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Guitarists: How to Use Open Strings for New, Colorful Chords

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This article originally appeared on Soundfly.


If there’s one thing I’ve heard guitar students say over and over again, it’s that they love guitar and can’t wait to practice every single day of the week until they lose feeling in their fingers. But if there’s a second thing I’ve heard from guitar players, it’s that they feel trapped inside the patterns and shapes that they know and want to try and break free from them to feel more fluid on the neck. So let’s look at some ways to address the issue of fretboard confinement.

These 5 Books About Music Will Probably Change Your Life

Not everything that inspires musicians is musical. As songwriters, we’re always hearing weird noises in public places and wanting to sample them or hearing spoken phrases that seem ready-made for a huge chorus or lovely harmony.

Books about music and the creative process can also inspire and provide humor that can remind us that having a good time is one of music’s highest goals. Here are five books on music that you’ve got to read. Find a half an hour in your day, and take a trip to the library.

5 Sub-Genres of Hip-Hop You Should Know the Difference Between

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As hip-hop continues to evolve as a genre, categorizing sub genres by sound or location is becoming a more and more difficult task. However, it's important to be able to identify different types of hip-hop in order to have a full grasp on how it can impact people in different ways.

Certain subgenres have more appeal than others within the realm of the mainstream, while music from independent artists tends to receive appreciation from all sides of the spectrum. In order to have all over your bases covered, here are the top five hip-hop subgenres you should know if you want to have a full understanding of the genre as a whole.

The 10 Most Iconic Guitars of All Time (That Aren’t the Fender Strat)

If you’ve been to Earth recently, you’re aware that the Fender Stratocaster is the preeminent electric guitar in popular music. Guitar demigods like Gilmour, Hendrix, and Clapton are always seen and pictured playing it. Stratocasters been made cheaply in Japan and Mexico, their iconic shape has been copied endlessly, and in the 1960s, an Asian company even made a line of Strat copies called the Bumper since they'd never heard of Leo Fender (this legend may be apocryphal, as the internet does not seem to remember it).

So with respectful bows to the primacy of the Strat, here are the other 10 most iconic plugin rock 'n' roll machines in history. We’ll start with the Gibsons.

How to Top the iTunes Charts as a Niche Artist: Advice From Jazz Vocalist Tia Brazda

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In the jazz world, we often think of making a living by playing covers in cafes and night clubs while balancing a few teaching gigs. But Toronto-based jazz vocalist Tia Brazda has managed to achieve so much more: both her EP and full-length album landed number-one spots on the iTunes Canada Jazz charts. Now, that might not be Billboard Top 100, but it's still pretty darn impressive. We had a chance to connect with her to learn about how she was able to chart at number one not just once, but twice, and what kind of impact that's had on her music career.