The following lists are resources that I have found valuable in my exploration of music. If you have some suggestions, or resources that you find to helpful that are not on the list, please email me and I will add it to the list.
- Principles of Violin Playing and Teaching by Ivan Galamian. A book full of great ideas! Lots of information for practicing, musicality, and technique.
- The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey. A book that addresses the issue of why trying harder may actually be hindering ones progress. The bass player Barry Green, with the cooperation of Timothy Gallwey, wrote a book that relates The Inner Game of Tennis to music. It's called The Inner Game of Music.
- The Mastery of Music by Barry Green. A book that explores music through ten different characteristics such as Confidence, Discipline, and Fun.
- The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten. This book is a personal favorite of mine, because it explores the intuitive and unexplainable aspects of music. I believe this should be required reading for any musician.
- Indirect Procedures by Pedro de Alcantara. This book, while being an excellent book for understanding the Alexander Technique, is a must have for anyone learning to use their body more efficiently when playing their instrument. Keep in mind that the Alexander Technique is almost impossible to learn without the help of a teacher. In fact, I believe the only person who has ever learned it without a teacher is F.M. Alexander himself.
- The New Toughness Training for Sports by James Loehr. Wait, isn't this book about sports? Yes and no. This book has some great strategies for practicing the mental side of performing in all fields. A quick read.
- Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better by Doug Lemov, Erica Woolway, and Katie Yezzi. While there are no rules for practicing, this book has 42 ideas to make your practicing more rewarding and efficient. It is up to you to pick and choose which ideas are keepers and which ideas are not.
Blogs & Websites
- The Bulletproof Musician website has an excellent blog full of fantastic ideas. I highly recommend reading through a few of them.
- The Principal Bassoonist of The Metropolitan Opera, William Short, has a fantastic blog with information on intonation, auditions, slow practice, and more.
- Jason Heath of DePaul University has a blog that is filled with articles about gigs, practicing, instruments, in addition to his collection of interviews of master bass players and teachers such as the Principle of the Chicago Symphony, Alex Hanna, and the bass professor at the University of Southern California, David Allen Moore.
- The Peabody Conservatory of music bass department has a blog with a couple of outstanding articles and interviews that deal with important questions.
- Any articles on www.thestrad.com, under the section called Technique, are very useful.
- An amazing article on the use of the Buddhist concept of "flow" in practice sessions. Courtesy of The Strad Magazine.
- Harold Robinson, the current Principle bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and bass teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music, talks about and plays many excerpts of major orchestral works in two videos taken many years ago at Indiana University. Part 1 is an hour and 12 minutes. Part 2 is 51 minutes. This is a priceless resource for anyone working on excerpts for auditions or for their own studies.
- The New World Symphony in Florida has a plethora of videos on their website. This requires one to register, but it is free. This website has lectures and masterclass videos from master teachers Edwin Barker, Timothy Pitts, Peter Lloyd, David Allen Moore, Leigh Mesh, Harold Robinson, and more.
- Francois Rabbath gives a lecture and performance at the McNally Smith College of Music.
- Jazz Legend Ray Brown gives a masterclass on youtube.
- Victor Wooten connects music to a language in this TED talk.
- One of my personal favorites: William Preucil, Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, gives a master class on the Strauss Violin Sonata. This video offers the viewer a glimpse into how a great musician such as Preucil hears and interprets music. A reminder to always ask the questions "what is the character of this music? What is the gesture of this part? Where does the music want to go?"
- Another favorite: Legendary cello teacher Leonard Rose talks about how he believes the cello should be played. This video helped me with thinking about the sound I wanted from my instrument, and the sound I was getting.