useful italian phrases

Useful Italian Phrases and Tips for Dating

useful italian phrases

Navigating through the complex world of dating is hard enough, let alone trying to do it in a foreign country. Below, Italian teacher Nadia B. shares some useful Italian phrases and tips for dating…

You’ve tried Italian cuisine, explored every inch of the Vatican, and survived your first Italian conversation. Is dating an Italian next on your bucket list?

Perhaps you’re planning on studying abroad in Italy, or you’re simply mesmerized by the sophisticated allure of Italians. Whatever the case, dating in Italy is quite different from your local dating scene back home.

Below are some useful Italian phrases and tips for dating so you can navigate the Italian dating world con gusto. But first, let’s go over some Italian dating tips:

Helpful Tips for Dating Italians

While they’re aren’t any hard and fast rules to dating Italians–as every individual is different–there are some things to keep in mind as you play the field. Below are some helpful tips for both men and women:

  • Italians are a very fashionable bunch. If you want to attract a date, be sure to dress appropriately at all times. Torn, revealing, or heavily worn clothing are a big no-no.
  • Ladies, don’t be too showy. Italian men are drawn to women who are elegant, funny, and intelligent. Bottom line, be your charming self!
  • Italians are often outgoing and expressive. Don’t be alarmed if your date gets enthusiastic, as he or she is just expressing his or her emotions.
  • Family is very important to Italians. Be respectful of that and show an interest in getting to know and learning about your significant other’s family members.

Useful Italian Phrases for Dating

What’s the key to a successful relationship? Communication. To make sure that you can successfully communicate with your date, brush up on your Italian language with these useful Italian phrases:

Below are some useful Italian phrases for sparking up a conversation with someone who peaks your interest:

  • Posso offrirti qualcosa? (Can I buy you a drink?)
  • Come stai? (How are you?)
  • Posso unirmi a te? (Can I join you?)

If you like the person you meet, you might continue to see each other. Here are some words associated with dating:

  • farsi delle storie (to see each other)
  • uscire (to go out on a date, but it can also be used in a more general context of leaving the house to go out somewhere)
  • accompagnarsi (to go with, accompany)

Italians enjoy doing various activities with the person they’re dating. For example, you might find yourself doing any one of the activities below:

  • fare una passeggiata (taking a walk)
  • andare al cinema (going to the movies)
  • cucinare insieme (cooking together)

Once you start seeing someone, you might want to clarify your relationship. The following words will help you to explain the status of your relationship:

  • il mio ragazzo/la mia ragazza (my boyfriend/my girlfriend)
  • il mio fidanzato/la mia fidanzata (my fiancé/my fiancée)
  • il mio amante/la mia amante (my lover [male/female])
  • innamorarsi (to fall in love [with each other])
  • divertirsi (to have fun)
  • relazione, rapporto (relationship)

As you fall more in love with the person you’re dating, you may want to use more affectionate names for them. There are many possibilities when it comes to affectionate terms for your partner, but here is a sampling of some of the most typical:

  • amore (love)
  • tesoro (honey or literally meaning ‘treasure’)
  • cucciolo (my pet or literally meaning ‘puppy’)

Learn more romantic Italian phrases here!

The better you are at speaking Italian and understanding the customs of Italy, the easier you’ll find it to date in Italy. Dating an Italian can be a fascinating, fun, and unique experience. Who knows, you may just find eternal love (amore eterno)!f

nadiaBPost Author: Nadia B.
Nadia B. teaches Italian in New York, NY. She graduated summa cum laude from New York University, with a double degree in Italian Language and Literature and Classical Music Performance. Learn more about Nadia here!

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10+ Fun Italian Grammar and Vocabulary Games for Kids

italian grammar

Learning Italian grammar and vocabulary can be difficult for kids. Below, Italian teacher Nadia B. shares some games parents and teachers can play to help engage kids in learning Italian…

For kids, learning Italian can be a great adventure, filled with exciting new discoveries. As your child explores the joy of learning Italian, you can aid him or her by playing fun Italian grammar and vocabulary games.

These games are chock-full of fun activities so that learning Italian can become less painless and more fun! Below are 10+ Italian grammar and vocabulary games that will make a big difference in your child’s learning.

1. Rhymes and Tongue Twisters

These fun and imaginative verbal adventures will help your child to think of Italian as a playful and colorful exploration, not to mention build a strong Italian vocabulary and understanding of syntax and grammar.

You can trade off reciting lines of a rhyme, have a tongue twister competition, or read a fable before bedtime. Before you know it, learning Italian will be just another fun part of the day.

2. Memory Games

Using index cards, write out some Italian vocabulary words. Try choosing a theme (for example, colors or animals). Then, create a matching card with a related vocabulary word.

Lay them all out with the words face-down and have your child try to select the pairs. Recalling where each word is located will help the vocabulary word stick in your child’s mind.

3. Make Assuming Sentences

This game is similar to MadLibs, as you provide all the parts of a sentence and then allow your child to choose words to form a unique sentence.

Here’s how to do it: Write out all of the pronouns (io, tu, lui, lei, Lei, noi, voi, loro), a selection of verbs (volare, ridere, sorridere, pensare, andare), and some nouns (il gatto, il cane, l’albero, il poliziotto, l’Italia, etc.)

Keep each category of words in its own pile. Your child can select a pronoun, verb and possibly a noun to form a sentence. For example, “Io volo con il gatto” (I fly with the cat).

You can help your child to form grammatically correct sentences by providing prepositions (con, sopra, sotto) when needed. The sillier the sentence, the better!

4. Sing in Italian

Download, purchase, or stream some simple songs in Italian in which you and your child can sing along. For example, you can search for Christmas carols or lullabies.

Encourage your child to sing along, or to sing from memory when you have free time in the car, while walking, or some other time. Sing along together, or help your child as needed to remember the lyrics.

5. Charades

Charades is a really fun game and there are so many opportunities to tailor it to your child’s needs. First, write out a selection of verbs, nouns or phrases to act out.

Once you’ve formed two teams, start by having the first team draw a verb, noun, and phrase to act out while the other team guesses. This can be as simple as two teams — you and your child — or can involve other children and family members.

6. I Spy

This game is an excellent option when you’re on the go or exploring a new place. It will encourage your child to view and describe his or her surroundings in Italian.

You can give your child a prompt of “Io vedo…” (“I see…”) and then let him or her choose an item to identify in Italian. For example, “Io vedo una nuvola grande e bianca.” (I see a big, white cloud).

7. Describe an Imaginary Friend

If your child has an imaginary friend, ask him or her to describe him or her to you in Italian. For example, “Luisa è simpatica, alta e bionda. Le piace nuotare e saltare la corda.” (Luisa is friendly, tall and blond. She likes to swim and jump rope.).

This helps to build useful Italian vocabulary. You can also ask your child to talk to his or her imaginary friend in Italian! This is a playful way to show your child that Italian can be spoken anywhere and anytime.

8. Italian in the Kitchen

If you’re busy cooking in the kitchen, why not get your child involved? Go online to find a recipe in Italian to use. As you cook, have your child read the recipe and then ask him or her to name the ingredients as they go in the pot to be cooked.

You can also ask your child to retrieve ingredients with the Italian name (for example, farina, latte, pane), and describe the colors and size (“Com’è il pomodoro?” “What’s the tomato like?”). This is also a great Italian culture activity, as cooking and eating together as a family is a common tradition in Italy.

9. Identify Characteristics

Gather up some old magazines or newspapers laying around the house. Cut out pictures of objects and people from those magazines, and have your child describe the particular scene in Italian.

Encourage your child to use color, specific characteristics, and numbers to practice adjectives, quantity and more!

10. Give Commands

Designate a piece of clothing or a certain item, such as a hat or a scarf. Whenever someone is wearing that particular item, he or she is responsible for issuing commands to the other people in the group.

For example, the person wearing the item could say the following: “Gira a la destra; dimmi un piccolo racconto; chiamami ‘Alessandro’ quando mi parli” (“Turn to the right; tell me a short story; call me Alessandro when you speak to me”).

This game is meant to be silly and encourage children to practice commands in a fun and memorable way. The roles reverse whenever the person with the item issues a command that the other person chooses not to obey, or doesn’t obey.

11. Ask Questions

Ask your child any question in Italian. You can find a set of questions in your child’s Italian textbook or online. If your child  answers the question with the proper Italian grammar, he or she can then ask you a question.

The game can be played with just the two of you, or with other children. This is another exercise that can be silly and amusing, while simultaneously reinforcing interrogative words, grammar, and vocabulary.

Learning Italian doesn’t have to be boring. Make learning enjoyable for your child by playing games with him or her in between his or her lessons.

Photo by Leonid Mamchenkov

nadiaBPost Author: Nadia B.
Nadia B. teaches Italian in New York, NY. She graduated summa cum laude from New York University, with a double degree in Italian Language and Literature and Classical Music Performance. Learn more about Nadia here!

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North Korea vs. South Korea

North Korea vs. South Korea: Language and Cultural Differences

North Korea vs. South Korea

Although Korean is the official language of both North and South Korea, there are noticeable differences in the dialect of the two nations. Here, we will examine these differences so you can gain a better overall understanding of the Korean language… 

North Korea and South Korea were originally divided across the 38th Parallel, then later, along the Demarcation line. The division, a result of the end of Japanese rule following World War II, pitted the two nations in a bitter battle. Some 70 years later, much of the rivalry and tension continues to exist.

While North Korea and South Korea both officially speak Korean, there are subtle difference between the two languages, just as there are difference between the two cultures.

Korean Vocabulary

North Korea and South Korea have markedly different cultures, and because of this, the vocabulary that they use is very different. When looking at vocabulary in terms of North Korea vs. South Korea, it should be noted that South Korean culture is far more open to adopting words and phrases from other cultures.

Seoul is the epicenter of South Korean culture, and because of this, the majority of South Korean residents speak a language based off of the Seoul dialect. A great deal of English has been introduced into common vocabulary, as well as melding in with western entertainment, which is readily available in South Korea. Japanese words and phrases have also been adopted into the South Korean dialect for the same reason.

The same is not true for North Korea. North Korea is largely insulated and its residents have limited access to culture and information from other nations. Because of this, and an overall culture of isolation, the adoption of foreign words and phrases has been largely discouraged. English words are rarely used in the North Korean language. Most residents speak the Pyongyang dialect. Chinese, Japanese, and words of western origin have been stripped from the language in recent years, and adapted words generally have Russian origins.

Korean Pronunciation

Just as people in the United States pronounce words differently based on region, the same is true with North Korea and South Korea. The combination of consonants and vowels sound different between the two languages, and it can be difficult for an individual who has learned one language to decipher the other.

When looking at North Korea vs. South Korea in terms of the spoken word, one of the most obvious pronunciation differences is that of hanja. Hanja are Chinese characters adopted by the two cultures, but they are spoken in different ways, and used in different situations.

The use of hanja is more widespread in South Korea, but hanja is used, in informal conversation, in North Korea, as well.

The Korean Alphabet

When looking at the alphabet, there is a North Korea vs. South Korea version. Both nations use hangul and jamo for their written words. Jamo is a type of character alphabet, similar to Japanese hiragana. The actual writing is different when looking at North Korea vs. South Korea. The sound and tone of each character is often different, depending on the dialect and how far removed from the Demarcation zone a person is. The tone and infliction are subtle nuances that can be difficult for beginners, but they can change the meaning of words and phrases, especially in the written word.

If you’re interested In learning more about the subtle and not-so-subtle difference between the North Korean and South Korean languages, you should take language lessons with a native Korean speaker.  A native Korean speaker is the most qualified person to teach you these differences and make sure you have a better understanding of the Korean language as a whole.

What do you find difficult or confusing about the different dialects? Let us know in the comments below!

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learning drums

The Top 10 Benefits of Learning Drums [Infographic]

learning drums

There are several great reasons for both adults and children to learn drums. So if you’re on the fence about signing up for drum lessons, take a look at what the research says. Here, Philadelphia, PA teacher Andrea I. shares the top 10 benefits of learning drums…

1. Reduce Stress

Playing drums can relieve frustration, disappointment, and stress. Whether you’re behind a drum kit, hitting a djembe in a drum circle, or beating a marching band bass drum, drumming is a stress reliever. Playing drums, even for just a few minutes, can boost your mood.

Similar to a “runner’s high,” drummers’ brains release feel-good endorphins immediately after playing music. In the online journal Evolutionary Pychology, researchers concluded, “it is the active performance of music that generates the endorphin high, not the music itself.”

So if you’re feeling a little down or a little frazzled, grab your drum sticks and start playing!

2. Increase Academic Performance

The correlation between musical training and academic performance has been documented a number of times, particularly when it comes to math. Learning to drum, however, can also help you in subjects like English, by helping you identify emotional cues, a skill you can use to identify characters’ thought processes and motives.

According to one study, “Music enables students to learn multiplication tables and math formulas more easily (T. Mickela as cited in Kelstrom, 1998); rhythm students learn the concept of fractions more easily; students who were taught using rhythm notation scored 100 percent higher on tests of fractions; and a child may use the ability for logical thinking that was developed in music class to solve problems quite unrelated to music (Kelstrom, 1998).”

So parents, if you’re hesitant about your child learning drums because you’re afraid it will take away from his or her studies, rest assured, learning to drum may actually help your son or daughter perform better in school.

3. Boost Brain Power

When you play drums, you have to coordinate all four limbs to work together at the same time. If you’re right handed, chances are you don’t do much with your left hand. Your brain has to work your non-dominant side to strengthen and coordinate your non-dominant limbs.

In a recent study, researchers found that playing drums can boost brain power in a measurable way, specifically when it comes to IQ. “Playing the drums makes the brain think in a way that very few activities can,” said Pat Brown, International Drum Month chairman and Percussion Marketing Council co-executive director. “Being able to understand musical notes and dissect how rhythms work and go together is a very complicated thought process. The most recent study shows that being constantly exposed to this type of brain activity can actually improve one’s IQ level.”

4. Develop Confidence

Drumming is powerful. To be successful, drummers must learn to play dynamically: loud and soft. The act of playing a loud beat takes guts and confidence. In addition, drummers must possess a growth mindset. That is, you must believe that you can learn challenging parts by starting slow and breaking them down.

Learning drums challenges you to break complex tasks into manageable parts. Then, after persistent practice, you’re able to play something quite challenging. This is a skill that carries over in many areas of life. Believing you’re able to learn difficult material is crucial to overcome obstacles, both in music and in life.

5. Improve Communication Skills

Students with musical training communicate better with peers, are more empathetic, and get lots of practice expressing ideas without using words. Drumming also teaches you to read non-verbal cues, which can help you learn to read between the lines.

6. Be a Global Citizen

Drumming can open your world! Whether you’re learning Latin bossa nova, Afro-Cuban clave, or Jamaican reggae, you can benefit as a musician and a person from learning about musical traditions from all over the world.

It’s fascinating to see how new styles of music develop over time as cultures merged their traditional styles together.

7. Make New Friends

Wherever you go, you will be able to talk with people who speak drums. With lots of opportunities to form your own band or join an orchestra, marching band, drum circle, or percussion ensemble, you will have lots of options to meet new and interesting people.

8. Play Cool Instruments

Learning drums gives you the foundation to play a wide range of instruments: djembe drums, congas, clave, marching bass drums, triangle – even typewriters, spoons, and buckets.

A percussionist’s bag of toys is endless, and part of the fun is discovering new sounds to play.

9. Get Fit

A hardy session of drumming is a great way to get your sweat on while having fun. According to one study, “Just by using hand drums and moving to the beat, people burned an average of 270.4 calories in a half hour.”

In addition to the calorie burn, rhythmic performance can significantly impact stress reduction and wellness.

10. Lifelong Learning

You can be a drummer at any age. Once you start, you can keep drumming as long as you want. Learning drums will enhance your life well beyond your first few lessons, and as long as you never stop learning, you will have endless opportunities to improve, perform, and be the best musician you can be.


learning drums

Ready to get started? Search here for a drum instructor near you!


Andrea IPost Author: Andrea I.
Andrea I. is a Philadelphia-based English teacher with a lifelong obsession with drums. She has taught drums with Girls Rock Philly, a rock ‘n’ roll camp for girls, and played in various bands. She currently teaches online and in-home lessons in Philadelphia, PA. Learn more about Andrea here!

Photo by laurentmorand

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How to Play Guitar like David Gilmour | Tabs and Audio “Time” Guitar Solo

How to Play Guitar like David Gilmour

When it comes to incredible guitar players, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd takes the cake. In this article, teacher Bernard M. shows you how to play the guitar just like the legend himself…


Many musicians strive to sound like their heroes. They want to get that special something that makes those legends stand out from the crowd.

One of the best ways you can do this is to learn their parts — beat for beat, note for note. While this can be difficult and time consuming, it’s one of the most rewarding learning strategies for musicians of all levels.

One of my favorite guitar players is David Gilmour from the band Pink Floyd. He brings a certain sense of taste and melody to everything he plays.

In order to unlock the secrets of Gilmour’s playing style, we’ll be looking at the guitar solo from the song “Time.” This famous solo is a great example of how Gilmour tells a story with his guitar.

Before we dive in….

This Pink Floyd guitar lesson contains a detailed breakdown of the solo, four bars at a time, with tabs for each section and an analysis of what Gilmour is doing and why it’s so effective. Below is a recording of the song so you can follow along.



Above each line of tabs is a time marker, telling when in the song each section occurs. I also included the chords behind the solo above each bar. This will become important in our analysis when looking at Gilmour’s note choice.

The minor pentatonic scales find heavy use in this solo, especially in the first and second positions (shown below).


Pentatonic Scale Charts


As the song is in the key of F#m, the first position will begin on the 2nd fret and the second position on the 5th fret, each repeating an octave above at the 14th and 17th frets respectively.

At the end, I’ll give you my five tips on how to play a guitar solo like David Gilmour, highlighting the key points talked about in our analysis of the solo.

Ok, ready? Let’s do this!

Let’s play…


Section 1 Tabs


The iconic sustained notes and bends in the first three bars show off Gilmour’s melodic sensibilities. Clearly, he’s in no rush and is leaving himself room to stretch out his chops later in the solo. This slow introduction uses the first position minor pentatonic scale, just tracing the chords at the low end of the fret board. In the fourth bar, Gilmour slides into the second position of the scale for a more aggressive Albert King style blues lick, hinting at what is to come later. For some extra kick, try giving the 5th fret e-string note a quarter-step bend!


Section 2 Tabs


On his second go around the chord progression, Gilmour uses repetition and variation, echoing the beginning of his solo before moving into new territory. This creates a call and response effect between the repeated melody and the varying blues licks.

In the second bar, he responds with the bluesy major sixth interval (9th fret G-string to 9th fret e-string) to emphasize the notes that make up the A chord.

You may have noticed that Gilmour frets or bends to some notes outside of our pentatonic scale. These notes from the minor scale are peppered in to add a sweeter flavor to the melodies.

Notice how half-step bends are used to move lyrically between these minor scale notes. Gilmour ends this section with a long sustained bend to an F#, creating a sense resolution, for now…


Section 3 Tabs


If the first two sections acted as an introduction, these next two are most certainly the climax. Gilmour slides into an F#m arpeggio in the first position pentatonic scale an octave above where the solo began.

To effectively execute this lick, use your second finger on the 16th fret, your first finger on 14th (fretting the G-string with the fingertip then pivoting to the B-string just above your knuckle) and your third finger to bend the B-string at the 17th fret, leaving your pinky free to hit the e-string.

The second bar features a step-and-a-half bend between two full-step bends. This classic blues technique requires strong fingers and good pitch recognition, but is well worth the practice it takes to master.

Finally, Gilmour carries us over the bar into the next section with a powerful lick descending towards the root note, hitting on beats three, four, and the one of the next bar. This is a very powerful phrasing move, using the melody to weave different bars together.


Section 4 Tabs


We land on an F#, once again emphasizing the root of our first chord. This is followed by a pre-bend release, adding some character before descending into a pull-off run. As the A chord comes around, we bend up on the 16th fret to hit a familiar C#.

Notice a pattern? Gilmour’s careful note choice and use of repetition and variation keeps things familiar but fresh.

The next lick carries us over the bar with the solo’s highest note, an exciting bend on the e-string at 19th fret. This phrase is reminiscent of the bend at the 17th fret at the end of the last section (again, repetition and variation at work).

To create a sense of closure as the solo nears a change in the chord progression and overall tone, Gilmour runs down an E major arpeggio, resolving over the bar to, you guessed it, an F# root.

The final slide down the neck signals the drastic change that is about to occur…


Section 5 Tabs


This section marks a dramatic shift from a minor to major mood, bringing the solo to its conclusion. Gilmour begins with a dreamy triplet run over a Dmaj7 arpeggio, using slides to create a floating, liquid feel that perfectly suits the new mood.

Notice the half-step interval from the 9th to 10th fret, marking the brief return of the sweet lyrical tone found in the second section.

Gilmour leaves a lot of space between his flowing slides, giving each carefully-chosen note time to express its particular character over its chordal backdrop.

My personal favorite is the G# note on the 9th fret of the B-string at the beginning of the third bar. Over the Dmaj7 chord, it expresses the heavenly lydian mode sound of the #4 chord tone. (Music theory aside, the take away is this: choose your notes based on what sounds best over the passing chords!)


Section 6 Tabs


In the final four bars, Gilmour brings the solo to a close with two distinct phrases. The first, which begins with the unison bend in the previous bar, calls back to the 4th fret bends at the very beginning of the solo (and the 16th fret bends an octave above during the climax) for some final repetition and variation.

Here, he uses a step-and-a-half bend between full-step bends, a pre-bend release, and a long sustained bend to get the most out of this expressive phrase.

Gilmour ends by playing around an E major arpeggio, bringing a final sense of closure and resolution with the sustained E note on the 2nd fret and the open low E-string an octave below.

What did we learn? My five tips for playing like David Gilmour! Ok, so we just covered A LOT of ground. Let’s take what we learned from analyzing the solo and summarize it into some key points.


1. Tell a story:
Your solo should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. In your introduction, make an opening statement that sets the tone, but still leaves you with somewhere to go. When you reach the climax, pull out all the stops and let loose those licks you were saving. Whether it’s one note or eight bars, make sure your conclusion leaves your listener with a feeling of closure.

2. Bend like a master:
Remember, your good ol’ fashioned full step bend isn’t the only way to go. Try your hand at half-step bends, pre-bend releases, and even step-and-a-half bends. These are great ways of getting the more expression out of your playing (just make sure the notes you’re bending to are in your scale).

3. Repetition is your friend:
Soloing is not just playing a string of notes from a scale (trust me; I’ve made that mistake plenty of times). Repetition and variation allows you to set up familiar themes, transform these themes, play into or defy the listener’s expectations, and make patterns such as call and response.

4. Choose notes wisely:
Use the chords! They’re your guidelines, telling you what notes you should play. While this can be daunting at times, take your time and trust your ears, as they’ll often lead you to the right notes. If you can find the root notes to chords, or better yet, the full arpeggios, you are on the right track to playing with the chord changes. (Want more on this? Look up chord scales!)

5. Be clever with rhythm:
Again, soloing is not just playing a string of notes. Choosing how you use rhythm can make or break a solo. Leave yourself plenty of space with long sustained notes and bends. This will provide contrast for fast and busy licks, making them more effective. For even greater effect, try playing over the bar, or using triplets. For more, check out my article on using space and phrasing during solos.


I hope you’ve enjoyed our journey through the style of David Gilmour and his solo from “Time.” I hope you use these ideas to help spice up your playing, and this strategy of analysis to help you unlock the secrets of your favorite players.


Are there any great guitar solos you’d like to learn? Share your requests in the comments below!


Bernard M Teacher Post Author: Bernard M.
Bernard M. is a guitar and songwriting instructor in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated from The College of New Jersey with a bachelors degree in English. He teaches lessons online and will travel to his students. Learn more about Bernard here!


Photo by Jose Bogado

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Drummers Stick Together: Lindsay Bird Shares her Drumming Journey


Hey drummers, looking for some motivation? In our Drummers Stick Together series, veteran drummers share their personal stories to inspire you to stick with it and pursue your passion….

Lindsay Bird  is the drummer for the Canadian rock ‘n’ roll band Dirty Jeans. She has been playing drums for over 14 years. Here, Lindsay shares her story to encourage beginner and intermediate drummers to keep on rocking!

What inspired you to start playing drums?

I have been playing drums for about 14 years. I started out playing trombone in my middle school jazz band. I was seated very close to the drummer, and I was always watching and listening to the drums, I was just drawn to it I guess.

I really wanted to play drums in the jazz band but, I had to wait until the drummer graduated. As soon as he did, I jumped right in there and I haven’t stopped since.

As a beginner, what kept you motivated to continue to practice and work hard?

Honestly, what kept me motivated was proving people wrong. Early on, I heard a lot of comments like “well, you’re pretty good I guess, for a girl.” I even got comments from teachers when I said I wanted to play drums. I remember one teacher saying “well, the boys get first pick on drums, so don’t be surprised if you can’t play this year.”

I wanted to show everyone that I could do it, and be just as good as the boys, if not better. I feel like that made me push harder and want it more, I had something to prove.

So girls… if someone tells you that you can’t play drums like the boys, just don’t listen to them, its as simple as that! There’s absolutely no difference if you’re male or female, it’s just less common for people to see a female drummer, but we can change that!

Just be confident in your ability, there’s no competition between sexes. Be the best drummer YOU can be, and as long as you’re happy with what you’re doing, that’s all that matters.

What’s the one thing you wish you knew as a beginner?

I wish I knew how to make the most of my practice time. I would spend most of my time doing the things I was already good at because it sounded good and made me feel good.

Instead, I should have been working on my weaknesses and only spending a bit of time on my strengths.

What do you love most about playing drums?

Playing drums is just an amazing outlet for me! It truly makes me happy, all aspects of it. Spending time at home alone practicing is very calming and it makes me focus, which is important in life; to be able to just shut everything out for a while during your day and just drum.

Of course, full band rehearsals are amazing and so much fun. It’s a great feeling when you really click with the people you’re playing with, it really gets the creative juices flowing.

Playing live is like no other feeling. Just feeding off the crowd and the rest of your band; its hard to describe, I absolutely love it!

Which famous drummer would you want to play with, and why?

If I could jam with one famous drummer, I would choose Travis Barker. I’ve bee drawn to his drumming for a long time now, I love his style and his creativity.

Not only is he an amazing drummer, but he’s truly an entertainer. The way he performs is just amazing to watch. Also, the way he writes drum parts is crazy to me, and I think I could learn a ton from him.

Plus, of course, he seems like a really cool guy.

When it comes to drumming, what does success look like to you?

My ultimate goal is for drumming to be my full time job, and to possibly teach or have some part time music-related job. Rather than working full time and drumming part time, ideally, I’d like the opposite.

Success to me is to be able to play for a living, to be financially stable doing what I truly love to do.

What advice do you have for anyone who is just getting started?

It’s important to push through and be patient in the beginning stages, because in the end, it’s really worth it.

You become a much more versatile player in the long run, and that makes it that much easier  to get gigs, whether it’s studio gigs, or with your band.

The tighter you become, the harder you work, and the more dedicated you are to your craft, the farther it will take you in the future!

 Looking for more inspiration? Check out the personal stories in our Drummers Stick Together series!



Want to see Lindsay in action? Check her out with her band Dirty Jeans on their YouTube channel.



Ready to turn your drumming dreams into reality? Sign up for lessons with a private drum instructor today! 

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Techology and online Music lessons

How Has Technology Changed Music Lessons? [Infographic]

Over the past several years, online music lessons have substantially grown in popularity. And it’s no wonder — it’s an option that is convenient and often priced lower than in-person lessons. Plus, you can choose an instructor from practically anywhere!

Advances in technology have made the success of online music lessons possible, but that’s not the only way that technology has changed the way we learn music. New innovations provide fun and creative ways to enhance the learning experience for today’s student. You can find the best online piano lessons, for instance, and then supplement those with apps, games, and YouTube tutorials.

Here are some fascinating facts about how we learn, teach, and promote music online.

Technology and Music Lessons Infographic - Online music lessons

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Teaching Music Online – Additional Resources

Interested in teaching online? These days, you’ve got several options for video platforms to use, allowing you to instantly connect with your student, send files, and record lessons. Learn more about teaching online with TakeLessons here.

Learning Music Online – Additional Resources

Whether you’re looking for the best online piano lessons via Skype, pre-recorded YouTube drum tutorials, or chord charts for guitar and bass, there are so many resources available for students!

Learn Guitar 

Learn Piano

Learn Violin

Learn Drums

Whether or not you take (or teach) lessons online, there are many ways you can use current technology to enhance and supplement the learning experience. If you’re a teacher and need a place to start, online forums are great for sharing ideas with other instructors. The possibilities are endless! And once you start looking, it’s amazing what you can find out there!

Special thanks to online piano teacher Crystal B. for her help with this article! 

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7 Essential Drum Rudiments [Video]

Practicing drum rudiments is essential for all drummers, especially if you’re just starting out.

Mastering your drum rudiments will help take your skills to the next level, and in this tutorial you’ll learn how to play seven of them.

These seven drum rudiments are a starting point, and you should learn them before attempting to perform all the other rudiments.

The 7 Essential Drum Rudiments

In the video below, you’ll learn the following necessary drum rudiments:

  • The single-stroke roll,
  • multiple-bounce (buzz/press) roll,
  • double-stroke open roll,
  • five stroke-roll,
  • single paradiddle,
  • flam, and
  • drag.

After watching, practice each of these drum rudiments open (slow), to close (fast), and back to open. You can also set the playback on the video to slower speed, so you can follow along at your own pace until you get the hang of it.

*NOTE: There is a tipping point in double strokes that shifts from muscular-control dominant to rebound dominant as the tempo increases, so practice these as prescribed to build more control.

Now grab your drum sticks and let’s start practicing these essential drum rudiments!

RELATED: The Complete Guide for How to Play the Drums

As you practice these rudiments, you can also follow along with the drum sheet music below.

Try out these drum rudiments in the order they appear on the sheet for the most efficient practice.

drum rudiments

Why You Should Practice Drum Rudiments

Drum rudiments are like words in a drummer’s vocabulary. In essence, rudiments are drum patterns that you can use for drills or warm-ups, or develop into more complex drum beats.

These drum patterns have been fleshed out from the “standard” 26, to the 40 Percussive Arts Society’s Official Drum Rudiments.

So after you master the seven in this tutorial, you can have fun learning even more stick-twisting (and oddly-named) hybrid rudiments.

Drum rudiments are your foundation as a drummer, and all of these rudiments will help you develop finesse. Which drum rudiments are you going to tackle next? Are there any you find particularly challenging?

Let us know in the comments below!

TracyDPost Author: Tracy D.
Tracy D. teaches drum lessons in Edmond, OK, as well as online. She earned her Bachelor’s in Music Education from Oklahoma Christian University and has played with the OKC Community Orchestra since 2009.  Learn more about Tracy here!

Photo by Travis Isaacs

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korean phrases

Restaurant Rescue: Essential Korean Phrases for Dining Out

korean restaurant
Eating is important in any culture, but it’s also a big part of experiencing the Korean culture. Here, Korean instructor Hannah V. teacehes you to order food, and some key phrases you may need in restaurants and eateries in Korea…

If you’re taking Korean lessons, planning a trip to Korea, or simply a Korean food enthusiast, make sure you learn these important phrases.

Understanding the different types of eateries in Korea will make it easier to order food. I will discuss expressions you can use at four different types of eateries.

1. 식당 – Eatery

In Korea, 식당 means “eatery.” These types of restaurants usually have Korean foods, along with other types of Asian foods like Korean-Chinese and Japanese. You will notice a typical 식당 has a menu on the wall, which includes the the food and the prices.

When you enter a 식당, a waiter or waitress will welcome you by saying, “어서오세요” (welcome). Usually, you can sit wherever you want. Some 식당 have different seating arrangements. There may be tables and chairs, like a typical restaurant, or you may see a raised platform or low tables and flat pillows on the floor.

If you prefer to sit at a table with chairs, you can say, “테이블로 주세요” (table, please). Sitting on a flat pillow while you eat is incredibly uncomfortable, but if you’d like to try it, you can say, “방으로 주세요” (room, please). Remember to take off your shoes if you sit on the floor. If you sit at a table with chairs, you do not have to take off your shoes.

Once you sit down, look at the menu on the wall and let the waiter know what you’d like. The waiter will bring drinking water at no extra charge. If you want a different drink, you will have to let your server know.

While you eat, you can ask for additional side dishes or water. When you’re done eating, pay your check at the front of the restaurant. They typically don’t bring the check to the table in a 식당 . In Korea, people do not leave tips. When you pay for your food, there’s no tax or tip added, so pay the exact amount you see on the menu. Nowadays, most places accept credit cards as well as cash.

Let’s practice ordering some food. Here is a typical conversation you might have at a 식당. Since the conversation is taking place between two strangers, we will use the polite form.

Waiter: 어서오세요 (welcome) 몇분이세요 (how many are in your party?)
Customer: 세명이예요 (three, please) 테이블로 주세요 (please get us a table)

Once Seated:
Waiter: 뭐 드시겠어요  (What would you like?)
Customer: 김밥 하나랑 비빔밥 둘 주세요 or 김밥 일인분하고 비빔밥 이인분 주세요 (We will have one order of Kimbob and two orders of bibimbob, please.)
Waiter:  (yes)
Waiter: 여기 있습니다 (here you are) 맛있게 드세요 (enjoy your food)
Customer:  (yes) 감사합니다 (thank you)

While Eating:
Customer: 아저씨, 여기 김치랑 물 좀 더 주세요. (Mr. would you get us more kimchi and water, please?)
Waiter:  (yes)

At the Cashier:

Customer: 다해서 얼마에요 (how much is the total?)
Waiter: 만 삼천원입니다  (it’s 13,000 won)
Customer: 신용카드 되나요  (Do you accept credit cards?)
Waiter: 네 됩니다  (Yes, I do)

After Paying:

Customer: 맛있게 먹었습니다 or 잘 먹었습니다 (It was delicious)

Other phrases you may need to know:

  • 기다리셔야합니다  (there is a wait)
  • 무엇을 주문하시겠어요?  (what would like to order?)
  • 맛있어요  (it’s delicious)
  • 배불러요  (I’m full)
  • 따로 따로 계산할수 있나요?  (can we pay separately?)
  • 내가 낼께  (it’s on me) – informal, used between friends.
  • 제가 낼께요  (it’s on me) – formal

In Korean, there are two sets of counting systems (Korean and Chinese), and the item you’re counting determines which system you use. Also, the form of the number and the particle that follows can change.

When you indicate the number of people in your party, use the Korean numbering system, 하나, , , , 다섯, 여섯, 일곱, 여덟, 아홉, , (original form of Korean numbers, 1 to 10 ). When -명 (particle that means person) is added, the original forms of the numbers change to 한명 (one person), 두명 (two people), 세명 (three people), 네명 (four people), 다섯명 (five people), 여섯명 (six people), 일곱명 (seven people), 여덟명 (eight people), 아홉명 (nine people), 열명 (10 people).

After the number of people, just add 이예요 to say it politely: “한명이예요” (one person, please).

When it comes to money, use the Chinese numbering system (, , , , , , , , , 1 to 10).

  • 일)천원 (1000 won) – is omitted
  • 이천원 (2000 won)
  • 삼천원 (3000 won)
  • 사천원 (4000 won)
  • 오천원 (5000 won)
  • 육천원 (6000 won)
  • 칠천원 (7000 won)
  • 팔천원 (8000 won)
  • 구천원 (9000 won)
  • 만원 (10,000 won)
  • 만삼천원 (13,000 won)
  • 오만원 (50,000 won)
  • 육만칠천원 (67,000 won)
  • 십만원 (100,000 won)

There are two different ways to indicate the number of orders. You can use the Chinese numbering system such as 일인분, 이인분 (one order, two orders). When the numbers are combined with 인분 (order), the numbers keep the original forms.

Informally, you can use the Korean numbering system (김밥 하나, 비빔밥 둘) and it stems from counting individual items. When the numbers are combined with (particle that means piece), some numbers modify their original forms like 한개, 두개, 세개, 네개, 다섯개, 여섯개, 일곱개, 여덟개, 아홉개, 열개 (one piece, two pieces…10 pieces).

If it’s one or two orders, you can informally say 김밥 하나, 비빔밥 둘 주세요 (one Kim-bob and two bibimbobs, please). If it’s more than three, say 비빔밥 세개 주세요 (three bibimbos, please) instead of비빔밥 셋 주세요.

Also, In some situations, you can order food by the number of pieces of food. In that case, you can use this expression: 만두 열개 주세요 (I’d like 10 pieces of Mandu (Korean meat dumplings)).

2. 레스토랑, 까페 – Restaurant / Cafe

In Korea, 레스토랑 and 까페 usually serve Western food. They bring you a menu before you order. They do not have floor seating like a 식당. Tables in a typical 레스토랑 are private. You might see curtains or walls between tables for more privacy. Many people just order drinks, and that’s OK. They may bring the check to your table, or you may have to pay at the cashier. The rest is similar to eating at a 식당.

  • 메뉴주세요  (Menu, please)
  • 계산서주세요 (check, please)
  • 금연석으로 주세요 (non-smoking seat, please)

3. 시장, 포장마차 – Market / Street Vendor

When you go to a 시장 or stop by a  포장마차, you will see the food is ready to be served and has been kept warm. All you need to say is “one order, please” and you can start eating right away. Some establishments have a place to sit, but some may not. Markets and street vendors are generally pretty inexpensive.
You may see a menu displayed, but you may not. If you don’t see a menu, you can ask the vendor and learn the name of the food and the price. Also, the foods are generally ordered “to-go”.

  • 이거 뭐예요  (what is this?) – ask as you point to the food
  • 떡뽁기이예요 (it is) 떡뽁기 – a typical Korean street food: spicy rice cake with fish cake and veggies
  • 얼마에요?  (how much is it?)
  • 삼천원이예요  (it is 3000 won)
  • 일인분주세요  (I’d like one order, please)
  • 여기서 드실꺼예요? (Would you like to eat here)
  • = Yes, 아니요 (No)
  • 싸 드릴까요? (is it to go?)
  • 싸 주세요 (it is to go)

4. Fast Food Restaurants

Fast food restaurants in Korea are very similar to fast food restaurants in other countries. You walk up to the cashier, order your food, and get your receipt with a number. When your number is called, the food is ready.

You should learn to order by item number: “일번 주세요” (I’ll have the number one). In this case, use the Chinese numbering system (, , , , 오 육, 칠, 팔, , , 1 to 10). After the number, just add 번 주세요.

The names of soft drinks are a little different in Korea:

  • 콜라 (Coke or Pepsi)
  • 사이다 (Sprite or 7Up)
  • 환타 (Fanta)

Armed with these phrases, you should feel confident eating at various types of Korean restaurants. Next  time you go out to eat Korean food, take advantage of the opportunity to practice your Korean-language skills.

To learn more helpful Korean phrases, sign up for lessons with a private language instructor. 

Hannah V Teacher
Post Author:
 Hannah V.
Hannah is a Korean instructor in Paradise Valley, AZ. A native Korean speaker, she earned her Master’s degree from the University of Texas in Austin. Learn more about Hannah here!


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japanese holidays

12 Japanese Holidays and Celebrations [Infographic]

japanese holidays

From January through December, there are many Japanese holidays and special occasions you can participate in.

If you’re taking Japanese lessons, make sure you get in on the fun! This is a great way to practice your skills in an authentic, cultural setting.

Get ready to mark your calendar! Here are 12 Japanese celebrations you should remember.

12 Japanese Holidays & Celebrations

Ganjitsu – New Year’s Day

January 1st

People around the world celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. In Japan, many businesses remain closed until the 3rd, and there are all types of parties and traditions.

Japanese people view each year as a fresh start—so you should leave your worries and troubles behind, and start the new year with joy, happiness, and a fresh perspective.

Kenkoku Kinen no Hi – National Foundation Day

February 11th

National Foundation Day is a historical holiday on the 11th of February. The holiday commemorates the formation of the nation.

The National Flag is raised and the prime minister gives a speech, while Japanese people show their national pride by waving flags.

Hina Matsuri – Girls’ Festival

March 3rd

This is many young girls’ favorite of all the Japanese holidays. On this day, parents wish their daughters success and happiness.

Dolls and peach blossoms are displayed in many houses throughout Japan.

RELATED: 10 Japanese Quotes and Sayings

Shunbun No Hi – Spring / Vernal Equinox

March 20th / 21st

This national holiday welcomes the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It’s also a time to visit graves and honor your ancestors.

Additionally, this is a favored holiday for farmers, who pray for an abundant harvest.

Showa No Hi – Showa Day

April 29th

Part of “Golden Week,” Showa Day takes place on April 29th. Once known as the Emperor’s Birthday, it commemorates the Showa Era (1926 – 1989).

Golden Week

April 29th – May 8th

Golden week combines four national holidays in Japan. May 3rd is Kenpo kinenbi (Constitution Day), and it commemorates the new constitution which was put in place in 1947.

May 4th is Midori no hi (Greenery Day), which celebrates nature and the environment. Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day) is the last Golden Week holiday, when Japanese families pray for their son’s health and future success.

Summer Solstice

June 20th – 21st

It’s not an official national holiday, but chances are you can find a celebration to attend. The summer solstice recognizes the longest day of the year—a tradition honored in Japan and around the world.

SEE ALSO: Learn How to Count From 1-10 in Japanese

Umi no Hi – Marine / Ocean Day

Third Monday in July

Ocean Day is a holiday to give thanks for the ocean’s bounty and its importance to Japan as an island nation.

Mountain Day

August 11th

Mountain Day became an official holiday on August 11th, 2016. Like several other Japanese holidays, this one has to do with celebrating nature.

It not only gives people a day off from work, but also provides an opportunity to appreciate and study the benefits of mountains.

Keiro no Hi – Respect for the Aged Day

Third Monday in September

This holiday is all about celebrating and showing respect for elderly people in the community, and expressing gratitude for their contributions.

Taiku no Hi – Health and Sports Day

Second Monday in October

Health and Sports Day is a national holiday that commemorates the opening of the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. The holiday also encourages a healthy and active lifestyle.

Kinrō Kansha no Hi – Labor Day / Thanksgiving

November 23rd

As the name implies, Japan’s Thanksgiving celebrates workers, and honors the labor and production in the country.

Tennō Tanjōbi – The Emperor’s Birthday

December 23rd

The emperor’s birthday is always a national holiday in Japan. Akihito, the current Japanese emperor, was born on December 23rd, so the holiday coincides with his birthday.

Check out the colorful infographic below for more reminders of these Japanese celebrations!

japanese holidays

We hope you enjoyed learning about the many Japanese holidays. If you’re taking Japanese lessons, learn as much as you can about these special Japanese celebrations.

Learning about cultural traditions makes studying Japanese that much more fun!

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Photo by David Chau