Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Top 5 Drum Rudiments (exercises)

Drum Rudiments are the most important aspect to learning drumming. They are the building blocks to every drum beat, pattern, fill, and solo. They are the fundamentals to all percussion, and should not be ignored. A drummer should know all of the key drum rudiments, and be able to perform them without hesitation. Without the practice of these, you are limiting your skills and opportunity as a drummer. Let’s break this down a bit, and look at why drum rudiments are so important to practice.

What Is A Drum Rudiment?

A drum rudiment is basically a sticking pattern. Every sticking pattern you play on the drum set is derived from different drum rudiments. Drum rudiments are basic drum patterns, used as practice exercises. They are basically the foundation of drumming, or the basics of stick control, and wrist movement. There are many different rudiments out there. You may hear some people talking about the 40 essential drum rudiments. This may seem like a lot however, most of these are just variations of each other. Drum rudiments should be practiced on a practice pad or a snare drum. They simply help train your fingers and wrists with speed, power, control, as well as independence. . Most are very common patterns that you are well aware of like the single stroke roll, double stroke roll, and flam stroke. Some are more complex and difficult to play.

Why Are Drum Rudiments Important?

Practicing your drum rudiments as a drummer is a lot like going to the gym as a professional athlete. The same is for a drummer – we must train our muscles to hit harder, more accurate, and faster. This is where drum rudiments come into play. They force us to do nothing else but practice stick movement. A lot of times drummers will get side tracked on a drum kit and lose out on valuable practice time. Going through the basic exercises will drastically improve your skills on the drum set; allowing you to roll a lot faster, and giving you more options on the drum set.

Pros and Cons of Practicing Rudiments

To be honest, there are not a lot of cons to practicing these drum rudiments. As a drummer, you should be practicing these drum rudiments more often then you practice on a drum set. You can never go wrong by practicing your essential drum rudiments. The good thing about these is it will force you to go back to the core of drumming. It is easy to get distracted with the drums in front of you, but when you are using a practice pad working on your rudiments, you do not have that option. However, that could also be a problem. Some may get used to the practice pad, and find it hard to transfer back to the drum set. Another problem with rudimental practice is it does not work on creativity, and independence on the drum set. Being limited to a single pad, you are unable to hear the different drum voices, thus hindering your creative edge.


Practicing these drum rudiments are very important. The best way to practice these is to take a pair of drum sticks, a metronome, and a practice pad and start playing. Make sure you are playing with a metronome to keep yourself on time. If you do not know where to start, here is a list of the top 5 rudiments you should start with: the single stroke roll, the double stroke roll, the flam stroke, the paradiddle, and the double paradiddle. These are the top 5 rudiments you should start with, as each one will teach you speed, control, independence and endurance on your sticks. Make sure you read up on these essential practice tips before you begin playing these rudiments; it will help you out a lot! 

Most of the drum rudiments are variations of each other, meaning it is not too hard to learn all 40 rudiments. For example, if you can play a flam stroke, and a paradiddle pattern, you should have no trouble playing the flam paradiddle. In any case take the time to go over each one if you can. 

BlueTimbre is a Music Company with Music Education spaces, Jam Room and Recording studio located in India. BlueTimbre provides complete end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. The BlueTimbre team comes with decades of cumulative experience in running structured businesses, music curriculum development, music education and performance.


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

5 Tips for creating a Melody from a Chord Progression

Many songwriters start by creating chords and then create a melody as they strum on the chord changes. But most people or texts that teach song writing deal with how to add chords to an existing melody. Or sadly the song writers seem to forget about the most important element – the melody – and concentrate far too much on instrument selection, production effects, lyrics and so on. The melody simply becomes an almost random selection of notes at worst, or a very dull and 'obvious' melody line at best. Without a strong melody line, a song is rarely going to make it on to someone’s iTunes playlist!

So the question is: how do you take this progression you’ve created and come up with a melody that works with it? In this article, we have come with a few tops that will help you to do this, and it works well even if you don’t have a strong music theory background.
There are two main dangers to creating a melody after the chords:
1.     The melody often uses lots of arpeggios (chord-based leaps), making it a bit boring and predictable.
2.     The melody may use the same note over and over again, ignoring the importance of a high point.
So be sure that your melody has shape – an enticing contour that propels the song forward.

Here are some tips that can help you come up with a melody:

1.     Understand the Interaction between the Chord and Melody – For example if the chord that is being played is C Major, then, the melody note to feature should either be C, E or G (the triad that makes up the C Major chord). If the chord being played was G Major, then the melody note to feature should be either G, B, or D.

2.     Make Use of Other Notes in the Scale - work out what key signature your song is in, and then ensure you only use notes from that scale. This will ensure you don't get any 'clashing sounds' that are unpleasant to the ear.

3.     Play the progression many times - so that it becomes very predictable to you.

4.     If this is a verse melody you’re creating, consider using higher pitches once you pass the midpoint of the melody. In other words, you want the higher points of this melody to occur near the end of the verse, preparing the chorus. You’ll also want to have a point in your verse that seems to be a high point, a climactic moment. Chorus melodies should usually be placed higher than verse melodies. So, do the same procedure to come up with your chorus melody, again paying attention to the need for a climactic point. Once you’ve done this step, you should have a mainly stepwise verse and chorus melody.

5.     While stepwise melodies are good, you’ll want to have one or two leaps upward to inject some energy into your melody. This works well after the midpoint of each melody. Leaps make melodies more memorable, but too many actually have the opposite effect, so be careful.


As you create your verse and chorus melodies, you’ll usually find that they start to acquire a life of their own. In other words, once a melody starts to unfold, there will seem to be a logical way for it to continue. Use your instincts, and go with your gut. As you play your progression, don’t forget about harmonic rhythm. That’s very important. Harmonic rhythm is the regularity of your chord changes, and you’ll want that to be fairly constant. Chords that change according to a regular rhythmic pattern is a crucial part of setting up your song’s groove.

BlueTimbre is a Music hub with Music Education spaces, Jam Room and Recording studio located in India. BlueTimbre provides complete end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. BlueTimbre management team comes with a decades of cumulative experience in running structured businesses, music curriculum development, music education and performance.


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

5 Reasons to Do Your Vocal Exercises

5 Reasons to Do Your Vocal Exercises

When you are singing you use the vocal cords (soft tissue) and the inner muscles of the larynx (the muscles that control the closing of your cords). These guys are to be treated kindly as they're pretty delicate.

We need to stretch and relax the muscles before we sing, just as we would warm up before going for a run or lifting weights. Warming up loosens those muscles, helps to remove excess mucous and reduces the risk of injury (because let's face it, losing your voice sucks).

Commit to at least 15 - 20 minutes to really wake up the muscles in a caring, you're-important-to-me way.

1.       Exercises Help Maintain Your Voice

Singing vocal exercises are as important as the performance itself, if not more so, as the preparation will determine the outcome of the show.  Most of us can’t go onto a stage without doing some kind of warm up at the back dressing room by running through a few piano scales warming up and preparing our voice.

2.       Exercises Help Develop Your Range and Pitch Control

Doing regular vocal exercises can help develop your higher or lower register and also help develop your vocal flexibility. Vocal exercises will also help you maintain better control over pitch or melody of a song.

3.       Exercises can Help You Improve Your Diction

You can maintain good vocal health by warming up the voice on vowel and consonant sounds that allows the vocal folds and vocal muscles to function very efficiently without having to compress too firmly. An “oo” or “ee” vowel with an “m” or “n” consonant are often good choices. This can help improve your pronunciations while singing as well.

4.       Exercises Help Recover From Sleep

When we awake after sleep, our voice would not have been used for several hours. During this time mucus builds in our nasal cavity and reduces the clarity of our vocal chords. Vocal exercises warm up your vocal cords and clear some of the mucus build up thus ensuring clearer sound.

5.       Exercises Help Reduce Vocal Damage

Just like athletes, it is important to warm up as well as cool down your voice. If you do not loosen up your muscles, it can cause strain on your vocal cords. A lot of amateur singers lose their voices after big shows because they fail to warm up correctly. 

6.       Singing Makes You Happy

Vocal exercises require a great deal of oxygen intake, and this in turn stimulates the production of the body’s own mood-lifting endorphin's. So essentially, singing lifts your mood can make you feel happier! 


So overall make sure that the voice is maintained regularly and drink plenty of fluid while trying to avoid sugary drinks.  Never go on stage without going through a proper vocal warm up routine and by following this advice, your voice will not only get stronger but also perform well.
BlueTimbre is a Music hub with Music Education spaces, Jam Room and Recording studio located in India. BlueTimbre provides complete end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. BlueTimbre management team comes with a decades of cumulative experience in running structured businesses, music curriculum development, music education and performance.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Why Kids Need Music In School

Why Kids Need Music in School

“Musical activity involves nearly every region of the brain that we know about, and nearly every neural sub system.” – Daniel Levitin

Think about a world where music never existed. That is something difficult to fathom. Music helps people express so many emotions and cope in ways that are not possible any other way. Music is not only a pastime, but it’s such an intellectual substance that most people overlook. Schools with music programs have a higher graduation rate and attendance rate compared to schools without music education in them.

Here are a couple of great articles that showcases why kids need music.

Article 1: Student Voices: Music education is more than an extracurricular

Choirs and bands both help students realize how important each individual part and voice is. Without one voice, the music is lacking in a certain aspect. But with the perfect balance from everyone working together, beautiful music is created. People learn the true meaning of teamwork because no one sits on the bench, and there are no substitutions. Music teaches synergy in a way that nothing else can.

Another important lesson music teaches is diligence. To be successful in music, one must practice and put forth an effort towards learning. “Normal” schoolwork does not always teach students that. Learners must focus on achieving their tasks and goals, and usually they can become very prosperous. Music truly is the best subject to teach diligence.

Last, but certainly not least, music is a true core academic subject. Music teaches math, science, history, English, and even other languages, such as Latin. Music teaches more than its share. Music activates unique parts of the brain in “special” ways (like mental exercise), and causes those parts to interact with other parts in ways that only happen when making music. Music not only helps with itself, but makes other subjects easier to learn as well.

Article 2: Music Lessons Were the Best Thing Your Parents Ever Did for You

If your parents ever submitted you to regular music lessons as a kid, you probably got in a fight with them once or twice about it. Maybe you didn't want to go; maybe you didn't like practicing. But we have some bad news: They were right. It turns out that all those endless major scale exercises and repetitions of "Chopsticks" had some incredible effects on our minds.
Psychological studies continue to uncover more and more benefits that music lessons provide to developing minds. One incredibly comprehensive longitudinal study, produced by the German Socio-Economic Panel in 2013, stated the power of music lessons as plain as could be: "Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater or dance." The study found that kids who take music lessons "have better cognitive skills and school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious." And that's just the beginning.

People believe that music should just be something students do in their free time. It is thought music has no real educational value, or that there just is not enough money for it to be funded. It is not seen as important as the “core” subjects of learning.

However, music education is too valuable to be cut from any school.

A school who wants successful students and test scores needs to make music education a priority. Music isn’t just a pastime or an extracurricular activity. Music is a well-rounded teacher that everyone needs to experience.

BlueTimbre is a Music hub with Music Education spaces, Jam Room and Recording studio located in India. BlueTimbre provides complete end-to-end Music Education solutions for schools. BlueTimbre management team comes with a decades of cumulative experience in running structured businesses, music curriculum development, music education and performance.