Jam Studio at St Kilda Primary Fete 2015

Hey Jam Studio,

25th October was a beautiful 30 degree Sunday; perfect for some outdoor fun. Parents and families, fellow students and the general crowd rallied together in hundreds for the day to attend the annual St Kilda Primary Fete. There was a variety of activities and entertainment on offer, which made the event a fun one to attend.

10 years old, Oli Prysten performing ‘What Does The Fox Say’ at St Kilda Primary Fete 2015.
We are extremely pleased to share that some of our amazing students had the pleasure of performing for hundreds of people on the day. Each performance was special and the crowd was into in from start to finish.
Black Allstars
The Black Allstars performing ‘Uptown Funk’ at St Kilda Primary Fete 2015
The Black Allstars comprises of these amazing 9 year olds – Angus (Drums), Luka (Keyboards & Backing Vocals) and featuring Sylvie (Lead Vocals & Guitar).
High Voltage
High Voltage performing ‘Highway To Hell’ at St Kilda Primary Fete 2015
High Voltage is a group of very talented 13 year olds that have spent many hours learning at Jam Studio Music in St Kilda. Band members include Cam (Drums), Ned (Keyboards), Oliver (Bass), Bryn (Guitar), Myles (Lead Vocals).  High Voltage performed a total of 4 songs – “TNT”, “Seven Nation Army”, “Howling For You”, Highway To Hell”.
It was a proud moment for us Jam Studio and all of the teachers that attended had a great time supporting their lovely students.
“We are equally proud of all our students who got up and performed. It was pretty amazing to see our rock stars belt out some big numbers” – Gabe.
Did you watch any of the bands perform? Do share your pics and feedback if you were at the Fete – we would love to hear from you.
Keep making Treble!

Drum Kit Basics

Drum Kit Basics 1.0

So you want to learn drums, welcome to the dark side!

Whether it’s your first instrument or your fiftieth, you will be playing a basic rock beat in no time with these few easy steps!

Before you start, familiarise yourself with the different parts of the drum kit.


The Drum Kit
The Drum Kit


The easiest thing about learning the drums is that you don’t have to worry about any melodic pitch (the highs and lows of notes). However, each drum/cymbal still has a spot on the musical staff.

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All you have to do is read vertically as you move along the bar! If there are two notes directly on top of each other, you play these at the same time.
Give these basic 4/4 bars a go, playing your hi-hat with your right hand, your snare drum with you left hand and bass drum with your right foot.


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Now its time for the big guns, an 8th beat drum groove. It looks a lot scarier but it’s just like the 3rd example above only double the amount!

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And that my friends, is the most common drum beat in any 4/4 time signature music. Chances are you can tap this beat along to your favourite rock or pop song.
Happy drumming!

Getting to know the Piano keys

Got a piano sitting in the corner of your grandma’s living room, or a keyboard in the music room at school that you sit at and wish you could play? Maybe you’ve watched those talent shows or have heard a song on the radio that you think “gosh I wish I could play that!”

Here’s the good news! There’s no reason why you can’t.
It may be daunting looking at the keys. Lots and lots of keys! Don’t worry though, because all you need to work out is 8 of them to start with and then you’re all good for the rest. Ever noticed the patterns on a keyboard that the black keys and the white keys create? There’s 2 black keys closely placed together, and then there’s 3 black keys closely placed together. Use these as your references in working out where your notes are.
Lets begin finding our notes:
The musical alphabet goes from ‘A’ to ‘G’, so it’s easy to remember that one and there’s the white keys for you.

The most common scale used in music is ‘C’ so let’s use the ‘C’ note as your starting point. Anywhere along the keyboard is good as there’s lots of C’s! Using your new knowledge of the patterns I spoke about earlier, C is placed just before the first 2 black keys.

Now, since you know the alphabet, find D (hint: it has to be after C, duh!) and so on.
What fingers do i use?
We need to number the fingers so we know which ones we’re talking about. Let’s just use the right hand today and we can get to the left hand when you come in for a lesson.
The thumb is the 1st finger, index  2nd, middle 3rd, ring 4th and don’t forget that pinky is the 5th! Now you know which note is the ‘C’ note start with the thumb (1st), D is 2nd and E is 3rd. Then comes the tricky part as you then hook your thumb underneath the 3rd finger to play the F note with your 1st (thumb). Easy sailing now as it’s G with the 2nd, A is 3rd, B is 4th and finally the C is 5th. Come back down (C, B, A, G, F, E, D & C) using the same fingers as you went up with. The only trick on the way down when you get to the F is to come over the thumb and play the E with the 3rd.
Use the diagram below to help you visually identify the notes with the finger numbers and their placement within this pattern. Good luck! Once you get these down you’re ready for putting notes together to create melodies for your favourite songs and constructing some chords!
All the best with your first piano lesson getting to know the keys,

Got a guitar now where do I start?

So you’ve picked up the guitar that your aunt had in the corner of the back room or your girlfriend gave one to you for your birthday. Now’s the hard part…learning how to play the thing.

It’s not as hard as you think because there’s thousands of songs that you can play with just the 8 basic open chords such as Knockin’ On Heavens Door, Stand By Me, Riptide, etc… The four chord song done by Axis of Awesome is a great example of how many songs can be played with just one open chord progression.

So having taught hundreds if not thousands of first lessons over the years the 8 basic open chords (see below) is what I get everyone to start with. A few pointers without someone sitting in front of me are:

  • Say the name of the chord then play it. It sounds silly to say something out aloud to yourself but you only need to do it about 10 times for the name to stick together with the shape of the chord.
  • Play one chord eg “E” then play another chord eg “A”. Return to the “E” chord followed by another chord eg “D” & return again to the “E” chord. Go through all of the open  chords (& “F” barre chord) always returning to the “E” chord. This helps with being able to form the “E” chord shape from any other open chord position. Repeat this process but use a different starting chord.
  • Once you’re getting comfortable with the shapes & names try not looking at the fret board whilst changing chords & remembering where the chord is by memory & feel. This is really helpful for getting the chords under your fingers quickly & automatically without having to think of them.

The open chords ring true for all students except the younger kids under the age of 10 as chords tend to be too much of a hurdle to jump first up. Bass lines, fun melody lines like Star Wars, Harry Potter & very simple chords are the way to go for them but that’s another story.

That’s a great start for anyone without having a lesson as it’s always great having a student be able to play a few chords in their first guitar lesson.

The 8 Basic Open Chords & 1 Barre Chord


To print the open chord page download it from here:The 8 Basic Open Chords & 1 Barre Chord

Till next time Jam Studio…get strumming & catch you for a first lesson soon.

Cheers Marty

Get the right Guitar

Before you start learning how to play a guitar, there are a few steps to go through in order to create a good base for your learning experience. The first thing to do is to find the right guitar that suits your needs. Depending on your age and skills, you might need to get your hands on a guitar that feels comfortable and doesn’t hurt your fingers from playing. If the strings hurt after 5 minutes of playing, you may need to switch to a guitar that uses Nylon strings, so you can get used to it because if you can’t even play for more than 10 minutes, it’s probably going to be a much longer process to get to an intermediate level. Next, If you are past that stage of being a beginner, you are probably looking for something more hands on; perhaps an Electric Guitar.

Here’s something to watch out for, especially if you are a beginner. Strings on an electric guitar are much softer than on an average acoustic. Of course, if you are spending thousands of dollars on purchasing a high quality guitar, then it doesn’t matter whether you pick an acoustic or an electric, as the quality of guitars in a high price range will generally be very good. However, if you are a beginner, then you must start with something low end, and this is because once, you have learnt how to play well on a low end guitar, your performance on a good guitar will naturally be very good. It’s like once you have learnt how to ride a Fixie (a bicycle with no gears), you will naturally ride better when you have multiple options on your bike.

If you have gone past the beginner stage and looking to purchase an electric guitar because you have developed a taste for loud distortion music, what’s also important is to choose the right Amplifier to match your guitar. A good quality Guitar Amp will make you sound better. Ever wonder why people are never happy with their guitar tone? It’s because they often don’t pay attention to what fits well with their guitar.

If you need help finding the right Guitar or Amp for yourself, feel free to contact us via http://www.jamstudiomusic.com.au