Monthly Archives: December 2016

Information History Of The Electric Guitar

The guitar itself has been around since ancient times with minstrels strumming away on early editions of the instrument. As it was meant to be strummed, and most aren’t very loud, it doesn’t bode well if you are trying to be heard over other instruments, so those early musicians were pretty much on their own. Fast forward to the early 20th century however, and people tried to get their notes louder, amplified if you will, and some even went so far as using telephone transmitters placed inside instruments in an effort to boost the sound.

While there are many who claimed to be the ‘father of the electric guitar’ they were actually designed by those who already made the instruments and not hobbyists or someone messing around with a new design. The first one was introduced to the world in 1931 and was designed by a man named George Beauchamp. It was a one piece cast aluminum design that looked like a frying pan and it met with some success, so much so that the company went on to create other models, one called the Electro-Spanish Ken Roberts which allowed musicians a full 25″ scale with seventeen frets that were apart from the fretboard. They only produced a handful of these guitars, however and it is thought that only ten are still around today.

In the era of big bands that dominated the music scene generations ago, the guitars needed to be heard with the other instruments, not drowned out by them. You may think that the first documented recordings then were from a big band, but they weren’t. Instead, they were from Hawaiian-style players back in 1933. The sounds lent themselves to jazz and blues and that’s where we find some of the most influential guitarists, those who transcend time and are considered the greats of the genre.

Names like Alvino Ray, Danny Stewart, George Barnes, Lonnie Johnson, Les Paul, Memphis Minnie and T-Bone Walker besides many more were all early proponents of the new fangled electric guitar. Many artists today still credit them for influencing their style. While musical tastes change, these early entrepreneurs took a simple instrument and made it into something we all can relate to, whether we play or not. Of course over time they have changed in sound and design and many artists today have custom models made just for them, but it all started with a thought–how do we get this thing to play louder??

http://www.iMusicGuitar.ca is a leading online electric and acoustic guitar store specializing in affordable beginner and classic guitars for all level of players. This Canadian based store is a great place to start to build your musical instrument collection and to find great accessories like stands, amps, cases, straps and so much more. Check us out today!

Here Importance of a Musician’s and Music Teacher’s Social Community

Sometimes finding a quality musician, band, vocalist can be a very frustrating endeavor. Oftentimes, it is difficult to know where to locate them. Usually people have to ask around or rely on word of mouth or pin up boards in local stores or public establishments. Imagine if you had a go to site where you could find the musician of your choosing and be able to hear samples of their skills by a simple click? What if you were looking for a music instructor or a vocal coach to receive lessons and you could go to a directory of any instrument instructor of your choosing? Suppose you were a musician yourself and wanted to find a local sound technician or recording engineer to hire for an upcoming gig or recording project? Well luckily now, finding a quality musician band or local area business can be made easier than ever.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an online directory that points you to the nearest music and voice instructors and also the nearest musicians, vocalists, bands and music related business services? Find the way. Ease your soul.

Whether you are new in town, or are searching for a qualified music instructor for your child or for yourself, or are a music instructor yourself that wants to advertise your services to a large local audience, or are just someone who wants to sell some music equipment that you no longer desire or even if you are a business establishment that wanted to post a job to hire a band for an occasion, it can be very helpful to have a one stop shop go to site for musicians.

With just a few clicks, you would have the capability to do several things: you can find musicians, vocalists and local area talent of all music genres, locate an instructor to receive personalized music or voice lessons, read reviews and choose the perfect performers to hire, search for audio companies, producers, studios, and a host of other music related services, advertise your business service, find music events & performances in your local area, buy & sell instruments & music equipment, locate music related jobs, or simply network with a host of musicians & performers.

– befriend local members and network

– enjoy a community that is totally catered to all those involved in every aspect of music and music related business services.

Enjoy a directory that allows musicians, performers & local area businesses providing various types of music services the opportunity to promote themselves and their services, as well as points users to musicians and performers in their local area.

Tips 5 Ways to Become a Guitar God

Over the years, the musical instrument that has ruled over the masses is Guitar. From swinging and swaying along a soft rhythm, to the fast paced swag, it has caught many of us spell-bounded. We try to follow in the footsteps of our heroes like Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Slash or Kurt Cobain, dedicating hours of practice and hundreds of dollars to learn the art of playing guitar but more often than not we fail miserably.

It is true that there is no alternative to hard work, but one should also follow a fixed plan to make it work, so that the hard work we put in does not get wasted.
The most important thing is to get started and improve on it. These five basic tips should prove fruitful to you if you put your heart and soul in playing Guitar.

1. All that glitters is not gold holds true for most of the guitars you lay your hands on. A costly guitar doesn’t mean that it will have the most melodious of tune and best of the parts. While buying a guitar always select something with good built material, else you sound could die down or become shaky. Also check for the string stoutness and if you instrument gets out of tune too often you should look for an alternative.

2. The next important thing is that you should learn the basics well, either from a guide book or a teacher. You must know the different chords and your finger position. Practice the basics with proper finger position till it becomes just a muscle memory. You should also learn to pick up speed while you play and execute them without any gap between each note.

3. One great technique to improve your speed as well as you rhythm is by playing along with drum or some accompanying instruments. It will help you to check your tempo, rhythm and give you confidence to strum along in actual or live events. Always start from beginning of the tune if you make a mistake so that you can maintain the continuity. Try never to skip beats as it may result in incomplete or abrupt end to your music piece by catching your partner unaware.

4. The more you learn, the more you would try to innovate. Getting a guide book or a tutorial at this stage would be very helpful as it will help you to cross check what you learnt and what more is left. It is a great way to go back to the roots and reinvent what you missed out at the first go.

5. Always check for music DVDs and YouTube videos to learn the tricks and style of various musicians. You can learn different techniques and find the actual reason that makes some better than the others.

Though it takes years of perseverance to reach the height of musical excellence you can start any time you. Just make sure you put in the hard work and master the basics, and there would be no reason why you can’t reach the top.

Info Origin and Early History of the Banjo

The banjo originated in West Africa in various forms, and was brought to America by African slaves. The earliest references to the banjo in America describe an instrument with a gourd body covered in hide or skin, a fretless neck, and strings. It was referred to by many names, including banjar, banjil, banza, bangoe, bangie, and banshaw. The word “banjo” either descends from the West African word “mbanza”, the Portuguese word “bandore,” or the Spanish word “bandurria.” There are more than 60 plucked string instruments resembling the banjo in West Africa, many of which probably influenced its development. The kora, ngoni, xalam, akonting, ubaw-akwala, and gimbri, are the West African instruments that most resemble the banjo. Below is a video of Ekona Diatta playing the akonting.

Early sources describe the banjo as being played mainly by slaves, but also the “lower classes,” which means it was probably picked up by white indentured servants who worked in close quarters with slaves in the 18th century.

The banjo rose to popularity in the 1830’s, largely because of its connection to minstrel shows. Blackface actors began appearing on stage in the late 18th century. Minstrel shows acted as a form of comedy, playing out common and new stories that depicted highly racist stereotypes of slaves. Minstrel characters were often joyful, carefree slaves, who loved servitude and lacked adult mental capabilities, a far cry from the brutal life that slaves actually experienced and the perseverance required to survive it.

Joel Sweeney, a minstrel musician who had learned to play banjo from African Americans in his hometown of Appomattox, Virginia, began incorporating the banjo in his minstrel shows around 1839. He is the earliest documented white banjo player and the earliest known person to have played banjo on the stage. As a member of the highly successful band “The Virginia Minstrels,” Sweeney popularized the banjo, making it into an instrument of the middle class and a key piece of the minstrel show. He also popularized replacing the banjo’s gourd body with the drum-like body commonly used in country music.

The early banjo-playing style had been a clawhammer stroke style created by African slaves. After the civil war, banjoists Frank Converse and James Buckley each released their own finger-picking banjo instruction books, which spread European finger-picking styles like those used on the guitar. The fretboard was also added in around this time. The isolated Appalachian mountains and far West maintained the older clawhammer styles, which resulted in two distinct banjo traditions in the U.S, one of which was much more influenced by classical finger-picking.

Though black banjo players continued to play throughout the 19th century, they would not be recognized until the 20th century. The 20th century banjo styles were also transformed by ragtime and blues. I will revisit 20th century banjo styles in a later post. Below are two videos. The first is one of the earliest recordings of banjo in 1902, depicting the finger-picking style taught in the Converse and Buckley manuals. The second is an example of Appalachian style clawhammer banjo, from Clarence Ashley in 1928.

Enjoy and feel free to chime in with your own thoughts and knowledge!