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Music & Music Theory

SimpleChord is a quick, handy reference to chords for musicians. It can aid in learning new chords, building progressions, transcribing, and other tasks. It displays the notes in a chord, their positions on the keyboard, and can even play the chord aloud.
SimpleChord has a simple, tidy interface that is easy to use. It makes a great companion to GarageBand or any music application. It's a perfect tool for budding and experienced musicians alike. And it's free!

The address is
Guitar ChordFinder:

A handy tool for guitarists, covering all the important chords in easy to play shapes in open position.
The flashing button means: do not play this string.
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Music Theory, Reading music & Ear Training
One of the very best resources for learning about music and training your ear is Ricci Adams' free on-line music toolkit at For more details, see the GarageDoor | Learn...
Among the handy tools on this site is the online piano keyboard.

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did you know that your ears keep growing?
Your ear will get better all the time. Next year, you will hear things you don't pick up now. In five years, ten years, your musical hearing will be far superior again. All you have to do is open your ears - that's why there's a hole in them....
Describe the sounds
juicy, Lucy
When listening to music, try to pick out what makes certain sounds so excellent compared to the ordinary. Listen really hard to individual instruments and look for words that describe the sound: clean, woolly, brittle, thin, fat, bright, rich... Be as colorful as you like: how about "juicy" , "chocolate" , "beefy" , "shimmering".....
By trying to describe the sound in words, you actually train your ears to hear better and you will become a better musician.


Sound and Style
and stop telling banjo jokes......
Sound and style go hand in hand. When you choose an unusual instrument, it usually brings with it lots of style elements that you may wish to study a little deeper. Sure, it can be fun dropping a banjo in an acid jazz loop, or seeing what a church organ sound will do to a country rock tune. But there are often musical/technical reasons why sitar and bagpipes sound good in the modal music of India and Scotland resp., why drums do not work well in classic tango music, why the cello is not often used in jazz. Listening with a critical ear is the key.
And, having said that, one of the exciting things of making music in the 21st century is that all these sounds and styles are now easily available to anyone on the planet. GarageBand is already beginning to play a part in this increasing global access. The way the instruments and sounds of world music have changed all traditional styles from folk to classical is one of the most important developments in modern music.
In fact, I am off now to try out some bandoneon loops in the harpsichord sonata I am working on.
Want Sax?
now that I have your attention....
However good GarageBand's Software Instruments are, they can never totally replace the real thing. Besides, it is often much faster: a good guitarist will lay down an entire track in the time you take to painstakingly tweak one bar's worth of MIDI parameters like duration, pitch bend, velocity, etc.
You can save a lot of time, and end up with better results, by planning which instruments will be real and which ones software based:
Bass, drums and keyboards work well in MIDI, most other Midi instruments work well in the back ground, but solo guitar and saxophone almost always require a flesh and blood musician to sound convincing. Hey, what are musicians for anyway?

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