Your New First Love: How to Choose Your 1st Guitar All Over Again

More often than not, your very first guitar was bought off-the-rack when you first had it. But now that you are more dedicated to make it to the music scene, you can start over again since you know better what makes a worthy-piece of equipment.

Your New First Love: How to Choose Your 1st Guitar All Over Again

Acoustic or electric

Once you’ve figured out whether you’re into contemporary, grunge, blues, country, pop, jazz or rock music, the right type of guitar should be the first thing to consider. Nowadays, there’s an acoustic-electric type of guitar other than just plainly for acoustic or electrifying jam sessions. Take inspirations from music icons and what types of guitar they usually own.

Strummin’ to perfection

A broken string can’t play the right music so it only makes sense to pick the best strings for your new guitar. It doesn’t matter whether it’s steel or nylon just as long as you consider the thickness (gauge) of the string. The larger the gauge, the more precise and stronger it is to use for your budding profession. A good string usually lasts a couple of years.

Your New First Love: How to Choose Your 1st Guitar All Over Again

Well-crafted instrument

Make sure the tonewood defines the sound of your guitar. The best guitars are crafted with the highest quality of wood that withstands any type of climate. It should be durable enough against cracking and warping with the change of weather.

What does your wallet say?

Okay, guitars come in several price range but you don’t have to spend your entire savings for a piece of equipment. If you practiced well enough with a basic guitar, perhaps it’s high time to go pro. Besides that, the cost of the guitar largely depends on the style, version and the label. But since you are seriously preparing for some real gigs and live performances, you can opt for the mid-range this time (as long as your wallet says so).

Endorsing yourself to the music community can be a tad challenging considering the tight competition. But did you know that building on your connections and learning the tricks how the Internet can set out a trend could get you there soon? Let’s find out more.The Humble Beginnings: How to Get Into the Mainstream

Mingle with the right people

You have to go out and get yourself noticed. Meet fellow artists and get some referrals, eventually you will meet some producers and make the right connections. Nowadays you don’t have to literally go out and visit some gigs all the time. The World Wide Web is big enough to explore while the social media has made it smaller so you can narrow down your search.

Build your own website

Next thing you need is to have a website to back-up all the stuffs that you are promoting to your social circle. By this time you will have a cult of followers so why not give them updates about your latest gigs, new music and even a brief background of your existence through your very own website?The Humble Beginnings: How to Get Into the Mainstream

Perform LIVE on musical events (for FREE)

You can’t just engage your fans to music within the confines of the Internet. If you are roving to different places or states, let it be known. It is still essential to interact with your fans personally even though it’s a lot easier to get it done over the computer or even through your smartphone.

Stay on the loop via social media

Fans would love to hear from you anytime of day. It doesn’t have to be all about your music promotions and stuffs. Be more like any of them where you share behind the scenes of your every day activities. You don’t have to do this every hour or so. Just letting them know you exist and that they are part of your life and growing career could go a long way.

 

It’s an expensive habit, being a musician. If you’re serious about your trade, you’re likely to spend plenty of money on essential recording equipment, the instruments and more. With this in mind, you’ll be pleased to know that there are some excellent digital recording software that’s available for free, if you’re a Windows user.

The Best Free Digital Recording Apps on Windows for Musicians

The cherry-picked ones, in no particular order are:

  • Audacity
  • Wavosaur Free Audio Editor
  • KRISTAL Audio Engine
  • Quartz AudioMaster

Audacity

Audacity is a popular software among budding musicians with plenty of features and is free to use. It has an open source license and is extremely light-weight, making it perfectly usable even on older computers (if some of you out there are on a student’s budget!). Audacity supports various codecs including MP3, WAV, OGG and AIFF sound files.

You can just about use Audacity for all your audio requirements.

The Best Free Digital Recording Apps on Windows for Musicians

Wavosaur Free Audio Editor

Wavosaur does it all, as a free sound and audio editor. You can also use it as a WAV editor for editing, processing and recording sounds which can be output to MP3 files. It also has a sample rate of up to 192 kHz and does not contain an installer, thereby sparing your Windows registry. Another excellent software that’s free to use.

KRISTAL Audio Engine

While a commercial license is available, KRISTAL is entirely free for personal, educational and non-commercial usage. Rejoice!

As a modular system, it contains a mixing console with sequencers, live audio inputs and other features are available as add-ons (also free). If you’re a musician who is new to the world of recording and mixing, KRISTAL is a good choice.

Quartz AudioMaster

Packed with features to the brim, Quartz AudioMaster also includes MIDI sequencing for those who prefer it and makes for a capable software which help you record, mix, compose and share music on your Windows computer.

Quick Tips for that Booming Drum Mix!

Drums are some of the oldest instruments ever invented, as percussion instruments normally go. Modern day drums are in stark contrast when compared to their ancestral beginnings and yet with the resources and technology available, there are simple tricks available for you get an extra oomph and punch for that excellent, much-desired drum mix.Quick Tips for that Booming Drum Mix!

Fundamentally, you’ll need three things to help create that perfect drum sound. They are:

  • Equalizer
  • Compression
  • Reverb

The ways and means in which you use the three above processors, defines the way your drums sound. Here are a few tips to help with that punchy sound.

Tip 1: Use compression steadily.

Most drummers don’t usually hit their drums hard, which negates the consistency that listeners seek from that unique sound. A simple work-around is to use compression that’ll help steady each hit on the drum to make them sound similar.Quick Tips for that Booming Drum Mix!

Tip 2: Clean up the sound with an equalizer.

Three steps. That’s all you’ll need to make a great sound for your drums.

  • Step 1 – Take away the mids.
  • Step 2 – Boost the lows for higher power.
  • Step 3 – Boost the high-mids.

Tip 3: Make use of a Master Reverb

Employing a master reverb on the tracks is a surefire way of bringing depth and space to the drum sounds. Tune all of your drums to the same reverb and then use them to balance the amount individually for each drum. A nice drum patch goes a long way in bringing that depth while avoiding any clutter within the mix.

Tip 4: Use parallel compression to bring that extra punch to your drums!

It may sound heady but parallel compression is simply another way of using your compressor. Essentially, you’re creating a better, punchier sub group to mix with your clean drums, rather than connecting it separately with each individual drum track.

The running joke is that the drummers are often neglected. Never in the spotlight and ridiculed because of it. It’s easy to put down the drummer, traditionally speaking but the beat of the drum is often the most crucial aspect of a band’s music and tone. There is no beat, nor rhythm without drums and there is something so fundamentally primitive and pure about drumming.Choosing the Right Set of Drums for You

Fundamental Drumming

A simple drum set includes:

  • The Snare Drum
  • The bass Drum
  • Mounted Tom(s)
  • A Floor Tom.

The most common drum-set is the 4-piece that includes the snare and bass drum sets, a single mounted tom and a floor tom, originally made popular by Ringo Starr with the Beatles. It’s also popular because:

  • The drum set is easily portable.
  • It doesn’t take up much space.
  • It produces a sound that’s readily suited to rock, jazz and blues, popular genres all of them.

Larger kits = Advanced drumming.

Additional toms that come with bigger sets such as a five-piece, six-piece or larger ones than those are routinely used in genres including metal and heavy rock. For the beginner and a casual drummer, a starter drum set or a 4-piece will do swimmingly and makes for a good choice.Choosing the Right Set of Drums for You

Drum Woods

Drums with different woods offer distinctively different sounds, each of which are unique. Some of the most-used wood for producing drums are:

  • Maple wood is the most popular, with a balanced tone that’s usually considered the default standard.
  • Oak wood provides a similar sound to maple, with a booming, powerful sound.
  • Mahogany wood has a warmer sound to it and offers a more ‘vintage’ character to the look and output of the drums.

Cymbals

Drummers will swear that cymbals are a fundamental component of drum sets. Ironically, most drum sets don’t come with cymbals which leaves you to buy them separately. Different kinds of cymbals include:

  • Ride cymbals
  • Crash cymbals
  • Hi-Hat cymbals
  • Splash and more.

Top Country Music Festivals 2015 – 2016

Listening to your favourite country artist on a CD is one thing, especially if you crack the stereo at full volume and crank up the treble. But there is nothing better than seeing that same favourite artist, performing live.

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Craven Country Jamboree

Canada may be home to quite a few wonderful attributes, but nothing as wonderful as the Craven Country Jamboree – known as the best country music festival in the world. For over 30 years, people from all over the world have gathered together to celebrate the world’s most popular country singers. Attractions include a songwriters circle, a hilarious hypnotist, bull riding events and the wildest pre-show party on the Saturday evening. The next festival is to be held on July 4th to July 12th 2015, and tickets are around $179’s per person. Visit their website at www.cravencountryjamboree.com

Summerfest

On the 24th of June, Milwaukee comes alive as people from far and near gather to jam to some of the worlds most talented music artists. This year one can expect to see a variety of gigs from Keith Urban to Linken Park. This event is not necessarily strictly country, but instead appeals to an eclectic taste. One of the greater events on the itinerary is the place where regular artists that have not made the big times, are given a chance to play. Send your applications to Reverbnation before 22 June 2015.

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Tamworth Country Music Festival

Since 1972, the Australian Tamworth Country Music Festival has been the delight of all country music lovers’ hearts. Held in the first week of January every year, the next one is the 15th of January to the 24 January 2016. It includes a focus on celebrating the country culture and heritage of Australia, as well as live performances by top Australian country artists. Rated as number 8 in the Forbes list of the World’s Coolest Festivals, the Tamworth Country Music Festival is not one to be missed. Expect to see people not only from Tamworth and surrounding Australia, but from around the world. Accommodation can be booked up almost a year in advance, so put this one on the calendar and get hold of them at www.tcmf.com.au.

The Country Music Association Festival

In the heart and home of country music itself, you will find the penultimate country music festival. From June 15th to June 120th 2015, you need to be in Nashville, Tennessee. Everyone comes out of the woodworks for this festival, which includes unique items such as meet-n-greets with artists, as well as autograph signings and other meeting opportunities. Three stages will have artists performing live, whilst the area around you is abuzz and ablaze with shopping opportunities and prizes to be won. Tickets start at just $10’s, but to see it all you need to purchase a 4 day ticket. Find al the information you need at  www.cmafest.com.

Across the globe, from America to Australia, there is an opportunity for everyone to see their favourite artists performing. And if the bucks are low, start saving as there is always always next year.

Beginner’s Essentials for a Home Recording Studio

It’s often a daunting task to set up a recording studio at home and you can’t be blamed for being overwhelmed at the beginning of such an endeavor.

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Fret not. There are simple, affordable solutions to help set up a functional and efficient recording studio at home for beginners.

The perfect newbie Studio

With the following items, you’ll be well on your way to quickly set up a home recording studio.

  • A computer.
  • Audio Interface Combo/a Digital Audio Workstation.
  • A pair of Studio DJ headphones.
  • A microphone.

A computer

A must-have for any modern-day recording studio, this is bound to take a big chunk off of your budget. A Mac is more recommendable than a PC, being the industry standard with most mainstream studios.  Recommended Mac models are:

  1. The MacBook Pro
  2. The Mac Pro
  3. The iMac

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A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)/ Audio Interface Combo

A DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is what you’ll need as a software to edit, record and mix your recordings on your computer. Furthermore, the Audio interface connects your studio equipment to your computer. These can be purchased separately but beginners are advised to get a combo.

Avid Pro Tools make some of the best beginner/entry-level combos in the business. Some of their best-sellers include:

  • Avid Mbox.
  • Avid Fast Track Duo
  • Avid Fast Track Solo

Headphones

Studio headphones, much like others that make this list are fundamental to your homes studio setup. Sony offers the legendary MDR-V6s which are affordable and flat, giving you the perfect headphones for your first home studio.

Microphones

If you’ve been looking at home studio setups, odds are that you’re already aware of the Shure SM57. You can’t go wrong with this versatile and affordable microphone.

Cables

For a beginner, having a clean, clutter-free studio helps. A standard studio in a 10×10 room could do with the Mogami Silver XLR 25ft (cable for your microphone).

Plug in and get started!

The classical guitar is a timeless instrument which also makes for a fantastic entry-level instrument for beginners. Inversely, seasoned guitarists and professionals also make use of the classical guitar as a way of enhancing their repertoire. Here are some fundamental tips to get you started with a classical guitar.

Basic Tips for Learning Classical Guitar

Beginner or professional, start from square one.

Veteran guitarists often find it hard to give up on frequent habits with their modern guitars as the classical one requires technique that’s vastly different from a steel-strung acoustic guitar or an electric guitar, for that matter. Quite simply, all musicians who are new to the classical guitar will find that starting afresh and letting go of what they already know will serve them well.

Choosing the Right Guitar

Keep in mind that steel-string acoustics won’t give you the sound that’s expected of a classical guitar. Nylon strings are entirely essential and so too are choices in the wood, string tension and the construction of the guitar that you’ll be picking up as your new instrument. Some of the best classical guitars are:

  • The Yamaha C40
  • The Cordoba C12 SP
  • The Epiphone PRO-1

It goes without saying that picking the right instrument for you will require you to actually play it and see if you get a feel for it.Basic Tips for Learning Classical Guitar

Tuning your Guitar

Having any instrument that’s in-tune is fundamental to a good sound and it’s no different with a guitar. For beginners, it’s significantly important to ensure that the right notes are being listened to from an in-tune instrument. The Snark Mini Guitar & Bass Clip-on Tuner is an easy-to-use, portable and accurate tuner that’s highly recommended.

Name your fingers

Your fingers are the pillars of strength, skill and dexterity for the guitar and it’s inevitable that they’ll feel sore at the beginning. Naming the five fingers of your chosen hand is necessary. The classical guitar scoring in Latin goes:

  • p = thumb
  • I = index finger
  • m = middle finger
  • a = ring finger
  • c, e or x = little finger.

Should I study Music?

There really are quite a few reasons why having an understanding of music and how it reads, can be beneficial to your musical abilities. However there are a few negative factors to consider too.

Should I study Music

Pros

  • You will be able to read music
  • You can sight read scores
  • You will understand the concept of tuning better
  • You are able to interpret the music
  • It broadens your understanding of music
  • Your concept of genres is broadened
  • One can slowly adapt to other different instruments as their concept of music broadens
  • Reading sight music and playing an instrument simultaneously, can develop pathways in the brain that no other exercise can develop.

Cons

  • The genre can be limiting i.e., classical versus jazz or rock etc.
  • You may feel that you are not good enough, when being graded for exam purposes
  • Formal music study requires a daily commitment to practice
  • The music can be repetitive as you prepare for exams
  • The need to practice may outplay the desire to be passionate about the impromptu songs you begin to play
  • You may have to play songs you do not necessarily enjoy.

Should I study Music?

Overall

It is imperative to choose to study a musical genre that not only challenges you, but stimulates your passion. There is no sense attempting to study something that you either do not love or find utterly boring.

General

The best way to start is with Music Theory 101 and then progress from there. It will have a focus on the classical side of music, but you can embrace other genres like jazz by taking up classes in Music Practical 101. Genres include

  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Blues
  • Rock
  • Alternative (Not an official format of study).

Where can I study music without going to college?

For some, the idea of going back to university can be quite daunting. But for others, it is not possible as you are already knitted into a job and life. Do not lose hope; there is another option if you are interested in studying music.

Where can I study music without going to college?

Decide

To study an instrument, you need to not only be able to read the finer details of music, but to be able to follow and interpret a score or a sheet of music. A piece of sheet music includes timing, breaks, tempo, soft play as well as loud and playful sections. It is therefore helpful to study music theory along with the practical of the instrument you are trying to gain accreditation for.

Correspondence

Studying music via correspondence can be a lot less time consuming that having to sit and follow online courses. The following institutions are readily available for you to study through, and the fee includes all study material. Many of the institutions do have a separate fee for exams.

  • Trinity College of London
  • Victoria Conservancy of Music
  • Berkley

Online

Online music can be a little more time consuming in terms of ensuring you are online at the right time for your lesson, but it is also much easier for some people to learn from observation. Here are a few reputable institutions and websites to try:

There really is no excuse to not actually learn an instrument. So figure out exactly which instrument you want to master, and start inquiring at the above mentioned universities. Keep in mind that they are all paid courses, in the currency of the country they are based in.