For Instructors Spinning

Tools of the Trade


Music is so very very personal, so I wouldn't begin to suggest the best music, but regardless of your music choice, I think it is crucial to deliver it in the best possible way.  For me - blending music is really satisfying, both as a means of progressing a class through the HR or topography profile I have chosen and as a technique for continuity and flow.  At this stage, when I simply hear music butted up against each other or with a 1 or 2 second gap between, it feels stilted - broken even - and not the seamless, "purpose-built" path for the Spinning® journey I plan.


There are several very "user-friendly" programs - Mixmeister, for example, comes to mind.  I used this before I got a Mac.  But Mac's built in garageband is very simple and does the trick.  


There are tutorials on YouTube if you are unfamiliar with the program you have access to.  Take the time to watch them and experiment with blending music - fading out one song as it ends and fading in the next song.


A few quick tips.

*  Don't be stiff in your music choice.  I've recently broadened my music selection by adding in the orchestral sound tracks from movies like 300 and Ender's game.  There are a bazillion choices like this - even a 1:30 minute track that pulls you from a heavy thick cadence of 60bpm/rpm  to a lighter quicker cadence of 90 might sound better if you buffer the transition with a less rhythmic, more ambient sound....use it as coaching time, if that makes sense to you.


*  You can pull your music from iTunes in two ways - one as indicated inside the Garageband display - bottom right....or more simply, drag a song from iTunes and just drop it into garageband.  


*  Listen to your blend several times before adding the next song.  When you fade your first song into your second song, hear it...hear it again with your eyes closed - be very picky at this stage so that it doesn't sound messy.  Did you fade out song 1 too quickly or not enough?  Did song 2 come in on an audible beat at the right volume as it cranks up to take over the sole music being played?  If you are not picky now and you decide to change it later, then all other songs afterwards will be altered.


*  Network and share.  Of course - be mindful of the laws where you live.  This changes, but generally you can't profit off someone else's music, but you can let others hear it and give you feedback (if you're open to feedback, that is).  Most instructors think about sharing the playlist - the actual list of song titles, but until you hear the music and feel how it is blended, it is hard to know the ebbs and flows of mood of your playlist.


*  Be warned....if you get bit by the bug of garageband music is going to cost you.  Time.  Big time - but it is fun and addictive and ever-so-worth it when people come up to you after class with compliments because it is apparent that to deliver that 45-60 minute class, you put 4 hours of time into it.  (wouldn't it be nice if we were ACTUALLY paid for the hours we put into delivering a single Spinning class?)


If you are new to manipulating either the Mixmeister or Garageband programs, don't be shy.  There is NOTHING you can't learn on YouTube and with practice.


 Got questions?  Want to hear samples of music that I have blended and compare them to music that is not blended so you can feel the difference?  drop me a note and I'll share.




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