Blogs

17 Apr 2015

To some of us, books really don’t sound that exciting, do they. Some immediate connotations include classrooms, boredom, the 20th century, stuffy academia, cruelly dense text that makes your brain physically hurt, etc. But for those that have had our lives changed by music, you know that music books have been an instrumental guide in taking that talent to the next level. 1. Music books unlock more opportunities. Music books, whether new or borrowed, have been the ticket to serious growth for decades. Without them, we would have been lost as youngins exploring the world of music. We all know progression comes from practice. The tangible book guide still serves as the most practical key to do this. 2. Music books are real. Get the e-book version, sure, but having a physical book is great for practicing. You can display more on an open book page than you can on your iPad or 13-inch laptop screen, it doesn’t need to be charged and if it falls off your stand, desk or bed, it’s n...

23 Jan 2015

Piano or Keyboard? Got 5+k to spend, plenty of space and are passionate about authentic piano playing - get an acoustic piano and never look back. Worried the kids will be more into playing xbox than the piano? Enter the keyboard. She won’t take up as much room, she can produce a wealth of sounds, can make practice silent through headphones, can come equipped with learning tools and she’ll be cheaper to run. The keyboard features you need to care about: Number of keys - how do you like to play? Large range of tones? Go 88 keys. Want portability? You can get away with a 66 keys. Think about how a smaller number of keys might limit your playing. Weight - When playing, how hard you press the keys should drastically change the sound. In a real piano the keys have weight to them as the internal hammer is held up from hitting the strings. This tension between the hammer and strings is used to control how soft or punchy the tones are that you make. This is no.1 to consider if you want your playing to inspire any kind of emotion. You need the feeling in your fingers of how hard you are hitting virtual strings to play somewhat seriou...

19 Jan 2015

5. This street drummer on buckets just gets better and better. I ended up watching the whole thing mesmerized. He’s a big kid I know, but he made the list cause he’ creative. 4. Hey Jude This is adorable. Yeah, I’m a dude and I said adorable. Not the best playing, but as a performance the lil ’ fella will be breaking hearts. 3. Kid smashes bass guitar at end of concert. Skip to 3.40. Pure gold. I laughed out loud. The awkwardness is brilliant. A true rock n' roller. 2. Four Year Old Boy Plays Piano Better Than Any Master ...

07 Jan 2015

Living up to its name, Breedlove has people falling head over heals. At a glance, people are taken back by the guitars distinctive aesthetics and innovative designs. Some of you won't be sold off the looks. I get that. You value quality materials and manufacturing, reliability and a loveable sound. You may be loyal to your well known guitar brands, but we've got news for you. Not until you pick up and play a Breedlove yourself will you truly get what I'm on about when I say "Breedlove is an instant classic". Anyone that's been around the block a few times will know that things rise and fall on leadership. Breedlove's history takes you on a journey that reveals its heart. Where other guitars brands make great guitars, Breedlove has set out to "challenge convention and build instruments of tomorrow". Their master luthiers create guitars for self-expression and liberation through music. In fewer arty words, it's for original players that value the difference. Breedlove has a distinctly crafted sound and looks to boot. Big words I know. So I'll back them up with 4 re...

15 Dec 2014

Follow the next 6 steps and you will be on your way to making yourself or whoever you’re buying for the happiest drummer out. 1. Decide on an acoustic or electric drum kit Is noise and/or space an issue? Go electric. Electric drums do not “ feel as good” but are powerful, flexible and quiet. Noise complaints won’t make you a good drummer. Practice will. If you can get away with having an acoustic drum kit then hands down go for this. It's more fun to play and making loud rhythms and beats is why many people get into drumming in the first place. Smashing an electric kit in front of your friends is not as cool. Sorry, electric fans! Electric drum kits are great for practice with advantages like trying different kit sounds, having metronomes to help keep you in time and you can play along to songs without letting everyone know you're practicing. 2. Set your budget How much should you spend? Follow this question with how much practice will you do or how much time do you think you or your player will you invest into drumming? Entry level kits start at ...

28 Nov 2014

Roland RD800 Vs. Kawai MP11 The two new kids on the block have got a lot to prove. With new technology and shiny lights which stage piano is the best and why? We want to strip it all back and get down to the nitty-gritty but first let's check out a quick spec comparison of the main features. Kawai MP11 Roland RD800 Polyphony: 256 notes Maximum Polyphony: 128 voices Sounds: 40 voices Tones: 1113 Sound Source: Harmonic Imaging™ XL (HI-XL), 88-key piano sampling SuperNATURAL Piano ,SuperNATURAL (E.Piano, Clav)Virtual tone Wheel Organ PCM Sound Generator FX: Reverb (Room, ...

30 Sep 2014

A drummer’s sound is not just down to the tone of the drum itself. By using the built-in effects, it’s possible to just about recreate any drum sound you like and perform it with V-Drums. Think of your favourite drummer. Now think of a favourite track (or album) they performed on, one that you know well. When you listen back to that track, it’s different to other tracks or albums they performed on, right? Sure, the drummer’s style, groove, and playing ability all define their sound – but that’s not what we’re discussing here. Part of the drum sound on that track is down to actual kit they used, where it was recorded, how and even when they recorded it. Let’s take that one stage further. The drummer performed the track. He may have even tuned the kit used on the recording. But the recording engineer and the producer had a large influence in the sound of the drums on that record – microphone techniques, room a...

08 Oct 2014

Ever heard that 'your tone comes from your hands and that a great player can make any guitar sound good'? Skill is a must, but that doesn't entirely account for the player's tone. Consider the quality of his or her rig while performing. You wouldn't use rubbish tools if your trade were building a house so why use rubbish gear when building guitar tone? Great tone is only half the battle when playing live. So, for a minute, let's forget the ability to play a million miles an hour and steam role over all musician subtleties. The right tone for the right song gets your listeners enticed. How do you achieve this? Practice? Yes, most definitely, but you could nail the song note for note, and if it doesn't sound like the real thing then the listener doesn't connect, nor does the rest of the band. For example, you wouldn't play Led Zeppelin's Whole Lot Of Love, with a cool George Benson jazz tone would you? So what's the right tone? Partly it's about using the right guitar for the job, it's also about having an amp that can deliver a clean flat bed for your effects. This is why the likes of ...

26 Nov 2014

Choosing the perfect guitar without regretting your purchase later on is tough! I can hear the questions running through your head! “What one is right for me? How do I know I’m getting a guitar that is right for my (or my child's) abilities? You’ve got questions like “what should my budget be? How do I pick a good sound? How should it feel in my hand? What will sound good for years to come? Electric or acoustic? Nylon or steel string? The biggest decision you have to make when choosing a guitar is what type. I think it’s a natural decision to make so don’t fret (pun intended). What style of music do you listen to most? What songs do you have in mind to play? What do you enjoy jamming the most? What do you want your child to get into? To make this decision there are four main types of guitar you should know about: Nylon string acoustic Nylon string styled guitars are more suited to classical and spanish guitaring. It’s got a smoother, more woody sound that coins the classical and spanish tone. It might seem easy to learn on with softer strings but don’t be ha...