ChristineP, Lead the Band, Circle of Fifths, and The New Music Industry

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This old adage is as true in the music world as anywhere else. But rather than despair that creating something really new is impossible (it isn’t), you can make this truth work for you and not against you. For when we apply what we know already to creating something new, we are more likely to produce something lasting and meaningful.

Then what we create has the opportunity to become “the new old”.

This week at Musical U, we learned effective band leadership skills – yes, we’re still learning how to relate to our fellow humans after how many years?

The Circle of Fifths reflects the very structure of the universe, but remains an ever-living fountain of musical knowledge for all to draw from, and music industry vet Cliff Goldmacher gets down to brass tacks on the everlasting qualities that thrive in today’s rapidly morphing music scene.

But first, let’s see how Musical U member ChristineP found that the same inner musical skills applied to all the varying aspects of her musical expression.

Progress? Journal.

One of the most successful features inside Musical U is the Progress Journal (PJ). With this tool, members have the opportunity to thoughtfully reflect on their musical goals, chart the course of their learning, and make in-the-flow adjustments as they learn and achieve.

What’s more, other members of Musical U team and community are able to lend suggestions, kudos, and support – as well as be inspired in their own musical growth.

Musical U member ChristineP early on mastered the art of the Progress Journal, and through that has been able to evolve her own training journey and claim her own steady progress. What’s more, she’s found that the inner musical skills – such as ear training and solfa (aka solfege) – have fed all the different ways she makes music, from middle-eastern flute, to jazz flute, to piano, to choral singing.

Inspire yourself with her story in Musical U Member Spotlight: ChristineP.

Christine talked about how she came to learning ear training and audiation in her musical journey. Beginning audiation greatly helped in the ability to hear a piece of music before she began to play. Uberchord applies these 10 easy ear training techniques for every beginner guitar player.

While we typically think of children’s lessons when talking about learning music, many find their passion for music later in life. It is tremendous to be able to become passionate about music, and you shouldn’t be shy of picking up an instrument for the first time no matter your age. Music To Your Home agrees: there are many benefits to learning music later in life that can’t be denied!

Hail to the Chief

Ever since humans first appeared on earth, we’ve been trying to figure out how to get along and make things happen together – with varying degrees of success. Experienced bandleader Gino Burgio runs down the four personality types that you’ll find in every band, and how the leader can orchestrate them into a productive, creative harmony.

Ever struggled with leadership roles? Or contemplating starting your own band? Gino’s advice is clear, and breaks down the mystery of How to be an Effective Bandleader.

Forming a band is difficult for many people, especially as they try to find other musicians to collaborate and make music. Rob Chapman reveals that finding potential bandmates doesn’t have to be a stressful experience if you take some simple steps to expand your network:

Many people are not natural leaders and find it difficult to step up to the plate when their band desperately needs leadership. What simple steps can make you a better leader within your group? Pro Audio Land has these simple tips that will take you a long way to being a great bandmate and leader.

For so many of us, some of the best leaders in our musical journey have been the teachers that have helped us along the way. How did they develop the leadership skills that allowed them to lead an ensemble and inspire their students? Learn the secrets to their skills from Band Leadership:

The Eternal Circle

Sometimes, when listening to music of the past it’s hard to see the connection between it and the music of today. Yet the theory behind all music is ultimately governed by the fundamental physical properties of sound. While not described clearly until the late 1670s, the Circle of Fifths expresses just such an ultimate truth.

Yet the Circle of Fifths is no dead, arcane theory. The living, breathing Circle provides endless practical ways for us to both understand the music we love more deeply, and to methodically create new sounds that accurately represent what we want to express. Roll on into the Circle of Fifths, and many of the ways you can make it work for you in your music every day in A Wheel That Needs No Reinvention: the Circle of Fifths.

Memorizing the Circle of Fifths can be difficult for many musicians. Having some tricks and resources to help you do so will greatly improve your ability to use the Circle of Fifths in your music. Music Matters Blog talks about using flashcards to memorize the Circle of Fifths.

Anyone learning music theory will greatly benefit from learning the Circle of Fifths. For a great general overview of the Circle of Fifths, Keytar HQ explains how you can apply this theory to harmony and other aspects of your playing.

Okay, so you have mastered the Circle of Fifths and can recite the key signatures backwards and forwards. Now what? The Circle of Fifths is also a great guide to help modulate to new keys in your music. This article from Certain Sparks talks about using the Circle to modulate and move around the various key signatures.

The Circle of Fifths is an essential part of music theory for every musician to learn. But, many are not aware of how they can actually apply music theory in their music. Andre Tonelli will teach you how to apply the Circle of Fifths to your guitar playing:

Cliff Diving

The music industry has undergone such a fundamental, radical shift in the past two decades that it’s difficult to see where anything about it is the same as it was before.

But after 25 years in “the business”, Nashville insider Cliff Goldmacher – who has penned hits with the likes of Ke$ha, Keb’ Mo’, Mickey Hart, and Spencer Day, to name a few – has witnessed the qualities and skills that still remain crucial to any musician’s success. Find out what you will need to succeed in The Music Business: What’s Changed, What’s Stayed the Same, with Cliff Goldmacher.

Cliff talked about “disintermediation” and how the music industry has drastically changed in the digital era. One way that artists can meet their listeners is through live video and interviews. Jacqueline Jax talks about how to bring your audience “behind the music” with live interviews.

As music technology has changed, so has the format that many fans choose to receive their music. Cliff talked about how the modern musician needs to broaden their income stream if they want to be able to make a living playing their music. Music Gateway discusses the reduction in album sales and how to adapt to the changing industry.

Cliff talked about the importance of leveraging new channels to market music, taking advantage of the opportunities that digital media provides us. Mastering the Mix has this fascinating introduction to marketing your music.

The New Old

As musicians, we dream of creating something lasting and meaningful.

ChristineP took her old organizational skills and transformed her music learning, continuing to build new abilities to express herself musically. Gino Burgio forges new bands with age-old people skills. The ancient truth of the Circle of Fifths flows with an inexhaustible supply of creative new musical tools and ideas. And Cliff Goldmacher is part of a music industry that is charting a new course with old skills and values.

So enjoy this week’s offerings on Musical U. You may discover where you yourself fit in this eternal circle of new and old and new again.

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