Whatever reason you are choosing to purchase a clarinet, whether its for practicing at home or upgrading to a professional clarinet, it can be a very overwhelming decision. There are so many clarinet models to choose from that it can be mind boggling.
In this article I will try to make it a little easier to choose what clarinet you end up purchasing by giving you some information on what to look for when choosing and hopefully educating you about the different aspects of the clarinet.
There are three types of clarinets, the Soprano clarinet, the Bass clarinet, and the Harmony clarinet.
This model has a variety within its model. The Bb clarinet, the A clarinet, and the EB clarinet. Soprano clarinets creates music in a high register. The most popular of this clarinet model is the Bb clarinet because it is the most versatile and can be used for all types of music styles.
The A clarinet is a little bit longer and has a deeper sound than the Bb clarinet. They are tuned to an A rather than a Bb. This model is usually chosen to play classical music because it is hard to transpose a piece written in A if you have a Bb clarinet.
The EB clarinet, also called the Sopranino clarinet has a higher register which can be used for higher pitched songs.
This clarinet has a much larger hallowed out body than your other clarinets. It has a low bassy sound and is tuned to the Bb one octave below the soprano Bb models. You can hear this type clarinet in a wide variety of musical pieces, from jazz, pop, and orchestra pieces.
This instrument is called Harmony because it is basically made to play harmonies rather than melodies. A harmony clarinet is not as versatile as your other clarinets and therefore would not be your main clarinet to own. You can find harmony clarinets in plenty of musical pieces and would be nice to own as a second instrument.
What to Consider When Buying
1- Mouthpiece- A good quality mouthpiece makes a big difference in its sound. The standard mouthpiece is a standard molded plastic mouthpiece which usually comes with a student’s clarinet. High end clarinets comes with a hard type of rubber called ebonite. Clarinets are very easy to switch the mouthpiece so you can buy a mouthpiece that feels comfortable for you if you want to upgrade.
2- Bore- This word refers to the internal dimensions of the clarinet. The larger the bore of a clarinet the better the projection and fuller sound but makes it harder to play in tune. A beginning student is better with a smaller bore because of this problem.
3- Material- There are two types of materials that a clarinet can be made out of. One is the plastic one made for beginning student’s, and the other is wood which is usually chosen for the more professional musician. Plastic clarinets are rugged and easier to care for. They are also less expensive but you will never get the same tonal qualities as the wooden clarinet.
Wooden clarinets are crafted from grenadilla wood and is usually the chosen instrument for advanced musicians because of their excellent tone qualities and resonance. You do have to take much more care with a wooden clarinet if you want them to last.
4- Ligature- This is a very small size part on the clarinet but holds a very important role to the clarinet. This little piece holds the reed against the mouthpiece and makes a great difference in sound. A beginner’s clarinet usually comes with a simple metal ligature, but professional clarinets have a more sophisticated ligature to enhance the tone of their clarinet.
5- Keywork- This is the clarinets keys which are made from nickel or brass and plated with nickel, silver, or gold. Your cheapest clarinet usually comes with nickel plated keys and your pricier clarinets are usually plated in gold. The problem you can have with silver plated keys is they can tarnish which you would have to do much more maintenance even though it looks great on the instrument.
$50-$400 – You can find some reasonably priced models if your not looking to play at a professional level for as little as $50 to $100. If you spend less than $100 for this instrument you will probably end up wasting your money because in a couple of months you will probably want to upgrade.
$400-$700 – This would be an intermediate grade clarinet. You would choose this price range clarinet if you see your child or student is serious about furthering their musical talents.
$1,000-$8,000 – This price range is for the professional clarinet player. This clarinet would have the best qualities the instrument could have
A List of Some Models and Approximate Price
1- Mendini by CECILIO B flat- $!00.00 This is an inexpensive entry level clarinet that comes with a lot of needed starter accessories. The only problem with this model is you will need to use a lot of cork grease if you have trouble assembling it initially.
2-Nuvo n100 cl bk– $130.00. A nice little clarinet for kids to enjoy because it is made from abs plastic so no matter how rough you handle it this model will be able to handle the abuse and will last a pretty long time. It is also lightweight because it is made out of plastic weighing 2.5 lbs. Because it is made out of plastic this model will not have the greatest sound but it is satisfactory for its purpose. This comes in the key of c which is normal for kid clarinets.
3- JEAN PAUL USA CL-300 student clarinet- $200.00. This would be a good choice for its value for beginning student’s. It has a good tone and is good for marching bands because it is not real expensive to have outside. It has a thinner vamp design for easy play.
The Vamp is the inclined “peeled” part of the reed leading to the tip. A long Vamp makes the reed flexible and responsive, ideal for Jazz musicians. A concert clarinetist,on the other hand, may prefer a shorter Vamp for its improved focus.
You might want to replace the mouthpiece with a better one or to your liking.
4- Buffet Crampon E11 Bb. $1,200.00. This is not a beginner’s clarinet. It is targeted for intermediate and professional players. It is more expensive than your typical intermediate clarinets but, you’ll find its well worth its price. This is the most popular of all the intermediate clarinets which makes it easier to get replacement parts. It has a deep and rich sound quality. This model does require harder reeds for the same sound quality and is high maintanence
5- Yamaha ycl-255 standard Bb – $612.00. This is an entry-level instrument, although it is quite pricey. It’s plastic instead of wood and lacks a bit on what a professional clarinet should be, but it doesn’t claim to be one. If your looking to upgrade from a budget instrument, then you might want to consider this one. Because of it being made of plastic construction, this clarinet is good for student’s and younger players as it will be able to take abuse better. Even though it is made of plastic this model still produces a beautiful sound and does resemble the sound of your wooden clarinet. It has a matte finish which makes it very attractive to the eye and you can also order for a finish or color that better suites your tastes. This comes with an adjustable thumb-rest and a belt ring which helps the beginner on how to learn proper playing techniques. This comes with a lighter Bell than your ycl 650 model, which I will go into detail on this model below, which enhances and improves the tone.
5- Yamaha ycl 450 with Nickel Keys. $1,420.00 This is also an intermediate clarinet. It is made of wood and is well constructed. It is made of granadella wood which gives it a beautiful appearance and sound. You have to treat this model with a little tender loving care but, it is still a durable instrument. It has a new bell shape design which affects the sound. You’ll find that it projects really loudly, especially the lower register. It has nickel plating keys, so if you are allergic to silver plating, this is the instrument for you. It has an adjustable thumb rest and strap ring which makes it easier for people with smaller hands. It is a little bit more expensive than your average intermediate level clarinet
6- Yamaha ycl 650 with nickel keys. $1,980.00 This is a professional level instrument. It is a wood bodied clarinet with a great tone and great sound. The cylindrical bore allows ease of blowing. It has an adjustable thumb rest and a natural looking finish to it. This comes with four mouthpieces, case, which you might want to invest in a better case to protect your investment, and care accessories.
7- R13 Professional Bb clarinet with nickel keys. $3,200.00 This is the top of the line and is suitable for symphony, chamber music, soloist, and teachers. This is made of premium grenadelle wood, which gives it an evenness of tone. It has french made hb silver plated ligature which provides a round centered sound. 17- key- 6 nickel- plated keys. Features 577- inch polycylindrical bore, 66- millimeter barrel, and undercut tone holes. There is no mouthpiece that comes with this model, but at this level you would probably want to choose your own style
Hopefully you have learned a little bit more about the clarinet from this article and can make a better decision when you are ready to purchase this instrument.whether you are a beginner or professional.Just remember when looking you don’t want to spend $1,000 and up if your not sure you like to play the clarinet and you would not want to spend $50 if you are a professional. You also will want to think about what type of music you would want to play. If most of your pieces are written for an A clarinet you wouldn’t want to invest in a Bb clarinet for example. Make sure the clarinet you choose isn’t too heavy where you would be struggling with the weight of the clarinet. You might have to use a strap to help with the weight distribution. Hopefully there is enough information to choose wisely by my giving you the different types of clarinets and more detailed information on some of the characteristics of this instrument. If you have any questions please feel free to ask them below and I will try my best to answer them to the best of my knowledge.
People will choose an accordion for all types of music, from Jazz, Folk, and even Rock. Playing an accordion is usually not your typical instrument to choose from when picking an instrument to learn. They are a very interesting instrument with its own unique sound.
The most common types of accordions are Piano, Chromatic, Diatonic, and Concertina. I will explain briefly what the different characteristics of each are.
1- PIANO ACCORDIONS – This type accordion is a newer invention than the button accordions, instead of having buttons, they have piano style keyboards. If you have experience playing a piano or keyboard instrument they are much easier to learn and are more affordable than your button accordions. You also have a wider selection to choose from because of their popularity.
This type of accordion is more bulky and has fewer treble notes than the button accordions. You can find one of these type accordions for as little as $50.00 for a smaller scale kids model to $1,000.00 for the more professional instrument.
2– CHROMATIC ACCORDION – This accordion is a button accordion and uses a chromatic scale. All the keys are whole steps and half steps so all the notes are covered including flats and sharps. This is known as semitone in the music industry.
This type accordion has a wider range of notes compared to the other types of accordions but has managed to still stay compact depending on the number of buttons. The buttons are close together which makes it easier to play more intricate or harder pieces. This type model may take you longer to learn than a piano model because of unfamiliar keyboard.
A chromatic accordion can be fairly expensive ranging from $500.00 for your basic model up to an extremely high end instrument costing $10,000.00
You can play the same note whether you’re pushing the bellows in or pulling them out.
3- Diatonic Accordion – This type accordion uses a diatonic scale having a variety of buttons. This means for example: if you are playing in the key of c major and you’re using c major scale notes, then you would say the notes you are using are diatonic. The buttons on this type accordion has a different pitch to it, depending on whether the bellows are being pushed in or pulled out.
There are fewer notes compared to a chromatic model making this type accordion easier to learn. They are more compact than most of your other accordions.
This type model leaves out sharps and flats which makes it less versatile than the chromatic model. You can pick one of these up ranging from $300.00 to $3000.00.
4- CONCERTINA ACCORDION – This model is smaller and has a hexagon shape, meaning six side angles. The Anglo concertinas are diatonic and the English concertinas are chromatic. The advantage of this type model is that it is small and lightweight and you have a choice between diatonic or chromatic. The disadvantage of this model is it has fewer notes than the other models and you cannot play chords with a single button. This model ranges from $150.00 to $500.00
Different Number of keys
An accordion can have anywhere from 22 to 45 treble keys and 8 to 185 bass keys. The common full accordion has 41 treble keys and 120 bass keys, but you can do fine with fewer keys. When you are looking for an accordion you may come across something that looks like 22/45, which means the accordion has 22 treble keys and 45 bass keys. For the beginner musician 26/48 would be fine.
Chords or Bass
your right hand generally plays your treble notes while your left-hand plays your bass notes. Many accordions allows you to play full chords on the bass side by pushing one button. This is called the stradella system. Free bass accordions have single bass notes. The advantage of this is you can create your own type chords by pushing different buttons at the same time so you can play more than standard chords. This makes the model harder to play.
You can find a range of different colors even though the basic accordion isn’t heavily adorned, they may have some metal detailing design on the bellows. Some people find the color and design and look of the accordion important while others do not. A more expensive accordion might be handcrafted and have detailed inlays and metalwork.
Some things to Consider When Buying
Some accordions have what they call a tone chamber, which mellows the sound of the reeds giving a smoother richer tone. These tend to cost more than those without this feature, so if you are a beginner I would suggest a standard accordion.
You should also consider the size and weight of the accordion. If you choose a model with the full 120 bass notes it may be too awkward and heavy for you to handle comfortably so I would choose a smaller model.
There are also different number of sets of reeds in an accordion which they call voices. Most have at least two sets but you can have up to five sets.
If you plan on playing out or entertaining, some models can come with built in microphones. This isn’t a necessary feature since you can mic or amplify the accordion.
You can play an accordion either standing or sitting, if you plan on standing while playing make sure you invest in a sturdy strap.
You can find numerous accordions today with keeping children in mind making these accordions easier to handle. If you are a beginner or on a tight budget, you might want to consider buying a childs model even if you are an adult to experience the feel for the instrument before buying a better one.
Once you buy your ACCORDION you should store it upright on the bass side to avoid warping of the reeds. Store it in a medium temperature and dry place.
Best Accordions to Buy
Below is a list of some accordions that were reviewed by several musicians that they feel is a good choice when purchasing .
1- HOHNER 3100FB-PANTHER– 3 row fbe diatonic accordion, one of the lightest and smallest accordion on the market and has a rich sound when played in a group or playing solo.
2- HOHNER PANTHER G/C/F– 3 row diatonic accordion-black, weighs 9 lbs. This model allows you to play without any serious complications or demands.
3- BEGINNER ACCORDION – 22 KEY 8 BASS PIANO accordion. This accordion has some great features. It has a maple wood design which is durable and resistant to corrosion and has a nice elegant appearance and excellent workmanship.
4- RIZATTI BRONCO RB31GM– This is a diatonic accordion Mexican Flag design key G/C/F. This accordion can be good for a beginner or advanced players.
5- D LUCA TORO BUTTON ACCORDION – This model has a 31 treble button which produces a high quality sound.
6- HOHNER COMPADRE GCF ACCORDION RED– Great for a beginner and experienced player. It has an open grille design that allows you to create louder fuller music.
I only named a few that were reviewed and you can get great prices on Amazon. Hopefully I gave you enough information that you can make an educated decision when buying an accordion. If you have any questions or thoughts on this subject please feel free to comment and I will do my best to try to answer them for you.
Having the right equipment to hear your instrument clearly is a key factor when choosing electric guitar amplifiers. Having a good amplifier can make all the difference in the world when playing your guitar as far as sound goes.
In this article I will try to educate you on what to look for and what is right for you when choosing electric guitar amplifiers.
Different Types of Amps
There are five different types of electric guitar amplifiers that I will summarize as briefly as possible.
1- Tube Amps – This type of amp can give you a natural distortion and can also give you a warm sound. These amps can be very heavy to carry to
gigs and the tubes inside the amps will have to be replaced because they don’t last forever if you plan on keeping the amp for a long period.
2- Modeling Amps – This amp is made by using digital technology to recreate the sound of a tube amp. They use programmable internal software which can give you a wide variety of digital effects. Some of these modeling amps can use digital or analog product outputs, which gives you an advantage when connecting a recording device making it much easier.
3- Solid State Amps – This amp is a lot lighter and compact than your tube amp. The sound you get from this type of amp is a very clean sound and not the same warm sound you get with a tube amp. There are some models that offer more distortion. These amps hold up well to regular use, instead of using tubes inside the amp, solid state amps have what they call transistors in their power sections and pre amp. Musicians like the reliability and durability of these amps.
4- Hybrid Amps – These type of amps have a mixture of tubes and transistors. They use the best features of the other amp type by using tubes in the preamp section and transistors in the power section, thus, you can get the sound of the tube amp and the durability of the solid state amp.
5- Acoustic Amps – This amp is used for solo and small group performances. It gives a nice clean crisp sound and full range sound to your guitar. It keeps distortion to a minimum and often has onboard input for a microphone.
Amp Heads and Combo Amps
1- Amp Heads – A amp head has amplifier parts but no speaker. You have to connect a speaker to be heard with cables in order to use it. Some manufacturers sell the heads and speakers as a package deal, which is known in the music industry as amplifier stacks. The disadvantage of having this setup is you have more equipment to lug around with you.
2- Combo Amps – This is one piece of equipment having both the speaker and amplifier head parts. This piece of equipment is easier to travel around with and easier to use. All you have to do with this type of amp is plug it into an outlet and your ready to play. If you plan on playing really loud I would choose an amp head.
Combo Amps vs Amp Stacks
There are three options to choose from, a combo amp, a half stack, and a full stack.
1- Combo Amps – If you are playing out a lot on gigs you may want to consider this amp because of it being one piece of equipment to carry.
2- Half-Stack – This consists of an amp head and one speaker cabinet which you can choose what size speakers you would want to use. This produces a powerful thumping sound. Depending on what type of music you are playing will decide if you want to go with a half-stack or full-stack.
3- Full-Stack – This consist of an amp head and two speaker cabinets. This stack gives you an even more of a powerful thumping sound. Depending on the size of the room and type of music you are playing determines your choice. If you are playing in front of a live audience you might want to mic. The amp for best results. Amp stacks are more difficult to set up and break down, so keep that in mind when choosing your setup.
Built In Sounds
Most amplifiers have built in sounds giving you a more versatile sound. Here are some common effects that comes with the amp.
1- Reverb – This creates an echo like sound.
2- Tremolo – This varies the volume of your guitar in a rhythmic pattern.
3- Equalization – This helps boost or reduce certain frequency ranges.
Guitar Amp Price Range
There are a various amounts of prices on amps based on speaker size and effects. You can spend as little as $25 to $500 on an amp. Here is an estimated breakdown on what you would get for your money.
– Low-Cost-Amp- A amp ranging from $25 to $100 will get you 15 watts or less of power and a 3″ speaker in size. You will probably not have any special effects.
-Mid-Range-Amp- A amp ranging from $100 to $300 will get you a bigger speaker ranging anywhere from 8″ to 10″ and 15 to 30 watts power. You will probably get a few onboard effects in the package.
-Expensive Amps- A amp ranging from $300 to $500 will get you a wide array of onboard effects with 30 watts of power and at least two 12″ speakers.
What Amp To Choose
If you are a beginner playing the guitar, a modeling amp may be best to purchase. You get excellent sound quality and less maintenance than a tube amp. You also get versatile digital effects that you can experiment with.
A solid state amp is fairly low in cost and easy to maintain but doesn’t have as many digital effects. They are light in weight but that isn’t much to worry about if you are a beginner because I don’t think you would be ready to play out on gigs yet.
If noise is a concern I would choose a smaller amp with around 15 to 20 watts for practicing so no one is disturbed.
When you are ready to perform live performances, a solid state amp is best for higher sound quality because it has a better sound quality than a modeling amp and much more reliable than a tube amp.
Solid state amps aren’t as expensive as tube amps if money is a factor and when playing live performances they are lighter to carry around to each gig.
Some best amps out on the market today
I found some of the amps below on Amazon hilighted in blue with great prices. The ones not hilighted you will have to look around for them since I couldn’t find them on amazon.Another great place to find good prices on instruments is HREF=”HTTPS://WWW.ZZOUNDS.COM/
1- Fender Mustang LT25 -best versatile amp.
2- Marshall JCM25/50 2555x silver jubilee reissue – a great reissue of one of the most coveted Marshalls.
3- Boss ACS Live – Best live performance amp.
4- Vox AC15C2 – Pretty much the only affordable 2×12 LL84drive 15 watt valve combos available.
5- Roland AC-40 – Best compact amp perfect for traveling musicians.
6- PRS MT15 Mark Tremonti – great amp for metal and hard rock music.
7- Marshall AS100D – Best vintage style amp meant for larger gigs with 100 watts of power.
8- Fender 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb – One of the best Fender amps ever but not enough gain for hard rock but does have a wide range of classic rock tones.
9- Fender Super Champ X2 – This is a great amp for home practice.
10- Marshall AS50D – This is a great amp for acoustic gigs.
Hopefully I gave you enough information on amplifiers so you can choose what amplifier best suits your need when playing your guitar. You should now have a better knowledge on amplifiers and what is offered by the manufacturers. If you have a question please don’t hesitate to ask and hopefully I can answer it for you.
Electric bass guitars help link all the other instruments to the drums, giving a full complete sound. The electric bass guitar comes in four, five and six strings.
When looking to purchase an electric bass guitar, it can get very frustrating because of the overwhelming number of choices out on the market to choose from. How many strings, what type of wood, what style are you looking for etc. Hopefully in this article I can educate you on some fundamentals of the electric bass guitar so you have an easier time when choosing what you are looking for.
There are several types of styles to choose from when looking for a bass guitar. Below are some typical types to choose from.
1- P Bass – This style is called the Precision Bass which was the first electric bass guitar on the market back in 1951. It has a thick neck and a split-coil pickup, which I will explain what that pickup is later in this article. The P bass is a very comfortable instrument to play. Fender, who is well-known in the music industry came out with this style and a lot of companies copied this design.
2- Fender Mustang PJ bass – This is the granddaddy of bass guitars. This bass guitar has both the smooth Jazz pickup from a fender J- Bass and the split pickups from a fender P bass.
This is an attractive looking four string bass guitar with its rosewood fretboard and maple neck and has a great range of tone.
This guitar can be used for playing Jazz or Funk because of its multiple pickups and is very popular with a lot of famous bands. This guitar is not cheap because of its features.
3- J Bass – This style is also made by Fender and is usually purchased for playing jazz, thus the letter J in the name of the bass and has a similar look of a P bass. What distinguishes this Guitar from the p bass is the different pick guard shape, dual pickups and it has a slimmer neck. The J bass is more versatile than the P bass because of its slimmer neck where you can actually play chords.
4- Thunderbird – This electric bass guitar is manufactured by an another very well-known company in the music industry called Gibson. It has dual humbucking pickups and a wide body which tone wise gives it a higher or brighter punchy sound. You should definitely try one out before purchasing this bass because of its neck being a bit heavy.
5- SG – This model is also made by Gibson.this bass guitar has a duller warmer sound than the fender bass guitar. But because it is very light and its body shape it is very easy to play.
6- Flying V – This type of bass guitar has a shape that allows you to be able to play higher notes. Because of its shape, it is a much harder bass guitar to be able to sit when playing. This is a unique and very cool looking bass guitar.
that harmonizes nicely with other instruments They are short scale, which makes this style bass light and easy to transport
Types of Tonewood
like all instrument, these types of woods make up a huge difference in the sound it produces, price of the instrument, play ability, and looks.
1- Basswood – This is the most common material used on an electric bass guitar because of its cost. This wood produces very little sustain which is a preference to many bass players who play fast complex pieces
2- Maple – This wood produces a nice sustain because of the heaviness of the wood. It also creates a clear crisp sound which really stands out when playing with other instruments.
3- Mahogany – This wood is another heavy type wood which produces a softer warmer tone which has low mid tones unlike the higher crisp tones of the maple wood.
4- Ash – This wood has a really nice grain to it and usually you would put some type of clear varnish on it to highlight the grain. It creates a fair amount of sustain and a nice balance and depth to its bright overtones.
There are three types of necks made for electric bass guitar which plays a vital role in playing the instrument and producing different sounds.
1- Bolt-On – This type of neck is cheaper to manufacture and makes it much easier to replace in case something goes wrong with the neck. They are a separate piece that gets bolted on the body of the guitar.
2- Neck-Through – This type of neck is made by gluing several pieces of wood together. It is expensive but has a sustain that doesn’t compare because there is no joint between the neck and body to interfere with vibration.
3- Set – these type of necks are similar to the bolt-on necks that use a dovetail joint instead of a metal bolt. These necks are between bolt-on and neck-through as far as sustain goes.
Pickups play a very important role in your playing and style of music you are playing. There are three types of pickups.
1- Humbucker – This type of pickup is for high output players. The design of the pickup decreases excess noises and its primary function is for gain and punch.
2- Single-Coil – This is the most common of the three pickups for most electric bass guitars and electric guitars. It produces a bright tone that becomes friendly when you add some distortion. There are usually two single-coil pickups on an electric bass guitar, one located near the bridge and the other near the neck, which the bass player can extend in his choice.
3- Split-Coil – This pickup is very popular on p bass electric guitars. It gives a very full deep boomy sound with low-end and mid- range accents. You won’t get a hum-noise with this pickup when raising the volume.
Price Ranges of Electric Bass Guitars
Least Expensive Price – You can get an electric bass guitar for as little as $100.00. What you will probably get for that price is a basic basswood bass guitars with four strings and simple electronics. They can sound pretty good and can pack a punch but when you start raising the volume you won’t get the clarity and experience more noise. This price range would be a good beginner pack, which would include the bass guitar, four strings, strap, and a soft gig bag.
mid-range Price – For around $500.00 you would get a better tonewood, better pickups, four or five strings, and a more variety of finishes and designs,
Top of the Line – For $1,000.00 and above you would get the best wood available, fantastic clear sounding pickups no matter how high the volume, maximum sustain, neck-through designs, and five or six string basses.
There are a lot of quality basses on the market today and hopefully through this article, I made it a little easier to choose what electric bass guitar you are looking for on your decision to buy one. The more you know about the different styles and features of an instrument, the easier it is to choose what you are looking for. If you have any questions I would be happy to try to answer them for you.
If you are reading this it means you are interested in buying an electric guitar that is worth its money and you want to choose one that will be good quality.
In order to do this you need to get educated on what makes up an electric guitar and its components, like its construction and different features, which I hope I will help you understand on this subject on what to look for when purchasing.
There are so many different electric guitars on the market today to choose from which can really be overwhelming whether you are a beginner or seasoned musician.
Hopefully, I will try to give you as much information as I can so you can make a good decision when you finally decide on what electric guitar is right for you.
When looking for a guitar try to set a budget so you can narrow the field on selecting your purchase. It is best to purchase the right electric guitar within the budget you can afford and not waste your time looking at guitars you really can’t afford .
You don’t want to look just for the cheapest guitar out there because usually you get what you pay for and you probably wouldn’t be happy with your selection.
What are Some Features of an Electric Guitar
– Tone Knobs – This knob lets you go back and forth between the low and high frequencies.
– Pickups – You can have as many as one to four pickups on an electric guitar. Pickups are used to pick up the sound of the guitar which will vibrate a magnetic coil that is internal. That vibration produces an electric signal that travels through to the amplifier which gives you your sound.
– Volume Knob – All electric guitars have volume knobs. Sometimes an electric guitar can have as many as three knobs. This knob is exactly what it says, it allows you to decrease or increase the loudness of the guitar.
-Selector/Cutoff Switches – The majority of electric guitars have the capacity of selecting a combination of pickups- these switches are used to toggle back and forth between the individual pickups and can activate or cut them off.
– Output Jack – This is where you plug a 1/4″ cable from the guitar to the amplifier and is usually located on the bottom lip or back end of the guitar.
Electric Guitar Bodies
The different types of bodies on an electric guitar is broken down into different categories. Each category has its own sound and what type of music you are playing. You might want to consider what type of music you are interested in playing and your style of playing when choosing what type of body you want to purchase. There are three types of bodies to choose from on an electric guitar.
1- Solid Body – These are the heavier electric guitars and are very sturdy. They are typically made from a single piece of wood. These guitars have to be plugged into an amplifier to be heard because there is no resonance chamber. This guitar is usually what you would choose if you intend on playing Rock and Roll, Metal and Punk Rock style music. The pickups on this guitar are very important in its sound.
2 – Semi-Hollow – This type of body on a guitar is usually used for playing Folk-Rock, Country and Lead Guitar Work. They have a cutout design and a small portion of the body is hollow and gives a bright and chime-like tone
3 – Hollow Body – This type of electric guitar is usually chosen if you are interested in playing Jazz due to the warm and deep mid-range sound. They work best with mellow, low volume amplifiers. This style guitar is hollow on the inside. There is no sound hole like there is on an acoustic guitar and they use a different type of pickup than a solid body electric guitar.
Examine the Electric Guitars Makeup and Uses
1 – Neck – Some of these necks are narrow which would be a better choice for a child or someone with a small hand span and other necks can be wide which are good for adults with a large hand span. They can be made with in a c-shape, thin, wide-thin, wide etc.
2 – Set Neck Vs Bolt On – A set neck on a guitar is glued on which has a better sustain than a bolt on neck. There are two well-known electric guitar examples of these two type necks, one being the Fender Stratocaster and the other being the Gibson Les Paul.
3 – Body Style – As previously stated, there are different body type styles, so you should choose according to what type of music you are interested in playing more often. Solid body electric guitars are good for sustain and loud amplification, whereas, a hollow body electric guitar is great for Jazz style and semi hollow body electric guitars are good for acoustic sound with lots of amplification wanted, which was mentioned above.
4 – Intonation – The distance between the frets on an electric guitar has a lot to do with its intonation. This determines whether the guitar is in tune as you move up the neck of the guitar. If the distance between the frets are off, the guitar will not be able to play in tune.
5 – Number of Frets – Usually an electric guitar will have 22 frets. You can have 24 frets if you like playing in the high register which would give you another whole octave above the 12th fret.
6 – Bridge – There are two types of bridges used on an electric guitar, the tremolo bridge and the stop tail bridge. The tremolo bridge allows musicians to bend all the strings at once, which is good for heavy metal style music. Metal playing musicians love it even though it may throughout the tune of the guitar. The stop tail bridge is much more stable because it is fixed into the body and provides more sustain.
7 – Wood – Different woods on an electric guitar creates different sounds and tones. Even though a wood may be more expensive than another doesn’t necessarily mean it will sound better than a cheaper type wood.
8 – Pickups – Most electric guitars have two pickups, which are located on the neck, for a thicker sound, and one close to the bridge, for a more twangy sound. If a guitar has two pickups, there is usually a three position switch that will allow musicians to choose the pickups or blend them together. Below is a picture labeling the different parts of the electric guitar
Hopefully I have given you enough information so when you do shop for an electric guitar you know what you are looking at. There are a large variety of guitars out there to choose from, while price is a factor, you don’t want to go for the cheapest electric guitar out there. You will most likely be disappointed on your choice in the long run, because, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for, unless you get lucky and find a gem for the price. When you know what to look for like frets, pickups, woods and so on, it makes it a little easier to make an educated decision on what to buy for your needs, whether it be Rock and Roll, Folk, or Jazz, you now have a better understanding of what types of electric guitars are good for what types of music
If you are a guitar player or thinking of becoming one, an acoustic guitar s one instrument that can’t be beat because of its simplistic beauty. The acoustic guitar is user-friendly and you can’t beat the price. Some musical instruments can be very pricey for beginners and much more difficult to learn. Acoustic guitar’s are easier to learn, easy to carry around with you and a lot less noisy to the ears. They are a lot easier to purchase price wise. The hardest part is finding the right acoustic guitar to fit you. There are certain aspects to look for when shopping for an acoustic guitar.
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1-Rosewood-This is one of the most popular choices, it is usually seen on the fretboard of the guitar.
2-Basswood- This is usually found on more inexpensive acoustic guitar’s because of the price of the wood.
3-Ash- This tonewood is known for its pleasing resonance and is very popular.
4-Cedar- this tonewood is usually used on top of the guitar.
5-Mahogany and Maple- These two tonewoods when paired together are two of the best.
6-Spruce- This tonewood is fairly inexpensive and also used for the top of the guitar with good results.
There are other combinations of tonewoods also that can sound good when you’re shopping, the best way to choose one is either listen to a recording of the guitar or simply try one out for yourself in a store.
Most manufacturers pre-string the acoustic guitar before selling them to keep the tension while its settling into shape. They usually use a middle gauge, which can be hard on the fingers, especially if you are starting out as a beginner. Before you go changing them, you should seek advice from an experienced teacher or musician if you are starting out because, some playing styles, like chord strumming are easier with heavier gauge strings.
Strings do play an important role on an acoustic guitar’s overall tones and resonances, but they will not improve a bad guitar’s performance. Excessive buzzing is a symptom of the strings being too close to the fretboard. You could put the most expensive strings on a guitar that buzzes and it will not solve the problem.
Steel Strings and Nylon Strings
Steele strings have a lot more tension on a guitar’s head and neck than nylon strings. Some musicians would rather have steel strings if they are going to be using a slide or plan on playing blues or rock trying different techniques.
Steel strings may not be a good idea for classical and flamingo guitar’s because they can’t handle the extra stress that the steel strings put on it.
Nylon strings are much easier on the fingers if you are a beginner. Nylon strings gives you a mellower tone for finger picking music.
You can use a lighter gauge metal string if your Leary about changing to nylon strings which could be just as easy on your fingers as nylon strings would be.
Because of the ever-changing technology, it is always advisable to do your research to see what options are out there.
Some manufacturers wrap copper, silk, or nylon around the lower steel wires which produces a more delicate tone. Some manufacturers put a polymer coating to reduce friction and rust. Bronze alloys containing phosphor or aluminum extends the life of the strings.
What To look for When Buying
There are a wide variety of acoustic guitar’s out there to choose from and can get very confusing. When it comes to acoustic guitar’s, tonality is an important factor. Sound holes, fretboard, type of strings, and type body all play individual roles in the sound of the guitar. Even how far the strings are from the fretboard (“called the action”), can affect the sound.
Some manufactures rely on adhesives or carpentry joints(dovetails) to keep the body and neck together under tension while other manufacturers reinforce this connection mechanically using special metal truss rods or screws.
The overall fit should be strong with no signs of warping or splitting or cracking.
Tonewoods and type of finish can also make a difference in quality.
Cost of an Acoustic Guitar
An acoustic guitar can cost anywhere from less than $100.00 to over $15,000 for a rare vintage collectible.
Sometimes the difference between a low-end guitar and a high-end guitar is mostly cosmetic. It could be made of a pricier tonewood or a more intricate inlay on the body of the guitar.
Other times there is a true difference in overall quality between the two. The differences are the craftsmanship and choice materials that the manufacturer uses.
If you are a beginner student, you will not necessarily benefit from an expensive brand name guitar, but a professional musician with years of experience under his belt may want to examine the material choices before investing in a new guitar.
Hopefully, I gave you enough information so you can make a good educated decision when looking to buy an acoustic guitar. I picked a few acoustic guitar’s for review to show you the differences on some of these varieties.
This guitar is priced that anyone can afford. It’s an ideal instrument for the beginner.
This guitar has a balanced tone and plenty of projection, that it can be heard across the room.
This affordable guitar features a whitewood body which brings out lots of mid-range punch. The nato neck adds sustain without losing any strength in tone. The painted maple bridge and fingerboard add clarity to each note, and has a beautiful look to the front of the guitar. The RA-90s c-shape neck 1-2/3″ nut width and 16″ radius help with intricate fretboard movements when running up and down the 20 frets. It has nickel hardware and covered tuners.
It does have small flaws that are visible but does not affect the sound, like for instance, visual imperfections in the finish and not a perfectly smooth sanding job before the final finish and also has a glue smell.
This guitar is a steel string acoustic guitar that has a mahogany top and dreadnought size, which makes it great for both practice and playing out. Mahogany is dark colored wood that, when used as a guitar soundboard, creates a warm, full tone. It also features mahogany back and sides which helps balance out the powerful low-and high-end inherent to the dreadnought body shape. This guitar has a very pleasant sound and is loud enough to be heard in small venue without amplification.
It has a full-length 251/2″ mahogany neck with a rosewood fretboard, a rosewood bridge, vintage style headstock, die-cast tuners, and a gig bag.
Very good construction with a natural finish on it. The guitar stays in tune once tuned. It has nice, low action, which makes it good for anyone to play on, whether you are a beginner or a professional. It has a full sound. The strings it comes with are good quality
This guitar may need to be setup upon arrival. If you are a beginner or not experienced enough you would have to take it to a guitar shop to get it set up, otherwise great guitar for the money.
If you are looking for a childs toy, this acoustic guitar for beginners, this could be the right choice
This guitar has a very low price on it and would be a great start as a beginner package.
The guitar construction and tone has quality issues, plus there are no dots on the neck or fretboard.
This guitar is recommended a lot of times by teachers for its low price and resonant mahogany components. Beginner students will have a better learning experience because of the improvement of the sound of this guitar.
With this guitar you have 3 color choices and it has a mahogany back and neck with an authentic acoustic sound.
This guitar tends to have a buzzing sound when playing it so,you may have to adjust the bridge.
Jasmine Acoustic Guitar (s35)
This would be a good choice for a spare guitar, it has strengths and weaknesses which it shows on the price of this guitar
This acoustic has a really good sound for its price
You will more than likely have to spend more money on this guitar to set it up to your liking.
This acoustic guitar is a top-notch quality and well worth its price. The name Fender has been around since 1940s,you would be investing in quality just in the Fender name itself.
Just for the name Fender, which is well-established and well-known in the industry, it has an affordable price, a bright responsive tone, comes with a padded gig bag and several other features.
This guitar can be less conductive because its spruce top is laminated.
This is a high quality guitar from a well-known company in the music industry which is one of the best out there.
Of all the top selling acoustic guitar’s out there, this is one of the best sounding guitar’s on the market
On some of these models there has been reports of loose strap buttons.
Drums-Acoustic vs Electronic
There are two types of drums, Acoustic Drum Sets and Electronic Drum Sets. Since I am a drummer I have experienced both.
These kits are what most people consider normal, drums with metal cymbals and wooden shells.
1-You don’t need speakers, amplifiers, to hear yourself play.
2- These kits are what a majority of drummers use, especially if you plan on joining a band which I consider the best option.
3-They have a more dynamic sound by how hard you hit the drum, or you could make different types of sounds using brushes or sticks or mallets etc. You can also alter the noise level or tone.
4-It’s much easier to add or eliminate to an acoustic drum kit.
1-Carrying all these drums and hardware are difficult for transport when playing out on a gig, they are bulky and some are heavy, like the bass drum.
2-They can be a disturbance to neighbors and family because of being so loud.
1-You don’t have to tune electronic drum sets or worry about breaking a drum head.
2-They can produce a range of sounds to fit what music you are playing.
3-They are a lot lighter and compact, so easier to transport.
4-As for disturbing people around you, you can put headphones into these, making them almost silent, other than your sticks causing a thumping noise hitting the pads.
1-In my experience, you just don’t get a true drum sound as you do when playing on an acoustic drum kit.
2-if your playing live you just don’t get the same effect or feeling when playing.
3-You can’t get the sound of rim shots and stick taps as you can with an acoustic drum kit.
An acoustic drum kit can go anywhere as little as $200 all the way up to a high end of $5,000
An electronic drum setcan go as little as $200 up to $4,000
An electric drum set can be useful for recording demos, as you can record straight from your drums right into your computer, whereas, you would need microphones for acoustic drum kits.
In my opinion, if you are recording in a studio, an electric drum set is much easier to control. I prefer the acoustic drum kit when playing out or jamming with fellow musicians, they are so much more dynamic, you can use either one, it’s just easier with electric drums for the technician controlling the recording.
What You Should Consider When Buying
Drums come in different sizes which makes each drum sound different. The most common size for each drum are as follows:
1-14″ Snare Drum
2- 12″ and 13″ hook up toms
3- 16′ floor tom
4- 22″ bass drum.
These sizes give you a nice variety of sound, which is suitable for playing a large variety of music type.
1- Your most common shell is made of maple, its tone is well-balanced and has a warm effect
2- mahogany gives you a low-end and mid-range, which gives it a warm vintage type sound.
3- Birch gives you a darker tone, it has punchy -low-end, as well as boosted high-end frequencies.
4- Poplar gives you a bright sound and is sometimes used as a less expensive alternative to maple.
Drum heads at one time were made traditionally out of animal hides, but today they are made of a plastic called Mylar. Thinner drum heads give you a brighter or sharper sound, which a lot of jazz players look for. Thick drum heads give you a fatter deeper or muddier sound with less resonance, which a lot of rockers use for heavier music. This is the type of skin I prefer since I mainly play classic rock.
Sticks can be very confusing when it comes to picking out a pair. The number assigned to a drumstick refers to its circumference, the lower the number the larger the circumference.
So, if you are playing loud music you would want a thicker drum stick. If you plan on playing jazz or folk music you would want to choose a thinner pair with a larger circumference number on the drum stick.
A few different examples of cymbals and their use
1– Avedis Zildjian 18″ projection crash cymbalThis cymbal has a deep and full-bodied tone which has a clarity sound. It is very versatile and has excellent tonal quality. The design allows maximum projection when needed.
It has a brilliant finish. It’s made from a copper and tin ratio of 80/20 which gives it a powerful, full sounding tone when hit hard. When hitting it lightly it gives you a bright with plenty of sustain when pulling back
These cymbals can dull very quickly and you need to polish them often.
2- Sabian 41406x 14″ thin crash cymbal -This cymbal produces a bright and cutting sound which is great for accenting.this cymbal is sturdier than other thin cymbals and cheaper than high-end cymbals without affecting its quality.
Made from BB bronze(92% copper 8% tin), it is ideal for accenting with a punchy and fast sound. It’s a very bright and tight sounding cymbal.
This cymbal has a tendency to split faster than the heavier cymbals because of its thickness and weight.
3- Sabian Brass sb1811 18″ crash/ride cymbal- This cymbal can be loud and powerful with a dual-purpose, you can use it as a crash cymbal or a ride cymbal, which makes it a highly versatile cymbal. This cymbal is good for people that have a limited budget, where you don’t have to buy 2 separate cymbals.
This cymbal is made from brass with high-pressure hammering and traditional hand lathing techniques for excellent quality. You can use this cymbal for a light tapping ride or as a heavy hitting crash and has a lively bell that is very responsive.
Some drummers find this cymbal a little too dull sounding.
4- Paiste Cymbal pst8reflector 16″ rock crash- This cymbal is generally used for loud music. It is made from BB bronze and hand hammered which gives it a bright powerful tone.
Hand hammered with a reflector finish made from BB bronze (92% copper 8% tin), which is what gives the cymbal the loudness for loud music. It has an energetic, tonal quality with a wide range, clean mix and short sustain.
This cymbal tends to wear out quicker than other cymbals.
5- Meinl Cymbal hcs16tac brass trash crash cymbal 16″- Because this cymbal has holes in it, it gives you a dry sound with a trashy sound and less sustain. It’s perfect for a short loud accent.
Made from brass alloy (63% copper 37% zinc), gives you a quick and bright sound, great for a short burst of sound. You can stack this cymbal on top of other cymbals for different sounds.
Some drummers just don’t like the sound, especially if you want sustain in your accents.
Hopefully you gained some knowledge by reading my review on some of these items and have a better understanding of what you are looking to purchase on drums, whether it be acoustic or electronic I wish you the best of luck, keep on drumming and enjoy it.
The following is a brief history of vinyl records which started in the 1900s.