Quick Practice Tips – Daily Blog – Day 3

Welcome to the third day in our new daily blog series offering you expert practice tips, to maximise your time and your improvement on Guitar or Piano

You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here

Tip 3:  Slow Down!

Learning and practising new material at slow tempos is advised so often that most of us are sick of hearing it, and we were almost tempted not to include it.

The problem is, aspiring Guitarists and Pianists generally speaking are still not taking this advice.  It’s too tempting to try and play at full speed, or at least faster than you should, straight away.  This is because you’re frustrated at not being able to play at the actual tempo yet.

However, this approach will extend and multiply your frustration!  If you’re willing to put in a relatively small amount of time, learning the correct techniques, fingering and phrasing at a slow speed, then once you’ve nailed it, speeding up is easy!  Often, in fact, unless what you’re learning is some sort of Satriani/Chopin speed shred-athon, you can instantly speed up to the required tempo.  Simple!

So slow down!

Tip 4 coming tomorrow.

-Alex

London Guitar Lessons

London Piano Lessons

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Quick Practice Tips – Daily Blog – Day 1:

Hi everyone and welcome to our new series of daily blog posts offering you professional practice trips to maximise your Guitar or Piano practice time.

Each day we’ll offer you a professional, insightful tip that will help you notice an improvement in your playing, fast.

Tip 1:  Stop Practising What You Already Know!

Don’t stop playing what you already know – but that’s “playing” not “practice”.  If you want to improve as a guitarist, focus your practice time on what you don’t know, not what you do.

A short burst of dedicated focus on whatever it may be – A hard chord change, improving your speed, learning a new scale or solo, will pay huge dividends on your all round playing and knowledge.  Then when your practice is done, it’s play time!  This is when you play what you already know, for fun!

So separate your practice time and your play time.

See you tomorrow for tip 2.

-Alex

Bruce Music – Guitar Lessons London

Bruce Music – Piano Lessons London

Meet Our Guitar Teachers – Video Performances

Hi everyone,

Here’s a chance to meet our guitar teachers who cover London and the surrounding areas.

On our website we feature a page of Guitar Teacher profiles, listing our teachers’ information, qualifications, experience and successes.

And here below is a video playlist featuring performances by a selection of our Guitar teachers – From home studio performances, to Classical Guitar competition recitals, to Glastonbury to The Albert Hall.

We hope you enjoy the great playing featured in the videos, and we’ll post soon when we upload some videos of our newest teachers too.

-Alex

Guitar Lessons London

Piano Lessons London

Easter Special Offer!

Welcome to the latest Bruce Music blog post.  This post is to tell you all about some great Easter Discount offers on Guitar Lesson and Piano Lesson bookings!

On April Fools Day, Wednesday 1st April, we are offering 50% discount on any lessons booked, for any point in time, as long as the booking is made on April Fools Day.  (We really, seriously, actually are, I promise!)

The same offer of half price lessons is then running all Easter Weekend.  Friday 3rd April – Monday 6th April.

We have some fantastic Guitar Teachers and Piano Teachers who travel to you, anywhere in Greater London and the surrounding areas.

To discuss further or to book, please call Alex Bruce on 07749 918143, or visit our website here:

For Guitar Lessons London

For Piano Lessons London

Happy Easter!

Music & London Part 2

Here’s part 2 of our Music & London blog series, celebrating where Music and London meet in a selection of the best videos on the internet.  Here are today’s two offerings:

1) London in 1927

This incredible colour footage of 1920s London shot by an early British pioneer of film named Claude Frisse-Greene, who made a series of travelogues using the colour process his father William – a noted cinematographer – was experimenting with.

The film is set to two unbelievably beautiful pieces of music, made all the move moving by the accompanying cinematic, historic footage.

They are:

1 – “Parasol” by Jonquil

2 – Comptine d’un autre ete – yann tiersen

2)  Busker Jack Broadbent

Great footage of hip-flask-slide-guitar busker Jack Broadbent doing his thing on the streets of London.  His intense, deeply bluesy performances make his busking style one of the coolest, most Guitar-centric around.

Please share your own Music & London videos with us!

Guitar Lessons London

Piano Lessons London

Music & London Part 1

London is arguably the centre of Music in the UK.  The biggest gigs, the iconic, historic locations, Denmark street, buskers and Bruce Music!

This is Part 1 in a series of blogs linking you to the most amazing videos depicting where Music and London meet.

1)  London Glows In Slo-mo Music video.

This is “Friday Night” by The Grizzly Folk.  The video was filmed and edited entirely using an iPhone 6, using slow motion and hyperlapse.

2)  St. Pancras station wowed by 8 year old Piano prodigy.

Pianos decorated with the phrase “Play me, I’m yours” appeared at various London stations and landmarks over the last few years.  This recent clip shows an 8 year old boy blasting out Chopin’s “Fantasie Impromptu” at St. Pancras station.

Please share your Music & London clips with us, and look out for Part 2 coming soon!

Bruce Music – Guitar Lessons In London

Bruce Music – Piano Lessons In London

Lead Guitar Phrasing Study – Part 2 – All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix

Welcome to part 2 in Bruce Music‘s series on Lead Guitar Phrasing.  View Part 1 here.

Today’s  Jimi Hendrix’s innovative, brilliant cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”

So what can we learn from Jimi’s lead guitar phrasing on this recording, and how can we apply it to our own playing to incorporate better phrasing when playing, composing or improvising our solos?

– “On Edge” 
Like a large amount of Jimi’s playing, the phrasing and timing is “on edge”.  Right as your ear starts to detect his rhythm becoming loose, he nails an intricate phrase, ending squarely on beat 1 of the next bar, and right as you feel a phrase has gone off track, he twists it into an unusual resolution, making you realise he knew where he was going all along.  This is one of the central, magical principles of Jimi’s soloing, and what gives it such a soaring, but mellow freedom.  When you see live footage, he often gives the impression of just mindlessly stabbing and thrashing at the strings without a second thought, but what’s coming out is some of the most innovative and creative lead playing we’ve ever seen.  So what we can take from this is that the combination of security in your technique and fretboard knowledge, with a relaxed, free style, will take you a long way.  Essentially, it’s knowing your stuff whilst appearing too cool for school!

– 1.5 Tone Bends 
In the intro and the solos, Jimi’s using some 1.5 tone (ie. one and a half tones, or 3 fret) bends.  These are very expressive, as it’s even more of a climb and a stretch for the note being bent, and also very distinctive, as we’re so used to hearing 1 tone bends (2 frets).

– Variation 
If you add up the time spent soloing during this track, it’s probably about 90 seconds.  In that time, we’ve got rock and blues licks, a chordal soloing section, a wah-wah section, a slide guitar section, tons of bends and slides, slow fills, fast flurries and an ocatver effect coming on and off at different points.  What you should take from this is the variation that is afforded to you by a knowledge of different styles and techniques, getting to grips with FX pedals, and intertwining rhythm guitar aspects with your lead playing.

– Sustain/”More Time On The Ball”  
Here’s a great article on top sports stars seeming to have more time on the ball.  Jimi Hendrix is the musical equivalent.  His notes are held until the very last possible moment, aided by a practised, full-bodied, vibrato and sustain.  Yet he doesn’t seem or sound rushed.  Sustain your notes as long as possible, and try thinking one phrase ahead.

– Loose Call & Response 
We’ve previously looked at Call & Response and what exactly it is.  If you don’t know what it is, here’s lots of info.

Jimi’s at times using a very loose Call & Response technique, probably down to a natural musicality and love of The Blues.  Occasionally he is answering his own phrases very directly and symmetrically, such as the second phrase in the intro solo being almost a mirror image of the first.  But very often he’s using this very loose variant, almost as if the response is answering a mutation of the call, rather than the direct call itself.  This is how he manages to make his soloing have a very clear and unified style, without being repetitive.  give it a go!

Next Time – How Mark Knopfler plays almost no notes at all!

– Alex

London Guitar Lessons

London Piano Lessons