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Monthly Archives: August 2018

Reading Guitar Tabs

Tablature vs. musical notation

Most guitarists don’t try to know the standard musical notation. The good news is with tab, there is no need to learn it either. Just like notation, you can read tablature from left to right. Actually, the vertical lines refer to the end of each bar so you can keep time. But the horizontal ones don’t refer to the strings of the guitar. Moreover, in standard tuning, you will see that the 6 lines are called E, A, D, G, B and E. They are read from the bottom to top.

Actually, each position of the finger is shown by a number on the horizontal lines. These numbers give a certain fret position. Let’s take an example. On the second line, a number 3 is an indicator of the note of D, and it has to be sounded at the fret on the B string. You won’t find an indicator for the notes length with tab. Therefore, there is no equivalent of a crotchet or quaver symbol. This problem can be addressed by ear. Another way is to listen to the recordings of the thing that you are trying to learn.

Chords

The numbers that start from the left and go all the way to the right on the tab are an indicator of a melody. If you see two or more numbers on top of each other, know that they refer to multiple strings or all of them. So, they should be played just like a chord. It is very easy. You just need to practice for a few minutes daily.

The down facing arrows over the tab mean that you should play a downward strum. On the other hand, the reverse means you should do upstrokes. This give you a pretty good idea of the rhythm.

Melody and other advanced techniques

Unlike chord patterns, you will take a bit more time to learn a melody. As a matter of fact, if you practice scales, you can easily determine which finger you should use when the tablature requires a fret position, especially if there you have to make a long reach.

History Acoustic Guitars

In the Middle Ages these instruments were called gitterns, and they looked like and were played like the lute, they even had the rounded back like a lute. As we got into the Renaissance era the size of these instruments got larger and the shape changed into something we would consider more modern guitar like. They originated in Spain and were called vihuelas. This name was a broad term given to many string instruments so in the 16th century they were divided into two categories: vihuela de arco which was like a modern day violin and vihuela de penola that was played either by hand or with a plectrum. If the instrument was played by hand, the term vihuela de mano was used and this is what became the modern day guitar as it used hand movements on the strings and had a sound hole in order to create the music.

While Spain is the birthplace and homeland of the guitar, the real production of them really ramped up in France. They were so popular that people started to produce copies of the famous models. Some even went to prison for stealing famous maker’s work. It was a father son duo named Robert and Claude Denis though who really increased the popularity of the instrument, as they produced hundreds of them during the period.

By the late 1700’s only a six course vihuela guitar was being made and sold in Spain. This became the standard guitar and had seventeen frets and six courses with the first two strings tuned in unison so that the G was actually two strings. This is when we finally see the shape and similarities to today’s instruments. Of course now we have single strings instead of pairs, and by the 19th century, the instrument had fully evolved, except for size, to be the six single stringed guitar that we know today.

Music Affect Your Body and Mind

Music helps to recover from brain injuries

Many people experienced cerebral damage have speech and movement-related problems. As an alternative and effective treatment, doctors often recommend such patients to listen to good music to stimulate the parts of the brain responsible for these two functions. When people with neurological disorders caused by a stroke or Parkinson’s disease hear a musical beat, it helps them to regain a symmetrical walk and sense of equilibrium.

Music staves off the loss of hearing

Surely, music will not cure deafness but it really can prevent the loss of hearing. There was an experiment involving 163 people where 74 were musicians.

Participants were asked to pass some listening tests. Musicians heard the sounds better than non-musicians, and this difference gets more evident with aging. This means that a 70-year-old musician hears better than a 50-year-old non-musician, even in a noisy environment.

Music heals a broken heart

No, it is not about a cast-off love, but about a heart attack. The matter is music can help people recovering from a heart seizure or cardiac surgery by reducing blood pressure, slowing down the heartbeat rate, and relieving anxiety. Listening to the quality music evokes positive emotions, improves circulation, and expands blood vessels, thus, promoting quick rehabilitation of the whole cardiovascular system.

Piano or Keyboard

Pianos

It is an Acoustic instrument. Sound is produced naturally. Pianos, especially Grand Piano are gigantic in size just because of same old principle with any wooden musical instrument; to produce a richer sound via acoustic vibrations. In recent years, some acoustic pianos have begun to incorporate certain electronic features related to recording and playback; these are often called “hybrids,” but in any case the mechanism for producing sound remains acoustic.

Perhaps the most obvious difference is that all pianos have 88 keys, while the number of keys often varies among keyboards. Having more keys enables musicians to play more notes and create different sounds that might not be possible on a keyboard.

Here are a few other significant differences:

Pianos have pedals build on the piano that enhance their sounds, while keyboards need to add pedals.

Concert pianos are huge and can’t be transported as easily as keyboards.

Most concert pianists perform in auditoriums built especially for pianos to better showcase their talents, while keyboardists can perform practically anywhere.

Keyboards

Keyboards (or “digital pianos”) typically have 49 – 88 keys, keyboards are electronic, and some people maintain it affects their sound quality. But whatever slight differences discerning ears might hear between the sounds produced by these two instruments, in the end, most music lovers enjoy the sounds of both.

Keyboards usually have a menu-operated bank of preset sounds like drums, guitar, trumpets, etc. Usually when one refers to a keyboard one is making a distinction that a keyboard is a synthesizer. When referring to synths we normally are talking about an instrument that has a menu-operated bank of sounds as a keyboard does, which allows those presets sounds as a starting point to be varied a little or quite dramatically by tweaking the signal parameters. The synth also allows you to record music and sounds.

So in a nutshell.

High-end models typically can replicate the sound of every instrument routinely used in state-of-the-art music studios. Used in combination, they provide the hottest accompaniment styles, mixes, rhythms and beats on demand, with the push of a button, while musicians play along on the keyboard itself.

As if that’s not enough, just about every keyboard can connect to a wide range of electronic and digital devices: from amplifiers to computers to iPads. Some of the top-end keyboards and pianos offer synchronized recording and playback with external devices such as multi-track recording equipment and video cameras.

Today’s keyboard is like a mini piano usually of 49, 61, 71 or 88 keys and as a range of additional sounds and/or inbuilt rhythm tracks that allow you to be a one man band and to join in with other electronic modules. So compared to a piano, a keyboard has probably more in common with an organ and is not really an acoustical instrument.

Bottom line
In the final analysis, the subtle differences between these two instruments probably aren’t big enough to make or break your decision to buy one or the other. But the biggest difference – the keyboard’s versatility at reproducing a seemingly endless variety of instrumental sounds – just might be the tie-breaker.

Still, when speaking solely in terms of comparable quality, both allow you to give your best. What comes out is largely determined by what you put in. That’s why I recommend that musicians begin by learning to play piano before deciding whether or not to try their hand (or hands) at a keyboard, based upon their personal tastes and the requirements of their performances and venues.