I've now read 4 singing books and this was probably the least useful of them all. Like most singing books it is written in a fairly economical and dryI've now read 4 singing books and this was probably the least useful of them all. Like most singing books it is written in a fairly economical and dry manner which introduces you to the fundamental elements of singing technique. I think the problem with this book is that it is really intended as a kind of workbook for assisting teachers and students on vocal courses, not as a "teach yourself to sing" type of guide. There simply isn't enough information in this very sparsely written book for it to be of any use whatsoever to the amateur singer who is not using it in conjunction with vocal tuition. Will it help you to develop certain aspects of your technique with its list of useful exercises? Yeah probably. Will it take a mediocre amateur singer and single-handedly turn them into a good singer? No. I think not. In fact the best aspect of this book is the exercises. The basic information about singing is so clipped and unhelpful that if you were thinking of getting this then you'd presumably be better off just buying the follow-up book Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer. Buy that one instead of this. Or if you are an amateur singer who isn't receiving tuition, don't buy either but try Roger Love's Set Your Voice Free, which has been my favourite singing book so far....more
This seems like a decent tai chi guide. There's not much information in it besides the instructions for the actual form, which is fine by me. The formThis seems like a decent tai chi guide. There's not much information in it besides the instructions for the actual form, which is fine by me. The form is laid out really clearly with detailed descriptions, colour photos and even diagrams to indicate foot position and body weight distribution. My only criticism would be of the form itself. Cheng man ching's 37 form differs from the 24 form in that the postures seem more compact and the weight distribution between the feet seems much more even, without the "empty stances" of the 24 form. I guess this means that the form is probably a little easier, a little more accessible, probably also a more practical option for use as self-defence because the postures are sturdy and stable rather than balletic. The downside is that the form feels a little boring to me. The 24 form is kind of beautiful and simply feels more compelling. The 37 form in comparison feels underwhelming. All in all though this is a good tai chi guide and the 37 form seems like a perfectly valid if somewhat boring version of tai chi....more
A good basic intro to the simplified 24 form. I like the fact that it has the 48 form too as i may well be tempted to learn that too one day. One elemA good basic intro to the simplified 24 form. I like the fact that it has the 48 form too as i may well be tempted to learn that too one day. One element which seems like something of a waste of space is the martial applications bit where it shows you how to implement each movement in a combat situation. Supposedly learning the martial applications will inform your understanding of each movement and therefore improve your mastery of the form but I kind of found the opposite to be true. Mostly the applications seemed kind of irrelevant and sometimes the applications seemed to encourage me to move my body in a way very different from the manner indicated in the instructions, e.g. if you are deflecting a blow you will naturally choose to sweep your arm in the way that seems most likely to deflect that blow, not in the more formal way that the instructions suggest. Furthermore sometimes there would be two different combat examples which would seem to suggest that you perform the movements in two totally different ways. Basically what i found is that they seemed like a waste of space, they sort of confused matters more than they clarified them and I doubt that more than 10% of people reading the book would have been studying tai chi as a means of self defence anyway. Overall it's a good basic tai chi book although I suspect that most people will only want to read the parts that instruct you on how to do the 24 form, rendering about 70% of this book to be pretty irrelevant....more
Pretty boring. It's more for people interested in the health aspects of tai chi. The writer gets you to spend loads of time doing preparatory exercisePretty boring. It's more for people interested in the health aspects of tai chi. The writer gets you to spend loads of time doing preparatory exercises and then the form at the end of the book is a poxy little abbreviated form which is a lot shorter and simpler than even fairly simplified styles like the standard 24 form. If you are looking for a very gentle form of exercise and nothing more then this would be a good book for you. I can't really explain why i got into tai chi in the first place, but it certainly wasn't for the health benefits. It was probably because it seemed cool. And this book is very uncool. In fact, it's super lame. I worked my way through the preparatory exercises for a few months, not really acknowledging just how bored i was becoming until one day i said "pff, man, I didn't sign up for this" and switched over to just learning the standard 24 form instead....more
I was intrigued to learn how Malkmus was seen as a vastly superior musician and how his bandmates were allSkip to the interviews. The rest is padding.
I was intrigued to learn how Malkmus was seen as a vastly superior musician and how his bandmates were all painfully aware of how inadequate they were. They actually came across as being kind of wounded. It wasn't a case of the band agreeing to go their separate ways, it was more a case of Malkmus thinking "ok these guys have held me back long enough, now it's time for me to get some proper musicians to work with" and the other members of pavement saying "ok, fair enough, we're sorry that we weren't good enough for you". A few of them said "obviously the musicians he works with these days are a lot better than we could ever be". That had never occurred to me. I suppose his solo/jicks albums are more proggy and have more solos and weirder structures and things, but if anything, I always found pavement to be the much more exciting band to listen to. His solo work is a bit flat by comparison. Maybe there was some special mojo within pavement that went beyond musicianship. Maybe Malkmus just lost his talents after a while. It was also interesting to read Malkmus admit to his inability to write songs like he used to, it seemed that his previous style was very uninhibited and flowing, but these days he needs a more conscious notion of what he's writing and how he's going to set about it.
Probably the most insightful line was one about Malkmus and his attitude towards the quality of all his efforts. The most striking element in Malkmus' personality is his carefree attitude, the way he talks about things and approaches things. Bob Nastanovich said "If I had a dollar for every time I heard Steve say, "It doesn't matter", I wouldn't need to work"....more