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Florence Open Mic Night Nov 20 6pm

The holidays are approaching and with them are family get-togethers, seasonal parties, and groups of
folks congregating… they are all coming up and your peeps will ask “What new songs have you learned?”
It’s time to practice those live! Come on out to the Willis Music Open Mic Night – Wednesday,
November 20 th from 6-7:45 PM. It is in the studio/stage area which is immediately to the left as you walk
through the door.
Also, don’t forget, the holidays are just around the corner – if you have a list to fill out or know someone
who needs some new gear, sheet music or anything thing else musically, Willis has what you need.
Come on out, tune up, warm up your vocal cords and picking fingers and we’ll make some music on
Wednesday, November 20th from 6pm to 7:45pm. See you there!!!

Gibson and Willis Together Again.

One of the most asked questions we get when someone wonders into our guitar departments over the last 10 to 15 years is:  Where are your Gibsons?  Do you have Epiphone?  Sadly for a long time, for a variety of reasons, that answer was no.  But no more.  Willis proudly announces that we now again carry Gibson and Epiphone.  Guitars are trickling in to our stores, and special orders are being taken.

Gibson guitar designs have survived 125 years of changing musical tastes and fashion to remain a uniquely iconic part of Americana and world culture. From acoustic guitars at the turn of the 20th century, hollowbody and archtop instruments from the golden age of Big Band and Jazz, to the Rock n’ Roll revolution of the 1950’s and beyond, Gibson guitars have remained arguably the most copied designs of ANY instrument manufacturer. Imitated but never equaled!

The Les Paul pictured below is a 60th Anniversary Custom Shop ’59 VOS (Vintage Old Stock).  Made to the specs of the fabled ’59 Les Paul that sells for seven figures on the vintage marked.  It’s one of the finest pieces I’ve seen ever come out of Gibson.  All the new models have been virtually perfect so far.  Gibson has put a new stringent emphasis on quality control down to replacing every light bulb and fixture in the factory to purchasing 8 Pleck machines.  Every single Gibson branded instrument is now run through this machine that perfectly dresses the frets and makes sure every fretboard is perfect.  It really shows.

Stop in or call and make an appointment with a Willis Music sales associate today to experience some Gibson magic. Whether you’re ready for your first Gibson/Epiphone upgrade, add to your collection, or order a unique Custom Shop piece, Willis Music is here to assist in your selection of a fine Gibson guitar-a lifetime investment in enjoyment and inspiration!

 

                 

Florence Open Mic Feb 20 6PM

It’s February, one day will be in the 60’s, the next day we will get 5 inches of snow – what the heck! But spring is just around the corner (the Groundhog’s Shadow not withstanding J) – Valentine’s Day, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, the Daytona race, all signs that the flowers will be popping up! In preparation for that reemergence and revival, let’s play some music! Come on out to the Willis Music Open Mic Night – Wednesday, February 20th from 6-7:45 PM. It is in the studio/stage area which is immediately to the left as you walk through the door.

Maybe you need new strings, a new strap, heck maybe some bongos or a cajon to lay down a beat – it’s all here at Willis Music!

Come on out, tune up, warm up your vocal cords and picking fingers and we’ll make some beautiful (well, maybe to us J) music on Wednesday, February 20th from 6pm to 7:45 pm. See you there!!!

Florence Open Mic Night – Sept 19 6pm

Monthly Open Mic Night

School is back in session and its sports season!!! Time for marching bands, tailgating, bonfires & post-
game parties. Those bonfires and parties often having singing and strumming. Do you have a couple of
new songs you want to try out before that bonfire? Come on out to the Willis Music Open Mic Night –
Wednesday, September 19 th from 6-7:45 PM. It is in the John Thompson Performance Hall which is immediately to the
left as you walk through the door.

Now that school has started, the kids have started lessons. Heck, why don’t you start lessons too? Don’t
forget Willis has all your musical needs covered. Whether you need a repair, new sheet music, or you
want to start taking lessons, Willis has what you need!

Come on out, tune up, warm up your vocal cords and picking fingers and we’ll make some music on
Wednesday, September 19 th from 6pm to 7:45pm. See you there!!!

Florence Open Mic Night August 15 6pm

Summer is winding down. School is just around the corner. Kids are singing the blues and parents are
(some, not all ) singing a happy tune! All genres are welcome to join us! Come on out to the Willis
Music Open Mic Night – Wednesday, August 15 th from 6-7:45 PM. It is in the studio/stage area which is
immediately to the left as you walk through the door.
School is starting. So it’s band and lesson time. Don’t forget Willis has all your musical needs covered.
Whether it’s a new instrument, new sheet music, or if you want to start taking lessons, Willis has what
you need!
Come on out, tune up, warm up your vocal cords and picking fingers and we’ll make some music on
Wednesday, August 15 th from 6pm to 7:45pm. See you there!!!

Florence Open Mic Night June 20 6pm

“Summertime, Summertime, Some, Some, Summertime”… whether it’s fun pop songs, relaxing
TropRock, country party music, or the staccato of surfer guitar, summer is celebrated in nearly everyway musically imaginable. Let’s make some summertime music together! Come on out to the WillisMusic Open Mic Night – Wednesday, June 20 th from 6-8 PM. It is in thestudio/stage area which is immediately to the left as you walk through the door.
Don’t forget, if you need new strings, bongos or a tambourine to accompany the party, a beginner’s steel drum for an island vibe, a new microphone or anything thing else musically, Willis has what you need.
Come on out, tune up, warm up your vocal cords and picking fingers and we’ll make some music on Wednesday, June 20 th from 6pm to 8pm. See you there!!!

Lexington Events

Eastgate Mall Events

November Calendar for Eastgate Willis Music

Eastgate Calendar for November

Eastgate Store Calendar for October

The Eastgate Store Calendar for October

Willis Music Chosen for NAMM Top 100 Award

Eastgate Calendar for Upcoming Events

The Eastgate Stores Calendar for October

West Chester September Events Calendar

September 6th – Fight Procrastination Day! –  I’ll explain this later!

September 8th – Pink’s Birthday  5% off anything pink.

September 10th- Grandparents Day.  5% off for all grandparents, mention at checkout!

September 12th – Worship Musician’s Night – to learn more click here!

September 14th – Open Jam/Mic.  To learn more click here!

September 19th – International Talk Like a Pirate Day!  5% off for talking like a pirate arrrrhhh!

September 21st – Don Felder from Eagles fame’s birthday.  5% for mentioning, 10% off if you play the solo to Hotel California

September 25th – Will Smith’s birthday – 5% off for rapping the theme from Fresh Prince

September 28th – Ask a Stupid Question Day!  – 5% off if you mention and then put up with our stupid answer.

September 30th – Open Jam/Mic.  To learn more click here!

 

Monthly Open Jams!

Here at Moeller/Willis Music we love to jam!  We want to hear you jam to and jam with you!  Twice a month we have an open mic/jam.  Come on out and join us!  Singer songwriter?  New band wanting to try out a few new songs?  Come one come all!  

Our open jams are on the 2nd Thursday from 5 to 8pm and 4th Saturday from 12 to 4pm of each month. Hope to see you there.

 

 

Introducing the Fender Jimi Hendrix Monterey Stratocaster

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

West Chester July Calendar of Events

July 1st – International Joke Day – 5% off if you come in and tell us a joke.

July 2nd – I Forgot Day – What? Huh? Squirell!!!

July 4th – Independence Day – Store open from 11am to 4 pm.

July 6th – Bill Haley’s Birthday – Rock around the clock and take 5% off of Hollow Body guitars.

July 11th – Worship Musicians Night

July 13th – Open Mic/Jam! Come one come all!  5 to 8 pm.

July 13th – Embrace Your Geekness Day – Channel your inner Erkel and get those pocket protectors out, show us yours for 5% off.

July 13th through 15th – National Association of Musical Merchants (NAMM) Show in Nashville.  Our buyers and some of our crew will be there checking out all the new products.  Watch Facebook for live updates and pics!

July 19th – Stick Out Your Tongue Day1 – 5% off if you do!

July 20th -23rd — Create Your Own Discount! For more info, please visit: willismusic.com/discount2017

July 26th – Roger Taylor from Queen’s Birthday – 5% off for singing Bohemian Rhapsody      

July 29th – Open Mic/Jam 12pm to 4pm

July 31st – Uncommon Musical Instrument Day – Dust off that hurdy gurdy or any weird instrument and bring it in to show us and get 5% off.

West Chester April 2017 Calendar

April is International Guitar Month – Adopt a Homeless Guitar Here!

April 6th – Merle Haggard’s Birthday – 5% Fender Teles

April 12th – Tiny Tim’s Birthday – 5% off any Ukulele

April 16th – Easter – Store Closed

April 20th-23rd – Indoor Yard Sale – Maybe even outdoors if weather permits

April 29th – Open Jam – 12 to 4 – Come Jam with Us!

 

Friday May 5th, Doyle Dykes in concert at our Florence store.  Get your tickets at willismusic.com/events

Roland EC-10M El Cajon Mic Processor

We just opened the Roland EC-10M El Cajon mic and cajon processor, Daniel Romeiro gives us a sneak peak.  Stop in to try it out!

 

Eastgate March Calendar of Events

What’s going on in March at Eastgate? Check out the calendar below to find out. We have lots of sales going on as well as Music in the Schools Month! Did you know that all year long, Willis Music will donate 5% back to your school to help keep music in the school? 

Florence Open Mic Night – February 15th

It’s February, one day will be in the 50’s, the next day we will get 5 inches of snow – what the heck! But spring is just around the corner – Valentine’s Day, pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training, the Daytona race, all signs that the flowers will be popping up! In preparation for that reemergence and revival, let’s play some music! Come on out to the Willis Music Open Mic Night – Wednesday, February 15th from 6-8 PM. It is in the John Thompson Performance Hall which is immediately to the left as you walk through the door.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and your beau would love for you to play some music just for them – Willis has that music! Maybe you need new strings, a new strap, heck maybe some bongos to accompany your love poem – it’s all here!
Come on out, tune up, warm up your vocal cords and picking fingers and we’ll make some beautiful (well, maybe to us :)) music on Wednesday, February 15th from 6pm to 8pm. See you there!!!

Eastgate February Calendar of Events

Florence February Calendar of Events

The New Ortega Horsekick Pro

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

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

The New Boss GT-1 Effects Processor

Boss GT-1

 

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

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

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

December NKY Band of the Month – Doghouse

Willis Music Florence is proud to have Doghouse as our NKY Band of the Month.

Like them on Facebook for a 10% discount on your purchase.

Doghouse started in 2000, when four Northern Kentucky friends (Chuck Davis, Paul Riesenberg, Tom Schulte and Dick Stewart) started jamming. It became a frequent occurrance and started talk about playing at parties. We needed a bass player and stole the bass player (Ric Thelen) from Mr. Grumpy, a band with deity status in Maysville, KY, which was destined for break-up. The band played a grade school reunion in Nov. 2000 under the name Beer Nuts, without Tom. This was followed with a performance at St. Tim’s in Union, KY with Tom.  

The band had it’s first real gig under the name Doghouse (short for Doghouse Dick and the Instigators) at Southern Lanes in Alexandria, KY on March 31st, 2001. The band played many parties that summer, and started playing some bars on a regular basis. In the summer of 2002, the band parted ways with Tom, to become a full-force four-piece.  

In May of 2006, Paul Riesenberg decided to leave the Northern KY area for sunny Clearwater Florida, and so departed the band. But Paul was nice enough to give us a little notice and to our great fortune, we found Chris Moriconi, who plays great drums and isn’t too bad of a guy either. On 5/25/2006, we had a farewell and hello gig, where Paul played for half the night and then Chris play the second half, with both playing at the same time for a few songs. 

In July of 2010, Chuck Davis decided the rigors of the road, touring with Doghouse was just too much. He left the band but again was nice enough to give us a little notice and we were lucky enough to find Tim Waters, who has some great vocals and plays guitar and keyboards rather well. 

We’re also glad to welcome back Jim ‘Bobby’ Oaks to the pack to take pictures, help with sound and lights, and all the other things that matter.

Members
Dick Stewart – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Ric Thelen – Bass, Vocals
Chris Moriconi – Drums
Tim Waters – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Jim ‘Roadie Bob’ Oaks – Photos, Sound, Lights
 
 Want to be the next Band of the Month? Email denis eb@willismusic.com
 

Join Us For The 2016 15th Annual Warehouse Sale

Our long anticipated warehouse sale is coming up this month! This is the 15th annual sale and it will be bigger and better than ever! We have new surprises in store and more awesome deals that you don’t want to miss!

New this year are pianos.  Check out our used pianos and pre-shop the warehouse sale.
warehouse sale

Check out some videos to get you hyped for the Warehouse sale!
A look at how we make the magic come together
 

Here is a look at the 2015 warehouse sale! It is always buzzing with excitement!
 

Cincinnati October Band of the Month – Kamsterdam

kam kamsterdam-album-cover kamsterdamCincinnati based Indie-Rock solo artist, plays with a band live.

Vocalist, guitar: Kameron Yurchak.

Bass: Samir Davis.

Guitar: Gable Price.

Drums: Josiah Seurkamp

New song here!

 

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!

Kamsterdam 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.

New Fender Offset line has arrived at a Willis!

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

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

The full line includes:

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

Here are the key features:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take a look at the Fender Offset Mustang Bass PJ Models

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

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

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

Florence Band of the Month October – Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass

Willis Music Florence is happy to have Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass as our October band of the month!

Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass is a driving, five piece bluegrass band established in Cincinnati, OH during the 1960’s. Vernon’s years of playing both banjo and guitar with the greats of bluegrass have honed his skills as an entertainer and make him uniquely qualified to define the traditional bluegrass sound of the Appalachian Grass. He began his professional career at the age of 15 playing banjo with Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys. He has since played with Walt Hensley, Jimmy Martin, Jim McCall, James Monroe, Mac Wiseman, and Scott Stoneman. Vernon was also a founding member of the Bluegrass Pardners of Wheeling Jamboree fame and his banjo work with the Easterners is well remembered.

Through the years, Vernon has made several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry stage. He appeared playing banjo with both Earl Taylor and the Stoney Mountain Boys and with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys. When the Appalachian Grass was invited to perform at the Opry with Vernon as band leader, singer and guitarist, Vernon became one of the few who have been on that stage as a banjoist, a singer, and a guitarist.

Vernon has recorded many projects with Appalachian Grass that feature both his unique banjo style and his vocals and guitar work. Vernon’s matchless rhythm guitar is the bedrock for wife Kitty’s two fiddle instrumental recordings. During the 1970s, Vernon was a staff musician at Jewel Recording Studio and has contributed banjo and/or rhythm guitar tracks to innumerable recording sessions for entertainers such as Mac Wiseman, Jimmy Skinner, Charlie Moore, Rusty York, Lonnie Mack, Sid Campbell, JD Jarvis, Hylo Brown, and Bobby Grove.

Over the years, Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass has played concerts, festivals, fairs, colleges, radio, television, and exclusive nightclubs across the United States and Canada. In 1998, Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass won the CAMMY award for Best Bluegrass Band in the Cincinnati – Tri-State Area. The band’s exploits even include the grand opening dedication of an historic cemetery!

As emcee, lead singer, and rhythm guitar player, Vernon McIntyre infuses the Appalachian Grass with the warmth and spontaneity of a small family gathering even when playing for thousands of fans. He combines bluegrass history and stories with showmanship and humor to deliver top notch entertainment. Vernon’s wife, Kitty McIntyre, brings to the group some of the best bluegrass fiddling that you can hear. Audiences always enjoy her energetic performances as well as her trick fiddling act. Known for the quality of their singing, the group’s vocals are a blend of smooth and intricate harmonies that are a delight to hear. Hard-driving banjo by Robert Campbell, mandolin by Wayne Haddix, and upright bass by Tammy Powers round out the Appalachian Grass sound.

With Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass on stage you’re sure to get old-fashioned entertainment at its best!

Check them out at Willis Music Florence on October 15 at 7pm!

Like their facebook page here to receive a 10% discount on one item at Willis Music. Already a fan, don’t worry, you still get the discount.

Want to be the next band of the month? Contact Denise at deniseb@willismusic.com for details!

New Blackstar ID:Core High Power Series Amps

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

idseries-insider

idcore-stereo-150-front-view

idcore-stereo-150-top-view

Willis and Moeller Music Welcome Fender Supro Amps

LEARN ALL ABOUT THE SUPRO AMP.

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

Supro Amp Image

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

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

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

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

Beyond the Titans – Florence Band of the Month August

beyond

Willis Music Florence is proud to have

Beyond the Titans as our Band of the Month for August!

Beyond the Titans describes themselves as a metal band in Cincinnati, Ohio that incorporates elements of Jazz, Blues, and many other genres into the music. Members include: Talon Gregory-Guitar, Chris Johnson-Guitar, Sean Hensley-Drums, and Ben Jenkins-Bass.

Check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/BeyondtheTitans/ Like their page and recieve a 10% discount on any 1 item!

titan

Want to be the next Band of the Month? Email deniseb@willismusic.com

Best of Northern Kentucky – Florence

Are you looking for the best place in Northern Kentucky? Look no further!

Best Of NKY Willis Banner

Willis Music Florence was just named the TOP place to take Music Instruction by the folks at NKY Magazine! We want to thank everyone who voted for us. We have worked for years to partner with the best teachers in the area and to make sure every student is getting the most meaningful music experience. Music is so much fun and we love that we share that every day!

Denise, Cody, and Colleen had a great time at the Best of NKY event, so check out these awesome pictures.

IMG_0917  IMG_0913 IMG_0912IMG_0940

Check out all of our amazing teachers HERE!

 

New Blaxx Effects Pedals

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

Blaxx_article

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

Here is a preview of some of them:

The Blaxx Looper

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

blaxxloop - Copy

The Blaxx Metal Distortion

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

blaxxmetal - Copy

The Blaxx Distortion B

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

blaxxdistb - Copy

The Blaxx Delay

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

blaxxdelay - Copy

The Blaxx Phaser

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

blaxphaser - Copy

The Blaxx Booster

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

blaxxbooster - Copy

 

The Blaxx Tuner

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

blaxxtuner - Copy

 

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

 

 

 

Hit the Trifecta at Willis Music

Are you ready for the two most exciting minutes in sports?

Willis Music wants to help you “Hit the Trifecta” and reward your loyalty. The week leading up to the Derby is a very exciting time, and we want to be part of that excitement. Here is what you have to do, make a purchase between May 2 and derby post time on the 7th, pick the horse you think will win the Kentucky Derby, and if you are right, we will credit your Music Money account with triple the Music Money dollars from your purchase. It really is that easy, you pick the winning horse and get some extra Music Money! Stop by the store anytime between May 2 and 7 before post time for your chance to Hit the Trifecta!

About Last Years Kentucky Derby Winner

American Pharoah Hit the Trifecta

American Pharoah (foaled February 2, 2012) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the American Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2015. In winning all four races, he became the first horse to win the “Grand Slam” of American horse racing. He was voted the 2015 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year and the 2015 Eclipse Award Champion three-year-old. He was bred and owned throughout his racing career by Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables, trained by Bob Baffert, and ridden in most of his races by Victor Espinoza. He now stands at stud at Ashford Stud in Kentucky.

Click here to visit the closest Willis Music location to you.

Former Willis Student Hits Broadway!

If you were not aware Willis Music has a pretty awesome lesson program. We have teachers at every location ready to teach your child or even you to play! Noah Ricketts I am sure you are wondering what kind of lessons we offer? Everything from vocal lessons to Euphonium! You can check out the list of teachers here! We have some pretty talented kids in our lessons program and we love celebrating their accomplishments. There is one guy in particular we are highlighting! Noah Ricketts took piano lessons with Willis Music when he was 10 years old. All of his hard work paid off. Noah performs on Broadway now! That is pretty awesome! We got a chance to catch up with Noah recently. Check out what he has to say!

1. Where did you attend school and what did you study?

Well, I’ve attended a couple schools. I started in my hometown of Louisville, KY at the Youth Performing Arts School studying Vocal Performance. When I was a junior in high school I decided that I needed more from my artistic education, so I took a leap and moved to Northern Michigan. There I studied Theatre at a private performing arts boarding school called Interlochen Arts Academy, beautifully nestled in the woods. After that it was time for college. I moved back towards my home state and landed in Ohio, where I earned my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (better known as CCM).

2. How old were you when you started taking music lessons?

I was 10 years old when I began taking private piano lessons. Before that, I was studying clarinet and saxophone in my elementary and middle school band classes.

3. What were your dreams regarding music when you started lessons at Willis Music?

I’m not really sure what my dreams were. I remember walking into Willis Music at my local mall and seeing a woman play vigorously on the piano. I remember standing there totally obsessed with everything she was doing and itching to learn how to do it myself. I was totally enthralled with music at a young age but at that time I didn’t even realize that a career in music was even a possibility. By the way, her name was Janie and she later became my piano teacher and life long friend.

4. When did you realize performing arts was the career path for you?

Around the same time that I started taking piano lessons at Willis Music, my mother enrolled me in a summer program called Broadway Bootcamp. I was 10 years old and in a arm cast from a skateboarding accident. We were performing “School House Rock” and I was given the song “Conjunction Junction”. I remember being so nervous, but the spotlight hit and I was totally in it. All of my nerves turned into energy and I sang my heart out. It was at that exact moment that I realized that performing was what I had to do with my life. I had no other option.

5. What is the best advice Janie gave you when you took lessons with her? Noah Performing on Broadway

Janie gave me advice all throughout my life, even into the early stages of my career so,it’s hard to pick a singular lesson. But the biggest gift I received from her was the gift of creativity. She was constantly challenging me to think outside the box and break down walls that were in my way. It was a life lesson that has gone way beyond the confines of that Willis Music studio.

6. What musicals have you been in?

A lot of them. But a couple of my favorite roles are Terk in “Tarzan” , Javert in “Les Miserables” , and C.C. in “DREAMGIRLS”. To name a few!

7. What is your favorite musical?

My favorite musical is “Little Shop of Horrors”. I’ve been obsessed with the musical movie since I was a kid. The puppetry, music, and characters are all amazing. If you haven’t seen it, check it out!

8. What is it like living and working in New York?

Living and working in NYC is extremely challenging yet thrilling. Everyone is on a mission. If you’re putting up with the madness that is New York City, it’s for a good cause. It truly is the city of dreams. So waking up everyday knowing that your life could change at the drop of a hat is extremely exciting.

9. What was the biggest adjustment to make moving to a big city like New York?

For me it was my first job. About 6 weeks into living in NYC I was offered a job on broadway in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”. I was extremely honored and at the same time slightly overwhelmed. I barely knew my way around the city and the next thing I know, I’m performing in a broadway show after four days of rehearsal. Although it was a crazy time in my life, it taught me a lot about time management and learning on the go. That’s what I mean about your life changing at the drop of a hat! Noah performing

10. What advice would you give kids who are just starting out playing music?

If you love it, don’t give up. It’s a hard journey, but every day will get a little easier and in return you will only become stronger.

11. What is your biggest dream right now?

My biggest dream right now is to originate a role in a television series/movie. It’s a new aspect of the arts that I’m interested in diving into. So I’m excited to get into class and get the ball rolling!

So, what are you waiting on? Start playing today and follow your dream!

Sabian: A New Generation-Florence

sabian_lobo

 

Sabian has been redefining cymbals and cymbal accessories for decades, and they haven’t skipped a beat yet (buh-dut-tss).  There is a reason why famous drummers like Terry Bozzio, JoJo Mayer, Neil Peart and Mike Portnoy play Sabian.  That reason you may ask? Quality.  More so, quality, consistency and passion.  The Sabian brand has moved mountains to get where they are today, based on those qualities and many more just like them.  Lucky for us though, they brought some new toys with them.

 

This year, Sabian has delivered a new line, simply titled, the XSR Series.  With this new series, players will get thinner, quicker crashes, tasty balanced rides for better stick definition and tone, and a variety of other beneficial gear as well.  With these cymbals, Sabian has included their pure Sabian B20 Bronze, utilizing the same “trickle-down technology” incorporated in their award winning Evolution and X-Plosion cymbals.  The best part about these cymbals though?  XSR delivers a better price point than most any other cymbal out there.  It’s almost a no brainer when you think about it.  High quality cymbals at a fraction of the cost? Sign me up!

 

sabian-introduces-new-best-in-class-xsr-series_large

 

Luckily, here at Willis Music in Florence, we carry this impressive line.  All you drummers out there should come check them, and let me know how you like them in the process.  Drum on folks!

FREE strings & FREE restring in Florence!!

Free Restring Banner

In support of International Guitar Month, Earth Day and to celebrate the launch of DAddario‘s Playback String Recycling Program, Willis Music invites you to attend DAddario‘s Guitar Restring and String Recycling Event!

When:
Apr 23, 2016 11:00 AM

Where:
Willis Music
7567 Mall Rd
Florence, KY 41042

DAddario is rolling out the world’s first wide-scale string recycling program: Playback. The program is powered by TerraCycle, a highly awarded, international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products to repurpose the material into affordable, innovative products.

Collect your used strings (and from your friends and fellow musicians) and bring them to the store along with your electric or acoustic guitar. Your contribution of used strings qualifies you for a FREE set of DAddario strings and a complimentary restring by our expert team. Choose either a set of DAddario‘s premium NYXL electric guitar strings or DAddario‘s NEW Nickel Bronze acoustic guitar strings. The amazing string doctor, Terry Steding of Cook Instrument Repair, will also be in the store to do on the spot repairs!

Thank you for doing your part to reduce wasteful landfill and to support DAddario and Willis Music efforts to make the world a better place for all musicians.

We are looking forward to seeing you Apr 23, 2016 11:00 AM – 5pm!

April Band of the Month Northern Kentucky – IconX

Musicians and vocalists brought together by a passion of music brings IconX to be featured as the April Band of the Month for Willis Music!
 FB_IMG_1457819890145
IconX is an Northern Kentucky’s band. They play music that makes them unique to the covers you would hear played. Covers include Boz Scaggs- Lowdown, Taste Of Honey- Boogie Oogie Oogie, Pink Floyd-On The Turning Away, Tears For Fears- Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Carole King- I Feel The Earth Move and many more. They have captivated audiences and grown a great fan base over the past five years because of their sound, great stage performances and excellent variety of music.
Check them out online at:
Like them on Facebook for a discount:
https://m.facebook.com/iconxmusic/
FB_IMG_1457820703372
Want to be the next Band of the Month? Click Here

Come show off your chops- Open Mic Night

Pitchers and catchers have reported, Daytona is done, & March Madness is starting – spring is just

around the corner. Soon enough patios will come alive with live music – if you want to practice your

songs and chops on a stage with a great sound system, come out to the Willis Music Open Mic Night –

Wednesday, March 16th from 6-8 PM. It is in the studio/stage area which is immediately to the left as

you walk through the door.

Also, if you need to replace your strings, want a new music book or two, need a loop-pedal, heck, even a

back-up instrument, remember – Willis has all of your musical instrument, music, & accessory needs

covered.

Come on out and we’ll get the music rolling on Wednesday, March 16th from 6pm to 8pm. Check in with

Scott and let the music play!!!

Willis Music Welcomes Melodic Connections

This past week, something very exciting has begun at our Kenwood location, our partnership with Melodic Connections!

According to their website:

“Melodic Connections provides music therapy services to individuals in Greater Cincinnati through five programs, fulfilling our mission of empowering special learners through low or no cost music therapy-based instruction. We believe Music Therapy is a powerful tool that should be within everyone’s reach.”

To learn more about what Melodic Connections does, click here.

They have started a program called Music Career Module. The Music Career Modules is a day program for adults with developmental disabilities. Participants meet at Willis Music in Kenwood where they will explore careers in music. They will work with Melodic Connection’s staff to practice social and job readiness skills while engaging with Willis Music’s employees who will teach and model their roles in the music industry. We are so excited to be involved in such a rewarding program and can’t wait to see where this program takes all of us in the future.

 

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!

March 2016 Calendar of Events

Amazing events scheduled for this month! Larry Sparks, Sarina Jones, St Patricks Day party, Easter Sunday, and much more! Check out the calendar below for all the details!

march 16 -page-0

 

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

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!

A Summer Full Of Music

I think it is safe to say that we are all ready for summer. Don’t get me wrong- I used to think snow was really pretty- but not anymore! Spring is one of the busiest times of year for a lot of people, so summer is that promise of a little relaxation. Even through the hustle of getting the kids out of school, final exams, and work deadline, there is still the promise of a great summer at the end of it all.

That being said- summer was so much more fun we you were young. So here at Willis Music- we want to help you plan the perfect summer for your children- and maybe you can even get involved too! We are planning several different summer group programs in our different locations.

The benefits of group music making are endless. While one-on-one instruction is crucial to the learning process, starting with a group can be a great way to shake off the nerves. Starting something new is scary, but starting something new with 10 other people doesn’t sound so bad. We have had several group classes here and we love them.

We are planning all sorts of group lessons for the summer. We are still developing some- but here is a little bit more about one I am really excited about

In our Eastgate location, we will be holding a kids keyboard class called “Teaching Little Fingers to Play”. The class will be taught by our very own piano teacher Mike Bachelier. Mike teaches Piano, Guitar, and Voice several days a week at Willis Music and is excited to do some group work. The class will be on Monday mornings, 10:30-11:30, and will last for 6 weeks starting on June 15th. The price of the class will be $100. Space is limited so sign up in store or give the store a call at 513-752-6341.

More information on other group classes will be coming soon. If you would like to stay in the loop, make sure to visit www.willismusic.com/lessons or stop in a store today to find out what they are planning for you this summer.


Playing music in a group is a great way for your child to excel, as well as make new friends and learn new skills. You don’t have to take my word for it- check out this video of brothers who have always played music together and are proof that hard work and practice can really pay off!

 

Open Hole Flute Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

 

 

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

 

Kala Exotic Mahogany Tenor Ukulele

Kala Tenor Exotic Mahogany

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

 

Ukulele

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

History

Hawaii

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

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

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

Canada

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

Japan

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

United Kingdom

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

United States (mainland)

Pre–World War II

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

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

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

Post–World War II

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

Post-1990 revival

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

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

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

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

 

 

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.

Congrats to our VIP+1 $100 Gift Card Winner

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

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

 

10 Tips to Improve Your Sax Playing

sax

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

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

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

Number 2: Wet your reed before you play

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

Number 3: Pick a position and stay with it

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

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

Number 4: Posture

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

Number 5: Tighten your Ligature

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

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

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

Number 7: Use a neck strap

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

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

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

Number 9: Play in an area with good lighting

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

Number 10: Invest in high quality reeds

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

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

7 Guitars That Changed History

1. Gibson L-5

Gisbon L-5 GuitarFirst introduced: 1923

Also Known As: The First Masterpiece

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

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

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

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

2. Martin D-45

Martin D-45 GuitarFirst introduced: 1933

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

Notable Players: Gene Autry, Neil Young

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

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

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

3. Fender Broadcaster/Telecaster

Fender Broadcaster Telecaster GuitarFirst introduced: 1950

Also Known As: The Most Important Electric Guitar Ever Made

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

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

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

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

4. Gibson Les Paul

Gibson Les Paul guitarFirst introduced: 1952

Also Known As: The Legend

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

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

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

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

5. Fender Stratocaster

Fender Stratocaster guitarFirst introduced: 1954

Also Known As: The Standard

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

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

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

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

6. Gibson Flying V

Gibson Flying V guitarFirst introduced: 1958

Also Known As: The Modernistic

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

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

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

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

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

7. Paul Reed Smith Santana

First introduced: 1980

Also Known As: The Stradivarius of the Electric Guitar

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

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

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

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

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

Guitar Digital Wireless Done Right

glx

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

Features include:

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

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

Special Event? Not enough Power? Too Dark?

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

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

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

Yamaha’s SILENT Brass Delivers Pure Sound

silent

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

Until now!

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

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

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

Here’s how the SILENT Brass system works:

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

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

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

Line 6′s New Amplifi Raises The Bar

amplifi

Incredible amp tones? CHECK!

Bluetooth capable? CHECK!

5 speaker sound system? CHECK!

On-board tone matching? CHECK!

Killer 2-tone look? CHECK!

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

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

This Day In Music History

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

 

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

 

 

April 2014 Calendar of Events

 

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

CALENDAR - Store Events

What The Heck is a Cajon?

cajon

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

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

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

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

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

Click the pic for a great cajon solo!

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

Powerwerks PA Sale

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

Super Hit “Royals” w/ a UK Spin!

UK Royals

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

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

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

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

8 Reasons to Buy Your GUITAR at Willis Music

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

guitars

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

1. All guitars are Detailed and Inspected.

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

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

4. Adjustable Bridge Intonated

5. All electronics professionally inspected

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

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

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

guitar2

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

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

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

 

Neal Schon’s Custom Fender Strat

schon

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

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

Mesa Pedals Now With EQ!

mesa new

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

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

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

Laughter is the Best Medicine!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Home is a Musical Instrument

house

This video proves music can be made with anything!

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

Great Video of Glass Breaking by Voice!

glass

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

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

Deal of the Day!

deal 3-7

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

Used Baldwin Grands!

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

Product Spotlight: Yamaha ARIUS Digital Piano

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

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

What more could you possibly want with a digital piano?

ARIUS Yamaha Digital Piano YDP-181

ARIUS Yamaha Digital Piano YDP-181

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

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

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

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

 

Deal of the Day!!

deal feb 28

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No Brainer Day

No Brainer Day – now this day is for me!

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

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

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

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

Deal Of The Day Feb. 24th!

deal feb 24

Great amp at a very great price!

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Steinway Piano Rental Available Through Willis Music

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

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

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

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

 

Big Bass Sale!

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

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

Eastgate has a new look!

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

Make a Friend Day

Do you have enough friends? The answer should be no. No matter how many friends we have, more of them increases our wealth. That’s because friends are one of life’s valuable assets. ‘Ya just can’t have too many friends.

Make a Friend Day is a great opportunity to meet someone new, or do something to make a new friend. Making a new friend can be easier to do than you think. There must be a gadzillion ways to make new friends. It often helps by smiling and just being friendly or helpful.

Spend “Make a Friend Day” being just being friendly, and by doing special or nice things for others.

Oh, by the way…. I hope that you will be my friend!

Come visit us and make some new friends!

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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Willis Music Artist of the Week – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Returning from their four month vacation through France, Brazil, Australia, and Iceland the Willis Music Eastgate Artist of the Week Honorary Artist Judging Committee is back to present the latest Willis Music Eastgate Artist of the Week Honorary Artist Award! Congratulations to the Willis Music Eastgate Artist of the Week Honorary Artist Award (WMEAotWHAA) recipient the Red Hot Chili Peppers!

RHCP is a part of rock and roll history, combining a groundbreaking sound with far less clothing than most people are comfortable with witnessing. Don’t let their tattooed, mostly naked, bad boy geriatric image fool you, though. They are quick to help out a friend, especially if they agreed to play a large televised gig that the majority of the world would be watching and their friend didn’t have enough of their own material to do the 15 minute show by themselves, and their friend couldn’t plug in their own instruments, let alone the RHCP instruments. What more could you ask from a friend?

RHCP’s style includes some great bass work from a guy named Flea, which if you consider the common flea, you don’t think of it as being particularly loud or low in pitch but that is the name he went with. Maybe he got that name ironically, in the style of the hipsters, but since we have heard of Flea and RHCP, and they don’t have beards and thick glasses, we doubt that’s the case.