patrick spencer

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Secrets of Samba Piano

Growing up in Brazil, I listened to a lot of Samba, which is Brazil’s most popular style of music. To illustrate how to play Brazilian Samba …

Electric Guitar

Why pay for Office and Photoshop when you can get these alternatives for free?

Top-quality software that costs nothing.<p>We rely on expensive computer programs to edit photos and video, deal with office work, and protect our computers from malware. But they're not our only options. Often, commercial studios will offer the most basic versions of their products free of charge. In …

Software

Writers Often Misuse “Due To,” But Here’s a Simple Trick to Know if It’s Grammatically Correct

The misuse of “due to” is one of the more common grammatical errors, usually made by those attempting to sound formal or professional, such as in the …

Sunshine Superman

Piano

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In Clave or Not? A Comparison of Brazilian and Cuban Piano Techniques

Ask any Brazilian musician, and they will likely tell you that there is no clave in their music. So why is it that the structures and patterns in …

Pop Music

Jazz Progression Workout

This month, we examine the dependable ii-V chord progression within the extended ii-V-iii-VI that you find in a traditional jazz turnaround. The …

Playing in Clave

The pianist ’s guide to authentic cuban grooves

Should You Submit Your Work to Agents or Editors?

Photo credit: aftab. via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NCRegardless of whether you’re writing a novel, nonfiction book, children’s book (or something else …

Writing

Understanding Words from Greek and Latin Roots

If you recognize the parts, you'll understand the whole: learn the Greek and Latin roots, the prefixes and affixes.<p>"<i>As someone trained in foreign</i> …

Reporting the findings: Absolute vs. relative risk

<b>Why you should always use absolute risk numbers:</b><p>“New drug cuts heart attack risk in half.”<p>Sounds like a great drug, huh?<p>Yet it sounds significantly …

Altered Scale - How To Play And Use It In Your Jazz Improvisation

Are you curious how to use the altered scale? Are your dominant chords getting a bit boring? Do you wish you knew some more interesting scales to use …