Sunday, December 03, 2006

On choosing gifts that will enhance the creative & melodic impulse

Hello Kitty Guitar!
Originally uploaded by jasmine_tea.

On giving gifts that bring out the melodic creativity of your best people . . .

If your person has expressed an interest in music, there are plenty of inexpensive guitars perfect for figuring out whether guitar is going to be Yo' Thang. One of them is Fender's Hello Kitty. But that's a deluxe intro at about $200. You can get an effective axe for $100, thanks to the amazing East Asian factories.

* The principal factor to worry about in regards getting a new guitar for an inexperienced player is Ease of Playing. Sure, there's The Coolness. But mainly it's going to be about Whether the Strings Press Down Easily. You want to request a fretboard-to-string relationship that's called Low Action. They will know to add light gauge strings.
* With that in mind, I Cannot recommend ordering a guitar from a catalog. Yes, the catalogs are inspiring and seductive. But you will long be happy if you find a friendly local retailer and establish a relationship. You cannot now imagine the several ways in which the retailer is going to be helpful. Plus, the Local Guys will basically match the price of the mail order companies.
* Guitarists don't need a big amp. Once upon a time we adored monstrous, multi-speaker mondogeddons. But please think about getting in and out of the car and school bus on your way to practice and shows. Think of how smart it will be to Grab it and Run. You'd be surprised how much piercing guitar notage you can fling across a room with a 15 watt amp firing an 8" speaker. There are headphone outlets on most amps for midnight practice - and they're an important item.
* Full length mirror is an accompaniment for guitarist or other musician types that makes more sense than you realize. If players see how they look as they perform, they will avoid developing bad habits such a slumped posture or awkward mouth movements or unappealing raiment.
* Btw, I say do Not buy your favorite person a guitar unless they say they want one.
* Extra cables - and strings - are very important to all players of electrified instruments.

* For those with a promising voice, get a mic, mic stand and extra PA-type amplifier. Great voices are the missing links in most musical groups. If you think you have an effective voice, develop it. Get voice lessons. Sing through a practice amp system.

* Songwriter types have new avenues today. The computer enables them to record, produce and make their original material into useful music. The basic recording software bundled with a PC or Mac is entirely adequate for most recording. Many of the mics built into today's computers are adequate for general recording of voice and fx. But an adapter (here's one from Griffin) and additional mic ($40 to $100, don't worry whether it's Shure or budget Behringer) can enhance your effort and be motivational tools.
* Podcasting, essentially creating independent radio programs, is a new creative outlet. For the witty and insightful, the podcast can be a door that opens onto the universe of entertainment or news or even infotainment. The retailers have figured out that you will pay big bucks for a Podcasting Package. There's nothing wrong with one if you have extra $$. yet all that is necessary is a computer and mic and moxie.

More questions about this realm? Email me or march into your Local Music Shop and get drunk on the smell and the feel of tools for imagineering.


Robert E Trudeau said...

"Thanks, Robert," wrote Shreveport Music's Don Teach. "I have a couple of Hello Kitty guitars. Mail order does not offer free service for a year and we do.

Mail order keeps no money in the area. Mail order is not less expensive. Mail order gives no service after 30 days and most local retailers will not service items bought else where.

I bought a TV from the local Best Buy and learned a hard lesson. For 30 days they will service it. After 30 days it was mine and they could care less about me and the TV I bought from them. Jerry Beach bought a computer from Circuit City and on day 32 the computer broke. Of course CC would give no service whatsoever. As much as I hate it, I now buy from Wrights with the up-front understanding of what service they will do or not do and have it put in writing. They can be hard, also."

Hunter said...

Great post, Mr. T. Written with expertise but lack of snobbery like nobody could offer but the guitar club sponsor. Hopefully some lucky kids will get their start in music due to their parents' reading this. And man, to get a Hello Kitty guitar as your first guitar! I didn't realize any stores had them in Shreveport.