Learning The Banjo

banjo

Learning the banjo can be a bit challenging at times, especially if you’re just getting started. Some of the most common errors that people make when learning to play the banjo include choosing the wrong type of guitar, picking up incorrect techniques and playing songs incorrectly. The first thing that you should do when trying to learn the banjo is choose a suitable guitar – one that suits your level of learning and that you like to play. It’s important that you pick a good quality guitar so that it doesn’t become too uncomfortable as you progress with your learning.

If you’re just starting out in your learning process there’s no need to buy a very expensive guitar (although you may want to for a few basic beginner’s lesson), but you can purchase a cheap guitar which is of a similar construction and sound to a more expensive one and still be able to learn to play the banjo. Other things that you should consider when learning the banjo are choosing a suitable banjo bridge and tuning the guitar correctly. These things can be done at home or with the aid of a learning aid such as a DVD or video.

It’s important that you practice all the different types of techniques that you learn from your learning material, such as picking and strumming methods. The learning materials will teach you how to play each technique and these will provide you with a base to build on. It’s also a great idea to learn some tunes on the guitar before you start to try and learn the more difficult songs. When you’ve picked up a few songs that you love to play you’ll be able to try and play some of these songs with your own version and have learnt something new when it comes to your playing techniques!

Learning an Instrument

instrument

The many benefits of learning to play an instrument are almost endless. While learning to play an instrument is a beneficial activity for everyone, there are certain learning styles that you may want to consider when it comes to the development of your musical skills. The best benefits of learning to play an instrument are usually obtained when you learn early on and playing a musical instrument can really improve the human brain at all stages of life. Brain scans show that a player who learns an instrument early in life actually has a different brain structure compared to a non-player.

Musical instruments are also helpful in the formation of musical memory, which is important to the musician’s memory. The human brain requires memory in order to perform tasks. A person who has the ability to remember something is also able to keep track of that thing, whether it is a song from a songbook, or the notes for a song. Playing an instrument can help you remember more and better, and it is a great way for developing your memory.

Finally, playing a good instrument can be a great way to improve your coordination and strength. Musicians often have a natural aptitude for rhythm, timing, and dexterity. This is why many people who are talented musicians often have to practice very hard to improve their craft. If you have ever played an instrument and found yourself having some trouble holding down a steady rhythm or were having trouble putting a note together, you may find that your coordination is improved greatly after a few sessions of learning to play an instrument.

Basement Conversion Perfect For Bands

basement conversion

We get a lot of great emails from country fans all over the country showing us their jam sessions, telling us what they are up to, and giving us anything to do with music, country and the arts.  We absolutely love everyone’s messages, pictures and videos, and we are hoping to put together a new show reel for our website, showcasing all the great country lovers out there.  People are jamming out in their basements with a basement conversion, their garages, their bedroom, and even out in the streets.  We love country music here, and we are so glad to have an amazing community of people that feel the same way.  This post will talk about some of the great places that you can jam out with your friends and play great music all day long.

basement conversion

Option 1 – The Basement Conversion

A basement conversion may seem like the classic band environment, and that is because it is! For years bands have been playing in basements, and some of the best artists started out making noise in their parent basement, usually because this was the only place that they were allowed to do it. Basements are below ground so they insulate a lot of noise, and they also give you a good degree of privacy which can be good when you are starting out on your musical journey.  Oh, and basements are cool, which is great when you are inviting friends (and girls) round to hang out. 

guitar

Option 2 – The Garage

Some of the best bands were started in garages, there’s just something about them clearly nutures creativity.  Many people have said that they used to live on the street as a famous musician, and could hear them perfecting their craft in the garage.  Garages are a nice square place that perhaps don’t isolate sound quite as well as the basement, but they still keep noise levels down from the rest of the house since they are usually concreted.   They bring privacy as well, and they are a good social space for having people round and banging out tunes.

basement conversion

Option 3 – The Bedroom Jam

Very popular amongst solo artists and smaller groups, since you don’t really have to worry as much about getting everyone in. Bedrooms are  great space, however it might be a bit limiting at times. There is a reason why most people have a designated practise area, and that is because they can get into the creative zone. A bedroom is a place to relax, sleep and recharge your batteries, not exactly what an artist should be doing.  But having said that, lots of people create music all the time in their bedroom, it simply depends on your work habits.

basement conversion

Option 4 – The Doorway

People might read this and think, what the heck? Playing out through an open doorway for the rest of the world to hear can really help you overcome stage fright and gauge people’s reactions. When you take your music out of the confines of your practise area and share it with others, it can really let you know how well it sounds and what others think.

VHS to DVD Let Us Share Our Old Gigs

vhs to dvd

This is a special guest article written by country music veteran Dan Smith.  Dan has played in the country band outfit ‘Leather Tone’ for over 30 years, touring all over America, and even a few locations in Europe and Australia.  They rose up through the ranks during the golden era of country music during the early 90s, and toured successfully all through the 90s and early 2000s.  The band still plays a few shows every year, however they are more casual these days. He reached out to us to share his story of how he converted his old bands footage from VHS to DVD, and was able to share this iconic footage with the world.

vhs to dvd

The VHS to DVD Story

I was in my mid 20s when the band started gaining a bit of traction.  What started out as just me and my brother and our friend Steve Muska jamming away in the garage quite quickly snowballed into us being asked to play some of the biggest festivals of the year.  My brother Tommy and I were always the driving force behind the band, and although at the time we were doing it purely out of the love for the music, none of us really expected it to turn into a music career.  But that is exactly what happened, and along the way we encountered all manner of people looking to support the band.  One of these such people was Billy Kelly, a complete eccentric who loved making films and documentaries.  He asked if he could follow us on our tours, and we gladly accepted, so for the next 2 or 3 years Billy essentially became part of the band.  He filmed everything, and little did we know that we would be looking for VHS to DVD conversion services years later.

tape

Billy the Kid

Billy would get all up in our faces, get in the way of stage crews, even knock things over, all just to get that perfect shot that he was looking for.  He shot on what was at the time a state of the art camera, that recorded onto little cassettes that he would take home after the shows and edit through to make into mini movies.  My memory is certainly a little fuzzy, but he would turn up every now and then with a finished tape of a particular show or festival. We watched them at the time, and I think our promoter ended up with most of them sitting in a box in his office.  They were given to my brother and I in the 2000s, and would not be resurrected for another 10-15 years.

vhs to dvd

Digitising the Tapes

When we got those digital copies of the tapes, it was like discovering a time capsule.  ‘We all look so young!’ exclaimed my brother Tommy.  We could now relive all these magical moments, but more importantly, we could share them with the community, and people were overjoyed to see all those great old concerts in action.

The Country Music Revival

music

Country music is popular in many parts of the world. It is great for the summer, if you are visiting a tropical country, or even cooler climates.

There are many songs that have become classics. There are a few styles of country music, but the most famous is usually old fashioned country. Old-time Western style music has many fans. It also has some influenced rock & roll music, such as the “Rocky” movies and Jim Reeves.

Another popular genre is country style music that is traditional, as it was back in the early days of the United States. It is very traditional with different musical styles being used. It sounds different from the popular music styles of today.

Country music has merged with the digital age, and can now be downloaded from anywhere in the world, further increasing its popularity.

Download sites are common on the Internet. In some cases, these sites will allow you to “rent” these tracks for a certain amount of time. It depends on what sites you visit. This is common in any type of media streaming and is very inexpensive.

The best way to find and download sites is to do a search on Google. Click on the Internet “video” icon and choose “audio streaming sites.” Now you can find all the audio streaming sites in one place.

You might also try to find download sites that offer membership. It is similar to a magazine subscription. You sign up and use a credit card. The membership is like a monthly payment for music downloads.

Music can bring a person back to childhood. Many music lovers come back to this wonderful style of music. Try to come back to the early times of the old songs.

How Accessible Is Music To The Younger Generation ?

One of the major questions in our society at the moment is whether or not music is accessible to the younger generation. One of the reasons why this question is debated is the price many people have to pay for music and the ongoing disagreements artists have with many platforms such as Spotify , Youtube and other music hosting channels.

Music Streaming

Music streaming is a fairly new and extremely popular form of playing music. It has been quickly adopted by the latest generation of people and allows music on demand normally regardless of location. There are a number of inherent advantages as well as disadvantages and it varies vastly from older audio formats such as CD’s or cassettes

One of the most popular widely used audio streaming apps is Spotify. Spotify is the most popular audio streaming app. This is partly due to its free service which includes regular ads and also its paid premium service where users can stream millions of songs for a monthly fee. This is great for people who listen to a very wide variety of music and like listening to trending music on demand.

However industry giants such as Spotify have been embroiled in bitter battles with record labels as well as artists because they pay a very low amount of royalties to the artists every time their song is played. As a result of this many artists have boycotted the service and have withdrawn their songs from it.

Some users of Spotify have also added to the criticism surrounding the company that they do not give people who use ownership of the song. This is due to it being a streaming service although having said this users can still access songs they have downloaded when their premium service membership expire. Overall it would appear that Spotify has helped to broaden the horizons of many younger people who wish to access different music from around the world.

Concerts And Music Festivals

Concerts and music festivals are very popular with the younger generations with millions flocking to them every year. However there have been some restrictions implemented that have affected young people across the UK being able to attend concerts or festivals. One of the biggest factors that has affected concerts and music festivals overall is tickets and ticket prices. Due to the popularity of some high profile music artists many young people find it difficult to find a place within the music industry.

This has led to high priced tickets and has made many events unaffordable for younger people. This is partly due to some ticketing sites and ticket touts reselling tickets. In order to tackle this issue some concert and festival organisers are preventing touts or some select selling sites from using their services and trying to make music more affordable for younger people overall.

Overall to conclude music is becoming a lot more accessible to younger people but more needs to be done to eliminate ticket touts and widen access for all into the music industry.

We’re On Tour! Our Lisbon Leg Sponsored By Dermal Fillers Glasgow

dermal fillers glasgow

We are nearing the end of our European tour and we hope you have enjoyed our blog on all the cities we have visited around Europe from sunny Scotland to ending our Tour in Lisbon, Portugal. In our final blog we will show you all our favourite things about Lisbon! We are lucky to have Dermal Fillers Glasgow specialists – The Berkeley Clinic Glasgow sponsor our final blog post…well not the final blog post but the final in our European Tour series.

Lisbon is world famous for its tiled walls, Portuguese food (nothing like Nandos by the way), glorious culture and rich history.

Dermal Fillers Glasgow

Time Out Market

With over 40 stalls, the Time Out Market has a whole host of delicious Portuguese food to try. The indie food trucks/ pop up restaurants have all been chosen my The Times food editors – with no less than 4 stars you will definitely want to come to this food market for a decent bite to eat.

Dermal Fillers Glasgow

MAAT Museum

This is one of Lisbon’s newest contemporary art museums which has been featured all over Instagram in recent months by social media influencers. This is a project by the EDP Foundation that has closed, opened, closed again and recently re opened.

Dermal Fillers Glasgow

Feira da Ladra

This market rivals London’s Portobello Market. Feira da Ladra is a flea market that has been open for business since 1903 in its location Campo de Santa Clara.

Dermal Fillers Glasgow

Ground Burger

The best burger you will ever taste – no exaggeration.

Dermal Fillers Glasgow

Park

The Bairro Alto get packed every evening on a rooftop bar full of revellers, keen to sip on cocktails and watch the sun go down. The view over Lisbon is incredible and with entertainment of live DJ to liven things up this is an experience you will not want to miss.

We’re On Tour! The Amsterdam Leg Sponsored By Commercial Cleaning Glasgow

commercial cleaning glasgow

We are still on tour travelling Europe bit by bit. Boy is it different from our hometown Nashville. Each country we’ve been to so far all has different cultures and languages – it has been truly amazing! This blog is going to be about our Amsterdam gig and the best parts of this incredible city! We were fortunate enough to have this blog sponsored by commercial cleaners Glasgow, SE Commercial Services who we met on our Scottish leg of the tour.

Ice Bar

commercial cleaners glasgow

A bar where everything is made from ice. The seats, the glass, the bar – everything. Although you can only stay for 20 minutes this is still an excellent tourist attraction to visit.

Anne Frank House

commercial cleaners glasgow

We didn’t learn much about the World Wars when we went to school however, we did decide to get educated at the Ann Frank House & Museum. Once you arrive you firstly getting a walking tour of the house and how the family managed to hide from the Nazi’s to avoid getting sent to concentration camps. Then after the house there is a thought provoking museum – if you have time to do this it is defiantly worth a visit.

Cycling

commercial cleaners glasgow

Amsterdam has built itself to be a cycle-friendly city where there are actually more bikes than people. With some amazing cycle routes, there is no better way to explore the city than on your bike.

Jordann District

commercial cleaners glasgow

This neighbourhood is artsy, trendy, cool, quirky and desirable. Filled with art galleries, boutiques, cafes and other quirky independent shops – this is a relaxed area of the city you will definitely want to explore!

Rijksmuseum

commercial cleaners glasgow

Well…we didn’t actually go inside this museum but there’s a really cool ‘Iam Amsterdam’ sign outside which makes for a brilliant photo/instagram opportunity.

Heineken Experience

commercial cleaners glasgow

So far we have enjoyed the Guinness & Tennants factory tours in Scotland & Ireland so we had to come and visit the birth place of Heineken.

We unfortunately only managed one day in Amsterdam before our next stop in Germany however the gig went brilliantly and the crowd were on great form! We can’t wait to come back one day

How The Pallet Jack Has Helped The Music Industry

pallet stacker

Within the music industry there are a variety of different tools and systems that are used to help aid production teams and artists. One of the most important and often overlooked tools is known as the pallet jack. Through this post we will explain to you how the Pallet Jack has made a real difference in the music industry. We will also explore its overall advantages and applications.

Challenges Production Crews Face

pallet stacker

Production crews at music concerts often face a number of different challenges. These can vary from logistical challenges to technical and physical. The Pallet Jack can to simplify these issues due to its unique attributes it can bring to its users. Event crews can often suffer from exhaustion or burnout as a direct result of having to repeatedly lift heavy weights long and short distances. This can result in injury and employees having a reduced ability to work. This can impact on overall effectiveness. In order to counter this effect pallet jacks can be used to ensure heavy loads are moved without risking injury.

Another major challenge that production crews may face is lack of training. Often production crews at large music events are likely to be temporary event staff. As a result they may not be as likely to have up to date training on certain areas of work. Lifting technique is one of these factors and lack of training in this area could lead to severe injury. Thankfully the pallet jack can be used with basically no training and is an excellent lifting and moving asset.

Other Common Forms Of Equipment Used In The Industry

pallet jack

In addition to the pallet jack there are a number of different forms of equipment that are regularly used in the industry. One such form of equipment is the forklift truck. The forklift is driven by one operator and can move goods weighing over one tonne from one area to another relatively quickly thanks to its mobility and power. Unlike Pallet jacks forklift trucks require training to use and can be hazardous if used incorrectly or driven recklessly. An advantage the pallet jack has over the forklift is that the pallet jack costs significantly less to maintain and use.

pallet jack

Advantages And Limitations Of The Pallet Jack

The Pallet stacker comes with a range of advantages as well as limitations but overall is good value for money and a versatile and flexible piece of equipment.

  • One of the major advantages of the pallet jack is that it can navigate in narrow spaces. This is useful as it can be used in more enviroments and is more flexible than the forklift for example
  • Another advantage is ease of use. The pallet jack is normally pretty easy to use and understand compared with other equipment and requires very little training.
  • A disadvantage of the pallet jack is their weight capacity is significantly lower than some other forms of equipment such as the forklift.
  • A further disadvantage is that it may take longer to move goods than some other methods.
pallet stacker

We’re On Tour! How Event Crew Hire Helped Our London Gig

event crew hire

This was probably the most nerve wracking gig we have done so far in our career. The music scene in London is extremely eclectic so alternative country wasn’t something new but something exciting so some music bloggers and record company scouts were coming along to watch us perform. We decided we needed to up the anti and get some help from event crew hire in the production of our show.

event crew hire

Show Production

The event crew hire company we used gave us lighting and sound specialists as well as event specialists who would organise tickets and drinks. Our gig was held as the famous O2 Academy in London and it was a sell out – we were thrilled when we heard this! It took nearly all day to get the production correct – lighting had to be perfect! The sound check went to plan and the place looked unreal. Event crew checked tickets and handed out bottles of water to the crowd. If any small band is looking for extra help on tour we highly recommend

event crew hire

The Best Things We Did In London

  • London Eye
  • Pub Quiz in Peckham at The Nunshead
  • Clapham Common
  • Everything in
  • Hyde Park
  • Camden Market
  • Covent Garden
  • The Sky Garden
  • Have a curry in Brick Lane
  • Old Spitafields Market
  • Everything in Shoreditch
  • We took the underground everywhere

That brings us to the end of our UK tour sadly. We have had the best time ever in the UK and Ireland!! In the week we’ve been here we have seen and done so much- we will definitely be back! We are now currently on the ferry over to The Netherlands where will be playing one night in Amsterdam while exploring there for a few days – Speak soon!