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Saxophone Buying Guide

The saxophone has a unique sound that you cannot compare to any other instrument. It is a very versatile instrument when it comes to playing different types of music. The saxophone fits in with any type of music like Jazz, Rock, Orchestra, and any other type of music you can imagine.
But a saxophone player can only be as good as his or her instrument. How do you know which saxophone to purchase that would be the right fit for you?
In this article I hope to make that question a little bit easier for you to be able to choose which saxophone is best suited for you by educating you on this instrument so you can find the right saxophone to your liking.
                           What To Know About Saxophone
The saxophone was invented in the mid 1800s by Adolphe Sax, Adolphe studied the clarinet and the flute but was looking to create a different instrument. One that could still be played with the agility of a woodwind but had the power of the brass family. He ended up creating the saxophone.
With this instrument you can usually be able to produce a satisfying tone with proper instruction in just a matter of a few attempts, so it is an encouraging instrument to learn.
Although a saxophone is made of brass, it’s considered part of the woodwind family because the sound is produced by blowing into the instrument to vibrate a reed. Brass instruments produce sound by vibrating lips.
                               Operating The Saxophone
The saxophone has a shape like a megaphone. Attached to the smaller end of the cone you have the mouthpiece encircled by the ligature that holds the reed in place. When you blow into the mouthpiece, the reed vibrates, making the air inside the saxophone vibrate. To make lower or higher pitches keys are depressed in specific configuration that either shortens or lengthens the cone. Most of the sound disperses into the air through the larger end of the cone.
                               The Parts Of The Saxophone
You have three components that produces a vibrating column of air to create notes on the saxophone.
1 – Mouthpiece – This is where you would blow into the saxophone. You have a flat part on the mouthpiece where you would place the reed which is located on the bottom of the mouthpiece.
The mouthpiece can be made by a various amount of materials, (plastic, wood, metal, crystal ). The type material doesn’t affect the tone.
It is the size of the mouthpiece that affects the tone. A larger mouthpiece made of rubber for example, forces the musician to open his mouth more around the mouthpiece which opens his or hers oral cavity, this creates a less bright tone. If, the mouthpiece is smaller you get a sharper tone.
2 – Reed – This are what produces the sound through vibration. It is a thin, fragile strip of material which rests on the mouthpiece and is held in place by the ligature. Most woodwind instrument reeds are made from Arundo Donax (giant Cane) or synthetic material. The cane has a hollow stem and grows to full height in one year. To make a reed, cane is cut to the proper length, cut along the length into four parts, and then shaved. Because reeds are made from a natural material, no reeds are the same.
reeds have different textures. The softer the reed, the easier it is for the beginner to produce a note. Even though it is easier to play a note it is harder to play in tune.
A hard reed facilitates playing in the altissimo range which means it covers two and a half octaves, which is pretty unimpressive when compared to clarinets four and half octaves, flutes four octaves, or violins five octaves. Altissimo extends that range up to another octave higher for the saxophone.
A hard reed makes it easier to play in tune but, it does require more effort and skill to play with a hard reed.
3 – Ligature – The purpose of this part is to hold the reed in place around the mouthpiece.
                                     Other Parts Of The Saxophone
– Neck and neck receiver – The neck is the shorter adjustable section that connects the mouthpiece to the body of the saxophone. The neck receiver is the ring that holds the neck in place. The player can make adjustments for easier playing.
– Body – This is where the music is made. This is where all the moving parts are. The body is where the air column resonates and is adjusted to create the different notes.
– Bell – This is where the sound comes out into the air which is at the opposite end of the saxophone from the mouthpiece. The larger the bell the lower the tone. A smaller bell gives the instrument a duller sound.
– Keys and Pads – The keys are what the player presses to create different notes but, it is the pads that makes sure those notes can be produced. The pads are what covers the different holes to create specific notes. If, the pads are damaged, or some part of the saxophone’s complex mechanism is bent or improperly aligned, air will leak out from around the pads and you will not be able to get a good tone.
– Rods – These are long shafts and very important for top performance of the instrument. If a rod is bent it can be just as detrimental as a damaged pad.
Neck Strap – The saxophonist wears this around their neck and connects to the strap ring of the saxophone to support the instrument while playing. You can adjust this strap to your liking                                                                                                                                                                     Special Keys
There are two sets of stack keys that every saxophone has. (The home keys of the instrument ). The right-hand plays the lower stack while the left-hand plays the upper stack. Different models may contain additional keys and features as follows’
1 – Front F – located just above the first finger key ( B ) in the upper stack keys, the player uses his or hers left index finger to depress this key. This allows the player to play the E and F in the altissimo range without overtones.
2 – High F – Sharp and High C – These two keys are located next to each other and is played with the palm of the right-hand, just below the wedge between the thumb and forefinger. This makes it easier to play the F-sharp and G above high C ( in the altissimo or upmost range ) without depending on overtones.
3 – Low A – This allows the player to go below the normal range of the saxophone to play a low A. This is a rare key and is played with the left hands little finger.
4 – – Tilted Spatula Keys – These are four flat keys that are played by the left hands little finger. These can be tilted on some of your models to allow for quicker, more fluid changes between the lowest notes on the instrument.
                                                   Prices
A saxophone can range anywhere from $185.00 to $4,000. There are some price overlap with higher-end beginner models and more affordable professional models.
1 – Beginner or Student models – $185.00 to $900.00. Expect the beginner models body material to be thinner and therefore lighter and easier for the beginner to play. They usually design the student saxophone for smaller hands, so the key placement might not produce the optimum intonation, so it may not be completely in tune with itself.
2 – Intermediate models – $900.00 to $1,400.00 – This saxophone can have a mixture of features found in both student and professional models and are a step up from the student models.
3 – Professional models – $1,400.00 to $4,000.00 – Intonation discrepancies doesn’t exist when you get into this price range. It is thicker and heavier, and will have a larger choice of finishes to choose from. The better the instrument the better case will be supplied to protect your investment on your chosen saxophone.
                                               maintenance
You should always clean out the neck and mouthpiece with a swab made for this purpose because your breath contains moisture that is filled with particles that can damage your saxophone. You should also use a body swab to clean out the body of the instrument for the same reason.
After playing the instrument and ready to put it away, you should always remove the reed and place it in the reed guard so it doesn’t get damaged or chipped. Finally, before putting your saxophone away you should wipe the outside of the instrument with a soft micro filter cloth. Do not wipe the side or the bottom of your keys because that could cause damage to it.
                                   A list of Some Models to Consider
1 – Mendini By Cecilio Mas – L+92D + PBE Flat Alto Saxophone with Tuner, case, Mouthpiece, 10 Reeds – You can purchase this model for $259.99. This is also another model for beginners yet also suited for accomplished players. It is pitched at E Flat with a high F sharp and has a great construction. It has a ribbed build and high quality stainless steel tone boosters. The low B flat spatula keys have been designed in a tilted style making it easy to play which is great for beginner students and it has a great sound.
This model also comes with a lot of accessories which is great for beginners. It weighs around 12lbs which shouldn’t be too heavy for young players. It is also a durable model.
2 – Merano GWD 510 BL E flat Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $269.99. This company was established in the year 2,000 and is a wonderful company. Price wise they are extremely competitive within the marketplace. Many of their products go for below wholesale price and they pride themselves on customer service.
This model is outstanding. It is really a professional looking model with a blue lacquered finish which is unique and beautiful. It stands at 29″ tall yet only weighs 9.6lbs.
It comes with nice accessories, a nice professional velvet lined hard zippered case which will keep the instrument well protected, a pair of gloves, screwdriver, nipper, cleaning cloth, and ten reeds.
This is a very reasonably priced saxophone with an elegant design and great for a beginner saxophone.
3 – Eastar AS11 Student Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $299.99 – This model has a fantastic tone. When purchased it is already adjusted and ready to play. It is constructed from top – quality materials,.with brass connecting rods and blue copper needle spring.
The appearance of this model is beautiful with its mother-of-pearl inlay which gives it a classic look. Well worth its price.
4 – Ammoon Professional Bend EBE – flat Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $289.99. This is one of the most elegant looking saxophones on the market. It is made of a fantastic looking red bronze with an antique finish and a carved pattern surface.
It is designed for novice and professional players and can be used for Solo, Jazz, and Classical music. It has water resistant pads and a bluing steel needle for maximum durability. The alto saxophone range is E flat to F sharp and it hits the full compliment without a problem.
This model comes with an abundance of accessories, a professional carrying case measuring “24 x 6 x 11” which has a lot of padding for protection, a high quality mouthpiece, strap, gloves, cleaning cloth, cork grease, and much more. This model has an excellent value for its money.
5 – Kaizer Student Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $399.00 – This company specializes in the student instrument market. Reliability is without a doubt their strong point and they produce highly durable saxophones for young beginners.
This model has been designed with the beginner in mind with its ease of playing and increased response and intonation. It has high-quality steel springs for quick action, a sensitive response, and top-notch leatherette pads. It has a solid brass body and durable construction, available in either gold or silver lacquer finish.
This has an amazing list of accessories, including a special offer of a 1080p hd high action camera complete with waterproof casing so you can record your playing and seeing your progress and maybe sharing it with family and friends on u tube. This is a great choice for young beginners and anyone of age looking to learn the horn.
6 – Jean Paul USA AS-400 Student Alto Saxophone – You can purchase this model for $479.95. This company has been building a very good reputation in recent years. They mix affordability with reliability.
This model is an ideal instrument for those of you who are looking for great value for their money and also still students of the saxophone. This comes in gold lacquer finish or in silver for an increase of price. It has mother-of-pearl keys, nice body etchings, and a carefully constructed neck. It has highly durable power-forged keys which shows the company’s reliability and quality. The bell brace is solid and the pivot keys tapered to make playing this instrument simple and fun. This model is one of the most popular out there for beginners.
The range and intonation is excellent for its price. It is capable of warmer, more subtle tones, which makes it great for use within bands. You can also get that raw, gritty alto sax sound that is used by a solo player. This is well worth its money and can also be suitable for alto saxophone veterans due to its high-quality build, range, and power.
7 – Yamaha YAS-280 – You can purchase this model for $1,134.00. Yamaha is a very popular name in the music industry and easily one of the biggest company’s in the world and a household name.
This model is a student instrument. It has fantastic intonation and is lightweight and simple to play making it perfect for a beginner player. This saxophone is one of the top-entry level models that money can buy. It has free flowing keys and a great sound and is easy to play. Its Yamaha 4c mouthpiece is a high quality kit.
8 – SELMER SAS280 LA VOX11 ALTO SAXOPHONE – You can purchase this for $1,880.00. This mid to upper-range model offers the tone and action comparable to higher-end saxophones. This model has a warm sound and nice key styling with superb mechanical action. You can choose a variety of finishes and it has great intonation. You may want to change the mouthpiece and strap to your liking.
9 – Yamaha YAS-82z11 Custom Z saxophone – you can purchase this top of the line for $3,999.00 – The custom z series have recently hit their 10th anniversary and as a result, they have been re-visited with some new features added while the classic features professionals know and love have remained or improved upon.
These z series have always been known for their easy, expressive playing, flow, and great intonation. This is the series a working musician went to for years thanks to their professional build, design, sound, and the durable construction.
Some new features added to the z series is the improvement of the piece bell design. This increases the warmth of tone and the resonating ability of the instrument, especially on the low-end. Yamaha also added a beautiful classical engraving around the bell adding to its already everlasting design. The mouthpiece is a great solid rubber mouthpiece which adds to its easy playing feel and big sound. It also has the v1 wide bore neck for that free blowing feel that all saxophonist love. This model has very responsive keys.
This has a 5-year warranty which is Yamaha’s main stay which shows how they really back their products.
                                           Conclusion
I know it is a very difficult chore to pick the right instrument for you when there are so many choices to choose from, especially when it comes to the saxophone. This can be a mind boggling experience. Hopefully this article made it a little less difficult by knowing a little bit more on what makes up the different aspects of the saxophone. If you have any questions or comments feel free to list them below and I will try my best to answer them.
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Purchasing a Clarinet

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.
Soprano 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.
Bass Clarinet
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.
Harmony Clarinet
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.
Clarinet prices
$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
Conclusion
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.

 

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How to Choose an Accordian

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.
Different Designs
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.
Conclusion
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.

 

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electric guitar amplifiers

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
A close-up of vacuum tubes and valves inside a Headstrong Lil King S 1×12 combo, electric guitar amplifier. During a studio shoot for Guitarist Magazine/Future via Getty Images, November 18, 2010. (Photo by Jesse Wild/Guitarist Magazine/Future via Getty Images)
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/A–3968605
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.
Conclusion
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.

 

 

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Electric Bass Guitar Buying Guide

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.

Styles

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.
7- Violin – This type of bass guitar produces a muted natural tone
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.

Neck Type

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

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.

Conclusion

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.

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What To Look For When Buying An Electric Guitar

What To Look For When Buying An Electric Guitar

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.

Budget

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

Conclusion

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
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Acoustic Guitar Reviews

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.
If you are interested in purchasing a instrument  zZounds offers the widest selection of name-brand instruments at guaranteed lowest prices. You can purchase over 125,000 different products from their website 24 hours a day.
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Selecting Tonewoods

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.

Strings

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.

Expensive 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.

Todays Strings

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.

Rogue (ra090) dreadnought

This guitar is priced that anyone can afford. It’s an ideal instrument for the beginner.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Washburn (wd 100 dl) dreadnought mahogany

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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.

Best Choice Products-(38 inch starter pkg) acoustic guitar for beginners

If you are looking for a childs toy, this acoustic guitar for beginners, this could be the right choice

Pros

This guitar has a very low price on it and would be a great start as a beginner package.

Cons

The guitar construction and tone has quality issues, plus there are no dots on the neck or fretboard.

Epiphone acoustic guitar(dr-100)

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.

Pros

With this guitar you have 3 color choices and it has a mahogany back and neck with an authentic acoustic sound.

Cons

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

Pros

This acoustic has a really good sound for its price

Cons

You will more than likely have to spend more money on this guitar to set it up to your liking.

Fender (fa-100 dreadnought)

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

This guitar can be less conductive because its spruce top is laminated.

Yamaha(solid top acoustic guitar)

This is a high quality guitar from a well-known company in the music industry which is one of the best out there.

Pros

Of all the top selling acoustic guitar’s out there, this is one of the best sounding guitar’s on the market

Cons

On some of these models there has been reports of loose strap buttons.

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A Guide On Drums

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.

Acoustic Drums

These kits are what most people consider normal, drums with metal cymbals and wooden shells.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Electronic Drum Sets

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Price Range

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

Recording

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.

Shell Material

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

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.

Drum sticks

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.

Pros

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

Cons

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

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History of Vinyl Records and turntables

History of Vinyl Records

The following is a brief history of vinyl records which started in the 1900s.

 

Vinyl records have been a huge entertainment for listeners and collectors.RCA launched the first commercial vinyl long-playing record in 1930. Vinyl has continued to grow in popularity last year in the USA , vinyl records were over 1,000% higher than a decade prior, So where is vinyl headed from here?
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Is It Okay To Listen To Music While Studying Or working

music to my earsThis is a very good question! When you listen to music it puts you in a better mood, which could make us better at studying, but it can also distract you, which could interfere with comprehending what you are studying.
So if you enjoy studying while you listen to music, do it at a volume where it doesn’t overpower your thinking and distracting you from studying but still keep you in a good mood.
Music can put us in a better mood. At one time there was something they called the “Mozart Effect”-where listening to Mozart makes you smarter and improved test scores which the researcher argued was based on the music’s ability to stimulate parts of the brain that plays a role in mathematical ability. However, this theory was debunked. It had nothing to do with Math, it was really just that music put us in a better mood.
In the 1990s there was research found called a“Blur Effect”, where kids who listened to the Brit Pop band Blur seemed to do better on tests. The “Blur Effect” became bigger than the”Mozart” Effect, simply because kids enjoyed this type of music more so than classical music.
So depending on what mood you are in when studying does have an effect on us so, music does tend to put us in a better mood and will likely have us try a little harder in our studies and challenging tasks.

Music Can Be a Distractionmusic notes

Under certain circumstances music can be a distraction. When you study, you’re using your working “memory”-which means you are holding and manipulating several bits of information in your head at once. The research shows that when you have music in the background, especially with vocals, our working memory diminishes.
As a result, reading absorption decreases when listening to music with lyrics as research shows.
Music also appears to be more distracting for people who are introverts versus people who are extroverts. Introverts tend to be more overstimulated as research shows.
A researcher named Bill Thompson and colleagues did some smart work on figuring out the effect of these two competing factors, mood and distraction. They had some individuals do some demanding comprehension task, and listen to classical music that was either slow or fast, and was either soft or loud.
The results were, when they were listening to music that were both fast and loud was the only time there was a decrease in performance. It wasn’t actually that big of a decrease in performance and other similar research also failed to find huge differences.
So to sum it up:Research is basically saying it is fine to listen to music while studying as long as it
1-not too fast and loud
2-puts you in a good mood
3-its not too wordy (ex. hip-hop, where the word are rapped rather than sung, which would be much more distracting
4-your not too introverted

Does Listening To Music Increase Productivity While Working

Music sets the tone of our environment and our mood, whether we’re unwinding after work or throwing a party. Music has become a mode of escape from a lot of outside distractions or boring tasks. So how does listening to music while working affect your abilities and focus. According to a researcher, Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant 
Based on these studies then music can have a positive affect in your work, but its effect productivity depends on the situation and type of music you listen to
So what type of music was found to be good. As discussed above on listening to music while studying, these five tasks are very similar in the work environment as well according to Dr Haake
1- Musical Structure-The more complex the song makes it more distracting to a listener than lets say a 3 or 4 chord song.
2- Lyrics-You would have a tendency to listen to the words which could interrupt your train of thought.
3-Listening Habits-If a person is used to listening to music while working, its more beneficial than distracting or vice versa
4- Difficulty of Tasks-If you are working on something more complex, music can make it more difficult to concentrate on that task.
5-Control- When music is forced on someone, its more distracting than if someone has a choice in the matter.
So in conclusion, basically listening to music while studying or working pretty much is okay providing you try to stay within those 5 rules and you are comfortable doing it.