Musical Instruments

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5 Ways to Use a Tambourine

A tambourine is a circular frame with jingles attached to it. Shaking or hitting the tambourine causes the jingles to move, creating the tambourine's sound. A tambourine may look like a simple percussion instrument, but it's used in a number of ways to get a variety of sounds. Tambourines add accents and rhythms to almost any kind of music, including pop, rock, Latin, marching bands and symphonies.

What Is an 808 Drum?

The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, or the 808 as it's know in music circles, is arguably one of the most famous drum machines in history. It has a distinctive sound that's immediately recognizable and still sought after today, primarily for the tone of its kick drum. The sounds in the 808 are purely analog, so while they aren't realistic drum sounds, they're just the thing needed for old-school rap and hip-hop as well as some dance music.

How to Accompany on the Fiddle

Learning to play an accompaniment part on the fiddle requires expert knowledge of music theory and a strong fiddle technique. Fiddle accompaniments can be written out in their entirety, or consist of a collection of chord symbols over which the fiddle player must improvise. Daily practice will enhance your ability to improvise and play accompaniments. With the right practice plan, you can develop your skill to perform accompaniments with style as a professional would.

The Accordion for Beginners

The accordion is known for its signature sound heard in polkas and zydeco music. It shares similarities with a piano in that its keys are arranged like those of a piano and a specific hand controls particular notes. Like all instruments, the accordion requires practice to play proficiently. However, there are some basic things you should know to get started.

Accordion Finger Technique

The accordion is a traditional instrument often used in tunes from folk genres, such as Cajun, zydeco and polka. The accordion is fun to play and has been gaining popularity lately in popular genres, as can be seen in the Edward Maya hit "Stereo Love," which features accordion melody over electronic dance music. Since the accordion is a two-handed instrument, its mastery involves developing multiple techniques -- bellows technique and finger technique. Finger technique is used to provide the pitches, which will be used for a given note or chord, and is important for mastery of the instrument.

Acrylic Vs. Maple Drums

Every drummer can find that perfect sound that fits his/her style and personality. When they do, most become rabid defenders of their own drum kit's material, design and style. Acrylic kits tend to have a brighter, louder sound, whereas maple kits have a deeper and richer tone. Each represents a broader spectrum of drum sets--maple is one in a broad range of available wooden shells, and acrylic is one of several artificially constructed drum shell materials.

What Is the Advantage of a Laminated Maple Top on a Guitar?

The type of wood a guitar is made of influences the sound the instrument makes. Each type of wood carries the sound vibrations differently, subtly infusing the notes with more or fewer vibrations from different ends of the audible registry. The way the top of the guitar is made changes the sounds as well. A laminated maple top is made of planks of maple wood, as opposed to a solid-body maple top made of a single piece of maple.

The Advantages of Fretless Guitars

As the name suggests, a fretless guitar is a guitar without any frets acting as the lower end node of a vibrating string. Although they are played essentially the same way as other guitars, fretless guitars offer trained musicians more creative possibilities than fretted guitars because they can support a variety of different playing styles and are not bound to the standard chromatic scale.

The Advantages of Higher Gauge Strings on a Guitar

String gauge is a measure of the thickness of guitar strings. A single gauge unit is equal to .001 inches. For example, a 12-gauge string has a diameter of .012 inches. Thicker guitar strings, often called heavy gauge strings, have certain advantages over thinner guitar strings.

What Is the Allen Wrench for That I Got With My Guitar?

Several models of acoustic and electric guitars include an Allen wrench with purchase. This tool is to aid in turning a special nut that adjusts a part of the guitar called the truss rod. Many novice players are hesitant to change or otherwise adjust this, as it affects the bend of the neck. With special care and attention, however, this device can be used to better adapt the instrument to your playing style.

How to Apply Drum Silencers

Practicing drums can be difficult, due to their loud volume. While the drums may be music to your ears, other people in the building or nearby might find them loud and distracting. That's where drum silencers come in, doing just that: silencing the drums, so you can play without making much noise at all. Drum silencers are thin pads in the shape of your drums that you place on them, and make little noise when struck. Drum silencers vary based on brand, but there are guidelines to follow when applying them to your drums.

How to Apply a Sunburst to a Blonde Guitar

When the Fender Stratocaster was introduced in 1954 it came in a striking sunburst color scheme that features a black edge gradually blending into amber on the face of the body. Fashions may have come and gone over the years, but the sunburst has endured to become an iconic finish on many guitars. Giving your flat looking blonde-finish guitar a sunburst effect is easier than you may think with the right preparation, tools, materials and care.

What Is an Arch Top Guitar?

Guitar design and construction focused on one goal in the first half of the twentieth century: more volume. At first crowded out of jazz bands by its louder, brassier brother the banjo, developments in design, and eventually amplification, made the guitar triumphant. The arch top guitar, still the ax of choice among jazzers and rockabilly players, stands in the middle ground in the pursuit of volume between the flat-top acoustic and the solid-body electric guitars.

What Are Archtop Guitars?

The body shape and style of a guitar are extremely important to the overall tone of the instrument. Virtually all guitars can be classified as either hollowbody, semi-hollowbody or solidbody guitars, based on the physical characteristics of their bodies. Archtop guitars, at the simplest level, are a very specific type of hollowbody guitar.

Artley 17S Clarinet Vs. 18S Clarinet

Artley clarinets have been around since the early 20th century. Artley student clarinet lines are durable and affordable. The 17S and 18S models are very similar, but they have a few differences that include cost, key size and availability. The 18S is the newer model, but both models can be made from a composite material that will last for years.

How to Attach a Banjo Resonator

If you're learning to play the banjo, it's important for you to take the time to get to know your instrument. While you don't need to know necessarily what its favorite take-out food is, knowing the parts that make up a banjo and how to put them all together is something to which you should pay close attention. The banjo resonator is the wooden back of the banjo, the part that rests against your stomach when you play it. The resonator has a secret, though. It's not a special part that must be used at all times. The resonator can be removed in much the same way that a trumpet player removes a mute from their instrument.

What Is an Australian Didgeridoo Instrument?

An Australin didgeridoo is a very culturally important musical instrument. Ancient in origin, the didgeridoo is an instrument of the Aborignal people of northern Australia. The instrument encompasses both the history of their culture and the tie they feel with nature and Australia. According to the geographic location, the didgeridoo is known by as many as 45 names. The didgeridoo is a cultural icon and is prominent in the movement to keep Aboriginal practices and culture alive.

How to Avoid Squeaking on the Clarinet

The clarinet is an instrument commonly used in bands and orchestras. While it is capable of producing a lovely, smooth tone, it can easily squeak, which can be embarrassing for the player -- especially if it happens during a performance. Many reed and brass instruments can also squeak, so it's not a problem unique to the clarinet. By practicing a few techniques, though, you can avoid this nasty problem.

What Is a Bach Stradivarius Trumpet?

A Bach Stradivarius Trumpet is a fine quality brass instrument manufactured to exacting standards and designed by engineer and musician Vincent Bach in the early 1920s. These trumpets are still manufactured in Elkhart, Indiana, by Conn-Selmer. Considered to be a classic American trumpet, their pure sound and projection make them a favorite choice for professional musicians.