Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Elgar Howarth Way

Newly Published - The Elgar Howarth Way, 16 studies for intermediate to advanced trumpet with performance CD by well-known trumpeter and composer Elgar Howarth.  New and in stock.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Tips on Preparing for Music Exams

It's that time of year again, music exams approach and there are so many things to think about.  Here are a few tips to help you or your family member through...

  1. Practice enough but not too much - too much repetition can make your performance stale and mechanical, make sure you get a break to do something else from time to time
  2. Practice with your pianist - not just once the day before, make sure you practice with the pianist a few times so you each know how you are going to approach the exam music
  3. Check you have the music well in advance - the instrumental part and the piano accompaniment need to be originals and they will be inspected on the day, so don't leave it to the last minute!  If you need music, go to
  4. On the day- take some water with you as your brain needs water to function and if you are nervous you'll get though more water than normal, warm up thoroughly, and when you get in the exam room, smile and enjoy it!
Examiners are generally nice, friendly people who want you to do well, so relax and you'll be great.
If anyone has any other tips for exam season, do let me know!

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Trinity Guitar Exam Pieces 2016

Trinity Guitar Exam Pieces and scales 2016 grades initial-5 now in stock!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

New Website Launched

With the web changing all the time, every so often you need to update things!  So this week we have a new website - improved functionality for customers such as stock, notification emails, loyalty points and better product information.  While at the back end, the administration will be much easier.  Hope you like it, do check it out for all your sheet music needs!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

New Gifts and Christmas Music

As we get closer to Christmas, new products see the light of day.  The gifts section has some new items - cookie cutters and a bass clef mug.

And a new series for instrumental christmas music - Abracadabra Christmas Showstoppers with big band style backing CD, for violin, flute, clarinet and trumpet.  You can find these and more in the Christmas music section.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Music Themed Gifts

Piano Scroll Wall Clock
Treble Clef Wall Clock

Bass Guitar Wall Clock
Fender Guitar Wall Clock
Drum Mantle Clock
Gibson Guitar Wall Clock

Sonata White China Mug with Gift Box
Arpeggio Black China Mug with Gift Box

Got some really great music themed gifts in my shop now, including clocks and mugs. Here's the link to the page containing the full selection :

Monday, 16 March 2015

Beginning Guitar

rikter acoustic pink

Which Guitar?

If you are picking up a guitar for the first time, it is important to first decide what kind of guitar you need.  There are two main types of guitar: acoustic and classical.  The difference between them is both construction and the strings they use.
A classical guitar has a shallower body and uses nylon strings, though the bottom three strings are wound with silver.
An acoustic guitar has a deeper body and uses steel strings, in addition it has a plate positioned on the body below the strings to protect the guitar from plectrum damage, as you can see on the pink guitar shown on the left.
Acoustic guitars come in right handed or left handed versions, as the plate has  to be fixed the right way round.  Most players use their dominant hand to pluck or strum the strings and the other hand to place their fingers on the neck of the guitar.
Classical guitars do not have right handed or left handed versions - as they have no plate they are fully reversible and all the player has to do is restring it the other way round.
Young children usually start on classical guitars as they are smaller and the nylon strings are easier for young fingers.  So they can play acoustic style guitar on a classical model.  Classical guitars come in 1/2, 3/4 and full size (4/4) which make them suitable for very young ones, whereas acoustic guitars generally only come in 3/4 or 4/4 sizes.
sierra 34 blue
A classical guitar is shown here - you can see the differences clearly.

Guitar Basics

At the top of the guitar is the head, where the tuning pegs hold the strings.  Tuning is done by turning the pegs.  The strings run down the neck of the guitar and across the fret board, the metal inserts (called frets) are what change the pitch of the string when a finger presses the string down behind them.  The strings run across the sound hole in the body of the guitar and this creates the sound.  They are fixed to a wooden assembly on the body of the guitar.  Classical strings are attached through a knotting process, acoustic strings usually have a metal ball on the end.
The strings are arranged from left to right, lowest (thickest) to highest: E A D G B E . In order to tune the guitar correctly you will need a pitch pipe, electronic tuner or an app on a phone.  New strings tend to go out of tune a lot until they settle in.  Strings can be replaced individually or as a set.  In practice, the upper strings tend to wear out more frequently, so having a spare top E string in the guitar case is a good idea.