One of the drawbacks of being a musician, is that you do not get a regular paycheck. Normally, that is not a problem, but I recently had a problem and needed to borrow $200 quickly in order to repair one of my guitar amplifiers, that has melted the circuit board, and I was stuck because nobody would lend me the money. I tried the banks, didn’t want to pawn any of my other musical equipment, and do not own a credit card.
Fortunately, one of my friends with a day job was able to get me a loan – or rather, he was able to take out a payday loan of his own, and lend me the money to get my Amp fixed. He went to a company called payday loan pussy, who specialize in cash loans for short term periods. Obviously, he had to pay some interest so I paid him that plus an extra $50, when my next gig paid me.
Sadly, I am not able to take advantage of payday loans, because I don’t have a regular payday – unlike my pal with the day job – he gets paid weekly, and could prove to the loan company that he is a full-time job earning him consistent income.
I can’t see me giving up the musical world just yet, but I start making some decent money soon I may have to consider a proper job. I really love being a musician, but it seems to be getting harder and harder to make a living doing this unless you are either very lucky, particularly skilled. I’m a very good blues guitarist, but getting found, and being good, are not the same thing at all.
I would like to bet BB King has similar problems when he was a kid, and as I’m only 24, I will give it until I’m 30 before I finally give in and get a real job.
One of the most interesting things about learning to play the drums, is the physical effort involved. This is always a surprise to the beginning player, because when you look at a set of drums you don’t immediately think that it can be hard work to use them. But, nothing could be further from the truth – the simple fact is that drums are perhaps one of the hardest instruments to use.
The drum set is not like a wedding set [and I use that example, because I just invested in a pair of diamond rings for myself and my partner] and some drums such as Taiko drums, can take years to build up the physical strength to master. Anyway, enough about bridal sets, (that is where I bought them) and back to the matter at hand – learning how to play drums, or rather – building up the physical strength needs to learn to play the drums.
An interesting way of building up the physical strength needed [apart from actually putting in the time on the drums] is to use something called a kettle bell, which is a weighted device which one can use to do push-ups press ups swings, and generally increase upper body strength. At the end of the day – is crucial to be able to play some bigger drums, although there are plenty of smaller drum sets available – even these require a certain amount of upper body strength, such as a snare drum, which is used with a thin small drumstick of very little weight.
But, if you compare this, to say the drum sticks required to play the Taiko drum – you can see what I am talking about. Most of us are simply not fit enough to do most of the exercises required to build up the strength needed, and must go through a process of building up their strength in order to do so. Another good way of starting, this is so simple exercises like push ups and tricep dips, neither of which require any financial outlay.
I’m not a musician, I’m a belly dancer. But it’s very important for a belly dancer to understand the music she’s dancing to – and for a Western dancer, some Arabic rhythms will be quite unfamiliar and take some getting used to.
Although you can get some idea of the beat by just dancing, and practising with zills will help too, there’s nothing quite like learning the belly dance drum or darbuka (also spelled debuka, and also known as a doumbek, dumbec, or tablah depending which part of the Middle East you come from) to master the rhythm properly.
If you’ve never played a drum before, you may imagine that it’s going to be quite simple. Not so! Although the darbuka looks like such a plain instrument – all you do is hit it with your hand, right? – there are so many ways to strike it, and you’ll be amazed at the number of different sounds it can produce in the hands of a skilful player:
The two basic sounds of the drum are what give it its name: “Dum” is the loud, deep tone, whereas “Bec” is the high, sharp cracking sound (which most belly dancers refer to as “Tek”). But as you can see in the videos, there’s a range of shades in between! Different techniques are used in different countries – you’ll notice a distinct difference between Turkish and Egyptian players, for instance.
A darbuka doesn’t have to be expensive – though once you’re a seasoned player, you may be tempted by some of the beautifully engraved models, which are often made of aluminium for lightness, though you will see them in copper occasionally. You may also want to upgrade to a more professional “skin” – which these days is likely to be plastic, but was traditionally fish skin or goat skin. If you do decide to learn the drum, be prepared to get hooked!
There’s a hot trend right now that makes teenagers want to be famous. And a good way of achieving fame is learning to play a musical instrument. If you possess the musical skills, have a musical ear and a little bit of talent then you will have no problem in making it big. Just take some music lessons or attend a specific college to get your degree. Shops that sell musical instruments are everywhere. You can even purchase gear online; day and night because the Internet is open 24/7. Whether you are looking for a keyboard, a guitar, a synthesizer or drums, percussion, flutes, clarinets, or saxophones you will have it all at your fingertips. You can purchase these items at the click of a mouse. It all depends on your budget.
There are however, several strings attached when purchasing musical instruments from online stores. The first being you can’t see the product and test it yourself. You won’t be able to choose the items based on the sound produced. You will have to make your purchase from an online store that somehow manages to present itself flawlessly with a strong customer service credential. Soundstore.fi is the first example. The store has excellent online support, phone support and your questions will find a quick and straight to the point answer. You can also use email to send them a couple of questions before making a purchase. All stores that have a solid reputation will offer your money back in the event you are not satisfied with your purchase or you have had a change of heart.
You will have to test both shopping methods i.e. shopping in person and viewing online musical equipment before actually deciding on which to go with. Local shops are the ideal spot to begin your musical adventure. Perhaps you are looking for a Bassot guitar that can’t be found anywhere. Start with a visit to instrument.it online for a more detailed look. If your first store does not have a particular model of a guitar, look for the closest thing, perhaps a Kitarat guitar. Check out discounts and special offers during the holidays! Read online reviews on the product before buying.
Be sure to contact an online musical instrument expert who is able to recommend the right gear. If you have had previous experience with the musical industry yourself, perhaps as musician, you will find your task much easier.
If you are planning to hold a musical evening based, for example, on 70s music, then a great place to play your instrument without being booed off the stage, would be at your own event. You might even dress up here for the occasion: www.partygetup.co.uk
The greatest songs ever include those by Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Conor Oberst. All of these artists write and sing their own songs and that is the reason they produce the greatest songs of all time. Joni Mitchell has many greats that have been recorded live and are available on Youtube for viewing. Mitchell is such a heart-wrenching and honest soul that gets the message of her song across in both her lyrics and voice.
What’s more than the message, is the feeling she ignites within your gut while hearing one of her songs. “California” is one of her best that describes the western coast’s environment. It makes you want to get up and drive there and not look back. Her voice is like heaven. Her music is mostly a product of the Vietnam-era and have a hint of protest in them. She sympathizes with all walks of life in her songs and, therefore, has made some of the best music to date.
More of the greatest songs of all time are sung by Bob Dylan and Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, The Desaparecidos, Park Ave., Monsters of Folk, and the Mystic Valley band. Conor Oberst’s involvement is not limited to these bands either. He is all over the map. He got famous through the band Commander Venus when he was just the age of thirteen and has not stopped maturing in his musical talent since then. He is often compared to Bob Dylan and even called the Bob Dylan of the Modern Day. He has sung many sensational and thought-provoking songs including “Sunrise, Sunset,” “Bowl of Oranges,” and “Lover I Don’t Have to Love.”
His voice is scratchy, yet inviting and he makes music of all sorts of genres. It is hard to place Oberst in on musical category which makes his songs the greatest songs of all time. Bob Dylan is also of the same caliber as Oberst, but he has a style he sticks to. Though he doesn’t really change his style, it’s a style that most of America has come to love throughout the decades. He is honest, sincere and informs people about what is going on in America in an entertaining and artistic way. Some of the greatest songs of all time are on his album “Nashville Skyline” that is the most diverse album he has made to date.
Drummers are a special breed and there’s really no one like them. If you take a look at any popular rock band, the drummer will stand out in some special way. They are usually soft-spoken and they definitely don’t command a lot of attention. But when it comes time to doing their job, they can outshine their bandmates on any occasion. When it comes to the glue that binds a band together, no one is more important than the drummer. It’s a special position that is often only appreciated by true music aficionados, but luckily more people are recognizing what it takes to be a great one. If you think it’s something that might interest you, then here are some things to understand before proceeding.
Drumming is definitely something that attracts a special group of people, and having an interest is a good start. But you also have to possess the natural ability to keep a good rhythm, and that’s not something everyone has. It might seem like a simple thing, but you have to have an internal metronome that keeps time almost in a mechanical way. When you think about how a song is played and what is necessary to keep one flowing smoothly, you’ll begin to understand the importance of the drummer. In a way, you’ll be the person responsible for the direction of the song and whether or not your band can pull it off. That’s a big responsibility, and it’s often one that goes unrewarded because the lead singer will get most of the recognition.
There are also special considerations for anybody who wants to become a drummer. First of all, you should expect to devote years to practice and preparation in order to get to the level you want. Anyone can sit in front of a drum set and bang the symbols or push the pedal, but sounding great is an entirely different matter. And when you think about it, practicing might not be as practical as with other instruments. Let’s face it, when you practice drumming it’s going to be allowed and it might disturb other members of your household, or even your neighbors. Unlike with an electric guitar, you can’t simply plug-in a few audio gadgets like wireless headphones to limit the noise. Fortunately, there are ways to soundproof certain rooms so that you won’t be disturbing so many people. And thanks to modern technology such as video games or karaoke machines, you have interesting musical alternatives to practice without requiring your bandmates to be present.
In the end, if you decided to become a drummer then you’ve certainly chosen a noble musical position. It’s also important to recognize the history of drumming and how far it has progressed. That’s why you should spend time listening to some of your favorite drummers and their rock bands. You’ll be able to hear subtle nuances and differences that distinguish their talent. Hopefully with dedication and practice, you’ll reach their heights one day.
Every so often a new video game hits the market and changes the landscape forever. Guitar Hero did it a few years ago, the first Call of Duty did the same thing about four years ago and just these past few months Rocksmith is in the process of doing it again.
Rocksmith is the evolution of games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Except this time you’re using a real instrument to play rather then just a guitar shaped controller with five buttons.
The basics of Rocksmith are similar to guitar hero. There’s a series of numbers and colors on the screen which correspond to your actual guitar. You must play the proper notes, power chords and chords on your real electric guitar that match what’s happening on the screen.
Of course, what you’re actually doing is learning to play a simple version of the actual song and training your fingers how to play the guitar.
Beyond just a video game Rocksmith has included some musical education aspects as well. You’ll be able to participate in added mini games to learn power chords, regular chords and even scales.
While I don’t think these mini games are as powerful for beginners as online guitar lessons would be, they do teach you the basics rather then just not ever letting you know what you’re doing in the game.
My gut feeling is that Rocksmith will not be as popular as Rock Band or Guitar Hero. Why? Simply put it’s going to be more difficult to play. While thousands of people wish they were able to play guitar and not just rock out with Guitar Hero, they aren’t really willing to put the work in that’s needed to really learn the instrument.
You do need an electric guitar to play the game, but there are bundles available that include a low cost Gibson electric guitar.
The game is available for the PS3 and Xbox consoles right now. No word has been mentioned about a Wii version.
So you’ve watched all your friends get up on stage and sing in front of total strangers. You’ve always wanted to do it yourself, but it’s something that terrifies you. But there’s something deep inside that is calling you to the stage, and you can’t ignore it any more. You’ve got an internal battle raging between nervousness and wanting to experience true karaoke in front of a crowd. If you’re ready to tackle your fears and finally give it a shot, you’re in for a great time. You’re about to be rewarded with an adrenaline-pumping experience that makes you a part of the entertainment. Unlike listening to music or watching a movie, this is one of the only forms of entertainment that actually makes you a part of the show. For 5 minutes, everyone’s focus will be on you, and you get to be a star!
Be Brave – it’s important to remember that feeling nervous is natural and anxiety is a regular part of karaoke. Even singers who have been doing it for a long time experience a certain level of stage fright now and again. Anticipation is probably the most nerve-racking thing you’ll have to deal with, but finally delivering your performance is an incredible relief. In fact, you’ll feel a huge difference between before and after getting up on stage. The thrill and excitement is totally worth it.
Pick a Good Song – if you’re getting up on stage for the very first time, it’s important to be armed with a great song. There are various things you need to take into account such as how easy a song is to sing in addition to how popular it might be. Above all else, choose something that you know well so that you don’t have to spend every minute staring at the lyric display. In case of an emergency, it’s always nice to know that you have memorized the lyrics beforehand.
Prepare – being prepared helps to cut down the nerves tremendously and practicing will help your performance. There are many ways to bolster your first performance, and every little step helps. You can prepare yourself by going to the bar beforehand and making sure that you are familiar with the layout. You can ask for tips from other singers or talk to the karaoke DJ as well. If you’re still dealing with nerves, then try visualization as a technique to calm yourself down while preparing you for your first performance.
Have Fun – it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself or take the event to seriously. Obviously you don’t want to waste your time up on stage, but you have to remember that karaoke is all about fun. This isn’t your job and you are trying to win a recording contract. It’s just a hobby and a chance for you to experience something different. So revel in the moment and enjoy yourself because it really doesn’t last all that long. Put everything you have into your performance and you’ll have the crowd jumping up and down.
Duets – if you’re too nervous to get up on stage by yourself, a duet is a nice option that takes a lot of the pressure off you. You can either staying with a veteran who can help you along or maybe another newcomer who needs support as well. When duets art done properly, they can be hits of the night because they sound great. And at the very least, you can rest assured that you don’t have to stand up there all by yourself.
If you happen to enjoy yourself, then home karaoke is the next logical step. Live singing and home karaoke have a symbiotic relationship that helps to perpetuate one another. It’s hard to tell which one is more popular, but each offers its own benefits. All you need is a quality karaoke machine where it should be incredibly easy to find these days with options that will blow you away. Modern technology offers you iPod compatibility, video recording, and online play it takes things to a whole new level. You can also simplify things with a good set of wireless headphones for TV and enjoy some private singing all by yourself as well. The options are limitless and if you happen to enjoy this hobby, you’ll have a great way to entertain yourself and good friends.
USB Turntables have been up there with the bestselling new gadgets of the 21st century, they were a real masterstroke too, each track on one of your vinyl records is worth at least $0.69, a decent USB turntable can cost as little as $40, so if you have a record collection of 100 albums – each with 10 tracks on – you would be making a very tidy profit!
Whilst USB vinyl converters have taken the limelight, exactly the same principle applies to USB Cassette Converters. You have music in an old format, which you probably don’t play, why not convert it all to MP3 and save yourself hundreds of dollars? Some USB cassette converters double up as portable cassette players too, such as the Ion Audio USB Portable Tape-to-MP3 player which has been featured in the article Best USB Cassette Converter.
In fact, the Ion Audio USB Portable Tape-to-MP3 player has many more benefits then one would automatically assume, asides from the headphones (enabling you to listen to tapes) and the USB cable (enabling you to convert cassettes to MP3 format), it also comes complete with EZ Tape Converter software for direct integration with iTunes, whilst an audio output unit enables you to play cassettes in your car stereo, directly to your hi-fi, or directly to a pair of speakers. Follow the link to find out much more!
I have always believed that everyone requires at least one major stress buster. In my case, as a change from writing about topics such as the best autoresponder, I write about music and food. Here is one of my occasional music blogs.
Flamenco guitars are traditionally made out of wood with sycamore or rosewood being used for the back and sides while the top is made of spruce. This accounts for the distinctive color and also makes Flamenco guitars lighter than classical guitars. Volume is very important for flamenco guitarists so that they can be heard over the sound of the shoes with nails that are worn by flamenco dancers. Often to obtain increased volume, hard woods are used to make the back and sides with softer wood being used for the top.
Unlike classical guitars, a Flamenco guitar has a plastic plate which protects the body of the guitar from the constant tapping of the fingers which is essential to flamenco technique. However, in due course, a guitar that is frequently used sustains damage to the top. The space between the strings and the fingerboard is lower than that of a classical guitar. As a result, the Flamenco guitarists can achieve greater finger speed with less fatigue.
A high quality Flamenco guitar has a quick response with less sustain than a classical guitar. This helps the guitarists to produce a quick cascade of notes with a degree of clarity that may not always be available on a classical guitar. Musicians like the percussive and bright sound of the Flamenco guitar and it is sometimes used by guitarists will perform jazz and Latin music. Some musicians also believe that the guitar is best suited for performing Baroque and Renaissance classical music.
Flamenco guitar playing techniques differ considerably from classical guitar. For instance, Flamenco guitarists cross their legs and hold the guitar parallel to the floor. This helps in their playing techniques because the guitar supports the right arm at the elbow rather than the forearm.