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Willis Music KMEA Preview

This week Willis Music will be in the Exhibit Hall at the 2017 Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) Conference in Louisville, KY. Stop by our booth between 9am-5pm on Thurs. & Fri. to say hello and Experience Yamaha! Be sure to ask us about our KMEA PRICING on all items we will have on display.

The Willis Music staff planning to be present include, Chris Teesdale (manager of our Lexington location), Matthew Powell (Keyboard Specialist for our Lexington location), Chase Clark (School Service Representative for Central KY), and Michelle VanSickle (School Service Representative for Northern KY). In addition to other members of our Willis Music team, we welcome representatives from the Yamaha Corporation Keyboard & Pro Music divisions who will join us in our exhibit.

Below is a brief preview of what we will have on display for demonstration:

As the ONLY Yamaha Acoustic Piano dealer in Kentucky we are excited to feature
the Yamaha B2 Acoustic Upright Piano with Silent technology.
This piano is perfect for practice rooms, small performance venues, and even at home.

 

The CLP-585 Yamaha Clavinova is one instrument in the KMEA Exhibit Hall you will want to hear!
Experience the unparalleled sound quality of a CFX Grand & Bosendorfer.
“Quite simply, the finest CLP Clavinova ever made.”

 

Woodwind, Brass, and String musicians will find numerous Professional and Intermediate instruments on display at our KMEA booth and available for demonstration!
This includes Yamaha flutes, clarinets, oboe, saxophones,
trumpets, french horns, and trombones!
Plus, we will have Eastman violins, and Yamaha Silent Electric Violins!

Too many instruments to include photographs – so come check this out for yourself at our booth!
Looking for a specific item or want to know more?  TEXT US AT 859-474-2664.

 

 

The Yamaha TF Rack Digital Mixer is one of the newest and coolest products in the music industry for 2017
and we will have it for you to play with and learn about at KMEA!

This is perfect for any marching band program looking to amplify instruments and voices.
Plus, it works great in a theater or any portable environment!

 

Be sure to check out the affordable and dynamic Yamaha DBR Loudspeaker Series we will have in our booth at KMEA –
as well as Chauvet Lighting.
We offer free installation for any school environment needing pro audio or lighting!

 

Guitar has quickly become a large part of music classrooms in Kentucky!
In 2016 we helped fill up a classroom of guitars at Coventry Oak Elementary (Lexington),
George Rogers Clark High (Winchester), and East Jessamine High (Nicholasville).
Come strum a few chords with us this week at our KMEA booth
featuring some popular classroom guitars by Yamaha.
We also have their Transacoustic Guitar on hand for those of you who want to experience something really special on a guitar!

We plan to bring a few Kala Ukuleles with us too! Another great tool for music educators!

   

In 2016 Yamaha released the Montage synthesizer! It will blow your socks off!
Imagine the MOTIF and DX models combined – and it’s user friendly!
For KMEA we will have the Montage and a CP4 Stage Piano on display.

 

Percussionists, we’ve made sure to bring some fun items for you at KMEA as well.
A sweet sounding custom made Holloman snare drum, along with two BRAND NEW
concert snare drum sticks by Promark! We love these!

Featuring the Concert One and Concert Two drumsticks. Come give them a try!

 

And finally…. the Yamaha DTX Multi 12 pad! Used extensively in the Hamilton musical, as well as through out the marching band and indoor percussion activities.

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.

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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

 

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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.

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!

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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.”

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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

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

NameNotes in Tuning
Standarde1a1d2g2b2e3
Drop Dd1a1d2g2b2e3
Half Step Downd#1g#1c#2f#2a#2d#3
Full Step Downd1g1c2f2a2d3
1 and 1/2 Steps Downc#1f#1b1e2g#2c#3
Double Drop Dd1a1d2g2b2d3
Drop Cc1g1c2f2a2d3
Drop C#c#1g#1c#2f#2a#2d#3
Drop Bb0f#1b1e2g#2c#3
Drop A#a#0f1a#1d#2g2c3
Drop Aa0e1a1d2f#2b2
Open Dd1a1d2f#2a2d3
Open D Minord1a1d2f2a2d3
Open Gd1g1d2g2b2d3
Open G Minord1g1d2g2a#2d3
Open Cc1g1c2g2c3e3
Open C#c#1f#1b2e2g#2c#3
Open C Minorc1g1c2g2c3d#3
Open E7e1g#1d2e2b2e3
Open E Minor7e1b1d2g2b2e3
Open G Major7d1g1d2f#2b2d3
Open A Minore1a1e2a2c3e3
Open A Minor7e1a1e2g2c3e3
Open Ee1b1e2g#2b2e3
Open Ae1a1c#2e2a2e3
C Tuningc1f1a#1d#2g2c3
C# Tuningc#1f#1b1e2g#2c#3
Bb Tuninga#0d#1g#1c#2f2a#2
A to A (Baritone)a0d1g1c2e2a2
D A D D D Dd1a1d2d2d3d3
C G D G B Dc1g1d2g2b2d3
C G D G B Ec1g1d2g2b2e3
D A D E A Dd1a1d2e2a2d3
D G D G A Dd1g1d2g2a2d3

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Your Home is a Musical Instrument

house

This video proves music can be made with anything!

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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!

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Deal of the Day!

deal 3-7

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Deal of the Day!!

deal feb 28

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Deal Of The Day Feb. 24th!

deal feb 24

Great amp at a very great price!

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Deal of the Day!

Deal of the Day! Willis Music Louisville ADA MP2 tube preamp and midi footswitch

Deal of the Day! Willis Music Louisville Superstore

ADA MP2 Tube Preamp and MIDI Footswitch

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Tired of the Cold Weather Making Playing Music No Fun? Click Here for Great Tips From Willis Music!

ice cold

The weather around here has been kinda cold, snowy & icy lately, and that can make playing your horn a lot less fun. Here are some tips to help you tackle frozen facial muscles when you arrive at rehearsals and concerts:

Tip #1: Wait

Once you come in from the cold at your rehearsal or concert venue, wait. Open your case, but don’t get your instrument out to start warming up straight away. Instead, allow for your body to re-adjust to the warmth, and for the blood to start pumping again to your extremeties, and facial muscles.

Tip #2: Keep your mouthpiece warm

Instead of allowing your mouthpiece to freeze in your instrument case, try keeping your mouthpiece in a pocket close to your body.

Tip #3: A face warmer?

When you arrive at your rehearsal or concert venue, remove your mouthpiece from your pocket or instrument case, and run it under hot water. Once it is hot, press your mouthpiece gently against your cheeks. The warmth from the hot mouthpiece will help thaw frozen facial muscles more quickly.

Tip #4: Cloth and plastic

If you are to be performing outside don’t forget a thin pair of gloves! Some pros invest in a plastic mouthpiece, so that may be of interest as well.

Tip #5: Lip balm

Use a lip balm before you go out in the cold, and after playing. This will help you to prevent sore, dry, and cracked lips. Avoid medicated balms made for cold sores since these can actually dry your lips out.

Written by “Mohawk” Mike, Louisville Store Manager/Arctic Studies Hobbyist

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Hot Rod Walt Gretsch Guitars are Here!

hot rod walt

Gretsch guitars have been used for every type of music made. Country guys love ‘em, rockers swing ‘em around, punks slam power chords on ‘em and the jazz cats swear by their smooth tone. One thing everyone agrees on; Gretsch guitars look cool! Gretsch has now had renowned pin-stripe artist Hot Rod Walt come into the factory and do one-of-a-kind pin-striping on a few models, and we’ve got ‘em here at Willis Music in Louisville!

Click the pic to see Hot Rod Walt in action!

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How to Walk Like a Zombie!

Zombie Walking

They’re everywhere…. ZOMBIES! In the days to come, we’ll be providing resources to help in your quest to evade the undead.

We make no promises…these are just tools. The burden of, pardon the pun, execution is entirely yours.

Click the link above if you want to live!!!

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Trick or Treat with Willis Music!

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Bring your little monsters by on Halloween, Thursday, October 31st between 4pm and 7pm for trick or treating! Willis Music will have spooky music & sweet treats for you and the kids… and maybe a scare or two!

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Shred Fest 2013 Recap & Showdown Video

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CLICK PIC TO SEE THE SHOWDOWN!

We’re all about giving musicians some glory here at Willis Music, and one of our most popular annual events is Shred Fest. This year we had 21 guitarists post 60 second videos of themselves “shredding”. The top 7 with the most “likes” came into our store on September 28, were split into 2 groups and played live in our auditorium for a packed house of guitar worshipers. Judging for this portion of the contest was done by 2012 Shred Fest winner Chris Alia and Louisville musician and educator, Brian White. The winners from those groups, Monte Phillips and Cheyenne Powell,  then went head-to-head against each other in hopes of winning a brand new B.C. Rich Flying V guitar. Judging for this portion of the event was based entirely on audience response. At the end of a spectacular guitar battle, Cheyenne Powell of local band Overload walked away the winner. Thanks very much to everyone who played, voted and came out to support musicians who’ve worked incredibly hard on their abilities. 2014′s Shred Fest will be the first to feature a backing track entry video, so start prepping now!

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The final 7 left to right are:

Sean Cook, Monte Phillips, Ryan Preston, Cody Weigleb, Garrett Morton, Mark Doss, Cheyenne Powell

cpow

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Cymbal Vote 2013 is Coming!

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What is cymbal vote???

Cymbal Vote allows drummers from around the world to determine what new models SABIAN will introduce in 2014. SABIAN has long been known for its innovation in cymbals, and frankly, each year we develop more cool new ideas than we can introduce as new products in a single year. So we decided to let you decide! These drummers get to hear cymbals never seen before and comment on how each performs; could be improved or what they love about it.

Want to hear these cymbals for yourself? A limited number of Cymbal Vote Tour stops have been scheduled around the world. Willis Music in Louisville is proud to have been asked to participate in this; join us Saturday, October 12 at Noon to be a part of this!

The votes from drummers from around the world will decide which 4 cymbals become the new models for 2014 and get to wear the Cymbal Vote crown. The winners will be announced at the NAMM show in January and available in local retail stores soon after that.

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Meet the 2013 Shred Fest Finalists!

shred finalists

The voting is done!!! Shred Fest 2013 will feature these 8 monster players competing in our store auditorium on September 28th at 1pm to win a new B.C. Rich V! Come out and support musicians who obviously put serious time into their chops!

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Shred Fest 2013 is Here!!!

shred 2013 blog

We’re giving away a new B.C. Rich V this year… you should win it!

ENTRY RULES-

Submit a video no more than 60 seconds of you shredding any style on any kind of guitar to our Willis MusicSuperstore Facebook page.

The more “likes” your video gets, the better chance you have to be a finalist.

The 8 videos with the most “likes” come in on Sept. 28th and go at it.

Judging is determined by 3 panelists, including last year’s winner Chris Alia, and crowd response, so bring people!

The winner walks out with a brand new B.C. Rich guitar.

GOOD LUCK!

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Yamaha Acoustic Pianos are Here!

piano

Willis Music in Louisville is well known for our great selection of guitars, band instruments, drums, amplifiers and PA equipment, but after hearing your requests we’ve added something new to our offerings: Yamaha acoustic pianos!

There were several options to consider when we decided to bring acoustic pianos in, but the one closest to our mind was satisfying the needs in the very best way possible. The good news is that since Yamaha was hands down the most asked for brand, we chose to add the U1 and U3 uprights to our store. The better news is that we’re bringing in used pianos that are so beautifully refinished you’d think they were brand new, except for the price!

Please come in & give your fingers and ears a treat- you’ll be very glad you did!

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Incredible Savings This Weekend!!

yard

THIS WEEKEND IS OUR ANNUAL INDOOR YARD SALE!!!

Thursday, September 19 through Sunday, September 22, Willis Music on Hurstbourne is giving you the chance to save like never before!

– Receive FANTASTIC DEALS on new, fully warrantied (including the Willis extended warranty) items!
– Receive 10% of purchases over $500 or more ON A GIFT CARD to be used with a future purchase!
– Receive DOUBLE entries on Willis Music Money cards!
– Receive extra FREE goods on certain closeouts until supplies run out!
– Receive mega discounts on HUNDREDS of accessories!
– Receive 50% OFF vintage sheet music titles!

You do not want to miss out on this event! Rain… shine… cold… hot… zombies…. NOTHING stops the deals!!

1850S. Hurstbourne Pkwy. Louisville, KY. 40220

502.426.1818   louisville@willismusic.com

For a sneak peek of our YARD SALE instrument deals visit:  www.willismusic.com/yardsale

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Violins as Colorful as the Music You Make!

stentor violins

The sound of the orchestra’s stringed instruments is rich and full of emotion and color. We thought it would be great if we could find violins in colors as vibrant as their sound, and we have. Stentor makes instruments that not only sound great, but look great, too! Drop by and check out our display soon- these are sure to move fast.

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Shred Fest 2013 is Here!!!

shred 2013 blog

ENTRY RULES-

Submit a video no more than 60 seconds of you shredding any style on any kind of guitar to our Willis MusicSuperstore Facebook page.

The more “likes” your video gets, the better chance you have to be a finalist.

The 8 videos with the most “likes” come in on Sept. 28th and go at it.

Judging is determined by 3 panelists, including last year’s winner Chris Alia, and crowd response, so bring people!

The winner walks out with a brand new B.C. Rich guitar.

GOOD LUCK!

 

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Name Your Own Price????

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We hear it on the radio… “No reasonable offers refused”. Sounds too good to be true, but isn’t it worth a look? If you could get a great product at a price you name wouldn’t you be pumped?

Willis Music not only has the coolest, most current musical equipment in Louisville, we also have great used gear at killer prices. But maybe the price could be even more killer, huh? When you see the tag above on instruments in our store, that means we’re opening the door to you setting a price. We’ll do everything we can to meet your offer. If we aren’t able to take your offer, we’ll make a counter-offer so you know we’re 100% serious about giving you the very best deal around.

Look for Mr. Brando. Get great gear. Save some money.

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Back 2 Band is Easy at Willis Music!

back 2 band ad

Students rarely rave about lots of homework, walking to the bus stop in the rain or the math test they have on Friday. What they do rave about is their band and orchestra classes! Music’s benefits to students of every age are not just nationally recognized; they’re seen every day by the families and friends of that musician.

As Band and orchestra classes begin for this year, Willis Music has once again ramped up our selection of band instruments, accessories, books, cleaning and care products and stands. Great efforts are made my these musicians to succeed, and we’re committed to helping them in every way possible. We’ve even brought in 4 new band instrument teachers for those wanting private lessons!

Everything they need under one roof.

Expert help with no hassles.

Back 2 Band Season has never been easier!

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Hip Hop Dance Class @ Willis Music Louisville!

hip hop

Been wanting to get a little more fit as the warm weather rolls along? Maybe you’ve been itching to learn that new dance you’re seeing everyone do at the club. Maybe you just want some great exercise that is fun and keeps you interested. These are just 3 reasons you’re gonna love the new Hip Hop dance class we’ve started at Willis Music on Hurstbourne Pkwy. Instructor Deveron Woodson has smooth moves, big grooves & the experience to get your feet doing exactly what it takes to put you on the dance floor fast. Not only will you be learning great steps, you’ll be getting terrific exercise in an environment that’s stress-free. Classes begin July 10, and are every Monday and Wednesday from 6:30pm-7:30pm following. Each class is only $5 and there’s no contract or membership fees to deal with.

What are you waiting on… get moving & in better shape now!

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Happy 5th Year Aaron!

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July 1st marks 5 years at Willis Music for the kingpin…. Aaron “Vinny” Flick! From his humble beginnings at the Jefferson Mall store to his current home at our Hurstbourne location, Louisville musicians have benefited greatly by Aaron’s honesty and attention to detail. Drop by or give him a call to congratulate him today!

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The Ky. State Fair Vocal Preliminary is July 6!

willis fair

The Kentucky State Fair is a serious deal in these parts, and not just because of the deep fried butter sticks. Though deep frying butter may take talent, we’re giving folks with a more musical talent a shot to hit the big stage during the fair! Willis Music on Hurstbourne Pkwy. is hosting a preliminary round July 6th at 1pm for singers ages 13-21 wanting to compete at the fair, and our top 3 will be there.

We have limited entry forms at the store, so don’t wait & miss out on your chance to get some real attention from your friends, family and neighbors across the state.

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Free DVDs This Weekend!

dvd

Not much more to say… best prices in town on the coolest instruments from Orange, Gibson, EVH, Mesa/Boogie, Fender, Yamaha, Selmer, Blackstar, Mapex, Charvel, Gretsch, Martin and so many more AND a free DVD on top! Visit June 15-17 to take advantage!

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The New Charvels Are Almost Here!

charvel pro mod 2

Hot-rodded for scorching sound and outstanding feel and performance, Charvel’s sleek Pro-Mods feature a one-piece quartersawn maple neck with classic San Dimas® profile, compound-radius fingerboard (12″-16″) with 22 jumbo frets, Seymour Duncan pickups, Charvel tuners and black hardware. The legendary designs that put Wayne Charvel & Grover Jackson on the map changed the way guitars were built. Eddie Van Halen and Jake E. Lee’s Charvels made guitarists re-think their playing, instruments & opened up their imagination. The new Charvel Pro Mods will have the same effect on you! Come feel and hear one for yourself.

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Mohawk Mike Returns To TV This Friday

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Willis Music Louisville store manager, “Mohawk” Mike McAfee returns to TV this Friday, April 26, as his band Eight Inch Elvis make their fifth appearance on WHAS 11′s Great Day Live morning show. Hosts Terry Meiners and Rachel Platt have joined in the fun on many occasions, and this week’s visit is sure to be a repeat of the laughter. The band is doing 2 songs, and the first is sure to cause a few eyebrows to raise. The show is on from 9am until 10am on WHAS 11. Eight Inch Elvis has been voted Best Rock Band and Best Cover Band twice by the readers of LEO Magazine.

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New Study On Effect Of Music On Our Brain

It’s no secret that music impacts more than a top 20 chart. Sounds are as strong a sense trigger as smells, and the things we find enjoyable are just one of the things that make each person so unique. Click the picture below to learn how we’re influenced to choose the music we listen to.

brain

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We Make Learning Music Fun & Easy!

The love of music has no age & neither does the desire to learn to play it! We’ve assembled a staff of teachers that create individual lesson programs for each student to make sure they receive exactly what they want to learn. Flexible schedules & great studios mean we work around your needs while providing a comfortable atmosphere to help you make your musical dreams come true. Stop waiting & start playing… whether you want one-on-one private lessons or the experience of a group class we’re ready to get you making the music you’ve dreamed of today!

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The Sound of Your Art

east violin

Eastman’s violins are works of art you get to hold. The tone makes you want to close your eyes as the music you make takes you to places a car never could. Whether you’re a new musician or seasoned player, an Eastman instrument will improve your playing simply because the stunning attention to every detail makes each violin a singular example of inspiration. You deserve this…  try one today!

Click the pic for a cool violin/guitar jam session video & contact us at 502-426-1818 if you’d like to sign up for violin/fiddle lessons!

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April 6th We Celebrate Our New Lexington Store!

sale

Our new store in Lexington kicks butt… but if you aren’t making the drive for their party, we invite you to ours! Tons of specials await you!

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As Close To An Original ’58 As You Can Get!

vos

The 1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard Plain Top VOS guitar begins with a solid mahogany back and carved plain maple top. The one-piece mahogany neck is topped with a gorgeous rosewood fretboard that’s adorned with acrylic trapezoid inlays with shape and color true to the original. Early ’50s rounded neck profile delivers the vintage feel players love. BurstBucker 1 and 2 pickups deliver famous vintage Les Paul tone.

In an effort to jump start the steadily declining sales of the Les Paul model, Gibson abandoned the familiar gold finish and used a translucent, cherry sunburst finish which showed off the figured maple tops that were often used on Les Pauls. The renamed Les Paul Standard made its debut in 1958.

Vintage Original Spec series instruments receive a special nitro-cellulose finish treatment yielding the patina of a gently-aged vintage guitar while handcrafting enhances comfort and playability. Each VOS model has a solid mahogany back; historically accurate long-neck tenon for strength and sustain; and period-correct neck profile, hardware, and electronics.

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Memphis The Musical is Coming & We’ve Got Tickets!

memphis

“Memphis” is set in the places where rock and roll was born in the 1950s: the seedy nightclubs, radio stations and recording studios of the musically-rich Tennessee city. With an original score by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, it tells the fictional story of DJ Huey Calhoun, a good ole’ local boy with a passion for R&B music and Felicia Farrell, an up-and-coming black singer that he meets one fateful night on Beale Street. Despite the objections of their loved ones (Huey’s close-minded mama and Felicia’s club owner brother), they embark on a dangerous affair. As their careers rise, the relationship is challenged by personal ambition and the pressures of an outside world unable to accept their love.

This Tony award winning show for Best Musical comes to the Kentucky Center April 2-7 and we’ve got 4 pairs of tickets to give away. To enter, go to our Facebook page (Willis MusicSuperstore) & post a picture of you holding something saying Memphis. Winners will be chosen from those who post and notified via Facebook message on March 29th.

Click the picture for a taste of the show & good Luck!

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Charvel Pro-Mods for 2013!

charvel 3

The Pro-Mod line of Charvels was a player favorite, and they’re back! Now built in the Fender Ensenada factory, these guitars are total playing machines. See what they’re all about at this link:

http://www.premierguitar.com/Video/20130213/2175/NAMM_13_Charvel_Guitars_Pro_Mod_Series_San_Dimas_and_So_Cal.aspx

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New Store Hours March 1st!

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We’re making it even easier to get that guitar, violin, drum kit, amp…. you want! Our new hours are musician friendly & more convenient than ever.

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FREE Trial Lesson for Group Guitar Class!

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8 Week Group Guitar Class with Mike Shouse!

All ages and skill levels are welcome to this comprehensive class. Speed, accuracy, scales, chords, arpeggios, theory and how it all ties together are covered.
A FREE trial class is happening Thursday, February 21 at 7:00pm. Try the class on for size and see if you want to jump on board! Everyone who attends the free class gets a copy of Mike’s “Alone On The Sun” CD just for coming!
The 8 week course runs February 28 through April 18 and costs $250. Each weekly class is 30 minutes. Call, email or stop in today to register for the free night and your CD.
Mike Shouse graduated from GIT in 1993, has 20 years of teaching experience and was named winner of the 2011 “God of Indie Guitar” award.

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Gibson Unveils The Government Series!

gov lp

Using the woods returned from the 2 highly questionable raids the US Government did on their factory in Nashville, Gibson has decided to release the new Government series of guitars. Limited in number, these guitars feature a ‘Government Grey’ finish, classic Dirty Fingers model pickups and come in new olive green hardshell cases. 300 Les Pauls, 175 SGs, 100 Explorers and 100 Flying Vs are all that are being built.

gov lp case

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The Mesa/Boogie Express Plus Will Dazzle You!

mesa plus

CLICK THIS LINK

Mesa/Boogie are without question the pinnacle of amplifiers. Each amp is built to order; no backstock. Each amp is wired by hand, assembled by hand, covered by hand and played thoroughly before it leaves the custom shop it’s been crafted in.

The Express series of Mesa/Boogie amps has long been a favorite for players from every gene of music, but seeing an opportunity to improve it Mesa has now added their world famous graphic EQ option to take this already spectacular amp up another notch.

Watch the demo video & get ready to jump in the car & head to the ONLY showroom for Mesa/Boogie in Louisville… WILLIS MUSIC!

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Tone To Tantalize At Your Fingertips!

NOW IN STOCK!!! The USA built pedals may look small, but they’ll give your amp a MESA/Boogie flavor for less than $200!

TONE BURST: This Boost/Overdrive offers a virtually transparent gain range usually associated with “clean” boost pedals. However, the TONE-BURST has enough gain to boost your guitar to the threshold of clip and slightly beyond, making it far more useful for a variety of applications. It’s incredibly powerful for adding boost, drive and/or EQ to any guitar and amp combination. Whether using it as a utility to boost the output of single coils to match a humbucker or as a subtle overdrive when a standard overdrive may be too much, the TONE-BURST is an incredibly useful and expressive pedal that makes the best things sound even better!

THROTTLE BOX: This distortion serves up all genres of ROCK with cut and aggression, but retains the signature warmth and organic sonic quality found in all our instruments. While its main strengths lie in higher-gain sounds, it’s also versatile and the lower gain options shouldn’t be overlooked for classic rock or howling blues. It also features a unique Mid Cut that scoops out midrange to produce the signature Boogie “V” EQ-curve that so many artists have employed in our amps to create the world’s heaviest guitar tones!

GRID SLAMMER: This overdrive pedal that produces a variable boost in gain over a wide range with a classic, guitar-centric midrange bump that enhances many different playing styles. It’s a true overdrive “specialist” that covers an amazing array of what many top players consider the most expressive and musical ranges of overdrive. From sweet, subtle breakup to a harmonically smoldering overdrive that can both sting and sing, the GRID SLAMMER sets a new bar in legendary overdrive!

FLUX DRIVE: This is an overdrive for those who want more of all the best things from an overdrive! It has more liquid gain and enhanced sustain that easily feeds into rich harmonic overtones making it incredibly addictive and inspiring to play, especially to enhance a crunch or higher gain amp channel! It also offers a more complete tone-shaping network with individual Treble and Bass controls. This architecture makes the FLUX-DRIVE a more complete preamp with added versatility beyond that of most overdrive pedals.

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The Louisville Ukulele Association Unlimited Is Here!

Hi LUAU members, Uke Students and Uke Players!
Grab your uke! Get ready for the all new and improved LUAU Meetings for 2013.

WILLIS MUSIC at 1850 S. Hurstbourne Parkway is now THE OFFICIAL UKUELE/MUSIC STORE and the OFFICIAL UKULELE HEADQUARTERS for LUAU (the Louisville Ukulele Association Unlimited uke group). My Mel Bay books will be in stock. WILLIS has a BEAUTIFUL selection of ukes including Kala, Martin, Luna and Lanikai. The prices are amazing and GUARANTEED to be the lowest, too!

The first LUAU meeting for 2013 will be Saturday January 26, 2013 (the last Saturday of the month) at 6:00 pm. There will be music handouts and lots of FUN! Mark your calenders now for all the 2013 LUAU meetings, the last Saturday of the month at WILLIS MUSIC at 1850. S. Hurstbourne Pkwy.

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The New PA Room Is Coming!

Expansion continues at the Willis Music Superstore with our new PA room. Big, loud & loaded with gear, this room will make choosing the perfect system for your individual need a breeze. We’ll have single speakers and amps as well as full systems from Peavey, QSC, Fender, Yamaha, Kustom and more all ready for testing at your fingertips, as well as cabling, adapters & accessories. Here are the first pictures… more to come!

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