12 Tone Music Newsletter 04/06/16 ~ by Mike Overly

April 6, 2016

Gravity WaveYou’re gonna wanna read this latest 12 Tone Music Newsletter ~ Sound of Gravitational Waves ~ written by GRAMMY® Nominated Music Educator and author of Guitar and Bass EncycloMedia Mike Overly.

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs139/1119235923778/archive/1123792973885.html

P.S. Order now through April 13 and receive FREE SHIPPING on all products in the 12 Tone Music store.
Use code A6VIXZX5 at checkout. Domestic orders only. www.12tonemusic.com/products

12 Tone Music Publishing ~ as essential as your instrument!


12 Tone Music Newsletter 01/07/16 ~ by Mike Overly

January 7, 2016

Miles ArtYou’re gonna wanna read this latest 12 Tone Music Newsletter ~ Making Unusual Guitar Sounds ~ written by GRAMMY® Nominated Music Educator and author of Guitar and Bass EncycloMedia Mike Overly . . . http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs139/1119235923778/archive/1123179919445.html

www.12tonemusic.com


Learning Bass At Home – by Mike Overly

January 6, 2015

Bass at HomeMost parents I have met all seem to share this same basic concern: Can I really teach my child bass if I myself don’t know how to play?

The joyous answer is, yes! But only if your teaching method is as simple and logical as a connect-the-dots picture. By using a music method for bass that is clear and simple, your child will stay engaged long enough to experience the rewards of a successful bass education. By learning in this connect and continue way, your child will know exactly what’s coming next and therefore will never get confused, frustrated, or even worse, want to stop and quit! In addition to the simple joys of playing bass, there are many other wonderful benefits your child will gain by learning to play bass, such as self-discipline, greater self-esteem and a higher IQ. So, I think it’s safe to say that learning music and bass would be a good idea for you and your family. Now, let’s look at a few other common questions you may have about beginning a bass curriculum in your home.

What Is A Good Age To Begin Learning the Bass?

Although there is no one correct answer to this question, I have found that by the age of six, children have developed enough cognitive skills to learn bass. For example, they know the alphabet, can count numbers up to 12 and higher, and most importantly, when properly engaged, can exercise the self control needed to sit with attention and awareness during a half-hour lesson. Also, by age 6 they are big enough to comfortably hold the bass and have developed the finger strength necessary to press down a bass string. It’s important to remember that at this age, when it comes to getting your child to play the bass, the enthusiasm needed must come from them, not you. That’s why it is best to begin bass instruction when your child asks to play, not later when their interest may not be as strong, or when you have determined that they should. Said a different way, never force your child to learn bass if they don’t want to. But if they want to, and if you can afford it, you will want your child to learn correctly from the beginning, so it’s very important to find a bass instructor who is effective with children. Quality instruction at this age is essential because some children tend to have short attention spans and are often easily distracted. These conditions can be correctively addressed by a qualified bass teacher who is experienced with children. They will know how to apply just the right amount of fun and seriousness so that your child finds the lessons enjoyable and exciting and will want to continue to learn music and bass.

Should I Encourage My Child To Play The Bass?

Of course you should! If your child comes to you and tells you that she or he is interested in playing the bass, then by all means, you should definitely encourage your child to do so. It’s equally important not to force them to play an instrument they don’t want to play. For example, if they want to learn the bass, don’t make them play the piano. You may be surprised to learn that many parents can be pushy in forcing their child to play a particular instrument because it’s the one that they played, or they feel it to be a superior instrument. Let your child choose the instrument they are interested in, even if it’s the glockenspiel!

No matter what the instrument, learning to play music will help your child in many other areas of their life as well, for example, they will be able to concentrate and stay focused for longer periods of time. Learning music also enhances your child’s listening skills and teaches them that the art of continual practice leads to betterment. Lots of children want to learn to play bass and that’s understandable because many of today’s music artists play the bass. For many, this is what makes bass “cool” and therefore, learning to play bass is seen as more preferable to playing a band or orchestral instrument such as a trumpet or clarinet. So, it becomes important to remind your child that even with quality bass instruction playing bass will still be a technical challenge. It will take time to develop strong and flexible hands in order to press the strings tightly and strum the strings properly. But if your child is willing to devote the time to practice, good technique will come. To keep them dedicated to improving their technique and evolving the dexterity necessary to become proficient at playing bass, be sure to support and encourage them often. Keep in mind that a quality instrument, a clear and in order music method, and a qualified teacher is the key to making the difference between your child quitting and succeeding.

How Long Should My Child Take Bass Lessons?

The simple answer is: a lifetime! We never outgrow our need for the next musical thought or technical idea. However, with this said, the answer to this question depends on what level your child wants to take their bass playing. Playing levels vary from being a hobby to developing mastery. Time will unfold a dedicated player from an amateur to a professional, or said more traditionally, from a beginner to an advanced musician. It’s important to remember that learning to play bass is different from learning to ride a bicycle. With a bicycle, you only need to practice riding until you discover balance and no longer fall off your bike. When you reach that moment, you no longer need to practice. However, when learning to play the bass, you will soon get to a stage where you can play a few simple melodies and harmonies, and if you’re happy with that, you could stop practicing at that point. But, if you would like to play more popular and complex music, you can’t stop there, you must continue to practice so that you get better and faster.

In addition to being able to play many songs, with more practice you will be able to develop advanced technical skills that will have your playing sounding much more professional. And don’t forget, if you really want to become an expert at playing music on bass, you will need to practice even more. However, over time you will discover that the better you get, the more you will want to play, and the more you play the more you enjoy playing, to the point that playing bass becomes a passion. Then, you won’t be asking yourself how much longer do you have to keep practicing because playing will be the only thing you’ll want to do!

How Do I Recognize A Quality Music Method for Bass?

If you’re interested in learning to play bass but cannot afford a qualified private music teacher to show you the way, you might have gone online to look for bass instruction. You probably ended up being overwhelmed and confused with so many methods claiming to teach you how to play the bass in a certain number of days, if not hours or minutes! Now, you’ve heard this before, if something sounds too good to be true, then chances are, it’s not true. Just because the method is published by a big company, is backed by lots of bells and whistles, has a flashy website with all the latest technology, comes with a 60 day money back guarantee and has more fake testimonials than you have time to read, doesn’t mean that the content is complete, connected in-order, or will lead to success.

The following is the scenario of a typical beginning bass student and supportive parent:

1. Goes to the music store and buys a bass and a traditional beginner’s bass method book. If you study the options, you’ll discover that it doesn’t matter what brand of method book you buy because they are all the same! But don’t believe me, visit the music store and look through the top-selling bass methods and you will see for yourself that they all present the same lesson plan. This isn’t because they succeed, in fact they don’t, it’s because the authors and publishers are vested in making sales rather than investing the time and money necessary to develop a music method for bass that really does succeed.

2. Takes the bass and the method book home and quickly becomes overwhelmed and confused. This common experience is the result of incomplete and out-of-order instruction. At this point, many beginners decide that learning bass is too difficult for them and they quit, or, they blame themselves for not understanding or, they blame the author and go back to the music store to buy a different beginner book.

3. But nothing has changed, the same confusion and frustration is experienced and again they decided that bass is too hard for them, they blame themselves and the author and quit or, in rare cases, decides to try it one last time. But once again, the result is the same and finally the bass is pushed under the bed and forgotten.

I’ve witnessed many promising beginners go through this cycle and then give up and choose to do something that they know they can do, but it’s usually something which has no real benefit or lasting value… like video games!

Don’t let this happen to your child. Get them a quality instrument, a complete and in-order music method for bass, for example: the Tone Note® Music Method for Bass Book 1, a qualified teacher and encourage them to experience the joys of learning music and playing bass in a revolutionary new and successful way.

’til next time, have some fun learning bass at home… I’ll be listening!

www.12tonemusic.com/bass/tonenote


Homeschool Guitar – by Mike Overly

December 23, 2014

Guitar KidMost home school parents I have met all seem to share this same basic concern: Can I really teach my child guitar if I myself don’t know how to play?

The joyous answer is, yes! But only if your teaching method is as simple and logical as a connect-the-dots picture. By using a music method for guitar that is clear and simple, your child will stay engaged long enough to experience the rewards of a successful guitar education. By learning in this connect and continue way, your child will know exactly what’s coming next and therefore will never get confused, frustrated, or even worse, want to stop and quit! In addition to the simple joys of playing guitar, there are many other wonderful benefits your child will gain by learning to play guitar, such as self-discipline, greater self-esteem and a higher IQ. So, I think it’s safe to say that learning music and guitar would be a good idea for you and your family. Now, let’s look at a few other common questions you may have about beginning a guitar curriculum in your home.

What Is A Good Age To Begin Learning the Guitar?

Although there is no one correct answer to this question, I have found that by the age of six, children have developed enough cognitive skills to learn guitar. For example, they know the alphabet, can count numbers up to 12 and higher, and most importantly, when properly engaged, can exercise the self control needed to sit with attention and awareness during a half-hour lesson. Also, by age 6 they are big enough to comfortably hold the guitar and have developed the finger strength necessary to press down a guitar string.It’s important to remember that at this age, when it comes to getting your child to play the guitar, the enthusiasm needed must come from them, not you. That’s why it is best to begin guitar instruction when your child asks to play, not later when their interest may not be as strong, or when you have determined that they should. Said a different way, never force your child to learn guitar if they don’t want to. But if they want to, and if you can afford it, you will want your child to learn correctly from the beginning, so it’s very important to find a guitar instructor who is effective with children. Quality instruction at this age is essential because some children tend to have short attention spans and are often easily distracted. These conditions can be correctively addressed by a qualified guitar teacher who is experienced with children. They will know how to apply just the right amount of fun and seriousness so that your child finds the lessons enjoyable and exciting and will want to continue to learn music and guitar.

Should I Encourage My Child To Play The Guitar?

Of course you should! If your child comes to you and tells you that she or he is interested in playing the guitar, then by all means, you should definitely encourage your child to do so. It’s equally important not to force them to play an instrument they don’t want to play. For example, if they want to learn the guitar, don’t make them play the piano. You may be surprised to learn that many parents can be pushy in forcing their child to play a particular instrument because it’s the one that they played, or they feel it to be a superior instrument. Let your child choose the instrument they are interested in, even if it’s the glockenspiel!

No matter what the instrument, learning to play music will help your child in many other areas of their life as well, for example, they will be able to concentrate and stay focused for longer periods of time. Learning music also enhances your child’s listening skills and teaches them that the art of continual practice leads to betterment. Lots of children want to learn to play guitar and that’s understandable because many of today’s music artists play the guitar. For many, this is what makes guitar “cool” and therefore, learning to play guitar is seen as more preferable to playing a band or orchestral instrument such as a trumpet or violin. So, it becomes important to remind your child that even with quality guitar instruction playing guitar will still be a technical challenge. It will take time to develop strong and flexible hands in order to press the strings tightly and strum the strings properly. But if your child is willing to devote the time to practice, good technique will come. To keep them dedicated to improving their technique and evolving the dexterity necessary to become proficient at playing guitar, be sure to support and encourage them often. Keep in mind that a quality instrument, a clear and in order music method, and a qualified teacher is the key to making the difference between your child quitting and succeeding.

How Long Should My Child Take Guitar Lessons?

The simple answer is: a lifetime! We never outgrow our need for the next musical thought or technical idea. However, with this said, the answer to this question depends on what level your child wants to take their guitar playing. Playing levels vary from being a hobby to developing mastery. Time will unfold a dedicated player from an amateur to a professional, or said more traditionally, from a beginner to an advanced musician. It’s important to remember that learning to play guitar is different from learning to ride a bicycle. With a bicycle, you only need to practice riding until you discover balance and no longer fall off your bike. When you reach that moment, you no longer need to practice. However, when learning to play the guitar, you will soon get to a stage where you can play a few simple melodies and harmonies, and if you’re happy with that, you could stop practicing at that point. But, if you would like to play more popular and complex music, you can’t stop there, you must continue to practice so that you get better and faster.

In addition to being able to play many songs, with more practice you will be able to develop advanced technical skills that will have your playing sounding much more professional. And don’t forget, if you really want to become an expert at playing music on guitar, you will need to practice even more. However, over time you will discover that the better you get, the more you will want to play, and the more you play the more you enjoy playing, to the point that playing guitar becomes a passion. Then, you won’t be asking yourself how much longer do you have to keep practicing because playing will be the only thing you’ll want to do!

How Do I Recognize A Quality Music Method for Guitar?

If you’re interested in learning to play guitar but cannot afford a qualified private music teacher to show you the way, you might have gone online to look for guitar instruction. You probably ended up being overwhelmed and confused with so many methods claiming to teach you how to play the guitar in a certain number of days, if not hours or minutes! Now, you’ve heard this before, if something sounds too good to be true, then chances are, it’s not true. Just because the method is published by a big company, is backed by lots of bells and whistles, has a flashy website with all the latest technology, comes with a 60 day money back guarantee and has more fake testimonials than you have time to read, doesn’t mean that the content is complete, connected in-order, or will lead to success.

The following is the scenario of a typical beginning guitar student and supportive parent:

1. Goes to the music store and buys a guitar and a traditional beginner’s guitar method book. If you study the options, you’ll discover that it doesn’t matter what brand of method book you buy because they are all the same! But don’t believe me, visit the music store and look through the top-selling guitar methods and you will see for yourself that they all present the same lesson plan. This isn’t because they succeed, in fact they don’t, it’s because the authors and publishers are vested in making sales rather than investing the time and money necessary to develop a music method for guitar that really does succeed.

2. Takes the guitar and the method book home and quickly becomes overwhelmed and confused. This common experience is the result of incomplete and out-of-order instruction. At this point, many beginners decide that learning guitar is too difficult for them and they quit, or, they blame themselves for not understanding or, they blame the author and go back to the music store to buy a different beginner book.

3. But nothing has changed, the same confusion and frustration is experienced and again they decided that guitar is too hard for them, they blame themselves and the author and quit or, in rare cases, decides to try it one last time. But once again, the result is the same and finally the guitar is pushed under the bed and forgotten.

I’ve witnessed many promising beginners go through this cycle and then give up and choose to do something that they know they can do, but it’s usually something which has no real benefit or lasting value… like video games!

Don’t let this happen to your child. Get them a quality instrument, a complete and in-order music method for guitar, for example: the Tone Note® Music Method for Guitar Book 1, a qualified teacher and encourage them to experience the joys of learning music and playing guitar in a revolutionary new and successful way.

’til next time, have some fun learning guitar at home… I’ll be listening!

The Process of Learning by Mike Overly

September 25, 2014

Mike Overly Custom Schaefer GuiatrA few months ago I asked my students to list ten questions they had about playing music and the guitar. I thought that the vast majority of questions would overlap and I could make a simple top ten list. But guess what?  Nobody asked exactly the same question. What I learned from this random sample of guitar players of all ages, levels and styles is that like snowflakes, no two musicians playing the guitar are alike, each one is unique!

Here are a few of their questions:   

Why is there a nut?
How do I make a solo sound interesting?
How do I tune by ear?
What are some common blues turnarounds?
What does modulation mean?
What is a triad and how many are there?
Which is easier to play, electric or acoustic?
What are inversions?
What is alternate tuning?
What does a whammy bar do?
Why are there two dots on fret 12?
Is learning to read music important?
How much should I practice each day?
How do I know what key I’m in?
How do I overcome nervousness when performing?
What is a power chord?
What is the definition of enharmonic?
What is a moderately slow shuffle?
What are flat wound strings?

And finally, how can you play lots of songs on the guitar if there are only six strings? This last question reminds us that there are no stupid questions – only stupid answers!

Now, even though these students didn’t ask the same questions, the questions they did ask fell into three broad categories which are sometimes hard to separate: music theory, guitar theory and the musician.

Simply stated, theory is what and how we think about music and the guitar, and technique is skill or, how well we play. In other words, we play what we think and we think what we’ve learned. Now, if playing is the result of learning, and learning is the result of questions answered, then how exactly do we learn? The easy answer is: slowly at the speed of thought, transforming understanding into knowledge, in order to practice. Practice is simply the repetition of what we’ve learned until we can play what we’ve practiced at a steady performance tempo. Tempo is the rate of speed of the steady beat. Said a different way, we learn, then practice, and then play.

So, what are we going to learn?

Basically, we learn three important concepts:

1. What to play: scales, arpeggios and chords, and how to apply them,
2. When to play what we’ve learned: time as rhythm, and
3. How  to play what we’ve learned: dynamics and techniques, such as bend, slide, etc..

Future lessons will go into greater detail about the “what, when and how” of music and the guitar, but for now, let’s answer one of the student’s questions: What is the definition of enharmonic?  
Enharmonic is “the same pitch” but not the same letter or scale degree tone number. For example, G sharp (G#) sounds the same as A flat (Ab), however, in the key of C major, G# is tone sharp 5 (#5), whereas Ab is flat six (b6). As you can see, the letter and scale degree tone number of any pitch is determined by the key you’re in, but that’s another question.

So, ’til next time, I invite all of you to send me your questions, or answers, which in turn will generate even more questions and answers. This is our dialogue ~ this is the Process of Learning.

http://www.12tonemusic.com

Guitar Image: Mike Overly Custom by Ed Schaefer Guitars.


Tone Note® Music Method for Bass Video – by Mike Overly

September 4, 2014

Tone Note Bass Front CoverThe Tone Note® Music Method for Bass makes it simple and easy to play fun and exciting music on your bass correctly from the beginning.

On the cover of the Tone Note® Music Method for Bass is a connect the dots picture of a bass which presents four very important ideas that a connect the dots picture teaches us: 1. start at the beginning, 2. continue in order, 3. the end connects to the beginning, and 4. when the last dot is connected ~ you can see the picture! These four ideas form the basis of this book.

The Tone Note® Music Method for Bass 1 contains a method book, rhythm book and song book. Each book is designed to present the benefits of the Tone Note® system with clear and simple step-by-step instruction. And each lesson within each book connects and continues with the last in a progressive order so that a person new to music and bass will learn the symbols and signs of music quickly and develop the skill to play bass easily. You will play and enjoy music and bass from the very beginning just like you hoped you would and as you practice, progress and improve, the better you will get, and the better you get ~ the more fun you have!

The purpose of the Tone Note® Music Method for Bass is to introduce a beginner of any age to the simple pitch Letters, tone (scale degree) Numbers and harmony Numerals of music. The following flowchart illustrates this.

Tone Note Music Flow

The Tone Note® Music Method for Bass answers this simple question: why is it so hard to learn to play bass? Is it the fault of the student, or is it the fault of the instructor? The answer is neither, it’s the fault of false methods. So, let’s clean the slate and begin anew with a truly unique 21st century revolutionary music method for bass.

Over the centuries, bassists have believed many false ideas and have kept adding more false ideas over time. This has created much confusion and has made learning music and the bass a problem. The Tone Note® Music Method for Bass solves this problem by keeping only the truth of the past and leaving the false behind.

And the truth is, music is a simple language that may be learned easily by anyone of any age. All that is needed is a clear and simple step-by-step method which will introduces what you need to know, when you need to know it. In other words, a method that presents one idea and then connects it to the next idea. Learning in this manner guarantees that you do not have any gaps between your thoughts and ideas about music and the bass. The benefit is, you will never feel overwhelmed or confused, and more importantly, you will never stop or quit! Understanding music on the bass will always be easy for you.

By the end of the Tone Note® Music Method for Bass 1 your technique will have greatly improved and you will have gained a solid theoretical foundation that will last you a lifetime and prepare you to connect and continue with the Tone Note® Music Method for Bass 2. Meet you there!

Here is a short video that will introduce you to the Tone Note® Music Method for Bass 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM_gMaDbteI

’til next time, have some Tone Note® bass fun… I’ll be listening!

http://www.12tonemusic.com/bass/tonenote/


Learn Guitar and Bass with Grammy Nominated Music Educator Mike Overly

August 14, 2014

Here is an impromptu video interview I did last week with www.findaguitarteacher.com ~ please check it out and let me know what you think. And when you have a moment, watch more of my instructional videos on the 12tonemusic.com YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/12tonemusic. Thank You.


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