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Re-string That Axe!

So you've got a big show tomorrow night. A & R reps will be in the crowd, biggest show to date. You look at your guitar and notice something. Your strings are dull and lifeless; all the bright and slinky-ness has been lost due to corrosion. You need to re-string your axe! Should you take it into your local guitar shop and have the luthier do it for an exorbitant amount? NOPE! Just follow these instructions and you'll be golden! First off, the way you will approach this will differ depending on the type of guitar being re-strung. Acoustics need the tension to remain on the neck to avoid warping or bending. The way to avoid those problems is to begin by removing and replacing the lowest E string. When trying to determine how much slack you should leave on the string for a good wind, try my method. I pull the string taut through the eyelet. Then pull it back through the feed about half a fret's worth of space. This should ensure enough string on the wind without too much excess! Next will be the D string, then the B. Do you see the overall "skip-a-string" method we're using? Once the B has been replaced you may return to the A string (5th largest) and begin the skipping from there: A, G, E). Remember that this is primarily for acoustics, but may be used for electric as well. Electric guitars may be restrung from the lowest to highest or vice-versa without too much stress on the neck. I still don't recommend taking ALL the strings off unless you need to make repairs. This will ensure a straight neck! After all the strings have been replaced, you will want to "stretch" out the strings by bending them on the fretboard (many play through lead lines and use bends for this purpose). This will make sure that they keep their tone when they naturally lengthen from the stress. Well, I hope this was helpful! Knowledge like this is just a small part of what you will learn if you take private music lessons here at Matt Burk Music Studio. We can help you reach your musical goals and relay valuable information on gigging, tuning, rigs, guitars, etc. Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!

Just a Little Push

I am fairly certain that I wouldn't be sitting here typing about the music studio if my grandmother hadn't given me her guitar when I was a young boy. I hadn't thought about playing an instrument before then. She and my grandfather had been in a traveling country band and she felt it was time to pass it to the next generation. Perhaps there is an alternate universe where I bizzaro-me is a CPA and spends his weekends building ships in small glass bottles. Alas, in this universe I am a musician and I have it all to thank from that one little "push" that she gave me so many years ago. As she handed me the case she said, "your fingers are going to hurt a bit at first, but the more you play it, the easier it gets". Sound advice at the time and something I now tell my students who are new to the instrument. Perhaps you know someone that is looking for a hobby, something to relax them from a stressful job, or a way to connect with others. Learning an instrument is, in my humble opinion, is the perfect solution! Maybe they're already thinking about it and they just need that "little push". Are you the person to give it to them? Not sure where to go after that? Let us at Matt Burk Music Studio take over from there. We offer private music lessons for piano, guitar, drums, bass, voice, songwriting, and audio production. Together we can open the world of music to those whom might have not tried it in the first place. Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!

Wanted: Bass Player!

Kenneth playing bass  











Although I don't teach it primarily, I have played the bass for a few bands in Chicago and Dallas. There is a certain stigma that comes with the instrument and some feel that it is secondary to guitars and drums. . . This couldn't be further from the truth! Low end is a necessity in all popular forms of contemporary music!If the drums are the backbone, the bass is the thumping heart. It creates a liaison between the keyboards, guitar, and drums that rounds out the rhythm section. While there are many popular acts that don't use a bass player, I can't imagine a Led Zeppelin without John Paul Jones or the Beatles without Paul. Where would the jazz world be today without Charlie Mingus? Would the Red Hot Chili Peppers made it without Flea? What I'm getting at is that the musical world always needs bass players. Good players are high in demand and great players can be seen on tour or in the studio being paid for session work. At Matt Burk Music Studio, we offer private bass lessons that will demonstrate the art form and fun that playing the bass can bring about, whether you're young, old, experienced or novice. We tailor our lessons to the student and set reachable goals that can be measured.  Perhaps you agree with me  but the bass just isn't your instrument? We also offer private piano, guitar, drum, voice, songwriting, and audio production lessons! Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!

Don't Drop In Cold!

Every once in a while I catch one of the numerous "singing competition" shows on television. Performances on these shows are always backed by a full band and backing singers. The contestants usually sound radio-ready, even when performing live. Why is that? Did they wake up, get to the studio, and immediately jump into the song? The answer is, probably not. To hit those astronomical notes, any good singer will tell you, "WARM UP!". Singing arpeggiated chords of the major scale  works wonders before belting out the show stoppers. Not sure how they're supposed to work? Let us help you get your voice to its performance peak! We offer private voice lessons with extensive know-how from teachers who work in the industry! If vocalizing isn't your thing, perhaps you'd like to learn an instrument to accompany your favorite singer? We also offer private piano, guitar, drum, bass, audio production, and songwriting lessons! Whatever your instrument, we can prepare you to perform not just in the shower, but on stage in front of an audience! Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!

What's Your Pick?












There are as many picking techniques as there are guitar players out there! Finesse and style vary from player to player, depending on what type of music they're playing. Fast stacatto with palm-muting for metal and wisp-like strokes for folk. Being a guitar player myself, I have a few techniques that I use depending on which genre of music I am playing: Finger-picking patterns for classical, finger-pull and walking bass for jazz, full strum and palm-muting single line melodies in rock. Each has its own sound and feel, perfect for that particular show or song! It never hurts to have a plethora of riffs and techniques to throw at songs. The best part is, we here at Matt Burk Music Studio understand that players are not always looking to box themselves into a single type or style of playing. We offer private music lessons that are custom-tailored to your needs! Not sure which instrument is the one for you? We offer private piano, guitar, drum, bass, and voice lessons as well as songwriting and audio engineering know-how! Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!!

Why Doesn't Mine Sound Like That?












I'll never forget the first time I stepped into a recording studio. I was 15 and my fellow bandmates and I had saved up enough cash to record our first demo! The day arrived and we loaded into the sound-proof rooms, mic'd up everything and got started. Within a few hours we had ourselves a few songs recorded. However, when the sound engineer played back the recordings, they sounded thin and nothing like what I heard on the radio. Of course I was naive to think that it would sound radio-ready when listening to the raw tracks but that experience opened my eyes to the necessity of audio production. When we hear Beyonce's latest single or the new Mumford and Sons album, and they sound great, the reason isn't just that they're talented musicians. The people behind the board deserve just as much credit as those behind the glass! It takes know-how and extreme patience to be a good music producer. You have to have a great ear and be able to find the sound and style that the client is looking to create. Here at Matt Burk Music Studio, we have the resources to help your music sound like what you hear on the radio! Full private audio production lessons if you're looking to make your own music or songwriting lessons if you need help putting your hit together! Looking to brush up on your licks before heading in to track a hit? We also offer private piano, guitar, drums, bass, and voice lessons! Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!

Too Old? Too Young? To the Contrary!

As a teacher I have been asked on more than one occasion, what age is a good age to start taking lessons? Am I too old to learn a musical instrument? Well,  I have seen students as young as 4 years and as old as 76! It is never too late or too early to start learning an instrument! Now, don't get me wrong; starting music lessons at an early age definitely gives those a bit of a leg up when it comes to band, orchestra, or personal pursuits! As adults, learning an instrument can be therapeutic and a great stress-reliever. I've had many an adult student come to me to learn songs they can play by the camp fire while the rest of the family sings along. And if you're already playing an instrument, it never hurts to learn from someone at the next level. This is what we do at Matt Burk Music Studio! We offer private lessons for piano, drums, guitar, bass, voice, songwriting, and audio production. All levels, from beginner to advanced, are welcome here; we customize our lessons to you! So remember that it is never too late or too early to start taking music lessons, especially here at Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!   

1, 2, 3, 4!

It is as easy as that! If you can count to four, you can learn to read music. Sure, there is a lot more to it than just that, but the overall foundation of rhythm is counting! I am fairly certain that I tell my students to count out loud every single day that I go into the studio. Why, you ask? Well, I  find that even in times of high anxiety, perhaps during a performance, that the counting we've done in the past out loud can help our inner count get back on track. I have seen it happen, used it myself, and know it to be true. Understanding this fundamental factor seems like it would be obvious, but for many it can be an "A-ha!" moment. Those are the type of moments we can create here at Matt Burk Music Studio for you! We offer private lessons for Piano, Guitar, Drums, Bass, Voice, Songwriting, and  Audio Production located conveniently in Allen, Texas! Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!

Reading Music in the Modern Age

  A  long time ago, before radio and television, families would sit together and play through popular songs that were available as sheet music. Perhaps dad played piano while the rest of the family harmonized with mom. Or brother and sister played violin to counter mother and fathers' viola and cello.   No TV programs for the family to watch, no radio to listen to. People made "conversation" through reading music together. These things still occur, of course, but with a modern twist. Here at Matt Burk Music Studio we have many students who have siblings, parents, and children taking lessons congruently. This allows for conversations about music between family members that may bring them closer together; they might play songs that they're working on, or at least have someone to talk to about music in general and help with tricky rhythms and melodies. Reading music may seem difficult to grasp, but no matter if you take private piano, drum, voice, guitar, or bass lessons with us, we can teach you to read proficiently! Matt Burk Music Studio: Learn, Create, Perform!


Creativity and the "Outside" Perspective

There is nothing quite like writing music with others that gets the creative "juices" flowing. Sometimes we as composers and performers can get stuck in a writing rut, playing the same chord progressions, repeating the same rhythms, hearing the same melodies! We have to escape "the box" and one of the best ways to do so is to get an outside perspective. Remember, even the Beatles had Brian Epstein to help them write and record some of the most popular songs worldwide! We here at Matt Burk Music Studio can help you do the same! Whether it is vocal coaching, songwriting, learning "killer licks", awesome beats, bringing the low end, or how to "tickle the ivory"; we can give you the positive reinforcement and help you to advance to the next level with your musicianship!

Mixing the Old and New

I've stated before how many different genres of music that I hear throughout the week at Matt Burk Music Studio. I think the eclectic nature of the lessons keeps interested minds open to sounds and melodies that they might not initially enjoy. This can be seen particularly in the song choices for our student Jam Sessions. The instructors are involved with the decisions and take heavily into consideration the requests and interests of the students. We perform one modern pop song and one classic pop/rock song. This helps the student identify common progressions, repeating  patterns, and influences that perhaps are overlooked during the intense focus of the lesson. The atmosphere during the jam session is very relaxed:  The teachers are there to support our drum, keyboard, bass, guitar, and vocal students. Students are there to develop ensemble awareness, meet new players/peers, and have a good time! Learning from the experience is just a side effect of the overall goal; something I discussed in my last post, "Performance Panic".  The main thing to remember is that we always have something to learn from music from any era!


"Summertime and the livin' is easy...". What a great song, and great time of the year! Summer is that magical time of the year, where time seems to stand still.  Summer often evokes fond memories for so many people. I know for me, I have great summer memories of family road trips to visit my grandparents who lived in Spearfish, SD. I spent many summer days tubing down Spearfish creek, as well as fishing for trout. Summer, for a kid, is a time where almost anything seems possible, and you wish it would never end! Summer at Matt Burk Music Studio is a great time to make some really good progress on your musical journey! What better time of the year is there to pursue music than when the pressures and deadlines of school are over for a few months! We have some really great summer activities you can be a part of! If you're a current student, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to add another instrument to your lessons you've always had an interest in. Or, you might want to bump your 30 min. lesson up to a 60 min. lesson in order to really make that extra progress. If you weren't able to take lessons during the school year, then this is the perfect opportunity for you to start as well!

We have a lot of fun stuff happening at the studio this summer, such as private lessons, camps, live gigs, and jam sessions! We offer private lessons in piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums, voice,, and audio production. We hope to hear from you soon!

The PERFECT Gift: A Holiday Recording Package!

Are you looking for something unique and fun for a singer this Hanukkah and Christmas season? Thanks to our new recording booth and incredibly talented in-house producer, Matt Burk Music Studio is offering a special holiday recording package! This great gift includes:

  • One or two songs of your choice - performed to a track
  • Professional recording, mixing, and editing of vocals
  • Five CDs (additional CDs can be purchased at $5 each)
  • Original CD-cover graphics

You can choose whether a one or two-song package. The one-song package is $200, and the two-song package is $325.

Not only will your loved one be able to experience the fun of singing in the studio, but at Matt Burk Music Studio, our audio engineer is much more than an engineer. He is also an experienced producer and vocal coach, and can help coach your loved one during the session.

So if you are looking for something creative for the holidays, try a professional recording session! You can find all the details of this great gift here!

Has someone in your family been talking about learning to play an instrument or hone their singing voice? Music is a great gift that lasts a lifetime! We offer piano, guitar, bass, drum, voice, songwriting, and audio production lessons as well!

You can find more on our Lessons page, call us at (972) 207-9353, or email us to get started today!

A Career in History and Music

Students of Matt Burk Music Studio not only learn to master an exciting instrument and incorporate the arts into their daily lives, but they also acquire the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in music. Today we highlight one career path: Ethnomusicology.

8 Reasons to Enroll your Child in Music Lessons

These 8 reasons go beyond simple music mastery. This is about equipping your child to conquer life no matter his/her dreams and goals. This is about preparing your children for success and happiness. Take a look...

The Bass: Instrument Selection, Part 2

Part 2 of 2: The Bass: Instrument Selection walks prospective bass players through the bass guitar selection process. Type of wood, shape, and functionality of the bass guitar are all covered here. Don't miss new announcements concerning bass guitar lessons from Matt Burk Music Studio as well!

Thanks for Your Help!

We just wanted to post a quick note with a BIG THANK YOU to all of the students of Matt Burk Music Studio who contributed to our coat, blanket and sleeping bag drive for the homeless this Christmas. I took a couple of quick photos with my phone at the event at the Dallas Convention Center this morning, to share with you guys. These don't even begin to capture how many people were there - inside and lined up around the block waiting to enter the building.

We are looking forward to teaming up with you guys and Operation Care Dallas again next year to help with this event.

Thanks again to all who donated!

Christmas Break!

We're looking forward to the Christmas holiday, and hope you guys are as well! We'll be closed just one week for Christmas (December 20th - 25th), but will be back to teaching as usual beginning Monday, the 27th! We're excited about the new year, and have some new exciting things planned for it! So keep an eye on this blog for all the most up-to-date news!

If you're interested in piano, voice, drum, bass, or guitar lesson with us, we'd love to talk with you! Just give us a call (972.207.9353) or send us an email ( and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have, schedule a complimentary interview for you, and/or get you enrolled to get started asap!

Thanks & Giving

We thought it would be appropriate for our first blog post to be on Thanksgiving Day. We truly have so much to be thankful for!

We're thankful that this music studio has led us to meeting so many amazing people, in the pursuit of sharing the joy of music with others. We're thankful to have the opportunity to work with so many great piano, guitar, bass, voice and drum students every week, and to have a great group of instructors who really care about our students! We're thankful that we've continued to grow - even in a difficult economy. We could go on, and on...

We're also really thankful for the opportunity to give back. In the spirit of thanks and giving, we are teaming up with students of Matt Burk Music Studio and their families, to help provide coats, blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless this holiday season, through an organization called Operation Care Dallas.

Each year, Operation Care Dallas organizes the nation's largest Christmas party (called "Christmas Gift") for the homeless. Christmas Gift 2010 will be held at the Dallas Convention Center on December 18th, and will again honor all homeless guests, with special recognition given to our homeless veterans.

At Christmas Gift 2010, Operation Care will have approximately 3,000 volunteers and more than 10,000 homeless guests. For these guests, Operation Care provides food, clothing, shoes, blankets, sleeping bags, and personal items. They also provide haircuts and make-overs for guests, as well as some medical and additional services. Operation Care makes this Christmas party something really unique for their guests - it is intended to help provide for some of their needs and to make them feel special and honored!

At Matt Burk Music Studio, we will collect coats, blankets and sleeping bags for Christmas Gift 2010 beginning Monday, November 29th. We'll only have 2 weeks to collect coats, blankets and sleeping bags for this event, so we'll need to hurry! In order to get all of our items to the warehouse in Dallas and ready for the big party on December 18th, our collections will end on Friday, December 10th.

If you can help, we'd love to have you drop a coat, blanket or sleeping bag by any time during our regular studio hours (2:30 pm to 8 pm Monday thru Friday) no later than Friday, December 10th. Operation Care asks that these items be new, as this may be the only chance some of their guests have to receive something brand new!.

Thank, thank, THANK YOU!


Welcome to our new site and blog. Check back soon for updates!