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Make your Guitar Learning Experience Worthwhile

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Guitars | 0 comments

 

Are you unhappy with your current ability to play guitar, and are you wondering what you can do to get better? Many people who would want to learn would just go to the local shop, buy a guitar, learn the basics, and then stop learning afterwards. Once they can play a few chords or a few songs, the excitement wears off and they never reach the level of ability that they desire. However, anyone can become an awesome guitar player if they are willing to put in a bit of time and energy, and these tips can help you get to be as good as you want to be.

learning guitar

keep going

1. Commit to practicing every single day.

You do not have to spend hours each day doing nothing but playing guitar. You lead a busy life, so you probably do not have time for that. However, do you have twenty minutes to spare? All you need to do is cut out one TV show and spend that time playing guitar. The consistency is the key. If you do this for 20 minutes every single day, you will see a rapid increase in your skills, and playing guitar will get to be as fun again as it was when you first started.

2. Learn songs that you already like.

Sometimes it is a good idea to do lessons and learn the technical aspects of the craft, such as playing scales. However, you want playing guitar to be fun; when you are having a good time, you are more likely to do it every day, which is what is going to help you improve. Learn songs that you already like by the bands that you love. You will be inspired to play and you will really enjoy yourself, even when it takes a while to break down a song and learn each part, and so you will be driven to success.

3. Make sure that you get worthwhile equipment.

You do not need to run out and spend thousands of dollars on a guitar, but you also do not want to buy the cheapest guitar that you can find. The low-end equipment just does not sound as good. It falls out of tune more often and makes it sound like you are a worse guitar player than you are. You want equipment that makes you sound your best so that you can really see if you are making progress.

 

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Guitars Crafted for Individual Preference

Posted by on Nov 24, 2013 in Luthiers | 0 comments

 

Almost all serious guitarists dream of owning a custom made guitar that meets their every desire. Although there are a wide array of factory built guitars available with just about every feature imaginable, this still doesn’t replace what a unique, beautifully handcrafted, custom made guitar can provide.

To really find a custom guitar that meets your specific needs and desires takes a lot of work. You have the option of either buying one that has already been made or ordering a custom design from an expert luthier who will make the guitar for you.

luthier

Luthier shop, Cremona

Either option requires you to be well-versed in guitar construction and acoustics. There are several different ways to acquire that knowledge. One way is to reading extensively. There are many books and magazines available that can educate you on guitar construction. You can also find extensive knowledge online at various guitar websites.

Another important piece of your education is to play many different guitars to get a feel for what features and dimensions work the best for you. It is a good idea to visit several guitar stores and play as many guitars as you can. When you do this, play the same music so that you are comparing apples with apples. It is also a good idea to put a new set of strings on any guitar you are serious about.

For those who are very serious about finding the guitar of their dreams, another way to really acquire extensive knowledge about guitar craftsmanship is to attend guitar shows and festivals where the finest luthiers are in attendance. This is a great way to see some of the finest custom made guitars in the world and to speak personally with their makers.

One way to make your search for a guitar easier is to find a store or other source that carries a wide selection of handmade guitars from well-known luthiers like Luthier’s Collection. This gives you the advantage of having numerous handmade guitars to choose from without having to wait many months for your guitar to be built.

Owning a custom made guitar is a dream that many guitarists have. If you are willing to really expand your knowledge base, try out many guitars, and talk to numerous guitarists and luthiers to get good advice on guitar construction and selection, you can end up with the guitar of your dreams one of these days.

luthier

Sieji tending to an instrument (Whisper of the Heart)

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Career Options For Music Producers

Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Music Careers | 0 comments

 

A person who graduates from a music production school has lots of possibilities when it comes to employment. Music producers work with singers who are recording albums in a studio. The producer helps the artist to get the best possible performance and sound for the CD. Here are some other fields where music producers find work.

A music producer may work on a television show. A television show usually has some music right at the beginning of the program as well as at the end. A music producer must make sure that the television producers and directors like the music choices. A music producer may work on a show with actors or perhaps a cartoon show. Many cartoons use music throughout the story to push the plot along. A talented music producer can establish a reputation for coming up with original mixes and songs to put into a cartoon.

music producer

image via http://nycelectro.com

Music producers also work in films. Films often have music mixed throughout the hour and a half or two hours of screen time. A music producer is responsible for coming up with music that fits with the plot and tone of a film. A music producer may work on independent films or large budget films that get a wide release. There are opportunities in all parts of the film world.

Finally, a music producer can find work on the radio. Radio stations sometimes play continuous music or mix in pieces of music throughout a talk program. Music producers are needed in many types of radio stations.

 

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The Moonshine Jungle Tour – Bruno Mars in Vienna

Posted by on Oct 26, 2013 in Concerts, Featured | 0 comments

bruno mars moonshine

The Moonshine Jungle Tour

For months, we’ve been counting the days we can finally get seated at Vienna’s Stadthalle for this particular day: Bruno Mars’ Moonshine Jungle Tour Vienna Leg. And our long wait is all worth it…even the hour-long opening by Mayer Hawthorne was not to be set aside.

We wanna see y’all moving, we wanna see y’all dancing… maybe, just maybe, put your camera phones down and get into it!

In his trademark fedora, aloha shirt (uhhmm, sort of), matched by his awesome ‘Hooligans’ and dancing along the tunes of “Moonshine” and “Natalie” at the beginning of the show. As early as that, the crowd was on their feet dancing and singing along.

So when Mars commanded the crowd to the tune of “Treasure” – everyone, basically, was swinging to a beat. The set list for his October 26 performance at Vienna’s Stadthalle was completed with the following:

Money (That’s What I Want) / Billionaire
Show Me
Candy Rain (cover)
Our First Time / Pony
Marry You
Runaway Baby
The Lazy Song
When I Was Your Man
Grenade
Just the Way You Are

Encore:

Locked Out of Heaven
Gorilla

(Or at least, that’s how I remember…)

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Mars and the Hooligans

 

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lazy song…I think

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The Beauty of Encountering Music Unexpectedly

Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Featured, Street Performances | 23 comments

 

Being in the European Music Centre that is Vienna is like always walking at a park serenaded by Mozart and company. Musicians abound and would play as though they are on a stage in front of a large audience – skillfully and with all the emotions, you can’t help but be mesmerized. It has become habitual, yes, but I still always take time to listen, clip a film and give my due – which is actually just a bonus on their part.

So when I’m out of town or country, I’d stop, look, and listen to them buskers as I’ve always had. They can be musicians, dancers, jugglers, clowns, mimes, sketchers and what-have-you on the streets. All about street act in the hope that you’ll give them your attention and be able to entertain as you pass along them. My favorite of them would be musicians, no matter what instrument. And because I walk a lot whichever city I go, it kinda makes my day happier just to encounter good music unexpectedly at street corners or any given plaza!

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Glass Water, Venice

In Vienna, many hardly notice the soulful voice of the blind man serenading passers-by going to the train station, probably because like the rest of the population, they’re in a rush. Most of the time, tourists are the ones who would always listen. And so it is when I’m out of town; I’d stop, look and listen – just as tourists would. It’s probably because I heard that some popular singers sometimes disguise as buskers. To name a few, there was Joshua Bell, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Sting, Tom Jones and even Bruce Springsteen when he was young. And actually, some were discovered from street busking such as musicians Rod Stewart, Violent Femmes, and Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil theatrical company. Have you noticed any of them?

Unknown to many, busking is quite a complex endeavor. Depending on the city, performers need permits and must conform to regulations and laws. Most of the time, they are the targets of robbery. Artists as they are, one thing’s for sure though – it’s the love of performing that keeps them going.

So during our trip to Italy, the home of the piano and the violin, I’ve seen how there is no shortage of talented musicians who took to the streets. In Venice for example, finding our way back the serpentine roads and after many detours we chanced upon a water glass (glass harp/verrilion) player. Didn’t really mind stopping to listen, it’s no wonder that though called with many names, this instrument fits the description “angelic organ”. It was a delightful surprise despite getting lost.

time machine

Rome, playing 50’s music

While roaming alone in Rome, lost in between thoughts and expectations, I stumbled upon a builder of time machines (slash) rock musician. (His witty sign alone will make you stop!) He was playing his version of Ray Charles’ I Got a Woman, sort of invites you to just pull a partner, dance around not minding the crowd building up around him. I regret not having to! Maybe I should build a time machine myself and go back there to do that? Nah, a trip back to Rome would definitely be more practical, I just hope he hasn’t gone back to the 50’s by then!

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Rome, playing and singing Italian

I agreed to a rendezvous with hubby by the pantheon and I lost track of time listening to this lady. I was lost too to the lyrics of her song (the only Italian song I know by heart is Zucchero’s Hai Scelto Me and I still haven’t learned its English counterpart in full) blending so well with her awesome guitar skills. I was so engrossed, I listened to two of her songs before I went on to look for hubby…saw him and a mime clown. But, that’s another story.

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Florence, classics on violin

Then, there’s this young performer at the Piazza del Duomo in Florence, by the side of the Basilica di Santa Maria del FioreWhile many went on to learn what the fuss about the carabinieri in front of the Il Duomo was that particular night, she continued playing her violin, undisturbed in front of a crowd. She did Mozart and Bach. There was a younger girl watching her intently the whole time…I somehow felt like – that was how I might have appeared to others when caught up to beautiful music I chance upon for being the itchyfeet that I am.

There are many more performances I heard and saw while in Italy (I have to look for the videos :/ gott). For all those, I’m really grateful. You know, the one good thing about music that I like is, when it hits you, you feel no pain. Right, I borrowed that quote from someone famous but it’s true. That is why, when you’re out, it wouldn’t hurt to appreciate the performances out in the open. Stop, listen, be engulfed, let it hit you! You will never know, years from now, maybe the next time you hear/see that performer is  during his/her concert on the big stage!

 

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Combining Gears for Better Music

Posted by on Sep 28, 2013 in Guitars | 0 comments

 

Many new guitarists ask themselves this question: What is more important, the guitar or the amp? The reason that they ask often has to do more with money than anything else. They may not have enough money to have top-of-the-line equipment, so they want to know which side they should upgrade first. Are they best to go out and get a $2,500 guitar and pair it with whatever amp they can get with their leftover money, or would they be better off to get a $500 guitar and then spend the money that they have left on the best amp they can get?

guitar

my good ‘ol guitar

The answer really depends on what you are looking to get out of your setup. If you are interested in playing intricately and precisely, about learning the craft the same way that you would learn how to play the saxophone or the flute, you probably want a good guitar. It needs to have a fast, flat fretboard so that you can hit those solos in stride. You do not want a guitar that makes you a worse player because you have to press too hard on the strings or because you cannot play it cleanly. You want it to reflect exactly what you are doing.

If you want to play in a rock band in the garage – which is what many young guitarists really want to do – you are best off with a $500 guitar and a killer amp. A lot of what you are going to be doing is just playing power chords anyway, so the guitar does not have to be as precise. You can rock out on those chords with anything for around the $500 mark, and you can get many good guitars – with twin humbuckers, whammy bars, and the like – for that price. You need to have a powerful amp so that you can turn it up at band practice, and the raw gain on the amp is going to influence your sound more than the guitar.

As you can see, it all comes down to your goals as a guitar player. Take a look at the Greenfield guitars at LuthiersCollection.com and then look up some of your favorite amps and half stacks, and add up the prices. Find out which combination of gear will give you the best results for what you are going to do with it.

 

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Playing Tunes with a Music Degree

Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Music Degree | 0 comments

 

Graduates with a music education degree can use their new found knowledge in a variety of ways. Some of them are teaching music to students in public and private schools. This is a nice option for teachers who prefer to instruct students of a particular age. Some teachers want to work with students who are in elementary school while others want to teach older students in high school. Find out some other favorable work options suitable for people with degrees in music education.

music degree

image via http://www.abbeybirmingham.co.uk/

Some people with a degree in music education are choosing to give private lessons. Instructors who want to choose the students they teach appreciate this option. They can teach several young students or even instruct adults. The instructor may teach music history or perhaps offer lessons on a specific instrument such as piano, violin or the drums. By giving private lessons, a music instructor can make his or her own schedule. If the person is writing a composition or trying to perfect his or her skills on a particular instrument, the lessons can take place at a time of day that allows for those other activities.

A person with a degree in music education may want to write books or articles on the topic of music instruction. This way the person will be helping other teachers to instruct students on music history, famous composers or the finer points of a particular instrument. A person with this degree as well as an interest in writing will likely find this to be an ideal occupation.

Making instructional videos is another option for someone with a degree in music education. For example, if the person has great skill at playing the piano, he or she can give lessons to beginners who want to learn the basics of piano. This can be done with practically any type of instrument. The person is using his or her skills and knowledge in the realm of music to benefit others who want to learn.

Finally, a person with this degree may want to pursue a career as a music professor at a university. This requires an advanced degree, but it is worthwhile for a person who wants to teach college-aged students. The person may even be able to work with a school’s band or orchestra as a side activity. This can be very inspiring work for someone who is devoted to teaching music in any fashion.

image via http://derbytheatre.co.uk

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