Guitars and Wood Types

How to choose the right top, back, and fretboard woods for the guitar of your dreams.

Top 10 Bluegrass Songs You Should Know

So you’ve got your new instrument and you want to know where to start. That is a hard question to answer, because there is such a wealth of excellent bluegrass music waiting to be played. However, some good old songs have formed the core repertoire of countless artists since bluegrass began. You can’t go wrong…

5 Things Every Beginning Charcoal Artist Needs

Charcoal is a wonderful way to make lifelike sketches of the world around you. Particularly if you enjoy drawing animals, this medium can deliver a boldness and realism like no other. If you are new to charcoal drawing, there are a few supplies that you will need. Fortunately, they do not have to be elaborate….

Essential Techniques for Mandolin

How about a lesson from one of the most talented mandolin players in bluegrass today?  With Essential Techniques for Mandolin, you will have the opportunity to sit down and receive technical tips from Chris Thile. In this DVD, Thile discusses both the left and right hands and how they should handle the mandolin.  You will…

3 Tips for Playing Rhythm

Most musicians in a group setting aren’t going to be playing lead 100% of the time.  Sometimes you will be expected to back up a singer, while other times you will be playing rhythm while another instrumentalist takes a turn. Playing rhythm really can be enjoyable, whether you are on the guitar, the mandolin, or…

The Banjo Encyclopedia

If you want to teach yourself how to play the banjo, don’t buy a songbook—try this instead. Master your instrument. The Banjo Encyclopedia: Bluegrass Banjo from A to Z by Ross Nickerson teaches you how to build your knowledge of the five-string banjo from the ground up. First comes the basics: Parts of a banjo….

Choosing String Gauges for Acoustic Guitar

If you are buying acoustic guitar strings for the first time, you will soon realize that you have a bewildering array of options.  Different brands, different materials, different gauges…how do you decide? To make your life a little easier, let’s take a look at the topic of string gauges.  Most manufacturers offer three basic gauges:…

Free LSU Building Plans

Louisiana State University has put together an excellent website packed with countless building plans available for free PDF download.  If you are the do-it-yourself type, this is a site that you should definitely bookmark! Just to give you a very small sampling of the plans and projects that are included: Gates. Barns. Corrals. Feeders. Dairy…

The Art of Drawing and Painting Horses

Horses are a favorite subject when it comes to art.  Both amateurs and professionals love to capture the graceful motions and varying personalities of these beautiful animals. If you want to take your drawing and painting skills to the next level, you may find The Art of Drawing & Painting Horses from Walter Foster useful. …

The Wonderful Art of Drawing Horses

Children love drawing horses! Here’s a book that can guide them through the process in a fun way. The Wonderful Art of Drawing Horses by Barry Stebbing starts with the basics: Shading. Mixing colors. Using shapes to make drawing easier. Then on to a number of discussions on drawing different breeds, markings, gaits, and poses. Interesting…