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Forget "brain games" - grab a guitar!

I just came across a fascinating article and I thought the main thrust of it was relevant here, so I'll summarize and share. The "brain-training" industry is an enormous and fast growing financial powerhouse. In October of 2014 a group of doctors warned of exaggerated and false claims of the effects of popular brain games on consumers. Earlier this year, Lumosity, one of the biggest players in the space, was fined 2 million dollars and ordered to give thousands of customers refunds.

The article goes on to show what the spooky looking music/brain graphic below does: Learning an instrument is an outstanding way to stay sharp. Many doctors are quoted in the article, and they are far more eloquent than I am, but here's the take away: if you're an adult and thinking you may be a little more forgetful than you used to be, or your losing a little of the ol' brain power you used to have, don't waste valuable time and money playing games on your phone. 

Grab a guitar and start making beautiful music. 


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10 Ways To Get Out Of A Creative Rut

If you've been playing and studying music for any length of time, there will be those inevitable periods when you find yourself in a creative rut. The challenge is knowing how to work your way out and get back to the business of making your art. These tips can help.

Bring in new collaborators

Find a friend or neighbor to practice or jam with. Make a new friend at school who plays. See if the studio you study at has a band program and join, today! Play music with other people!

Join another project 

And then find another situation to make music in with even different people. Sing in the school choir or at your church.

Ease up on the pressure

Dr. Noa Kageyama, a performance psychologist on faculty at Juilliard School of Music says that a good way to break free from a troublesome rut is to “give ourselves permission to be bad on purpose and how the journey can actually lead us to discover something cool.”

Try a new instrument

If you find that your hands keep reaching for the same tired chords on the guitar time and time again, see what happens when you replace the guitar with a ukulele or mandolin. Similarly, if the piano isn’t speaking to you, find some time on a Hammond B-3 or Wurlitzer electric piano to see if something new sings out.

Try different classes of instruments, too — if you’re a drummer stuck in a creative rut, see what happens when you pick up a penny flute, or if you’re a singer, try your hand at the funkiest new synth you can find. Getting handy at a new instrument can open doors for you creatively!

Try a new hobby

“If you’re a guitarist, try taking a photography, painting, or paper-making class,” says Kageyama. “Learn something new like chess or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, even if it may not ever directly overlap with your music-making.”

The reasoning, Kageyama says, is that learning new skills stretches us to naturally find inspiration. “The goal is for musicians to evolve and not just get to a certain point and stay there,” he says. “If you cross-train and put yourself in situations where you’re a beginner again, it forces you to grow and evolve.”

Try drawing from a new genre

When you feel stuck in a place listen to a style of music you aren't familiar with yet. There is no such thing as "old" music - Bach and Beethoven are still pretty great, and always will be. Listen to some jazz, the blues, world music, Brazilian pop, whatever because one advantage we all have now is that just about every thing ever recorded is online to listen to for the low, low price of free. 

Try a new identity

Some of the most iconic artists of the last century have regularly reinvented themselves. Don’t hesitate to follow their example and see where it takes you. At worst, you have an interesting experiment that’s led you to try new things, and you can drop it at any time. At best, you have a vibrant new creative direction that can push you forward in amazing ways.

Take a break

It may seem counter-intuitive, but putting down your instrument for a few days can ultimately be a good thing. When you pick things back up, you may well have new perspectives and ideas — and if you’re feeling burned out, a rest period from your music may be just what you need to come back ready to create.

Take a trip

New places, people, and experiences can change the way you see everything, including your music and music career. If you’re feeling stuck and have the flexibility to take that road trip, family visit, or backpacking adventure you’ve been longing for, give it a try. When you return to your music, you’ll have fresh inspiration to help you kick things into gear.

Be patient

Even the most brilliant and accomplished artists hit slow periods when it comes to creativity. Keep calm and keep making music. Your next sonic experiment could be the one to rocket you forward in ways you never could have expected.




SMD Gives To The Community

On Sunday September 18th we performed at a benefit for a local recovery program called Help Not Handcuffs NJ Celebrates Recovery in Middletown. It was wonderful to be asked to donate our time and talent to a really worthy cause and a chance to have some fun performing our original music. There were interesting speakers, artists, Colton and I played a long set and Ross, one of our music and drama instructors did a terrific set of Magic! A great time was had by all and awareness and funds were raised. If you are involved in a cause or charity and could use our talents at an event please ask. 


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Fine Tuning - Music Lessons help hearing!

I found a short and interesting article on the connections between music lessons and auditory processing and thought I'd share -

"Your child doesn't have to be the next Louis Armstrong to benefit from music lessons. Even a brief period of playing an instrument could help him hear better when he grows up, researchers at Northwestern University say. In their study, adults who received music instruction in childhood - some for even just one or two years - were better than people with no musical training at picking up on the fundamental frequency of sound waves, an aspect of hearing well in noisy environments. Early music-making might shape certain structures in the brain stem, where auditory signals are processed."

How about that fun factfree hd 3d music playing guitar computer wallpapers download?





I recorded a song and Recording Magazine noticed!

And gave my song "Love Gave Me The Wound" a stellar 5 out of 5 star review. 

"Love Gave Me The Wound" is a soulful old-school R&B type number about heartbreak and the healing powers of love, and was a real treat to record, as I had Jenna DiMartini, who went on to a part in "All My Children" among other interesting TV and film work, and Milton Jenkins on lead vocals and Mike Stallmeyer on background vocals. They gave it all their all and did a fantastic job. If I remember correctly my friend Vinnie Favale was there that night as well and he "executive produced". 

At the bottom of this post is the link to the review, and you can hear the song there as well. I hope you enjoy it. Many thanks to Recording Magazine and the great Marty Peters for his kind and thoughtful words!

Studio Little Silver is open. If you write music and need an engineer, arranger, composer and guitarist/pianist/bassist to help bring your masterpiece to life please contact us at 732-219-1850 for a free consultation and to see how we can help you today!


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