Monthly Archives: July 2016

Common Mistakes When Choosing Acoustic Guitars

Common Mistakes When Choosing Acoustic GuitarsPlaying musical instruments is a wonderful activity. In case you do not have anything to do during the night or during the weekend, you can play musical instruments. By playing musical instruments, you can hone your musical skills, which can help open new opportunities. And, playing instruments can also help you unwind and relax.

As of now, there are numerous musical instruments individuals can choose from. However, one of the most popular instruments played by individuals is acoustic guitars. Because of this, finding acoustic guitars in the market is an easy task. Unfortunately choosing the right acoustic guitar is another story. The task of purchasing can get even worse in case individuals make the wrong decisions in choosing guitars. To help individuals avoid these issues, below are some of the most common mistakes in choosing acoustic guitars.

Not knowing the right type of acoustics

One of the most common mistakes individuals make when buying acoustics is opting for the wrong type of acoustics. When it comes to acoustics, there are numerous options you can choose from such as classical guitar, steel-string acoustic guitar, and lap steel guitar. These types of guitars offer unique features. Therefore, it is best that you know the type of acoustic guitar that will suit your needs.

Getting the wrong size

Another mistake individuals make when buying acoustic guitars is opting for the wrong size. Guitars are built in numerous sizes in order to cater to the needs of the user. Thus, it is important that you first know who will use the guitar to help you find the right size.

Opting for the wrong strings

The next mistake individuals make when buying guitars is opting for the wrong strings. Of course, you can purchase guitars with strings installed to it. However, there are some individuals who wish to replace standard strings with better strings. Unfortunately, individuals may choose the wrong strings that can affect the sound of the guitar.

Buying a guitar that offers features you do not need

Individuals may find wonderful strings that offer numerous features. However, it is not ideal to buy a guitar that has features which you do not need since it can only affect your finances. In addition, these features can also disrupt you in case that you are just starting out to play a guitar. So, it is best to opt for simple guitars when practicing and upgrade it if necessary.

An Ideal First Instrument – The Harmonica

Knowing absolutely nothing about the harmonica other than blowing in, sucking out, and sliding it left to right and back again across the lips, I have discovered it to be a versatile, harmonious instrument. While I understand that playing with real skill would require years of practice, in just a few days you will be able to perform some recognizable tunes while have a good time. If you can’t read music, the harmonica is ideal as you read signs instead, with your harmonica already in the particular key. As long as your ears can pick up a melody or your mind can design background music, your home, office, backyard, and wilderness hikes will soon be filled with bends and riffs.

I have played the piano since I was in the third grade. Although the lessons only lasted a little over a year as my teacher moved away, I loved the keys, the challenge, and the fun of coordinating left and right hands while transferring notes on a page to movement across the keys. Although practicing has been sporadic, including dedicated weeks of hitting the keyboard every day to long droughts of nothingness, when I return to my dedicated mode, I just love the relaxation and mind-hand coordination that the piano brings.

My husband is also a great lover of music. Unfortunately, he did not take piano lessons or take any instrument classes in school and so he missed out on this adventure. Desiring to learn to play now, he considered the guitar but felt his fingers were too wide and rigid for quick fingerings over the strings. The piano appeared too complicated and so he finally settled on the harmonica. Our daughter had given him one as a gift a few birthdays ago and so we drug it out of the closet and he began to play. I do mean play because even with a novice, it is difficult to blow a harsh note unless you are really working at huffing and puffing like crazy. Nice music flows on the first blow.

Now maybe this flow is not quite the accustomed pattern of notes, but the sound is still nice. When played along with a recording of a song it can blend very well when right key is in synch. Several songs entered his repertoire, a favorite being the birthday tune, now played at all family celebrations. The grandkids love his harmonica with our little granddaughter using Grandpa’s chest as a pillow as his tunes lull her to sleep. Our grandson wants to become a harmonica player, too, however his blasts blew out the reeds and several notes no longer play on the original harmonica. Searching extensively I found a music store near my sister’s and the chief instructor guided me through everything I needed to know about buying good harmonicas plus many extra tips on the side. One included a slow warm-up on the notes with no food in the mouth a la grandson who created the breakdown of the first harmonica. With new harmonicas in main keys in hand, I exited the music store excited about my purchase and newly gained knowledge to share with my husband, plus I had two children’s harmonicas so that Grandpa’s will remain functional. In addition to giving them a start in music, we now have a trio performing at our house.

If you are thinking about taking up an instrument the harmonica comes highly recommended. They are fairly cheap, although the price rises with quality, portable, and can blend into just about any recording as added background instrumentalization. If you are searching for the ideal gift for spouse, children, or grandkids, a harmonica is perfect. Books with directions for playing are easily accessible plus there are many YouTube videos with instructions and lessons to improve your talent. Happy melodies to you! The gift of music is a great one.

How To Cover Up Mistakes While Playing In a Band Onstage

During a live performance all bands and all performers make mistakes. The good bands find ways to quickly recover from those mistakes without the audience knowing anything has gone wrong. The not so good bands quickly melt down, have a train wreck, and then seriously bum out the rest of the gig. This article about improving your musical performances by covering you mistakes will give you a few ideas on just how to not look bad while doing something, lets say not exactly right, onstage.

First of all the don’ts. No matter how tempted you are, when you make a mistake try not to glare at another member of the band hoping that blame will pass to someone else. This mostly happens when a guitar player goofs something up. He will give a dirty look to the bass player thinking that generally bass players already have a confused look on their faces and the audience will be forgiving of the bass player’s “error” anyway because, well hey he is the bass player. Don’t look at your amp like there is some technical thing that caused the note you wanted to hit sound like the wrong note you actually hit. Don’t slap yourself on the side of the head or scream “Oh blank” as loud as you can – those are dead giveaways to errant play. Bass players; when something goes wrong do not have a convulsion! Drummers do not throw stick, they hurt.

So to cover up mistakes; First of all realize that most people in the audience are not music critics, they are music fans. They are dancing around checking out other concert goers, and generally having a great time. Music fans are trying to find ways of having a good time, not finding fault in the band they want to enjoy. So if you play a wrong note, just keep smiling and plow ahead. It is attitude that people notice onstage so if you look happy and pleased, the audience will think that you are happy and pleased and not seriously bumming that the keyboard player, for instance, just hit an a minor when he should have hit an A Major. Besides in that case three two out of the three notes would still have been correct – which according to Meatloaf, “Ain’t Bad.”

If something has gone terribly wrong eg., the count-in was to fast or a serious equipment malfunction, try to get the bands attention, count a measure then everybody stop together as if a song is over. That way the audience does not have to endure the really bad sound of a band breaking down, and usually if you quickly adjust something and then count in again everything will be as right as rain.

So the best advice to covering up mistakes on stage is to simply have the attitude that at a live performance your primary objective is to have fun because the audience wants to have fun, so look like you are having fun even though things might not be going as well as you want them to. That is what being a professional is all about.