Introducing the Fender Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster

In June of 1967 Jimi Hendrix took a plain white Stratocaster and using whatever he had with him, nail polish for example, decorated it for a show he was playing that night.  That Stratocaster later that night went up in flames as he finished playing Wild Thing.  This event launched him into superstar status and that guitar, charred and smashed later sold for over $300,000.  Fender has now recreated this guitar at a much more affordable price.  Introducing the new Fender Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster, available at your local Moeller or Willis location.  

Fender Brad Paisley Signature Telecaster

Brad Paisley Guitar

Coming very soon from Willis/Moeller Music is the Fender Brad Paisley Signature Tele.  Introduced at the Summer NAMM show this guitar should be arriving any day.  We had advanced notice of this launch and are one of the first in line.  Brad is one of the last of the guitar heroes.  He lives and breathes guitars and has one of the best tones on the planet.   I got to play it at the Fender Key Dealer Meeting in Scottsdale and I want one myself.  Plays great, looks great, sounds great, win, win ,win.  Did I mention it’s also affordable?  Unlike most signature guitars, Brad wanted this one to be accessible to his fans, not one locked away in a glass case.  Stop in your nearest Willis or Moeller store and check one out! 

  • Road Worn silver sparkle lacquer finish
  • Spruce top and back, paulownia center
  • Custom Brad Paisley neck shape – thick “V”
  • Paisley cowboy hat on headstock

 

New Fender Mustang GT Amps

The world’s best selling amps are about to get even better.  The Fender Mustang series is now the Mustang GT, or Generation Three, series.  Three new models, the GT 40, GT 100, and the GT 200.  The GT 40 is 40 watts with 2 6.5 inch speakers and is perfect for home, studio, or practice use.  The GT 100 is 100 watts with one 12 inch speaker and is perfect for rehearsal or smaller gigs.  The GT 200 is 200 watts with 2 12 inch speakers and is the perfect all around gigging amp.  

The GT’s are the world’s first Wifi enabled amps. This makes it easy to download updates and connect to Fender’s digital ecosystem where you can store your presets, download new presets from other users, download presets from Fender artists, or control your amp using Fender’s Tone app from your smart phone or tablet.  The amps are also Bluetooth enabled allowing you to stream music from your Bluetooth device and use it as a digital entertainment center or to play along with your favorite songs. Want to record?  Just plug your GT into your computer via USB and record directly to your DAW.

Mustang GT 40

 

Mustang GT 100

Mustang GT 200

Stop in your closest Willis for a demo today!

 

Lexington May 2017 Calendar of Events

May is one of our favorite months of the year! Recitals galore and our annual SHRED FEST event where we have AMAZING DEALS planned on guitars and amplifiers!

This year May will be sprinked in with a Yamaha Clavinova Event featuring Yamaha professional, Lori Frazier. Plus add 3 Yamaha Disklavier Night’s during the month.

Finally, we add 2 Ukulele Workshops by David McLean. If you do not have an uke, come purchase one at the workshop at 2pm on May 21. Then stay for he 2nd workshop immediately to follow for a crash course on ukulele techniques and songs.

Click on the calendar to see it closer up.

Yard Sale Banner

What Can You Expect At The In-Door Yard Sale?

Taylor New Product Showcase – March 9

Mark your calendar for March 9 at 7pm to be the first to see the the New Products from Taylor Guitars!

Are you a Taylor Guitar fan like us? You will not want to miss this event. We will have all the new Taylor Guitars from the 2017 NAMM show at Willis Music Florence for you to touch and play and take home for your own! Taylor just released a series that you have to play to believe it! We will also have a factory rep on hands to answer all your questions and let you know why Taylor does what they do!

Need more info? Call 859-525-6050 or email deniseb@willismusic.com

Details:

When – March 9, 2017

Time – 7pm

Where – 7567 Mall Rd, Florence, KY, 41042

Cost – FREE

The New Fender American Professional Series is Here!

 

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The new Fender American Professional Series is here! We’ve got them in stock at our Florence store and coming soon to our other locations.  WELCOME TO THE NEXT CHAPTER!

 

NEW PICKUPS

Simply put, pickups are the heart and soul of an electric instrument’s voice. The American Professional series features our newest pickup offering: V-Mod single-coil pickups. Updated versions of our classic designs, modified for modern performance, V-Mod pickups are packed with authentic Fender tone. V-Mod pickups, and the newly redesigned ShawBucker™ humbucking pickups are voiced specifically for each position, bringing out the nuances of your playing.

NEW MODELS We’re excited to add three new models to the American Professional Series: the Tele®Deluxe, Jazzmaster® and Jaguar® guitars. The left-of-center Jazzmaster and Jaguar models are particularly prized for their unique style, feel and flexible control schemes.

NEW COLORS Three new colors—Sonic Gray, Mystic Seafoam, Antique Olive—are joined by the revival of a true classic, our instantly recognizable Butterscotch Blonde (available only on Tele models).

AND MORE…

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Check out the videos below and stop in and check them out!

 

 

The New Ortega Horsekick Pro

New at Willis and Moeller Music is the New Ortega Horsekick Pro!  This is a great accessory for just about any musician.  Solo acoustic player?  Add hands free kick drum, tambourine, cajon, cowbell, or casaba to your song.  Great for percussionist also.  Bassist can also benefit as you’ll see in the video below.  Stop by and check one out today!

DIGITAL STOMP BOX with multiple built-in digital samples of percussion sounds that can be played on its own, as a percussive instrument, or blended with your stringed instrument signal through the output.

The New Boss GT-1 Effects Processor

Boss GT-1

 

New and in stock at Moeller and Willis Music is the Boss GT-1 Guitar Effects Processor.

PREMIUM TONE FOR PLAYERS ON THE GO
Ultra-portable and easy to use, the GT-1 delivers pro-level tones everywhere you play. Driven by the powerful BOSS GT-series engine, it gives you access to a huge selection of world-class amps and effects for all types of music. A streamlined interface enables quick and intuitive sound creation, while an assignable control switch and expression pedal provide dynamic real-time effects adjustment. And by connecting to BOSS TONE CENTRAL, you can download free pro patches, editing software, and more. Equally suited for beginners, weekend warriors, and traveling players, the GT-1 packs premium sound in a compact and rugged package.

-Flagship-class BOSS sound engine squeezed into a light and compact floor unit
-Modern design with no hard edges enables safe transport in a guitar bag
-Easy Select and Easy Edit functions for quickly choosing and tweaking patches
-Four AA batteries provide up to seven hours of playing time for busking and mobile gigs
-Onboard control switch and expression pedal; footswitch/expression pedal jack and USB
-Download ready-to-play pro patches for free at BOSS Tone Central

New Fender Offset line has arrived at a Willis!

We have exciting news for our guitar customers! The new Fender Offsets have just arrived at a Willis store near you! We are excited to share this awesome news with you. Come on into a location near you and shred for a couple of minutes on one of these beauties! You can check out some of the videos and pictures of all for a preview. Like what you see? Go ahead and add a Fender Offset to your collection we know you want to!

Left-of-center expression for the next generation of players.  Introducing the new Fender Offset series.  Five new models based on classic designs but re-envisioned for today.  You’re seeing them played everywhere from South by Southwest to Panic! At the Disco, now you can own one.

The full line includes:

Duo-Sonic, Duo-Sonic HS, Mustang, Mustang 90 and Mustang Bass PJ.

Here are the key features:

    • 24″ scale guitar/30″ scale bass
    • Single-coil, humbucker, Mustang 90 and PJ pickup configurations
    • All models feature 9.5″ radius fingerboards, medium jumbo frets, and modern C shapes
    • Many cool new finish/pickguard configurations
    • 3-way toggles are used instead of slider switches on Mustangs. Duo-Sonic HS features a coil-split function
    • String-through hardtail bridges

Take a look at the Fender Offset Mustang and Mustang 90s

Fender Offset Mustang 90 OliveFender Offset Mustang 90 Olympic WhiteFender Offset Mustang 90 Torino Red
Fender Offset Mustang 90 silverFender Offset Mustang 90 Black

Check out the video tour of the Fender Offset Mustang 90 model below and then stop in to your nearest Willis Music to play and own your very own!

Take a look at the Fender Offset Duo-Sonic and Duo-Sonic HS Models

Fender Offset Duo Sonic Torino RedFender Duo Sonic Capri OrangeFender Duo Sonic daphne BlueFender Duo sonic Surf Green
Fender Duo sonic Aged White Fender Duo Sonic Black

Check out the video tour of the Fender Offset Duo sonic HS model below and then stop in to your nearest Willis Music to play and own your very own!

Take a look at the Fender Offset Mustang Bass PJ Models

 Fender Mustanf Bass PJ Olympic WhiteFender Mustang Bass PJ Sonic BlueFender Mustang Bass PJ torino Red

Check out the video tour of the Fender Offset Mustang Bass PJ model below and then stop in to your nearest Willis Music to play and own your very own!

Can’t make it into the store or we don’t have one close to you? No problem take a look at our online store and purchase the one you have had your eye on today! Click here to see our entire Fender Offset stock.

New Blackstar ID:Core High Power Series Amps

New to Willis and Moeller Music are the new Blackstar ID:Core High Power series of amps. These two new models take the existing features of the ID:Core 10, 20 and 40 and scale them up from practice amp size to gig ready, gig volume levels. Available with either 100 or 150 watts, both with 2 10 inch guitar speakers. The original amps have full range speakers which function well at practice levels, but with guitar speakers you’ll find a much better live guitar tone. There is also a new 30 second looper built in. Combine this with the new Octaver effect and it makes it easy to record a bass line and then jam over it with multiple guitar tones. Included is a 2 button footswitch that allows for effects switching or looper control. An optional 5 button programmable footswitch can also be added and be combined with the 2 button footswitch to have a wide range of control right at your feet. Want to record? Just plug into your computer and the USB out functions as an audio interface. You can also use the free Insider software to do in depth editing on all of the effects. Truly everything you could need in an amp in once compact, lightweight combo. Stop by and check one out today!

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Willis and Moeller Music Welcome Fender Supro Amps

LEARN ALL ABOUT THE SUPRO AMP.

Wills and Moeller Music proudly welcome Supro Amps to our West Chester and Lexington stores. These legendary amps are a tone freak’s dream. they are small, compact, low wattage, class A tube amps that deliver a huge sound. For those of you that have never heard of Supro all you need to know is that you have heard them, even if you didn’t know it. These are the amps that legendary Chicago blues players used in the 50’s and 60’s. They were originally low cost amps that were work horses and were everywhere. Their unique circuitry allowed them to achieve a great tone that was utilized by great players like Jimi Hendrix, Link Wray, David Bowie and Dan Auerbach. The most famous user however was Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. In 1968, Page used a Tele plugged into a customized 1 x 12 Supro combo amp to record all of the guitar parts on Led Zeppelin’s debut album. The solo to Stairway to Heaven was played on a Supro. The great irony is that Supro went out of business during that same year!

Supro Amp Image

Supro was reborn in 2013 and now you can achieve that same great tone. The signature element of a Supro amp is its “Class-A” power section, which maintains remarkable clarity and dynamics when overdriven. This gritty mid-range sound is the original alternative to Fender… you could call it “the other white meat” of classic American tone! Every element of our Supro reissue amps has been designed from the ground up to bring this long lost, holy-grail amp to musicians at a working players price. The Blue Rhino Hide tolex was specially made, the cabinetry is vintage-correct, the speakers are totally unique, the transformers are custom and the sound is 100% authentic Supro. Supro reissue amps are hand assembled in Port Jefferson, NY, USA.

I plugged an American Elite Fender Shawbucker Strat into the Saturn Reverb the night they came in. No effects, just guitar, cable, amp. I plugged into the 1+2 input, turned on a bit of reverb, and turned it all the way up. With the bridge humbucker selected instantly I had that classic ‘Whole Lotta Love” tone. Even with the volume on 10 though it was loud but comfortably loud. The kind of tone that if you put a SM57 in front of it you’d have all the amp you will need.

Loud enough for you to overcome the drummer on stage for you, but still not ear splitting and workable for a sound system. Back the volume off on the guitar and switch to the neck single coil, and you get the perfect blues tone. play lightly its as clean as a whistle, play hard it breaks up nicely and sings. I plugged a couple of different overdrive pedals In and achieved the same kind of tone at a lower volume. I added a phaser to the mix and just fell in love. A tele plugged into it got that nice Brad Paisley like tone.

Stop by and try one out with your favorite guitar and effects today.

Willis Music Company Chosen For Top 100 Music Stores In America

NAMM National Association of Music Merchants Top 100 2016 Willis Music

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) recently chose Willis Music Company for the final selection of 2016’s Top 100 Dealer Awards. The NAMM website elaborates, “Each Top 100 submission was reviewed by an independent panel of judges and numerically rated across categories that included customer service, music advocacy, store design and promotions and were scored in accordance to determine the Top 100 list, the category winners, and the overall award, Dealer of the Year.” (NAMM)

We would like to thank our customers and staff here at Willis Music for their continued support, allowing us to achieve this prestigious nomination. We pride ourselves on giving our very best to our customers and music community and we are very honored to be part of the Top 100.

 

The Yamaha Experience comes to Willis Music

We are excited for our biggest one-day event of the year!! It’s a great day for Music Educators and Music Enthusiasts alike! Come to Willis Music in Lexington, KY on July 15 for a day of musical fireworks!
A team of experts from the Yamaha Corporation will join our knowledgeable Willis Music sales team and school service representatives to share with you a variety of Yamaha musical instruments made to enrich your lives!
 There will also be door prizes from Yamaha & Willis Music given out during the event, in addition to catered food and beverages to keep you energized on this fantastic day!


Visit our Lexington location at 130 West Tiverton Way from Noon-5pm on Friday, July 15 to experience demonstrations on the following Yamaha instruments which are also available for purchase at a special one day discount:
– Brass, Woodwind, & Orchestra instruments
– Marching Percussion  (Snares, Tenors, and Basses are in-store that day! Come try them out!)
– Concert Percussion   (Snares, Keyboard instruments, and more will be on hand!)clav2
– Disklavier & Silent Pianos
– Clavinovas
– Acoustic & Hybrid Pianos
– Montage Synthesizer (new!) and other workstations
– Portable Keyboards and Digital Pianos
– Acoustic Guitars
– DTX and Acoustic Drumsets
– Pro Audio Speakers & Mixing Consoles

 

Some of the Yamaha Corporation team present will be:

– Michael Brumit: Keyboard Division
– Phil Clendeninn: Senior Product Specialist
– Steve Hauer: Pro Music Division
– Scott Slocum: Band & Orchestra Division
– Troy Wallwage: Percussion Marketing Manager
Yamaha Music Experience Flyer

New Blaxx Effects Pedals

Looking to get into effects pedals for the first time? Or are you just really tight this month and need to add one for that big upcoming gig? We have a new pedal line for you. Quality compact effects pedals with true bypass but on a working musician’s budget. Introducing Blaxx Effects Pedals:

Blaxx_article

They might be mini in size, but trust us when we say they’re mighty in tone! Ranging from fuzz to flangers and drive to distortion, there’s an effect for every player out there but at such a great price point and compact size you could even collect the whole range to have every sound in your bag! With a sturdy die-cast metal housing and heavy duty on/off foot-switch each pedal is robust, and with true bypass the tone of your guitar won’t be affected by redirecting the signal.

Here is a preview of some of them:

The Blaxx Looper

Looper effect pedal for guitar and bass guitar – Housing: Die-cast metal – Special feature: True bypass – Foot switch: Record, play, loop, cancel, delete loops, stop – Maximum recording time: 10 minutes – Maximum number of loops: Unlimited – LED indicator: Recording, loop, play, on / off – Volume control: Potentiometer – Input and output: 6.35 mm (1/4”) jack and mini-USB (to upload and download files, in 24-bit uncompressed format).

blaxxloop - Copy

The Blaxx Metal Distortion

3-mode ‘Metal’ guitar effect pedal Sturdy die-cast metal housing – True bypass – Heavy duty on/off footswitch and LED indicator – Controls for: Distortion / Tone / Volume – Metal mode switch: Hi Boost / Boost Cut / Lo Boost.

blaxxmetal - Copy

The Blaxx Distortion B

3-mode Distortion effect pedal for electric guitar True bypass – Sturdy die-cast metal housing – Heavy duty on/off footswitch and LED indicator – Controls for: Gain / Level / Tone – Distortion mode switch: Natural / Tight / Classic.

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The Blaxx Delay

Delay effect pedal for electric guitar Sturdy die-cast metal housing – True bypass – Heavy duty on/off footswitch and LED indicator – Controls for: Time / Feedback / Echo.

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The Blaxx Phaser

2-mode Phaser effect pedal for electric guitar Sturdy die-cast metal housing – True bypass – Heavy duty on/off footswitch and LED indicator – Controls for speed – Phaser mode switch: Vintage / Modern.

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The Blaxx Booster

Booster effect pedal for electric guitar Sturdy die-cast metal housing – True bypass – Heavy duty on/off footswitch and LED indicator – Controls for: Gain / Treble / Bass / Volume.

blaxxbooster - Copy

 

The Blaxx Tuner

Auto-chromatic tuner pedal for guitar, bass and other music instruments Sturdy die-cast metal housing with heavy duty on/off footswitch and LED indicator.

blaxxtuner - Copy

 

Stop by your local Willis or Moeller Music and check out these great pedals today! Click here for locations.

 

 

 

New Acoustic Gig Tools

Have an acoustic gig at a coffee house this weekend?  Having people over and playing on your deck? Playing small venue acoustic gigs has never been easier.  We have several new acoustic gig tools to add to your box to make you sound even better.

 

The TC Helicon Play Acoustic

Play Acoustic combines all the things you need to make a live acoustic performance shine: lavish vocal sounds, perfect backing harmonies, best-selling guitar effects, and unique processing that makes your six-string sing – in perfect harmony with your voice.

FEATURES
Professional vocal effects and tone
Natural sounding vocal harmonies guided by your guitar
Guitar FX styles from TC Electronic®
BodyRez™ Filtering and Onboard EQ and DI for impeccable acoustic guitar tone

tch-voicelive-play-acoustic-top

Fender Acoustic Pro and Acoustic SFX

Acoustic Pro

TRANSPARENT SOUND, REFINED FORM
Offering a sonic experience like no other, Acoustic Pro amplifiers are true “audiophile amps,” delivering superior live sound with studio-quality effects. Along with a flexible pro feature set, Acoustic Pro offers high-grade components and technology, pure Fender tradition and expert sonic imaging—allowing every note to be naturally and painstakingly replicated, letting your acoustic personality shine.

FEATURES

200-watt 12″ combo amplifier ideal for solo performers or acoustic duos
Two channels for instruments or microphones
Onboard hall reverb and tone controls with sweepable midrange
Integrated tilt-back kickstand easily converts the amp into a stage monitor
Includes deluxe fitted cover; optional two-button footswitch for reverb bypass

acoustpro2

Acoustic SFX

RICH, ROOM-FILLING SOUND IN A STUNNING PACKAGE
For the discerning player in search of an eye-catching piece of acoustic architecture, the Acoustic SFX offers state-of-the-art technology for a lush sonic experience unlike any other. The ultimate solution for acoustic players, the lightweight design and portability suit anyone looking for a grab-and-go rig for small venues, offering a pleasing sound image to people located all throughout the room.

FEATURES

Two-channel 160-watt (2x80W) stereo combo amplifier; ¼”-XLR combo jacks
Adjustable SFX® technology creates lush, room-filling sound
Onboard studio-quality effects include hall reverb, echo, delay, chorus and Vibratone
Tempo-sync all effects with two quick taps
Includes fitted cover; add optional two-button footswitch for per-channel effect bypass

The AER Compact 60/3

The ultimate in pure, natural acoustic tone.  The amp of choice for Tommy Emanuel and Eric Johnson.
The AER Compact 60/3 has proven that there is an all-round, small, powerful and yet simple to use complete solution for stage, studio and home use that works up to the highest demands and standards of acoustic players.
60 watts, dynamic control
8” (200 mm) twin cone speaker twin channel, 3 and 2 band EQ
Digital effect processor with 4 presets
(2 x reverb/delay/chorus)
14.30 lbs

aerCompact_603

Stop in you local Willis or Moeller Music today and check out these great tools and many others!

April 2016 Calendar of Events Lexington

Spring has arrived! Horses are about to begin galloping around race tracks, flowers & trees are blossoming, and it won’t be long before swimming pools open and school’s take their summer break!

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There is no break for us though! At Willis Music we thrive on serving YOU each and every day!

Here at the Lexington location we’ve recently made some changes. Our guitar department has taken a new shape, and the opportunity of jamming with your buddies is a must! We are now also Kentucky’s only dealer of the full line of Yamaha Acoustic & Digital Pianos! Our showroom is stocked full and more beautiful than ever. Come see for yourself!

Here are a few of the things we are excited about in Lexington this month:

  • Every Day! – Celebrate International Guitar Month with us and SAVE! Many of our guitars have already dropped in price! Get additional savings this month – it changes with each day of the week in April:
    • Mondays: Ibanez Electric Guitars are electrifying the sales floor this month. SAVE 10% and get a 10′ RHINO GUITAR CABLE for FREE!
    • Tuesday: Fender Telecasters on SALE! 10% OFF in-stock Tele’s! Plus get two free sets of D’Addario NYXL Strings!
    • Wednesday: Acoustic Guitars by Fender, Luna, Cordoba, Yamaha, and Seagull are 10% OFF!
    • Thursday: Bass Guitars are stocked full and begging for a new home! 10% OFF PLUS A FREE STAND!
    • Friday: Save an EXTRA 15% on all Scratch & Dent, Discontinued, and Used Guitars!
    • Saturday: Buy a Martin Guitar and get a FREE Strap & D’Addario Humiditrak System! Click here to learn more about this brand new product in 2016.
    • Sunday: Fender Stratocasters are 10% OFF this day each week of April! We will throw in a FREE GIG BAG TOO!guitar blog
  • Every Day! – It’s Jazz Appreciation Month so learn a new jazz tune or two this month! All Jazz Music is on SALE just for you! Get 15% off any in-stock jazz genre music book in April!
  • Every Thursday Evening – Group Guitar Classes meet 4-8pm with David McLean.
    • Buy a guitar in April and get free tuition for the summer group guitar class!
  • Saturday, April 16 -Our monthly open-mic experience called LEXINGTON LIVE is from 3-5pm.
  • Sunday, April 17 – Local music educator Kim Whitehead holds her Student Recital from 3-4:30pm.
  • Saturday, April 30 – Live Accordian Concert presented by the world renowned Tony Lovello at 3pm.
  • COMING SOON – You won’t want to miss our Yamaha Piano Open House Event! Date to be announced. This will be the biggest event ever at our store! Guest artists, food & drinks, clinicians, and much fanfare!

 

April Band Of The Month – Cincinnati

Brain Clinic consists of Robby Wakeley (vocalist/bassist), Marty Hail (guitarist), and Jesse Maher (drummer). Brain Clinic was formed two years ago in Mason, Oh. They have played venues such as Thompson House, Mad Frog, Vertigo, Backstage Cafe, and The Underground. The band continues to play shows in the tri-state area. All of the members met through the awkward beginnings of Craigslist. Check out their music at www.reverbnation.com/brainclinic .
Message them directly on Facebook for any show offers.
Now that you have met the band, go check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere you can find them online! Come in to Willis at Moeller Music West Chester and show an associate that you “Liked” their music page on Facebook by clicking here and receive discounts!

 

If you want to find out how to be next month’s Band Of The Month, Click Here!

headshot of kevin cranley

What’s kept us going for 117 years?

March Cincinnati Band of the Month

 

Misnomer was born in basements. Originally from the northern suburbs of Cincinnati, Misnomer is a band full of interesting individuals that set out to break down the conventional boundaries of popular music. By implementing various influences and styles, Misnomer offers a familiar sound that exists within the paradox of “contemporary” versus “classic”.  They refuse to recycle, yet retain a sense of familiarity and freshness. The music that is produced by their individualistic, non-generic format has the effect of making an audience want to shake their booties, bang their heads, and groove with euphoric melancholy, through a sound that has never reached ears before.

In the early years of the band, Randy Clark (drummer) and Kyler Davis (guitar/vocals) formed a strong relationship based solely around a mutual love for the art, craft, and expression of music. After developing their abilities further, they decided to recruit Dominic Franco (bassist) to the line-up. As a 3-piece, they established themselves and developed an identity through their interesting and unique sound and approach. Misnomer added the fourth member, Logan Brown (multi-instrumentalist), after collaborating with him to independently record and release their first full length album.

Misnomer has played in the Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Northern Kentucky circuit for roughly 4 years. After finally picking up momentum, they decided to release their first full-length album in early 2016, which will be followed by an extensive tour in the summer.

Now that you have met the band, go check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere you can find them online! Come in to Willis at Moeller Music West Chester and show an associate that you “Liked” their music page on Facebook and receive discounts!

Misnomer keeps their fans updated with the latest news, music, merchandise, promotions and whatever through various social media accounts.

 

http://misnomermusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MisnomerOfficial/

https://twitter.com/misnomermusic

https://www.instagram.com/misnomer_official/

Want to be the next Band Of The Month in Cincinnati? Click Here!

Mesa Boogie is on its way!!

Willis Music Florence is proud to announce that we are a Authorized Mesa Boogie dealer. The product has been ordered, and some will be here shortly! We will have pedals, tubes, and of course the amps! Been thinking about getting one of these amazing amps, stop in and we would love to help you out!

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What is Mesa Boogie? Check it out here!

Beginning Guitar Workshop – March 19

Have you always wanted to learn the guitar?

Did you receive a guitar for Christmas and it’s starting to collect dust?

Here is how you can get a jump-start on one of the most popular instruments in history!

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, Willis Music in Lexington, KY will host a two-hour Guitar Workshop for beginners!

1:30pm – Registration
2-4pm – Beginning Guitar Workshop

The workshop will made given by Brent Larimore. A great music educator in the Lexington area!

Brent Larimore Pic

Come learn basic technique, picking and strumming styles, chords, a popular 12 Bar Blues progression, plus an easy scale for soloing! Each participant will receive a booklet to take home with you.

The cost for this two-hour workshop is $20. (A normal 30-minute guitar lesson would cost at least $20!) To pre-register for this workshop you can stop by the Lexington Willis Music location, send us an email, or give us a call at 859-273-4063.

We look forward to seeing you on March 19! Be sure to bring your own guitar (sorry no amps this time!). If you do not have a guitar, come see our awesome sales staff at the Lexington Willis Music store location and they will be glad to help you find the perfect guitar for you!

Flute Player Sidelined with Concussion!

OK, so I did a google search for this seemingly ridiculous headline and found nothing so I made it up. Concussions have become a serious concern in sports and I’m pleased the subject is getting it’s due attention.  But what I want to talk to you about is what always seems to be the topic when it comes to budget problems in our schools.  When cuts are made do we cut band or sports.  Unfortunately many times band seems to get the short end of the funding stick.  This article points out what most of us have known for years.  Involvement in music is vital to the total education of our children.  I know you will enjoy the article as I did and I wish each of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

 

Education Week
Published Online: June 23, 2015
COMMENTARY
Football or Music? What’s the Best K-12 Investment?
By John R. Gerdy

 

In a perfect world, all high school activities would be fully funded. But to educators struggling to find the financial means to establish and pay for educational priorities, it is clear that we do not live in a perfect world.

Today’s schools are subjected to growing pressures from increased academic standards and the expectation that they will provide all of their students with an education worthy of the 21st century. These demands must be met, moreover, in a climate of sharply declining resources. The world is changing at breathtaking speed, and the challenges inherent in responding to that change are daunting. So, too, are the economic stresses on schools.

All that being the case, communities and school boards have to be more open, honest, thoughtful, and strategic in considering how to allocate scarce educational resources. When program cuts are necessary, priorities must be set and difficult choices made. Traditionally, one choice has been between fielding elite athletics programs and maintaining enriching programs in the arts—with the arts usually being the first to suffer. Because the challenges and funding gaps for schools will only increase, such decision making will become more and more difficult.

In such an environment, the fundamental question we should ask about program funding is this:
Which activities produce the best educational return on investment? And the first principle in making such decisions should be clear: We can no longer afford to sponsor activities based only on anecdotal evidence of benefit, or simply because we have always done so, or because a particular activity’s “lobby” screams the loudest.

The decisions also must be made with the recognition that the American economy has changed from one based on industrial might to one driven by technology, creativity, collaboration, and innovation. Simply put, every issue the nation faces, whether relating to health care, the environment, or geopolitics, bears the stamp—and holds the complexity—of an increasingly fast-paced and interconnected world. There is no way to effectively meet the challenges wrought by change and complexity without developing in our people greater creativity, social adaptability, and the ability to think more broadly and with greater depth.

What does this mean for decision making on priorities and funding? First, we must rethink the criteria we use. For too long, educators have relied primarily on personal experiences and anecdotal evidence in making decisions about extracurricular programs. That is no longer enough. Decisions must also be driven by fact, data, and research. Fortunately, there is a growing research base on the impact of both football and music on student learning and engagement, brain function, academic environment, and health (both individual and public) to draw on.

Because a more thorough understanding of the wide range of issues surrounding these activities is imperative, I recently conducted a return-on-investment analysis of the effectiveness as educational tools of football
(because it consumes by far the most resources of school athletic departments) and music
(because it is the arts-program component with which I am most familiar).

The purpose was clear and simple: to present a thoughtful, thorough, and clear-eyed assessment of the relative value of football versus music programs in providing students with learning experiences most suited to the 21st century.

As a life-long athlete and musician who believes in the power of both sports and music to change people’s lives, this investigation has been a long and, at times, disconcerting journey. But here’s where my experience and the data have led.

There are several areas—student engagement; development of positive character traits such as self-discipline, teamwork, and personal responsibility; and capacity to bring people together to build community—in which both football and music have similar positive impacts. There is little, if any, difference, for example, between the sacrifices made, lessons learned, and effort required as a sports-team member whose goal is winning games and a band member who is working to achieve a particular “sound.”

But from there, the similarities mostly end. When considering the broadest impact on education over the longest period of time, music programs are far superior to football programs in return on dollars invested.

Consider music’s pluses: the capacity to be a lifelong participatory-learning activity (football, for all but a select few, ends after high school); the fact that music is a universal language (football is uniquely American); its gender inclusiveness; a far lower cost-per-student ratio; the potential it offers as an essential platform for international and interdisciplinary studies; and its effectiveness in strengthening the brain’s neural activity and development (versus the possibility, if not the likelihood, of sustaining brain trauma). Finally, the effectiveness of sports as an educational tool has been steadily diminishing as athletic programs have become more about the end result—winning—and less about the process (learning).

Given contemporary social and economic realities, many have questioned the wisdom of continuing to teach with curricular offerings and methods more suited to the industrial needs of the 20th century. Would it not also be wise to question the activities we sponsor at schools in light of current needs? Are we sacrificing in budget battles and narrowed thinking the most effective tools in our educational arsenal for teaching creativity? I believe we are. Music produces results much more in sync with a creative, information-based global economy and world community.

This is not to say that football does not have a place in our society. It does. Rather, the question is whether that place should continue to be within our education system.

In the end, the dialogue about these funding decisions must be more thorough, reasoned, honest, and data-driven. With increased expectations and decreased resources comes a smaller margin for error. We have to make every dollar count.

When dealing with the programs and activities that add so much to the human dimension of learning, we need the courage and commitment to go where logic, truth, Visit Opinion. and data take us. Despite the fact that some of the answers to our sports-versus-arts conundrum may be uncomfortable or inconvenient, educators should welcome the discussion. If we approach it honestly, the end result will be better schools, serving our children and communities more effectively. Isn’t that what we all want and what our nation needs?

John R. Gerdy is the founder of the nonprofit educational organization Music For Everyone, in Lancaster, Pa., and the author of Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment. He can be reached at JohnGerdy.com.

Kentucky State Marching Finals 2015

Willis Music would like to congratulate all the marching bands that participated in the State Marching Band competition and those whom placed.

High school marching bands from throughout the state competed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association State Marching Band Championships on Saturday in Bowling Green.

The five divisions and their final standings are:

    • 1A:
      • 1st: Beechwood
      • 2nd: Murray
      • 3rd: Williamstown
      • 4th: Hazard
    • 2A:
      • 1st: Estill County
      • 2nd: Garrard County
      • 3rd: Glasgow
      • 4th: Washington County
    • 3A:
      • 1st: Adair County
      • 2nd: Bourbon County
      • 3rd: Russell County
      • 4th: Boyle County
    • 4A:
      • 1st: Grant County
      • 2nd: Madisonville North Hopkins
      • 3rd: Anderson County
      • 4th: Hopkinsville
    • 5A:
      • 1st: Madison Central
      • 2nd: North Hardin
      • 3rd: Paul Laurence Dunbar
      • 4th: Lafayette

“Why Take Lessons?”

Last night, I found myself sitting in a crowd of young people, ready to play the piece they had prepared for the Halloween recital. Seeing young people get up there and play is a great experience. There was even a young girl who composed her own Halloween song! And even more, I noticed the pride of the parents and grandparents who were there to see their children play. So I got to thinking, how do we get more parents to see the benefit of music education? So of course, I went straight to Google. I found myself reading all sorts of articles about the benefits of music making in young people. I’d like to share with you the article that I found on The Metropolitan School of The Arts Website. They list “14 Reasons Everyone Should Take Music Lessons”. I hope you find this list as interesting as I did.

Colleen Cranley
Education Coordinator

1. INCREASE YOUR IQ
According to an article from The Telegraph online magazine, “New research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.” There is continually more evidence that musicians have organizationally and functionally different brains compared to non-musicians, especially in the areas of the brain used in processing and playing music. Some studies show that playing an instrument can increase your IQ up to 7 points.
2. INCREASE THE CAPACITY OF YOUR MEMORY
Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory. A study was done in which 22 children from age 3 to 4 years old were given either singing lessons or keyboard lessons. A control group of 15 children received no music lessons at all. Both groups participated in the same preschool activities. The results showed that preschoolers who had weekly keyboard lessons improved their spatial-temporal skills 34 percent more than the other children. Not only that, but researchers said that the effect lasted long-term.
3. INCREASE MATHEMATICAL ABILITY
Reading music requires counting notes and rhythms and can help your math skills. Also, learning music theory includes many mathematical aspects. Studies have shown that students who play instruments or study the arts are often better in math and achieve higher grades in school than students who don’t.
4. IMPROVE READING COMPREHENSION
According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Music, “Children exposed to a multi-year program of music involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.” It’s not surprising to hear results like that because music involves constant reading and comprehension. When you see black and white notes on a page, you have to recognize what the note name is and translate it to a finger/slide position. At the same time, you also have to read what rhythms the notes are arranged in and force your tongue to produce the correct pattern
5. BUILD SELF CONFIDENCE
Overcoming musical challenges that you thought you’d never quite master can give you a great sense of pride. When you first start learning how to play an instrument, it seems like just holding a note for a couple beats or hitting a high pitch is an amazing accomplishment. Many small successes will eventually breed long term, innate self-confidence.
6. REDUCE STRESS & BE HAPPY!
Listening to and playing music can promote stimulation to areas of the brain that promote increased joy and decreased stress. During the past decade, the investigation correlation between music and the brain has proven that music can modulate activity in parts of the brain that are known to be crucially involved in emotion. The potential of music to modulate activity in these structures has important implications for the use of music in the treatment chronic stress.
7. ENHANCE HAND EYE COORDINATION
The art of playing an instrument requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. By reading musical notes on a page, your brain subconsciously must convert that note into specific motor patterns while also adding breathing and rhythm to the mix.
8. LEARN PERSEVERANCE & SELF DISCIPLINE
Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort, which teaches patience and perseverance. Musicians have to work through difficult sections of music multiple times in a row before they can play it correctly. Practicing often and working on the hard parts requires perseverance. The best musicians in the world are masters of discipline.
9. INCREASE COOPERATION
Cooperation is an important aspect of being successful in life. Playing an instrument requires you to work with others to make music. In band and orchestra settings you must learn how to cooperate with the people around you. Also, in order for a group to make beautiful music, each player and section must learn how to listen to each other and play together.
10. LEARN RESPONSIBILITY
Maintenance and care are very important in keeping an instrument in working condition. Each instrument has different procedures to keep it functioning properly, but most instruments need cleaning and some form of oiling/greasing. In addition to maintenance responsibilities, there are other aspects such as remembering music events (like rehearsals and performances) and making time to practice.
11. LEARN CULTURAL HISTORY
Music reflects history and gives us insight on what it was like to live in the era and geography of its creation. Each piece of music has a unique history that is explored upon learning it. The more diverse your musical knowledge is, the more informed you are about a variety of cultures, eras and geographic influences that shape the art form as we know it today.
12. BOOST LISTENING SKILLS
Playing an instrument requires you to listen very carefully. You have to learn to hear when you’re playing a wrong note in order to correct yourself. Tuning your instrument means hearing if the pitch you’re playing is high (sharp) or low (flat). When playing in an ensemble, you have to listen for the melody and play softer if you’re the supporting part (accompaniment). Training listening skills teaches us how to be reflective and thoughtful.
13. ENHANCE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
Air is one of the key components in making music. In order to play music correctly when playing an instrument (or sing music with your voice), you’ll need to take huge breaths and learn how to expel the air properly to make the desired sound. Breathing exercises are highly recommended for musicians, and they can strengthen your respiratory system.
14. MAKE LIFELONG FRIENDS
When you become a musician or a vocalist, you become a part of a bigger community. Not only is it fun to play music that you enjoy, but it feels wonderful to join together with others to create a unified sound. Friendships and relationships are strengthened through common interests and artists typically find that their most meaningful (and longest lasting) relationships are found through those they meet through the sharing their art form.

“The Sound of Learning: 14 Reasons Everyone Should Take Music Lessons – Metropolitan School of the Arts.” Metropolitan School of the Arts. N.p., 27 July 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.

UC Blue Ash College Songwriting Contest Sponsored By Willis Music

Contest Requirements and Other Information

  • Open to college and high school students in the Greater
    Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area.
  • Any theme, subject, or style is acceptable*
    Participants may submit up to three songs, performed by the songwriter or another group.
  • Songs must be submitted in both recorded form (.mp3, etc.) and typewritten form (lyrics only). On a separate page, type your song(s) title(s), your name, address, phone number, email address, and school or university affiliation. Name the performer(s) if other than you.
  • Deadline: December 7, 2015. Winners will be announced in March and will be invited to perform their work in March as a part of the UC Blue Ash Poetry Cafe. Winning lyrics will be published in the Blue Ash Review, the college literary magazine.
  • Submit entries online at: ucblueash.edu/songwritingcontest
    Questions: rhonda.pettit@uc.edu

*Note Well:
Songs will be judged anonymously by UC Blue Ash faculty for quality of lyrics, music, and the interplay between the two. Judges are not obligated to select winners if none are forthcoming. Judges’ decisions are final. Song submission materials will not be returned. Submissions not following the contestant requirements will not be considered. We cannot accommodate large and excessively loud bands at the Poetry Café. If you submit a non-acoustic song (heavy metal, garage, indie, punk, etc.), plan on performing an acoustic version of your song. Contestant participation grants UC Blue Ash the right to publish work in the Blue Ash Review (print and online editions; all rights revert to authors) and use contestant names and work to promote Poetry Month events.

14th Annual Warehouse Sale

I recall last year talking to a customer who has marked this sale on her calendar for years to come. It’s always the weekend before Thanksgiving. She thanked me for keeping this tradition going and said this is the one sale she looks forward to each year. In a world where sales, discounts or even free items don’t mean that much anymore, it’s good to know that people appreciate this sale for what it is.

It all started 14 years ago when we were trying to find an innovative way to get rid of older scratch and dent items and discontinued products. We thought we would try having a sale at our main warehouse in Florence. My Father built this building in 1969 and it was later expanded. From here we manage all our stores and our publishing business, which is international. Over the years the sale has expanded, but the concept remains the same. We did have some difficulty early on because the industrial park we are in did not allow sales to retail customers. We had to get special permission but now after 13 years I think the other members of the industrial park look forward to the sale.

This year the merchandise for the sale includes not only pieces from our stores, but from manufacturers who recognize this sale as an opportunity to move items they have sitting around. Just last week we received 8 skids from a guitar and accessory manufacturer. We have merchandise from music stores that we bought or stores that went out of business. We have band instruments from our rental program that we have taken out of our rental pool. One particular band director from Indiana comes in each year to replenish his inventory for his students. He buys instruments with small dents or cosmetic problems and fixes them up himself.

Last year we added free hot dogs and drinks on Saturday, we’ll repeat that. Many of you have been here before so you know to park around the back of the building and come on in. I’ll be there and look forward to seeing many of you. Click here for details or call 859-283-2050.

Take a look at some of the pictures and videos from last year.

Say hello to Judy, she loves getting away from her desk for 3 days.
The deals are so good that Willis Employees and Teachers make time to find some deals.
Anna Marie loves this sale so much we have to bring her lunch to her.
Don’t miss out! Be one of these people.
Behind the scene setup.
What to expect.

New Sign on Mall Road says it all “Just Play”!

Willis Music Florence Super Store has a new look! We at Willis Music want to share with you the great benefits of music making. Take the first step and visit us in the store and experience our passion for music and helping you “Just Play”!

 

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Cincinnati Willis Music Band of the Month

Moeller/Willis Music Band of the Month

Our store has the privilege of featuring “The Stagger Lee Band” as our band of the month for October!

The Stagger Lee Band was formed April of 1981 when band founder Bobby Joe Mueller named the group after the 1958 hit song made famous by Lloyd Price. For many years they have performed, and still play for plenty of loyal fans. The Stagger Lee Band plays clubs, concerts, and all over the tri-state area. They have also been seen in recording studios making some magic here and there! They are very thankful for their ongoing success in the music business and pride themselves on consistency, hard work and professionalism.

Cammy Award’s “Best Band in Cincinnati” for two years in a row, The Stagger Lee Band continues to bring great music to the people. Now, for a little introduction.
Drum roll please…

Front man, Bobby Joe Mueller plays acoustic guitar, harmonica, and percussion. He sings that smooth soulful style of country music! Don’t be fooled though, he can also belt out a rocker when he wants. An entertainer and a guy who likes to get the crowd involved, ladies and gentleman, Mr. Bobby Joe!

KJ Summerville is a very accomplished guitar player as well as vocalist. He joined Stagger Lee in 1994 and has been a very strong force in Cincinnati’s musical community winning “Best Instrumentalist” for two years in a row according to Cammy Awards.

Steve Falearos joined the band in June of 2013. Steve’s primary instrument is bass guitar. He also owns his very own recording studio in Franklin, OH called “Babblefish Studios.” Babblefish has recorded over one thousand projects including Stagger Lee’s new release “Brotherhood.”

Pro Drummer Mike Tapogna is the man behind the kit. With over 30 years of continuous playing, studying, and recording, Mike is more than qualified for his job. He has shared arena stages with big name artists and played dives with friends. A true musician, Mike continues to do what he does best, play the drums.

Now that you have met the band, go check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, anywhere you can find them online! Come in to the store and show an associate that you “Liked” their music page on Facebook and receive discounts!

 

Click here for the rules to be the next Band Of The Month!

Want to Be Our Band of the Month?

What is band of the month?

Each month we will randomly pick who our BAND OF THE MONTH will be. We will promote your band for the entire month on our website, Facebook, & Twitter. Do you have merch? Bring it in, and we will proudly display it! Do you have a record of your music? We will play it in our store so that people hear your music! Your entire band and fans will get up to 15% off one entire purchase for that month if they “like” your band on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media sites!

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

Simply fill out the BAND OF THE MONTH submission form and hand it to a Moeller/Willis Music Rep. We’ll draw the BAND OF THE MONTH the first of every month!

Camels on the Red Carpet, WHAT?

Congratulations to the Campbell County Band of Pride who preformed in the Major League Baseball All Star Game Red Carpet Parade on Tuesday, July 14th. The parade began at 5th and Vine and ended at the Great American Ballpark.

As we all know this was a major event for the city of Cincinnati and the Tri-state area. It was great to see and hear the Fighting Camels presented worldwide. A special thank you to all the students as well as Mr. Nick Little, Director of Bands at Campbell County High School and Mr. Stephen Dietsch, Director of Bands at Campbell County Middle School for representing our great city.

Good Partners and Good Music – Bluegrass

I just completed my third year of running sound at the Appalachian Festival. The Festival is a three-day event held at Cincinnati’s Coney Island. I’ve had the opportunity to mix sound for some great bluegrass and Appalachian concerts in the last three years. Reflecting back after a month or so, I began wondering: why Cincinnati and bluegrass music? I know bluegrass has a strong presence in the area. I also wondered, what is the purpose of the Appalachian Festival? With this in mind I started to do some investigation….

First, let me tell you about this year’s Appalachian Festival. Willis Music is proud to sponsor it for the 4th straight year, and along with Ric Hopkins from The Sound Workshop, I have run sound for the last 3 years. There are two main stages of the festival, where we use state of the art equipment like QSC K Series speakers and Presonus mixers. We can set delays and balance the sound so it is pleasing to listen to, while being able to hear the clarity needed for bluegrass music.

The Appalachian Festival is always on Mother’s Day Weekend and runs for three days. Music goes from 10 in the morning until 9 at night (groups play a 1-hour show with 15-minute breaks for setup). As you can see, there is a ton of music for people to enjoy. Some of the groups that played this year are: Rabbit Hash String Band, Sternwheelers, Pops & Patriots (Big Band Swing), Missy Werner, Appalachian Grass, P’s in a Pod, Good’le Boys, Retread Bluegrass Band, Wayfarers, NightFlyer, Dry Mill Road, Black Water, Steve Bonafel, Haddix Family Gospel, Evan Lanier & Bluegrass Express, Ma Crow & The Lady Slippers, and Oberst & Dowel. The last show on Sunday is always a real treat – the Bluegrass All Stars play as the house band, and all the other groups come back in a festival review concert.

Besides music, there is a living history section with Indians and Mountain people that teach on the old ways. There are lots of craft booths to pick up the perfect Mother’s Day present. Story tellers tell great stories with an Appalachian flair. And let’s not forget about some amazing food.

One story teller that is a treat to listen to (and you will walk away scratching your head) is Uncle Mike Carr. He told me a story that went like this:
A man was sitting at a picnic table eating his lunch. Sitting on the ground was a dog. A little boy walked up and ask “Mister is your dog friendly?” and the man replied, “Yes my dog is very friendly!”. The little boy reached his hand out to pet the dog and the dog growled and snapped at the boy almost biting him. As the little boy jerked his hand back he spouted, “Mister, I thought your dog was friendly!”. The man replied, “ He is friendly, but that ain’t my dog!”.

So what is the Appalachian Festival all about? It is about supporting the people from Appalachia. They raise money from the festival that then gets returned in the form of grants to help schools, community centers and artist studios throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. So far, the Festival has raised $150,000 for the Appalachian Community Development Association (ACDA), which administers these grants. Willis Music is grateful to be a part of keeping the Appalachian culture healthy.

Again, this is a great cause to keep history alive. If you are not usually a bluegrass listener, give it a try!  I have found a ton of bluegrass music that I thoroughly enjoy and some that are even inspiring. Here are a couple of local artists with inspiring songs:
One-Iota with Steve Bonafel – “Last Parade from Anthem” from Of A Family Tree
The Moron Brothers – “Story Of A Song” from More On The Morons album

Another great local artist that I have became very fond of is The Missy Werner Band. I have mixed sound for them at least 8 times, own 3 of their albums, and just enjoy the sound of Missy’s voice. If you are at a show that I am mixing, you will hear me use one of her albums during set-up.

Visit the Appalachian Festival website and help keep bluegrass music alive. Without bluegrass, where would music be today? As Henry Winkler says in the movie Here Comes The Boom, “Without music, life would be a mistake!”

Keep Playing,
Bill Phipps

I asked the president of the ACDA to tell us a little more about the Appalachian Festival, and here is what he wrote:

ACDA & Willis Music

The Appalachian Community Development Association formed a partnership with Willis Music to enhance the music at the Appalachian Festival on Mother’s Day weekend each year at Old Coney Island. By providing excellent PA equipment for the music and Storytelling venues, the patrons have come to expect the great value added sound provided by Willis Music.

The ACDA, a 501-3c was formed over 46 years ago by the Junior League of Cincinnati for the purpose of helping Appalachians and their descendants adjust to the urban life, far from the hills of Appalachia. It is hard to believe that after all these years the need for this help is still needed in urban as well as rural communities both near and far from Cincinnati. Recently the board of ACDA, an all volunteer staff, narrowed the focus to accommodate other 501-3c groups who provide food or education directly to those in our Appalachian region who desperately need help.

Our Festival itself works very hard to provide a learning environment through entertaining events, displays, music, storytelling, crafts, demonstrations and living history. The story of Appalachia and its legacy in our region must be told and remembered. The Festival is the sole income provider for the ACDA. Without the participation from our friends such as Willis Music, Kroger, Messer Construction, Midwest Polaris, Burger Farm and Garden, and Edudoc, our funds would be very small indeed.

Please know that patronizing Willis Music assures this valuable participation will go on for years to come. We thank the management and staff at Willis Music for their time and effort at helping others in our Appalachian Community.

Thank you again,
Ron Simmons
President, ACDA

Visit the Appalachian Festival website to sign up for a grant, and learn more about the festival itself.

Willis Goes to Washington

From the second my plane touched down at Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington, DC, it was a whirlwind of activity. The National Retail Federation sponsored the trip and I was honored to be one of 51 Retailers from around the country to receive the distinction of America’s Retail Champions 2015. My focus was with a group from Kentucky who I worked with on the Retail Across America Project.

I arrived on Monday evening, July 27th, and Tuesday morning we began a day of education. We began with a talk presented by Ohio Representative Steve Chabot. I have met with the Congressman in the past and have always found him to be receptive to small business concerns. Throughout the day we learned some interesting facts such as:

  • Retailers directly provide 29 million American jobs.
  • Retail generates 2.59 Trillion in total GDP. 1/6 of the US total.
  • 98.6% of Retailers in the US employ fewer than 50 people.
  • 95% of all Retailers operate 1 location.
  • Retail includes at least 20% of the jobs in each state.
    1. Kentucky is 23%
    2. Ohio is 24%

After all the education, we headed to dinner at the Newseum which is a museum dedicated to news and headlines over the years. When you visit Washington, DC, I would recommend a trip to the Newseum.  Just be aware that it’s one of the few attractions that require payment for admission.

Wednesday was the reason we were all there and we anxiously approached the Hill with visits to a variety of offices. We spoke about concerns we have as retailers and spoke directly to our representatives. Since I was there with a group of Kentucky retailers we focused on the southern side of the river. I appreciated the active participation each member of Congress and their openness in sharing. I will follow up with each of them and continue the dialogue about our industry.

Although I have done similar trips with NAMM over the past 10 years, this was my first time with the National Retail Federation. The NRF had a tremendous program and I want to thank them for their outstanding hospitality.

Now for the fun part – when your state holds the office of majority leader and you have a meeting with him you are escorted into the Capitol and into some pretty famous offices. While we were waiting, the receptionist told me that we were in the very room where Thomas Jefferson was sworn in. She also added that the floor was new because of the fire set by the British in 1814. I have to admit just sitting there looking around and realizing someone like Thomas Jefferson stood there and was sworn in as our 3rd President was pretty amazing.

Regardless of your political feelings or party affiliations, I encourage you to visit our nation’s capital if you have a chance and take a walk back in time.

Kevin Cranley

Ryman Auditorium – Feel the Power

Earlier this month, I traveled to Nashville for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Summer Conference. While there, I had the awesome opportunity to visit the Ryman Auditorium. The Ryman Auditorium is the original Grand Ole Opry. What an experience of great music and history.

History

The Ryman Auditorium is located right in the middle of Nashville, where you can get great barbeque and great music in every 20 steps or so. If you have never been to the Ryman, it is an experience. You might never guess that this building is an amazing concert hall, because it is a repurposed church built in 1892 as The Union Gospel Tabernacle. It seats 6000 after the Confederate Gallery balcony was completed in 1897 for the Confederate Veterans Association. Every seat in the Ryman is still an original pew installed by The Indiana Church Finishing Company. So if you are going to a concert, you may want to take something soft to sit on or purchase a Ryman seat cushion on your way in.

The Ryman has had many speakers, such as Teddy Rossevelt, Helen Keller, and Charlie Chapman. Harry Houdini and Will Rogers have also performed at the Ryman. The Grand Ole Opry officially moved to the Ryman in 1943.

My Experience

The concert I attended was Hot Rize and the Gibson Brothers. I have to say after walking in I was like a child in a daze on Christmas morning, because I knew I was going to see and feel something special. It was almost like sensory overload. The Gibson Brothers performed first and when the sound came on it was like, WOW. The sound was so smooth and clear. I could here every note of every instrument as clear as sitting in my living room. I know The Gibson Brothers are a great traditional Bluegrass band but there is something magical about the sound in the Ryman. It’s almost like it has a soul of its own.

During intermission I got up and walked around and found my way up to the stage and looked around at the sound equipment (Kind of geeky that way) and when I turned around and looked back at the pews I couldn’t imagine what the artist emotions were like because of how I felt as an audience member.

The other great thing about the Ryman is everyone in the audience is happy and just as overwhelmed as you are. I met an awesome man from Canada that wore an American Flag bandanna on his belt loop. This was his second time to the Ryman this year. He had to come back and bring his son because of the first experience he had with his wife. If that doesn’t explain the magic, what does?

Hot Rize was the second band that played. They also had a great sound and are great musicians. They are not a traditional Bluegrass Band, but nonetheless unbelievable and a joy to listen to and watch.

What I noticed from both bands was they were so honored to play in the same place their role models had played. They were just as taken in by the nostalgia as I was, which drew me in to be part of the show rather than just an audience member watching a show. I think the music could have been less than amazing and I still would have had an unbelievable time.

If you have a chance to go to Nashville, make The Ryman Auditorium a must stop. Take in a little music history and feel the power. Words of telling someone can not explain the feeling.

Keep Playing,
Bill

Lessons you don’t pay for…count me in!

Saturday, May 23rd was Free Lesson Day at Willis Music. All of our stores offered a free guitar/keyboard lesson to anyone interested! I decided to take advantage of this! I have never played a musical instrument. You are probably thinking: “hold on…a music company hired someone who doesn’t play an instrument of any kind?” Yes they sure did! I mean I can’t even sing (believe me you don’t want to hear me try!). But, I have wanted to learn because it is never too late to learn. I always wanted to play an instrument, but I have never had the courage to learn. To me, it just seemed too difficult. When we decided we were doing Free Lesson Day, I thought to myself, “why not take a Ukulele lesson…start off small!” So I am writing a blog about taking my very first lesson!

I walked into the Willis Music-Eastgate store with my husband and incredibly cute niece in tow! My husband played as a child and my niece’s mom is a very talented flute player so of course it is just in their blood! (Lucky them). My family… well let’s just say we don’t have any Mozart’s in the fam! So I was totally new at this. I told Denise Burkhardt ,the manager, I wanted to take a Ukulele (aka “Uke”) lesson. She asked Mike Bachelier to give me a lesson! By the way, Mike is a great teacher! He grabbed a uke and a chord book and sat down to teach me. Now, he opened the book to the first set of chords he was going to teach me and it might as well have been Latin! No worries though, Mike showed me what strings and frets matched with those in the book and what fingers I was supposed to use on each. Here are a few pictures and a video of him showing me.

Pretty soon he handed the Uke over to me so I could try on my own. I got the first chord ,an A chord, down with no problems! Then I thought I was super cool so I was going to try the more difficult E chord… four fingers… psh I got this! Or so I thought! Darn small hands! I know it is great to have small hands to play a Uke, but apparently I have infant hands! My poor fingers couldn’t reach all of the strings! Mike made sure I had my fingers properly placed and assured me with time you get better… let’s hope so. Here is Mike placing my fingers (and stretching them as far as they could go) in the right places. Before long I had a few chords down. Here I am strumming a little!

It doesn’t sound like much, but hey, it was my first time actually playing real chords instead of me just pretending to play. I am pretty excited to buy my first Ukulele and learn more. I am proof that you are never too old to pick an instrument up and take lessons.
Here are a few pictures from others joining in on the fun! This is Leah Decatur getting a guitar lesson and my adorable niece Izzy starting off young! (Hey you are never to young to start right?)

Laura Barrowman

Bedell Guitars, a Seed-to-Song Journey

I have questions about your wood.  No more blood wood campaign.

Bedell Guitars takes action.  No more blood wood campaign.

THE BEDELL TONEWOOD CERTIFICATION PROJECT PRINCIPLES
Bedell tonewood is legally acquired, in accordance with all domestic and international regulations, including CITES and Lacey Act, and has verified supporting documentation. Bedell tonewood is ethically sourced from one of the following scenarios:

  1. Individual trees salvaged from the forest as dead/fallen or at the end of their lifecycle.
  2. Trees individually harvested in a manner that leaves the rest of the forest and ecological system as undisturbed as possible.
  3. Tonewood from a collection of “treasured tonewood,” fully compliant with all international regulations, and harvested either before the CITES convention of 1992 or before the wood species was listed under CITES.

BEDELL GUITARS WILL NEVER KNOWINGLY USE ANY TONEWOOD FROM CLEAR-CUT FORESTS.

Our wood partners share our commitment to preserving the forests and certify that the tonewood supplied conforms to the Bedell Tonewood Certification Project principles.  The Bedell wood management team verifies these claims and makes periodic site visits to confirm compliance. Additionally, the Bedell Wood Library code system tracks chain-of-custody and legal documentation for every piece of wood in our library.

Many of you share this respect and reverence for the connection between the woods of our forest, and our music making.  Each Bedell guitar has a story to share, each set of tonewoods in the Bedell Seed to Song Journals tells a fantastic journey of every guitar made.  Each Bedell guitar is ethically hand crafted in Bend, Oregon.  And with tonewoods consistent with the principles fo the Bedell Tonewood Certification Project.

Make an appointment today to check out our inventory of Bedell Guitars.

Robert Falcon  513-252-0445

Laura and Lindsay Martin Clinic

A girl, her shoes, and a lot of Martin guitars!

Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending the Martin guitar clinic at our Florence location. At first, I wasn’t too sure about attending. You see, I am not a guitarist. In fact, when I pick up a guitar I just make a lot of crazy sounds…sadly, nothing that sounds good. So, now I find myself attending a clinic about guitars…and really NICE guitars at that. Maybe you are thinking: “okay why did you go?” Well, I am the face behind our social media sites! And I was going to cover the event. Another thing making me a little skeptical: I sit behind the computer all day talking to the world via social media. Now I am going to have to talk to people at this event!

Even with my nerves all worked up and my lack of knowledge of guitars, I went. I got there early to take pictures of the set up and empty auditorium to hype the event up on twitter. Now the cool thing about this clinic was that Martin had their artist Lindsay Ell attending. If you don’t know who she is then that is your loss because she is a fantastic person and artist! So…go check her out!
This is Lindsay.

I was mostly nervous about meeting her! How do you talk to someone when you don’t know the first thing about guitars and when you sing it sounds like a bunch of dogs howling? Lindsay got there early as well, so I worked up the nerve to go introduce myself. And she was a completely normal girl! How about that?! First thing she did was gave me a big hug! How did our conversation start off? Well, with our shared obsession of Snapchat and Twitter, of course! We immediately went to all of the super awesome Martin guitars and took a Snapchat and a “selfie.” Okay let’s be real: we are girls and our hair had to be just perfect so we took a few “selfies!” In today’s world that makes us new BFF’s! Here is the selfie we finally settled on!

She is originally from Canada, but now lives in Nashville, and this girl loves Chipotle. They made a stop at Chipotle before the clinic and of course she had to add a few snaps to her Snapchat story. Lindsay’s guitar of choice that night was a Martin OM-28. She also has a Martin OMJM at home, but her favorite guitar this year was this little beauty! It was one of the guitars on display and it also seemed to be a crowd favorite as they were eagerly waiting their turn to try it out.

I couldn’t help thinking to myself why were you so nervous because she is so easy to carry on a conversation with? Of course I was in my own head. Anyway, we sat down and she let me ask her a couple of questions. I bet you want to know what they were, don’t you?
Okay, I will tell you!

Me: What sparked your interest in music?
Lindsay: When I was six my mom put me and my brother in classical piano. When I turned 8 I thought it was a lot cooler to play Shania Twain on my guitar and I never looked back. My dad played, so I went to bluegrass camps with him. That is what interested me in playing lead guitar. There just aren’t enough lead female guitarists in the world! When I was 10, I started writing and playing shows. I was the first one crazy enough in my family to play guitar for a living!
(What girl in the 90’s didn’t love Shania Twain? I am guilty of shamelessly belting our her lyrics at the top of my lungs).

Me: Do you have any pre performance rituals?
Lindsay: Other than the normal ones like warming up, me and the band pick a word of the day. Before we head on stage we get in a circle put our hands in a say the word really loud. Like ‘SNICKERDOODLE!’ The people in the front row can hear so they are all probably like “what is going on?”

Me: What is your favorite place to perform?
Lindsay: Can I give you a two part answer?
Me: Sure!
Lindsay: Well, my first place is performing solo acoustic at the original Ryman in Nashville. There is a certain magic performing there that most rooms can’t touch. My second favorite is at Stagecoach. That is the biggest music festival I have ever seen! It is so big when you look out at the crowd you can’t even see the edge of the crowd! That many country music fans in one spot is contagious.

Me: I saw on your Twitter page you like Shoes and guitar pedals..
Lindsay: Yes I do!
Me: Do you have a favorite pair of performing shoes?
Lindsay: (Smiling, she says:) “It changes a lot, but right now it’s these running shoe heels. I feel like I can still be a girl, but also a runner and they look like moon shoes on stage!” Shoes and guitar pedals are my weakness. I can always find a way to buy shoes and pedals.

After that, she had to go warm up…but not before she handed me her CD. I also found some guitar picks she dropped before returning them I took this “artsy” photo!

As Lindsay was doing her warm up rituals, the crowd started to file in and test out the Martins on display. They were asking the Martin Rep., Jay Meyer, all kinds of questions about them! You could tell how excited everyone was to try out all of these beautiful guitars. I did not touch them I just looked no one wanted to hear the mess I would make! I left it to the guys who knew what they were doing! It took a minute for the clinic to get started because everyone was so excited about testing out the guitars.

Then, Lindsay took the stage and Jay started the clinic. It was incredibly informative and interesting. If you missed this event, you really missed out on some good stuff! That’s okay…I will fill you in on the highlights!

What did we learn?Well, a lot. Jay took us on a virtual tour of Martin’s history. Where they started, how they ended up in Nazareth, PA, and how the guitars are made. One of my favorite things I learned-and something that makes me want to tell everyone to buy a Martin-is how Eco-friendly they are! They find a way to use every single piece of material! Nothing is wasted by just throwing it away! Take this coaster for instance. This is made from the wood used to make the sound holes on the guitars! And the facility…wow! Jay also took us on a virtual tour of the facility where their guitars are hand-crafted with the utmost care. They do tours of their facility and they highly recommend you add this to your bucket list! I know I am adding it to mine. One attendee Rachel Schrand said, “It was a lot of fun! I learned a lot about guitars that I didn’t know before and I got to meet a very sweet and amazing singer, Lindsay Ell.” Speaking of Lindsay Ell she performed 3 songs in between Jay’s presentation. She sounds amazing! She sang a few of her own songs including one she wrote for a dear friend of hers who has muscular dystrophy and went through a tough time. The girl really is a great person. You walk away thinking, “man I wish I was her best friend.” She is so humble I was blown away watching her interact with the fans! She was down on the floor talking to the kids and taking pictures with everyone and didn’t even think twice about it!

There is not a bad thing anyone could find to say about her. If you didn’t get to check out this clinic and hear her I took a few videos for your viewing pleasure.


    Here are some other cool facts I learned:

  • Martin uses wood from all over the world to build their guitars
  • They spend a lot of time experimenting with different types of wood. They use 100 different species on their custom guitars and more than 300 on their in-house guitars.
  • The D18 and D28 got their names because they costs $18 and $28 when first built.
  • In 1931 Martin came out with it’s first Dreadnought..it was a 12 fret.
  • In 1937 They came out with the 14 fret Dreadnought.
  • Before this Martin built only small body guitars.
  • The parlor guitar got its name because they were originally built for women to play for the men in the parlor…(we know ladies…but it’s okay, times have changed!)
  • They use hide glue rather than tight bond because it resonates more even though it’s more difficult to build with.


These are just some of the fascinating things taught at this wonderful clinic. You can check out these videos to here a little of Jay Meyer’s presentation!

    Things I am taking away from this clinic:

  • I need to stop being such a chicken!
  • Lindsay Ell is an incredible artist.
  • Martin guitars are awesome and they are a great company!
  • Next time we have a clinic, come by and check it out…you never know what you will learn and who you will meet. Follow us on twitter @WillisMusicCo for all of the updates!

    Laura Barrowman

Have You Heard About Free Lesson Day?

Have you heard about Free Lesson Day?

We do many exciting things here at Willis Music- but I personally am really excited about this. We have decided that the best way for you or your child to decide if lessons are right for you- is to try them out- for free! So we invite you to come to any of our stores from 1:00-3:00 on May 23rd.

There we will have teachers ready to give you a short lesson to decide if private instruction is right for you. We will be focusing on piano and guitar. It is going to be a really fun day- introducing people to music is what we are here for. It will be a great way to meet some of our fantastic teachers. We can’t wait to see you there. Contact the store nearest you for more information.

Here is a short video telling you all about Free Lesson Day!

The History of the Willis Music Company

Beginning in 1899 through today, Willis Music’s focus has always been on music education. From their internationally known educational piano catalog to one of the top retail music chains in America this focus on education has always remained. Here’s how it began…

On April 1, 1899, Charles H. Willis, a veteran of the sheet music industry, founded a small business at 41 East 4th Street in downtown Cincinnati. For the next 20 years Mr. Willis and his son William grew the business through hard work and a keen focus on the needs of music educators. During that time the company acquired several music publishers such as The John Church Company and George B. Jennings and Company. In 1919, Gustave Schirmer bought the Willis Music Company, making it a branch of G. Schirmer of Boston, Massachusetts.

In 1923 John J. Cranley, a fiery, redheaded Irishman from the Boston Music Company, became general manager of the Willis subsidiary. John began as a stockboy at Boston Music and now was leading Willis Music with his hard work and love for the music business. He turned this small organization into a major corporation in very quick order. Little by little, he acquired more than 50% ownership in the company through stock options and then purchased all the remaining stock. John continued running Boston Music, Schirmer Music and Willis Music. Under his leadership, Willis Music became “The Publisher” for teaching methods and solo pieces. The John Thompson method, “Modern Course for the Piano” was added to the catalog in 1936 and quickly became, and still is today, the most widely used piano method in the world, published in 17 languages. He then added names like Edna Mae Burnam and her prolific “Dozen a Day” series as well as William Gillock.

John’s son, Edward, became president of the Willis Music Company in 1965. Like his father he grew up in the business at Boston Music. After serving in the Navy during WWII and Korea he moved his Family to Cincinnati to join Willis in 1955. He worked all departments, sharing his Dad’s enthusiasm while continuing the success and growth of the organization. In 1969 the Company’s headquarters and publishing operation moved to Florence, Kentucky.

After graduating from Xavier University in 1980, Kevin Cranley, Ed’s son, joined the company full time. In 1990, Kevin succeeded his father as President and continues in that role today. Kevin also served as the Chairman of NAMM, the industry’s International Trade Association from 2011-2013.

In the past 10 years Willis has gone through tremendous positive change. In 2005 Willis partnered with the Hal Leonard Corporation who now handles product development, production and distribution for the Willis catalog in the Americas and beyond. Hal Leonard provides an unmatched stable of popular songs and talent that have enhanced the iconic Willis Piano Methods.


In 2012 Willis became the exclusive representative for Steinway and Sons Pianos in the Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton markets. Willis services university music departments, local symphonies and music enthusiasts with the world’s finest pianos.

With the 2013 acquisition of Moeller Music, Willis strengthened its commitment and dedication to school music programs in all markets. At the same time Willis began representing the renowned Yamaha Band and Orchestra line of instruments.

Today Willis Music stores provide everything musicians of all levels need and desire. With performance spaces in several stores Willis is frequently the venue for beginners, rising stars and Steinway Artists.

Cick here to read what else happened the day of our inception!

Kevin Cranley

An Insider’s Account of This Year’s NAMM Show

winter namm 2015I just attended my 35th January NAMM show. Yes, my first one was at 21 years old. For those of you who are unaware of NAMM, it’s the trade association of the $17 billion dollar music products industry. NAMM began in 1901 making it 2 years younger than Willis Music.

Our yearly pilgrimage to NAMM is always a welcome retreat from our cold winters. We go to sunny Anaheim and this year the weather was fantastic. I travel with 3 buyers from Willis (Paul, Bill and Mike) and my wife Debbi. Our buyers spend most of their time visiting vendors like Yamaha, Fender, Steinway, Hal Leonard and hundreds more; placing orders and learning about new products. My time at NAMM is involved with meetings with some of our larger vendors along with meetings with each of our foreign sub-publishers. As many of you know Willis owns a catalog of educational piano music with names like John Thompson, Edna Mae Burnam and William Gillock. Those publications and more are in great demand in other countries so I use the NAMM show to meet with our partners representing the countries of Japan, China, England, Australia, South Africa and other parts of Europe. In some cases working with translators which I always find interesting. Our John Thompson Piano Course is now printed in 17 languages.

That’s a bit about our main jobs at the show but there is much more. For me, the show is a reunion of some of my best friends. I was fortunate to be asked to serve on the executive committee of NAMM for 8 years which ended in 2013. My final 2 years I was the Chairman of NAMM and traveled around the world meeting so many great people. I love reconnecting with all of them each year at the NAMM show. In a later edition I’ll write about some of our most memorable experiences during that time. For me, this year’s highlight was the annual Yamaha concert. They hold a concert every other year or so in DisneyLand at the Hyperion Theater. The artists are unbelievable. This year’s highlight for Debbi and me was Jamie Cullum. If you don’t know Jamie, do yourself a favor and check him out. Also performing were The Piano Guys, James Blunt, Jonathan Butler, Bob James, Colbie Caillat, Nathan East and others. The MC was Sinbad and he was a riot. The show was 3 1/2 hours long and was amazing. Jonathan Butler was the surprise for us; such an amazing voice. And Colbie Caillat has such a clear distinctive voice, she was really good too.

One last thing, check out this video of The Piano Guys at a retirement home. Watch the change in the residents as the Piano Guys perform, it’s amazing. The benefits of music in action.

Paul (one of the Willis buyers) attended a concert put on by Vandoren called VandoJam. Several Grammy winning Jazz artists really killed it. It featured Paquito D’Rivera, Eric Marienthal, and Jerry Vivino, with special guests Felix Peikli and Farnell Newton. That is one of the most exciting things about the show. Artists are everywhere and each company tries to provide the best performances you will ever hear. You can be walking the halls and see Jason Mraz, John Mayer or even Stevie Wonder. I was fortunate enough to meet Stevie last year. I remember one year when Stevie Wonder just started playing in the Yamaha booth; not planned… just spontaneous artistry at it’s best.

Make today a musical day.

Kevin Cranley

It’s All About That Band!

It is that time of year. School is in full swing, and school band is something that your child is going to stick with. We have always found that private lessons are the best way for your child to succeed in band class- some band directors even require that all students take private lessons outside of school. Here at Willis Music, we are always on the look out for the best musician to help your child grow. We are always expanding, especially when it comes to band. Here are just a few of our many new band teachers. To find out more about lessons for you or your child, click on the location nearest you, or on one of these great teachers below!

Willis Music Lexington

Willis Music Florence

Willis Music Eastgate

Willis Music Kenwood

Moeller/Willis Music West Chester 


 

Armond Luckey- West Chester Location

I started playing trumpet when I was 12 so I’ve been playing for about 16 years. I attended Miami University on a full ride scholarship. While there I had the opportunity to connect and play with several musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty, Wayne Bergeron and Jon Faddis. While at Miami I was the lead player for the Miami Jazz Ensemble as well as the jazz trumpet ensemble called the Lickitysplits. I was also a part of the Miami Wind Ensemble, Miami Marching Band, and Miami Orchestra. If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Click here to register with Armond


 

Chase Clark- Lexington Location

As an educator, Chase has taught at various schools and music camps throughout Kentucky and Tennessee. Teaching with his first instrument, the trombone, Chase has appeared as a guest instructor at prestigious music programs such as Lafayette High School, Beaumont Middle School, Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, and John Hardin High School. Chase also has taught at the Annie Moses Band’s Fine Arts Summer Academy in Nashville, TN since 2010. This fine arts camp trains 200-250 students in which Chase is the primary trombone and low brass instructor, jazz big band section instructor, and a member of the faculty performing groups. As well as teaching across Kentucky and Tennessee, Chase maintains a successful trombone studio of emerging talent in the Lexington, Kentucky area. As a performer, Chase has appeared with an extensive variety of musical groups such as the University of Kentucky’s Opera Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, the Annie Moses Band, Wycliffe Gordon, and Grammy-award winning artist Bob Mintzer. Chase also recorded with Bob Mintzer on the album “Go” which released in 2011. Chase also joined with the Annie Moses Band to perform in Carnegie Hall in 2012 and the Grand Ole Opry House in 2013. He currently can be heard as lead trombone/soloist with local artists in the Lexington area such as the jazz big band the MetroGnomes, the oldies rock group Big City Groove, and the Lexington Community Orchestra.

Click here to register with Chase


 

Stacey Krimmer- Eastgate Mall location

STACEY KRIMMER received both her Bachelor of Music degree in education and her Master of Music degree in flute performance from the University of Wyoming. In addition to running a private flute studio since 1986, Stacey was the instructor for the flute program at Colorado Academy in Denver. She also taught Suzuki flute, penny whistle, and recorder at Colorado Academy, and was an instructor of flute ensembles at the Suzuki Association of Colorado’s Winter Workshop. She also served as board president of the Colorado Flute Association. Stacey’s performance work includes Wind Images Woodwind Quintet, the ballet orchestra to premiere “Winter Moons,” the Denver Opera Company Orchestra, the Colorado Wind Ensemble, the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Blue Ash Symphony. She also worked and performed with School House Symphony, a small ensemble dedicated to providing in-school performances by combining teaching with performing.

Click here to register with Stacey


 

 

Ashley Martin- West Chester Location

A native of Mason, OH, Ashley Martin holds degrees in music education and oboe performance from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. At Ohio State, she studied oboe with Professors Robert and Bailey Sorton, and had the opportunity to work with Joe Robsinson, the retired principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic. Ashley has performed on both oboe and English horn in numerous ensembles, including the Ohio Capital Winds, Columbus Childrens’ Theatre, and the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra. She currently performs with the Southwestern Ohio Symphonic Band, and can be heard in a Naxos Label recording performing with the Ohio State University Wind Symphony. As an educator, Ms. Martin specializes in concert band instruction in addition to oboe. She spent two years teaching 5th through 12th grade band for Crestwood Local Schools in northeast Ohio, and currently teaches beginning band at VanGorden Elementary School in the Lakota school district. Ms. Martin has been teaching oboe privately in the Cincinnati, Akron, and Columbus metro areas for over seven years. She is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Ohio Music Educators Association, Women Band Directors International, and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Click here to register with Ashley


 

Does That Guitar Need a Little “More?”

Got the amp you want, got the guitar you want, but it’s still missing that certain sound? Try adding some effects pedals! We stock all kinds of different brands, but our favorite is the Rotosound. They are hand wired in Great Britain and are awesome looking and sounding. Come on in and check these out!

RFB1 – 1960’s Fuzz Reissue
A faithful reproduction of our original 1960’s unit using the same circuit configuration as the original design.
Combined with modern resistors, capacitors and original germanium diodes.
The new pedal combines yesterday’s mojo and tone flavour with the reliability and stability of today’s technology.
The original prototype pedals were only ever available in limited numbers and never released for general sales.
Nonetheless these pedals were found all over the place – there is even a picture of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page playing one.
This is the only original Rotosound fuzz pedal of the era and should not be confused with the lesser cheaper copies currently available.
New circuitry designed by Dr. Barry R. Pyatt (of BBC & Rediffusion history)
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

RWB1 – THE WOBBLER TREMOLO
Vintage optical attenuator
High headroom
Smooth wide range control of rate and depth
Unique control of silicon and germanium signal path
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect rate speed
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

RKH1 – THE KING HENRY PHASER
High headroom
Smooth wide range control of rate and depth
PEAK is a regeneration control for a wider range of phasing effects
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect rate speed
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

LV1 – THE LEVELLER EQ
High headroom
Smooth wide range control of low, mid and high EQ frequencies
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s and 70’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Silicon and germanium signal paths
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect on
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram a.k.a. “The Father of British EQ” of VOX & TRIDENT fame
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

RAM1 – THE AFTERMATH DELAY
High headroom
Smooth wide range control of rate, feedback and depth
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Traditional analogue Bucket-Brigade delay
Audio dynamics controller providing noise reduction
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect on
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

RPU1 – THE PUSHER COMPRESSOR
High headroom
Smooth wide range control of ratio, compression on one control and expansion on another
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Audio dynamics controller providing noise reduction
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect on
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

RTC1 – THE CRUSADER CHORUS
FEATURES INCLUDE
High headroom
Smooth wide range control of rate and depth
Chorus effect can be mixed from min to max with LEVEL control
Authentic components and hand wired assembly methods
Real authentic 60’s design techniques using today’s technological approach
Audio dynamics controller providing noise reduction
Super low power LED indicating unit powered on and effect rate speed
Input socket for power supply connection (9 volt to 18 volt internally regulated)
Designed by John Oram of VOX & TRIDENT history
Hand built at the Rotosound factory, Sevenoaks, Kent, England

Carol of the Ukes

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

From our Willis Music Family here in Florence to yours, we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!

Here’s Your Present!

In honor of Christmas, here is an original arrangement of the classic “Carol of the Bells” created by all of us here at the store.  Enjoy!!

 

View Our Stores’ Inventory Online!

See What We Have In Our Stores From Anywhere

We should qualify our above statement by adding… “Anywhere ‘with internet access,’ YOU can see what we have in our store locations!”

How?

When you are searching through our site, you will notice text that says “Available for In-Store Pickup” directly under the price of products on the category pages. See the example just below.

Faber Piano Adventures books available in storesFaber Piano Adventures books available in stores

If you see that text in red you can click on that link, choose the location that is closest to you, fill out the form fields completely and have it waiting for you when you go to the store.

Also, if you are looking at a single product, look for the red text located just below the “Add to cart” button. See the example below.

Snark Tuners available in-store and onlineWe have Snark Tuners in-stock at our stores

Just like above, if you see that text in red you can click on that link, choose the location that is closest to you, fill out the form fields completely and have it waiting for you when you go to the store.

WAIT!!!

“What if the ‘Available for In-Store Pickup’ option isn’t shown?” That means that we probably have it at our warehouse. Add it to your cart, choose your favorite shipping option and we will ship it to your home (or your preferred shipping address). It’s just that easy.

Click HERE to start your shopping experience!

Follow us on Twitter for exclusive offers, promos, pictures and just all-around information!


 

Tips On Getting The Best Deals At Our Warehouse Sale

The Warehouse Sale Survival Guide

We are already deep in to the Holiday season. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas is rapidly approaching. Your weekends of “free time” are running out. Some questions running through your head might be: “Did the kids study for their tests next week?”, “When do the in-laws come in to town again?”, “Did you order the turkey?”, “Why are these clothes still wet?”, or “Where’s my phone?!” We can’t answer all of those questions, but we can make it just a little easier when you come to the sale this weekend.

November 20 – 22, 2015

We know your life is hectic right now, so here is a list of tips you need to know before coming to our sale:

1. Get here EARLY…
The warehouse sale is a “first come, first served” event. We typically have a line about an hour or so before we open to the public. Don’t wait until Sunday, you might lose out…
2. Purchase Sheet Music by the Pound!
That’s right! All of the sheet music for sale is sold by the pound! There will be a scale for you to weigh and tally all of the music before you get to the register. We will also have boxes and will assist in taking your purchases to your vehicle.
3. Ask questions…
There is so much product here, it is hard to comprehend. Ask anyone with a name tag and they should be able to help you find what you are looking for.
4. The prices marked are the lowest they will be… ever.
Come ready to “pull the trigger.” There is nowhere else for the prices to go except up.
5. Get here early…
I know we already mentioned this, but it is so important we needed to say it twice. The best deals are the ones that go first…

Click HERE for more information about the Warehouse Sale.

Also, Follow us on Twitter for updated pictures, more information and future exclusive deals! For this event, use or search for #willismusic and #WarehouseSale


Annual Warehouse Sale 2014

It’s Back… And Better Than Ever!

Do your internet price research; check on eBay, check on Craigslist… You Won’t Find Any Better Pricing Than These Three Days! We will even have better deals than Amazon!

Your “Dream” Instrument Could Be Here

Think about the last time you were infatuated by an instrument you saw online. You thought… “this is perfect.” You could picture yourself playing it right at that moment. You could even faintly smell that subtle “new instrument case” aroma of vinyl and wood as you imagined holding the facilitator of your musical dreams. Then your eyes catch the price… reality sets in and you immediately feel your shoulders get heavy. You think about your budget and now the “dream” instrument slowly slips away to unattainable…

WAIT!

You’re a smart person! You realize… “maybe I can find this instrument USED?!” Now begins the frantic clicking on all of the major websites that show up in your Google search. Then the light bulb goes off. The moment of clarity presents itself: A Warehouse Sale! An event of massive proportions that has used gear, scratch and dent, unclaimed repairs, old stock and just about every other form of instrument you can imagine. This is your chance to find “the” instrument that has “your” sound at “that” price.

Your Questions: Who, What, When, Where and Why?

Our Answers: Us, A Warehouse Sale, November 21 – 23, At our Warehouse, Because we must…

Click HERE for more information.

Follow us on Twitter for updated pictures and more information. Use or search for #willismusic or #WarehouseSale


Do you want to build a snowman?

Frozen-Movie-Elsa-HD-Wallpaper1

For the First Time In Forever…

It’s cold! After many months of blissful warmth “In Summer” (get it?) the cold weather has decided to roll in. If you’re anything like me, your heart is a little broken. Winter is your foe, deliberately ruining your life with every gust of cold wind.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. That’s why you should just “Let It Go,” (GET IT?!) and embrace those cold weather blues by getting a head start on your wintry tunes.

The Florence store has a great selection of music from our favorite animated soon-to-be-a-classic film, “Frozen.” You want it, we’ve got it (or we can order it for you).

If “Frozen” isn’t your cup of hot cocoa, we also have a wide array of other music for your playing pleasure.

See you soon!

Kendra

Bass-ically Amazing

The Bass-ics.

The bass guitar is one of the most outrageously cool instruments around.  Whether it be an upright, acoustic or electric, the bass guitar is that driving force behind any great song.  When the bass player starts to lay down that thick and precise bass line for the rest of the band to walk on, people’s hearts begin to almost jump out of their chests.

It’s Bass-ically Electric.

Electric basses have taken the music world by storm and have given players the ability to expand and increase their bass horizons.  Once again, Fender has taken the guitar world by the horns and drove out the Fender Jazz Bass, Fender Precision Bass, and their latest musical achievement, the Fender Dimension Bass.  These basses all kick some serious tail and also put out some of the greatest electric bass sounds around.  If you don’t believe me, see for yourself in the video below.

How to Bass-ically Achieve Greatness.

In order to properly grasp how great these basses are, you gotta stop by and play on them!  If you want to properly achieve the highest echelon of your bass playing career, you should pick up one of these Fender basses.  Here at Willis Music, we offer a HUGE selection of Fender basses and we are constantly getting more and more in.  We have both closeout deals and brand-spanking new basses of all kinds.

That’s Bass-ically all I gotta say!

Cody

 

Tele Me About It.

Tele Me Some History

During the period between 1932 and 1949, guitar makers were experimenting with the idea of a solid body electric guitar.  In 1950, Leo Fender crafted the Fender Telecaster, the guitar that put solid body electric guitars on the board.  From that point on, the Telecaster (often referred to as the “Tele”)  placed Fender above the rest in guitar production and creation.

Tele Me Some Facts

The Modern American Tele Deluxe is a force to be reckoned with.  With a solid body made from hand selected Alder wood, N3 Noiseless Pickups, and a 6-Saddled Chromed Brass Bridge, this guitar is a monster.  The hand selected wood gives players a higher quality tone, and is built to last.  With the N3 Noiseless Pickups, your Tele will contain a “snappy, bell-like chime” without the hum.  Locking Tuners help maintain perfect and precise tuning, along with, the 6-Saddled Bridge making the maintenance of intonation a breeze.

Tele Me How to Get One!

Not only do we carry these beautiful Teles, but we also are able to order you custom ones like the one in the video above!  Here at Willis Music, we value a great guitar, and our selection of Telecasters is second to none.  But, don’t just take my word for it.  Come in anytime at our Mall Road location and pick up a Tele.

Tele me how you like it!

Cody

Parents, Are You Listening?

Calling all parents…

How You Can help school Music Programs

Do you ever hear about your child’s school band? Unless your child is in the music program at school, would you know about it? That is an important question to ask. We know about sports in schools because that is what is pushed within the school advertising methods. They use flyers, announcements, rallies, social media and more. Ask your child when was the last time the morning announcements included a song from the band? I don’t remember any when I was in school (full disclosure: I’m in my late thirties). I think this is the norm because musicians and novices have been pigeon-holed in to a “secret society” full of stereotypes and preconceived notions… but that is for another blog in the future. The leading question is: why can’t we share our plays like the football team? Why can’t we share our successes and failures? I’ll tell you why! Musicians aren’t good at marketing. What if when a song is performed in class, it is recorded and shared through out the school? What if a recording of the music concerts were shared with the world (while still abiding by copyright policies)? What if parents could here the improvement of there children through out the year? What if all of these answers could also lead to raising a little money for the school program along the way?

These are all possible with the advancements in recording technology. You can get great recordings with only a little investment in equipment and without an extensive learning curve. Looking at Presonus product: you get the recording interfaces, the editing software and the ability to post to a cloud service to share. This opens the door for getting the music out there.

All it takes is one proud parent posting the concert to their Facebook page and the whole world can hear it. You don’t need to be a recording engineer anymore to share some quality music. If the band director doesn’t have the time to do the recording, start a recording club!

I would think with the world being so technology tethered and with all these classrooms using iPads and laptops, I am sure there are grants that will fund music technology. All we have to do is ask. If a grant can’t be secured, I say, as parents, let’s all join the PTA and push for funding technology in music.

I did not receive this epiphany until my daughter started middle school and I saw her choir instructor struggling. I immediately volunteered my services and whatever she needed… of course with Billsworld flair! I can see the Christmas production now: flaming lights and enough sound to fill a stadium!

In conclusion, If we want music, we have to drive it without relying on the school and the instructors. It is up to us as parents to make it fun and cool… just like we had it when we were in school!


Brought to you from Billsworld

Help Music Education In Your School!

Willis Music donates 5% of sales to schools…


The benefits of a good music education are being threatened. When schools are forced to make cutbacks they historically look first to the Arts and Music programs. Music is an important part of a complete, well rounded education and needs your help.

It’s time to make a difference.

Willis Music will donate 5% of your purchase towards future purchases to the school music program of your choice.

How can you help?

Pass this information on to your school administrators, teachers, booster organizations, students, private teachers and churches. Tell everyone you know. Drop your receipt with the schools name on it into the vessel at any of the Willis Music stores. All purchases from the stores or online can be used. Together we can make a difference!

Repairs, Rentals, Lessons, and Steinway do not apply.

Brought to you by Billsworld

How Do I Choose A Wireless Microphone?

How Do I Choose A Wireless Microphone?

That is a “loaded question” depending on who you ask. Having been in the industry 25+ years, the only way I know how to answer is to share my opinion in this blog.

The first option and least expensive wireless microphones (mics) are VHF transmitter wireless units. VHF stands for ìVery High Frequency.î These will be the least expensive mainly because the microphone manufacturers have discounted the quality of these mics. The reason being is because of interference from products that we no longer use today. Now that technology like cordless phones and TVs have gone digital the interference of these bandwidths are almost non-existent. VHF signal is incredibly strong, if not the strongest signal of all the wireless choices. The downside is the major manufacturers stopped producing VHF systems over a decade ago so finding a quality VHF system that will last and be durable is a difficult talk. Yet another downside is the amount of systems you can run simultaneous without interference; four systems are about the limit.

The second option you have is UHF systems. UHF stands for ìUltra High Frequency.î These are very viable systems that, with recent technology, are very easy to setup and use. Most major venues are using UHF systems because they give you the ability to run unlimited systems due to the bandwidth being so wide. Even entry level systems can use up to 8 units. The downside to the UHF systems is the government. A couple of years ago the US government seized the 700mhz bandwidth in response to 9/11. They said it was for emergency broadcast reasons, but then wound up auctioning off 80% of it to TV stations and in turn making billions. This put most of the microphone manufacturers in the 600mhz range which made the broadcast pie smaller. We all know where there is money, there is greed. I predict that within the next three years part of the 600mhz bandwidth will be seized and sold, making a ton of these systems obsolete. With this being said I have read on the FCC website that as long as the system emits less than 50mw, is not a licensed transmitter, and is not interfering with emergency broadcastsÖ you are safe to use them. My concern is how it is interpreted by those enforcing the laws; so better safe than sorry. You will see the UHF system continue to go up in price as the bandwidth gets smaller and the manufacturers have to spend more for the licenses to operate in them.

The third option for wireless and the fastest developing on the market right now is digital. Currently most digital units you can be used with 8 simultaneously. I am sure this number will increase as technology improves. These units are easy to link together and, one of the best benefits, they work anywhere where UHF and VHF frequencies have to be purchased by region. The digital units have all the ìbells and whistlesî like the UHF units as well at the great sound.

In review, for most situations, I would choose the digital systems. You get major brands with quality, all the feature sets that make wireless mics easy to use, and no worries about the government making the bandwidth obsolete. This will give you many years of worry-free use.

Now all you have to is decide if you want handheld, lavalier, head-worn, or instrument systems. Pick your preference and make some noise.

Brought to you by Billsworld

Heavy Metal Uke and Scales and Lessons

So this video strolled by on the Facebook feed this morning and we just had to see it.  Pretty impressive playing on a uke!

Check it out!

 

So being three quasi theory geeks we then began talking about which, if any, scale the guitarist from the original band that did this particular song would use.  We came to the conclusion that there isn’t one really, confirmed by a quick google search for articles about it.  It’s really just the chromatic scale and notes that “kind of” fit around the rhythm of the song, although we were initially intrigued about some talk of “the Devil’s Scale”, that turned out to be a bust and really just a reference to tritones.

 

So what is your favorite scale to play in?  Pentatonic?  Minor? Major?  Lydian Flat 5?  No right or wrong answer here, just let’s hear it? Or are you one of those people like these guitarists that prefer to NOT purposely use a scale, or just really have no idea what I’m talking about?  That’s ok too.

 

This reminds me and brings up another point.  If you’re one of those that has no idea what I’m talking about but don’t want to be, we have one of the best teaching staffs around.  Lessons are where we all learned our scales and how to use them.  It takes a lot of the frustration and what feels like literally reading Greek out of the process.  We just recently scheduled our 300th student here at Moeller of Willis Music West Chester!  Schedule lessons today and help us get to 400!

We have a handy website to help you out.  It’s called looking4lessons.com.  Simply click on the link and search for the instrument and area you want (use 45069 as the zip code if you’re looking for our store) and find the teacher that’s right for you.  Each teacher has a bio and their rates and times available.  Hope to see you soon!

 

 

 

Seagull Merlin now in stock

photo (5)

 

Come check out this New Strumstick Dulcimer!

Made in LaPatrie Quebec, Canada and inspired by the dulcimer, the Seagull Merlin is a very portable & compact 4-string diatonic acoustic instrument that is simply fun to play and very hard to put down!

The Merlin was designed to introduce & stimulate people of all ages (some of whom may not necessarily be players) to the joy of creating & playing music.
Small in stature. Big in fun!

Click here to Pickup in store! Or use coupon code 359 for Free Delivery to your home!

Ukulele – Pronounced ew-kə-lay-lee, from Hawaiian

 

So what is a Ukulele and why on Earth would I want one?  They simple answer is they’re FUN!  I didn’t get it either at first.  I kept getting images of Tiny Tim in my head, why would anyone want one of those?  Then I played one and low and behold, I get it.  I really get it.  They’re just plain fun.  It’s darn near impossible to play anything on one and not just feel happy.  I even tried playing in the key of D Minor, you know the saddest key of them all?  Nope, still happy.  Even committed a music store sin and played Stairway to Heaven.  Still happy.  So all of this got me wondering where these strange little joy producing instruments came from.  So I did what anyone else would do, I turned to our friend Wikipedia and here’s what they have to say about the subject:

 

Ukulele

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The ukulele, sometimes abbreviated to uke, is a member of the guitar family of instruments; it generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings.

The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete, a small guitar-like instrument related to the cavaquinho, timple, braguinha and the rajão, taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, many from the Macaronesian Islands. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.

The tone and volume of the instrument varies with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.

History

Hawaii

The Ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as “jumping flea,” perhaps because of the movement of the player’s fingers. Legend attributes it to the nickname of the Englishman Edward William Purvis, one of King Kalākaua’s officers, because of his small size, fidgety manner, and playing expertise. According to Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come).

Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on several small guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin, the machete, the Cavaquinho and the Rajão, introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde. Three immigrants in particular, Madeiran cabinet makers Manuel Nunes, José do Espírito Santo, and Augusto Dias, are generally credited as the first ukulele makers. Two weeks after they disembarked from the SS Ravenscrag in late August 1879, the Hawaiian Gazette reported that “Madeira Islanders recently arrived here, have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts.”

One of the most important factors in establishing the ukulele in Hawaiian music and culture was the ardent support and promotion of the instrument by King Kalākaua. A patron of the arts, he incorporated it into performances at royal gatherings.

Canada

In the 1960s, educator J. Chalmers Doane dramatically changed school music programs across Canada, using the ukulele as an inexpensive and practical teaching instrument to foster musical literacy in the classroom. 50,000 schoolchildren and adults learned ukulele through the Doane program at its peak. Today, a revised program created by James Hill and J. Chalmers Doane continues to be a staple of the music education in Canada.

Japan

The ukulele came to Japan in 1929 after Hawaiian-born Yukihiko Haida returned to the country upon his father’s death and introduced the instrument. Haida and his brother Katsuhiko formed the Moana Glee Club, enjoying rapid success in an environment of growing enthusiasm for Western popular music, particularly Hawaiian and jazz. During World War II, authorities banned most Western music, but fans and players kept it alive in secret, and it resumed popularity after the war. In 1959, Haida founded the Nihon Ukulele Association. Today, Japan is considered a second home for Hawaiian musicians and ukulele virtuosos.

United Kingdom

The singer and comedian George Formby was perhaps the UK’s most famous ukulele player, though he often played a banjolele, a hybrid instrument consisting of an extended ukulele neck with a banjo resonator body. Demand surged in the new century because of its relative simplicity and portability. Today the ukulele’s popularity in Great Britain continues to grow with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain touring globally and Paul McCartney’s 2002 tribute tour to George Harrison, a huge fan of the instrument. Note that ukulele is often spelled ukelele in British English.

United States (mainland)

Pre–World War II

The ukulele was popularized for a stateside audience during the Panama Pacific International Exposition, held from spring to fall of 1915 in San Francisco. The Hawaiian Pavilion featured a guitar and ukulele ensemble, George E. K. Awai and his Royal Hawaiian Quartet, along with ukulele maker and player Jonah Kumalae. The popularity of the ensemble with visitors launched a fad for Hawaiian-themed songs among Tin Pan Alley songwriters.[18] The ensemble also introduced both the lap steel guitar and the ukulele into U.S. mainland popular music, where it was taken up by vaudeville performers such as Roy Smeck and Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards. On April 15, 1923 at the Rivoli Theater in New York City, Smeck appeared, playing the ukulele, in Stringed Harmony, a short film made in the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process. On August 6, 1926, Smeck appeared playing the ukulele in a short film His Pastimes, made in the Vitaphone sound-on-disc process, shown with the feature film Don Juan starring John Barrymore.

The ukulele soon became an icon of the Jazz Age. Highly portable and relatively inexpensive, it also proved popular with amateur players throughout the 1920s, as is evidenced by the introduction of uke chord tablature into the published sheet music for popular songs of the time, a role that would eventually be supplanted by the guitar in the early years of rock and roll. A number of mainland-based instrument manufacturers, among them Regal, Harmony, and Martin, added ukulele, banjolele, and tiple lines to their production to take advantage of the demand.

The ukulele also made inroads into early country music or old-time music. It was played by Jimmie Rodgers and Ernest V. Stoneman, as well as by early string bands, including Cowan Powers and his Family Band, Da Costa Woltz’s Southern Broadcasters, Walter Smith and Friends, The Blankenship Family, The Hillbillies, and The Hilltop Singers.

Post–World War II

From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, plastics manufacturer Mario Maccaferri turned out about 9 million inexpensive ukuleles. The ukulele continued to be popular, appearing on many jazz songs throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.[25] Much of the instrument’s popularity was cultivated via The Arthur Godfrey Show on television. Singer-musician Tiny Tim became closely associated with the instrument after playing it on his 1968 hit “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.”

Post-1990 revival

After the 1960s, the ukulele declined in popularity until the late 1990s, when interest in the instrument reappeared. During the 1990s, new manufacturers began producing ukuleles and a new generation of musicians took up the instrument. Jim Beloff set out to promote the instrument in the early 1990s and created over two dozen ukulele music books featuring modern music as well as classic ukulele pieces.

Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole helped re-popularise the instrument, in particular with his 1993 medley of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” used in films, television programs, and commercials. The song reached #12 on Billboard’s Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004).

The creation of YouTube was a large influence on the popularity of the ukulele. One of the first videos to go viral was Jake Shimabukuro’s ukulele rendition of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on YouTube. The video quickly went viral, and has received over 12 million views and launched Jake’s career. The ready availability of thousands of instructional videos has greatly expanded the popularity of this easy to learn instrument.

So that’s it in a nutshell, there was more to the article, but who am I kidding, I’m a musician, I have the attention span of a 2 year old so I won’t bore either of us with detail of construction and such.  But the bottom line is Ukuleles are fun, everyone should own one.  We should be issued one at birth.  Come in and check out one today and make your world a happier place.

 

 

How Eric Clapton’s Fender Strat Gets Made from bloomberg.com

Hey everyone,

Saw this video this morning and thought you’d enjoy it!  Thanks to the fine folks at bloomberg.com.  It guides you through the Fender factory and shows how Fender makes some of the finest, most desirable, American made guitars.  All available here at Moeller of Willis Music West Chester or online here!

 

 

8 Reasons to Buy Your GUITAR at Willis Music

Are you wanting to purchase an acoustic guitar? How about an electric guitar? An amp? Or your first effects pedal?

guitars

Here are 8 Reasons why you should buy your guitar here at Willis Music in Lexington:

1. All guitars are Detailed and Inspected.

2. All guitars necks are Inspected and Adjusted by our guitar product specialists.

3. All guitar frets are Inspected and Polished by our guitar product specialists.

4. Adjustable Bridge Intonated

5. All electronics professionally inspected

6. We give you the Manufacturers Warranty EXTENDED for 1 Full Year! (Excludes Wood and Finish Cracks)

7. We provide a Free “How To” Class for First Time Buyers**

This is a $119 Value that is INCLUDED for Free with your Guitar purchase at Willis Music!

guitar2

** The First Time Buyer’s Guitar Care Class takes places on the First Saturday of every month at 10:30 A.M. EST.  Classes are conducted by our guitar product specialists.

This class is a $39 value. Learn how to:
– Tune your guitar
– Care for your guitar
– Change strings

You will also be able to participate in a Question & Answer session, and receive a FREE polish cloth and a FREE set of strings!  (Bass set for 65% OFF!)

 

December Newsletter Highlights – LIVE SOUND

December News LIVE SOUND

Rhino Cables

Rhino Cables

A new line of cables that will blow your socks off! These all come standard with Neutrik connectors and heavy gauge wire. You will be amazed at the flexibility, all while letting full signal flow! Get the best for a better price. Come into the store for a demo of Rhino cables and get 10% off any Rhino cable purchase. Available for instruments (with the 1/4 inputs) and microphones (with XLR inputs)!

December Newsletter Highlights – GUITAR

December Guitar News

 

Certain “gems” get lost amid our walls of electric guitars. We would like to point out one of those we feel that is being “overlooked”… Last year’s Fender American made Guitars & Basses!

In our stores, you will find Fender Standard, Deluxe, Vintage, etc. guitars and basses to fit any and all needs. Remember, last year’s colors are today’s “vintage” reissues! These otherwise perfect American made instruments are up to $400.00 off today’s best pricing! With a limited selection of 30+ instruments throughout the stores, once these are gone… they are gone for good. We’re sure there are a few out there that you would like to hear and feel for yourself. Give us a call or come on in. Our folks would love to help you out.

Click HERE for a listing of the Willis Music locations nearest you!

From the desk of Paul Finke, VP Sales and Purchasing

Annual Warehouse Sale is BACK!

FOR 3 DAYS ONLY, WE OPEN OUR DOORS TO THE PUBLIC….

The Annual Willis Music Warehouse Sale is notoriously known as one of the best events of the season. In its 12th year running, this sale will continue to drop jaws and raise eyebrows at all of the incredibly low prices and immense inventory that will be on display. You’ll  find Brand Name, New, Used, Old Stock, Overstock, Scratch-and-Dent: Band Instruments, Guitars, Basses, Drums, Cymbals, Amps, PA and Pro Sound Equipment, Keyboards, Pianos, Sheet Music Books, Accessories, Cases and more… all at phenomenally low prices. Come on out and see us at our Warehouse Location for some of the best deals of the year! We look forward to your visit.

When?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013 from 12pm (Noon) to 6pm

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 from 11am to 4pm

Sunday, November 24th, 2013 from 1pm to 4pm

Where?

Willis Music Company
7380 Industrial Rd.
Florence, KY 41042 
 

Click HERE for directions to our Warehouse Sale


View Larger Map

Questions?

Call: 800-354-9799

Email: willis@willismusic.com

Click HEREfor a printable version.

October Newsletter Highlights Guitars and Amps

October News – Guitars & Amps

Vox limited edition elegant purple amp

Guitar / Amp – The popular AC4C1 is now available in a limited edition color: purple.

With an appearance and design that emanate an atmosphere of premium sophistication, and color schemes that capture the heart of aficionados, custom color models have been popular since the beginning of the VOX brand. With that in mind, we now announce a new color: elegant purple. They’re a great match with the Tygon cloth, and they’re sure to stand out on stage. These are ideal amps for any guitarist who seeks originality in their performance.

Highlights:

  • All-tube mini combo amp
  • Legendary Top Boost tone inherited from the VOX AC30
  • Gain, Treble, Bass, Volume controls
  • 4 Watt Class A amplifier design
  • 12AX7 preamp tubes (x2); EL84 power tube (x1)
  • Tygon fret cloth; retro Bakelite handle
  • 10″ Celestion VX10 speaker

VXAC4PL @ $299.99

From the desk of Paul Finke, VP Sales and Purchasing

Indoor Yard Sale 2013!

Indoor Yard Sale!

September 19th – 22nd, 2013

Our Annual Customers’ Most Favored Sale of the Year!

Manufacturer’s Samples, Demos, Unclaimed Orders, Scratch & Dent, Open Box, etc.

Major Categories and Brands Represented throughout!

Bookmark this post and check back often as we will be posting gear, locations, and more!!!

August Newsletter Highlights GUITAR

August News – GUITAR

Kentucky Mandolins

Kentucky Mandolin Standard A

Kentucky Standard A-model Mandolin

 

Kentucky Mandolin Artist F

Kentucky Artist F-model Mandolin

Willis Music is proud to introduce Kentucky mandolins through our showrooms in August. Kentucky mandolins are today’s best value in a handmade professional quality mandolin. Artist F-mandolins are hand-carved and graduated from the finest mountain spruce and northern maple. Standard A-mandolins have that traditional look and accurate design and combine that unsurpassed build quality with a price point within the reach of any player. Come on in and see why these instruments have rightfully earned the title, America’s Favorite Mandolin.

KMKY150 starting @ $279.99

From the desk of Paul Finke, VP of Sales

July Newsletter Highlights GUITAR

July News – GUITAR

Standard Stratocaster Plus Top Guitar!

Fender Standard Stratocaster Plus Top Aged Cherry Burst Guitar

Fender Standard Stratocaster Plus Top Tobacco Sunburst Guitar

The Standard Stratocaster® Plus Top delivers famous Fender® tone and classic style, with the added elegance of a flame maple top on the alder body. Other features include three single-coil pickups, tinted maple neck with modern “C”-shaped profile and satin urethane back finish, rosewood or maple fingerboard with 21 medium jumbo frets and 9.5″ radius, three-ply parchment pickguard and parchment control knobs, vintage-style synchronized tremolo bridge and ’70s-style headstock logo. Available in Tobacco Sunburst (rosewood fingerboard) and Aged Cherry Burst (maple fingerboard).

FE14461… $549.99

“Play before you pay.” As musicians, we believe that you should try an instrument before you buy an instrument. Click HERE for a listing of your local Willis Music locations.

From the Desk of Paul Finke, VP of Sales & Purchasing

June Newsletter Highlights GUITARS and AMPS

June News – GUITARS and AMPS

Fender LogoSquier Logo

Urgent!!

Do whatever you need to do to make sure you’re at any Willis Music store on Thursday, June 6th, 2013 between 3:00 and 8:00 PM!!

Imagine every piece of Fender gear slashed to the best prices you’ll see all year anywhere in the world! PLUS, we will be handing you 10% more back… in cash!!

This offer applies to every Fender and Squier electric and acoustic guitar, bass, amplifier, and Passport PA system from our Half Million Dollar inventory. Finalized current lay-a-ways and paid-in-full special orders qualify as well.

If you’ve ever dreamed of owning another Fender, this 5-hour window is absolutely, without question, the very best opportunity you’ll ever see!!

From the desk of Paul Finke,  VP of Sales & Purchasing

May Newsletter Highlights Guitar

May News – Guitar

Willis Music features the Fender Mustang v.2

Fender Mustang I V.2 Amp

The most popular amps in the whole world have just been updated!!  Fender’s Mustang v.2 are now even better!  Check out the demo on the link below then come in to hear them for yourself!  Mention this e-mail and get an extra 10% OFF our already Guaranteed Low Price PLUS, as always, get an extended year on the warranty for FREE!!

FE230010 starting at $119.99

April Newsletter Highlights GUITAR

Guitar News April 2013

D’Addario’s NEW XL Nickel Wound Balanced Tension Strings – Responding to consumer demand, D’Addario XL Nickel Wound Balanced Tension sets have been optimized to have a comparable tension string-to-string allowing for greater dynamic control and a more evenly balanced effort while fretting, bending, strumming and picking on guitar, as well as plucking, slapping and bending on bass. Comprised of mathematically optimized string gauge combinations, each balanced tension set was extensively tested with players and experts in order to insure not only that they were balanced, but that they retained all of the inherent properties expected of a D’Addario XL nickel wound set.

“For years, D’Addario’s been dedicated to helping players find the best set for them. As far back as 10 years ago, we published a String Tension Guide to educate players on the many factors that determine the actual and perceived string tension on your instrument,” commented Brian Vance, Director of Product Management at D’Addario. “This guide has led to hundreds of inquiries through email and social media each year from players who have questions or problems to solve related to string gauges or tensions. Our new Balanced Tension sets address the needs of those players and reaffirm consumers that we are listening.”

The Balanced Tension sets are another example of D’Addario’s dedication to inspiring all musicians to reach for higher levels of performance and creativity.

Interested in purchasing these strings? Give us a call or send us an email! Click HERE for a location nearest you.

Item: SGEXL1…

March Newsletter Highlights GUITAR

Highlighted Events and Products…

Guitar

Longtime T.S.O.L. guitarist Ron Emory has infused some truly distinctive Fender acoustic guitars with his years of SoCal-punk cred and expertise. Among the latest and greatest is the new Ron Emory “Loyalty” Parlor model, in which he has combined his favorite features from several guitars in his large collection to create a small-bodied and eminently affordable model. Just in is his spruce top, mahogany back & sides, mahogany neck and a vintage-style sunburst finish reminiscent of the 1930’s. This guitar also features quartersawn scalloped X bracing, elegant herringbone body binding / rosette, soft “V” neck profile and aged neck binding, rosewood fingerboard with diamond inlays and 12th-fret “Loyalty” logo. The list goes on! An amazing instrument, dripping with vibe for $279.99 ($429.99 Fender MSRP)