Practice Just Got Alot Easier

by MichelleStewart on October 1, 2011

I remember when I first started playing bodhran most of the tracks I wanted to play along with were so fast. I thought I’d struck gold when I found a cassette player that slowed down and sped the tape up, but the downside was that the pitch either dropped dramatically or made every group sound like the chipmunks gone Trad.

I just uploaded this free video to show you exactly how to use one of my favourite tools, the Amazing Slow Downer, to slow down your most loved music tracks to practice along to.

Some Free Solutions

I’ve been a fan of the Amazing Slow Downer for several years now because it’s so easy to use and as a music teacher it’s worth the $50 investment or $15 for the app. However, I realize not everyone is going to use it as much as me so here’s a free option I learned from my buddy, Steafan Hannigan. He shared this great tip with me recently on facebook as to how you can also slow tunes down with QuickTime. I couldn’t believe I had it on my computer all this time and didn’t even know it was there or play around with it. Most of you probably have it on your computers too.

So, here’s your Step By Step Instructions as to how use this free QuickTime Player to slow down or speed up music to play along with:

1. Go to QuickTime Player (if you can’t find it on your desktop just type it into ‘Search Programs and Files’)

2. Below ‘File’ select ‘Open File’ (pick a fave track)

3. Once it comes up go to ‘Window’

4. Scroll down to ‘Show A/V Controls’

5. When the AV Controls box pops up you’ll see Playback Speed in the bottom right hand corner and you can adjust the track tempo there.

I will try to do a screen capture video to actually show this at some point, but thought you’d like to try it out asap if you have a fave track that you thought was just way too fast for you. Now you’re all set.

GarageBand Can Do It Too!
I’m looking forward to getting a Mac very soon and know you can adjust the tempo in GarageBand. If you’re on a Mac just go to Youtube and search something like ‘GarageBand slow down’ or ‘GarageBand change tempo’ you’ll find a video of someone showing you how to do that.

“Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.”

― Bruce Lee

Continue to live with passion and drum on!
~ Michelle

UPDATE: Just moments after posting this one of my Platinum students,
Bob from Texas, told me about gAssisant, another great option free from
the Mac App Store.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Julia Blake October 3, 2011 at 2:41 am

Hi Michelle,
I teach IT and use the free program “Audacity” which can be used to slow down, speed up, duplicate etc. I use your sound downloads, put them into Audacity – copy a speed e.g. 70bpm and duplicate it say 5 times so I have a longer piece to practice with.

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