tested the form and mental fortitude of many a pianist. Written for Johann Gottlieb Goldberg in 1741, the variations became widely recognized after the release of Glenn Gould’s landmark 1955 recording.

It’s become somewhat of a right-of-passage to play the  aria and all 30 of its variations in a sitting, which can take nearly an hour and a half from beginning to end. Test your patience and skill today when you download the collection at Musicnotes.com.

The Art of Finger Dexterity” by Carl Czerny

Dexterity

Sometimes referred to as ‘The Father of Modern Piano Technique,” Carl Czerny wrote his 50 etudes, collectively called “The Art of Finger Dexterity,” to help his pupils develop virtuosic finger mechanics. In fact, Czerny’s most famous pupil, Franz Liszt, would on to dedicate his own collection of etudes to Czerny.

Each work  focuses on strengthening hand control, building upon scales and chords in such a way that the piece itself can stand alone musically. Numbered 1 through 50, Czerny’s etudes make fantastic warm-up or stand-alone pieces. Players at various levels of musical skills will enjoy tackling the works and building upon their speed and dexterity.

Musicnotes.com offers “The Art of Finger Dexterity” as 5 value collections of 10 etudes each. Preview etudes 1-10, etudes 11-20, etudes 21-30, etudes 31-40 and etudes 41-50, and start mastering these exercises today.

12 Easy Pieces” by Franz Joseph Haydn

Haydn

The term “easy” is sometimes replaced by “short” when speaking of this collection, containing works written for piano as well as transcriptions of instrumental pieces.

Many would, in fact, consider the these 12 keyboard selections suitable for intermediate pianists. Within the “12 Easy Pieces” collection you’ll find brief 1-page compositions full of emotion and harmonic invention.

Skill-Building Vocal Sheet Music

24 Italian Songs and Arias

Italian

Considered essential material for nearly any beginning vocal student, “24 Italian Songs & Arias” introduces budding vocalists to classical Italian vocal literature.

Curated by our Musicnotes Editions staff, we offer newly typeset editions of the same 24 songs that have been studied by vocal students for centuries, from the early Baroque to the Bel Canto era. A major advantage to our collection of digital editions? You can transpose each piece for medium-high or medium-low voice instantly!

30 Exercises for the Voice, Op. 11” by Joseph Concone

Voice Exercise

Italy’s Master of Singing and Pianoforte during the 19th century, Guiseppe (Joseph) Concone’s vocal exercises are widely recognized as essential study for any developing vocalist.

His “30 Daily Exercises” contain lessons in Grand Style through various difficulties in vocalization. Our collection contains the works for high voice.

Ready to put your skills to the test? See how many of these challenging piano song recommendations you can play!

Do you have any suggested additions to our list? Are there any skills that you’d like us to focus on in a future blog post? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Learn How to Read Lead Sheets: The Theory Behind Music’s Most Versatile Pages http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/16/lead-sheets/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/16/lead-sheets/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 18:58:38 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=9051 If you’ve searched through the Musicnotes.com catalog, you may have noticed pieces scored as “leadsheets.” If you’ve looked at a lead sheet, you may have asked yourself “Where are all the notes!?”  A lead sheet is a type of sheet music arrangement used by many instrumentalists, bands, and even vocalists. They may only be a page or two, but their uses are many! In this blog, we’ll go over some of the advantages of using lead sheets versus traditional piano/vocal/guitar arrangements, discuss what other useful information a lead sheet provides and find out how using a bit of music theory can open up new doors for our playing.  So, what’s
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If you’ve searched through the Musicnotes.com catalog, you may have noticed pieces scored as “leadsheets.” If you’ve looked at a lead sheet, you may have asked yourself “Where are all the notes!?”  A lead sheet is a type of sheet music arrangement used by many instrumentalists, bands, and even vocalists. They may only be a page or two, but their uses are many!

In this blog, we’ll go over some of the advantages of using lead sheets versus traditional piano/vocal/guitar arrangements, discuss what other useful information a lead sheet provides and find out how using a bit of music theory can open up new doors for our playing.

 So, what’s in a lead sheet anyway?

Lead sheets, also sometimes called “fake sheets,” typically contain only the partial lyrics, chord symbols and the melody line of a song, and they are rarely more than one page in length. Additionally, lead sheets may not have any lyrics at all, and instead may simply display the notes for the vocal line. Many lead sheets are created  specifically for songs that don’t contain lyrics.

When a lead sheet does contain lyrics, most will detail the words for the song’s main melody or “hook” as a guide. A vocalist may simply learn the remaining words and sing the key, knowing they’ll be all set for the chorus and memorable parts when they come around.

This same method is also seen in instrumental lead sheets where only the main “lick” may be written out. The instrumentalist must rely on his or her own musical knowledge to perform the rest.

Let’s look at an example!

We’ll get groovy with the 1-page arrangement for Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man,” a lead sheet for instrument and chords. You’ll notice right away that there isn’t much here, yet the entire song truly is represented on this one page.

Watermelon

© 1962 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

The score begins with the chords F7 and C11 alternating for the first 8 measures. The actual notes from measures 1-4 in the treble clef show us the rhythm that underlines the chord change.

When we get to measure 5 and the repeat we are shown the notes for the melody, which plays while the chord changes in the rhythm notated in measures 1-4 keep on playing.

© 1962 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

© 1962 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

At measure 9 we see the melody return with a slight modification from the iteration before it. Since the notes are different, it too is written out to let us know. The next four measures (9-12) conclude and we are brought to the “B” section of the song which plays from measures 13 to the end and the repeat. Notice the chord above the measures change to C7 at measure 13 and to Bb7 at 14.

© 1962 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

© 1962 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

© 1962 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

© 1962 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Many lead sheets are also written without a designated key signature. This doesn’t mean that they should be played in C Major. Instead, this allows the notes and chords written to tell us the harmony.

Looking at the chords shown in this piece, we have F7, C11, Bb7, and C7. Next, let’s consider each note for each of these chords. Even if you are not familiar with chords with 7s and 11s in them, we can still determine lots of information!

As all of these chords are major, we know that they are built upon a Major Triad (1-3-5).

F7 contains the notes F (root), A (the major third), C (the fifth), and finally Eb (the flat-seventh).

Likewise, C7 builds the chord in a very similar way but beginning on C (the bass/root), E (the major third), G (the fifth) and Bb (the flat-seventh).

A chord like C11 is just a 7th chord with the 11th also voiced. This chord will have the same notes as C7 but also contain a D way up on top and would look like the figure when notated on a Treble staff:

05c11NEW

Can you figure out the notes which are in the Bb7 chord?

Figuring out the chord tones is a great way to come up with a tonal map. This map will be the beginning of your guide when vamping, improvising and soloing over the chord changes!

 But maybe you want to play in the another key?

Many times, instant transpositions of your favorite lead sheets will already be available from Musicnotes.com. However, even without a key signature or transposition we can still easily change the chords while maintaining the overall intervals of the song. All it requires is a little music theory.

To do so, we’ll first need to figure out the scale degrees.

For this example, F7 is the first chord of the scale, otherwise called the tonic. Let’s take a moment to look at the F Major scale. For reference, a major scale can be determined by using this formula of steps:

Whole, Whole, Half, Whole, Whole, Whole, Half

(Refer to our “How to Read Sheet Music” primer for a review of major scales.)

So, the notes in the F Major scale would be F, G, A, Bb, C, D, and E.

06fMaj

If we count ‘F’ as 1 and continue on, we can imagine the numbers 2 through 7 over the proceeding notes. We know that C11 is the next chord in the song. Which number corresponds with ‘C’ in our Major scale? If you said 5, you’re right! This leaves only one other chord which isn’t a ‘C’ or an ‘F’ chord in the song: the Bb chord. Looking at our guide, you’ll notice that Bb is the 4th note in the scale.

These scale degrees are usually shown in Roman Numerals utilizing upper case letters for major chords and lower case letters for minor chords. We must remember to include the quality of the chord as well when using our scale degree system.

For example, ‘F7’ becomes ‘I7’, ‘C11’ becomes ‘V11’ and ‘Bb7’ becomes ‘IV7’.

Let’s say we wanted to start the song on an ‘A’ chord. If we think of A major as the I chord, we can figure out the other chords for our IV and V positions by simply making a Scale degree guide as we had done with F Major.

A Major: A, B, C♯, D, E, F♯, G♯

Very quickly we can learn that ‘D’ is the ‘IV’ and E is the ‘V.’ To play ‘Watermelon Man’ beginning in ‘A,’ we would use the chords A7, E11, E7, and D7!

In addition to trasposing the chords, one could quickly re-key the melody notes by adding the accidentals of their desired key (to a limit, of course).

As you may have learned, lead sheets can be quite usual and should be included in any musician’s portfolio (and not only because they’re super light-weight.) Shop the best selection of professionally notated, instantly downloadable lead sheets at musicnotes.com, and get practicing!

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Musicnotes’ Annual Honor Flight Drive Soars Again http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/13/honor-flight-drive/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/13/honor-flight-drive/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:40:58 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=9046 MADISON, WI — July 13, 2015 — More than a dozen military veterans will be honored with a trip to their respective war memorials, thanks to the help of Musicnotes customers who purchased patriotic sheet music between Memorial Day and Independence Day this year. The annual six-week Musicnotes Honor Flight donation drive provides $1 from every patriotic download to local chapters of the Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s war veterans through tours to Washington D.C. memorials. Exceeding previous years’ sales and reaching this year’s goal, 2015 proved to be the most rewarding drive yet. A total of $8,200 will be divided equally between the Badger
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MADISON, WI — July 13, 2015 —

More than a dozen military veterans will be honored with a trip to their respective war memorials, thanks to the help of Musicnotes customers who purchased patriotic sheet music between Memorial Day and Independence Day this year. The annual six-week Musicnotes Honor Flight donation drive provides $1 from every patriotic download to local chapters of the Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s war veterans through tours to Washington D.C. memorials.

Exceeding previous years’ sales and reaching this year’s goal, 2015 proved to be the most rewarding drive yet. A total of $8,200 will be divided equally between the Badger Honor Flight in Madison, Wis. and the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight in Milwaukee. The cost of the trip is about $600 per veteran, and all expenses are paid for those who so honorably served our country.

Stars & Stripes Honor Flight in Milwaukee reached out to us to share the good news. “We are humbled and overwhelmed by this fantastic donation… Thanks to Tim and the entire staff of Musicnotes for helping us fly so many more heroes! You are our heroes, too!”

Musicnotes has held the annual Honor Flight donation drive since 2011, when Musicnotes Chairman Tim Reiland presented the idea after witnessing an Honor Flight homecoming .

Since the drive’s inception, Musicnotes is proud to have donated nearly $35,000 to such a deserving cause. “Our team is very proud to be associated with the Honor Flight program, which is very meaningful and important to our staff and employees” Reiland said.

For more information about and/or to contribute to your local honor flight program, visit http://www.honorflight.org.

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Song suggestions for vocal auditions, special events and even karaoke! http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/09/takelessons-vocal-auditions/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/09/takelessons-vocal-auditions/#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 17:21:11 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=9012 We’re always on the hunt for new additions to our own repertoires, from vocal auditions and gig/performance songs to fun solos and duets for our impromptu company karaoke nights! Our friends at TakeLessons.com have put together a comprehensive guide of 400+ Songs to Sing for Every Occasion, complete with song suggestions, vocal practice tips, how to choose what to sing and more. There’s a ton of great content to explore in the guide. Molly R., a vocal instructor in Hayward, CA, offers her suggestions for what songs NOT to sing for a musical theatre audition.  Musical coach Heather L. shares her top 10 songs for sight singing practice (download sheet
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We’re always on the hunt for new additions to our own repertoires, from vocal auditions and gig/performance songs to fun solos and duets for our impromptu company karaoke nights! Our friends at TakeLessons.com have put together a comprehensive guide of 400+ Songs to Sing for Every Occasion, complete with song suggestions, vocal practice tips, how to choose what to sing and more.

There’s a ton of great content to explore in the guide. Molly R., a vocal instructor in Hayward, CA, offers her suggestions for what songs NOT to sing for a musical theatre audition.  Musical coach Heather L. shares her top 10 songs for sight singing practice (download sheet music for each at Musicnotes.com, of course!), and Berklee grad Liz T. lists great duets for beginners and provides tips on how to shine while singing duets (shop all vocal duet sheet music now).

We’ve recommended TakeLessons as a great resource for helping to choose a piano teacher, but did you know you can also use TakeLessons.com to browse local vocal and musical theatre coaches, as well as instructors focusing on guitar, drums, violin, bassoon, trumpet, violin, music theory… even kazoo? TakeLessons specializes in connecting teachers with students and students with teachers for a wide array of academic, artistic and athletic fields of study. Many of these teachers, like those listed above, contributed to the 400+ Songs to Sing list.

Looking for more vocal audition suggestions and tips? Check out these popular past posts from the Musicnotes Blog:

 

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More Musical Jokes: 12 Laugh-Worthy Quips http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/05/musical-jokes/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/07/05/musical-jokes/#comments Sun, 05 Jul 2015 15:49:51 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=9008 If laughter is the best medicine and music is the aspirin of the soul, then these 12 MORE musical jokes should be enough to cure whatever ails you. If they’re not quite enough, check out our first joke post and keep the musical funnies rolling right along. From totally laughable, to downright groan-worthy, take a look at our latest favorite musical jokes recently overheard around Musicnotes headquarters. Fair warning: easily offended vocalists, violists or percussionists may want to skip the last three. 1. Q: What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft? A: A flat Minor. 2. Q: What do you get when you put
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If laughter is the best medicine and music is the aspirin of the soul, then these 12 MORE musical jokes should be enough to cure whatever ails you. If they’re not quite enough, check out our first joke post and keep the musical funnies rolling right along.

From totally laughable, to downright groan-worthy, take a look at our latest favorite musical jokes recently overheard around Musicnotes headquarters. Fair warning: easily offended vocalists, violists or percussionists may want to skip the last three.

1.

150701jokes02

Q: What do you get when you drop a piano down a mine shaft?

A: A flat Minor.

2.

150701jokes04

Q: What do you get when you put a dimished chord together with an augmented chord?

A: A demented chord.

3.

150701jokes05

Q: What happens when you play Beethoven backwards?

A: He decomposes.

4.

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Q: What message did Bach have on his answering machine?

A: “The phone is Baroque, please call Bach later.”

5.

150701jokes07

Q: Why did the pianist keep banging his head against the keys?

A: He was playing be ear.

6.

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Q: What raised the musician’s car insurance?

A: Accidentals.

7.

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Q: Should you write music on an empty stomach or on a full stomach?

A: Neither, you should write it on paper.

8.

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Q: What was Beethoven’s favorite fruit?

A: Ba-na-na-nah! (Sung to the tune of the opening to Beethoven’s 5th.)

9.

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Q: What do you get when 20 violinists start playing at the same time, but play different songs?

A: A senseless act of violins.

10.

Joke Vocal

Q: How can you tell when a singer is at your door?

A: They can’t find the key, and they never know when to come in.

11.

Joke Viola

Q: What do a viola and lawsuit have in common?

A: Everyone’s relieved when the case is closed.

12.

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Q: What do you call someone who hangs out with musicians?

A: A drummer.

 

Do you have any favorite musical jokes to share? Share your (family friendly) musings in the comments section below!

 

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Q&A with Singer, Songwriter, and Refreshing ‘Pop’timist Mikey Wax http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/06/25/mikey-wax/ http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/2015/06/25/mikey-wax/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:38:49 +0000 http://www.musicnotes.com/blog/?p=8986 Music is many things to many people. A single song can turn a gloomy day brighter, which is why we sometimes refer to positive, inspiring artists like Mikey Wax as ‘pop’-timists. Just try to listen to and/or play his latest hit, “You Lift Me Up,” without feeling… uplifted. We had the opportunity to ask the pop and social media star a few questions about how he approaches songwriting, his live performance and professional tips and his run-in with a certain cheese-state MVP (we are headquartered in Wisconsin, after all). As you could venture to guess, Mikey was gracious enough to share his insights & experience. And so, without further delay,
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Music is many things to many people. A single song can turn a gloomy day brighter, which is why we sometimes refer to positive, inspiring artists like Mikey Wax as ‘pop’-timists. Just try to listen to and/or play his latest hit, “You Lift Me Up,” without feeling… uplifted.

We had the opportunity to ask the pop and social media star a few questions about how he approaches songwriting, his live performance and professional tips and his run-in with a certain cheese-state MVP (we are headquartered in Wisconsin, after all). As you could venture to guess, Mikey was gracious enough to share his insights & experience. And so, without further delay, get to know the man who’s known for bringing smiles to fans’ faces near and far: Mikey Wax!

Musicnotes: We love how your songs impart instant positive energy. Do you have any tips for evoking a particular “feeling” in songwriting?

Mikey Wax: Thanks! I’d say it’s about letting your guard down and allowing your inner thoughts/feelings to translate. If the writer feels the sound is expressing what he or she feels inside, then that’s all that matters.

You’ve been known to play guitar and piano simultaneously. When it comes to songwriting, which instrument do you prefer to write with any why? Could you walk us through your creative process?

MW: Yep! Playing simultaneously is fun and usually something unique not many people have seen before. I started playing piano much earlier than guitar, so piano is my go-to instrument for writing and performing. However, because I’m not as accomplished on guitar, it actually allows me to experiment in a way that I can’t on piano because of how well I know the keys. Guitar gives me a certain freedom to invent chords and patterns I might not otherwise. I think writing on instruments you don’t know too well can open up creativity.

You Lift Me Up” is your most recent single to be featured in TV spots and promos (and the sheet music is one of our current favorites). How do you decide what projects to license your work to? 

MW: Thanks so much! Many times I’ll get notified via my manager or music supervisor friends about shows or promos that are looking for a certain type of song (high energy, positive message, etc). I think that opened up the door for “You Lift Me Up.” It’s always cool to hear the song being used in a show or commercial, and introducing my music to new fans.

 You’ve now released 3 full albums and a number of EPs. (Ed. note: Check out sheet music for “Only One” and “Bottle of Jack” from Mikey’s latest self-titled album.) Would you be able to give us a little insight into how you construct an album? Do you go in with a theme in mind, or does the theme take shape once you start recording songs?

MW: I think it’s a combination of both, but the end product is usually not what you had intended at first. The theme sort of takes shape once the recording gets closer to finished, and you realize how it’s fully going to sound, and how lyrically and musically all the songs tie together.

You’ve toured with some similarly fantastic musicians over the years (Andy Grammer and Howie Day to name a couple). Is there anyone you’d hope to do a show with in the future?

MW: Hmm…I’d love to open for Ed Sheehan, Coldplay, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, to name a few!

 Do you have any performance preparation or rituals you do before a live show? Likewise, are there any performance tricks or pointers you can share with aspiring singer-songwriters?

MW: I don’t have many rituals, I just try to stay as relaxed (but not too relaxed), stress free, and focused as possible. Some of my rituals which I guess fall under “performance tricks” are: I always do vocal warm ups to get connected, and usually some kind of small exercise to get the energy flowing.

What, would you say, is the most important bit of professional advice you’d pass along to fans who are aspiring professional musicians?

MW: A musician once compared becoming a musician to going on a diet. To lose weight you have to eat healthy and exercise. To be a professional musician you have to keep writing songs and playing shows. Hah. I don’t know any other way to become better and more professional than to keep working at it!

You’ve just wrapped up a headlining tour and your self-titled album continues to inspire veteran and new fans alike. What’s next?

MW: I just want to keep finding ways to introduce my music to new fans, keep writing, and keep touring. Onwards and upwards.

Finally, being that we are headquartered in Wisconsin, we have to ask about the (Green Bay Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers connection. He’s a big fan of yours, have you two met?

MW: Yes! Aaron stumbled upon my music a few years ago, and he’s been a loyal supporter since. We finally met in person last summer when he came to my show at Hotel Cafe in LA. Such a great guy!

We’re so thankful to Mikey Wax for taking the time to answer our questions. Be sure to check out Mikey’s YouTube page and shop for uplifting Mikey Wax sheet music here.

 

 

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