May 9, 2023
Make Music Partner of the Week: Sweetwater
We’d like to take a moment to thank Sweetwater Sound for its longstanding Make Music Day sponsorship!
Since 2016, Sweetwater has spread the word about Make Music Day to thousands of customers, and even organized Make Music Fort Wayne for several years, bringing bands and musical discovery to their Indiana hometown on June 21.
These days, Sweetwater’s dance card in June is filled with GearFest, taking place online June 23-24 with exclusive product launches, artist interviews and performances, unbeatable deals, and above all, gear.
But Sweetwater continues to join its customers in celebrating Make Music Day, and stands by to ship any last-minute gear that may be needed for June 21.
May 9, 2023
Create your own Make Music poster!
As you finalize your Make Music Day plans next month, take advantage of new tools to help get the word out!
You may have noticed our refreshed logos, but we also have an updated, easy-to-use poster generator where you can create images for your newsfeeds and stories, and let everyone know your June 21 plans. (Click the link and scroll down the page.)
Then share your posters on social media using the hashtag #MakeMusicDay, and don’t forget to tag @makemusicday so we can repost!
May 9, 2023
Join Make Music Day’s 4th annual global song swap, #MySongIsYourSong!
As part of Make Music Day, the celebration of music taking place in more than 1,000 international cities on June 21, songwriters and composers of all kinds are invited to record a song by another artist, from another part of the world, and hear one of your original songs covered by them in return!
This year two lucky artists who participate in #MySongIsYourSong will be selected at random to win valuable prizes from our partners: two concert ukuleles from Flight, two Scarlett 4i4 audio interfaces from Focusrite, and two Launchkey 37s from Novation.
Register by May 22nd Deadline extended to May 29th! Sign up at makemusicday.org/songswap. Partners will be carefully selected and introduced the first week of June, then will share their video performances on June 21.
May 4, 2023
Countdown to MMD 2023: Scale Challenge Week 6
We are halfway there, this is the 6th of 12 keys. You may have noticed by now how we are working through the keys, and I hope it is interesting and increasing your ability to think outside of the standard cyclic progressions that are the default for things like scale practice. Mental flexibility is just as important as physical technique in music!
As before, let’s work through this scale slowly and mindfully, paying attention to any details that come to your attention. Intersperse all of the previous scales in between repetitions of this one, and try something new this week: pick one scale, and play it in thirds. If you number each degree of the scale, this will look like so: 1-3, 2-4, 3-5, 4-6, 5-7, 6-8. Then reverse this, to descend the scale in thirds. Listen closely, and observe the changes this brings about it how you hear and play the scale.
Have fun! You’re doing great work. See you next week for the next key, and remember to tag us if you’re joining in this challenge, #makemusicpractice
April 27, 2023
Countdown to MMD 2023: Scale Challenge Week 5
Welcome back to the MMD 2023 scale practice challenge, where we are practicing one major scale per week for 12 weeks leading up to Make Music Day 2023. Next week we will be halfway through, so stick with it, this work will pay off in so many ways.
This week, we are playing B major; as with the previous weeks, we will continue to work thoughtfully, play slowly and with good tone, noticing how we are playing, listening to how it sounds. Once again, we will play each of the previous scales at least once per day, perfectly; let’s change things up a little this week, and play all the scales we have worked on so far in reverse; starting from the top, descend through each scale, and then ascend to finish. Notice how this changes your thoughts, how it affects your technique, and pay attention to all of this. Play more slowly if you need to, remembering that accuracy and clarity are more important than speed.
Thanks for sticking with this practice, and I hope everyone is already feeling the benefits! See you next week for the next key, and remember to tag us if you’re joining in this challenge, #makemusicpractice
April 20, 2023
Countdown to MMD 2023: Scale Challenge Week 4
Welcome back to the MMD 2023 scale practice challenge, where we are practicing one major scale per week for 12 weeks leading up to Make Music Day 2023. We are getting there, this week we are one third of the way through all 12 major scales! I hope everyone who is following along is enjoying this work, and already feeling the benefit of this focused, disciplined work.
This week, we are playing Db major; all of the guidance from the previous weeks applies, so we will work thoughtfully, play slowly and with good tone, noticing in detail the places where we need to work on our tone, or where we need to go more slowly to keep pace with our thoughts. Once again, we will play each of the previous scales at least once per day, perfectly; if we make a misstep in a scale, we start again, until we have played it right—the tempo doesn’t matter here. To make it interesting, start to intersperse the other scales between this week’s Db scale. You might first play the scale of Db, then play G, Db again, then F, Db again, then Eb, and finish with Db. By doing this you are also working on technical and mental flexibility, which will certainly be very beneficial to your overall command of your instrument.
Thanks for doing this work with us! See you next week for the next key, and remember to tag us if you’re joining in this challenge, #makemusicpractice
April 12, 2023
Countdown to MMD 2023: Scale challenge Week 3
Hello to everyone who is following along, and making this practice and part of the preparation for Make Music Day! Today’s post brings us one quarter of the way to our goal of playing scales in all 12 keys, which is already an achievement. Keep up the good work, and know that the benefits of this practice will permeate every aspect of your musicianship.
Today’s scale is Eb major; as with the previous ones we already did, take this one really slow, don’t try to play faster than you can think, and make sure that each and every note is played with intention, with good tone, and clean articulation. Play the previous scales we worked on, G and F, at least once per day, while adding this one in. If you make any mistakes while playing it, don’t just blow through the mistake and continue; rather, stop, analyze what went wrong, visualize yourself playing the scale perfectly, take a deep breath, and try again.
I hope everyone enjoys this practice, and thanks for joining me. See you next week for the next key! And remember to tag us if you’re joining in this challenge, #makemusicpractice
April 5, 2023
Countdown to MMD 2023: Scale challenge Week 2
I hope everyone really took the time to play the G major scale every day for the past week, and if so, you should by now have a whole different level of familiarity and comfort with this scale. Moving on, this week we will continue to play the G major scale at least once per day, correctly (if you make a mistake, stop and try again, playing slower if necessary). And, we are adding a new scale, which is F major.
Keep your focus on what you are playing while you are playing it; don’t rush through a scale while thinking about what you will do next, rather concentrate on really getting it right, on clean transitions from each note to the next, and on playing with a good tone all the way through, ascending and descending. Think each note before you play it, this way you will avoid missteps. This is really good, diligent work we are doing; know that if you stick with this challenge, you will have made a major step forward with your technique and with your practice chops by the time Make Music Day comes around!
See you next week for the next key! And remember to tag us if you’re joining in this challenge, #makemusicpractice
April 4, 2023
NAMM’s Million More Music Makers
If you teach guitar, ukulele, or bass – or want to start – there are over 50 hands-on workshops, sessions, and events to help you become an inspiring and effective teacher, along with the hundreds of concerts, exhibitions, and special events the NAMM Show is famous for.
If you are going to this year’s NAMM show, stop by the Make Music Day booth (#6417) and say hello!
April 4, 2023
Stridulations for the Good Luck Feast
Showing just how participatory Make Music Day can be, we are excited to feature Stridulations for the Good Luck Feast by composer and percussionist Billy Martin (Medeski Martin & Wood), as a new national project for 2023.
Stridulations is a set of interlocking rhythmic pieces that anyone can join, whether or not they read music. Following an ingenious system of Xs and dots, participants play rhythmic cycles on any instrument or voice, locking together like a Samba band, or stretching out to sound like crickets calling to each other across a field.
Do you have a good sense of rhythm, and want to bring Stridulations to your town? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up and receive instructions, an excerpt of the score, and the link to a Zoom with Billy in late May to learn the piece and how to lead it.