How to use a digital tuner

 

We always encourage you to buy a tuner with any stringed instrument – most often a guitar or a ukulele. Many phones and tablets have a download app you can use and obviously something is better than nothing but there are a few reasons why a clip-on tuner is a better option.

The first is that, because they work by vibration, a clip-on tuner is significantly more accurate than either an app or a desk tuner for stringed instruments. The second positive about a clip-on tuner is that they aren’t disturbed by external noise eg: other people tuning around you or the TV.

So, what’s the best and easiest way to use a clip-on tuner to get the maximum results? Just follow the easy steps below, ideally every time you play, to keep your instrument sounding great:

– Make sure your tuner is set up correctly for the instrument you are tuning. You may have options for mode – eg which instrument and notes you need so make sure you’ve selected an appropriate option first. Also there may be a choice of pitch. In normal circumstances, this should be set to 440, which is standard concert pitch.

– Attach your tuner in a way that gets the best reception. This is the headstock of a guitar, ukulele, banjo or mandolin and the middle of the back of the neck on a violin. Try slightly different angles and positions until you find your perfect positioning where you get a good signal, you can see the display clearly and you can comfortably reach the tuning pegs.

– It sounds obvious, but make sure the peg you are turning relates to the string you are trying to tune! If in doubt, follow the string along to find the peg it’s attached to. Even experienced musicians sometimes snap a string by turning the wrong peg and not stopping to wonder why the pitch of the string isn’t changing :-).

– New strings go further out of tune and a lot more often so don’t worry if you seem to spend a lot of time tuning at first. As long as you store your instrument away from changing heat (not near a radiator or in the loft/conservatory/shed!) then it should settle down so you can tune once or twice a week.

We have a great selection of tuners for all instruments in store at Royal Quays, or you can see them here:

http://www.enjoymuzic.com/acatalog/musical-instrument-tuners.html

TGI 81 Digital Tuner

Which is the right size violin for my child?

Violins are one of the hardest instruments to size correctly. Ideally, we love to see you in store with your young violinist so we can measure them up and give you complete confidence that you’re buying the right size violin. However, if it’s a surprise, we understand that’s not always possible. Here are a few things you can do to give you a great chance of choosing the right size AND keeping a fantastic present secret until the right moment:

1) If your child is renting or borrowing a beginner violin from school already, tell us what size it is when you come in, or bring it with you. There is usually a little tab on the case with the size on and many brands have it inside too.

2) It’s a great idea to ask the violin teacher whether they think the current violin will be the right size for a reasonable length of time. You don’t want to buy one and then find the teacher recommends moving up to a bigger size next term!

3) Come up with a sneaky way of measuring your child’s reach (pretend it’s for their school uniform!). If you do manage to do this, the perfect position is with the arm stretched out ahead, palm upwards, from the crease of the shoulder to the base of the middle finger.

We offer a great selection of student and intermediate Stentor violins in store and also on our website at http://www.enjoymuzic.com/acatalog/buy-violins.html

Girl Playing Violin

What’s the Best Harmonica for a Beginner?

There are only 2 main questions when buying a harmonica for a beginner…

Diatonic or Chromatic?

First off, what the heck do these two words mean? A diatonic harmonica is rooted in a particular key and if you want to play in different keys, you ultimately need a pocketful of them. A chromatic harmonica has all the notes of the different scales on it and a button on the side with which to access the ‘extra’ notes.

Diatonic harmonicas are much easier to play and are the main choice for pros and enthusiasts who play Blues, Folk, Country and Rock music. Most beginner harmonica players use a 10 hole Blues Harp and the majority of harmonica tutor books, videos and other learning aids are geared towards it.

What Key?

The key of C is the most popular choice for beginners and again, it is safe to assume that this will match most learning material you are likely to access. It’s also worth mentioning that the next two most popular keys are G and D since they go well with guitar chords and many of the most famous songs containing harmonica licks are in one of these 3 keys.

Harmonicas make a brilliant Christmas gift and they don’t have to cost a lot! Pop in to enjoymuzic – Your North East Music Shop if you have any questions or find them online here
http://www.enjoymuzic.com/acatalog/buy-harmonicas.html

Harmonica Player & Singing Dog
Harmonica Player & Singing Dog – In Perfect Harmony Greetings Card

Guitars Die In Lofts

Guitars Die In Lofts (and where you should be keeping them!)

As Christmas looms and we start buying gifts, bulky items like guitars and other musical instruments do pose a bit of a storage problem. However, if you’ve found the perfect guitar for your child or partner, the loft, shed, garage and anywhere else with extreme changes of temperature is definitely not the clever hiding place it might seem to be. Broken strings are the most likely (and easiest to solve) problem. But much worse things can happen to a shiny new guitar, ukulele, banjo etc when stored in these conditions. If you live with Mr (or Mrs) Inquisitive, try asking a friend if they can hide it for you. Also, many shops (including enjoymuzic), will store items you have purchased until as late as Christmas Eve if you ask.

Once your instrument is ready to move in and be enjoyed, you should also bear in mind that the same rules apply when choosing where to keep it. Radiators and window spaces which get a lot of sun should definitely be avoided if possible. Studies show that instruments which are on display are played more often so we’d suggest a guitar stand, or even a wall hanger to keep your instrument both safe and accessible.

Click here to view our whole range of guitar stands and accessories at enjoymuzic – Your North East Music Shop.

Ukulele Lessons in Seaton Sluice & Bedlington

We’re often asked where there are local ukulele classes for complete beginners and more advanced players.   Learn to play your ukulele at local, reasonably priced courses starting very soon.  They’re run by a lovely lady called Diane who hosts them in Seaton Sluice & Bedlington.  Places are limited so don’t delay, call us at enjoymuzic for Diane’s contact details on 0191 2966544.  No need to read music!  You will need your own ukulele but we have some great quality beginner ukes in stock now.

Brunswick Ukulele Sizes
Brunswick Ukuleles from enjoymuzic

12 Days of Secret Santa!

enjoymuzic’s 12 Days of Secret Santa is a collection of fun bran tub and stocking filler pressie ideas for all musicians and all budgets!

Day 1
£5.99 : The Bottle Axe – For every guitarist who enjoys a beer or two over Christmas. A guitar shaped bottle opener with its own gig bag!

Day 2
£3.49 : Chocolate Pianos – Everyone loves chocolate!  Mini Chocolate Grand Pianos in yummy Belgian Chocolate.  We’ve tested them! 😉

Day 3
£4.99 : Noisy Penguin – Silly, Christmassy and Noisy. Perfect for Christmas fun!

 

Day 4
Music Pencils – At 2 for £1, the perfect gift for any Christmas budget.

Day 5
£9.98 : Hotsticks Designer Drum Sticks – Cool drumming needs Hot Sticks and they don’t come much hotter than this!

Day 6
£4.50 or 2 for £8 : Band Keyrings – If you know someone who’s crazy about their favourite band treat them to an official bit of band merchandise.

Day 7
£7.50 : Black Music Stand – A substantial and useful music gift for under a tenner.

Day 8
£4.99 : Socks – Granny’s fave Xmas gift has had a makeover!

Day 9
£5.99 : Feadog Tin Whistle Gift Pack – Fab fun for any musician or beginner and it even comes with instructions.

Day 10
£7 : Scented Candles in a Music Tin – Perfect For Making A Cold Windy Evening Warm & Cosy!

Day 11
Pick Tins – Be a guitarist’s top pick this Xmas with these funky artist pick tins full of picks.

Day 12
Music Mugs – Every musician needs a music mug for the staff room, office or to brighten up their morning cuppa!

For all these and more great music gift ideas visit www.enjoymuzic.com or our Royal Quays store near North Shields.

How to fit a guitar strap

If you play an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar with two strap buttons, fitting your guitar strap is as simple as pushing the leather ends onto the buttons and adjusting the length.

If you have an acoustic or nylon string guitar, it isn’t always obvious what to do – in fact, it’s one of the questions we get asked most often.

Start by pushing one end onto the strap button* on the bottom of your guitar. If there is writing or a picture on your strap, at this point it should be upside down.

You will need a shoe lace or something similar to tackle the other end. (Often, guitar straps will come with one.) Fold it in half and thread the folded end through the hole in the strap then pop the two ends through and pull to form a loop.

guitar strap with lace attached

Now take one of the ends and thread it through the guitar strings at the machine head end. It should be just behind the top nut, not on the main fretboard.

guitar neck showing position for lace to attach

Tie a good knot underneath the headstock – a reef knot is perfect. Check your knot for the first week or so to make sure it’s staying nice and tight and supporting your guitar safely.

If you prefer, you can use a leather strap button like this Martin one which threads through in the same place and offers extra support…Martin Guitar Strap Button CloseupMartin Guitar Strap Button Attached

There’s more info about the Martin Guitar Strap Button here.

* Some guitars, particularly classical ones, don’t have a strap button on the bottom. You can fit one yourself and most good music shops sell them separately or in pairs.

Learning music is cheaper than you think!

This time of year is a worry for many parents whose children are fired up with the idea of starting to play an instrument. There’s no need to spend a fortune however. Here’s a quick idea of the starting prices for beginner instruments at enjoymuzic this year. And remember, a bit of friendly advice is free so if you have any questions before you buy, just pop in!

Ukulele packages from £16.99
Recorders from £3.50
3/4 Guitars from £34.70
Flute & Clarinet outfits from £120 (or rent for just £36 for 3 months!)
Trumpet outfits from £135 (also available to rent)
Violin outfits from £79.99
Touch Sensitive Electronic Keyboard outfits from £139
Digital Pianos outfits from £324

There’s loads more to see instore and we’re open every day!

Check out our more detailed tips on buying a guitar, choosing a beginner flute or which ukulele to buy!

Can I photocopy music?

What Is Copyright Image

In these days of digital downloads, scanning and photocopiers, I am often asked whether it’s OK to make copies of music. Teachers, choir leaders and students often run into this problem. We understand it can be a contentious issue as the price of printed music keeps escalating and paying audiences continue to dwindle so here’s a few quick FAQs for you…

– Copying for performance purposes:

1) Owning one copy of, for example, a choral piece does NOT entitle you to make copies of it since the price is based on the cost of publishing etc for that one individual copy. If your group intends to perform a work, you must either buy or hire enough original versions to support your performance. This also applies to downloads where you must pay for the number of copies you intend to use.

THIS ALSO APPLIES TO MAKING HANDWRITTEN COPIES!

2) Anyone may copy individual pages for the purpose of performance to avoid difficult page turns. It is considered best practice to destroy these after the final performance.

3) If you own an original copy of a piece, you may make one enlarged copy for the purposes of easier viewing.

4) Many people assume you can photocopy music which is out of print. However, the copyright still rests with the original owner and as they may have chosen to cease production for a variety of reasons, the only legal way to access out of print works is to contact the publisher who will tell you whether copyright still exists. The publisher will either then agree to print it and give you a price, tell you why they can’t or give you express permission to make a certain number of copies.

– Copying for education purposes:

1) Educators may NOT use their own arrangements of copyrighted music. Many teachers will find this surprising, however since the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 came into being, the right to do so has been expressly prohibited. There are some very limited exceptions covered by strict Music Publishers Association guidelines but these don’t really allow for performance of works without express permission from the publisher. This normally doesn’t include just simplifying or transposing music providing the original character is maintained. If in doubt, check with the publisher.

2) Educators may copy fragments or pages of music for use in the classroom or use in exam questions. Whole works may not be used in this way without the prior permission of the copyright owner who can usually be contacted via the publisher. The exception to this is examinations which involve performance of a work for which a legitimate copy must be used.

3) Large ensemble works which are only sold complete (ie: the instrumental parts are not available to purchase separately) may be copied provided the total amount of photocopies does not exceed the equivalent of a quarter of the number of parts originally purchased.

– Sampling

Another similar topic which is increasingly relevant is that of sampling other composers’ work and the rules are very similar to the copyrights for whole works. If the sample is recognisable as part of an already published work (whether it is several bars, a few seconds or less), you may only use it with the express permission of the copyright owner. This also applies to lyrics.

Further reading:

Music In The Digital Age : Allen Bargfrede & Cecily Mak Hal Leonard
http://www.enjoymuzic.com/acatalog/Music-Law-In-The-Digital-Age-9780876390993.html

The Music Publishers Association http://www.mpaonline.org.uk/

 

This information is correct as of 26/07/2014. However, as things are always subject to change, the one main rule of thumb is if you aren’t sure, ask the publisher or copyright owner.

Didn’t get tickets for Glastonbury? Check out our handy links to the most interesting sets to enjoy in the comfort of your own home…

Tents at Glastonbury 2014
 

The BBC has it all covered. Live streams, play back features, full sets, interviews and more. Head over to the BBC Glastonbury website to check out all their coverage. It’s broadcasting on television via BBC too so do not fear if you’re not a massive fan of streaming on the computer.

Here are 5 bands we think you shouldn’t miss…

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PIXIES Saturday – Other Stage 21.00 -22.00

The first return to Glastonbury for the Pioneering American Indie band Pixies since they last played Glasto back in 1989. They might have replaced Kim Deal on bass guitar but they still sound fantastic. If you haven’t heard the Pixies or watched them live they are worth it, I know I was lucky enough to see them last October. You will not be disappointed.

http://www.pixiesmusic.com/

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Warpaint – Other Stage, Saturday 15.00 – 16.00

4 piece female band who will entice you into their wonderful dizzy world of vocal harmonies and dreamy guitars. They can also pack a punch when needed. Everyone who I have spoken to said they were great. I agree with them.

Check them out here…

http://warpaintwarpaint.com/

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Mogwai The Park Stage Saturday 23.00 – 12.15

The Scottish post rock rockers are back. Experimental, majestically mind bending, well worth their headline slot. It’s one not to be missed.

http://www.mogwai.co.uk/

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Dolly Parton – Sunday – Pyramid stage – 15.30 – 16.20

There isn’t much to say as Dolly has spoken for her self in a career that can only be matched by a few. She is GOD so get your cowboy boots on, get into the mud and dance from 9 till 5 (mainly 15.30 – 16.20 though!)

http://www.dollypartonentertainment.com/

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Newton Faulkner Friday – Avalon Stage, 21.45 – 22.45

This man is a dreadlocked wizard on acoustic guitar. Back that up with a smashing voice and a top song writing abilities you have an hour of pure acoustic bliss.

http://www.newtonfaulkner.com/uk/node/167

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If you want try some more of this year’s hottest bands and other artists including poets and dancers, here’s the BBC’s own pick of the crop…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-27942516