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

Top 10 music blogs and review sites

1) If you play ukulele, check out this fab blog packed full of tips, tricks and reviews by the well-known ukulele author and teacher Brett McQueen. http://www.ukuleletricks.com/blog/

Being the online presence The Guitarist magazine, it seems only natural that Music Radar would host some of the best guitar resources online, including these two….

2) Learn something new and improve your technique at http://www.musicradar.com/guitartechniques

3) Don’t buy an expensive piece of kit until you’ve read the reviews at http://www.musicradar.com/reviews/guitars

4) Everything you need to know to be a healthy and happy gigging musician from http://www.musicianwages.com/

5) Everything from creating a fab website for your band to tips on dealing with an agent http://www.musicthinktank.com/ deals with the big issues of the day affecting both professional and amateur band members.

6) If you enjoy supporting new artists and want to know about the next rising star before everyone else, surprisingly one of the best places to be is the BBC! http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/introducing

7) Stay in touch with the Classical music scene at http://www.theartsdesk.com/classical-music – CD reviews, performer interviews and brilliant snippets of trivia.

8) All the latest gossip from the Jazz world http://thejazzbreakfast.com/

9) Although it’s the blog of Alex Ross (the music critic at the New Yorker), http://www.therestisnoise.com/ also features reviews of the most influential productions and performances happening around Europe, as well as fascinating articles about musicians old and new.

10) http://www.soundonsound.com/ is one of the most informative music technology websites with an active and friendly forum for all your questions on set-ups, recording and software.

Picking the right pick – plectrums for beginner guitarists

At enjoymuzic we stock a varied range of plectrums and for new players it can be confusing as to what plectrums to use.

Let’s start with guitar plectrums (there are plenty of them!). Also called picks, plectrums come in different shapes, sizes and thickness. There is no official right or wrong plectrum but you have to decide what suits your playing style and what feels comfortable.

Tortex guitar picks are my favourite (after 10 years of using a wide variety of plectrums), they are plastic picks and come in different gauges (thickness). The textured surface provides a good grip even if your fingers are slippy.

Dunlop also make plenty of different plectrums, make sure to check them out. Ernie Ball have a plain plastic plectrum range and also have a nylon style that offers more grip for those (like myself) who like something to hang on to. My colleague loves Planet Waves Picks because they’re cheap, good quality and come in loads of different designs from tortoiseshell to rainbow!

Sharkfin plectrums are shaped like a shark fin. The green sharkfin is so flexible you can bend it completely over on itself. The black ones are the heaviest and provide no give at all. Acoustic players often like to use the thin plectrums as they can control dynamics, whilst still maintaining their tone whereas thicker picks give a louder, brighter sound.

If you have a favourite band, film or television programme the chances are you will be able to get them on a guitar pick. See our selection of character and rock band plectrums here – we even have Spongebob Squarepants picks! Many of them come in pick tins – a very handy way to keep them safe!

If you don’t know what plectrums to use I would advise to buy 6 – 10 different ones that vary in both shape and gauge. Have a try of them all and hopefully you will find out which plectrum suits you. Starting at 3 for £1 for good quality, branded picks, you can’t really go wrong!

Other picks and accessories you might need…

Bass players tend to use a very heavy gauge of plecs as the strings are much thicker. Big Stubbys are popular with bass players ranging from 1mm to 5 mm in thickness.

Folk instrument plectrums

Some players like to use guitar plectrums for their folk instrument whilst others believe that the strings on folk instruments will be damaged from the use of plastic plectrums and the tone will be poorer.

Felt plectrums are commonly used on ukuleles as they are soft on the strings and reduce the clicking sound on the strings that you get with plastic picks. We sell both thick and thin felt plectrums. We also stock leather plectrums that are designed to give you a bright sound yet it doesn’t compromise playability. These can be used on ukes and mandolins.

Banjo players use finger and thumb picks. These are normally made of nickel or plastic and help to produce a clear picking sound. They come in different sizes to help find the ones that snuggly fit onto fingers and thumb. You can try a plastic thumb pick on your guitar if you find it difficult to grip a normal plectrum.

Plectrum holders

Where to keep them without losing them?! The problem with guitar picks is that even if you put them in your wallet/pocket/a special place at home, they do mysteriously disappear.

Dadi pick holders are great as they are small and store a good amount of plectrums for the size and price. They even have a sticky patch on the back so you can stick it to your instrument case or music stand.

Keep rockin’

Joe

Gateshead International Jazz Festival Weekend

Gateshead International Jazz Festival

It’s the Gateshead International Jazz Festival weekend!!

There are heaps of events and concerts all weekend at Sage Gateshead, late night Jazz at the Jazz Cafe Newcastle tonight and tomorrow and free concerts on the concourse on Sunday afternoon & early evening. This is a massive date in the jazz calendar and includes Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Jazz North and loads of big name artists. If you love jazz, this is a weekend of absolute heaven – if you don’t, go along anyway and discover the right jazz sound for you!

Here’s just one of the fab numbers from last year to give you a taster…

For more info and tickets visit the Sage Gateshead Events Page