Monthly Archives: April 2016

Techno Artists & Music

Techno Music was created in Detroit, Michigan in the mid 1980s. It has an emphasis on rhythm while utilizing the best of advancements in music technology and music production. Techno is sometimes an instrumental genre and is usually discovered via DJ mixes, club nights and festivals. Some ingredients used are drum machines such as TR-808, TR-909, synthesizers, field recordings and sampling.

The main styles I would say that are the biggest influence on my music are as follows:

Detroit Techno

Detroit Techno is a subdivision of the techno genre which generally includes some of the earliest techno productions from Detroit. Detroit techno had its largest audience in the Atlantic. Some of the most common techno music artists include Underground Resistance, Mike Banks, Blake Baxter, Kevin Saunderson, Jeff Mills, Derrick May, Eddie Fowlkes and Juan Atkins. Some of these artists used whatever technology they had in their reach and initiated music with epic synth sounds and engaging driving grooves. I could never list a top ten of tracks from this genre as it changes all the time, but a personal favourite label was always the Red Planet series. This label seen some fantastic releases in the mid-90s. I witnessed both Ghostdancer and Stardancer in particular causing some serious mayhem when played out in clubs.

Dub Techno

Another famous sub category of the techno genre, dub techno is quite distinctively un-show-y, doesn’t try to wow or stun and is never overreaching. I could probably put the dub techno sound alone being the reason I wanted to produce techno music. Nothing more do enjoy still to this day is generating those lush minor chords on a synth then washing them with reverb and delay. I could spend hours applying the filters and tweaking the sound to death. The fact that this style of techno is able to stun and wow the listeners, is a testament to the strength of its subtlety. Dub techno is a work of structural, architectural and musical genius in my opinion. It is unquestioning, placid and deeply soothing. My favourite dub techno artists without a doubt goes is Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus, sometimes known as Basic Channel. My all-time favourite dub techno track has to be Maurizo – Domina which holds special memories from Glasgow’s famous Arches, sadly no more, where I heard it at the regular Friday night event held by Slam.

Scottish Techno

So where did I discover this music? Right on my door step. As previously mentioned through the early to mid-90s I had the pleasure of being a regular attender of Glasgow’s famous night club “The Arches”. Hosted on a Friday night for many moons by legendary Techno duo Slam. They would serve up a mixture of these varieties of techno to welcoming, knowledgeable crowd every week. They too influenced by the sounds of Detroit and dub techno, among others, introduced me to these styles and I was hooked for life. As a lifelong fan of their label, Soma Records, I followed their releases and many of the artists they have. Funk D’Void has also been another firm favourite with his ability to turn has hand to many different styles of techno, more often than not bringing more melodic and emotional elements to a track. Check his aptly named Emotional Content track and you will get the picture.

Acoustic Guitar Buying Tips For First-Timers

If you’re learning how to play an acoustic guitar, experts recommend that you to sign up for some formal lessons to gain mastery of this musical instrument. And to have an easier and faster time of being an expert in guitar playing, it would be advisable to have your own acoustic guitar.

Buying an acoustic guitar for the first time will require some time and effort from your part. After all, if you want to be owner of a good quality guitar that will allow you to practice and hone your skills, you can’t afford to buy just any acoustic guitar that you see in a music or online shop. If you are too hasty with the whole guitar shopping venture, you’ll just waste valuable money and time since you may end up having a poor-sounding and low quality musical instrument that will be broken in just a matter of months.

If it’s your first time to buy an acoustic guitar, below are some handy tips you should keep in mind:

Be on the lookout for any dents, cracks, nicks, and bridge separation.

Whether you are buying a new or used guitar, you have to make sure that there aren’t any parts of the guitar that are cracking or have serious wear on the finish. Keep in mind that even new ones can often be played or handled by customers and as such, they may fall off their stands and get bumped and even some scratches.

Although scratches or scuff marks won’t affect the overall sound of the guitar, unfortunately, cracks are a different matter. Make sure you thoroughly inspect the guitar since some cracks may not be very noticeable. In addition, take the time to ensure that the bridge is sitting fully flush with the top of the guitar and it is not lifting up or cracking.

Make sure the neck and fretboard are in good condition.

Carefully inspect the neck from the bottom of the guitar to make sure that it isn’t bent, crooked, or warped in any way. Make sure the frets on the fretboard do not stick out that they rub your hand in an uncomfortable and sometimes, even painful way.

Choose a guitar with the ideal action.

Action pertains to the space between the strings and the fretboard. Guitar players will sometimes find it hard to press the strings down to the fretboard if the action is too high. On the other hand, if the action is too low, the strings will sometimes catch on the other frets and create a buzzing sound whenever it is in use. The good news is that if you want to buy a guitar with an action that is a bit off, this can easily be fixed by having an expert shave down the nut if the action is too high or have the nut filled with an epoxy if the strings are too low.

Make sure the guitar stays in tune.

Lastly, make sure the guitar you want to buy will stay in tune for a long time by playing it for a while and observe to how well it does or doesn’t stay in tune. If the guitar comes with cheap tuners, you can choose to replace these in the future. In addition, most acoustic guitars in stores usually have old and played out strings on them. As such, guitars with this type of strings will never stay in tune and usually move flat. You can consider buying new strings and have the old ones replaced to have a guitar that will stay in tune.

The Basic Tricks When Learning the Piano

The Basic Tricks When Learning the PianoWhen you are learning the piano for the first time, it may seem a little hard to understand all the terminology. From scales to chords, it may seem almost overwhelming since most people just need to know some basic stuff and they’ll be playing piano in no time.

However, there are some tricks when learning the piano that can help you:

* Learn your music theory:

I’m sure you weren’t expecting this one. Learning theory when you just want to sit on the bench in front of the piano and start playing? Well, only by understanding some of the theory you will be able to evolve and become a better pianist. You don’t have to dig it all in, but knowing some of the theory will help you play any music you want.

* Listen to a lot of piano music:

When you are learning the piano, you have to train different things. You train your eyes to read, you train each one of your hands to play the piano, but you also need to train your ear. You need to be able to identify the notes that are being played.

What you can do, for example, is to get a piano music CD and just listening to it. You can start by trying to identify the notes. As soon as you evolve, you can try to identify chord patterns and intervals.

When you do this the first time, you might be able to identify only a couple of notes. But as time goes by, and you’re developing your hearing, you’ll start identifying more notes, the chords, and the intervals.

* Don’t try to learn the whole song at once:

Just like when you’re listening to the CD, you need to take it easy. You won’t figure it out all at once. Take time to learn the song you want to play and try to play it. You can even break it into small sections so it may become easier for you.

Again, it’s a matter of practicing.

* Learn your scales but don’t get obsessed by them:

Scales and theory go hand-in-hand. Scales will help both your fingers know the piano as well as you’ll have more dexterity. However, don’t make the scales be a huge priority. Yes, you need to practice them every day but they can serve as a warm-up before you start playing the piano. You can be sure that is perfectly normal if you get them wrong a couple of times. As you improve, your scales will improve as well.

Make sure that you start playing your scales slowly at first. With time, you’ll get faster. The important thing is to keep practicing.

There are mainly two kinds of pianists: those who play by ear and those who play by sight. But no matter of which pianist you want to be, all these tricks can and should be used.

How to Make Someone’s Day From Playing Piano

If you’re about to play piano in front of your first audience, you might be a little scared. People almost always tend to think about what could go wrong instead of what they can do to prevent something to go wrong.

Here are some tips that may help you on your big day:

* Prepare your music:

You need to know for how long you’re going to play the piano, if there are going to be any breaks, etc. Only by knowing all the details you can proper schedule the music you’re going to play.

* Engage with your audience:

If you never played live before and you’re not very comfortable in this position, it may be a little hard at first. But all you need to do is to focus on your goal. You learned how to play piano, you play well, and now you can show that to people.

The best way you have to engage with your audience is by playing piano with your heart. Make sure that you show the people you love the music you possess, how a specific music makes you feel when you play it. Even if you’re not comfortable on stage, people will notice your emotion and they will love your music.

* Play for some friends and family first:

If this is the first time you’re going to play piano for an audience, you can “test” yourself by inviting some friends and family over and play for them. Although you might feel nervous, you just need to think that they’re here to help; not to judge you. So, just embrace your music and play with your heart.

* Accept their comments / criticisms:

You invited your family and friends for one reason: so they can give you their honest opinion about you. So, please make sure you don’t get mad if you don’t like something they say. Just take on whichever negative things they point out (if any), and try to turn them into positive ones.

* Time to get to stage:

Now you can say that this isn’t the first time you play piano for an audience and this should make you feel more confident. These people are there to listen to you, to listen to your music. So, just have fun. Enjoy. This is your moment. The moment you’ve been waiting for. Don’t let your nerves get in the way.

* Cater to the audience’s enjoyment:

When you’re on stage, you just can’t ignore your audience. You need to make sure they are liking your performance. So, you can even improvise. Imagine there’s a couple who seem pretty much in love. You can dedicate a song to them. This way the entire public will be more engaged as well. These are the kinds of details that people like to see. So, make sure you’re alert and spot any chance you have to interact directly with your audience.