Yamaha GC1 (5’3") $11,500

2005 Yamaha GC1 (5’3″) Grand Piano. Excellent Condition. One-Owner Technician Reviewed. Black Ebony Polish

Yamaha GC1 (5'3") $11,500   Yamaha GC1 (5'3") $11,500 Yamaha GC1 (5'3") $11,500  Yamaha GC1 (5'3") $11,500

 

 

Used Baldwin Grand

Currently in our Florence store we have a used Baldwin grand in a mahogany finish. This instrument was built in 1942 in Cincinnati at the Baldwin factory. The finish is scratched and worn from years of use at a local university. However, the touch and tone have not been compromised and this instrument is in excellent condition. This is truly a piano with character. And you cant beat the price: $2,500 for the month of June. Come play it and see for yourself!

 

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Used Baldwin Grand Ebony Satin

Currently in our Florence store, we have several pianos that were used in the studios and practice rooms of a local university. Included is this lovely Baldwin grand piano. This instrument built in 1998 is finished with traditional black ebony satin. Make your dreams of owning a grand come true with this convenient size (5’8″) and super affordable pricing. $9,500 for the month of June!

 

Baldwin Grand

 

Kohler and Campbell Millennium

On sale now in a Florence store is a gently used Kohler and Campbell Millenium upright. This instrument has been used in our lessons studio only and is in excellent condition. It is a top of the line piano hand produced in Korea, finished with high polish ebony and is 52″ tall. Priced today at $5,475! come check it out!

 

 

 

Used Hallet Davis Grand

Hallet Davis GrandPianos! Pianos! Pianos! For sale today in our Florence store is a gorgeous Hallet Davis and Company grand piano. This piano is finished in shiny high polish ebony. This baby grand is only 4’9″ which makes it the perfect grand for limited space. This instrument has been used in our lessons studio and is in great condition. Priced at $6,500 for the month of June!

 

 

Used Story and Clark Console

Currently on our sales floor in Florence, KY (Greater Cincinnati) we have several pianos that were used in the studios and practice rooms of a local university. If space is limited, consider owning an upright piano instead of a grand piano. This beautiful Story and Clark upright built in 1981 has a lovely oak finish and is in excellent playing condition. At 38″ tall, this piano (called a console) is ideal for optimizing space. Only $1,500 for the month of June!

 

 

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Father’s Day “Mustache Event”!

Father’s Day “Find the Mustache” Event!

Not all Fathers these days wear mustaches. But historically, there have been many great men (and mustaches) that were worn elegantly, boisterously, ignorantly, interestingly and proudly. A lot of those men were fathers, so we think our promotion makes sense.

A Mustache, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is the hair growing on the human upper lip; especially : such hair grown and often trimmed in a particular style “Mustache.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 3 June 2014. www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mustache.

For the week leading up to Father’s Day, you will have the option to “Find the Mustache” on a product and purchase it for FREE!

Here are the guidelines:

Be the FIRST person to find this furry facial feature intentionally placed on a product, use the coupon code associated with that product when you checkout and receive that product FREE!

Only one product, per cart, per day is allowed.

We will send an email once per day for the next few days. Each email will have a “hint” of where to find the next free product.

Click HERE to go to the store site and start your searching for our Secret “Stache!”

Not on our eNewsletter list? Click HERE to sign-up!

DISCLAIMER: In no way shape or form are we discriminating against any father that is unable to grow a mustache or does not own or wear a mustache. Nor do we judge (publicly) the cultivation or style of mustache that is worn by a father in a fashionable or fashion lacking manner. You do not need to own or wear a mustache in order to participate in this event. All that is necessary is for you to think of a memorable mustache (famous, family, friend or stranger) and commit that to memory while searching for the mustached product. Furthermore, for the beard wearing fathers, while technically a mustache with attachments, we do not consider it a “mustache” unless it is specifically trimmed or styled to stand-out from other facial hair. For any other questions related to mustaches, please refer to Google.

Scientist find that singing is good for your body and soul.

After years of singing in church choirs it comes as no surprise that scientists have found that not only does singing in a choir makes you feel good, but it’s healthy for you too.

Physical Effects of Singing

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, found that choir member’s heartbeats synchronize when they sing together, bring a calming effect that is as beneficial as yoga.  The scientist asked a group of teenagers to perform three choral exercises, humming, sing a hymn and chanting, while monitoring their heart rhythms during each exercise.  They showed that singing has a dramatic effect on heart rate variability, which is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

“Song is a form of regular, controlled breathing, since breathing out occurs on the song phrases and inhaling takes place between these,” says Dr. Vickhoff, who led the study.  “It gives you pretty much the same effect as yoga breathing.  It helps you relax,  and there are indications that it does provide a heart benefit.”

Over the years, scientist have found that singing has a number of health benefits.  Cardiff University in 2012 found that lung cancer patients who sang in a choir had a greater expiratory capacity than those who didn’t.  Singing has also shown to boost the immune system, reduce stress levels.  According to a report published in the Journal of Music Therapy in 2004, singing helped patients cope with chronic pain.

“Singing delivers a host of physical and emotional benefits, including increased aerobic exercise, improved breathing, posture, mindset, confidence and self-esteem,” says Jeremy Hywel Williams, who leads the LLaneli Choral Society in Wales.

Psychological Effects of Singing.  Does Singing make you Happy?

In the United States, choral singing is the most popular of all arts related participatory activities.  Across the country, 28.5 million people regularly sing in one of 250,000 chorus groups.  Singing has some effects that other participatory activities don’t.  Specifically choral singing, which is where the most recent and surprising research has been done.

Some of the greatest connections between singing and happiness are more mental than physical.  They are harder to measure, but just as significant.  All types of singing have a positive psychological effects.  The act of singing releases endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals.  But of all types of singing it’s choral singing that seems to have the most dramatic effects on people’s lives.  Especially sacred choral groups, good old fashion church choirs.

A study published in Australia in 2008 revealed that on average, choir members rated their satisfaction with life higher than the public, even when the actual problems faced by those singers were more substantial than those faced by the general public.  A 1998 study found that after nursing home residents took part in a singing program for a month, there were significant decreases in both anxiety and depression levels.  `

Choral singers need to concentrate on their music and technique throughout the singing process, and it’s hard to worry about things like work or money or family problems when you’re actively concentrating on something else.  So choral singer tend to have a built in ” stress free zone”.  Learning is also part of the process, learning a new song, new harmonies, etc.  helps keep the mind active and fends off depression.

The question remains, why choral singers specifically?  Concentration and deep breathing can happen in a recording studio, or the privacy of your own home.

It’s because some of the most important ties between singing and happiness are social ones.  The support system of being a part of a group, and the commitment to that group that gets people out of the house and into chorus every week- these are benefits that are specific to group singing.  In addition singing anthems with uplifting messages help the choir members with problems that often come along with being human in modern times.

So if you want to have a more fulfilling and longer life, join a choir. 

Many choirs are always looking for new members.  Summer time is the perfect time to join one.  The choir’s schedule is more relaxed, making it the perfect time to check it out.

The science doesn’t lie: singing really is better you health.

And, in the words of Ella Fitzgerald, ” the only thing better than singing – is more singing”.

 

 

Who is this Adolphe Sax guy?

Ever wonder where the word Saxophone came from?  Me either, but here’s your answer.

From Wikipedia.

Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax (6 November 1814 – c. 7 February 1894) was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who played the flute and clarinet, and is well known for having invented the saxophone.

Early life
Adolphe Sax was born in Dinant, Belgium. His father, Charles-Joseph Sax, was an instrument designer himself, who made several changes to the design of the horn. Adolphe began to make his own instruments at an early age, entering two of his flutes and a clarinet into a competition at the age of 15. He subsequently studied those two instruments at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Career
Having left the school, Sax began to experiment with new instrument designs, while his father continued to make conventional instruments to bring money into the household. Adolphe’s first important invention was an improvement of the bass clarinet design, which he patented at the age of 24. Sax relocated permanently to Paris in 1841 and began working on a new set of instruments exhibited there in 1844. These were valved bugles, and although he had not invented the instrument itself, his examples were so much more successful than those of his rivals that they became known as saxhorns. They range in approximately seven different sizes, and paved the path to the creation of the flugelhorn. Saxhorns are widely used today in concert bands and sometimes in orchestras. The saxhorn also laid the groundwork for the modern euphonium.

Sax also developed the saxotromba family, valved brass instruments with narrower bore than the saxhorns, in 1845, though they survived only briefly.[2]

Saxhorn instruments spread rapidly throughout the world. The saxhorn valves were accepted as state of the art and are largely unchanged today. The advances made by Adolphe Sax were soon followed by the British brass band movement which exclusively adopted the saxhorn range. The Jedforest Instrumental Band formed in 1854 and The Hawick Saxhorn Band formed in 1855, within the Scottish Borders, a decade after saxhorn models became available.

The period around 1840 saw Sax inventing the clarinette-bourdon, an early unsuccessful design of contrabass clarinet. He developed around this time the instrument for which he is now best known, the saxophone, patented on June 28, 1846. The saxophone was invented for use in both orchestras and concert bands. Composer Hector Berlioz wrote approvingly of the new instrument in 1842. By 1846 Sax had designed, on paper, a full range of saxophones (from sopranino to subcontrabass). Although they never became standard orchestral instruments, the saxophones made his reputation and secured him a job, teaching at the Paris Conservatoire in 1857.[3]

Sax continued to make instruments later in life and presided over a new saxophone class at the Paris Conservatoire. Rival instrument makers attacked the legitimacy of his patents and mounted a long campaign of litigation against Sax and his company. He was driven into bankruptcy in 1856 and again in 1873.

Sax suffered from lip cancer between 1853 and 1858 but made a full recovery. He died in 1894 in Paris and was interred in section 5 (Avenue de Montebello) at the Cimetière de Montmartre in Paris.

 

So that’s how the saxophone was invented and where the name came from.  Here at Moeller/Willis Music West Chester we have one of the best selections of saxes I’ve ever seen.  Come in and check them out today!

Take Me Out To The Baldwin

It’s here, the season we’ve all been waiting for! Time to hang up our winter coats for good, pack up the kids, step into the sun and…join us at Willis Music for used piano goodness the ENTIRE MONTH OF JUNE!! Special pricing and new selections make now a better time than ever to bring more music to your home. Come visit us at our Florence location and get ready to play piano!

piano1        piano2     piano4

NAMM DC Music Advocacy Fly-In Press Release

Willis Music Advocates for Music Education in D.C.

Kevin Cranley joins music industry leaders on Capitol Hill to push for legislation that would bring music education access to all children

Local business leader, Kevin Cranley took the nation’s capital by storm, making the case for comprehensive school music education programs. Kevin, together with 65 other music industry leaders and celebrity artists on the National Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) Music Education Advocacy Fly-In. The three-day advocacy effort works to shore up congressional support to build access to music education for all children into national education legislation.

Cranley’s Advocacy Fly-In efforts included personal meetings with Senators and Representatives about the significance of music education and the support needed to insure that each student has the opportunity to learn music in school. They also joined NAMM Foundation in awarding the SupportMusic Award to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Turnaround Arts. The week began with a day of service, where Cranley helped students at D.C.’s Savoy Elementary learn to play drums, ukulele and guitar.

“This was my seventh year visiting Washington D.C. to work with our representatives in Ohio and Kentucky. Each year, we strive to increase awareness of the value of a quality music education; specifically making sure that Music and Arts stay as a core to every child’s development,” said Kevin Cranley, President of Willis Music Company. “Since 1899 Willis has focused on Music Education with our publications and within our local markets. This annual opportunity is an extension of our mission.”

To prepare for his efforts on Capitol Hill, Cranley participated in advocacy training at the Kennedy Center, during which Kevin and fellow NAMM member industry leaders were apprised of current issues facing public school music programs. Kevin was also trained on developing state-level advocacy efforts for music and arts education to put into practice here in Kentucky and Ohio.

This year, Kevin was able to visit the offices of Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, Sherrod Brown, and Rob Portman.

Kevin Cranley is the past Chairman of NAMM and The NAMM Foundation. He is also a past board member of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Currently, Kevin is the third generation President and Owner of the Willis Music Company which operates six retail store locations in Ohio and Kentucky. The locations in southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky are Steinway and Sons Piano Dealers.

Kevin Cranley NAMM Washington DC 2014

Kevin Cranley with is wife Debbi

Follow Kevin on Twitter at @cranleyk

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $16.7 billion music products industry and promote the pleasures and benefits of making music. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies located in more than 94 countries. For more information about NAMM or the proven benefits of making music, interested parties can visit www.namm.org, call 800-767-NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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!

 

 

 

Open Hole Flute Tips

Open hole flutes are the step up that every student player is looking forward to, but the change in playing styles can cause a few surprises if you aren’t ready. Here are some tips to help make this transition smooth, fun and musical.  Our Yamaha Allegro flutes are amazing, and every band director raves about their quality and sound. We also have in-store lessons all through the year.

(1) Hold the flute in the proper position, out to your right, parallel to the floor, with elbows away from your body. Sit up straight.

(2) Cradle flute loosely in your hands with fingers resting gently on the keys

(3) As you press keys to form the notes, make sure your fingers completely cover the holes, but don’t pinch too tightly. This is the key to getting the proper tone. Begin by practicing notes that use the least fingers, such as B. Work your way down to D adding fingers as you get a good tone on each note.

(4) As an alternative, you can purchase plugs that slip into the holes in the keys (we have these in our store). These plugs are made from plastic and will close the holes so the instrument plays like a regular flute. They are helpful when learning to play an open-hole flute.

(5) Practice playing with plugs in. Remove one plug at a time, and practice this way until you can comfortably produce the note corresponding with the removed plug. Remove the next plug and practice until comfortable. Proceed until all plugs are removed.

The post Open Hole Flute Tips appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Summer Music Camps at Willis!!!

Willis Music in Lexington is excited to offer 3 Summer Music Camp experiences this summer for children ages 6-10!  Piano and Violins players of any ability are welcome and encouraged.

piano camp picFive-Day Piano Camp
For children ages 6-10 years old

June 23-27
(Monday-Friday)
9:30am-Noon

$150 registration

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Twice Weekly Piano Class
For children ages 6-10 years old

July 8-31
(Tuesdays & Thursdays)
10:30am-11:30am

$100 registration for 8 classes

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Twice Weekly Violin Class
For children ages 6-10 years old

July 8-31
(Tuesdays & Thursdays)
12:30pm-1:30pm

$100 registration for 8 classes

 

MEET THE TEACHER

musicology-rumbley
Dr. Erica Rumbley is a pianist who is passionate about music and life in general. She began studying the piano at the age of six. At 12 she took up the violin and had lessons during junior and senior high school, played in the Evansville (Indiana) Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and later with the Olivet Nazarene University Symphony. She graduated with a degree in piano performance from Olivet, and then received a Master’s in Musicology and a Masters in Piano from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Rumbley just completed a Ph.D. in Musicology at UK. She frequently gives recitals, serves as a faculty pianist at Transylvania University, and instructs undergraduate music classes, as well as teaching piano and violin lessons. In 2012, she performed in Kiefersfelden, Germany, as part of the International Performing Artists Institute. Erica enjoys getting to know new students and strives to make the lesson experience fun as well as productive.

 

If you have a question about our Summer Music Camps please email us at lexington@willismusic.com.

TO REGISTER CALL US AT 859-273-4063, OR STOP BY THE STORE DURING OUR BUSINESS HOURS.

May the 4th Be With You!

Happy #StarWarsDay

#MayThe4thBeWithYou

In honor of Star Wars Day, we are encouraging you to use the ‘force.’* Hone your Jedi mind with the wide selection of Star Wars music we have on our site. Use this link to get started.

Once you “find the droids books you are looking for…” “move along” to the checkout and use coupon code: shipmusicfree and receive FREE SHIPPING on your entire Star Wars sheet music order!

*Please note that we do not presume to have the “force” at this moment and time. We have not been chosen by the Jedi Council nor do we have any proper training from a Jedi Master.

“You will share this post with your friends…” did it work?

Amazing Deals! Get them while they are hot!

We just marked down 100s of instruments to some Amazing Pricing! Every department got some items marked down, so now is the time to buy!!!  Stop in today!

Seagull Merlin now in stock

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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!

May 2014 Calendar of Events for the Willis Music Florence Super Store.

May is recital season! Welcome to the students of Denitsa Van Pelt, Peggy Wolverton, Anna Bonham-White, Lara Koogler, Debbie Starosciak, Katie Davidson, Becky Slater, Dan Walsh, Christina Day, Janice Greenhalgh. May is also International Drum Month and we are celebrating all month long with extra savings. May Sales Events: Cinco de Mayo (5/5), Mother’s Day (5/11) and Memorial Day (5/26). May Concerts: Steinway Young Artist Concert (5/14) featuring Hannah Meloy and Christina Haan. Willis Music / Woodsongs Coffeehouse Concert (5/17) featuring Wendy Miller and the Country Grass.

MayCalendar2014jpeg

May 2014 Calendar of Events

Take a look at what is going on here at Willis Music in Lexington, KY during the month of May!  We’ll have Special Deals, Recitals, Classes, and much more.

Plus, be sure to mark your calendars for SHRED FEST 2014 on Saturday, May 24. Electric Guitars, Amps, & Accessories will be on sale! AND….we will be holding a competition looking for the best shredding from electric guitar musicians in the Lexington area!

May Calendar

Music Money: Customer Loyalty Cards

Do you have Music Money?

At Willis Music in Lexington we like making every day a Customer Appreciation Day! We like it so much that we have trees growing Music Money especially for you.

As a thank you for choosing Willis Music we will give you a gift card after every 6 purchases you make in the store.

After every 6 purchases, you will receive a gift card as a GIFT from Willis Music for 5% of those 6 purchases (not including tax), up to $25.

Be sure to sign up to get your Music Money Card on your next visit to our store!

 

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

 

Kala Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele

Kala Tenor Exotic Mahogany

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

It’s National Hairball Day

cat

Yes, that’s right…

April 25 is National Hairball Day in the United States of America. Makes you wonder why the rest of the world didn’t pick the same day, right?

As musicians, many of us might have been called (lovingly, we hope) hairballs. Some of us have more hair than others. Some of us have funny hair (I checked that box).  There’s a great musical tribute to 80′s rock called Hairballs. There’s even an action game called Hairballs.

But we’re not here to celebrate any of those, today. Today is all about our cats, and their eternal struggle to leave us that messy gift we all hate cleaning up. Below are some tips on keeping your critter hairball free. Hope Whiskers appreciates your efforts.

How to prevent hairballs in cats

1

Be diligent about grooming

Decrease the amount of hair the cat ingests by using a grooming tool like the FURminator deLuxe deShedding Tool, which can reduce shedding by 90 percent. Proactive grooming removes the excess hair that causes hairballs and is a more holistic preventive measure than giving your cat a laxative or allowing him to cough up the blockage.

2

Kitties need fiber, too

Add a little canned pumpkin to the cat’s meals once or twice a week. The fiber in the pumpkin can help move any hair clumps through the system, and your cat will love the tasty treat. Butter can have the same effect, but is high in calories, so pumpkin might be a better choice.

3

Keep your cat hydrated

Encourage the cat to drink plenty of water by placing bowls throughout the house, as the water will help flush out the hair before it has time to clump in the stomach. It is also a great general practice to keep water bowls separate from food bowls to encourage the cat to drink more water.

4

Make over the cat’s menu

Several specially-formulated cat foods aid in the fight against hairballs. Always consult with a vet before making any drastic changes to a cat’s diet. Sudden food changes can sometimes upset the stomach.

5

Know the warning signs

If a hairball problem persists, ask a veterinarian to recommend a supplement to help prevent ingested hairs from clumping. Here are a few signals a cat may have an excessive hairball problem:

  • Frequent dry hacking
  • An overly matted coat
  • Cylindrical (cigar-shaped) masses on the floor or furniture
  • Lethargy or lack of interest in playing or eating
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Constipation

 

The post It’s National Hairball Day appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Anyone out there love discounts??

We know you do…

We have recently marked down over a 100 different sheet music titles down 20%!!!

In case you didnt know it, we have the LARGEST selection of sheet music in the Tri-State area, we are the most educated sales staff for all your print music needs, and (the best part) we are pretty awesome!

Stop in today for your expert sales staff and huge savings!!

Take the Great Martin String Challenge (4/25) 5-8pm

Join us and take the Great Martin String Challenge on April 25th from 5 – 8pm. A Martin representative will be at the Willis Music Florence Super Store to conduct the challenge. See if you can tell the difference in strings! Win swag!

challenge_header

Uke Club Tonight !

Uke Club Tonight !

The Ukes Are Ready To Bloom

Where? Willis Music Florence

When ? Wednesday April 23rd 2014 at 7 PM

See You Tonight…

 

Would You Like to Help Advocate for School Music?

KC Goes to DC for Advocacy

Capitol dome in spring

From http://www.house.gov/content/features/2014dome/ Image from the Architect of the Capitol

Want your voice heard about music advocacy? Have a solution or idea on supporting music in the schools? Not sure that your voice is being heard? Let Kevin “carry your tune” to Washington!

“NAMM’s annual Advocacy Fly-In gives NAMM Members the opportunity to advocate to their Members of Congress for policy and funding to support music and arts education. This advocacy effort includes one day of preparation at the Kennedy Center and another day of personal meetings with representatives and other influencers. Sessions are preceded by an issues briefing and training, after which NAMM Members hit the halls of the U.S. Capitol and Congressional office buildings to lobby their representatives about the importance of music education and needed changes to assure access for music learning. During the trip NAMM Members are also trained on developing state-level advocacy efforts for music and arts education that they can take back to their communities in time for school budget season.”

Kevin Cranley, Willis Music Company President, will be traveling to Washington D.C. with NAMM members on May 18, 2014 to fight for the right of Music Education.

Follow Kevin and Tweet your questions/comments/concerns about Music Advocacy through…

Twitter: @cranleyk #musiced #willismusic

Follow Willis Music on Twitter: @WillisMusicCo #willismusic

Follow Willis Music on Facebook: www.facebook.com/WillisMusicCompany

Use the share buttons below to share this post and spread the word!

Top 3 Band Parent Questions Answered

Parents Asked, Cindy Answered

Dear Parents,

Welcome back, Cindy here again with more helpful hints and ideas as well as taking credit for bringing Spring along with me as well. I know what you are thinking… “well it is about time!” …and I agree! I have a couple of things to tell you about so let’s get started…

Because of our new e-notes, parents are asking questions so let’s answer the one most asked by you…”why are reeds numbered”? Most reeds are classified with numbers from 2 to 4 and in half strengths. It’s simple, the higher the number, the harder the reed plays. So, your child should have started on a number 2 or 2 1/2, the director usually decides which one. Then, as they progress into the 7th and 8th grades and into high school they will advance into 3 and 3 1/2. The lower number reeds are softer and students will go through them faster. Higher numbered reeds are harder and if stored properly will last a lot longer.

For those of you thinking about investing in a higher-quality instrument for your child, I commend you. A lot of parents take the leap this time of year as they want their child to sound their best during concert season. As a parent, there is one important thing you need to know before you take that leap and that is to be very aware of your timing! You should not upgrade your child’s instrument days before a big performance. It takes time for any player to get the feel of a step-up instrument and everything it has to offer. So, the lesson here is no matter where you purchase your step-up, make the purchase a few weeks before the big concert giving them the practice time they need with their new instrument. Then set back with a big smile on your face, camera in hand and enjoy the music you helped your child to create. As a Mom, I know the family budget may not always have room for a step-up instrument. Willis Music knows this as well so check out their First Chair Rental Program at any Willis Music location or for more information e-mail BandO@willismusic.com.

As we move towards the end of the school year I have had several requests for new band folders and replacement instrument name tags. I have both in-stock and are no charge for our rental customers. Simply e-mail your request to BandO@willismusic.com.

I look forward to answering more of your questions in June and I promise to bring SUMMER along with me.

Forward your questions to BandO@willismusic.com and have a fun Easter and great Spring!

Sincerely,

Cindy

Willis Music

Click HERE for Store Locations

Email Cindy HERE

Call Cindy at 888-594-5547

Interested in renting a Band Instrument? Click HERE

Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Guitarists

mike's hands

Rolling Stone knows a thing or two about great guitar playing, and their top 10 list is rooted in the classics. Click the pic above to see if you agree.

The post Rolling Stone’s Top 10 Guitarists appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Congrats to our VIP+1 $100 Gift Card Winner

Congratulations to John Adamick who was the winner of the $100 gift card from our VIP+1 event last weekend!

john adamickThis event was by invite only and if you want to be invited to the next one, please stop by! We had refreshments, special pricing on everything in the store, and did a drawing for a $100 gift card! Thank you for everyone who came and a BIG thanks for supporting a locally owned music store!

 

Piano Rentals at Willis Music

Not quite ready to commit to owning a piano? Don’t worry there are other options!  Willis Music now has pianos available for RENT!

Digital Pianos rent for $89 a month.

A Yamaha Arius YDP-181 or other digital piano of equal quality will be available.
ydp-181Acoustic Upright Pianos rent for $129 a month.

The brand/height/finish will vary depending on availability.

Hallet-Davis-45in.-Chippendale-Console

The first six (6) months of rental may be applied to the purchase of the piano at retail price.

An additional fee of $224 is due at time of rental for Acoustic Pianos. This additional fee includes delivery to home, tuning, and return delivery. The return delivery fee will be credited if the instrument is purchased.

Rental application must be completed and approved prior to delivery. The first month’s rent is due at time of delivery and will be charged to your credit card or supplied checking account on the 15th of every month. The rental period is a minimum of three (3) months. There is no maximum rental period. A proof of insurance is required. Additional terms & conditions apply.

Come stop by Willis Music on West Tiverton Way in Lexington, KY to learn more!

 

Ukulele Club Resumes At Kenwood

uke clubThe Ukulele club is starting up again at Willis Music, Kenwood location. We are fortunate to have John DiMauro head our Ukulele club. John is a Uke enthusiast in the area. You will  find him playing at local senior centers entertaining the locals.

The club will meet the first Wednesday of the month. The first meeting will be May 7, 6:30PM at the Willis Music store in Kenwood, 8118 Montgomery Rd. Cincinnati, Oh. 45236. Call for any additional information 513-252-0445.

So dust off your ukuleles and come join us. This is open to all ukulele freaks. Having fun is mandatory!

 

10 Tips to Improve Your Sax Playing

sax

Musicians play music because we love it, but everyone has a beginning point and all of us work to improve our performances. Below are some easy ideas to make your time on a sax better & more fun!

Number 1: Post your fingering chart where you see it on a daily basis

For me, there are always one or two very high notes that I forget if they aren’t in the music pieces I am working on. I have posted my fingering chart by my bed and see it before I fall asleep at night. If you don’t have a fingering chart, buy one! They are small, inexpensive and readily available at most music stores.

Number 2: Wet your reed before you play

The first thing I do when I pull my case out is pop the reed I want to use in my mouth, and keep it there while I assemble my saxophone and sheet music. This helps your reed vibrate more efficiently right when you start playing.

Number 3: Pick a position and stay with it

Depending on who taught you to play the saxophone, you either hold your instrument between your legs or to the right side of your legs. There are merits to both methods, and it is completely personal preference. Try both methods, and then pick the one that you prefer. But either way, stick with it!

Changing your position constantly will hurt your ability to play. This is because you will be concentrating on how to reach that difficult fingering through a different hand position instead of a perfect vibrato or even tone. When you switch positions, the angles change. This changes everything!

Number 4: Posture

Remember when you first started classes or lessons, one of the first things you learned was to sit up straight? We’re back to basics for this tip. By sitting up straight, your diaphragm has more room to expand. This means the ability for longer and more powerful notes, and stronger vibrato and tone.

Number 5: Tighten your Ligature

Have you ever gotten that awful bubbly noise of water under your reed? It will completely destroy any piece you try to play, and sometimes it isn’t possible to stop in the middle of a piece. Turning your ligature joint an extra half turn can make all the difference in the world.

Number 6: Make sure your reed is the right level of hardness

Have you ever stopped playing for about a month, and you start to play with your favorite old reed, and you’re like “Wow! I don’t remember having to push this hard last time I played”? And that is because you didn’t! Your embouchure (the way you handle the mouthpiece and reed in your mouth or the muscles controlling those motions) has grown weaker over the month you’ve been away. On the flip side, if you’ve been playing more than usual your embouchure will have grown stronger. Make sure you get the strength of reed that corresponds with your strength for optimum tone!

Number 7: Use a neck strap

Using a neck strap, especially when you’re playing standing up, is crucial. Distributing the weight off of your thumbs enables your fingers to move more swiftly and efficiently.

Number 8: Cite-read a piece before you start learning it

There are special competitions for cite-reading, for both individuals and bands. Being able to look at a piece of music and run through it a few times, and then being able to play it fairly well shows musical prowess. Cite-reading sometimes, even if you don’t want to compete in it, is a great way to stretch your music reading muscles. I tend to cite-read a piece of music that I am going to learn to play, before I start breaking it down measure by measure. I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in my music reading ability since starting this. To top it off, once you get the hang of cite-reading it is really fun!

Number 9: Play in an area with good lighting

There is nothing worse than playing in an area with subpar lighting. You can’t see the notes right. Playing in the sunshine or in a well light area just improves your mood. I play below a window and have a lamp by the window for playing at night.

Number 10: Invest in high quality reeds

Have you ever had a reed splinter in your mouth? It hurts and tastes really awful. Since then, I have always purchased a higher quality reed. Originally it was to avoid another “Fantastical Exploding Reed” but my tone quality has improved so much. And please, none of those fiberglass reeds. Only reeds made of cane or other natural materials for better tone and control!

The post 10 Tips to Improve Your Sax Playing appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

7 Guitars That Changed History

1. Gibson L-5

Gisbon L-5 GuitarFirst introduced: 1923

Also Known As: The First Masterpiece

Notable Players: Mother Maybelle Carter, Eddie Lang, Wes Montgomery, Scotty Moore, Tuck Andress, Lee Ritenour, Pat Martino, Jan Akkerman, John Mayer, Eric Clapton

Quick Facts:
– The Gibson L-5 is the first modern orchestra guitar, the first f-hole archtop guitar, and the first guitar with a 14-fret neck to the body that had an adjustable truss rod.

– It was originally offered as an acoustic instrument, with electric models made available in the 1950s, and was considered the premier rhythm guitar in the big band era.

– Maybelle Carter’s L-5 is now kept at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.

2. Martin D-45

Martin D-45 GuitarFirst introduced: 1933

Also Known As: The Flagship of the Martin line, The Pearl

Notable Players: Gene Autry, Neil Young

Quick Facts:
– From the fretboard markers to the trim, D-45s glitter with abalone, a shellfish whose mother-of-pearl interior gives us the name “pearl.”

– Only 91 D-45s were made between 1931 and 1941. Each is truly irreplaceable and carries an astronomical price tag.

– Gene Autry originally contacted Martin and requested a custom guitar with 12 frets and style 45 trim. He also requested his name be on it, but Martin refused.

3. Fender Broadcaster/Telecaster

Fender Broadcaster Telecaster GuitarFirst introduced: 1950

Also Known As: The Most Important Electric Guitar Ever Made

Notable Players: James Burton, Muddy Waters, Roy Buchanan, Albert Lee

Quick Facts:
– The Model-T of guitars, the stripped-down, easy-to-play solid-body Fender Broadcaster electric guitar was the first guitar of its kind to be produced on a substantial scale.

– Two single-coil pickups introduced the clean, bright Fender sound, developed out of Leo Fender’s love of the lap steel guitar and its Hawaiian twang.

– The name was changed from Broadcaster to Telecaster in the late 1950s to avoid a possible trademark conflict with Gretsch.

4. Gibson Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul guitarFirst introduced: 1952

Also Known As: The Legend

Notable Players: Les Paul, Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Freddie King, Hubert Sumlin

Quick Facts:
– From mid-1957 until 1962, Les Paul humbuckers were stickered “Patent Applied For” and some players (and collectors) believe that have an almost mystical quality.

– The body is mahogany with a maple “cap.” The wood is bookmatched to create symmetrical patterns under the finish, giving the magical sunburst effect.

– The significance of Les Paul’s contributions to his Gibson guitar design remains controversial. The book “50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul” limits Paul’s contributions to two: advice on the trapeze tailpiece, and a preference for color (stating that Paul preferred gold as “it looks expensive”, and a second choice of black because “it makes your fingers appear to move faster on the box”, and “looks classy—like a tuxedo”).

5. Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster guitarFirst introduced: 1954

Also Known As: The Standard

Notable Players: David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, George Harrison, John Lennon, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Everyone

Quick Facts:
– The Stratocaster is the most played, most popular, and most copied electric guitar ever.

– The perfect six-on-a-side peghead was designed in response to the minimal Telecaster style. Everything is new: two cutaways, the beveled body, an unheard-of three pickups with selector switch, adjustable bridge for each string, protected output jack, and angled lead pickup for better treble response.

– The vibrato unit, or “whammy bar,” was so revolutionary that it took a decade, when Jimi Hendrix came along, to be fully explored.

6. Gibson Flying V

Gibson Flying V guitarFirst introduced: 1958

Also Known As: The Modernistic

Notable Players: Lonnie Mack, Albert King, Dave Davies, Jimi Hendrix

Quick Facts:
– The original Flying V was made of korina, a trade name for African limba wood.

– The prototype of the Flying V has a black pickguard and input plate, but most original models had white trim.

– Gibson shipped only 98 Flying Vs in the 1950s, making original models very rare and collectible. Flying V reissues started showing up in 1967.

– Dealers originally took the guitars off the floor, where they weren’t selling, and hung them in the window to attract attention. Sales caught on a decade later, and eventually the design became recognized as a classic.

7. Paul Reed Smith Santana

First introduced: 1980

Also Known As: The Stradivarius of the Electric Guitar

Notable Players: Carlos Santana, Ted Nugent, Al DiMeola, Joe Walsh, Dickey Betts

Quick Facts:
– The famous bird markers, used on higher-end models, are inspired by a guidebook belonging to Paul Reed Smith’s mother, a bird-watcher.

– Beautiful, popping wood grain is a PRS signature. The first wood Smith used was curly maple from the drawer-fronts of a friend’s dresser.

– Carlos Santana, the person for whom the guitar was made, was so impressed with the guitar that he called it “an act of God.”

The post 7 Guitars That Changed History appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

New Shipment of G&L Guitars

Just got a new flock of G&L guitars in stock. Just in time for VIP weekend. Great guitars for the $$$. Stop in to check them out – (our favorite is the ASAT Bluesboy).

photo (4)

 

Check out more info here!

Guitar Digital Wireless Done Right

glx

A groundbreaking offering to guitarists, Shure’s GLX-D Guitar Pedal Digital Wireless System combines revolutionary LINKFREQ Automatic Frequency Management and battery rechargeability with unparalleled Shure design and construction. The GLXD6 guitar pedal receiver easily integrates into any pedal board and features integrated strobe and meter guitar tuners, providing exceptional digital audio clarity with seamless operation.

Features include:

  • GLXD6 wireless guitar pedal receiver
  • GLXD1 bodypack transmitter
  • WA305 premium locking-thread guitar cable
  • SB902 rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
  • USB charge cable
  • SBC902 battery dock charger
  • Padded zipper case
  • LINKFREQ Automatic Frequency Management
  • Revolutionary intelligent frequency management quickly identifies the best open channels
  • Bi-directional communication enables the transmitter to follow any frequency change on the receiver automatically
  • Continuous interference monitoring avoids signal interruption by automatically and seamlessly switching to backup frequencies without performance interruption
  • Globally-unlicensed 2.4 GHz frequency band allows operation of up to 8 compatible systems

The post Guitar Digital Wireless Done Right appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Melvin the “Mello” – phone….Do you name your instruments?

Melvin the Mello

Melvin the Mello

Came across this case in the store the other day.  A school had dropped off about a dozen mellophones for their yearly maintenance and there was a huge stack of them clogging the isles.  Obviously someone (name deleted for privacy reasons) had become so attached to this mellophone and spent so much time with it that they felt compelled to give it a name.  It reminded me of a middle school girl who came in the store once who was renting a viola.  I can’t remember the size but violas come in different sizes and as a child grows they have to upgrade occasionally to a bigger size.  This child’s teacher had decided that it was time for her to go to the next size up  The girl came in with her mother and was on the verge of tears because she was so attached to the viola which she had named, can’t remember the name unfortunately.  She refused to give it up.  She threw a virtual fit until her mother finally gave in and decided that despite the teacher’s wishes, she would let her daughter continue to rent the original viola.

 

Musicians can be strange birds sometimes.  We spend so much time with our instruments that we form a special “bond” with them, sometimes to the point of an unhealthy obsession with them.  We’d rather spend time with our special “someone” than humans.  This got me thinking about some of the famous examples of this out there.  Huge stars are no exception to this.  Below are some examples:

Yngwie Malmsteen’s “The Duck”

Yngwie's the Duck

Yngwie’s the Duck

 

 

 

 

Eddie Van Halen’s “FrankenStrat” or “Frankenstein”

Frankenstein

Frankenstein

 

 

 

 

Willie Nelson’s “Trigger”

Trigger

Trigger

 

 

 

 

and probably the most famous:

BB King’s “Lucille”

Lucille

Lucille

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you named your instrument?  Tell us about it either here or on one of our Facebook pages.  Need a new love of your life?  Come see us and pick out a new one.  Speed dating available daily!  Check out some of your fine choices here!

 

 

 

 

Special Event? Not enough Power? Too Dark?

So, you have a special event coming up, but you don’t have enough speakers to reach everyone in attendance or you need some more lights to make it extra special? Willis has you covered.

We are now renting speakers, power amps, mixers, microphones, cables, stands, and lights for short terms. We can do 1 day, weekend, week, or month rental. Rates are VERY reasonable!

Call your favorite sale expert today at 859-525-6050 ext 5

Augustin Hadelich Violin Masterclass FREE

The CSO (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) and Willis Music invite you and your students to a Violin Master Class/Demo/Lecture with the great violinist Augustin Hadelich.  

The event begins at 12:00 noon on Saturday, April 12th, 2014

at the Performance Hall inside Willis Music, …7567 Mall Road, Florence, KY.

There will be a Q&A after the class. The CSO (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) will raffle off several pairs of tickets to Mr. Hadelich’s Saturday night performance at Music Hall.  

Here is a link to Augustin Hadelich’s website/bio: http://augustin-hadelich.com/

There is no charge for the event as this is just one of many ways the CSO (Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) is bringing music to the Northern Kentucky area. 

Yamaha’s SILENT Brass Delivers Pure Sound

silent

It’s pretty much impossible to play a brass instrument through headphones. That’s a big deal, and until now there hasn’t been a good way to do it without bothering other people.

Until now!

Yamaha’s SILENT Brass system isn’t new, but the latest evolution opens it up to a wider audience. The idea is this: stick a mute in the instrument so it can be barely heard, then replace the sound with synthesis so the player can still hear through headphones. Traditionally, there are two variables where this goes wrong. The first is the compactness of the physical apparatus. Make it too big, and the system is inconvenient (or can even throw the horn off-balance). The second issue is sound.

Yamaha has been a pioneer in the synthesis field. They were the first to bring physical modeling to market in a real product. Ironically, the breadth of products the company offers has sometimes distracted from some of their best research, but when it comes to replicating brass sound, they stand alone.

Get the two ingredients right – make the physical bit unnoticeable and the sound seem like the real thing – and you can have a headphone experience that approaches playing the instrument all-out. The sound is amazing.

Here’s how the SILENT Brass system works:

  • A mute with a built-in pickup both keeps the instrument quiet and registers your playing as accurately as possible – this component has been made both smaller and more lightweight
  • “Brass Resonance Modeling” simulates the sound of the instrument, here greatly improved in quality
  • A compact “Personal Studio” unit has a headphone jack, plus an input in case you want to play along with a recording.

Getting excited? Click the pic above for a demo, or better yet come by give a SILENT Brass a run for yourself. You’ll be knocked out!

The post Yamaha’s SILENT Brass Delivers Pure Sound appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

New Piano Teacher in Louisville!

We have another new teacher to introduce. David Patrick is currently teaching in our Louisville location. David has lessons available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. See his schedule here. 

David Patrick was raised on a 120-acre farm where he grew up feeding chickens and performing tunes on the piano. After graduating from Bethlehem High School in 2008, he pursued music and writing at the University of Louisville where he finished his B.A. in English only three years later. With sixteen years of training and experience in music, he now lives with his beautiful wife Sarah Rose in Kentucky where they both compose music and sing together . Here are a few facts about David.

  1. Won SECOND PLACE at the school talent show in May 2001
  2. Won FIRST PLACE at the Kentucky State Performing Arts in May 2007
  3. Accepted into the most advanced Music Theory class at the University of Louisville School of Music in May 2008
  4. Offered position as store pianist at Von Maur in October 2012 (which is how I met my wife!)

Sign up for Lessons with David Today!

Line 6′s New Amplifi Raises The Bar

amplifi

Incredible amp tones? CHECK!

Bluetooth capable? CHECK!

5 speaker sound system? CHECK!

On-board tone matching? CHECK!

Killer 2-tone look? CHECK!

All the new Line 6 Amplifi needs is a cape, because this is surely the Super Amp of 2014. Click the pic for more!

The post Line 6′s New Amplifi Raises The Bar appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

This Day In Music History

1953, The Stargazers were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Broken Wings.’ The first record by any British group to reach No.1. Stargazers’ member Fred Dachtler is the father of Clark Datchler of 80′s group Johnny Hates Jazz.
1956, Elvis Presley played the first of two nights in San Diego Arena in San Diego, California. The local Police chief issued a statement saying if Elvis ever returned to the city and performed like he did, he would be arrested for disorderly conduct.
1960, RCA Victor Records announced that it would be release all Pop singles in mono and stereo simultaneously, the first record company to do so. Elvis Presley’s single, ‘Stuck on You’ was RCA’s first mono / stereo release.
1964, The Beatles held the top five places on the US singles chart, at No. 5 ‘Please Please Me’, No.4 ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, No.3, ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, No.2 ‘Love Me Do’ and at No.1 ‘Can’t Buy Me Love.’ They also had another nine singles on the chart, bringing their total to fourteen singles on the Hot 100. 

This Day In Music History

1956, Elvis Presley appeared on ABC-TV’s ‘The Milton Berle Show’ live from the flight deck of the USS Hancock in San Diego, California. He performed ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, ‘Shake Rattle And Roll’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’ It was estimated that one out of every four Americans saw the show.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpzV_0l5ILI

 

 

New Voice Teacher- Tonya Jenkins

We are very excited to have Tonya Jenkins on board teaching at our Lexington Location.

Tonya teachers voice lessons and is available any time of day on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Sign up for lessons Today!

I’m so happy you are considering vocal lessons! I have been singing since I was 5 years old. I entered every competition, choir and vocal group I could. When it was time to go to college, my Dad told me he would pay for my college education or an apartment in New York so I could audition for musicals. He was my biggest fan. I teach vocal conditioning and technique but most importantly I try to help instill confidence in each student. After college I performed for 10 years. I was the Music Director at a private school. I’ve been doing private vocal instruction since 1997. I’ve always sang at Church. I believe any talent is a gift from God. I try to give back any way I can. Music is truly my passion and I would love to work with you.

You can view Tonya’s Profile Here

 

New Teachers in West Chester- Sign up Today!

We have several exciting new teachers at our West Chester Moeller/Willis Music location. These four new teachers are a great addition to our lessons!

Shelia Gardner- View Profile Here!

Voice lessons, Thursday Evenings 

Register for Lessons With Shelia Today!

 

 

Keith Lykins- View Profile Here

Acoustic, Electric, and Classical Guitar- Saturday, Sunday, & Monday

Register for Lessons With Keith Today!

 

Josiah Wolf- View Profile Here!

Drums- Thursdays 

Register for Lessons With Josiah Today!

 

Mike Haid- View Profile Here!

Drums- Sundays

Register for Lessons With Mike Today!

 

 

To see all of the teachers at our West Chester location, Click Here

Or Click Here to find a teacher near you!

 

April 2014 Calendar of Events

 

April is going to be a busy month here at Willis Music in Lexington, KY!
Below is our Calendar of Events for the month.
Look for Sale Events, Special Deals, Recitals, Classes, and more.

CALENDAR - Store Events

Calendar of Events for April 2014 at the Willis Music Florence Super Store.

April is a VIP+1 (Very Important Person – bring a friend) month. This special event is our way of saying Thank You to our customers. April 11-12 enjoy great savings, music, give aways and refreshments. Great Martin String Challenge is April 25th. This event kicks off our Pick Your Martin Sale (April 25-27). All month long enjoy rebates for that new Yamaha band instrument. April is Spring Recital time. Recitals for the students of Suzanne Butler, Dephne Walters, NKMTA (Northern Kentucky Music Teachers Association), Christie Arquiness and Debbie Starosciak. Re-occurring events include: 4/9: Steinway Young Artist Concert (Marcus Schwarting and friends), 4/16: Open Mic Night (with Scott Stuckswich), 4/20: Open Blues Jam (with Don Jackson), 4/23: Ukulele Club Jam (with Joe Yoakum), 4/25: Open Bluegrass Jam (NKBMA). Willis Music/Woodsongs Coffeehouse Concert: 4/19: featuring Sammy Adkins and the Sandy Hook Mountain Boys.

AprilCalendar2014jpeg

Khristian Dentley of Take 6 to Perform LIVE today at Willis Music Florence!

WHAT: Khristian Dentley will be at Willis Music in Florence, KY TODAY, Thurs. at 6 p.m. for a charity concert and songbook signing. The concert and signing are FREE, and attendees will also receive FREE Willis Music gift cards when they donate to the Little Kids Rock Foundation.

WHO: Khristian Dentley is a member of the legendary group Take 6. This Grammy-award winning group is known for their a Capella contemporary style and integrating R&B and jazz influences into their devotional songs. Dentley has partnered with the Little Kids Rock Foundation to help with their mission of transforming children’s lives by restoring and revitalizing music education in disadvantaged public schools throughout the nation. Willis Music is proud of their company’s strong history and efforts towards music education and keeping school music programs strong.

WHEN: Thursday, March 27 at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Willis Music in Florence, KY

7565 Mall Rd.
Florence, KY 41042

859-525-6050

Piano Rental Now Available at Willis Music

 

Do you or one of your family members want to learn piano to play the piano ?

Would you like to test the waters before you invest ?

No Worries, We have a solution –

Willis Music now has a piano rental program so you can bring out your inner Beethoven      ( or Bach if you prefer )

Contact Joe at Willis Music Florence 859-525-6050×5

http://www.steinwaycincinnati.com/rentals

What The Heck is a Cajon?

cajon

A Cajon drum is a percussion musical instrument that existed in the eighteenth century. Its origin can be traced from the slaves of Africa and Peru which makes it known worldwide.

Another theory on the origins of the drum dates back to when the Spaniards colonized the African territories and banned music. The African slaves notwithstanding the risks it would cause them kept these drums and played with them secretly. The Cajon’s were made to appear like chairs and pieces of furniture so as to conceal their true nature.

The Cajon box drum became very famous around 1850 and towards the end of that century. Musicians, particularly the Cajon players, started experimenting with the designs and features of the drum thereby causing different beats and sounds to come out of the instrument. The drum has greatly evolved since then.

This instrument is made up of wood. The front side which is called the head is made up of thin plywood. This is the part where the musician slaps the palm of his hand to make a musical sound. A hole is located on the back of the box in order to release the sound. The musical player sits on the drum and slaps the head of the Cajon situated between his legs.

Other modern versions of the Cajon Drum have features that can adjust the tones and timbres in order to produce a variety of sounds. The percussionist or drummer may also slap the sides of the box with his hands if he wants to create further sounds. These types of drums are now being widely used globally. It has been known for its versatility and style that not only percussionists are playing this instrument nowadays but other musicians as well.

Click the pic for a great cajon solo!

The post What The Heck is a Cajon? appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Live Performance by “Guitar God” Diana Chittester

We are excited to announce a new performance series titled “Guitar Gods: Live!” Join us for the premiere on Sunday, April 6, 2014 right here at Willis Music in Lexington, KY, from 2-3 p.m. This is a FREE performance!

Progressive Indie/Folk musician, Diana Chittester, is our featured artist. She is an incredible female guitarist, lyricist and vocalist. Check out these great videos:

No gimmicks, no gadgets. Just a girl, a guitar and a lot of sound! You do NOT want to miss this one!

To learn more about Diana Chittester, visit her website:  http://www.dianachittester.com

APRIL 6 CONCERT POSTER
Willis Music and Skinny Devil Music Lab are excited to bring you this NEW monthly live performance & web series, featuring the greatest players from around the globe!

Powerwerks PA Sale

All of our Powerwerks PA gear is 15% off, now through the end of March. This gear is perfect for singer-songwriters playing small gigs around town. Come in and check out this must have gear today!

PA and Lighting Rental NOW available

Speaker Blown? Need more Lights for the show?

We now have your answer. Willis Music Florence is now your connection for Short Term PA and Lighting rental. We will rent by the day, weekend, week, or month. Great rates!! We rent only the best equipment for your needs. Stop by today for a quote!

 

Super Hit “Royals” w/ a UK Spin!

UK Royals

Lorde’s award winning hit, “Royals”, gets a basketball themed makeover by these UK Wildcat fans! Click to watch.

The post Super Hit “Royals” w/ a UK Spin! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Take 6′s Khristian Dentley Live in Concert 3/27

Khristian Dentley from Take 6 will be LIVE in Concert at Willis Music Florence!!

He is going to do a Charity Concert and Songbook Signing! Willis Music will be giving out Gift Cards! All proceeds will benefit Little Kids Rock!

About Take 6:

The most awarded vocal group in history (10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more) celebrates their 25th Anniversary!

Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley), heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet!’, is the quintessential a cappela group and model for vocal genius. Six virtuosic voices united in crystal clear harmony, against a backdrop of syncopated rhythms, innovative arrangements, and funky grooves that bubble into an intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop. With praise from such luminaries as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald and Whitney Houston, the multi-platinum selling sextet has toured across the globe, collaborated across genres, and is recognized as the pre-eminent a capella group in the world.

https://www.facebook.com/Take6Official/info

Ukulele Club This Wednesday 7 PM Willis Music Florence

Let’s Celebrate Spring !

Bring your uke and join our club.

When? Wednesday March 26th  2014 7 PM

Where? Willis Music Florence 7567 Mall Road Florence Ky 41042

Who? All Ukulele Fanatics and Their Friends

Hope To See You Here !

 

 

The Crown Jewel is Here!

The Kenwood Gallery recently added a stunning cherry Steinway & Sons Model L (5’10.5″) It was built in 1999 in New York. As a member of the Crown Jewel Collection it features the highest grade wood veneer. This instrument has only been owned by one local family and is now available for sale. It features only authentic Steinway parts with original solid brass hardware. This model is no longer built and a rare find in this condition.

Contact Seth Parshall sethp@willismusic.com or 513.560.1353

Steinway & Sons Model LCrown Jewel Emblem Steinway LSteinway L 549961 Pedal Lyre

Alternate Tuning Made Easy

In the scheme of things, tuning your guitar is pretty easy. But what about all those cool sounds from classic rock, jazz, folk and bluegrass that you seem to be unable to find? If you’re struggling to stretch your fingers across the neck in a musical game of Twister, these cool tunings might make your life a lot easier!

Name Notes in Tuning
Standard e1 a1 d2 g2 b2 e3
Drop D d1 a1 d2 g2 b2 e3
Half Step Down d#1 g#1 c#2 f#2 a#2 d#3
Full Step Down d1 g1 c2 f2 a2 d3
1 and 1/2 Steps Down c#1 f#1 b1 e2 g#2 c#3
Double Drop D d1 a1 d2 g2 b2 d3
Drop C c1 g1 c2 f2 a2 d3
Drop C# c#1 g#1 c#2 f#2 a#2 d#3
Drop B b0 f#1 b1 e2 g#2 c#3
Drop A# a#0 f1 a#1 d#2 g2 c3
Drop A a0 e1 a1 d2 f#2 b2
Open D d1 a1 d2 f#2 a2 d3
Open D Minor d1 a1 d2 f2 a2 d3
Open G d1 g1 d2 g2 b2 d3
Open G Minor d1 g1 d2 g2 a#2 d3
Open C c1 g1 c2 g2 c3 e3
Open C# c#1 f#1 b2 e2 g#2 c#3
Open C Minor c1 g1 c2 g2 c3 d#3
Open E7 e1 g#1 d2 e2 b2 e3
Open E Minor7 e1 b1 d2 g2 b2 e3
Open G Major7 d1 g1 d2 f#2 b2 d3
Open A Minor e1 a1 e2 a2 c3 e3
Open A Minor7 e1 a1 e2 g2 c3 e3
Open E e1 b1 e2 g#2 b2 e3
Open A e1 a1 c#2 e2 a2 e3
C Tuning c1 f1 a#1 d#2 g2 c3
C# Tuning c#1 f#1 b1 e2 g#2 c#3
Bb Tuning a#0 d#1 g#1 c#2 f2 a#2
A to A (Baritone) a0 d1 g1 c2 e2 a2
D A D D D D d1 a1 d2 d2 d3 d3
C G D G B D c1 g1 d2 g2 b2 d3
C G D G B E c1 g1 d2 g2 b2 e3
D A D E A D d1 a1 d2 e2 a2 d3
D G D G A D d1 g1 d2 g2 a2 d3

The post Alternate Tuning Made Easy appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Tales of a Traveling Composer

Cambridge, England

Cambridge, England

“Aretta and I spent the morning wandering the magnificent and awe-inspiring streets of Cambridge. The college campuses and cathedrals are absolutely stunning. We also walked by the ADC Theatre, home of the famous Footlights Revue where some of my favorite English comedians first developed their craft.

The workshop at Miller’s Music Centre was a delight. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the teachers and was very impressed by the wonderful staff. After saying our farewells we hopped on a train south to Brighton. Tomorrow will be quite busy with sessions in both Brighton and London followed by a reunion with my old Berklee roommate. It’s been an incredible week.”

eric baumgartner miller's music centre

written by Eric Baumgartner, Willis Music Composer

Click HERE to see Compositions and Arrangements by Eric Baumgartner

Click HERE to see all of Eric’s Travels

Music on the Avenue Recital Series

If you haven’t checked out the recital series in Bellevue you must! For over a decade, they have been bringing in top quality performers to the wonderful space at St. John UCC. These concerts are free of charge and a delightful display of space and talent. Willis Music had the privilege to be a sponsor this year. The wonderful performers surrounded the Steinway & Sons piano and filled this intimate space with an expansive experience of musical delight. The series takes place each year in February. Check it out! Come see the piano used for the event at our Kenwood Steinway & Sons Gallery.  https://www.facebook.com/MusicOnTheAvenue

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Willis Music and Steinway & Sons Sponsor ACDA

The American Choral Director’s Association recently held their Central Division conference in Cincinnati. Willis Music and Steinway & Sons were proud to be a sponsor at the conference. Six pianos were delivered into the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel for the three day event. Many of the performances taking place in the historic hotel’s Hall of Mirrors has the pleasure to be accompanied by a Concert & Artists Series Steinway & Sons Model B. CD73 has become one of this areas favorite pianos and is a welcome addition to the concerts. The various other Steinway & Sons and Boston (Designed by Steinway & Sons) pianos were utilized in workshops and rehearsal spaces. The instruments used for the event have been moved into our showrooms and are available with special pricing. Feel free to stop by or call us and see them!

Display BoothPic2download

Teacher Wins Boston Piano!

Willis Music recently launched the Music Educator’s Partnership (MEP). As part of the kick off, all teachers signing up the first day were entered to win the use of a new Boston piano. After all the tickets were in, the drawing revealed the winner as Jill Duebber. Jill is a prominent piano instructor in the area with many talented students. Jill is already the proud owner of a wonderful grand piano. She decided to donate the piano to an advanced student of hers to aid in their study of playing. The student was ecstatic about having the instrument brought to their home. We know the high-quality piano will help her excel in her study and promote the love and practice of piano. Congratulations! If you are a local teacher please stop in to sign up for MEP!

Winners of a Boston Piano!

Winners of a Boston Piano!

Tales of a Traveling Composer

Manchester, England

“This morning our host from Music Sales, the delightful Jonny Brading, drove us from Newcastle to Manchester. We had been very lucky weather-wise as this was our first rainy, grey day.

eric baumgartner and jonny brading from music sales in england

In Manchester we had a fun, interactive session at Forsyth’s Music. After sharing some tea and biscuits with the wonderful staff and teachers we continued our travels with Jonny down to Cambridge. Tomorrow we’ll have plenty of time to see the sights of this historic town before the workshop. We are simply having a marvelous time!”

forsyth music in manchester

written by Eric Baumgartner, Willis Music Composer

Click HERE to see Compositions and Arrangements by Eric Baumgartner

Click HERE to see all of Eric’s Travels

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!)

 

Tales of a Traveling Composer

Newcastle (upon Tyne), England

newcastle upon tyne

“On Monday morning we traveled by train from London to Newcastle. We were happy to have a few hours to explore the city prior to the workshop. Newcastle is a fascinating blend of the old and the new. I wish we would have had more time to explore. It’s worth a return trip.

Our fabulous hosts at J. G. Windows set up a terrific workshop Monday evening and I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the local teachers. Afterward it was off to dinner with our hosts. The locals emerging from the pubs after their St. Patrick’s celebrations made for an endlessly entertaining walk home.

Off to Manchester…”

 

j.g. windows eric baumgartner workshop in newcastle

written by Eric Baumgartner, Willis Music Composer

Click HERE to see Compositions and Arrangements by Eric Baumgartner

Click HERE to see all of Eric’s Travels

7 Reasons to Buy Your DRUMS at Willis Music

Are you wanting to purchase a drum set? How about a djembe? Cajon? Or your first snare drum?

Here are 7 Reasons why you should buy your drums here at Willis Music in Lexington:

1. All drums are Detailed and Inspected.

2. All drums are Assembled by our percussion product specialists.

3. All drums are Tuned by our percussion product specialists.

4. All drum sets include an Evans Power Center Premium Snare Head

5. All drum sets include an Evans EQ Bass Drum Beater Pad

6. We give you the Manufacturers Warranty EXTENDED for 1 Full Year!

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

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

drum

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

This class is a $39 value. Learn how to:
– Tune your drums
– Care for your drums
– Change a drumhead
– Know about cymbal, stick, and drumhead selection
– Use a metronome and learn the importance of meter

You will also be able to participate in a Question & Answer session, and receive a free pair of drum sticks!

 

Tales of a Traveling Composer

London, England

aretta baumgartner in london

“This morning, after 4 wonderful days in Frankfurt for Musikmesse, we flew to London in preparation for next week’s workshops. After checking in to the hotel we went to a puppet show (!) and met up with a good friend at a Bayswater pub (where my wife met the little gal in the photo). We’re looking forward to another day here before heading north for the first of the UK workshops in Newcastle. Cheers!”

written by Eric Baumgartner, Willis Music Composer

Click HERE to see Compositions and Arrangements by Eric Baumgartner

Click HERE to see all of Eric’s Travels

We are having a Kala Ukulele luau…who’s bringing the poi?

Uke Palm

Kala Ukulele Palm Tree

Check them out here!

Neal Schon’s Custom Fender Strat

schon

Sammy Hagar and Neal Schon of Journey have a very long friendship, and the two reunited for Sammy’s newest CD, “Sammy Hagar & Friends”. Neal’s guitar is all over the cover of “Personal Jesus”, and his new custom Fenders are all over the video. Click the pic to watch.

The post Neal Schon’s Custom Fender Strat appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

DEAL OF THE WEEK – March 15

It’s March Madness time! Are you excited to cheer on your favorite college basketball teams towards a championship?

Here at Willis Music in Lexington we are excited to cheer on YOU, our customers, towards a purchase of your next musical instrument!

We will announce a DEAL OF THE WEEK each and every week via this blog & our Facebook page.

This week we have lowered the price on these two guitars:

DOTW 3-14-14

One of our Lexington employees, John Renshaw, can’t contain his excitement for this DEAL OF THE WEEK!

Martin X Little Spruce Top Guitar
Was $300
NOW $150! 

Blueridge Historic Craftsmen Guitar
Was $1,579
NOW $1,200!

Mesa Pedals Now With EQ!

mesa new

Following the worldwide success & critical acclaim Mesa/Boogie has experienced with their line of drive pedals, and with years of requests for our exclusive 5-Band Graphic EQ, they have designed 3 new Pedals to provide yet even more of Mesa Boogie’s legendary tone shaping power! Mesa welcomes to their family the new Flux-Five, Throttle Box EQ and Boogie Graphic EQ!

Click the pic for a video demo of the new Flux Drive EQ.

The post Mesa Pedals Now With EQ! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Laughter is the Best Medicine!

Musicians work hard, but they enjoy a great laugh as much as anyone. Below are some player-friendy jokes sure to bring a smile or two.

A young child says to his mother, “Mom, when I grow up I’d like to be a musician.” She replies, “Well honey, you know you can’t do both.”

Q: How do you make musicians complain?
A: Pay them.
Q: What’s the difference between a banjo and an onion?
A: Nobody cries when you chop up a banjo.

Q: What did the drummer get on his I.Q. Test?
A: Saliva.

Q: What do call a guitar player without a girlfriend?
A: Homeless.

Q: What is another term for trombone?
A: A wind driven, manually operated, pitch approximator.

Q: What do you call a guitar player that only knows two chords?
A: A music critic

Q: How many guitar players does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: 13 – one to do it, and twelve to stand around and say, “Phhhwt! I can do that!”

Tuba Player: “Did you hear my last recital?”
Friend: “I hope so.”

The post Laughter is the Best Medicine! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Our Fantastic Teaching Staff

We tend to take them for granted and don’t talk about them enough so just wanted to take a second to introduce our fantastic teaching staff here at Moeller of Willis Music West Chester!

 

Check out their bios here! Or better yet,  just go ahead and sign up for lessons here!

 

We offer guitar, bass, drums, piano, keyboard, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, coronet,  bass clarinet, violin, viola, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, and voice lessons and perhaps a few I forgot to mention.

Your Home is a Musical Instrument

house

This video proves music can be made with anything!

The post Your Home is a Musical Instrument appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Great Video of Glass Breaking by Voice!

glass

Some hairbands of the 80′s may have sounded like they were breaking glass with their voices, but the TV show Mythbusters has shown everyone how to do it with a lot less spandex!

The post Great Video of Glass Breaking by Voice! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Welcome Aboard

Welcome Abigail Westwood to our team here at Willis Music Florence. Abigail will be our new Steinway representative. Stop by and say hello!

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Abigail Westwood has been involved with music as long as she can remember. As a child, she sang in several choirs and took piano and flute lessons throughout her school age years. She received a scholarship to study music at Northern Kentucky University where she worked towards a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis on flute. She taught piano and flute lessons for several years, as well as General Music K-8 at St. Cecilia’s Grade School in Independence, KY. She currently enjoys playing music regularly with a local folk ensemble. Abigail has a strong passion for music and quality and is excited to fuse these passions with Steinway’s vision.

Open Mic Night! Tuesday, March 11th from 6-8pm

The next installment of our Open Mic Night! is TOMORROW, Tuesday March 11th from 6-8 pm.

Any performer on any instrument is welcome. Kids and teens are especially encouraged to participate.

Come on out and show off your talents or just come out and listen and encourage the others.

open mic kids

Willis Music in Lexington hosts Open Mic Night! the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

Very Special Willis Music / Woodsongs Coffeehouse Concert: March 29th 7pm (3 Ladies and the Piano)

You are cordially invited to a special evening of piano music. The Steinway Young Artist Concert Series teams with the Willis Music / Woodsongs Coffeehouse Concerts to present: 3 Ladies and the Piano: featuring Elizabeth Windau, Jill Jantzen and Holly Judd Wilson. This very special concert is March 29th at 7pm.

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Guitar Group Lessons with David McLean START THURSDAY!

Ready to get a full understanding of how to play the guitar? Tired of learning tabs to other people’s songs?  Beginning this Thursday March 13, come participate in an EIGHT-WEEK GROUP GUITAR CLASS with David McLean.  Each week you will go home with a better understanding of how to play!  All classes are held in the Performance Hall here at your Willis Music of Lexington.

Group Class Schedule
4 p.m. – YOUTH GUITAR
5 p.m. – LEVEL 3 GUITAR
6 p.m. – LEVEL 2 GUITAR
7 p.m. – LEVEL 1 GUITAR
8 p.m. – LEVEL 4 GUITAR

(All times are Eastern Standard Time.)

David McLean
The entire 8-week course costs $110 for adults / $100 for children.  WHAT A DEAL!!!

See you this coming Thursday evening!

 

Check out the new Cordoba C12 at Kenwood

cordoba C12Finally the long awaited Cordoba Guitars C12, now at the Willis Music Kenwood store. 

 

The handmade Cordoba C12 is the latest addition to a great line of classical guitars made for Cordoba Guitars.

The C12 features the vintage elegance of a hand-inlaid mother-of-pearl rosette inspired by a 1920s Domingo Esteso design and a beautiful flame maple wedge on it’s solid Indian rosewood back.

Modern design elements also include a lattice braced top and raised fingerboard for easy playability when accessing the upper frets. The lattice bracing systems have become popular, largely as a result of John Williams patronage of Greg Smallman guitars. The lattice system employs a number of crossed struts, usually joined at intersections, to form a lattice.

This form of strutting is very stiff and can be made very light, which allows the top to be made significantly thinner than a traditionally braced guitar.

This can help to improve the efficiency of the instrument in generating sound, which can give the more volume. Lattice braced guitars also tend to have a distinctive tone (which is not to everyone’s taste). This is more a result of the lightness and stiffness of the top than the system of strutting itself.

The C12 features a solid European spruce, with solid Indian rosewood sides and back, black and gold tuning machines, ebony fingerboard and adjustable truss rod.

Come check it out at the Willis Music store in Kenwood. Make an appointment with Robert Falcon. Call 513-252-0445. 

 

 

 

Deal of the Day!

deal 3-7

The post Deal of the Day! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Guitar “Hang” Saturday! 12:00 to 3:00 PM!

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While we can’t guarantee it’ll be as cool as the picture above, we’ll be having our guitar “HANG” this Saturday from 12:00 to 3:00 at our new digs in West Chester!  Come hang out, eat some pizza, have a soda, and talk guitars and maybe rub Metal Ted’s head.   Check out all the latest gear from Fender, Ibanez, Dean, Blackstar, Orange, Vox, Martin, Seagull and more!

First Fifty Customers Get Free Swag From D’Addario!

Moeller Music West Chester

7850 Cox Rd.

West Chester, Ohio 45069

513-777-7474

Now since you’re already on the internet go buy some guitars and amps here!

Used Baldwin Grands!

Come check out our used Baldwin grand pianos! These pieces are all in perfect working order. They were traded in from Miami University, and have been taken care of their entire lives. The action, soundboards and pin blocks are all in very good shape. With a little love, they will be a great addition to your home for a very reasonable price.

March 2014 Calendar of Events for the Willis Music Florence Super Store.

March is full of fun events and great sales events: Celebrate Mardi Gras (3/4) with us and save! Daylight Saving time is (3/9) and we celebrating with savings on great instruments. Don’t forget to wear your green at our St. Patrick’s weekend sale (3/15 – 3/17). Re-occurring events for March are: Blues Jam Sunday (3/16-2pm), Open Mic Night (3/19-6pm), Ukulele Club (3/26-7pm), NKBMA Open Bluegrass Jam (3/28-6pm), Steinway Young Artist (3/29-7pm). Special Events: Larry Sparks and Lonesome Rumblers Concert (3/20-7pm), Stan Ginn Drum Clinic (3/25-6:30pm),  Dentley Little Kids Rock Charity Concert (3/27), Willis Music / Woodsongs partner with Steinway Young Artist to bring you a special concert (3/29-7pm): 3 Ladies and the Piano (Elizabeth Windau, Jill Jantzen, Holly Judd Wilson).

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Killer Deals at Our Drum “Hang” RIGHT NOW!

 

 

Killer deals on some Tama pedals and hardware going on at our Drum “Hang” right now!  Get in here!  Crazy prices.  Too low to publish!
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Killer Deals!

Killer Deals!

Willis Music “Music Money” Loyalty Program

Music Money is the best Loyalty Program EVER!!

In case  you missed it, Willis Music has a loyalty program and it is FREE to sign up for! We will give you 5% back of your purchases (up to $25) after your 6th purchase. What happens then? You start a  new card, and every 6th purchase you get your gift card. It’s that easy!!

But wait, there’s more…

The best part of the program (other than Willis Money) is that we keep the card on file for you here! No more carrying around those cards, losing them and then your “points” are gone. This is the best program in the world!!

 

Product Spotlight: Yamaha ARIUS Digital Piano

Whether you are looking for a piano to practice on or to use in performances, make the Yamaha ARIUS Digital Piano the instrument of choice for you!

Perfect for beginning and experienced players alike!
An authentic sound. A natural touch. And an absolute joy to play!

What more could you possibly want with a digital piano?

ARIUS Yamaha Digital Piano YDP-181

ARIUS Yamaha Digital Piano YDP-181

Features
The Tone of a Yamaha concert grand piano.
The Graded Hammer Standard Action just like an acoustic piano.
The ability to interface with a variety of computers or mobile devices.
Premium key stability, response, and repetition.
Synthetic Ivory Keytops make the white keys easy to “grip.”

The entire Yamaha ARIUS series of digital pianos is superb, but today we are highlighting the YDP-181 model (pictured above in our showroom.)  This model is the best of the best! Here’s why:

  • It has 14 Voices! Experience the sounds of Strings, Electric Piano, Acoustic Guitar, and more.
  • It has a Full Control Panel!  You will have access to the features you need most within an arms reach as you play!
  • It has a LED Display!  Bad vision? No problem! This is clear & crisp, and shows you everything from tempo to transposition tools, and more!
  • It has 16cm speakers! Centemeters have never looked, or more important SOUNDED so good! These speakers deliver more bass for a full, powerful sound.

At Willis Music our team of associates are excited to share with you the benefits of owning such a fantastic instrument! Come visit the Willis Music store closest to you and experience the ARIUS digital pianos made by Yamaha. You will be glad you did!

 

Deal of the Day!!

deal feb 28

The post Deal of the Day!! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Rock away the Winter Blues!

I don’t know about you, but I am getting very tired of the sub-zero temperatures! One trick I have found to kicking those winter blues is music! Rocking out on your instrument is a great way to stay warm, and a great activity for those days when it’s too cold to go outside! This is a great time to start those music lessons you have been meaning to get around to! Across all of our stores, people are staying warm with music! We have so many great new teachers, you should come in and check them out! Don’t forget you can even sign up from the comfort of your own home by clicking this link! We can’t wait to share the warmth of music with you!

No Brainer Day

No Brainer Day – now this day is for me!

By definition, a “No brainer” is dong something that is simple, easy, obvious, and/or totally logical. Therefore, today is the day for you to do all those “no brainer” tasks and activities. If a project requires thinking, study, or analysis of any kind, then its not the chore to do today.

Some people think that Christmas should be every day of the year. They even sing that theme in popular holiday songs. But, we think that No Brainer Day should be every day of the year.

We think you’ll quickly get the hang of the concept of the day. And, were certain you will excel at No Brainer Day!

To go along with it, we have a No Brainer Deal to go with it. Come in anytime today and receive 10% off anything in the store. Must mention this post for the deal!! Seriously, its No Brainer.

Uke Club Tonight Willis Music Florence

Aloha !

Tired of the Cold ? Warm up with the Uke Club Tonight

The Beatles are coming 50 Years later – ( not really ) Just Their Music

Where ? Willis Music Florence 7567 Mall Rd Florence Ky 41042 859-525-6050×5

Time – 7 PM

Hope To See You Here !

Stan Ginn’s Drum Tuning And Maintenance Workshop

Hey all you drummers! The question we are asked more often than any other concerning drums is: “How do I tune them?”  Well, on Tuesday, March 25 at 6:30, all of your questions will be answered!  Stan Ginn, one of the area’s best and busiest percussionists, will be here to demonstrate proper drum tuning, maintenance, and other tips and techniques to make sure that you are getting all you can from your instruments.

Stan is an incredibly gifted performer, educator, and authority on all things percussion, from drum set, to congas, cajons, and most things you strike.

So, load up your snares, congas, hand drums, and whatever, and join us on Tuesday, March 25 at 6:30 for the answers to all your questions!!!

Call John Coffey at 859-525-6050 ext 5 if you have any other questions.  Hope to see you there!

Deal Of The Day Feb. 24th!

deal feb 24

Great amp at a very great price!

The post Deal Of The Day Feb. 24th! appeared first on Willis Music – Louisville.

Cordoba Guitars New GK Studio Negra at Kenwood Willis Music

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The GK Studio Negra. 

Based off  its sister model, the GK Studio, the Cordoba GK Studio Negra  features a solid European Spruce top but with Indian rosewood back and sides to bring out a deeper and robust tone.  The contrasting maple binding and black ebony tuners add to this guitars’ overall beauty. A Fishman Presys Blend pickup comes installed, making this guitar a perfect gigging instrument. The all natural mosaic inlaid rosette gives it a traditional flamenco look. To top off the Flamenco look the GK Studio Negra comes with a clear Spanish golpeador.  And the  50mm width nut and slim neck make it an easy guitar to play.

Come to the Willis Music Kenwood location to play the GK Studio Negra  as well as the GK Studio guitar. Ask for Robert Falcon; 513-252-0445.

Steinway Piano Rental Available Through Willis Music

Have a concert, wedding, or special event that needs a piano ?

Willis Music has Steinway Pianos that are available to rent for just the occasion.

Contact Joe Yoakum at Willis Music Florence 859-525-6050×5 or

Check out or webpage  http://www.steinwaycincinnati.com/rentals

 

Big Bass Sale!

Due to someone experimenting with gravity using Fender basses, we have 6 basses marked with prices that hit the floor almost as hard as the basses did. These basses go thump, in every sense of the word. If you’re looking for a bass at the big bottom price, look no further than Willis Music in Eastgate.

No, seriously, we have some basses with minor bumps and bruises that need a new home and a little TLC. They still have full warranties, just some finish damage.

Eastgate has a new look!

Come check out the new look for Willis Music’s Eastgate store. We have a lot of new gear in the store, it is definitely worth a trip to see. Our drums and cymbals especially got a boost, so come check out our new selection.