Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to Pick the Right Musical Instrument for You

You may already know about how powerful music can be. People sing different songs every day and enjoy listening to it throughout the day. Instead of getting distracted, some believe they are better at what they do when there's music in the background. Others find the soothing sound of music to be effective in putting themselves to sleep.

For these reasons, music enjoyment is considered essential to the well-being of people. So many passionate musicians around the world, novices and professionals alike, enjoy singing or dancing to music. There are some who want to enjoy their favorite tunes more intimately by learning to play an instrument.

If you are trying to become the next most admired musician of your generation, it is high time for you to start learning to play a musical instrument of your liking. How do you decide on which piece to learn, you ask? Here are some tips you may want to consider:

1. Pick the one that excites you.

People who are happy and successful in what they do believe that you can never become too good at doing what you love to do. The same principle applies to playing your favorite instrument. Make sure you are more interested in that guitar more than you adore the piano. Depending on your ability, you can take both but choose the best ones producing a sound that mesmerizes you and best enjoy playing. There may be challenges during the training and learning period, but make it a fun and rewarding activity for you.

2. Consider your skill.

Have you heard experts sharing their thoughts about matching what you can do with the choices you have? This applies to selecting an instrument to play. Are you great at strumming or plucking the guitar? Do your hands and fingers seem like they have a mind of their own when you touch the piano? Does a beat seem to naturally come to you when you hit the drums? Pay attention to what your strengths are, and pick the musical tool that will let you enhance it.

3. Ask yourself: Am I patient enough and truly willing to learn to play this instrument?

Master musicians make it look easy, but the truth is, a great deal of time and effort are necessary to succeed at it. For one, this may entail enrolling in a good school for training. Make sure you have the right attitude for it. You may want to get electric guitar lessons or ask around for piano or violin training sessions from people you know. They say you can do everything with hard work and dedication. You will need just that in order to learn how to play your favorite instrument well.

If you are highly interested in playing a musical instrument yet clueless about how or where to start, don't fret. There is a world of possibilities and opportunities for you to start exercising your musical genius. By making the right choice, you can be closer to your dream of playing your favorite song and in the version of your own for others to love.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

ABC Music Store & Academy Would Like to Wish You and Your Family a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Armless Child Plays Trumpet

Born without arms, ten-year-old Jahmir Wallace makes his dreams of playing the trumpet a reality with help from a local music store and supportive administrators.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cello Wars (Star Wars Parody) Lightsaber Duel - ThePianoGuys

Cello Wars (Star Wars Parody) Lightsaber Duel - ThePianoGuys

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away...

We bring you CELLO WARS! A result of 6 months of production...our most ambitious undertaking by far! Why Star Wars Cello? Because of our unending admiration of George Lucas, John Williams, and the most EPIC movies and film score ever created. The idea originated when Tel Stewart was editing THE CELLO SONG here: As a joke he decided to add light sabers to Steven Sharp Nelson's bow during the outtakes. Fans cried out for more. Al van der Beek and Steven Sharp Nelson storyboarded the song and the video concept while they were scouting locations for MOONLIGHT But it was Steven Sharp Nelson's son Eli (6) that was the true inspiration for the project -- his enthusiasm for Star Wars, light sabers, and watching his daddy wield one while playing cello fueled the project continually.

We announced CELLO WARS on September 19, 2011 thinking we'd be able to deliver on our promise within a few weeks. We had NO IDEA. 70 days later, more than 7,000 frames, 72 audio tracks, 24 hours of filming through the night in front of a green screen, the most props and costumes we've ever used, several broken bows and strings, and over 1,000 hours of editing and rendering -- we felt like we had taken on the entire EMPIRE!

Tel Stewart is THE MAN. He is the reason this worked. He is the man behind the green screen -- behind the editing bay -- behind all the cool effects. He had to edit every single frame in order to make the light sabers work (a total of over 7,000 frames)! We now have a Piano Guys Hall of Fame and he was recently the first inductee.

Original music composed by the AMAZING John Williams
Arrangement written and produced by Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Al van der Beek at TPG Studios
Steven Sharp Nelson: Electric Cellos/Vocals/Percussion
Al van der Beek: Vocals/percussion
Starring Steven Sharp Nelson and his Doppelganger (Jedi/Sith),
Al van der Beek as Darth Vader
Paul Anderson as Chewbacca

Costume Designer: Alison Morris (An AMAZING Costume designer!)

Special thanks to
CEC-TV in St. George for the use of their green screen studio
CMI at Dixie State College letting us use their Sony F3
Ben Braten For the constant advice for visual effects
Will Stucki for letting us borrow the cymbals and gong!

Special thanks to Video Copilot ( for the education and training they provide on their website. (Go buy Optical flares! It is amazing) Their tutorials are so good. If you want to get into what Tel did here go watch all their stuff.

Video produced by Paul Anderson & Tel Stewart
All filming, effects and editing by Tel Stewart

We used the following John Williams Star Wars Movie Themes (in order of appearance)
The Imperial March (Empire Strikes Back Theme)
Duel of the Fates (From Episode 1)
May the Force Be With You
Star Wars Main Theme
Cantina Band (from Episode 4)

All FIVE melodies enter one by one at the end and stack on top of each other until all of them are being played at the same time.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fascinating Facts About the Ukulele

The ukulele has been present and popular in history since approximately the 1880s. Originally from Hawaii, the ukulele is now globally recognised as one of the popular instruments of our time. Easy to play and nice to look at, many people have taken on the ukulele as their instrument of choice.

Both adults and children play the ukulele. It is very popular in youth centres and schools as youngsters find it relatively easy to get the hang of, and this encourages them to further develop their talents and skills with reading and writing music. It is also very versatile, meaning it can be played in a variety of genre of music - indie band Noah and the Whale use the ukulele in their songs but it has also been played by legends such as former Beatles star George Harrison (who used to buy ukuleles as presents for people).

Ukuleles, sometimes abbreviated to the term 'Uke', are made from both wood and plastic, although the general and original material is wood. There are, as with most things, cheaper ones available as well as very expensive models, which can be worth thousands. Cheaper models are made from laminate or ply woods, or occasionally spruce. The most valuable ones are made from a wood called Koa, which originates from Hawaii and is well known for its attractive colour and fine tone. Other expensive, but still affordable ukuleles are made from woods such as mahogany, which is also known for its distinctive colour and sturdiness.

Ukuleles also come in four different common sizes; baritone, tenor, soprano and concert. Less commonly, bass ukuleles and sopraninos can also be found, but these are at the extreme ends of the ukulele sizing spectrum. The smallest is the soprano, which in Hawaii is alo known as the standard size. This was also the original size of the instrument. The larger sizes were developed to create deeper bass and more volume as it became more widely used in concerts and festivities.

Ukuleles typically resemble a small acoustic guitar, with figure eight style bodies. However, oval ones are also made, which are called 'pineapple' ukuleles. The Kamaka ukulele company invented a paddle shaped version and even a square shape is available (this is often made from an old cigar box).

There have also been instruments that are based on the ukulele that are also well known; these include the harp ukulele and the banjo ukulele.

Ukuleles can make excellent gifts for people, especially if they are musically inclined or have expressed an interest in learning an instrument. Most retailers will include a guide book or DVD for a beginner, which means that they will not have to buy this separately. As they are classed as easy to play, some people choose not to take lessons initially, as they feel they can grasp the basics themselves.  

As Christmas fast approaches, it may be an ideal time to start thinking of what to buy for the important people in your life, and music is definitely a topic which inspires and interests a lot of people.
Enter a world of truly original gifts from The Original Gift Company and visit our flagship store, based in the historic Stow-on-the-Wold in the heart of the Cotswolds. The Original Gift Company is probably best-known as the publisher of Britain's favourite gift catalogue, full of inspiring ideas and with free personalisation on many products.If you want to buy a ukulele for the music lover in your life, visit us at
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Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Benefits of Exposing Children To Music - Fernando Pullum, MA

Fernando Pullman, MA Director of Performing Arts & Educational Specialist, shares advice for parents on how playing music can benefit children and help their self-esteem.