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Your First Guitar
Congratulations, you just bought you first guitar! Now that you've met the love of your life and made that big commitment, you're probably excited about building a good relationship with your new partner. But where do you begin? You've just come home from the music store with this beautiful, mysterious stranger, or perhaps even rescued an abandoned orphan from the flee market or pawn shop. Cradling it lovingly in your hands, you admire it's graceful form and captivating voice.
Before you lay several items that you acquired along with your purchase- a case, strap, picks, and of course, that book or video explaining "everything you need to know in 10 easy lessons." You stare at it blankly, wondering what lanquage it is.
This is often the experience of a new guitar enthusiast. "Love at first sight" engenders high hopes of playing like a Rock Star overnight. Then reality begins to sink in and you reallize that it's going to require some effort and hard work to make this happen! But that doesn't mean it can't be fun. A positive attitude will go a long way in helping you meet your goals. In fact, setting some short-term and long-term goals is one of the first things you should do. Here are a few suggestions:
GET TO KNOW YOUR GUITAR
- Familiarize yourself with its various parts
GET TO KNOW YOURSELF
- What type of music do you enjoy?
I often receive calls for help from individuals who are frustated because they are having trouble understanding the book or video that came with their purchase. If this is the case for you, consider taking some lessons from a private instructor. It can be a great way to get moving in the right direction. If you set up a weekly guitar lesson, then you will probably begin to establish a regular practice routine too. This is because you will feel a sense of obligation and accountability to your teacher. A guitar teacher can also watch your progress and offer helpful advise and critique so that you will be able to develop good technique. This is an invaluable asset which you will be unlikely to get from a book or video.
Local music stores often have someone who teaches right out of their store, or they may be able to provide you with a list of teachers in your area. If there is a college or university nearby, be sure to check the bulletin boards and school newspapers. you could also contact the Music Department to see if they know of any instructors who may be offering private or class lessons during after school hours.
Most importantly, be sure to take the time to do a little "personal inventory" and get to know your instrument by answering the questions in this article. Then, you will be able to establish a good mental picture of where you are now and where you want to be in the future.
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Kathy Unruh is a singer/songwriter and webmaster of ABC Learn Guitar. She has been writing songs and providing guitar lessons to students of all ages for over 20 years. For free guitar lessons, plus tips and resources on songwriting, recording and creating a music career, please visit: http://www.abclearnguitar.com
Copyright Basics for Songwriters
Should you copyright your song? If you're a songwriter, sooner or later you will probably have some questions about getting your material copyrighted. Since I've already been down this road before, you might be able to benefit from my experience. Though I am not an expert in the field, I do believe that I have some valuable information to share with you.
New Age Music - What Is It Good For?
Let's face it. The world will not end if there isn't another new age music CD on the market. So why bother? Why play when most people don't care or want to hear the kind of music you like? The answer lies in the nature of art itself, for the world really does not need art. It can survive without painting, sculpture or music. It can survive, but it would be a pretty dreary place.
Piano Music, Perfectionism, and Self-Expression
Is your heart in the music? If so, it won't matter what you play so much as what is received through your playing. Do you still think you need to learn 43 chords to sound good or are you concerned with the joy of expressing yourself through this wonderful instrument called the piano? People who sound like they know what they are doing may indeed know what they are doing but does that mean you want to listen to the music?
The Flower Garden and New Age Piano Music
If you've ever looked at a flower garden, not only its beauty may have captivated you, but also its overall arrangement.
Patriotic Music: Surprising Secrets About Those Flag-Waving Sounds
Whether played by a marching band, an orchestra, or a rock group, there are patriotic tunes that everyone in America finds familiar, exciting and uplifting. But how much do you know about how these songs were created? And what do you know about the people who wrote them?
Warner Music Executive Payments
"In human life, art may arise from almost any activity, and once it does so, it is launched on a long road of exploration, invention, freedom to the limits of extravagance, interference to the point of frustration, finally discipline, controlling constant change and growth." Susanne Langer (1895-1985)
Guitar Practicing or Guitar Playing?
Just because you're holding your guitar doesn't mean that you're playing it, and just because you're playing your guitar doesn't mean that you're practicing. There is a real difference and it needs to be acknowledged if you want to improve your level of playing skill. Some people say they have spent the entire day practicing their guitar when in reality, all they've done was sit in front of the TV all day eating cheesy poofs. The sad thing is that they really do believe it was practicing since they had their guitar on their lap next to their cheesy poofs all day. Most of us know someone who does this and we may even be guilty ourselves.
Yo, is Rap Just Another Four Letter Word?
Flaunting any excessive or anti-social behavior is considered brazen. When it is no longer considered brazen it is proof that it has become embedded as part of our culture. Not to say this is a good thing, after all headhunting was considered a cultural norm in some societies. The question to ask here may be, was rap ever truly a part of our culture? Will it eventually run out of steam and go the way of things like doing the twist, afro haircuts or break dancing? I for one would argue that it is not truly a part of the American cultural scene, but is a forced, twisted and contrived money machine that appeals to only the basest passions of the youth in our country.
History of the Clarinet From the 19th Century
While composers had already begun to write music for the clarinet, such as Mozart with the Clarinet Concerto and Clarinet Quintet, it was the 19th century that saw an explosion of use of the clarinet in the music of most composers of the day. This was mainly due to two factors.
An Interview with Jon Bon Jovi ? 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Cant Be Wrong
The idea originated with singer Jon Bon Jovi. Jon kept upping the ante with his label and ultimately they consented to a four-CD set of essentially new material. Here, he talks about this 20th anniversery project (100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong) and the things that make Bon Jovi unique.
Acoustic Or Electronic Drums - What Is Your Choice?
A debate rages on in the drumming world! You might think that the debate centers on brands of drums, or different styles of drums. However, you would be wrong. This debate centers on the use of electronic drums in the music industry.
?Who Else Wants to Get Screwed When Signing a Recording or Songwriting Deal?!?!?
You've got your recording (or songwriting) contract in hand and everything's coming up roses, right? You get your check, finally, but it's not quite what you expected. If you sign not knowing what's owed you then you might be shorted some well-deserved income. So make sure that anything you sign contains a statement to the following areas (preferably in your favor):
Music Bytes - Tips For Saving On Professional Software For Musicians, Part I
If you are outraged by the prices software giants demand for their tools, it's time to check out shareware. Small independent developers often provide similar solutions that cost three to five times less AND you get to try them before paying.
Its Jewish Music, But Is The Music Jewish?
A while back I was driving along the Jerusalem highway scanning the radio stations. On one frequency, a very intense dance beat was exploding out of the speakers. I was about to move the dial some more in search of a Jewish tune when the vocalist started in. Shock of shocks, he was a heavily Hassidic singer, complete with eastern European pronunciation. And what was he singing? "Kumee oy'ree ki va oy-reich.." from 16th century Rabbi Shlomo Alkavetz' classic Sabbath poem, L'cha Dodi. Before he had began his rendition I had been expecting something like "Oh baby, the way you move with me ..."!
Flaming Guitars! Minarik Fuels The Excitement of a New Generation of Musicians
From the Telecaster to the Flying V to the Iceman to the Warlock, some guitar designs are forever branded on our consciousness, and now there's a new one: the Minarik Inferno X-treme. The body shape erupts in furious fingers of flame. If ever there was a guitar design destined to ignite the imagination of young players, especially boys and girls who want to rawk, this is it.
Record Collecting Still Thriving in the Twenty-first Century
It may surprise many to find that the hobby of record collecting, long thought dead after the introduction of the compact disc, is still alive and well. Granted, many music fans have long replaced their records with CDs, but for many Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers, the hobby of buying and collecting record albums and singles continues to be a focal point in their lives.Records offer the tactile sense of a substantial product, unlike the CD. The seven-inch, 45 RPM single often came with a picture sleeve that has no equivalent among compact discs. The nostalgia of records draws many back to their younger days. And records still sound great. A recent check of the Bay auction site showed 959,857 records for sale. That's just under one million records!These records aren't selling at garage-sale prices, either. At any given time, there might be six thousand records by the Beatles for sale, some of which have sold for up to $40,000. Elvis isn't far behind; his first five singles, issued on the small Memphis-based, Sun label, routinely bring $2000 at auction in nice condition. Other artists, such as the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, James Brown, or Madonna have issued records that not only command sky-high prices, but also draw a lot of bids. The greatest interest in record collecting is in artists of the 1960's and 1970's, but newer bands, such as Nirvana, draw a lot of attention from younger collectors. Nivrana's first single, Love Buzz issued in 1988, sells for up to $2000 and there are several other bands, such as the Misfits, that have released numerous records that sell for more than $1000. What do collectors do with these records? Some play them, some frame them, some simply put them on the shelf. There are collectors who only buy records that they intend to play and others that simply want anything that was ever commercially released by the artist that interests them. There is no pigeonholing a collector; they come in all shapes and sizes. For them, finding a long-unavailable single that has eluded them for years is like winning the lottery.For those who are interested, there are literally thousands of Websites devoted to artists, records, and record collecting. There are well-known magazines, like Goldmine , Discoveries, and in the UK, Record Collector. Anyone who thinks they might be interested in collecting records has more resources available to them than ever before. Twenty years ago, people thought that records would be long forgotten by now. They couldn't have been more wrong.
A Guitar Lesson To Help You Test Your Note Knowledge
In this guitar lesson we look at a great way to test your note knowledge of the guitar fretboard. But before we look at that, why even bother learning the notes?
The Art of Music
Music is the art of arranging sounds in periodic time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
Celtic Music: The Japanese Connection
My friend, guitarist Brian Hughes, toured with the Chieftain's in Japan as an opening act with Loreena McKennitt. He then went on to perform with the Chieftains in North America and Europe when they were promoting their album Santiago. In Japan they played about ten shows between Tokyo and Osaka, mainly at soft seat classical concert halls. The seating ranged from 1500 to 4000 capacity. They were booked through the agent Plankton who specializes in Celtic music. Although the audiences were enthusiastic Brian felt that Celtic music was still a niche market in Japan.
Ouch, It Hurts When I Sing!
When I first set out to write this article about voice problems in singers, I was looking for two experts from contrasting fields of medicine ? "medical" and "holistic". What I found, instead, in the first practitioner that I interviewed, was a delightful mixture of the two.
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