Yousician

This is a nice system for beginners to learn guitar, piano, ukulele, or bass. The app can be loaded on computers or smart phones, and it offers lessons that the student follows along on his or her own instrument, while the app listens to the playing and provides feedback on whether the right notes are being played at the right tempo. This feedback component is important, and it will help beginners quickly improve their playing. However, the feedback is limited — it won’t tell you anything about the finer points of your playing, such as which notes are emphasized — so I have my doubts about how useful it is for intermediate and advanced students. Still, if you wish to learn one of these four instruments and don’t have access to — or can’t afford — a music teacher, this is a nice option. The free version allows you access to one lesson a day, and you can get unlimited access to lessons with a paid subscription.

Find it here.

 

Pivot

Rather than instructing students on how to play a musical instrument, this site is focused on teaching students how to practice better, using deliberate practice techniques. Founded by Paul Janson and Lance LaDuke, two musicians and “music practice coaches,” this site is intended mainly for use by students studying music without a regular teacher providing direction and feedback. The idea is that you will improve much more quickly if you practice well and that practicing well is a skill that can be taught, just like anything else.

There is a much more detailed description of what Janson and LaDuke are doing in a blog entry, Learning How to Learn. Read it first, then check out the Pivot site here.

 

How To Produce Professional Music Within 12 Months (Instead of 4+ Years…)

Music producer John Lavido describes how he developed his skills at electronic music production. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the same path — getting better at producing electronic music, or any sort of music, I suppose — but this is such an excellent description of deliberate practice in general that it is worth checking out even if you’re not interested in producing.

Definitely worth a look. Find it here.