Stuff You Should be Checking Out

As I write the last post of 2016, I want to talk about some people that simply blow my mind with their knowledge, vision, skills, enthusiasm, work ethic, and of course, success.

A little while ago I read a report/ book that makes specific predictions for the future. One of the questions the researchers asked was, “Which industries will (still) be thriving in 2050?” And apparently, education will still be here. While many sectors will be replaced by robots (whether you like that idea or not is beside the point), teachers will somehow still be here. Granted, probably just the good ones.


Play with a Pro (Adam Simonsen)

Earspasm (Michael Lowenstern)

Clarineat (Sean Perrin)

pickupjazz (Sam Blakelock)

Play with a Pro

The idea of Play with a Pro I don’t think was innovative around the time of inception. You could find good (and really bad) YouTube tutorials in just about any topic probably starting about 10 years ago.

However, Play with a Pro doesn’t just have anybody teaching its clients. For their masterclass section, the faculty members are the world-renowned soloists, orchestra players, and top conservatory professors of today’s classical music world. Here are some names: Emmanuel Pahud, Charles Neidich, François Lelux, Yehuda Gilad, Radovan Vlatkovic, Roger Bobo…the list goes on.

Play with a Pro does offer private lessons. You submit your availability, specify your instrument, level, and what you are looking to learn, then they pair you up with a suitable teacher. Future.

Best for: All musicians of all levels.

Catch: It’s not free.


This one might be more niche. Michael Lowenstern is definitely one of the most famous and the most popular bass clarinet players, well, ever. His does have various social media outlets such as his fancy website, but his YouTube videos are especially invaluable.

In his YouTube videos, Mike has dealt with topics including:

-not squeaking

-home recording

-bass clarinet equipment

-how to work on reeds

-learning to be a more flexible player

-getting into improvising

-orchestra excerpts

Best for: (bass) clarinet players

Catch: He is a very good player and a teacher, but if you don’t play clarinet or bass clarinet, you might not find it as amazing as we do.



Clarineat is a true 2016 phenomenon. Although initially the name Clarineat (which always autocorrects itself to something else) made me face-palm, it has proven to be consistent in updates, accessible in a million and nine social media platforms, engaging, intimate, versatile, and highly informative. Sean has talked with the famous artists and many of the other inside people of the music industry. His guests have included: Michael Lowenstern, Martin Frost, Lori Freedman, Morrie Backun and Joel Jaffee from Backun, Bret Pimentel, Ed Joffe, Harry Sparnaay, Evan Ziporyn, Tim Elvy from Legere reeds, Patty Johnson from Etymotic Research, Raissa Falhman… again, the list goes on.

Best for: People who want to hear pros talk nerdily about their craft but also wisely about life. Open-minded clarinetists.

Catch: Sean really does work hard to cater many people, and with that comes some things you wouldn’t normally want to listen to. However I have surprised myself many times by clicking interviews that I would normally never listen to, and learned a lot.

pickupjazz (@pickupjazz)

Sam Blakelock is one of today’s hottest Instagrammers. His creation, @pickupjazz (2,456 posts and 154K followers!) caters both amateur and professional guitarists. Sam features the hottest 10 second videos from the ones of people shredding the craziest licks to the ones that exude the most sultry vibes. It also carries a lot of hot and steamy guitar-porn photos. Sam is also a crazy good guitar player himself and is occasionally featured on pickupjazz as well. Just goes to show you how advantageous it is to be well-rounded!

Sam also has a website where you can learn jazz.

Best for: The material you find here will surely entertain most anybody. Yes… there are attractive people here.

Catch: You fall into the rabbit hole of Instagram.


Ok. These were some things that I really enjoyed in 2016 (and since before 2016). Thanks so much for reading my blog this year, and I wish you a great 2017!



2 thoughts on “Stuff You Should be Checking Out

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