Archive | March 2012

The Dark Side of Oz [Video]

screenshot from Dark Side of Oz

If you are not familiar with the developments over the years, Pink Floyd’s famous album and The Wizard of Oz, arguably, are in sync. For years, musicians, college kids and music lovers of all ages have tried syncing the album and movie, but not with 100% success. Enter Brooklyn audio engineer Bryan Pugh, who geeks out about all things music/audio and made what appears to be this perfectly synced version, called “Dark Side of Oz.”

Sit back, relax and enjoy!

-LAMA Staff

Yelp and Music School Reviews

We really like Yelp, but don't think it should be used for helping you choose your college education! is a fine place to discover great food or where to shop or hangout. And if you’re like us, you check your Yelp app before heading out to avoid poor establishments, roaches and bad service. But what about bypassing college counselors, books at the library, visiting college campuses and open houses, and turning to the noted academics at Yelp for help decide on a college </sarc>?

Yes, that Yelp. The one where you complain about a new pizzeria or after you get that bad haircut at Supercuts. But we’ve been noticing a growing problem, as more and more reviews pop up for some fellow music schools around the country. There’s a lot of misinformation and misguided reviewers — let’s take some examples from real life Yelpers:

1)”The financial department is disorganized. The school’s bank still owes me money for a mistake they made 2 years ago. Doesn’t look like I’ll be getting that $ any time soon.”

Frankly, if that is true, any attorney would be happy to help you out with that one. This doesn’t really speak about the quality of the music education however, just a completely separate legal issue. It can be handled by your attorney or your credit card company. Instead of commenting on Yelp get a lawyer or
“get loud” and persistent. Talk to your financial department openly and ask for a supervisor if you have problems resolving your account.

2)”Stay away from the wrong people. And if you are normal- stay away from the streets at night.”

Hmmm. If you don’t want to be with a bad crowd or study in the “city,” choose a music school away from all of that. A school like LAMA for example is located in beautiful old-town Pasadena where you can walk down the street any time and stay safe! All one would have to do is tour the school to know that a certain location may not be right for you. This particular Yelper probably didn’t read our “Why Location Matters With Music School” blog post ūüôā

3) “My ex spent $30,000 going here to master his drumming techniques. ¬†He graduated, and now he delivers pizza and lives in a garage.”

Resentful much? While slightly humorous, this review is silly. First of all, why is the person who DIDN’T go to the music school reviewing it on Yelp? We can’t help but wonder if this is a case of someone being scorned and taking it out on Yelp like some in that community are known to do. Secondly – if this is true about him delivering pizza and living in a garage he definitely didn’t go to a school where they have a whole section on their website dedicated to careers as well as a career guidance portion, not to mention staff members whose sole job is to guide you to a successful career. Research your schools before you choose to attend them, musicians!

4)”I was actually thinking about going to school here for also drumming but the $$$ thing scares me a bit and all my musician friends in the industry keep saying its not worth the money…..I think I might take their advice and just continue to get private lessons and practice practice practice!”

Let’s think about that for a moment — take private music lessons and you’ll know how quickly those costs add up. Private lessons don’t allow much networking with fellow students or exemplary, seasoned faculty. Do you get clinics and performances by superstars in music during those lessons? What about getting a degree from your private instructor? Doesn’t seem like a solid approach. We’d like to see lessons –> College –> play/teach professionally. These people are not reading this blog. Otherwise they would see our post on how much more musicians with degrees make than those without!

There you have it musicians! This is about all of the fact checking we could handle for one day. The moral of the story — do the research and be smart about it! Call every school you are thinking of going to and ask them to send materials in the mail, go visit the schools, do the hard work. Good luck!

-LAMA Staff

World Premiere – New Mozart

Mozart’s new “single” is here, lol.¬† Seriously, this is pretty darn cool…from the LA Times:

Experts in Austria say they have identified a piano composition that they believe was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when the composer was as young as¬†10 years old…wrote the piece around 1767.

The newly discovered piece can be viewed at the link below; Allegro Molto in C Major as performed by pianist Florian Birsak. Drop it like it’s hot, Mozart

-LAMA Staff

Marshall Fridge is Here!

Marshall Fridge w/ random model via Facebook

The only question we have is, how did it take this long to come out with a Marshall cabinet fridge??

Some of the features probably won’t matter to those who already know they want this Marshall fridge:

  • Jim Marshall signature authentic Marshall logos and facing
  • Control knobs that go up to 11
  • 4.4 cu ft of space
  • “high-efficiency” freezer

It’ll only cost you a cool… $299…¬† they won’t be shipping until October 1, 2012. But you can reserve a spot in line to get yours here:¬†

-LAMA Staff

#Music Lesson: Practice Tips for #Bassists

LA Music Academy’s Doug Ross graduated with honors from MI in 1988 and the University of Maryland in 1992. For over twenty years, he has performed, recorded and taught bass all over the world, including four years as head of the bass department at Fukuoka School of Music in Japan. A few of the artists that Doug has recorded or performed with include Brett Garsed, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Otmaro Ruiz, Fantasia Musical Circus, Katia Moraes and Sambaguru, Gregg Bissonette, and jazz pianist Ron Kobayashi. Information on Doug’s activities and recent solo album can be found on his website at

Doug features quite a few bass lessons on his website here –¬† – and he’s allowed us to “borrow” one for the Get to the Music blog! In this condensed version of his lesson, Doug offers tips for practicing your bass. Not all as obvious as you’d think!

Practice Tips For Bassists

by Doug Ross

If you’ve already been playing for a while, you have probably come to the realization that bass ain’t as easy as it’s cracked up to be.¬† Playing any instrument well requires a long-term commitment to disciplined practice.¬† I have personally experienced the frustration and wasted effort of bad practice habits, and I’ve also seen many students struggle to keep on track.¬† With the hope of helping you to avoid some potential pitfalls, here are my suggestions for maintaining a healthy practice routine:

1.     Every Day is the Only Way

Practice 5-6 days a week. Regularity of your practice routine will get you where you want to go.  Practicing 10 hours a day only on the weekends will never yield results like practicing one hour a day all through the week.

2.     What Do I Suck At?

This is the first thing I ask myself every time I sit down to practice — the guiding principle for setting my practice priorities.¬† After working on one skill for a while (like reading music for example), it gets better and becomes a relative strength.

3.     Practicing vs. Goofing Around

Let’s define “practice” as solitary, focused work on musical skills you haven’t yet mastered.¬† That excludes a lot of other valid musical activities: performing, jamming with others, listening to music, playing familiar tunes and licks, rehearsing with a band, and just goofing around with your bass for fun.

4.     Budget Your Time

If you can only consistently do one hour a day or even 30 minutes a day, then plan on that and divide up your hour into small chunks of time for each item on your “suck list”.¬† Even 5 or 10 minutes per subject per day can yield some progress.

5.     Break Before Burnout

If you are practicing for longer stretches of time, it’s important not to run yourself into the ground on any one topic.¬† Remember, we’re working on new, difficult stuff here, so frustration is a real danger.¬† Figure out your own attention span, and make sure that you get in the habit of switching subjects before you start pounding your fists on the music stand or your eyes glaze over.

6.     First No Time, Then Slow Time

Give yourself the luxury of playing out of time at first.¬† Once your fingers are making the right moves, then you’re ready to turn on the metronome at a slow setting and add that timekeeping element into the equation.¬† If you’re consistently making mistakes, that means you’re probably going faster than you’re ready to play, or biting off too big a chunk of music, which leads me to my next point…..

7.     Isolate the Difficult Bits

Don’t waste time going back to the beginning of that Beethoven piece every time, it’s just half notes and you can already play it!¬† It’s that tricky shift in the middle that keeps tripping you up, so what you need to do is isolate those few bars and work them out.¬† Repeat them a bunch of times, and once that’s solid, make sure you can also nail the transition from the easy part into the hard part.

8.     Practice in All 12 Keys and in All Neck Positions

Yes, it’s kind of a drag.¬† It’s one thing to understand a musical idea conceptually, but it’s something else to truly master it.¬† You don’t really own anything until you can play it in all keys.

-LAMA Staff

More Music in #Music Schools Please

An interesting article from BBC News says that English music schools do not include enough music in their actual music lessons.

In some lessons, teachers do not play or sing a single note, according to a report looking at music education as a whole.

The article goes on to explain that there is too much time spent talking about tasks without instructors actually demoing what was required of the students. That’s rather surprising! But many schools passed the inspections with flying colors. Read the rest of the article here:

At LAMA, there’s definitely not a shortage of hands-on playing in class!

-LAMA Staff

3rd Annual #Drummer’s Reality Camp June 27-30!

Guess the drumkit!

Neil Peart, Doane Perry, Gil Sharone, Zigaboo Modeliste, Marco Minneman, Ralph Humphrey, Joe Porcaro, Tony Inzalaco, Gary Ferguson and¬†Uli Frost are confirmed for the third annual Drummer’s Reality Camp, June 27-30, 2012 at Los Angeles Music Academy College of Music (and one day at studios).

For more information, CLICK HERE. The new Facebook page is up: Stay up to date and connect by liking the page today. Didn’t get a chance to attend last year? Check out the new 2012 promo video for some highlights!

Please help us spread the word about this fantastic event!

-LAMA Staff

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