Carrie Underwood Shows Growth in the Songs of “Play On”

For a few years now, Carrie Underwood has been an established star in the world of country music. But, with her newest release “Play On,” Underwood seems to be further expanding her horizons as an essential artist.

“Play On” is an interesting blend of subtle and soft classic country songs with edgier tracks and some social commentary mixed in. The quality of the tracks seems to start off slow. For the first few tracks, I was not hearing anything overly impressive. However, with each passing song, the musical value of the album seemed to grow exponentially.

Throughout the album, Underwood interweaves works featuring her full range of vocal talent (i.e. “Mama’s Song” and “Temporary Home”) with songs that focus more on showcasing her fun and exuberant side (i.e. “Quitter” and “Songs Like This”).

Probably among the best songs on “Play On” are the tracks “Undo It,” “Unapologize,” Temporary Home” and “Change.” The least impressive are probably “Cowboy Casanova,” “Quitter,” and What Can I Say.”

All in all though, “Play On” is a good listen and should surely keep Miss Underwood moving along the path of stardom.

Here’s how I rate each of the tracks on a 1-5 scale:

1. Cowboy Casanova – 2.5-5
2. Quitter – 3-5
3. Mama’s Song – 3.5-5
4. Change – 4.5-5
5. Undo It – 4.5-5
6. Someday When I Stop Loving You – 3.5-5
7. Songs Like This – 3.5 – 5
8. Temporary Home – 4-5
9. This Time – 3.5-5
10. Look at Me – 3.5-5
11. Unapologize – 4-5
12. What Can I Say – 3.5-5
13. Play On – 4-5

Overall rating – 4-5 and recommended to any die hard or casual country music fan.

Learn To Play Guitar – Learn To Play Your Guitar Music In Time

To be on the right place at the right time is quite nice. It is called timing. In your guitar playing you will find that timing is crucial. This means to play your notes at the right time so that the result will be music.

To learn to play guitar notes at the right time is not the same thing as playing mathematically perfect. You cannot learn to play music by only using a metronome for example.

You have to listen to music and play together with other people and learn to react rytmically upon other peoples playing.

Anyway, in music there are usually a pulse that you can feel more or less and your ability to feel the pulse in the music will help you contribute with your musical and rytmic playing to the end result.

How can you learn to feel the pulse in the music? I will give you seven suggestions that might help you develop your timing when you play guitar and increase your ability to feel the pulse:

1. Dance to the music. If you can learn to feel the pulse with your whole body it will help you play musically. In this case it doesn’t matter how your dancing is performed.

Listen to music on your stereo and move to the music. The important thing is to develop the feeling that you are floating or surfing with the music without any effort on your part.

2. Learn to play drums. I think it would be a good thing if all musicians as part of their musical development on their particular instrument learned to play drums.

The ability to create rhythms and patterns when playing drums will help you a lot when you try to learn to play guitar in time and in a musical way.

Actually you don’t need drums, you might as well play rhythms on your laps with your hands. Try to play eights for example on your laps by alternating between your right and left hands and by accentuating different eight notes as you play.

What you can play with your hands on your laps or on a table or something else requires another article I guess.

3. Buy a metronome. A metronome will give you a 100% even pulse and can help you play in different tempos. It will help you play in slow tempos and help you keep a steady tempo.

How to use a metronome to your andvantage you can learn in other learn to play guitar articles.

4. Practice strumming patterns on your guitar. The act of strumming chords on the guitar resembles drum playing and will increase your overall ability to use a pick.

For example, playing eights with up and down strokes on a barré chord and playing around with the rhythm by releasing the left hand pressure on some notes thereby damping them and also accentuating some notes with the up or downstrokes with your pick can create interesting rhythmic patterns.

5. Play with other people. As I said before the art of timing when you learn to play guitar doesn’t mean the same thing as playing mathematically perfect even if it is sometimes necessary to do that in some music.

When I produce my own music on my preferred recording software I have realized that the bass part for example can be edited to play on exact beats.

When I have quantisized the bass part 100% it usually means that the whole production loses tension so to speak. I can see that I many times play a little ahead of the beat and other times a little laid back and this is done intentionally to create energy in the music.

When you learn to play guitar it is very important to learn to feel the pulse in the music. I hope my tips can help you be on time!

Play Violin by Ear to Play Violin Better

Play violin by ear and keep yourself sharp and young. Yes it is true! This will not only keep you mentally happy but also hone your violin playing skills in a greater way. People of all ages must start learning music by ear. The more you will make your ear ready to listen to the fine tunes, the more you will be away from the boredom of practice. Music becomes fun and full of pleasure. The skill that you can acquire through this technique will not only make your violin learning progress better but also help in learning other musical instruments easily.

If you have aimed to become a concert violinist, it is always advisable to play violin by ear. Train your ear to identify notes on the violin so that you can be able to repeat what you hear in the time when you play. You have to start with open strings to learn the notes. Prepare your ear with all G, D, A and E strings and play each of them individually. Familiarity with the sound of the notes of your violin is the key step to your success and you need to practice hard for that.

To earn to play violin by ear, you need to play musical scales written in musical keys. You can choose any piece of music you like and then decide the key it’s written in. Make up your own violin lines and stay within the key of the song. Not will that will help your improvisational skills in a great way but also train you well to play violin by ear.

Organ Playing: How to Prepare a Piece for Public Performance

If you have an organ composition that you love and would like to be ready for public performance such as a church service, an organ recital or just informal gathering of friends and family, you have to know how to practice it efficiently and effectively. If you’re interested to know my recommendations, please read on to find out.

Before practicing your organ piece you have to decide whether you will be playing it from music score or from memory at that public performance. Some people like challenges, like playing from memory in public. Some people are afraid of playing in public from memory and get a high degree of performance anxiety. They are afraid of losing their memory in technically challenging places.

So you have to decide for yourself whether you will be playing a piece from memory or from the score. Keeping that in mind, I still recommend you memorize it. It doesn’t mean you have to perform it from memory in public but the memorization process will be for your own benefit and fluency of this piece.

So how do you memorize an organ piece? Although there are at least several music memorization systems, I like the following one.

Subdivide your piece into fragments of four measures and memorize each individual measure in that fragment. This usually takes about 15 minutes of practice. The way you do this is as follows.

Play measure one five times from the score and five times without the score. Do the same for measures two, three, and four. After that memorize two measures at a time: one and two, two and three, and three and four.

The next step would be to practice three measures at a time: one, two, three and two, three, four. Finally, you can memorize all four measures the same way. Again, play five times from the score and five times without looking at the score.

Can you see where I’m going with this method?

The next step would be to memorize the next fragment. Do this for each individual fragment of your piece. After you reach the end of the piece, you have to go back and memorize two fragments in the row.

That will be eight measures. Later you will be playing four fragments combined and so on. With every step you will make your fragments longer and longer. Remember that at the beginning of each practice session you have to repeat previously mastered material before learning something new.

Try to apply these tips for memorization in your practice and you will be ready for public performance of your organ piece.