April 30, 2020
To say that the times we’re currently living in are strange would be an understatement. Like many of you, we’re navigating the coronavirus outbreak as best as we can. Before we knew it, things we may have taken for granted became more difficult to accomplish, obtain, or deal with. We know it’s important to stay healthy and do what we can to stay safe and help others but it can be hard to shake the feeling of darkness that this “new normal” can bring. Thankfully, as musicians, we can lean on our instruments to help us through the tough times.
In the weeks since the “shelter-in-place” orders started, we’ve been considering ways that we can help our fellow musicians during these times. The music doesn’t have to stop and, in our opinion, is more important now than ever before.
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Music is an intensely therapeutic art form. It involves many senses from the obvious (touch and sight) to the unexpected (smell). It exercises the mind, body, and soul. Music can be used to convey emotions and express feelings that are otherwise kept hidden. The guitar doesn’t talk back, put us down or belittle us. When we feel intense emotions come on, we turn to our guitars.
With the end of social isolation seeming to be further away than we’d like, we want to encourage you to turn to your guitar more than ever. Do you have a practice routine for yourself that you could only previously do on weekends? Find a way to re-work your practice routine into a program you can do several times a week. Seek to challenge yourself as a musician: learn your favorite David Gilmour solo, transcribe some jazz licks, maybe even write a song! These challenges will take your mind off of what’s going on in the world. Don’t let the darkness keep you from what gives you light. And maybe take a moment to consider how you can share this light with others around you.
Sharing Is Caring
Music is for everyone. However, we sometimes guard our connection to music because of what it has done for and means to us. We can be afraid to share the joy and sometimes it creates rifts and conflict within our lives. And the chances of this can only increase now that we are spending more time around our families. But we think the time is right for letting our loved ones in on our passion and exposing them to what music means to us.
The next time your child comes around while you’re trying to get some practice in, don’t make them leave the room. Instead, let them hang out and listen. Let them ask questions and maybe even consider playing a song for them. If they ask you what a piece of equipment is, show them what it is or what it does. You might find that this gradual exposure results in them listening to the music you love or even taking up an interest in learning to play an instrument themselves.
The point is this: don’t force these things. Don’t get angry. Don’t make others feel that the exposure is a burden on your relationship with them. Expose them naturally and involve them. You may be surprised to find that it results in your joy spreading to them.
One Day At a Time
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that this situation is only temporary. Don’t look at time so far ahead. Be present, be in the moment. Enjoy the newfound time you can spend with your family. Take a moment to text, call or video chat with those you haven’t been in touch with for some time. Embrace the isolation with your guitars in hand and devote time to it. Show your favorite YouTubers, bands, and musicians support as they continue to produce music and content for you.
And finally, bring more positivity to the guitar community. Too often, our little community is its own worst enemy. Now is the time to build each other up and encourage our growth as musicians. Be kind to the beginners, back up the veterans and be the best version of yourself you’ve ever been.
With all of this in mind, we will be doing our best to live this creed. We’re going to do everything we can to give back to the instrument that has meant so much to us. Part of that will be filling this blog with articles, entertainment and wisdom to help you become the best guitarist you can.
Until then: stay safe, stay healthy and go play your guitar!
June 17, 2021
When it comes to strapping in for a live show, it’s relatively straight forward to dial in an electric guitar. After all, there are no acoustic resonances to worry about, and the instrument is designed to be reinforced and loud.
Acoustic guitars, on the other hand, are subtle creatures which can be a little harder to tame on stage. Here, we’ll go over some basics for using an acoustic on stage, which should be helpful if you haven’t done it before or if you’re having a hard time dialing in a good sound.
May 11, 2021
May 07, 2021
Now that quality PA systems are common and creating a stereo image in a live setting isn’t hard at all, there are probably some keyboardists out there who aren’t even aware that such a thing as a keyboard amp exists. Yet, there was once a time when keyboards were mostly treated just like guitars, with a stage amp a necessary part of the keyboard rig.
The question is – is a keyboard amp still necessary?
Here are a few reasons you might want a keyboard amp – and some you may not.
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"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all of the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp and the voice of the psalm." - Psalm 98:4-5