March Cincinnati Band of the Month

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

https://twitter.com/misnomermusic

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

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

Cincinnati February Band of the Month

The Fox Collective is an alternative indie rock band from Lebanon, Ohio. The band was formed by musicians who came from different genre bands to collectively fulfill a specific sound. Inspired by bands and things such as Dance Gavin Dance, Circa Survive, Misnomer, Expeditions and nature itself. Currently the band has been together for nearly a year writing, practicing and recording to release their “Naked” EP. The Naked EP will be made to move you in a subtle yet exciting rush with pretty melodies and in your face riffs.

Members!

James Arnold / Vocals
Josh Allen / Guitar
Andy Mitchell / Guitar
Daquon Brice / Bass
Michael / Drums

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

The Fox Collective keeps their fans updated with the latest news, music, merchandise, promotions and whatever through various social media accounts. Some accounts are exclusive to certain media.

Facebook.com/collectivefoxes
Twitter.com/collectivefoxes
Instagram.com/thefoxcollectiveband
Tumblr.com/thefoxcollectiveband

January Cincinnati Band of the Month – Stone Mountain Mafia

Willis at Moeller Music West Chester’s Band of the Month is:  Stone Mountain Mafia

 

 

 

Stone Mountain Mafia is a Southern Fried Rock Band
That mixes the power and energy of Arena Rockers
of old with the country cool soul of bands like the
Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others to form a very unique Sound that solidifies their reputation as The Premier Southern Rock Band in the Tri state Area.
These guys are the Torch Bearers of real Rock music not beholden to trends or cliches. 4 on the floor ROCK!
Stone Mountain Mafia is…
Brett Brock… Lead Vocals, Guitar.
Jamie Cook… Bass, Backing Vocals.
Chris Lester… Lead / Rhythm Guitar Backing Vocals.
Cecil Delloma … Lead / Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals.
Gary Miller… Drums / percussion & backing vocals.

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

Cincinnati Band of the Month! The Danny Frazier Band

The Danny Frazier Band is a regional touring group performing original music, authentic music, and the music of Americana. They are also Willis Music’s band of the month!
Every month Willis music chooses and promotes a “Band of the month”. We do this to help our local bands obtain more exposure and share their talents!  Come in and show us that you have liked them on social media and we’ll give you 15% off your purchase that day!
Danny from the Danny Frazier band was born in Kerville, Texas. He relocated to Covington, Kentucky where shorty after, his band Frazier River signed with RCA Decca Records out of Nashville. The band then toured across the country in support of their album.
Since the release Danny has been performing nonstop solo and acoustic under the name of Danny Frazier Band.
Today the lineup of the band includes:
– Nick Netherten on Guitar/Fiddle
– Gregg Amburgey on Bass
– Bobby Armstrong on Drums
– Danny Frazier on Guitar and Vocals
This current lineup has been together for two years now and still going! They released an album last year entitled “Something Right”.
The Danny Frazier Band performs every weekend. They are definitely worth the drive! You can also find them on Facebook and dannyfrazierband.com! Check them out!

Cincinnati Willis Music Band of the Month

Moeller/Willis Music Band of the Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Want to Be Our Band of the Month?

What is band of the month?

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

HOW DO I SIGN UP?

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

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Trombone

This post is the final installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the trombone.

 

The most important element to trombone maintenance is the slide. There are several slide lubricant options, but the important thing to remember is to keep it moving freely. Whenever you are playing, be aware of your surroundings so you don’t accidentally hit your slide on your chair or stand. The smallest dent or bend in the slide can make it not function properly, and this is an issue that needs to be taken to a professional repair person.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Slide lubricant (your teacher may recommend one of the following):
Slide oil
Slide cream and water spray
Formulated product (like Slide-O-Mix)
Slide grease (for tuning slide only)
Bore snake
Mouthpiece brush

Optional Care Supplies:
Polishing cloth

Water Key:
You should CONSTANTLY empty your water key (spit valve). This means every several minutes while you are playing, and especially before you return the trombone to its case. Simply press the water key to hold it open, and blow air through the instrument so moisture will leave through the valve (it might be handy to keep a paper towel to empty your valve onto so you don’t leave a puddle).

Main Slide:
It is extremely important to keep your main slide well lubricated – both for the condition of the instrument, and for ease of playing. Your slide will need to be lubricated FREQUENTLY, probably each time that you play. There are several different options:

  • Slide oil: the most straightforward option, and may be best for beginners. Simply extend your slide, apply slide oil to the inner slide, and move the slide in and out to distribute the oil.
  • Slide cream: slide cream requires water to work properly. Apply slide cream to the inner slide, and spray some clean water (from a spray bottle) to the slide before moving it to distribute. Some musicians like this method as it allows the slide to move very fast, and the cream does not need to be applied as often – only the water spray. The downside to the slide cream is that residue tends to build up on the slide faster than with oil, so you may need to clean your instrument more frequently.
  • Formulated products: there are many other products out there (one of the most popular is called Slide-O-Mix). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on any type of product.

Tuning Slide:
REGULARLY, move the tuning slide on the instrument. This will prevent it from “freezing” (getting stuck). OCCASIONALLY, you should grease your slide to clean it and keep it moving freely. Simply remove the slide (pay attention to which direction it faces so you can put it back correctly), apply a small amount of slide grease to the inner slide, and replace it. Wipe off any excess grease. (Note that this is a different type of grease than the one you use for your main slide)

Cleaning:
OCCASIONALLY (every 6-8 weeks or so), you should clean the inside of your trombone. Mark Flegg has a great article on thoroughly cleaning your trumpet (http://markflegg.com/instruction/how-to-clean-your-trumpet/) that can apply to the trombone as well. The good news is that your entire trombone can be submerged in water! Fill a bathtub with warm (not hot) water (you can also add a small amount of dish soap). Remove the main slide and tuning slide from the trombone and place them in the water. Let them soak for a few minutes, then use your bore snake to clean the insides (insert in one end and push through until you can pull the whole apparatus through the other end). Next submerge the body of the trombone in the water and do the same. Use whatever combination of snake and brushes you need to in order to clean the inside of all of the tubing. Rinse each part of the instrument with clean running water, and allow to air dry. Grease your slides with the appropriate materials, and reassemble.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your trombone. The oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

Questions?
We hope that this has been informative for our young trombone players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Good luck!

Care and Feeding of Your Band Instrument: Trumpet

This post is the fourth installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the trumpet.

 

Care of any brass instrument is fairly straightforward. The most important thing to remember is to regularly empty water, and keep valves and slides lubricated.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Valve oil
Slide grease
Bore snake
Valve casing brush
Mouthpiece brush

Optional Care Supplies:
Polishing cloth

Water Key:
You should CONSTANTLY empty your water key (spit valve). This means every several minutes while you are playing, and especially before you return the trumpet to its case. Simply press the water key to hold it open, and blow air through the instrument so moisture will leave through the valve (it might be handy to keep a paper towel to empty your valve onto so you don’t leave a puddle).

Valves:
Valves should be oiled REGULARLY: at least once a week, and every time they don’t move freely. To oil the valves, unscrew the valve caps at the top of each valve case (be careful not to unscrew the valve buttons!). Pull the valve straight up out of the valve casing. Apply a few drops of valve oil to the lower part of each valve (the part with the holes, usually a darker metal). You don’t need oil in the holes, just on the outside of the cylinder. Be especially careful when replacing the valves – if they are in the wrong order or not aligned correctly, your trumpet will not work! Usually, the valves will have a 1, 2, and 3 printed on them. More often than not, the numbers on the valves should face the lead pipe. There is also an internal mechanism called a valve guide – it should make the valve lock into place when it is in position if it is gently turned in the valve casing.

Slides:
REGULARLY, (once a week or so), move each of the slides on the instrument. This will prevent them from “freezing” (getting stuck). OCCASIONALLY, you should grease your slides to clean them and keep them moving freely. Simply remove the slide (pay attention to which direction it faces so you can put it back correctly), apply a small amount of slide grease to the inner slide, and replace it. Wipe off any excess grease.

Cleaning:
OCCASIONALLY (every 6-8 weeks or so), you should clean the inside of your trumpet. Mark Flegg has a great article on thoroughly cleaning your trumpet (http://markflegg.com/instruction/how-to-clean-your-trumpet/). The good news is that most of your trumpet can be submerged in water! Fill a sink or bathtub with warm (not hot) water (you can also add a small amount of dish soap). Remove the valves from your trumpet and set them aside. Remove each of the slides from the trumpet and place them in the water. Let them soak for a few minutes, then use your bore snake to clean the insides (insert in one end and push through until you can pull the whole apparatus through the other end). Next submerge the body of the trumpet (minus the valves) in the water and do the same. Use whatever combination of snake and brushes you need to in order to clean the inside of all of the tubing. For the valves, gently clean the bottom section with the ports/holes (where you put valve oil) with the water/dish soap. DO NOT submerge the valves in water – the only part of the trumpet that shouldn’t get wet is the felt rings at the tops of the valves. Rinse each part of the instrument with clean running water, and allow to air dry. Oil your valves, grease your slides, and reassemble.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your trumpet. The oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

Questions?
We hope that this has been informative for our young trumpet players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Next care and feeding lesson: the trombone!

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Saxophone

This post is the third installment of the “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series from Willis Music. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the saxophone.

 

Like all woodwinds, one of the most important things to remember is that woodwinds and water don’t mix! There is a small disk of a soft material covered by a film or leather under each key (called a pad) that seals the key to the hole when it is closed. This mechanism is necessary for the instrument to work. When the pads get wet (water, rain, breath condensation), they disintegrate and fail to seal the keys. Pads will need to be replaced occasionally, but it is best to avoid needing to do it prematurely. Proper care of your instrument will ensure that it will last longer. The other big element to saxophone care is the reeds, which will have its own section below.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Swab
Cork Grease

Optional/Occasional Care Supplies:
Mouthpiece brush
Key brush
Polishing cloth
Reed Guard
Padguard

Cleaning:
After EVERY USE, you should swab (clean the inside of) your saxophone. The swab should consist of a piece of material (and perhaps a piece of foam or bristle) attached to a long string with a weight on the end. Remove your reed, mouthpiece, and neck. Make sure the swab is unfolded completely, and drop the weight through the bell. Turn and gently shake your saxophone until the weight drops out the other end, and pull the fabric through. Gently shake moisture from the neck (if the swab will fit through the neck, swab it as well).

The other option is a pair of items, often called a “Padsaver” and a “Necksaver.” These are flexible, fuzzy rods that are inserted into the instrument and left there to wick moisture from the pads. These are acceptable as well.

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water. DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher – it is not made to handle the heat and will warp and be ruined.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your saxophone. Pay special attention to the keys – the oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

Cork:
The first several times you use your instrument, then EVERY FEW USES after that, you should grease your neck cork. The neck cork is a tube of cork on the next where the mouthpiece is attached. It creates a seal so that air cannot escape when the instrument is assembled. Apply a small amount of cork grease to the neck cork to make the mouthpiece easier to attach, and to condition the cork so it will last longer.

Reeds:
Reeds are one of the most important (and can be one of the most frustrating!) elements of caring for your saxophone. They are both the most fragile part of the instrument, and the part essential for creating a good sound (or any sound at all!). Take extra care when handling reeds and assembling your instrument not to let the tip (thin end) touch anything. The tiniest chip or crack will cause problems with your reeds. Proper storage when not playing is also essential to keep the reed from breaking or warping. NEVER leave your reed on your mouthpiece when you put your instrument away, it should always be removed and stored in its own case. Most reeds are sold in individual plastic protector sleeves – these are effective in preventing breaks, but can still allow the reed to warp as it dries. I recommend a reed case (like those made by Rico, LaVoz, or Vandoren), as they will prolong the life of your reeds.

Questions?
We hope that this has been informative for our young clarinet players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Next week’s care and feeding lesson: the Trumpet!

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Clarinet

This post is the second installment of our “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series from Willis Music.  This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the clarinet.

 

Like all woodwinds, one of the most important things to remember is that woodwinds and water don’t mix! There is a small disk of a soft material covered by a film under each key (called a pad) that seals the key to the hole when it is closed. This mechanism is necessary for the instrument to work. When the pads get wet (water, rain, breath condensation), they disintegrate and fail to seal the keys. Pads will need to be replaced occasionally, but it is best to avoid needing to do it prematurely. Proper care of your instrument will ensure that it will last longer. The other big element to clarinet care is the reeds, which will have its own section below.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Swab
Cork Grease

Occasional/Optional Care Supplies:
Mouthpiece brush
Key brush
Polishing cloth
Reed Guard

Cleaning:
After EVERY USE, you should swab (clean the inside of) your clarinet. The swab should consist of a piece of material attached to a long string with a weight on the other end. After removing your reed, make sure the swab is unfolded completely, turn your clarinet upside down, drop the weight through the bell until it drops out the other end, and pull the fabric through. (Depending on how long the string is, you may need to swab your clarinet in 2 sections)

Use your mouthpiece brush (cone-shaped) to gently clean your mouthpiece AS NEEDED. You can use a mouthpiece sanitizing/cleaning spray, or a small amount of dish soap and warm water (just be sure to dry the cork very carefully and allow it to dry completely before you put it back in the case). DO NOT put your mouthpiece in the dishwasher – it is not made to handle the heat and will warp and be ruined.

Use your key brush (small, cylindrical) AS NEEDED to gently clean any buildup that may occur in your finger holes.

OCCASIONALLY (once a week or so), you may want to use a dry (untreated) polishing cloth to wipe any dirt and residue from the outside of your clarinet. Pay special attention to the keys – the oils from your fingers can cause the finish to deteriorate if not occasionally wiped off.

Corks:
The first several times you use your instrument, then EVERY FEW USES after that, you should grease your tenon corks. Tenon corks are the rings of cork that are found where each section joins together (including on the mouthpiece). They create a seal so that air cannot escape when the instrument is assembled. Apply a small amount of cork grease to the tenon corks to make the instrument easier to assemble, and to condition the cork so it will last longer.

Reeds:
Reeds are one of the most important (and can be one of the most frustrating!) elements of caring for your clarinet. They are both the most fragile part of the instrument, and the part essential for creating a good sound (or any sound at all!). Take extra care when handling reeds and assembling your instrument not to let the tip (thin end) touch anything. The tiniest chip or crack will cause problems with your reeds. Proper storage when not playing is also essential to keep the reed from breaking or warping. NEVER leave your reed on your mouthpiece when you put your instrument away, it should always be removed and stored in its own case. Most reeds are sold in individual plastic protector sleeves – these are effective in preventing breaks, but can still allow the reed to warp as it dries. I recommend a reed case (like those made by Rico, LaVoz, or Vandoren), as they will prolong the life of your reeds.

Questions?
We hope that this has been informative for our young clarinet players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Next week’s care and feeding lesson: the Saxophone!

Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument: Flute

This post is the first installment of the “Care and Feeding of your Band Instrument” series from Willis Music. This series is geared toward informing the young wind player of some basic cleaning, care, and maintenance techniques to keep your instrument in good working order. Today’s lesson: the flute.

 

As far as the woodwinds go, the flute is the most straightforward when it comes to care and maintenance. The main thing to remember is that woodwinds and water DON’T MIX. There is a small ring of a soft material covered by a film under each key (called a pad) that seals the key to the hole when it is closed. This mechanism is necessary for the instrument to work. When the pads get wet (water, rain, breath condensation), they disintegrate and fail to seal the keys. Pads will need to be replaced occasionally, but it is best to avoid needing to do it prematurely. Proper care of your instrument will ensure that it will last longer.

Necessary Care Supplies:
Cleaning rod
Rod cloth (cotton, flannel, or felt)

Occasional/Optional Care Supplies:
Microfiber Polishing cloth
Key brush
Key cleaning papers
Treated dry polishing cloth for silver
Fine steel wool

Cleaning:
After EVERY USE, you should swab (clean the inside of) your head joint at the very least. If there is visible moisture inside of the body or foot joints, these should be swabbed as well. To swab your instrument, thread a corner of your rod cloth through the loop of the cleaning rod. Drape the rest of the cloth over the rod loop, and turn it around the rod to cover any exposed metal/plastic/wood (the exposed rod could scratch the inside of your instrument). Insert the rod/cloth assembly and gently turn to wipe moisture from the inside of the instrument.

After EVERY to EVERY FEW uses, you should wipe down the outside of your instrument with your rod cloth or a microfiber polishing cloth to remove any dirt or finger oils that may have gotten on the instrument while playing.

OCCASIONALLY, you may want to clean and sanitize the lip plate of your head joint. You can use rubbing alcohol or a mouthpiece cleaning spray with a soft cloth or paper towel for this.

AS NEEDED, you may want to polish the outside of the instrument with a dry treated silver polishing cloth to remove any tarnish that may have developed. This should only be done occasionally, as polish will remove a small layer of the silver plating. Take care not to get any residue on the pads. Only use a DRY cloth intended for this purpose – DO NOT attempt to use a liquid or cream silver polish intended for jewelry.

Tenons:
Tenons are the two joints where the parts of your instrument come together. If they become dirty or bent, it may be difficult to put the instrument together or the joints may become loose and wobbly. When assembling the instrument, take care to be sure that the joints will go straight together, and that you are not putting pressure on the tenon at an angle. If it becomes difficult to assemble your instrument, the tenons may be dirty. Clean them with your rod cloth or polishing cloth, or if they are especially bad, you can gently use fine steel wool to remove any residue. DO NOT attempt to lubricate the tenons with Vaseline or cork grease, as they are not intended to need it. Having a substance on the tenon will attract dirt and make the problem worse. Simply keeping the tenons clean should be sufficient to keep them working well.

Questions?
We hope this has been informative for our young flute players. If you have any other questions, we would be happy to answer them at Willis Music. Keep an eye out for “Care and Feeding of your Clarinet,” coming soon!

12 Things You Should Never Say To A Musician

Saw this article the other day and had a nice laugh so I thought I’d share it with a few notes of my own added.

 

1. So Are You Trying To Be A Musician
I am a musician. Not trying. Trying to be a musician is watching the first YouTube video on how to hold a guitar. Not what I have done for the past 15 years. That is BEING a musician. Why don’t people understand just how much work it takes to be a musician?  How many hours and late nights and how much sweat and pain goes into it? Most professional musicians have WAY more education than your average executive and certainly way more than your average plumber yet barely can scrape by.

2. You Sound Like…
I know you’re trying to be nice by putting me in good company, but musicians want to feel original. We don’t want to hear we sound like everyone else. That we’re unoriginal. It’s fine for you to sell your friends on listening to someone new by comparing them to well known artists, but when talking to a musician, the best compliment is “you sound like YOU and it’s awesome.” Unless you’re talking to a pop producer, then yeah, “it sounds like Katy Perry” is probably the best compliment you could give.  At one point in my life I actually stopped learning other people’s guitar solos because I’d get so into figuring out what made that person sound the way they did that I’d end up sounding like them for a couple of months.

3. You Should Try Out For American Idol
I will slap you.  The odds of making it there are so slim, really?

4. When Am I Going To Hear You On The Radio?
When your radio plays better s**t.  More likely when I happen to run into the right person and the sun and moon align just correctly so that a record company executive just happens to fall into my lap and invest a huge amount of money to make that happen.

5. You Should Be On The Voice
Because that’s a career builder. Right Jermaine? See American Idol comment above.

6. You Must Love Karaoke
No, actually, I hate karaoke because I have to listen to you sing. Or I just need a good laugh.

7. Can I Get On The List? Plus 1?
You don’t have $10 to support my music, but you have $50 for the round of shots you just bought everyone? I could barely afford the gas to get here.  Do you give me free stuff from your work?

8. What’s Your Real Job?
It’s this little field called music. It’s way more real than those TPS reports you put together for the Bobs. No my job is plastic, made from entirely synthetic material engineered by an evil corporation bent on world domination.

9. What’s Your Backup Plan
What’s yours? Selling stuff in a music store. 🙂

10. It Will Be Great Exposure
Meaning, it doesn’t pay. No thanks. Really bar/restaurant owner, can you cater my next party for free because it may be great exposure for your restaurant?  

11. I Have A Great Idea For A Song
And I have a great idea on how you can fix my faucet better. But let’s keep these things to ourselves. And please tuck your shirt in and pull your pants up.

12. Free Bird
That stopped being funny in ’97. My band used to have a Skynard medley ready for this situation, including the end of the live version of Free Bird where the guitar solo goes on for like 10 minutes.  We also had a Metallica one ready.  Be careful what you ask for…..

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!

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!

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

Ukulele

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

History

Hawaii

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

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

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

Canada

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

Japan

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

United Kingdom

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

United States (mainland)

Pre–World War II

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

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

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

Post–World War II

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

Post-1990 revival

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Hey everyone,

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