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Math is a Musician's Friend! 

Recently, Homestyle Music owner / recording artist Katie Hester (my awesome wife) reminded me of how math and music are so connected.  She said it was due to the "spatial reasoning" in the brain and how the concepts of time and rhythm in music are simply mathematical.  The conversation Katie and I had reminded me of an excellent article I read that shared similar ideas about the marriage of math to music.  Canadian entertainment lawyer Byron Pascoe, and his firm Edwards Law, recently gave me permission to share his article "Math is a musician's friend!" here on the site for Breakthrough Music Today.  In the article, Mr. Pascoe shared about how musicians should not be afraid of the math involved in considering their earnings and how to manage or promote their creations.  I originally found his article published by web host Bandzoogle, a site for musicians and related businesses.

In the piece by Pascoe he shared a quote from Vanessa Vakharia, Founder/CEO of The Math Guru.  She is also a founding member of "Goodnight, Sunrise," an indie rock band from Toronto.  Vakharia is quoted as having said "A successful musician doesn't need to be able to solve quadratic equations. But entering the music business (yes, business!) with an attitude that math is to be feared, simply makes no sense!"  She and her band "Goodnight, Sunrise" had to use math "to calculate the SOCAN royalties that would be paid to them for opening the show" for Bon Jovi at the Air Canada Centre.  For further interesting perspectives on how math and music are related, please read Byron Pascoe's story in its entirety here:

For more information about Byron Pasco and entertainment law reach out to him here at:

To learn more interesting concepts about math and how it might affect your music, visit: 


Have fun jamming to some music and math!  Cheers!  --James Hester, Breakthrough Music Today



Recently, I had a one of those "bad days at work."  After the negative event occurred, I said a few prayers and asked God to help me stay positive and maintain a good mood.  I believe my prayer was answered when God reminded me I had a CD of classic church hymns that my good friend Linda Gail Lewis recorded.  The classic rock n' roll diva gave me a CD of songs that she and her brother, piano-maestro Jerry Lee Lewis used to sing in church.  Like Linda and Jerry, I grew up in the South singing songs in church that stirred my soul and reminded me of how God had never left me and that I could "do all things through Christ who strengthened me."  Linda told me she recorded those gospel tunes because she "wanted the old songs that she grew up with, to be an inspiration to those who remember and love them."  She also wanted those "traditional southern gospel songs to inspire young people" who would be hearing them for the first time.  Linda's CD featured several popular greats including: "The Old Rugged Cross" and a rockin' rendition of "Do Lord."  After listening to the hymns that Linda and her daughter Annie Marie recorded, I felt SO MUCH BETTER!  I felt like an airline pilot who just inhaled some purified oxygen to wake myself up.  Although that CD is currently not sold online, I am sure others like myself can find their own choices of music to be inspired by, like FEEL GOOD MUSIC BY JOHNNY CASH or GOSPEL MUSIC BY ELVIS PRESLEY...and the list goes on....

        Linda and Annie reminded me of my past work as a professional counselor.  Music can alter levels of cortisol and dopamine in the brain.  Many studies have been authored and published through the years about how music can help with brain functions including, mood, concentration, and memory.  I found an interesting article by Sharuna Segaren about how listening to music while studying might affect students.  I found it here on the web at: 

Find some music to perform yourself or simply to listen to and feel better!  --James Hester


Veteran music educator, performer, and composer Katie Hester enjoys composing SONGS ABOUT LOVE because she is inspired by love. She received much of this inspiration from the professional work she has done for over 20 years teaching music lessons.  Her love for people and her love for music has inspired, and continues to inspire, her to perform the music she composes.  However, her primary influence and inspiration to love, and to express love in music, is given to her by God.  Katie believes God is love and that the music she composes and performs is derived largely from receiving that perfect Love.  Perhaps, her album “Songs of Love - 528 Hz,” recorded in the healing frequency 528 Hz, will inspire you to share with others and enjoy life more.   

Ask yourself:  “How can I experience love?”  Answer that question and be inspired!

Wholetones! HEALING MUSIC! 


SONGS OF LOVE - 528 Hz  

I have been fortunate enough to learn about playing in different frequencies.  Some of the frequencies are 444Hz, 528Hz, and 639Hz and 741Hz.  There is published research out to support how certain frequencies of sound can effect the healing of human cells, as well as issues of the soul in general.  The product below is some of the newest research.  It goes a step further than what comes up in an Internet search.  The music from Wholetones by Michael Tyrell literally produced healing in my body and soul as I listened to it, and still is.   I had noticeable physical changes for the good instantly, but especially within a few days and weeks.  Tyrell's book changed my life forever, to the point of me doing all of my recordings within the appropriate healing frequencies from now on.  I even threw out several background recordings that had been made to support my upcoming albums because they were not done in those frequencies.  While I cannot change what I recorded fully up to this point, I can change what I do from here on out.  I am now fully committed to teaching as many people as I can about the value of playing and listening to music within the correct frequencies.  

You do not have to be a musician for this information and music to positively effect you.  There are tons of testimonies of various healings happening as people listen to it.  Education is a valuable tool, so reading the book for myself was a life changer.    

I look forward to your great experience with Wholetones!  --Katie Hester

How to Shop for an Electric Guitar: 

     If you are new to playing and performing music, how and where to shop for an electric guitar is important to consider.  It really comes down to how often you think you will be playing an instrument and how much it will cost you to buy it.  As a student, just beginning to learn how to play guitar, it would be wise to buy something basic and to not invest a lot of time or money searching for the instrument you think you want to play.  If money and a budget concerns you, it would be better for you to start out learning how to play an acoustic guitar well before graduating to an electric guitar.  With a basic acoustic guitar, one does not need to have a guitar amplifier to be heard while playing.  When you practice on an electric guitar, your neighbors will be more likely to hear you than if you were to practice on a traditional acoustic guitar that is not amplified.  

    Obviously, people change their minds frequently and on a regular basis, but let us assume you have some level of accomplishment on an acoustic guitar.  Now you are ready to jam on an electric one.  As with an acoustic guitar, you want to first learn how to play on something basic and less expensive.  Fender offers a cheaper line of good quality electric guitars under the brand name Squier.  The Squier "Bullet Stratocaster Bundle" is an excellent and affordable electric guitar to learn on.  Gibson offers a cheaper line of good quality electric guitars under the brand name of Epiphone.  An excellent combo pack for begnners is offered by Epiphone called the "Les Paul Electric Guitar Player Package."  For $249, it includes a guitar, an amplifier, an audio cord, guitar picks, and an electric tuner.  This Les Paul deal gets even sweeter when approved customers use their new Amazon Rewards VISA card and get an extra $50 off instantly.  If money is not a concern and you want to sound just like Joe Satriani in a competition, then you might want his "Ibanez JS1CR", or “Chrome Boy” as it called.  Be prepared to spend over $5000, just on the guitar alone. That does not include a guitar amplifier, an audio cord to plug your guitar into the amplifier with, or a case to protect your guitar.  It also does not include a guitar strap autographed by "Satch."  Seek advice and take lessons from an experienced and professional guitar teacher such as Katie Hester of Homestyle Music.  She will likely know of some good basic electric guitars that will fit your budget and meet your needs.  

     Unless you buy from a trusted source such as a family member or neighbor, it might be better for you to stick to buying from a reputable company online such as Amazon, or a well-established local retail store with a good reputation.  Buying from a business rather than an individual is usually safer if you want a refund or an exchange for your purchase.  Lastly, another important consideration would be taking care of your electric guitar.  It is recommended that you purchase some sort of case to protect your electric guitar and that you also purchase a music stand to set it on as well.  If your guitar does not come with a strap, that is another valuable investment that will save you from juggling the guitar and possibly dropping it.  It will give you a better presence as well, when you are ready to play your guitar in front of others.  Listeners will not be distracted by your trying to hold your guitar steady.  Another important accessory is polish for your guitar if you want to keep it looking nice.  Good luck and happy hunting! 

--James Hester   

Choosing Guitar Strings: 

If you are new at playing guitar, or you are in the beginning stages of learning to play, you might be wondering which strings are recommended for your use.  The size and type of string on a guitar can affect its general tones and sounds, so you might want to try playing on several different guitars first with different brands or sizes of strings before you decide which string plays and sounds best for you. 

The type of strings one should play on depends on a number of factors including: the strength of the guitarist's hands, and whether or not it is an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar.  Electric guitars tend to have lighter gauge strings when you buy them brand-new with strings already on them.  Acoustic guitars tend to have slightly heavier gauge strings when you buy them brand-new than electric guitars. 

There can be great benefit in learning how to play an acoustic guitar or an electric guitar.  A person learning guitar might build his or her hand strength better on heavier gauge strings, by learning to play an acoustic guitar, provided he or she does not have any sort of disability in the fretting hand such as arthritis, paralysis, or carpal tunnel syndrome.  

Guitar strings are made in a range of gauges that are based on thousandths of an inch. For beginning guitar players, an excellent idea is to start out on a good, basic guitar such as the "Squier Dreadnought acoustic guitar by Fender". It comes with a bronze set of strings that range in size from the high E string being a .012 to the low E string being a .052.  These are considered "light" strings for an acoustic guitar, but if your hands are not strong enough, or you just prefer to start out easier, then a lighter guitar string might be better when you begin playing. 

There are generally no right or wrong brands or sizes of strings to use for playing on a guitar. 

Good luck and happy shredding!  --James Hester

Homestyle Music supports independent musicians worldwide.  Our good friend Christopher Insley of the band Field Manual owns and operates the guitar shop AMP in the suburbs of Manchester in England.  This photo is from an article on the Manchester Evening News' website.  Click on the photo to read the article.  Look for Field Manual's latest album "Someday Streets" on CD Baby and elsewhere on the Internet!

Homestyle Music supports independent musicians worldwide. Our good friend Christopher Insley of the band Field Manual owns and operates the guitar shop AMP in the suburbs of Manchester in England. This photo is from an article on the Manchester Evening News' website. Click on the photo to read the article. Look for Field Manual's latest album "Someday Streets" on CD Baby and elsewhere on the Internet!

Below is a healing flute improvisational video by Homestyle Music's owner Katie Hester.  She did not rehearse prior to recording this.  Students can take flute, piano, guitar, and other lessons from Katie.  For more of her own original music, visit her site!  Scroll down this page for more music videos from other artists along with advice and links to purchase music and instruments.

Click Below for More by Recording Artist Katie Hester:

Site Summary:

This blog is Homestyle Music's site for advice from music teachers and other professionals in the music industry.  It also showcases music by featured recording artists and serves as a connection to social media outlets.  Thanks for visiting!


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