Once you’ve mastered playing violas, you’ll definitely be curious about playing popular music, especially if you’re keen to play at gigs or events. Who wouldn’t want to know how to play popular music especially if it’ll get you the audience and market?

However, since you’ve started playing with classical music, there are some reminders you should always have in mind when you’re venturing into becoming an expert in playing popular music. Listed below are some tips that you might want to try.

TIP #1: USE YOUR IMAGINATION

Before getting it on the composition you’d like to play, try to look at the sheet and imagine how each note would sound when you’re playing it. And when you actually try to play the notes, observe if it was the same sound as the way you’ve imagined it to be.

The thing about reviewing notes is that sometimes your hands will surprisingly guide you on how to effortlessly lay a composition – a magic as one might say. Thus, it’s always important to assess, review, and imagine how a composition should be played. Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s valid to have it played right away, you have to find a heart in playing the composition with utmost eagerness.

TIP #2: ALWAYS PRACTICE THE SCALES

Intensive practicing of scales can help you in improving your tonality, intonation and even your bowing technique. You may even want to buy a scale book and utilize this as a playground to practice various techniques and slowly become an expert around it.

TIP #3: UNDERSTAND THE COMPOSITION OF THE MUSIC

By analyzing the composition, you’ll have an idea on how to transition from one note to another flawlessly. Don’t just play the first notes you see, imagine how your fingers will play around the composition until you memorize it by heart.

Aside from that, be wary of how each verse or notes sound to help yourself notice the parts where you should work on more. It’s best to record your practices to take note on what parts of the composition you are having trouble with.

TIP #4: ANALYZE HOW YOU POSITION YOUR FINGERS

Sometimes viola players have various ways of positioning their fingers. However, it doesn’t mean that one should follow what one does. The technique in finding your finger position is looking for which arrangements gives you the right intonation.

Some might say that putting your fourth finger always round or flat is the proper way to play a viola, but you can actually play on both techniques as long as you are hitting the tune perfectly. So be comfortable in experimenting after you’ve memorized the rules in playing music on viola.

TIP #5: SEEK AN ADVICE FROM EXPERTS

Of course, the best way to learn playing popular music on viola is to seek advice and even tutorials from experts who’ve been playing the genre for quite some time. You may ask a friend, instructor, or even musicians you’ve been acquainted with on the best practices.

But nonetheless, the one tip that you should always remember is to always have the patience and determination to get a composition done. It might get frustrating for the first few days, but learning more will open opportunities and skills you might never know you had in you.

Beck

Some people proclaim that rock and roll is dead but if there’s anything that puts that statement to bed it’s The Night Running Tour, the collabrative tour between Beck, Cage The Elephant, and Spoon. On August 17th their tour came to New York for a performance in Queens at Forest Hills Stadium, with additional support from New York’s very own Sunflower Bean.

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On the 1st of June last year, Natalie Prass celebrated her ATO Records debut, The Future And The Past, with a show at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade. Since then, she’s been consistently touring in support of the album by opening for the likes of Kacey Musgraves as well as headlining at venues such as the Bowery Ballroom. Appropriately, the touring cycle for The Future and the Past concluded in the same borough where it started, Brooklyn.

On the 9th of August, Natalie Prass played outdoors at the Industry City courtyard surrounded by adoring fans on a beautiful summer evening. The mood was festive with plenty of audience members excitedly dancing and singing along. Prass, alongside her keyboardist, closed out the evening on a more subdued note, performing the album closer “It Is You” from her self-titled first album.

For a photo gallery of Natalie Prass and opening act Adeline as well as the Natalie Prass setlist, continue below.


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Molly Burch

Austin-based singer-songwriter Molly Burch has released two excellent albums on Captured Tracks: 2017’s Please Be Mine and 2018’s First Flower. We last caught her a few days after First Flower’s release at Rough Trade. She made her return to the Brooklyn venue for a headlining show on August 7th, with support from RF Shannon.

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High Waisted’s annual High Waisted At Sea booze cruise shows were always a highly anticipated part of recent summers, which made it a bummer that they didn’t throw one last year. We were excited when they announced that they would be throwing the fifth edition this year but it was bittersweat, as it would be the final one. But all good things must come to an end and the band delivered another wild experience that was a good finale banger aboard the party boat. Free booze, wild performances and shakey waters provided more than enough entertainment for all on the boat.

Brooklyn bands Thick and Grits. kicked things off and of course the night ended with High Waisted. Find our shots from all three performnces posted in the gallery below.

Thick:

Grits:

High Waisted :

(Sandy) Alex G will return with his highly anticipated new album House of Sugar next month via Domino Records. He’ll perform his largest headlining show in NYC later this year at Brooklyn Steel as a part of his tour in support of the album but he stopped into Brooklyn this past Thursday night for a last-minute free show at The Sultan Room. The show was hosted by The Fader, who celebrated the release of their Summer Music Issue and was free to those lucky enough to sign up for an online RSVP registration a few days ahead.

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Photos by Taryn Alper

On August 14 The Baffler put on their first-ever Bad Society Cruise which set sail on the East River and treated fans to performances from both Girlpool and Masters of Fright.

Our photographer Taryn Alper was there to capture photos from both performances, all of which can be found in the photo gallery below.

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Column – “I”

By Will Oliver, August 19th 2019 Indie Listen Stream

Photo by Marie Renaud

Column is the new supergroup of sorts that features Caiden James of Twin Peaks essentially joining forces with all of Post Animal to form a brand new band together. Things came together after Twin Peaks and Post Animal toured together back in 2017 and soon the seeds were planted for a new project. The band just released their brand new 7″ via Grand Jury Music that features two singles, simply named “I” & “II.”

Fans of both bands may be expecting something different than the rather chill and melancholy sound that emerges from “I,” which has a loose lo-fi quality to it that feels like a hot summer day nursing a hangover in your bed. But this super chill and laid back element is what caught my attention and seems like a mature sound for both James and Post Animal.

Enjoy a listen to “I” below and find the 7″ available to stream in full and purchase here.

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