Thursday, 5 September 2013

8 Things Every Musician Should Own

This is a small list of a few items I would recommend to all musicians:

1. Metronome
A metronome is essential tool for a musician to ensure correcting timing and tempo. I would recommend downloading 'Metrotime' from the App store for free:

2. Tuner
If you want to make sure you are in tune, a tuner is an essential item. I would recommend the 'Trevor James Chromatic Clip-on tuner':  or download 'Cleartune' for £2.49 from the App store:  

3. Music Stand
Get a folding stand to take to rehearsals and I would recommend a more durable orchestral stand for home use - especially if you are using the Arban! Check out K&M stands:

4. Practise Book
If you have lessons, then I would definitely recommend getting some sort of practise book. This means that you teacher can write down important things for you to practise. If you don't have lessons then a practise book is still useful the right down things you have practised and what you need to focus on next session.

5. Pegs
If you are a member of ensembles, or busk then pegs are a must for outdoor gigs/concerts to prevent those sheets from flying off into the audience. (They are also useful for keeping the Arban on your stand!)

6. Lots of Sheet Music
Try and have a collection of many different styles of music - useful for sight reading practise too!

7. Recordings of Your Favourite Musicians
Listening to musicians that inspire you can real help to motivate you.

8. An Instrument Stand
I like to keep my trumpet out on its stand all the time. I find that it really motivates me to practise and makes it easier just to pick up and play. Find a suitable sturdy stand that is going to keep your instrument safe. Here is a review of a couple of trumpet stands:

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Trevor James JMT-9006C Tuner Review

I recently purchased the Trevor James JMT-9006C Clip-on Chromatic Tuner and really like it. It not only is a tuner, but also a metronome - two essential items for all musicians. It easily clips onto the bell of my trumpet (it only works when clipped onto the instrument), so I can check my notes are in tune while playing. It is very good quality, with a very clear display and the screen moves so it can easily be used with any instrument. It also has a backlight option (perfect for orchestra pits etc).
Backlight Function

The metronome function is very easy to use and is loud enough to be heard over the sound of the trumpet (a problem I often find with conventional tuners).

A highly recommended tuner and metronome for any musician. £24.99 from Woodwind Warehouse.

New Youtube Video

I've just uploaded a new Youtube video of me playing Henry Purcell's Trumpet Tune. This is a well know piece of baroque music, often heard at weddings. Check it out!

Hope you enjoy, any feedback is very welcome x

Sunday, 1 September 2013

My Top 5 Apps for Musicians

5. Garage Band.
    An Apple classic that allows you to turn you iPhone/iPad into a recording studio and play 'smart instruments. £2.99 from the App Store.

4. Notation.
    A new discovery for me, Notation is a music writing app that allows to compose, edit and playback scores all from you iPad. Similar to music notation softwares such as Sibelius. £10.49 from the App Store.

3. Cleartune Chromatic Tuner.
    There are a lot of tuner apps out there, but this one is my favourite. It is very responsive, accurate and has a great display. £2.99 from the App Store.

2. MetroTimer.
    A great metronome app. Its simple to use, has a variety of metronome sounds to choose from and the tempo and time signature can be changed with ease. Free from the App Store.

1. Music Journal.
I love being able to record how long I practice each day and this app allows me to do just that. You can store in different pieces and exercises and record how long you practice them for, simply by pressing a start and stop button. You can have several different instruments and the app allows you to see your productivity for the week, in a bar chart format. This is a really useful app if you want to record how productive you are in your practice sessions and I think it would be a useful app for young students just starting out. I would recommend starting off with the free version.