Resources

The internet is a vast ocean of information, and a good amount of it is focused on music. It can be confusing to sift through a dozen YouTube lessons on bebop scales or guitar pedals- this page collects my favorite lessons and tools I’ve found while searching for answers to various questions (students’ and my own) or procrastinating on writing songs.

YouTube channels

Ben Levin– Creative, fun-centric approaches to guitar, composing music/lyrics, and theory. Some pretty wild music too.

Rick Beato– Intense, free-wheeling musings about all kinds of music by a guy with a ton of experience in different roles (producer, guitarist, teacher etc). Watch the videos of his  son’s ear training progress if you want a reality check about your aural skills.

Adam Neely– Off-beat and bizarre music theory topics done with style, and some pretty solid bass and music lessons too. Be careful though, you might end up binge-watching his channel and skip a couple days of practice. 

Some of Adam’s best:

How To Improve Your Rhythm

Play What You Hear 

Emotional Ear Training

Cantus Firmus soloing

How To Learn Music

Adam’s Metronome Games

Bulletproof Musician

A classically trained violinist and psychologist’s mostly practical tips for practicing, learning music, and working with fear when performing or recording. Noa has been writing for a while, so it’s easy to get lost in this blog. Here are some of my favorites, answering some common difficulties among students:

How to Get Yourself to Practice When You Don’t Feel Like It

The Best Times To Practice

A Metronome Practice Strategy For Musicians Who Hate Metronomes

What Is Creativity Worth?

How Many Hours A Day Should You Practice?

How To Make Performance Anxiety Work for You

Why The Progress You Make In The Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight

How To Deal With Stressful Lessons, Rehearsals, Performances

Here are 8 ways to make practice more fun, engaging, and fruitful 

Spaced Repetition In Learning (short video)

 

Miscellaneous videos

Victor Wooten- Music as Language
Practice Tools and Games

This will help you become aware of your intonation and explore harmonic relationships against a drone.

This will help you develop a strong internal beat, so you don’t freak out if you have to play without a drummer/bassist/metronome.

This will help you get a foothold on identifying intervals in lines and chords. If you’re a keys or guitar player it’ll also help you learn to visualize them on your instrument.

Books

The Art of Practicing
Practical advice on developing your own musical personality and preventing injury during practice. Includes some very detailed instruction for classical instruments, particularly piano, guitar, and violin, on avoiding injury and making play as easy as possible.

Effortless Mastery
If you don’t mind the New Agey-ness in the second half, there’s some very, very solid information here about practicing instruments and music. Take what is useful for you, discard what isn’t.

Harmonic Experience
W.A. Mathieu’s extremely thorough and unique masterclass on harmony, starting from its roots. If you’re a harmony nerd, start working through this sooner rather than later.

Bridge of Waves
The heaviest of Mathieu’s non-technical books, a simple and magical viewpoint on the fundamentals of music and sound. Maeve Gilchrist recommended this one, and I’ve read it at least three or four times since.

Free Play
If you’ve started to feel stagnant in your practice or playing, this book might rescue you. A playful philosophical celebration of creativity.

The Book
To quote my pal Chase Potter, “Dude, that book saved my life.” If you’re in high school, you might want to save reading this until you’ve graduated, maybe even until you’re late in college. But if your existential crisis hits early (as it seems to tend to do these days) give it a go, and it might save your life too.

Letters to a Young Poet
A poet’s take on creativity, love, and living. Another good book for the artist in a crisis of faith.