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Guitar Facts: A Glossary of Terms
It is said that the forerunner of the guitar, the lute, was created by the Greek god, Apollo. In India, it is believed that the sitar, another stringed instrument from which the guitar is descended, is sacred to the goddess Saraswati. And one of the most popular tales about the guitar is the story of how it was pressed into service to play a hymn of praise to Jesus Christ at a Christmas Eve mass when the organ of the church broke.
It's no wonder that the guitar has a history of association with the divine. The range and styles of music that can be played on the classic stringed instrument is incredible.
From the intricate fire and beauty of classical Spanish and flamenco guitar to the down-home country sounds of good finger-pickin', the guitar is a versatile and beautiful instrument.
Modern-day guitars have a hollow or solid body, a neck with frets, and a tuning mechanism that is called the machine head. They may be acoustic, or electric, and are one of the most popular instruments in the world.
Those technical descriptions, however, can't begin to express the sheer versatility of such a simple instrument.
Even in the hands of a beginner, the guitar can make lovely music - the best kind of music, the kind, in the words of a guitar teacher, that makes you want to sing along. Learning a few simple chords and finger placements, a few strumming patterns, can allow even a student who has only a few lessons to play literally dozens of popular songs.
The most important piece of the guitar is the face, or top.Its composition, shape and engineering will determine the final sound of the guitar. The back and sides also make a difference, but not so much, and often, luthiers will choose the wood for the sides and back with an eye to appearance rather than sound quality.
Electric guitars are solid, though they are rarely made of a single solid piece of wood. Instead, most are created of many layers of different kinds of wood laminated together.
This gives the guitar both strength and sound quality that wouldn't be possible in a single piece of wood. Often, the electric guitar is made of a 'good sounding' wood like ash or poplar, with a laminated top of a more attractive wood for appearance.
Even within the broader categories of acoustic and electric there are many variations. Acoustic guitars may have six strings or twelve, the strings may be made of steel, nylon or gut. They may be arranged in pairs or singly or in triplets. Each of these has a different characteristic sound, from the wah-wah of a steel guitar, to the lush beauty of a flamenco guitar.
Nowhere else will you find the variety of guitars that you find in a typical Mexican mariachi band. A typical mariachi band will include at least three kinds of guitar - a classical guitar, a vihuela and a guitarron, a large guitar that is nearly the size of a cello.
Guitar tablatures are among the most searched for items on the internet. It's a teen rite of passage to learn at least one classic guitar riff from Jeff Beck, Stephen Tyler or Eric Clapton.
Whether you choose to learn just a few chords so that you can play for friends at parties, or find yourself so enchanted with the guitar that you take it up as a lifelong practice, there are few other instruments that will provide you with as much pleasure.
Music, the Spiritual Connection
All through the age's music and spirituality as served hand in hand. As for instruments, the earliest is presumed to be, percussions from noisemakers to drums.
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.
Born into musical family, Michael Jackson is as big as ever today
Michael Jackson was born Michael Joseph Jackson on August 29, 1958 (making him 47 as of year 2005) to Joseph and Katherine Jackson in Gary, Indiana. He was the seventh of nine siblings. The Jackson family was raised as Jehovah's Witnesses and practiced door-to-door evangelization. Despite being known as the cute and talented lead singer in Jackson 5, a band that he formed together with his other siblings, he is now better known for his flamboyant style and negative press.
Do you really need college to learn to play music?
Music courses are a great way to learn about virtually any area of music; history, theory, and musical instrument instruction -- you name it and somewhere music courses specialize in it. Though generally found through colleges, universities or high school programs, music courses are also offered via one-on-one instruction with a private teacher or community-based workshops. Some churches even offer music courses as a complement to their choirs; the music courses may be offered to the general public, but they're often geared toward the choir members and congregation.
Painting with Sound
Whenever I go to a Borders bookstore here in San Diego, I make it a point to look at the art instruction books. I'm not a visual artist, but I've always enjoyed the step-by-step approach authors of the better books take to teach students how to create a finished painting.
Dont Censor the Music and Artistic Expression
Ann Powers said:
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.
How to Find Musical Ideas
The Russian Composer Igor Stravinsky once said: " A good composer does not imitate; he steals."
How to Play What you Feel
Many students think that being able to play what you feel is difficult. They believe you must have years and years of training in improvisation and theory.
Jazz is arguably the most argumentative form of music (even has diminished and argumented chords). So at the outset let me present my side of the argument. Jazz is musical improvisation, right? Indian classical music is improvisation, still right? Granted Indian music does not have the harmonies of the west. But the keyword here is improvisation and not harmony, absolutely right? Indian classical music has been around for more than two thousand years. The Americans discovered Jazz less than a hundred years ago. Right then, now that we have established India as the birth place of Jazz lets head for the Indian Jazz Yatra.
Music for Corporate Entertainment
For many years I have supplied music for and played in bands that provide music for corporate entertainment. Clients have included Audi, The Evening Standard, Sainsburys, P.C. World, Safeways, Large corporate clients at Henley and Ascot, I.T.V. and H.M. Treasury. Because of this experience I felt it would be relevant in putting down some pointers in helping clients choose the right kind of music for their particular corporate entertainment.
The Piano Parent Trap!
"My 6 year old daughter really loves the piano and wants to learn to play, but when I try to help her she gets very upset with me. What should I do?"
12 Reasons You Should Learn to Play the Piano
All right, folks, here you go: My 12 reasons why you should start learning how to play the piano. Immediately. As in today. This very minute.
How to Become a Filthy Rich Record Label Mogul
Let me guess, you love music and would do anything to be able to enter into the fabulous life of the music business? Better yet, you would love to become the next record mogul like P.Diddy or Clive Davis.
Guitarists...Are You A Victim and A Loser?
I was thinking today about THE most dangerous enemy of musical progress?the victim mentality. What do I mean by this?
Can You Really Learn To Play a Musical Instrument From an Online Course?
Out of the 250 million people in the United States, about 25 million of them play an instrument of some kind, or used to when they were in school and would like to pick up where they left off. Another 30 million or so sing in a church choir, a barbershop quartet, or at the very least, in the shower.
Creating Your Own Unique Music
Have you ever dreamed of penning your own compositions? Writing music has been a dream of mine for the longest time. And it's a dream I am fortunate enough to have realized.
Wal-Mart Music Downloads, Napster and Other Legal Digital Music Download Sites
Digital Music Download. Ever since file-sharing programs entered the hard drives of our computers, people have wanted the best place for a digital music download. Music companies have had to figure out what to do about illegal music downloads and the music download web site. The legal battle continues but they have fought back by offering the consumer a legal alternative, the music download site to get a digital music download. These sites let you get what music you want, from who you want, when you want.
How the Internet Helps Musicians
Everyone talks about the negative impact of the Internet on the music business. Illegal file sharing and copyright violations have decimated the profits in the industry. Record labels are less willing to take risks with new artists because the profits have dried up. Sales have steadily declined over the past several years due in large part to the proliferation of illegal downloads. All of that is true, but there are two sides to this coin. Sure, things are tougher today for the new musician than ever before, but there are also new opportunities thanks to the Internet.
Musicians Injuries: OUCH, It Hurts When I Play (But Please Dont Tell Me To Stop!)
This article takes a look at musicians' injuries. For an expert perspective, I interviewed Dr. Sarah Mickeler, B.Mus., D.C. Dr. Mickeler is a former professional musician and a chiropractor who concentrates on musicians' injuries in her practice.
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