Instruments Tips

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Free Guitars

Free Guitars. It is a dream for us to never have to pay for a guitar, even more without having to jump through hoops.

So, what is a little secret that many people overlook? Recycling forums! Sites and groups, like FreeCycle, have hundreds of posts in which people are giving away great guitars for free. All you have to do is simply email the person and pick-up the guitar. That's it! Granted, you may need to fix the guitar up, but you cannot beat the fact that it cost you nothing!

What do I do when my mouthpiece gets stuck?

Stuck Mouthpieces

NEVER try to remove a stuck mouthpiece on instruments such as the trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, etc. ALWAYS consult your teacher or music dealer or damage will result.

Should you try to see how tight you can get your guitar strings?


It's not a good idea to see how tight you can get the strings on your guitar ... the result can be a painful one, not only for your fingers, but for the neck of your guitar!

What do you know about Fender guitars?


Fender is probably one of the most common brand names when it comes to instruments, and it even the person who knows the least about guitars can tell you what a Fender is. Fender produces amps and tuners and other products as well, but it is most famous for it's guitars, here I will tell you some of the things that the Fender company has to offer.

Fender guitars are to many too list here, I suggest you go to your local library to get books on all their custom guitars, they are really cool. But I will list as many as I can remember.

Fender Stratocaster- the most common of the Fender family. They are nice and eclectic. Price range for a standard Strat is anywhere from $300.00- 350.00, more or less.
of course there are diffrent types of Stratocasters, such as the American Strat, Fat Strat, and all the vintage guitars, these will be more costly than your standard Mexican made Stratocaster

Fender Telecaster- the Standard Telecaster also goes for $300.00-350.00. This guitar is diffrent than the Strat. It has an entirely diffrent headstock, body and coils. the same goes for the Telecaster as far as different series and makes: price range widely with those as well.

Fender also makes a line of bass guitars, acoustic guitars, amps and other merchandise.
To get a great catalog with many Fender products, visit Musicians Friend ... and it's free!

How can I release a stuck mouthpiece?

Stuck Mouthpieces

It's easy to remove a stuck mouthpiece by following these instructions: 1) Soak horn in hot water. 2) Remove and apply an ice cube to the mouthpiece only - around the area of insertion. 3) Viola! Or should I say Hornola! It will release in minutes.

When should you oil your trombone?


Be sure that your trombone slide is oiled really well, especially before a concert or even rehearsal. You don't want to end up hitting the person in front of you in the head because you couldn't get the slide moving!

What is a newfangled player piano?

Player piano

Fingers cramped from too much tickling of the ivories? Well, buy yourself a newfangled player piano. The player pianos of yesteryear are making a comeback in a very digital way, and the new technology can be added to your old acoustic piano. (The one covered in dust in the corner). These devices use electronic solenoids to control the hammers of your acoustic piano and employ disk drives and onboard computers that take the place of the old-time paper rolls. The device costs between $5000-$10,000, and for a fully outfitted new piano, you can expect to pay $7,000-$52,000.

What is the least expensive insurance you can buy for your guitar?

Guitar Cases

If you don't already own one, get a good quality case or gig bag for your guitar. It's the least expensive insurance you can buy for a guitar. Also, get a good guitar stand to keep it on between playing sessions

How do I palm mute?

Palm Mute

To palm mute: Take the edge of your palm and place it firmly on the bridge of your guitar and pick the chords.

How do I care for my woodwind instrument?

Dry Your Instrument

Always remember to dry your instrument really well after playing, using a pull through. Try using the double-ended type that doesn't go completely through the top joint ... these kind of pull throughs won't get jammed.

What do I need to be careful about while cleaning my flute?

Don't Care Too Much!

One of the worst things about flute care is that you can OVER care for it! Hard to believe? Well, check this out! I found it pretty interesting myself.

You have to be careful when you use a polishing cloth ... flute pads skins are very thin, and constant rubbing with a cloth can tear them. There is also a spring for each key, which the cloth can snag and unhook, that is a real *&^$ to replace!

Don't over oil your flute ... that can cause the pads to get "sticky," and keycorks to fall off. There is no adhesive out there that will work on an oily surface. Make sure you apply oil in the tiniest amounts, directly at the key ends. Maybe the best thing is if you leave that to the professionals ... just take it to the shop once or twice a year.

How is a Native American flute used?

Native American Flute

The Native American flute is important for many people. The artists who use the flute to perform have been part of a great group of people who understand how the flute was created. The wood carvings are important and the music from a flute is incredible. All flutes have a different sound and the flutes used by native americans are prepared with extreme care. All flutes are taken care of in a certain way to help the sounds maintain the best of themselves. All flutes are important for tribes and the music is part of their performances and often times brings forward the healing for a group. A Native American flute can be fun to learn how to play and the sounds it makes are improved as a musician learns. All music can be enjoyable and the groups listening can enjoy how the musician uses each note.


What are the most recommended synthesizers?

Synthesizers in general are incredible at providing music with unique sounds that cannot be acheived through typical 'band' instruments, such as drums, guitars, etc. As for which ones are most recomended? Majority have voiced their opinion with Korg, Moog, and Roland brands, for they keep producing innovative machines, as well as easy to use functions so that all can enjoy playing synthesizers.

Does your guitar sound better with age?

Play it

Play your guitar often. A fine quality instrument made from solid woods just gets better and better the older it gets and the more its played. It's a win win for both you and your guitar - the more you enjoy it, the better it sounds - and the more you'll enjoy it in the future.

Does Danelectro make guitars?

Danelectro Guitars

Danelectro Guitars

If you didn't already know, Danelectro offers a series of guitars. They are pretty nice and most are fairly inexpensive. (price range: anywhere from $300.00-$450.00) They originated the Baritone guitar which is tuned a 5th lower than the normal guitar. It almost sounds like a bass. Nothing has ever sounded quite like it.

So next time your in a music store, or you are shuffling through a guitar magazine or catalog check out the Danelectros, you might see something you like.

What can I do to take care of my drums better?

Tuning Your Drums

Kick Drum:
Put a pillow into the bass drum as a way to help with the overtones and tuning of the drum. While its possible to achieve a good punch without it, most folks (at least other band members and recording engineers) prefer to have a solid "thud" sound with a slight over ring. Whether you choose to use a pillow or not, the tuning procedure is still the same.

Start by tightening the lugs until they are all finger tight. You will notice wrinkles in the head around the edges. Choose any tuning lug and tighten it 1/2 turn. Then, go directly across the head and do the same with that lug. Continue in this fashion around the drum until the wrinkles are gone and you hear a tone when you tap on the head. Once you begin fine-tuning, you will want to turn the lug no more than 1/4 turn. When tuned properly, you should hear the same pitch when you tap on the head in front of each lug. (Approximately 1" in from the rim.) Different shells sound different depending on how high or low they are tuned, so experiment with the tuning.

Snare Drum:
Because there are so many different types of materials used to construct snare drums, including wood, steel, copper and brass, the snare can be tuned to an amazing number of tones and textures. Again, experiment with different tunings to find the tone that works for you.

I prefer a very tight, fat snare sound. To achieve this I start with the bottom snare head. Using the same technique as the bass drum, make sure the tension is even as you go around the head. I like to have the bottom head as tight as possible, which gives the snare a tight snap when I hit it. Use your own judgment.

The top head I tend to keep quite a bit looser, in order to "fatten" the snare sound. If you still have too much over ring, a small piece of duct tape will help to alleviate this. Place it approximately 1" from the rim of the snare, directly across from you (this will keep you from hitting that spot with your sticks).

Even tension on the top and bottom heads is critical for good tom tone. You may want to take each drum off the mount to tune the bottom head (using the same technique as above). Find a pitch that sounds good to your ear, and try to tune the drum to that pitch.

Again, there is no right or wrong tuning for your kit, as long as it sounds good to you. It will take a while to tune your kit, so don't get discouraged. The best advice I can give you is to use small increments when you begin to fine-tune the drums. 1/4 turns are usually more than enough.

One last tip. Placing the drum flat on a carpeted surface can also help when you are just learning to tune the drum. This dampens the other head, letting you hear just the head you are tuning.

Where can I find guitar tablatures online?

Guitar Tablatures Online

This is really a great site for guitar tablatures. Their selection of bands is somewhat limited, but the ones that they DO have are great.

Guitar Tabs

How do I define a guitar?

guitar - a definition

guitar -a musical instrument that usuaully has six strings( there are also seven and twelve string guitars) that are plucked or strummed with a pick.

There are electric and acoustic guitars, and some electric/acoutstic.

Some guitar brands are Gibson, Fender, Jackson, Martin, Guild, Ovation, Parker, and Rickenbacker. Fender and Gibson as well as other guitar brands make both acoustic and electric.

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Guru Spotlight
Jeff Beer