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Related grooviness

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Violin soundposts and other stories



Hideously frustrating little dowels of wood, a bugger to fit and set. My firs one took me 3 soundposts and over two hours ( and a headache ! ) even after finding the damn tool ! I recently came across these two websites which give good information about this dastardly pastime.. THIS ONE ( though incomplete ) offers a nifty diagram...( above )

and THIS one show you the tool needed and how to use the bugger.

The tool has a sharp pointy end bit that you stick into the post itself. It still takes some practice but I would love to know how they did this WITHOUT one of these tools...

Saturday, 13 September 2008

THE TENOR GUITAR !



Seth Lakeman, although famous for his fiddle playing is also a skilled player of the TENOR GUITAR. Check out Seth performing " Haunt You " from his latest album, further down this blog

A tenor guitar is a fretted, four stringed instrument, most commonly shaped like a traditional guitar.



Scale length (approx):
23" (Gibson tenors are 22 3/4")
(6 string guitar = 25.5", plectrum guitar = 26")

standard tuning:
CGDA

standard string gauges:
.036 .024 .016 .010
(use bronze strings for acoustic, steel for electric)

alternative tunings:
Octave mandolin tuning: GDAE
"Guitar" tuning: DGBE

other possible tunings:
"Guitar" tuning, transposed up a fourth
(uke tuning, but G is 1 octave lower): GCEA
Slide: CGCG, or DADA

The tenor banjo is tuned the same way as the guitar so if you are having trouble finding chord charts and books look for tenor banjo resources.
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Although traditionally quite pricey, these lovely little instruments are becoming more accessible ( probably in part thanks to Seth ) and a decent quality Ashbury Tenor is now available on AMAZON for amazingly under £ 160 ( more Ashbury instruments at the bottom of this blog )

Technical DetailsAshbury 4 string Tenor Guitar Solid spruce top, mahogany body, 12 fret to body, 580mm scale length. Made by Ashbury Guitars - Professional quality range of Acoustic Guitars, Basses and Resonator Guitars
Ashbury 4 string Tenor GuitarSolid spruce top, mahogany body, 12 fret to body, 580mm scale length.

**************************************************
MORE ABOUT THE TENOR GUITAR:

Although it is now quite hard to pinpoint when the very first tenor guitar was built, and very early models seem to be quite rare, Gruhn and Carter, in their superb book 'Guitars and Other Acoustic Instruments - A Photographic History' state that one of the major instrument manufacturers at the latter part of the nineteenth century, 'Lyon and Healy', whose main guitar brand name was 'Washburn', claimed to have invented the tenor guitar just after the turn of the twentieth century.
Certainly tenor guitars must have been around in the latter part of the first decade of the twentieth century from the existence of published and dated instructional books for both the tenor guitar and tenor banjo from this period that still exist today.

The mandolin family of instruments had been immensely popular in the latter part of the nineteenth century, at the turn of the century and well into the first decade of the twentieth century. However, the popularity of the tenor banjo (or 'tango banjo', as it was sometimes called) significantly began to overshadow that of the mandolin family towards the end of the second decade of the twentieth century.

This was happening because the tenor banjo was particularly suited to be used as the main rhythm instrument in the new style of exciting music played by small groups that the world would soon come to know as 'jass' or 'jazz'. The tenor banjo's sharp and cutting sonority, partly derived from its tuning in fifths, compared to that of the more mellow six string guitar, was particularly suited to the newly emerging, but still primitive, technology of acoustically recording this type of music onto acetate or metal discs which were then used as moulds for pressing the familiar black discs.

It is not surprising, therefore, that some of the earliest tenor guitars were also built by banjo manufacturing companies which they could possibly have seen initially as a way to expand their markets, and then eventually maintain their markets. Two of the major guitar manufacturers of the twenties that still exist today, Martin and Gibson, along with some other banjo manufacturers of the period, started to manufacture tenor guitars in significant numbers towards the end of the 1920s.
In the case of Martin and Gibson this was in 1927, and it is undoubtedly linked to the beginnings of a trend away from the banjo, as the main rhythm instrument in jazz bands and dance orchestras, and towards the guitar, whether four or six string.

THE WORLDS ONLY TENOR GUITAR RADIO STATION HERE:
http://www.tenorguitar.com/radio1.html
HISTORY OF THE TENOR GUITAR:



MORE ASHBURY GEMS ON AMAZON:

SETH LAKEMAN " HAUNT YOU " playing tenor guitar:

SETH LAKEMAN TOUR AND COMPETITION

Win a pair of Tickets to see Seth on his upcoming UK Tour!



Seth sets off on the road again on 22nd October for the Poor Man's Heaven Tour. He'll be heading to many parts of the UK and Ireland. For your chance to win a pair of tickets to a gig of your choice, simply answer the question HERE and fill in your details.

The competition will close on 30th September and winners will be informed after that date. Prize includes a pair of tickets to the show of your choice. You will need to be able to make your own way there and back.


**************************************************************

TOUR DATES:

October
22 - Wolverhampton Wulfrun
23 - Liverpool Academy
24 - Lincoln Engine Shed
25 - Northampton Roadmender
26 - Cambridge Junction
28 - Oxford Academy
29 - Bristol Academy
30 - Aberdeen Lemon Tree
31 - Dundee Fat Sams

November
1 - Glasgow QMU
2 - Norwich Waterfront
4 - Newcastle Academy
5 - Sheffield Leadmill
6 - London Shepherds Bush Empire
7 - Portsmouth Pyramids
8- Manchester Academy
9 - Leeds Metropolitan University
11 - Loughbrough University
12 - Bournemouth Opera House
13 - Cheltenham Town Hall
14 - Belfast Spring & Airbrake
15 - Dublin Academy
16 - Exeter Great Hall
17 - Falmouth Princess Pavillion
18 - Brighton Corn Exchange
Seth of course is not only an inventive and boisterous fiddler, but also plays tenor guitar and banjo. The tenor guitar will be featured in the next blog
Crimson Dawn video:



Tuesday, 26 August 2008

New Fotheringay album !

From the fairport site

After 38 years - A New Fotheringay Album!!
Added 2008-08-26 08:20:44

In 1970, during the recording of their second album, Fotheringay broke up as Sandy Denny was persuaded to pursue a solo career.

The tapes for the unfinished album have been gathering dust for 38 years.

Jerry Donahue with Gerry Conway and Pat Donaldson, with the full approval of the Sandy Denny and Trevor Lucas estates, have finally pieced together the unreleased album. More...

Fotheringay 2 will be released on CD and DL on September 29th on the Fledg'ling label - Fledg'ling FLED 3066.

Track listing:


Sandy Denny - vocals, piano, 12 string guitar, harmonium
Trevor Lucas - vocals, electric & acoustic guitars
Jerry Donahue - lead electric, acoustic & alto guitars, backing vocals
Pat Donaldson - bass, duet & backing vocals
Gerry Conway - drums, percussion, backing vocals
1 Eppie Moray
trad arr S Denny / T Lucas : Warlock Music Ltd.
2 Gypsy Davey
trad arr S Denny / T Lucas : Warlock Music Ltd.
3 John the Gun
Sandy Denny : Warlock Music Ltd.
4 Bold Jack Donahue
trad arr S Denny / T Lucas : Warlock Music Ltd.
5 Two Weeks Last Summer
Dave Cousins : Winckler Productions
6 Restless
Trevor Lucas / Peter Roche : Warner Chapell Music Ltd.
7 Wild Mountain Thyme
trad arr S Denny / T Lucas : Warlock Music Ltd.
8 I Don't Believe You
Bob Dylan :
9 Silver Threads & Golden Needles
(J Rhodes / O Reynolds) Campbell Connelly Music
10 Trevor / Jerry Instrumental (no title yet)
Trevor Lucas / Jerry Donahue :
11 Late November
Sandy Denny : Warlock Music Ltd.
12 Knights of the Road
Trevor Lucas / Peter Roche : Warlock Music Ltd.
13 Lowlands of Holland
trad arr S Denny : Warlock Music Ltd.

******************************************************************

Grab it HERE:






It is very, very rare that musicians get a chance to complete a project begun 38 years previously. I'm sure all Fairport fans will be interested in this remarkable release.


For further information, please visit: http://www.thebeesknees.com/

The folk rock group Fotheringay was formed in 1970 by singer Sandy Denny upon her departure from Fairport Convention. The band drew its name from Fotheringhay Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in England. Said castle was also the inspiration for the song "Fotheringay", which Fairport Convention had included on their 1969 album What We Did on Our Holidays, before Denny's departure from the group.
Two former members of
Eclection, Trevor Lucas and Gerry Conway, and two former members of Poet and the One Man Band, Jerry Donahue and Pat Donaldson (bass), completed the line-up responsible for the quintet's only album. This folk-based set included several Denny originals, notably "Nothing More", "The Sea" and "The Pond and The Stream", as well as meticulous readings of Gordon Lightfoot's "The Way I Feel" and Bob Dylan's "Too Much of Nothing". Although criticized contemporaneously as constrained, Fotheringay is now viewed as a confident, accomplished work. However, the album failed to match commercial expectations and pressures on Denny to undertake a solo career – she was voted Britain's number 1 singer in Melody Maker's 1970 poll – increased.

MORE ON THE FOTHERINGAY WIKI HERE

LAST FM TITLE TRACK ( from first album ) HERE

SANDY DENNY MAILING LIST: HERE ( Good for latest news, networking with other fans and people who knew Sandy )

Questions about the list including lots of files and sandy info are HERE

COMPREHENSIVE SANDY DENNY SITE HERE

MORE ON FOTHERINGAY 2 HERE



Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Banburyshire brolly podcast ( folk and news )

Please take the time to drop by this excellent podcast.

What is the Brolly?

A collection of podcasts, featuring a number of presenters, covering a number of music styles (folk, roots, blues, rock, contemporary, etc). Promoting and celebrating the music, heritage and characters of Banburyshire. With interviews, information, stories and humour.

Previous guests have included:

Leatherat
Spank The Monkey
Anna Ryder
3 Daft Monkeys
Little Johnny England
Karine Polwart
Kev Dempsey and Tom Leary
Mawkin
Steve Tilston
Fairport Convention
David Stevenson
Colvin Quarmby

http://www.banburyshire.com/brolly.html

Show 174 currently available:

Show 174 - Thursday August 7th 2008
Presented by Jules Procter.

Featuring :

Chasing The Dragon by Andy Guttridge
Couldn't Find The Craic by Leatherat
Listen To Me by Spank The Monkey
This Is The Last Time by Wee Alex

Interviews with Ray Jackson and Gerry Donahue from "The Gathering" recorded at the Woodford Halse social club on Wednesday 6th August.

Disability is no barrier - Banbury Today - Back to Home Page

excellent to see cropredy catering so well for folk music fans... well done guys

read more | digg story

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Bert Jansch, Danny Thompson, John Renbourne FREE


Bert Jansch, John Renbourn & Danny Thompson - Open Air Festival, Gandino, Bergamo, Italy, August 5th 1990, from master.

Disc One :


Bert Jansch Solo Set:

1. Bonny Portmore (aka The Ornament Tree)
2. Durban's Flowery Vale
3. David
4. Pretty Sara

Bert Jansch & Danny Thompson Set :

5. Let Me Sing
6. One For Jo
7. Chat
8. Black Mountain Side part. 1 (with vocals, same trad. Jimmy Page made famous)
9. Black Mountain Side part. 2 (1 glitch between the two parts)
10. One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer

John Renbourn Solo Set :

11. Instrumental
12. I Know That Someday I'll Sing A Lullaby
13. Watch The Stars (Pentangle's cover)
14. Lord Franklin
15. Little Niles (Randy Weston Cover)
16. Lindsay
17. Sandwood Down To Kyle pt. 1 (1 glitch between the two parts)
18. Sandwood Down To Kyle pt. 2

Disc Two :

1. Three Sheeps
2. Cherry Instrumental (Dollar Brand Cover)

Bert Jansch, John Renbourn & Danny Thompson Set :

3. Instrumental
4. The Time Has Come >
5. Servant >
6. Sally Free And Easy (Pentangle's cover)
7. I've Got A Feeling (Pentangle's cover)

Really nice recording, awesome performance.




Bert Jansch official site

John Renbourn official site

Danny Thompson official site

FREE DOWNLOAD: Waterboys Galway

THE WATERBOYS
GALWAY - SEAPOINT BALLROOM
DECEMBER 23 1988
IRELAND

AUDIENCE RECORDING

Recorder: Sony WM-D6C
microphone: Sony ECM series

01 Intro
02 Fisherman's Blues
03 Medicine Bow
04 Twa' Recruitin' Sergeants *
05 Strange Boat
06 Meet Me At The Station *
07 Has Anybody Here Seen Hank ?
08 Old England
09 And A Bang On The Ear
10 Mr Customs Man
11 Jimmy Hickey's Waltz
12 When Will We Be Married ? *
13 When Ye Go Away
14 Be My Enemy
15 Savage Earth Heart / Satisfaction*
16 Intro Tomas Mac Eoin
17 An Cailin Alainn *
18 Bleann Na Bo *
19 Piano intro by Mike
20 The Stolen Child *
21 The Whole Of The Moon
________
22 Audience / Here we go...
23 A Pagan Place
24 Intro Guests
25 O'Carolan's Welcome *
26 The Good Ship Sirius
27 This Land Is Your Land *


GUESTS : Tomas Mac Eoin - Lead vocals 17,18,20
Charlie Lennon - Fiddle on "When Ye Go Away"
Alec Finn - Bouzouki on "When Ye Go Away" and "O'Carolan's Welcome"
Brendan O'Regan - Bouzouki on "The Good Ship Sirius"
Sean Lennon - tr. 25, 26
Sean Smith - tr. 25, 26




Grab it HERE !

FREE DOWNLOAD: Waterboys Bonn



THE WATERBOYS
BONN - BISKUITHALLE
GERMANYOCTOBER 5 1990

Disc 1:

01 - Hello Berlin - eh Bonn
02 - In search of a rose
03 - Kiss the wind / intro: German National Anthem
04 - Rags
05 - Strange Boat
06 - Medicine Bow
07 - Be my enemy
08 - Something that is gone
09 - A man is in love
10 - Everything is broken
11 - Good man gone

Disc 2:

01 - The thrill is gone
02 - The healing has begun
03 - Karma
04 - When ye go away
05 - Old England
06 - A life of Sundays
07 - Savage Earth Heart
08 - Trumpets
09 - The whole of the moon
10 - Fisherman´s Blues
11 - Room to roam
12 - Why don´t we do it in the road


BAND LINE-UP:

Mike Scott - Vocals,Rhythm and Lead Guitar,Piano,Bodhran
Anthony Thistlethwaite - Sax,Electric Mandolin,Organ,Lead Guitar,Electric Piano
Trevor Hutchison - Bass
Ken Blevins - Drums


The Imagined Village Womad download

HERE

and HERE

The Imagined Village, what an amazing concept and an amazing band.
Simon Emmerson ( brainchild of IV and also from many musical projects including Afro Celt Soundsystem ) has just finished a question and answers stint over on TALKAWHILE ( drop by and you can read all the conversations )

From Wikipedia:

The Imagined Village is a folk musical project spearheaded by Simon Emmerson of the Afro Celt Sound System. It is designed to produce modern folk music that represents modern multiculturalism in the United Kingdom and as such features musicians from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The project led to the release of an album by various artists on Real World Records. Some of the tracks on it are modern re-interpretations of traditional folk songs. The title of the album comes from a book "The Imagined Village" (1993) by Georgina Boyes.

"The Imagined Village E.P." was released earlier in 2007, and is a remix of the album tracks. The 2008 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards voted "Cold Haily Rainy Night" as best traditional track.

( They have also won a " Hancock " award from Talkawhile due to be presented very soon. See TAW for details )

The most powerful imo ( and controversial to some ) track on this amazing album is Tamlin retold, featuring the lead vocals of Benjamin Zephaniah ( who I first heard of when I was 17, stoned and listening to Rasta ) , and joined by the backing vocals and fiddle of the eternally gorgeous Eliza Carthy. A reggae dub version of a very traditional folk song with some folkie fiddle thrown into the mix ! Whatever next :)



More Afro celt stuff HERE
Imagined Village official site HERE

And then of course " Cold hailey rainy night " everything folk should be ( taken from their live jools holland appearance and just pinging with incredible energy... )




Seth Lakeman part 2 download

HERE

Remember if you like Seth to support his official releases , his new album is especially wonderful:



Andddd... probably my favourite rendition of KITTY JAY :


Monday, 28 July 2008

Coming up....

Coming up this week... Nick Drake, Seth Lakeman and Waterboys downloads, loop libraries for download and some rambling :)

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Fiddle strings...and starting the fiddle



Do they matter?
I have several sets here, ranging from some cheapies to the full monty: Dominants, and these are my string of choice for my beautiful vintage fiddle. Am I a string snob? Possibly, but I really DID notice the difference when I string my fiddle with Dominants, and although they are expensive, I will never use another string.

Scouting about the web I found a lot of mixed opinion on the types of string used... here are a few:




Strings can be compared to car tyres. Strings directly influence the performance of your instrument. They must "adhere" and vibrate well - be tough and very responsive. Like car tyres they must work as a whole and they must match each other, so that when passing from one string to another, no difference should be noted in string tension and tone. Don't try one make for the G, another for the D, A, and E - a totally different kind for each string in most cases leads to a mismatch in feel and performance. Cheap Violins come with the worst tyres. These are used simply in order to say that the instrument is complete and functions ( albeit with a screech !) . Cheap Chinese strings are also far too thin - just rip these off and buy some new strings. Anything will sound twice as good. If you buy Dominants or better, your Chinese violin will sound at least three times as good ! ( Good tyres will make the car drive better and feel better ! ). Strings wear out and need replacing well before they burst. If you keep them clean they last longer, though.

The full article is HERE

A bit about Dominant strings:

Thomastik : Dominant - These are warm sounding strings with good general characteristics. I usually insist all students start out with these strings, because they have a much warmer and rounder sound than metal strings. They are not the most expensive string either. I also think more dynamics can be obtained with these strings, and a much broader tonal range is also possible. These strings will not sound as loud as metal strings, but they do cost 2 times the price. However, as they sound 3 times better, and can be obtained in small sizes ( for half size violins, for example ) I tell my young students to invest in these high quality professional strings. I think even Perlman uses these on his Stradivarius !
These strings lose their tension and become flat for quite a few hours after putting them on, but aft
er 3 days they are quite stable, and keep well in tune. They are made of a sort of nylon called Perlon ( a name used only by Thomastik ), and the core of the string is made up a many filaments or strands of Perlon. The exterior is aluminum winding, which is quite susceptible to corrosion through sweat and perspiration. If not cleaned ( as all strings should be - except Chromcore ) within 6 months or less the surface smoothness will be lost, as tiny holes eat into the aluminum surface of the string. Alcohol is a good substance to clean the string with, but take care not to spill any onto the belly of your violin. My impression is that the many independent filaments of Perlon give the sound a broadness and fullness which is very satisfying. The strings are thick, full of bass tone and round in sound, and not too tense. These are very popular strings, and sale statistics say more of these strings are purchased than any other type. FINAL MARK 9/10

The biggest issue for me as a fiddle player ( apart from quality of sound an
d warmth ) is that the strings are Vegan. Some of the well known expensive brands will use animal gut and that is a no-no for me. Good strings can make even a basic cheaper fiddle sound great.

STRINGS MAGAZINE have an informative article on 30 different strings

Each violin reacts differently to strings, the fiddle is am awkward bugger, but htat of course is part of its appeal. I have tried Larson and Dominant on cheaper new fiddles and on my main fiddle which is about 170 yrs old and dominants have won each time. But then I prefer the heavier warm rich sound of the dominant... your mileage may vary...

If you are starting out on the fiddle I would recommend a cheap one to start with and don't worry too much about the strings until you know that the instrument is for you. T
hen invest in some decent strings and be sure that your fiddle is set up properly ( ie bridge is fitted properly and that the soundpost is correctly situated. ) A luthier or music shop will set up a fiddle for you quite cheaply and it is worth investing 20-30 quid in.
A good starter fiddle can be grabbed for as little as 50-70 quid now. Amazon have a full size fiddle starter set with bow and case for £ 59.99 by Antoni which is quite ridiculous when you think about it:

Antoni 'Debut' ACV30 Full Size Violin Outfit



MORE STRING RESOURCES:

http://www.violinist.com/wiki/violin-strings/

STRINGMAIL


String views from forum



More Judy Dyble stuff



Stumbled upon this BLOG with a feature on Judy.

And taken from Jude's own blog this cute pic:

More guitarist downloads

Scale poster for guitarists FREE PDF

Blank manuscript paper

Blank TAB paper

Blank CHORD paper

Generic sheet music pdf

Featuring: Acoustic guitars- plus downloads





This guide explains the different types and sizes of guitar available and gives general tips on what to look for when buying a new guitar.



There are many different makes of acoustic guitar in each price range and, as a general rule, the build quality tends to be comparable within a given price range.

The first thing you need to decide is what type of acoustic guitar you are looking for.


The Different Types Of Acoustic Guitar

The Steel Strung Acoustic Guitar
This is a very common guitar used by all styles of guitarist at all levels and is extremely versatile for playing in a wide variety of musical styles. It may come in several different shapes and styles.
The Dreadnought guitar is probably the most commonly used type of guitar for styles such as rock, pop and blues, having a large body and producing a full, rich tone.
The Jumbo guitar is similar in style to the Dreadnought but has an even larger body making it ideal for big sounding chords with great low-end tones.
The ‘Parlour’ style acoustic guitar generally has a smaller body and a sweet, rich tone and is often used for folk styles and finger picking. Its smaller size may make it preferable to Dreadnought or Jumbo models if these feel too bulky to play comfortably.
Summary

* Steel Acoustics are the most popular of all the acoustic style guitars, and have been used by everybody from The Beatles to Coldplay
* The Dreadnought’s larger body is suitable for teenagers and adults
* Steel Acoustics are versatile and let you play many types of music: including jazz, rock, pop, folk, blues and Latin
* Steel strung guitar packs are available from under £50 and so represent a “great value” first instrument

The Classical or Spanish Guitar
The classical or Spanish guitar has a distinguished musical history with some of the best classical-style guitarists hailing from Spain and Latin America. The instrument’s distinctive sound and feel is largely determined by its nylon strings, the top three being clear nylon, the lower three being wire-wrapped. Nylon strings are easier to press down than steel ones, making them particularly suitable for young children, especially on a scaled-down instrument. Some of these guitars are small enough for children from 5-6 years upwards. Classical or Spanish guitars are not generally used for more popular music styles, but can be a great starting point if a full size, steel-strung acoustic is too daunting.

Summary
  • They come in small sizes, so they’re great for young beginners
  • Softer strings make playing easier
  • Starter packs are available from under £40

The Electro-Acoustic Guitar
If you intend to play in a band with drums or other amplified instruments—or play live through a PA—you should consider an electro-acoustic guitar. These are essentially acoustic guitars with a pickup under the bridge. The pickup translates the vibrations of the strings through the bridge into an electric signal which can then be amplified. This is easier than rigging up a microphone in front of the guitar and transmits less extraneous sound. Electro-acoustics tend to have a less rich sound when played without amplification because the sound board cannot be too resonant otherwise feedback occurs when it is amplified. Volume and tone controls are usual.

Summary
  • Suitable for playing on stage with a live band
  • Best for amplification
  • Suitable for teenagers and adults, not young learners
  • Volume and tone controls are usually included and some have a built-in tuner

Acoustic Guitar Features Explained

Headstock –the part of the instrument where the machine heads (the rotating keys that tune each string) are fixed

Neck — the long wooden section with the fretboard Make sure it is straight — not warped or twisted —and comfortable to handle.

Fretboard – the flat or cambered face of the neck with the frets

Frets —metal strips set into the fretboard at calculated intervals so as to create specific notes when plucked strings are pressed against them

Nut –a small strip of material set into the guitar where the fretboard meets the headstock . It determines the height of the strings at that point and has grooves to space the strings correctly

Soundhole –hole in the soundboard of the guitar, designed to let out the sound produced inside the instrument.

Bridge – supports the strings on the soundboard and helps transmit their vibrations into the body of the guitar where the sound is generated

Guitar Sizes

For late teen or adult players, buy a full-size acoustic guitar. For younger players consider smaller sizes.

½ size guitars are good for children between the ages of 5 and 9.

3/4 size guitars are are suitable for players 8 to 13 years old.

These are necessarily approximate age guidelines but they offer a starting point. Comfort is all-important...

When Trying A Guitar In Store…

If you are a beginner, it helps to have an experienced player with you when buying. If this is not possible, our sales assistants are there to help. Try out the guitars one after another, and listen for differences in tone and volume. Does it rattle at high volume? If so the action may need adjusting. (The action is the height of the strings above the fretboard). If the action is too high, the guitar will be difficult to play and painful on the fingers after a while. If it is too low, you will hear a buzzing as the strings rattle against the frets. Test each fret to listen for buzzes and rattles. Everybody will have a preferred action height so make sure you get what is right for you and always ask questions if you are unsure about any aspect of the guitar you are trying out.

Making Your Choice…

When you have decided which style of guitar you are comfortable with, hold it in the playing position. It should feel well-balanced when you play it. Strum a ringing chord and listen to the quality of the sound and individual notes. This is a very subjective thing, but it should be pleasing to your ear. If you are in any doubt about the sound or feel of the guitar then don’t hesitate to try out another couple until you find the right guitar for your individual needs. If you make the right choice then you can play the same guitar for many years so it’s well worth spending the time to get it right.

LEARNER TOOLS:

Chords: great interactive tool

Metronome

Tuner

Ultimate scale e book

Basic caged guitar chords e book

GUITAR CHORD POSTER













Wednesday, 23 July 2008

More FREE e books inc. shure, reason, podcasting

Some more musician e books, all free, just grab em !


Getting Great Guitar Sounds Book Of Guitar Effects

Promotion_with_Podcasting.pdf

REASON extensive tutorial

ROLAND: Beginners guide to mixing

SHURE: Microphone techniques for music

Judy Dyble articles


Posted with permission from Judy , these three articles are currently on Judy's myspace page so add her as a friend to see all of her pics and blog entries. She also has a blog here so stop by and say hello.
The files are in a pdf form and contain 3 good quality article scans ( Shindig magazine, Froots and Rock n Reel )

GRAB them HERE

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Dave Swarbrick RARE AUCTION !!


Dave Swarbrick is auctioning a very rare piece of Fairport history in aid of the starving people of Ethiopia.

Swarb is auctioning a piece of music signed by his late friend and former Fairport member, Sandy Denny, on eBay

"When Sandy died, the contents of her music stool came to me. Amongst the contents, were twelve pieces of her sheet music, all classical which Sandy played from time to time.


What makes them unique, is not only were they owned by Sandy, but each one is autographed by her. In the thirty years or so that I have owned these keep-sakes, I have only released four of them and all to women who have a special interest in Sandy. They are: Pamela Winters, Cathy le Surf, Vikki Clayton and Chris While.

I am now offering for auction, a framed copy of Bosworth's Musical Classics. Signed: Sandy Denny and authenticated on the reverse of the frame by myself, Dave Swarbrick.


Closing date is Friday 8th August. The winning bidder will be announced on the Saturday night at the Fairport's Cropredy Festival. And, also on Fairport Convention's website. Unless of course, there is a specific request by the successful bidder for anonymity. There is no reserve and all proceeds will be donated to ETHIOPIAID."

Judy Dyble... She is a bit good !

I have just stumbled upon Judy's BLOG...

Very entertaining, but then much of what she says is.
She is currently working on a new album, and upon release has very groovily agreed to an interview with this very blog. Can't wait... plan to ask some unusual and interesting questions, as there are far too many interviews ( imo ) focusing on Fairport and times gone by...
The fact is that Judy has been doing solo stuff for a while now and I would like to focus on that.

Below is a little bio for youtube that I did for her ( because there wasn't one ).. it is short and a bit crap and currently being remade into a longer more detailed effort that will do her far more justice. It features three of her solo tracks, so if you are unfamiliar with her solo stuff take a listen:




The thing I love most about Judy's music are the floaty vocals and the words she chooses to paint with. Although some of her words in some songs are decidedly melancholy, her delivery would never show that.

A couple of other clips, the former is recorded at Fairport's Cropredy Festival, 2007.

Guest stars : Judy Dyble, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Iain Matthews, Richard Thompson.




And another, this time from the warm-up show at Woodford Halse Social Club, prior to the Cropredy Festival. It's the 2007 Fairport line-up with former members and guests Vicki Clayton, Judy Dyble, Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, Martin Allcock and Jerry Donahue. It also features a very bouncy SWARB !



Just fantastic, great sound on those two clips too.
Judy has a WEBSITE and is also on MYSPACE

** Boring hippy reminiscing warning **

I first heard of Judy Dyble when I was 17, a total stoner, and hanging with all sorts of colourful ( and sometimes dubious ) characters. One in particular was called Taliesyn, a tall guy who jangled with jewelry when he walked, wore a constant bandanna as headwear, and drove a painted commer hippy van with stonehenge on the back doors. needless to say we were hounded a lot by the police :)
Sitting in his room at his ( liberal ) mothers house in leafy Buckinghamshire, lots of pagan posters ( esp Fitzpatrick ) on the wall, candles... cliched hippy pad but delightful all the same.... smoking much sticky black pot ( which was far easier to get then as it is now ... none of that rocky crap for us ! ) and rolling numerous long ones for the road on album covers.
His room was the first place I heard Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Beverley Martin and Trader Horne....
And so yes I did partake in an act of desecration on Judy Dyble's face.. I rolled a fat one ( actually more than one ) on " Morning Way ". I am sure I am not the first..... and I am sure she wouldn't mind :)
And then stoned, wobbling, stumbling into said hippy bus for the short journey to the Iron Horse ( known by everyone who drank there as the " Iron lung " due to the big heavy cloud of cannabis smoke that slapped you in the face as soon as you walked inside ) , a pub that counted the Windsor chapter of Hells Angels, lots of potheads, Deadheads, A DJ called " Kozmic Ken " ( who is still Dj-ing ), spotty underagers and arty students as its clientelle. I worked the bar for a while and it could get quite hairy ( not just cos of the biker beards either ).
On weekend nights a helpful ( and bent ) police friend would call the bar to warn us we were about to be raided, and everyone would drop their substances a) behind the bar sofas, or b) in the beer garden grass. The police would come and usually leave empty handed. Of course it was rare that anyone was able to easily find there stash again so upon closing time, the bar staff would have a nice bonus is they could be arsed to go look for said dropped packages. I rarely had to buy my dope whilst I worked there :)

The Iron is now gone, knocked down for some shitty office building, along with it the yellow nicotine walls and hairy, stinky bikers. A part of my youth gone for good.....

Introducing the electric fiddle !!!




An electric violin is an amplified violin that sends out a signal through an electrical pickup device. There are several different models of electric violins. Some are standard acoustic violins with an electric pickup added to the bridge. Other types of electric violins are designed differently and only work properly when plugged in. Electric violins are often used to play different types of music than standard acoustic violins.

The pickups of electric violins are important. Since electric violin strings are usually made of metal, either magnetic or piezoelectric pickups are used to transmit the sound to the amplifier. This system is similar to the way electric guitars work.

Some people add an electric pickup to a standard acoustic violin so that it’s signal can be transmitted to an amplifier. The problem with putting a pickup on an acoustic violin is that acoustic violins have a hollow wooden body that can create feedback when it is played electrically. The resonance of the sound vibrating in the violin’s body interferes with the sound made by the strings and can cause annoying, high-pitched squealing noises to come out of the amplifier.


Most electric violins have a solid body design. The solid body keeps the instrument from feeding back. Also, any necessary electrical equipment, such as any wiring or batteries, is housed in the body. Since the electric violin is a relatively new invention, it has no standard body shape or design, and makers are free to experiment and invent new ways of designing the instrument.

Electric violins are usually used in different situations than acoustic violins. An electric violin is viewed as an experimental instrument and is not found in classical or traditional music, but is often used in avant-garde music. Guitar effects like reverb, chorus, and distortion can be used to give the electric violin a unique, otherworldly sound.

Electric violins are unique instruments with a sound all their own. Electric violins are perfect for musicians and composers who want to have their own individual sound.










More here on WIKIPEDIA

Electric fiddler site

Of course the alternative for a trad fiddler is to amplify their instrument.. Fishman pick ups are great for this:

Fishman originally built its reputation by developing pickups that literally changed the way acoustic stringed instruments were heard and experienced in live performance situations.

Now the company introduces a new line of premium pickups for Violin, Viola, Cello, Mandolin and Resophonic Spider-style guitar.

A result of Fishman's special expertise in the field, an intensive R&D effort spearheaded by company founder Larry Fishman, and today's most sophisticated transducer technologies, these new pickups offer an extraordinary level of performance, tone quality and accuracy for stringed instruments.

The new piezo-ceramic Concert Series pickups for Violin, Viola and Cello are preinstalled in a high quality Despiau bridge to provide the ultimate performance in terms of a precise and perfectly balanced tone from string to string.

Specifically designed for two-piece Archtop and Flat Top style Mandolins and Spider-style Resophonic guitar, the new Nashville Series premium pickup models also feature an integrated installation in a high quality bridge that enhances the overall tonal character of the instrument.

In addition to an exceptionally clear, true and natural tonal response that reveals the true character of the instrument, these new pickups sound remarkably consistent every time they are played.

The new stringed instrument pickups are also optimized for use with the Fishman Aura Imaging Pedals to provide a higher level of sound quality and added sonic versatility in live performance. Violin, Viola, Cello and Mandolin pickups include a Carpenter jack, while the Resophonic pickup includes an endpin jack.

An impedance-matching preamp for these pickups is recommended, but not required.






Guitar tabs

It's much easier to learn how to read guitar tabs than it is to learn sight reading on guitar. Knowing exactly which fret and string to put your fingers on is the main advantage of tabs over notes. However, most tabs don't clearly express the rhythm of the music so it's best to also have a recording of the song you are learning.

Guitar tabs are written on a six lined staff. Each line represents a string on the guitar. The top line of a guitar tab is for the high E string, and the bottom line is for the low E string. All of the other strings fall between in order.

Here's what a guitar tab staff looks like:

e--------------------- <- high E string

B--------------------- <- B string

G--------------------- <- G string

D--------------------- <- D string

A--------------------- <- A string

E--------------------- <- low E string

Sometimes the string names won't be written at the beginning of the tab staff, and it will look something like this:

-----------------------------------------------

------7--5-----------------8-----------8/10-

------7--5h6----------------7b9r7p6--------

--------------7---5-6-7----------------------

----------------7--------0--------------------

--5-5-----------------------------------------

But don't worry, it works just the same as before.

If you're not quite sure about your string names yet, here's an easy mnemonic device to help you remember them:

Ed And Dan Go Bowling Every Day.

What do the numbers mean?

The numbers on the lines tell you which frets to play. So, a 1 will mean the first fret, 2 stands for the second fret, etc. If you see a zero, that means to play the open string.

Here's an example:

e--------------------

B--------------------

G--------------------

D-----2--------------

A--------1-0---------

E--0----------3--0---

Alright, let's walk through it.

First, play the open low E string. Then play the second fret on the D string. After that play the first fret on the A string, then the open A string. Play the third fret on the low E string, and finally the open low E string again.

See? It's not hard to figure out how to read guitar tabs!

What about chords?

Chords are written the same way, except the fret numbers are stacked on top of one another. Here's an E7 chord for example:

e--0-----

B--0-----

G--1-----

D--0-----

A--2-----

E--0-----

Sometimes, if you're supposed to take your time strumming, the tab will look like this:

e------0-

B-----0--

G----1---

D---0----

A--2-----

E-0------

There are some other symbols that you are likely to see on tabs besides just numbers. Here's a list of what they mean:

  • h - hammer on
  • p - pull off
  • / - slide up
  • - slide down
  • b - bend
  • r - release bend
  • ~ or v - vibrato
  • x - mute
  • t - tap
  • pm - palm mute
  • tr - trill, rapid hammer ons and pull offs

So, learning how to read guitar tabs is not that hard, especially when you compare it to note reading! To get the most out of a tab, get a recording of a song to practice with and get the rhythm from.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Nick Drake stuff coming very soon !

Saturday, 19 July 2008

NEIL YOUNG LIVE DUBLIN 2008 FREE



FREE download HERE