Saturday, December 8, 2018

Real Men Aren't Afraid Of BALLROOM DANCING

Young couple dancing cha-cha-cha at a junior L...
Young couple dancing the cha-cha-cha at a junior Latin dance competition
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Anybody who still believes the myth that ballroom dancing is for sissies has either been living under a rock or is simply using that as an excuse for their own fears.

Emmitt Smith of Dallas Cowboys fame and former Superbowl Champion waltzed away Wednesday night with another winning trophy to place on his mantle, this one the championship Mirror Ball Trophy from ABC's "Dancing with the Stars".

I am so proud of this man for shattering all the stereotypes, and offering a resounding response once and for all to the age-old question: what type of man learns ballroom dancing? The answer....a REAL man!

There can surely be no question as to this man's virility, nor his confidence in himself. Not only did he plunge wholeheartedly into unfamiliar waters, but he chose to do it on nationwide television, in front of millions of viewers. How many men (or women, for that matter) have the guts to do that?

I've heard all the whiny excuses for not taking ballroom dancing lessons...I've got two left feet....dancing is for sissies... I don't have time to learn something new....what good does it do to know how to dance, I'll never compete...I'll look stupid....I'm no good at it...I don't like it....it's too expensive...and on and on "ad nauseum". It doesn't matter the words they choose, they're all saying basically the same thing..."I lack confidence in myself and I'm scared". How terribly, pathetically sad.

Knowing what I know about ballroom dancing, there simply is no excuse for not learning. I've seen men without legs on the ballroom dance floor. I've watched macho types, geeky types, and overweight men move with grace as they executed a beautiful promenade. I've known men who took on odd jobs to pay for continued lessons. I've witnessed men literally dragged into the studio against their will and watched with pride as they developed into, not just great dancers, but one even went on to become a phenomenal instructor. How much they all would have missed if they had let their fears keep them from trying.



There are many things in this world to be afraid of. Ballroom dancing isn't one of them. Don't be afraid to open yourself to new possibilities. The numerous benefits you'll receive may shock you.



Friday, December 7, 2018

The SYMPHONY through Time

Philharmonic Orchestra of Jalisco (Guadalajara...
Philharmonic Orchestra of Jalisco (Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Symphony is probably one of the greatest musical compositions that you can listen to. This is a versatile form of music that is mostly intended to be performed by an orchestra. Some of the classical masters who have composed outstanding symphonies are Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. When you try to look at the history of the symphony, you would find out that it has been in existence since the 16th century but has gained real prominence in the 18th century.

In the 18th century, symphonies weren’t considered as standalone performances. Back then, you cannot expect people to go to a certain venue just to see and hear a symphony being played. It was rather used as a prelude, a postlude or an interlude to some other musical event. The popular movement used was the three-movement which is a start from a fast, to a slow, to again another fast movement. Notable pieces of this form would include Mozart’s early symphonies. Soon, this three-movement became a four-movement. Notable composers during this era were Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn.

Professional orchestras started to gain prominence. In the 19th century, another popular composer was born in the person of Beethoven. His famous works include Symphony No. 3 which has a strong emotional note to it. His Symphony No. 5 was well-loved and the most famous of all. His Symphony No. 9 became a choral symphony. Other notable composers of this era were Brahms, Schubert, and Schumann.

The 20th-century symphony saw some modifications to previous works. Long symphonies were created – large-scale in fact. More composers wrote such pieces and it has never ceased to grow from then on. There are still those who wrote using the traditional 4 movements. The 20th-century pieces, as well as the classical ones, are being played today by Toronto chamber orchestra



A symphony cannot be done justice when an incomplete orchestra performs it; this is why when being performed by Mississauga chamber orchestra, they make sure that they have all the right instruments and the right attitude.

Although there are other orchestral pieces that are being performed by Burlington chamber orchestra, the symphony would always remain as one of the best musical scores to be performed.


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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Best BLUES Instrumental Music of the Past


Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers
Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Whenever I'm feeling down or just plain bad, I sometimes find it beneficial to listen to some good ole fashion blues. But not just any old blues will do. I need the music without the lyrics. Come with me now as we head out into the vast world of blues in search of the best blues instrumentals to drown your sorrows to. Here we go.

The #1 spot for our best blues instrumental music of the past belongs to "Phillip's Theme" by Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers. Theodore Roosevelt "Hound Dog" Taylor was an American blues guitarist who originally played the piano. He is mostly known for his electric slide guitar and get down and boogie beats. I guess what really makes him stand out besides being an amazing blues guitarist is that he had 6 fingers on his left hand.

Blues guru John Mayall, from a concert at the ...
Blues guru John Mayall
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Moving on down our chart we come to #2 on my blues instrumental music chart with "The Supernatural" by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers featuring Peter Green. John Mayall was not only a talented multi-instrumentalist but a songwriter and blues singer. He pioneered English blues and has a history that spans over fifty years. He has influenced tons of other musicians like Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Fleetwood to name a few.

As all good things must end, here we are at our final spot on my best blues instrumental music list with none other than "Little Wing" by Stevie Ray Vaughan. A Jimi Hendrix cover song spoken through an amazing blues-rock guitarist Stevie Ray. I love this instrumental rendition of Hendrix's song "Little Wings". Stevie Ray Vaughan is known widely for his warm bluesy rock sound and was ranked #7 by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

As we close my best blues instrumental music of the past, I just want to say you can never have too much instrumental blues. With that said, go out into the free world of blues inspiration and bring back a little for yourself. And remember once your hooked, there ain't no cure for the blues. Until next time...



Wednesday, December 5, 2018

How To Fix A GUITAR

Basic guitar toolkit by TT Zop
Basic guitar toolkit by TT Zop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The following four adjustments can be made to all kinds of guitars to fix them. These adjustments will fix all guitars and make them playable. The adjustments are the amount of relief in the neck using an adjustable truss rod, the string height at the saddle, the string height at the nut and the intonation.

These adjustments should be made at least once on every guitar. Most manufacturers do not take time to properly do these adjustments. A manufacturer only does these adjustments for the average player, but not for the individual player.

How do you adjust the amount of the neck bow? It is supposed to be simple. Every adjustable truss rod shares the same principles of operation. Every truss rod has a threaded nut tightened on a threaded metal rod. The tension in the rod changes the curvature of the neck in which the tod is embedded. To adjust the rod, you need to tighten or loosen the nut on the rod. When tighten the nut, the tension increases the tension in the rod as well the amount which the rod counteracts the pull of the strings. This should reduce the bow in the neck.

As far as adjusting the saddle height, you can do this either before or after adjusting the string height at the nut. You should start by measuring the distance from the top of the twelfth fret to the bottom of the sixth string. You should do this when the guitar's strings are at full strength. You should measure laying a 6-inch ruler, on edge, adjacent to and parallel to the string.

The ruler is supported at one end of the twelfth fret and along its length by adjacent frets, eleven, ten, nine, etc. You can use other methods to measure from the top of the twelfth to the bottom of the string.

Another thing that you might have to fix is the string height. You can start by using elementary geometry. You will find that the change in the string height at the twelfth fret needs to be about twice the of change at the saddle. If a string height at the twelfth fret is 4/32" and the desired measurement is 3/32", the change in height will have to be lowered by 1/32" at the twelfth fret is about 2/32".



After taking measurements, you should calculate the amount that each string needs to be lowered at the saddle. You should make adjustments the saddle must project at least 1/16" from the top of the bridge. This should make sure that the strings exert a sufficient downward force on the saddle to stop the strings from vibrating side-to-side on the top surface of the saddle. If you cannot maintain this 1/16" projection, it will be necessary to reset or shave the bridge. This should be done by a professional repairer or a skilled amateur. The last adjustment that you should make is to the string height at the nut.

The required tools are a short straight edge (ruler), a standard set of feeler gages, a set of calibrated nut files, an X-acto saw and a tear-drop needle file. You should start by measuring the height of the first fret. You measure the first fret by placing a straight edge on the top of the first two frets so it straddles on the first and second frets. The slide feeler gages should be place between the fingerboard and the straight edge until the gages fill in the space between the fingerboard and the straight edge. When it doesn't fit the required measurement for a string height at the nut, you should adjust it.



Tuesday, December 4, 2018

SHAKUHACHI Flute - Music-Instruments of the World

Shakuhachi Flute - Music-Instruments of the World