Tuesday, July 9, 2019


The acoustic guitar usually involves the following musical instruments:

Nylon and gut stringed guitars:
Taylor steel-string guitar.
Taylor steel-string guitar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
• Renaissance guitar
• Romantic guitar
• Classical guitar

Steel stringed guitars:
• Twelve string guitar
• Steel-string acoustic guitar
• Archtop guitar
• Battente guitar

Acoustic bass guitar
Russian guitar

Other instruments:
• Harp guitar
• Banjo guitar
• Guitar lute

The guitar can be divided into two categories, acoustic and electric

An acoustic guitar is not dependant on any external device for amplification. The shape and resonance itself have the ability to create acoustic amplification. Today there are many acoustic guitars available with built-in electronics and power to enable amplification.

Acoustic electric guitars

Some steel-string acoustic guitars are fitted with pickups as an alternative to using a different microphone. These are called electric acoustic guitars and are regarded as acoustic guitar rather than electric guitars. It should not be confused with hollow body electric guitars, which are more of electric guitars fitted with hollow sound chambers.

Free acoustic guitar lessons

There several free acoustic guitar lessons available online for beginners. The free guitar lessons are designed for guitarists of all playing abilities.

Acoustic guitar magazine

The acoustic guitar magazine is for acoustic guitar players, from beginners to performing as a professional. The magazine usually contains free acoustic and electric guitar lessons, tutorials and videos for both beginner and professional. Some of the great magazines include Flatpicking guitar magazine and Acoustic guitar.

Vintage acoustic guitars

Veteran musicians know firsthand that vintage acoustic guitars simply sound and feel better than their contemporary counterparts.

Vintage acoustic guitar body shape:

Steel-stringed vintage acoustic guitars come in two general body shapes.

Flattop vintage acoustic guitars - As the name suggests, flattop vintage acoustic guitars feature a flattop body. If you play blues, folk, bluegrass, or rock, flattops, which were pioneered by Martin, will suit you best.

Archtop vintage acoustic guitars - In contrast, archtop vintage acoustic guitars have a curved top and a hollow body. If you’re a jazz or country player, then look for archtops, which were invented by Gibson. (The most sought-after Gibson archtops are the larger models dating from the early 1930s to 1959.)

Acoustic guitar notes

A musical note is a tone. However, a musical-note tone comes from a small collection of tones that are pleasing to the human brain when used together. For example, you might pick a set of tones at the following frequencies:

• 264 Hz
• 297 Hz
• 330 Hz
• 352 Hz

Acoustic guitar reviews

Yamaha LLX-500C Acoustic/Electric Guitar
Price ranges from $2,399 or higher.
The Yamaha LLX-500C is hand built in Yamaha’s Japan factory. Features include a solid spruce top, mahogany neck, and solid rosewood back and sides. The headstock and neck of the guitar are attractive trim in ivoroid binding, and the Yamaha name on the headstock just look great. Unlike many acoustic electric, the Yamaha LLX-500C sides are solid instead of laminated.
Guild F50R Jumbo Acoustic Guitar
Price ranges from $2,499 or higher.
The F50R is based on the original F50 specification from 1960s to 1980s. The Guild F50R features an ebony fretboard and a rosewood bridge. Neck dimensions include a 25.6-inch scale and a slightly narrower-than-normal width of 1.69 inches. The F50R does not lack for fine details - the fret board has eye-catching abalone and mother-of-pearl inlays and two racing stripes that run from nut to sound-hole.

Acoustic Guitar Tabs

A tablature is a form of musical notation, which tells players where to place their fingers on a particular instrument rather than which pitches to play. Tablature is mostly seen for fretted stringed instruments, in which context it is usually called tab for short. It is frequently used for the guitar, bass and lute. But in principle it can be used for any fretted instrument includes banjo and viola da gamba.

Acoustic Guitar Strings

Guitar strings are strung parallel to the neck, whose surface is covered by the fingerboard. By depressing a string against the fingerboard, the effective length of the string can be changed, which in turn changes the frequency at which the string will vibrate when plucked. Guitarists typically use one hand to pluck the strings and the other to depress the strings against the fretboard.

The strings may be plucked using either fingers or a plectrum. The sound of a guitar is either mechanically or electronically, forming two categories of guitar: acoustic or electric.

Monday, July 8, 2019

GEORGE GERSHWIN - Prolific Songwriter and Musical Maestro

English: George Gershwin (1898 – 1937), an Ame...
George Gershwin (1898 – 1937), an American composer 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

George Gershwin was born on the 26th of September, 1986 in Brooklyn, New York. His roots were a mix of Ukrainian and Jewish roots, from Russia. The key to his interest was a violin recital by his childhood pal Max Rozen. He liked what he had heard. His parents bought a piano for his brother and future lyricist, Ira Gershwin. He took it from there and took to it more than his brother Ira.

Gershwin came from a family that had music in their blood. In addition to his brother getting into music, his sister too, started taking it up early in life but gave it up in favor of family life. Gershwin was tutored by a number of tutors who didn't make much of an impact on him and his music until he met his last piano teacher - Charles Hambitzer. Hambitzer taught him the proper way of playing the piano.

Paving his knowledge of European music history, introduced him to the music of the past and encouraged him to attend a concert when he could. When he eventually did this, he was quick at reproducing the same music note of note after returning home after the concert. He also studied with Rubin Goldmark and Henry Cowell.

When 15, George quit school and started working at Jerome H. Remick and Company as a "song-plugger" where he took a salary of $15 a week. His first commercial success was tasted with Rialto Ripples in 1917 but he really hit it big time in 1919 with his composition Swanee, which shot him to fame all over the United States.

In 1916, he worked with Aeolian Company and Standard Music Rolls doing the recording and arranging piano rolls. There is no official count of the rolls that he came up with, but it is said that he has hundreds of piano rolls to his credit. He credited his work here with a number of aliases - some which were Fred Murtha and Bert Wynn. He made rolls for reproducing pianos made by Duo-Art and Welte Mignon. He had a small little stint getting into vaudevilles playing pieces by Nora Bayes and Louise Dresser most often at the vaudeville shows that he performed at.

In 1924, he and brother Ira worked on their first musical together - a comedy - Lady be Good. The songs from Lady Be Good - Fascinating Rhythm and the title track Lady Be Good - were soon to be standards. Then on, a string of musical followed with most of them being very successful. Some of them are Girl Crazy, Strike Up the Band, Funny Face, Show Girl and Oh, Kay!. From among these, Girl Crazy became the first ever musical to win a Pulitzer Prize apart from spurning the hits I Got Rhythm and Of Thee I Sing.

The same year he made music for a musical, he also composed his first classical piece - Rhapsody In Blue. The piece was, orchestrated by Ferde Grofe, played by Paul Whiteman's band. He tried a hand at learning something from greats like Nadia Boulanger and Maurice Ravel, but Ravel rejected the proposition to teach him saying that bring his technique mainstream would ruin his jazz specialty.
His stay there inspired the piece An American In Paris. The piece didn't do well at the press and with critics when he played for the first time on the 13th of April in Carnegie Hall. But it, like some of his other early hits, became many jazz band's standard repertoires.

After getting fed up with the music scene in Paris, he decided to return home to the United States. His best was yet to come. Two years before his death in 1937, he composed his most appreciated work yet. Porgy and Bess premiered on Broadway in 1935.
In 1937, Gershwin began complaining of being able to smell burnt rubber and of headaches. He was diagnosed with a condition of a brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme. Despite the condition, he continued to work. He played with the San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra in the same year.

This was his last performance before he collapsed and died and dies while working on the score of The Goldwyn Follies.

Two months after his death, the score of They Can't Take That Away From Me, from the film Shall We Dance won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Learn to Play the FLUTE - Find Out How Easy it Is!

English: Yankees considered education very muc...
Yankees considered education very much the study of music. Most children learned to play the flute 

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can learn to play the flute through a variety of ways, not just the traditional private lessons once a week for 30 minutes or one hour.  If you're an adult beginner, this style of flute lessons is very difficult, sometimes impossible to stick with.

You're busy with work, taking care of your family, and all the other activities that adults have to deal with.

And how about finding free, uninterrupted practice time?  No wonder adults want to give up before they even start!

And it's too bad, too, because the dream of many adults is to learn to play the flute.  For whatever reason, an adult didn't learn to play the flute as a young person in school.  Maybe they thought the band was dumb, faced peer pressure not to be in a band, their school schedule didn't permit it, or their family couldn't afford to have them play in the band.

No need to wait any longer!  Today you can take flute lessons on the internet!  Your lesson time is whenever is convenient for you.  Break free from that rigid schedule the teacher sets up.

Sure I understand that teachers' time is valuable.  If someone sets up a lesson time, then the teacher should be paid for that time.  Otherwise, a teacher couldn't stay in business.  But if that schedule is too constrictive for the adult student, well, the adult student will probably not start to learn to play the flute or quit.

  Somebody is always throwing a monkey wrench into adults' schedules:  the boss, children's school, or any number of small crises that pop up.

On-line lessons are a convenient way to learn to play the flute.  Fire them up whenever you're ready!

Are you worried that these prerecorded lessons won't cover the topics you have questions about?  Learning to play the flute is pretty basic and there is a very good possibility that everything you need to know has already been addressed.  If not, e-mail the teacher or web site owner and ask for another lesson on that trouble spot.

Hey, don't give up that dream! If you want to learn to play the flute, you still can!  Turn on your computer and get out your flute--it's your lesson time!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Learning to Enjoy MARIMBAS

Folk marimba with gourds, Highland Guatemala
Folk marimba with gourds, Highland Guatemala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Marimbas are wooden keyboard instruments in the percussion family of instruments. Players usually strike the keys with two - four mallets and one instrument may be played by one or two players; depending on the orchestral piece, you may even see three or more marimbists playing the same instrument. Marimbas are wooden instruments that resemble xylophones and they accentuate the unique harmonies and rhythms of the music. 

Other instruments in the percussion family include such instruments as cymbals, chimes, the triangle, bells, to name just a few. The marimba is a pitched percussion instrument. Other pitched percussion instrument examples include the timpani, the vibraphone, the glockenspiel, and chimes

Marimbas are used mainly for 20th Century music orchestral music, usually, as a sound effect or as a solo instrument. The marimba actually had long solos in the soundtrack to the film American Beauty.
The marimba keys are arranged like the keys of a piano and they may have as many as 4 - 5.5 octaves of professional Orff-style marimba bars. The bars are tapped to play the notes, similar to the xylophone. Marimba bars are finely crafted from hardwoods such as rosewood, mahogany and padouk. The keys are fine-tuned to reflect the tones played in African societies.

For marimbas in the United States, the resonators under the wooden bars are usually metal and most likely aluminum. They are hollow metal pipes of different lengths with holes covered by thin cellophane (similar to the West African balafon). This is so that when the marimba is struck, you can hear the buzzing sound characteristic of these instruments.

The mallets generally have wooden shafts but may be made of fiberglass, as well. Rattan shafts are also available and they have a little bit of "give" to them while other materials do not. Depending on training and preference, a marimbist may like the flexible shaft better than the ones with no "give" or vice versa. The material that actually strikes the key is usually some type of rubber wrapped in yarn. The marimba keys themselves will define which type of mallet is used on which part of the keyboard. The harder mallets are usually used to strike the high notes and the softer mallets for the lower notes. This is particularly important in playing the marimba because a mallet that is too hard for the keys it strikes may damage the instrument.

Most marimba music calls for several mallets to be used in one composition. It is not uncommon to find 2-3 players stationed at the marimba during a performance. Because two or three people will wield four to six mallets, it is possible to hear beautiful chords coming from the instrument. Many marimba players also play with more than one mallet in each hand. Different methods have also been developed to hold the mallets necessary for a piece of music in one hand. The Burton grip and the Musser-Stevens grip are the two common methods of gripping multiple mallets and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

The repertoires of bands in the United-States tend to overlap, probably due to the fact that most of the marimba music is composed by the Zimbabwean musician Dumisani Maraire. He is one of the key people who first brought Zimbabwean music to the West, moving to and working at the University of Washington in 1968. He was a master at playing an instrument known as the mbira which greatly resembles a small hand-held instrument known as the thumb piano.

A marimba is an expensive but beautiful instrument. Professional marimbas start in the $2,000 range for a used instrument. They add an open tone to many different compositions that make them very unique and sought after in the instrument family.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

WAGNER's Goetterdaemmerung in Melbourne

English: Richard Wagner, Munich Slovenščina: N...
Richard Wagner, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Goetterdaemmerung as it happened

Wagner's Goetterdaemmerung completes the operatic tetralogy 'The Ring of the Nibelung', an allegory of greed and power set to addictive music of considerable complexity. In a nutshell: Siegfried, after rejecting his betrothed Bruennhilde, succumbs through Hagen's treachery to the curse Alberich has put on the ring, whereupon Bruennhilde returns the ring to the Rhine and causes the destruction of Valhalla, the new home of the corrupted gods.

The Goetterdaemmerung broadcast from Melbourne (13.12.13, the final night of the third Melbourne cycle) is very disappointing so far, not matching up to the hype at all. Pietari Inkinen's orchestral opening had no mystery. Tired, unruly, small voices were not able to convince in the Prologue. The orchestra was much too prominent. Siegfried's horn call lacked boisterous enthusiasm and the performance of his Rhine journey by the orchestra was pedestrian. Hagen and Gunther have redeemed things vocally somewhat in Act I and the blood-brotherhood duet between Siegfried and Gunther was powerfully delivered. Bruennhilde's sister Waltraute (Deborah Humble) at last injected some drama into the proceedings.

I am hoping for mystery at the beginning of Act II. In the event, at least on the radio, Warwick Fyfe as Alberich has a live presence, no figment of the sleepy Hagen's imagination. He makes Alberich's complex music portray sharply the dwarf's dangerous and elemental nature.

Hagen's famous call to the vassals was tremulous, but introduced real excitement into the wedding and revenge scenes. Susan Bullock as Bruennhilde sounded genuinely shocked and distressed. Barry Ryan's regal anger as Gunther was also evident. The revenge trio was a vocal and dramatic climax to the Act.

Superb singing from the Rhine maidens at the beginning of Act III. Apparently, they are dressed like Follies; I think I am glad I can't see the production (I'm watching The Ashes cricket concurrently, with the TV's sound off).

Siegfried's Erzaehlung is going very well (I'm taking a leaf out of a cricket commentator's book); Stefan Vinke has now warmed up vocally, and the orchestral accompaniment has receded into the background: perhaps he's right at the front of the stage.

Hagen's 'Meineid raechte ich' descended totally into melodrama, but Vinke has restored the intensity with the conclusion of his monologue. The orchestra have at last excelled themselves in Siegfried's funeral music and Susan Bullock has found opportunities for a chamber-music restraint, rich with sorrow. Her Immolation is shaping up to be the emotional and vocal high point of the performance. The orchestral playing at the conclusion, offering hope for the future of mankind, is powerful and convincing.

What a trajectory. Rather like Australia's first innings in Perth.