There are many ways of tuning your instrument. Not surprisingly, each has its own set of pros and cons: Pitch pipe: Simple and portable, but limited to standard tunings, hard to hear in noisy settings, and not accurate if you blow too softly or too forcefully. Tuning fork: Simple and accurate, but limited and hardContinue reading “Intellitouch Tuners”
All guitarists need a capo. Yes, you can get by without one if you know your bar chords, but why not save yourself some finger fatigue and just use the capo? There are several styles of capos out there. We like the trigger-style capos from Dunlop because they can be clamped on quickly and easily,Continue reading “The Indispensable Capo”
A musical instrument is an investment, but it can be more than that, as well. As we play our instruments, we grow attached to them and to the memories that are associated with them. Fortunately, musical instruments require relatively little maintenance to keep them in good shape. This kit from Gibson makes taking care ofContinue reading “Gibson Luthier’s Choice Polish Set”
There’s peace of mind in knowing that you have a good instrument case. So what makes a “good” instrument case? It has to be sturdy and reliable. It needs to have a hard shell that will hold up to bumps and shocks. There are some incredible indestructible cases out there, but the nonprofessional musician sometimesContinue reading “Gator Cases”
While not all banjo players use picks, those who imitate the three-finger bluegrass style pioneered by Earl Scruggs typically do. Picks make a clean, bright, loud sound that bluegrass musicians love. These banjo players usually use three picks of two different types: A plastic thumb pick. A pair of metal finger picks. As you wouldContinue reading “Choosing Picks for Banjo”
How to choose the right top, back, and fretboard woods for the guitar of your dreams.
Some good old songs have formed the core repertoire of countless artists since bluegrass began. You can’t go wrong with these tunes.
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 willContinue reading “Essential Techniques for Mandolin”
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, orContinue reading “3 Tips for Playing Rhythm”
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 come the basics: Parts of a banjo.Continue reading “The Banjo Encyclopedia”