Photo Credit: Information Space.
This semester in FDOM I blogged for the very first time in my life. Blogging is very interesting and useful in the world we live in today. To be able to freely communicate one’s thoughts is an unalienable right and part of our American constitution, so exercising this right over a communication medium that anyone could possibly have access to is an honor and a pleasure. I do believe that blogging is not for everyone, maybe myself included. Yes, blogging is part of my class assignment and am required to do so but I’m not entirely sure if I will continue to blog after the class is over. I would like to think I will continue to blog or manage a website of some sort after this semester but I’m not entirely certain.
I learned a lot through blogging, especially knowing that it’s completely possible for anyone to be able to brand themselves by using this medium. I learned that the world we live in today is becoming extremely connected and social, and as Bob Dylan would say “times they are a changing”. There are many successful tools on WordPress that make it fairly simple to promote oneself. However I feel like I am limited to only create a website based on someone else’s template ideas. It’s great because it is easy to create and navigate, but I would like to acquire the knowledge to make my website more specific to a brand that I would like to start.
I feel that learning how to blog and use WordPress will be very beneficial in my future endeavors as long as I have a great idea to back it up. I really enjoyed the topic I chose because any band or owner of a venue was extremely happy to communicate with me about their thoughts and feelings concerning the music and the music venue. I had the opportunity to speak with people that are following their hobbies and dreams, and they were excited to know that I was writing a story including them. I plan on implementing these tools in the future by continuing to write stories and communicate with people more. It was great being able to leave my comfort zone and speak with people that were excited about a similar topic, and I wouldn’t have changed my direct experience for anything.
Check out this article by Scientific American that emphasizes why blogging is good for you.
Photo Credit: Bgdn_Adrian
If your looking for a new hobby, learning how to play a musical instrument can be a great start. There are so many different variations of instruments that can be learned: Brass, wood, percussion, piano, stringed and these are just to name a few. Learning how to play an instrument is extremely beneficial in multiple categories. Learning how to play an instrument will teach you patience. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, learning how to play an instrument is the exact same concept. It takes repetition, time and a whole lot of patience to be able to learn, but it’s my personal opinion that anyone can learn how to play as long as they put their mind to it.
So where to start? Think about the types of music that you enjoy most. Rock and roll, swing, hip hop, rap, blues, country or soul. These are just a few genres that feature the presence of multiple musical instruments. figure out which style is best for you and research what kinds of instruments are featured in your favorite genre of music. Pick your favorite one. Be aware that with certain instruments you may have a larger difficulty in learning than others, for example, you could learn how to play the kazoo, or the didgeridoo. One instrument may be more difficult to learn how to play than another, but just remember to practice patience and diligence.
There are all kinds of ways to learn how to play the instrument of your choice. Private lessons from an experienced professional are, in my opinion, the best way to go. Professionals that teach are obviously skilled in the musical realm and special in certain instruments. It may cost you a pretty penny, or maybe they might be feeling generous, either way private professional lessons are always a possible option. Personally, I play a few instruments but my favorite is the acoustic guitar. Overall, I taught my self how to play. I had a few friends show me one or two things in the beginning but the majority of my learned experience came from looking up methods via the Word Wide Web. We live in a world of technology and it can even teach us things that we relied on trained professionals for in the past. I once heard a teenager taught himself how to fly a plane using simulators on YouTube, so you never know. The sky is literally the limit.
If you choose to learn how to play acoustic guitar, I recommend using my favorite tablature website to get started. Ultimate-guitar is a great place to learn tablature, which is a form of reading music specific to the stringed instrument community. Also, chord charts are a great way to learn chords.
Photo Credit: DC Music Donload
Open mic nights are a very prevalent concept in San Marcos and its surrounding areas. Open mic nights are a way for the musical community to get on stage, without being booked for a show, and play a few songs of their choice in front of an audience. Open mic nights are a great concept for any developing or experienced musicians. For instance, if your nervous about playing in front of a crowd, one of the best ways to get rid of the nervous feeling is to play in front of a small crowd of friends, and continue to do so until you are comfortable enough to play in front of anyone at any time.
Open mic nights give the musician an opportunity to play the music that they have written, and play renditions of songs that they choose to cover. In my experience, I like to hear people play covers that have the musicians own mojo with it. Covering a song and playing it exactly as the original artists plays it is fine and some even prefer to hear covers in that form only, but I truly enjoy hearing musicians play cover songs that you have to really listen to in order to figure out who the original artist is.
There are so many venues in San Marcos that feature open mic nights! Treff’s Tavern, Tantra Coffee house, Triple Crown and Taxi’s piano bar are just to name a few venues that host open mic nights in San Marcos. Open mic nights are not only a great chance for a musician to exploit their talent, it’s also a great chance for the listener to gain some insight on the music that the performer is portraying. One of my favorite parts of open mic night is that you never know what to expect. The people that I have seen perform range from goof performers that aim to acquire a comical rise out of the crowd, to serious performers thriving to get that one big break to stardom. You never know who might be playing in your local live open mic scene, so go to a venue and check it out!
Check out a little history on open mic nights! History of Open Mic