Boulder Creek Guitars and Riptide Ukuleles are hot!

Made by the same company, the unusual design of these instruments has probably put off as many people as it has excited. But the science behind the small or missing soundhole is valid and makes a unique playing experience. There is also a soundhole on the top of these instruments which means that as the player, you get to experience the music you’re making firsthand as some of the sound is coming directly up to you. It’s particularly useful on the electro versions of the instruments if you’re playing a gig. However, the general high quality of finish and the sweetness of the sound makes them a great choice for playing at home too. When you get the opportunity to try one, give it a whirl – you won’t be disappointed!

But you don’t have to take our word for it! Have a listen to this beautiful rendition of Louis Armstrong’s ‘What a wonderful world’ by Piotr Szumlas playing one of the Solitaire series of Boulder Creek Guitars. Piotr is an up and coming young Polish solo guitarist and composer and he shows off the resonance and clarity of the instrument really well here.

If you prefer something smaller, we love the awesome Riptide ukuleles too. In this case, the best things definitely come in small packages!

What to expect in a music exam

The key to doing well in a music exam, playing your pieces just as well as you can at home and performing confidently in the Aural Tests, is feeling comfortable in the environment. The first time or two, it can be really nerve-wracking but knowing what to expect really helps.

Many of the exam boards publish their own guides for students and parents. We’ve pulled together some of the most popular ones here so you know exactly what to expect on the day.

The Associated Board (ABRSM) has a whole section of it’s website devoted to exam support including this quick guide to your music exam.  The ABRSM exam FAQ page is also full of information.

You can read other articles on the main ABRSM exam support page and also access the ABRSM forum for students, parents and teachers where you can read about other students’ experiences and ask any questions you have.

Another popular exam board is Rockschool. Their FAQ page tells you everything you need to know about sitting a Rockschool exam.

If you’re sitting the LCM music exams, read their FAQ for hints and tips.

We also stock a range of exam support materials like the aural test survival guide to help with preparing for the big day.


So read all about it, learn everything to the best of your ability and listen to all the advice you are given, but if you really want to do well, just relax!