Friday, June 28, 2013

Cordoba Guitars - C9 Spruce



Hear the Cordoba C9 Spruce played in a variety of styles:

1. Fingerstyle
2. Classical (0:21)
3. Jazz (0:48)
4. Strumming with a pick (1:21)
5. Flamenco (1:56)

More Details on the C9 Spruce

Along with the sweet, warm tone provided by its all-solid body, the Cordoba C9 features the vintage elegance of a hand-inlaid mother-of-pearl rosette inspired by a 1920s Domingo Esteso design. Available with a solid European spruce or Canadian cedar top and solid mahogany back and sides. Comes with a Cordoba Polyfoam Case.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Your First Band Instrument - The Do's and Don'ts of Choosing a Musical Instrument

Congratulations on joining your school band! In band, you'll choose an instrument you like and learn to play from the ground up. When you first join band, you may be tempted to dabble on many instruments; unfortunately, trying to learn every instrument will leave you knowing little about any instrument! But how do you decide which instrument is best for you? This article will show you the do's and don'ts of choosing your first band instrument, and give you tools to help you pick an instrument you'll enjoy.

Listening to recordings is a great way to discover which instrument you may like best. Ask your band director to recommend good recordings of different instruments, or search for music online. When you listen to a great recording, you have the chance to hear your favorite instruments at their finest. As you listen, try to pick out specific instruments and listen to what they're playing. Is there an instrument whose sound you enjoy? In addition to recordings, seeing the instrument in action can help you make your decision. Your band director may take the time to play each instrument for the class; if so, watch and listen carefully. What do you like and/or dislike about each instrument? As you listen to recordings and watch your band director, you may find yourself being drawn to certain instruments.

The best way to see how much you like an instrument is to try it out. Everyone is built differently, so certain instruments may fit one person better than another. As you try instruments, ask yourself questions to see if the instrument is a good fit for you. Is it easy to play a note? Are your fingers able to cover the holes and reach every key? For brass instruments, are you able to "buzz" your lips to create a sound? Which kind of buzz are you better at, a high, tight one for the trumpet or horn, or a lower, looser one for trombone, euphonium, and tuba? Imagine yourself playing the instrument every day. Is it something you'd be comfortable sticking with for a while? Many band directors offer the chance to try instruments in class, or you can visit a music store. Either way, trying several instruments can be a powerful way to decide which one is right for you.

When you're deciding which instrument to play, don't worry about instrument stereotypes. In the old days, some instruments were considered "boy" instruments while others were considered "girl" instruments. For example, it was rare to see a boy playing flute or a girl playing trombone. Nowadays, though, these stereotypes are breaking down, and kids are starting to play whichever instrument they want to play. In fact, one of the best flutists in the world is a man, Sir James Galway, while one of the best trombonists in the world is a woman named Abbie Conant. If you are attracted to a certain instrument and think you'd enjoy playing it, don't let old-fashioned ideas change your mind.

While there are many good reasons to choose an instrument, there are several bad reasons. Generally, it's not a good idea to choose an instrument just because your friend is playing it. Since everyone is built differently, everyone won't find success on the same instrument. If you sound great on trumpet, but can't get a sound out of the flute, don't pick flute so you can sit beside your friend in band class! Odds are, you'll have a tough time and won't enjoy yourself in band. Another bad idea is choosing an instrument because you think it's the easiest to play. While some instruments may seem easy at first, you'll soon discover that every instrument has its own unique challenges. While the trumpet is easy to put together, it takes a while to achieve a pretty sound. On the other hand, clarinets are hard to put together at first, but tend to sound good before many other instruments. Percussion may seem easy, but percussionists have to learn several different instruments--and carry them all to the concert! If you choose your instrument because it fits you well and you think you'll enjoy playing it, you'll have a better chance of being successful in band.

When you're choosing a band instrument, doing research and trying several instruments before you decide can get your band career off to a good start. No matter which instrument you choose, be willing to stick with it. Even though it may be tempting to switch instruments when yours seems hard, remember that every instrument is equally difficult. When the going gets tough, keep practicing and ask your band director for help. You can even find a private teacher to help you learn more about your instrument. Even though band isn't always easy, taking the time to choose the right instrument can make it more fun, and put you on the road to becoming an excellent musician!

Christina Thompson is a professional trombonist and music educator living in Raleigh, NC. She offers private trombone lessons, musical workshops, and creativity coaching designed to help you discover, develop, and enjoy your unique musical talents. If you need help learning music, please visit http://www.summerglen-music.com
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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cordoba Guitars - GK Studio Negra



Hear the Cordoba GK Studio Negra played in a variety of styles:

1. Flamenco
2. Classical (0:40)
3. Jazz (1:19)
4. Strumming with a pick (1:37)
5. Fingerstyle (2:09)

/// More Details on the Cordoba GK Studio Negra ///

The first flamenco model in the Iberia series, the Cordoba GK Studio Negra features the traditional solid European spruce top with cypress back and sides. It is built according to the Spanish flamenco body style with a flat neck angle to give the guitar low action and a flamenco buzz. Includes a golpeador (tap plate) and a Cordoba deluxe gig bag.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What Woodwind Instrument Should You Learn to Play?

In any type of music, whether it is jazz, classical, or pop, woodwind instruments often play an important role. These instruments are tubes that are made from wood or metal. Sound is produced when the players blow through them either by a reed, or resonance. When it comes to learning to play an instrument, woodwind instruments are generally easier to learn than brass and this is why many people prefer to choose them. However, there are different types of woodwind instruments and choosing which one to learn is another difficult decision.

The Flute

Modern flutes are not usually made of wood, instead they are made of metal because it helps in making the sound of the instrument louder in a big hall. Flutes come in different sizes and the smallest one is the piccolo. It has a high and shrill sound. The next in size is the flute which is what most people prefer to learn. The alto flute is lower in pitch than the flute and is also bigger in size. The bass flute is the longest and requires much more air than the others of the flute family. Flutes require a lot of breath control from the player. They need to be able to hold a lot of air in their lungs and they also should know how to control the air from escaping. Flutes have been popular in jazz and prog rock (e.g. Jethro Tull), but their main use is in orchestras.

Clarinet

The clarinet is a popular instrument commonly used in jazz and classical music. It has a small, rectangular piece of cane which is called a reed. This reed is attached to the mouthpiece and when air is blown into the mouthpiece, this reed vibrates against the mouthpiece and sound is created. They are mostly made of the wood, grenadilla. The B-flat and the E-flat clarinet are the most popular.  Concert players will have a B-flat and A clarinet because the complex fingering makes some passages in different keys too difficult on one or the other instrument. The notes produced by B-flat types are loud and clear, whereas the low notes are soft and mellow. On the other hand, the E-flat is smaller in size and has the highest and most piercing sound. An even lower-pitched version of B-flat is the bass clarinet with a long tube curling up at the bottom. The contra-bass is even bigger with a metal tube and is pitched even lower.

Saxophone

Just like the clarinet, the saxophone also produces a sound with a single reed, however, the body is made of brass and its shape is conical. If you like concert bands and large jazz bands, then saxophone is the right instrument for you. Another thing that makes it quite popular is that its key system is quite modern and easier to play. It has rollers that help the small fingers move around. Due to the ease in playing, improvising with this instrument is easier.

Oboe

The oboe is a double-reed instrument and is often used in classical compositions. The reeds in the oboe are tied together and therefore vibrate against one another rather than against the mouthpiece as with a clarinet. The English horn (or cor anglais) is an alternative to the oboe and has a deep, soulful, and mellow sound.

Oboe is considered to be one of the harder woodwind instruments to master.

Bassoon

Like the oboe, a bassoon also has a double reed with a conical tube. The tube is about four times longer than the tube of the oboe and its double reed is also bigger. It has a rich and mellow low range and warm high notes. The contra-bassoon is larger in size and produces lower notes. These instruments are rarely heard in solos in orchestras, but play an important part.

The woodwind instrument that you chose to learn will depend on the kind of music you prefer. Some of these instruments are harder to learn compared to others. So, choose your woodwind instrument based on the kind of music you like to play because then you will play more and be willing to put in the commitment required to master it.

Michael Lincoln is a keen musician and particularly loves classical music. If you are keen to record your woodwind instrument check out recording studio equipment you can use in your home. Augment your studio with some nice furniture and perhaps some bamboo roman shades. Once you are more accomplished you could try recording in a larger studio.
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Music Pathways Fundraiser This Thursday - Helping Livermore Youth Stay In Tune

Music Pathways
Helping Livermore Youth Stay in Tune
 
-Fundraiser Mixer-
 
Please join us to help support music for at-risk youth in our community.
 
We need YOUR help to raise funds for lessons, instruments and materials for these students. Tickets for this event are limited and include Live music, local wine and delicious appetizers!
 
Thursday, June 20th 6-8pm @ ABC Music 2156 First Street in downtown Livermore
 
$25 Requested Donation -Tickets available @ the door or in advance @ ABC Music
 
For more info contact: East Bay Community Services #961-8045 or ABC Music #443-1244
 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ukulele Thursdays: Episode 19



This week on Ukulele Thursdays, Jake gets back to his Grand Ukulele 2013 US Tour making stops in Nashville, TN where he picks up a guitar and starts playing some classic rock tunes. Jake also makes stops in Greenville, SC, Durham, NC, Athens, GA, and St. Petersburg, FL.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cordoba Guitars - C10 Cedar



Hear the Cordoba C10 CD/IN played in a variety of styles:

1. Fingerstyle
2. Classical (0:20)
3. Jazz (0:48)
4. Strumming with a pick (1:22)
5. Flamenco (1:51)

More Details on the C10 CD/IN

The handmade C10 is one of the first all-solid guitars in the Iberia series. Along with the sweet, warm tone provided by its all-solid body, the C10 features the vintage elegance of a hand-inlaid mother-of-pearl rosette inspired by a 1920s Domingo Esteso design. Available with a solid European spruce or Canadian cedar top with Indian rosewood back and sides. Other notable features of the C10 include its black and gold tuning machines and adjustable truss rod.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Music Pathways Fundraiser - Helping Livermore Youth Stay In Tune

Music Pathways
Helping Livermore Youth Stay in Tune
 
-Fundraiser Mixer-
 
Please join us to help support music for at-risk youth in our community.
 
We need YOUR help to raise funds for lessons, instruments and materials for these students. Tickets for this event are limited and include Live music, local wine and delicious appetizers!
 
Thursday, June 20th 6-8pm @ ABC Music 2156 First Street in downtown Livermore
 
$25 Requested Donation -Tickets available @ the door or in advance @ ABC Music
 
For more info contact: East Bay Community Services #961-8045 or ABC Music #443-1244
 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer Woodwind Ensembles at ABC Music


Classes with John Douglas on Saxophone Clarinet, and Flute

Curriculum to include:
- Ensemble performance of Classical, Pop, and Jazz.
- Expert Instruction on proper technique and sound production.
- Music reading and interpretation

Classes start the week of June 16th - class times tba.
$10 per class session

Email john@johnpatrickdouglas.com or contact ABC Music Benicia at (707) 746-7565 to register 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cordoba Guitars - C10 Spruce



Hear the Cordoba C10 Spruce played in a variety of styles:

1. Fingerstyle
2. Classical (0:21)
3. Jazz (0:48)
4. Strumming with a pick (1:21)
5. Flamenco (1:56)

More Details on the C10 Spruce:

The handmade C10 is one of the first all-solid guitars in the Iberia series. Along with the sweet, warm tone provided by its all-solid body, the C10 features the vintage elegance of a hand-inlaid mother-of-pearl rosette inspired by a 1920s Domingo Esteso design. Available with a solid European spruce or Canadian cedar top with Indian rosewood back and sides. Other notable features of the C10 include its black and gold tuning machines and adjustable truss rod.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ji-Hae Park: The Violin, and My Dark Night of the Soul



In her quest to become a world-famous violinist, Ji-Hae Park fell into a severe depression. Only music was able to lift her out again -- showing her that her goal needn't be to play lofty concert halls, but instead to bring the wonder of the instrument to as many people as possible.