General Blog

Conductor Markand Thakar on achieving transcendent musical performances Pt. 1 – Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 6

Join us in part one of a special two-part episode in which Dr. Markand Thakar challenges us to transcend the ordinary through music. “Open your ears to all the sounds and bring them forth in a way that moves...

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Rocking Electric Violin Solo (Video and Commentary)

Don’t be fooled by the suits… Featuring Cedric Easton on drums and Greg Byers on bass; Recorded live at the Music For All Summer Symposium    Rock Improvisation – A Commentary For players, students,...

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Jazz Violinist Jason Anick on practice routines, getting the gig, and striving – Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 5

28-year-old rising star jazz violinist/mandolinist, Jason Anick is a regular instructor at the annual Creative Strings summer conference and the Berklee College of Music. His calendar is full of touring and recording dates,...

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Improvised Bach: A Case Study In Classical Improvisation (Video)

Bach is already perfect, but having fun with it is hard to resist (see video below). Although Bach’s Fugue for unaccompanied violin could be treated with a walking bass line, I tried a half time feel bass line to allow...

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The Secret Ingredient of Successful Music Careers

Are you resolved to go “all out” in 2015? Most of us don’t really believe in our resolutions because, let’s face it, we made them before and didn’t follow through.   Every year around this time...

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Happy Holidays! (Video)- Jazz Violin “O Christmas Tree”

In answer to your requests for a holiday video, Jazz Violin “O Christmas Tree” includes a grandpa sweater, pitchy scatting, musical multitasking, and other oddities. Scroll down for more! There’s a...

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Performance Psychology for Musicians w/ Dr. Noa Kageyama- Creative Strings Podcast Ep.4

In this episode with Dr. Noa Kageyama, founder of the Bulletproof Musician: -How understanding Performance Psychology can help performers step up their game -Nerves and anxiety for the performing artists: Factors, causes, and...

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Like Turkey? Try “The Chicken” (Electric Violin Cover Video)

This new electric violin cover of “The Chicken”, popularized by Jaco Pastorius, was recorded live with loops played in real time. Happy Thanksgiving! (I couldn’t resist!)     The bass line and...

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New Video! “Yesterday” by Lennon/McCartney – (Electric Violin/Loop Cover)

  I used a volume pedal to create an organ-like effect while setting up the first loop of “Yesterday” by John Lennon/Paul McCartney. For the second loop in the song, I used an octave-below effect to create a...

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Matt Glaser on Music Education, Improvisation, and Mindfulness/ Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 3

In This Episode with Matt Glaser: - The diversity of creative string players in the newest generation, and how we arrived here - How classical string/music teachers can adapt to a changing musical world “Inevitably the...

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Randall Williams: How an Indie Musician Bootstrapped Tours on Veggie Fuel and why he Let it Go- Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 2

In this episode with Randall Williams: - How Randall built his career starting as a singer songwriter living and traveling in his DIY vegetable-fueled van, to a music merchandise selling machine with several revenue streams. -...

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Billy Contreras: Inspired Insights from a Country Fiddler and Jazz Master – Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 1

Billy and I sat down to speak live at the 2014 Creative Strings Workshop to discuss Billy’s life, music, and more in the first episode of the brand new Creative Strings Podcast. Later we edited this podcast to include...

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Christian Howes 2014 Asian Tour Highlights

Thanks to the hard work of my management team and the support of many partners overseas, the August 2014 tour in Asia was a whirlwind of productive performance and educational activities, building on longstanding relationships...

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Jazz Scales for Violin, Viola, and Cello

Scroll below to read excerpts from “Jazz Scales for Violin, Viola, and Cello” and watch the Part 1 video below to start using my six strategies for practicing scales to gain more from your practice time. To get...

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R.I.P. John Blake Jr., Father of American Jazz Violin

Not only did John Blake Jr. set the artistic standard for American Jazz violinists over the past 40 years. He was a role model for all musicians through his fatherly support of young artists and unwavering positive attitude...

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