guitar and musical instruments shop

  • The inner beauty of woodwind instruments

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    Maple, Spruce, Poplar … if you understand a bit of musical instruments you must have come across these names when looking for your next band instruments. But if you do not know all of them, let’s give you a tour regarding woodwind instruments.

    First of all, it is important to say that the wood used in the manufacture of an instrument, whether it is an marching band instruments or not, is responsible for most of its sound characteristics (such as timbre and sustain) and of course, for the aesthetic characteristics. It is interesting to note that the wood has different functions, depending on the area in which it will be used (top, sides, arm, scale, bottom).

    It is worth remembering that the main woods used do not represent all the tonal aspects of the instrument. Design, manufacturer’s or luthier’s expertise and quality of each piece of wood used are also important factors. That said, we can talk about each type of wood.

    Hard pressed Sitka wood and Ovangkol

    Even being hard-pressed, this wood can sound clear, making the Sitka an excellent choice for musicians whose style requires a broad dynamic response and a more robust tone. On the other hand, the lack of a more complex tone makes Sitka sound a little thin to the slight touches, but of course everything depends on the design of the instrument and the other woods involved.

    Ovangkol is an original wood from West Africa. Normally, its coloration goes from yellow-brown to dark brown and has stripes ranging from gray to almost black. The diversity of Ovangkol and grain pattern resembles the Eastern Indian jacaranda. It also shares some features with pink tones, but sports the “brightness” alive found in medium density woods, such as mahogany, walnut and koa. It is perfect for band instruments.

    Although widely used in luthierias, Ovangkol is a very exotic wood. She designs fuller and more engaging timbres, somewhat correcting the “middle” deficit of other Folk guitars.

    Koa, Ash and Poplar

    Koa is an original wood from Hawaii that seems to be in extinction, so it is more expensive and hard to find. This medium density wood is widely used in acoustic instrument tops, bottoms and sides. It has an exotic but discreet design, with a coloration ranging from orange to reddish brown.

    It is a kind of rich cousin (in every sense) of mahogany. It has been increasingly used by the personal fingerstile (steel ropes) because of the good definition without being too dry.

    The Ash is a hard, porous and medium density wood, but very beautiful and with a brilliant sound, ideal for all sorts of band instruments. There is Light Ash or Swamp Ash, which is lighter and has a less full-bodied sound, and factories prefer this wood to conventional Ash, so the instrument will not cause back pain in musicians. An instrument with body made in Ash is certainly heavier than one in Alder, a characteristic that favors the mid and treble. This wood was used in the first stratos and in the teles.

    Poplar is a fibrous wood, dense, but very light and extremely resonant. When used on solid-bodied instruments, such as a guitar, it has a very clear sound. Known as tulip, yellow poplar or tulip wood, it is a good wood for those who like a cleaner sound in their band instruments.

  • 7 Guitar Accessories That Every Guitarist Needs

    The first time you walked into a guitar and musical instruments shop and walked around the guitars corner, you probably came across a number of different guitar accessories – and while you knew how a few of those worked, quite a few probably left you baffled. So we compiled a list of the basic accessories that every beginner acoustic guitarist should know.

    Now wait, don’t get carried away – there are quite a few other accessories to be found, but we’ve just got you the bare necessities right now. Later, we may add to this list as we go…

    As an added bonus though, we’ve also put in a little information about using these accessories and the best option, so far as buying is concerned. Just click on the names for that information.

    Now for the guitar accessories:

    Tuner

    As you know, your guitar will sound plain discordant and bad if it is out of tune. Tuning basically means tightening each string to the right tension so that it produces the right notes when played. Now, an experienced guitarist can usually tune the whole guitar by-ear – which is to mean that they know exactly what each string should sound like when played open. But you do not know – and so, you need a tuner that guides you through the process of tightening or loosening the string.

    Picks

    A pick is what you use to play – this is what strikes the strings to produce the sound. The intensity and quality of the sound produced is, to a great extent, determined by the quality – thickness, material, and suppleness – of the pick you use. For instance a ‘heavy’ (less supple) pick produces a deeper and louder sound.

    Capo

    As with any stringed instrument, the note produced by each string depends on a number of factors – the thickness of the string, the tension in the string and its ‘effective’ length. By pressing down on a string at any point, you are actually shortening the effective length of it – to produce different notes.

    A capo works on this principle – ‘cutting off’ all the strings at the desired fret. You will learn as you get on with your lessons  that often you need to use a capo on a particular fret to produce a certain sound. For those times, it’s best to have a capo handy.

    Metronome

    A metronome is a device that will produce regular beats like a pulse. This is what will help you to stay on a tempo. While this is useful when playing songs, it is also a great accessory when you are trying to get the hang of strumming. Strumming your guitar at a steady pace doesn’t come easily to most beginners. But when you’ve practiced with a metronome, you are more likely to get it right. And once your hand has adjusted, you will find you are able to strum notes or songs much more easily.

    Humidifier

    The wood that is used to make an acoustic guitar is also an important part of the entire assembly. If the wood goes too dry it can actually affect the quality of sound and also decrease the life of the guitar. Therefore, it is important to keep it at a certain level of humidity. But when you live in a place where the climate is quite dry, this poses a problem. For those of you who are likely to face this problem – keeping a humidifier along with your guitar inside its case is a good way to prevent such damage to your guitar from dryness.

    musical instruments shopCleaner

    You must learn to show your love for your guitar as well! Because most good guitarists usually have a bond with their guitar… But when cleaning your guitar, you should never use just any cleaner. They can be abrasive or corrosive and ruin your guitar. Instead, you should invest in a special guitar cleaning solution and armed with that and a little elbow grease – be prepared to show your love for your six-string!

    Tool kit

    And finally, a toolkit. This one is a little complicated and you may not be needing it right away, but it is a great help in making small adjustments, and even in re-stringing your guitar. Therefore, it would actually be a good idea to get one and keep it handy. As you learn more and more about the guitar, you’ll figure out how to use one of these!  Go to http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/acoustic-guitar-meets-edm-with-world-first-wireless-midi-controller-622504 for more information.

    Guitar accessories there are many – we covered a bare minimum! But these 7 should see you through the first few months of getting to know your guitar better and learning to play it. In fact, the first few are absolute necessities, since you cannot start playing without first tuning your guitar and without a pick!