Wednesday, 14 December 2011

New Rock & Pop Syllabus from Trinity

Last week I got a large envelope in the post and opened it to find this inside.  It looks like an old vinyl album cover, with a sleeve inside containing written info and a CD  masquerading as an old vinyl record.  Takes me back...
Anyway, this is a preview of Trinity's new Rock & Pop Syllabus which starts in 2012.  Looks really interesting, the graded exam books cover keyboards, bass, vocals, guitar and drums.
Here's what Trinity has to say about it:

This new syllabus for Rock & Pop has been designed to reflect the diverse and often creative ways that rock & pop musicians learn, and is suitable for students of all ages and abilitites. Whether they are self-taught or taking lessons, learning for fun or heading for a career in the music industry, these new exams for guitar, bass, drums, vocals and keyboards will help musicians develop valuable playing skills and achieve their musical ambitions. Extensive graded song-lists range from the classics to recent releases including the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, the Kinks, Kings of Leon, Radiohead, Muse, Rihanna, Jessie J and many more.

Song-lists have been revealed as well as the first glimpse of the song books available from January 2012, including some sample audio and sheet music. The books will include six songs for each grade (Initial to Grade 8) with professionally recorded backing and demo tracks, helpful background notes and performance hints and tips. The first tranche of early grade books will be on sale from late January 2012.

So you heard it here first!  I will put the books on the website as soon as they are available, do drop in here, on Facebook or Twitter to make sure you don't miss them!  If you want any more information, just let me know.

Friday, 9 December 2011

New music 9/12/11

November was a very, very busy month in the webshop, so it's take quite a while for me to find time to add new music to the site.  This week I finally found a few hours, so have taken the time to add a new series by Trinity Guildhall.
It's called Musical Moments and is a series of accompanied repertoire for flute, clarinet and saxophone, both alto and tenor, unusually.  It covers students from beginner to intermediate standard, providing newly composed or arranged pieces.  Just put "Musical Moments" in the search engine on the website to see the full list.
Trinity is currently redesigning their syllabus for woodwind and has lots of other things in the pipeline too, such as the Rock and Pop project, so there's much to look forward to in 2012.
It has been a long time since my last post, and there have been a number of developments on the website in the meantime, such as the addition of instruments which are despatched by next day courier delivery, free!  Guitars are very popular Christmas presents, as always.
We are now approaching Christmas and deliveries in and out of the shop are starting to slow down.  PLEASE allow extra time for your delivery.  And advance warning - it looks like almost all publishers and distributors are closing for 10 days over Christmas, so books that go out of stock or are special orders will only become available in early January.
And that's without the weather of course.  Having spent 30 minutes stuck in the ice and snow on a windy Lancashire hill this morning, it brings it home that the weather can play havoc.  Hope all the people stuck in that queue eventually made it out...

Friday, 28 October 2011

New Guitar Tutor - Guitar Academy

Every so often I get emails from musicians/teachers publishing their own music, often under their own label these days.  They are often very passionate about their product, which is a good thing, and usually disagree vehemently with whatever the other top sellers are in their field, hence their own new book.

A few weeks ago I got an email from Richard Corr, the author of a new guitar tutor called Guitar Academy.  I didn't have time then, just starting the manic September routine, but I have now managed to have a look at it.  It does look impressive, and like many recent guitar tutors it teaches skills for both classical and acoustic guitar, which is welcome.  With integrated CD it is sure to be popular so I am going to stock it in my shop.  There are three volumes in the series, all priced under £10 which is sure to make it attractive.  You can find it in the shop here.

After I shut the shop and took a few hours off on Tuesday in anticipation of the electricity going off, nothing actually happened!  It seems they were doing some work at the sewage pumping station and sewage systems here, saw a few vans though, including one attempting to drive down a footpath.  Fortunately the driver was able to read the sign telling him the road wasn't suitable for vehicles, but the path is now blocked off anyway to prevent the illiterate and stupid driving down until they wedge themselves firmly.

As it's half term this week, things have quietened down a bit so I have been able to add more new music and accessories to the website.  I have lots more in the pipeline for coming weeks.

Monday, 24 October 2011

New on the Website and Special Notice re 25th October

I've now added a guitar section to the website, with instruments of different types in varying sizes.  To go with this development, I've also added some guitar accessories.  I'm particularly pleased with the guitar bags, which are good quality and excellent value.

Staying with the guitar theme, I've finally done something I really wanted to for some time, which is add some single songs - melody line, lyrics and chords.  These are only £2 each, printed in a loose-leaf form on good quality paper, but much cheaper than if they were commercially printed and bound in the traditional way.  At the moment I've concentrated on classics such as "Wild Thing", "We are the Champions" and "Faith", popular songs which will always be popular.  Lots more to come, the section is far from finished.

Finally, tomorrow United Utilities' electricity division, Electricity Northwest, is turning off our electricity from 9am for some reason which undoubtedly has something to do with the electricity substation down the road.  It may be off all day, who knows, given my experience of what I call "United NO-Utilities", I suppose it could be longer.  Last time they made a mess it lasted three days and they cut my gas off twice into the bargain.  Anyway, let's hope they stick to their word this time.

So I've got ahead with my orders as best I can and will be starting work extra early tomorrow morning.  But clearly I will be unable to take phone calls, deal with emails or process orders which arrive after the witching hour of 9am tomorrow.  Sorry, please bear with me.

Friday, 7 October 2011

A five minute breathing space!

The last month has been hectic, with masses of new stock arriving ready for the mad rush that arrives in September, and boy, has it been mad!

Trying to get a day off has been a challenge, let alone develop more things on the website, but finally this week I've found a little time to do things I've wanted to do for a while.

So firstly, some music new to the website:

Bach's Air on a G String for violin
Bach's Air on a G String for piano
Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor for piano

All of these are Edition Peters and at good, low prices.

While the last few months have been dominated by reconfiguring the website for Google's ever-increasing demands, that work is now coming to an end and I've now added a new section for musical instruments to the site.  As of this afternoon, the instruments covered are strings, woodwind and brass, in great value packages suitable for beginners.

For violins and cellos, there are student models down to 1/8 size, and in the brass and woodwind sections there are packages which not only include the instrument and case but also music stands and other accessories.  Fantastic value at good low prices, so do check them out.

Next week I'll be adding guitars, so do watch this space!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Developments on the Website

It's been a busy couple of weeks, as orders diminish over the summer holidays I spend most of my time working on the website. There are always lots of developments to make but never enough time to do them.

Anyway, Faber have now published the last books of the revised Improve your Aural series, so I decided now was the time to tidy up the Aural Training section. I've added more books, so the section is 50% bigger, now including the revised Aural Time series as well as a few others.

I've also created a separate, improved section for manuscript paper and books. It includes things such as guitar and ukulele tab, special manuscript for piano as well as standard books for writing music.

Now I'm on with the new ukulele section; I've had a few ukulele books on the website for a while, but nowhere proper to put them. So today I got the most popular tutor books into a new section and moved the other books (such as Ukulele Christmas Playlist, a good seller) over to there.

Still have lots of things to do - the Christmas section needs a check next week, and I still need to add lots of barcodes and stuff which the Great Google God requires. I try to do some every day, but with thousands of products it is the stuff of nightmares, typing in 13 digit numbers and codes every day. I've been at it for three months now, hope I'll have finished it all by the end of the year.

Friday, 22 July 2011

New Music This Week, 22/07/11

A new violin tutor - Take off with the Violin - has now been published by Kevin Mayhew. It's designed for young beginners and Book 1 also has a teacher's book to accompany it.

There's a new repertoire book for cello - My First Concert - with comes with playalong CD.

Karl Jenkins' concerto for violin, Sarikiz, has just been published in a violin/piano edition. This work was premiered in 2009 and is reminiscent of Vivaldi.

For classical guitar, we have Baroque Guitar Anthology Vol 1, and for flute Irish Folk Tunes, both published by Schott and both with accompanying CD.

I'm still adding cross links to all the Trinity 2012 piano pieces, but all the books except the Grade 6 with CD are now in stock, the grade 6 should only be a couple of days as Faber forgot to put it in this week's delivery. They're already selling well, with the new book/CD combo proving expecially popular.

That's it for this week, more new music to come next week.

Friday, 8 July 2011

New Music This Week, 08/07/11

This week has been dominated by the release of the new 2012-2015 ABRSM violin syllabus.

This includes new pieces, scales and sight reading tests from 2012. Here is the exam materials section, there are several pages as the old books are still there for a few more months.

A new development on the website is cross links, so you will find other books relating to the same grade whenever you click on one of the new 2012 books. I've wanted to do this for a while, but this is the first time I've been able to provide this kind of linkage. They also link to repertoire pieces, not just exam books. I hope it makes shopping much easier.

In addition to this, ABRSM has also published new scales and sight reading books for cello, double bass and viola. These are also valid from 2012.

Other new titles:

West Side Story - piano arrangement

Bernstein for Piano - collected works, some never published before

Bernstein Broadway Songs -easy arrangements of well know Bernstein songs

That's it for this week, after adding all the new string books over the last few days, I'm off to put my feet up for a bit!

Friday, 1 July 2011

New Music This Week, 01/07/11

This week has been dominated by the publication of the new Trinity Guildhall 2012 piano syllabus. This is notable for two things: it's out on time (a first for Trinity) and they have adopted the ABRSM practice of packaging CDs with the exam pieces book. I don't know why they have taken so long to do this; they're bound to sell more and as the book/CD package is not subject to VAT it's not only cheaper but much easier administratively too.

They have still produced separate CDs, and you can find all three products in the Piano Exam Pieces section of the website (the link takes you to the page where they are listed, starting second row down). They're not in stock yet, I'll get them in gradually over the next few months as sales for new exam pieces are slow to get off the mark.

Trinity has also published a new (2nd) series of its Sound at Sight (sight reading) books for piano. Four books this time instead of three. I'm not sure if the original series will disappear in time, will need to check that out. This link takes you to the page where all the books are listed, starting about half way down.

On a completely different theme, a new piece for euphonium - Goblin's Rondo, a well-known piece by Bazzini originally written for violin.

Staying on the violin theme, next week the ABRSM publishes its new violin syllabus along with new technical requirements for all string instruments. I'm part way through adding them, ABRSM says were not allowed to sell them/put them on the website until 7th July, an embargo which they themselves and other big retailers roundly ignore, so I hope to have them up by the middle of the week.

Friday, 10 June 2011

New Music This Week, 10/06/11

I've been a busy bee this week, adding lots of new stuff and sheet music which, while not new, is new to this website. Here's a full round up of all the brand new publications added over the last week.

Winner Scores All - a new version with CD now available for french horn, tenor horn and Eb bass, already in stock
Schumann Dreaming Op 15/7 for viola, trumpet, clarinet and alto sax, only £3.50 in Schott's Single Edition series
Elgar Pomp and Circumstance for viola, cello, trumpet, clarinet and alto saxophone, again only £3.50
Huguet's Flamenco for cello, a piece with influences of flamenco guitar music, for the advanced player
Rosenblatt's Jazz Sonata, also for the advanced cellist
Muller-Siemens "...called dusk" a strange title for a piece of music for cello, refers to a poem by Beckett
Easy Recorder Trios Vol 4 - latin-american dance tunes for 3 descant recorders
Easy Recorder Quartets Vol 8 - 4 ragtimes by Joplin
Viola Playing- a new series of tutor books by Robert Trory, following his very successful violin playing series, the first three books are now available
Cellowise 2 - repertoire pieces for the intermediate to advanced player, with CD
Bach cello concerto - Bach's fourth piano concerto, arranged for cello
Vasks Aria e Danza and Concerto, both for flute
Mussorgsky's The Old Castle, arranged for alto saxophone, a good choice of instrument for this classic tune, I think
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring for French Horn, £3.50 though I managed to load it on the website as £0.00 for a couple of hours!

I've also added a whole new section for audio CDs - a selection of popular classical CDs. So far I've got as far as Bach in the alphabet, will keep working on it.

I also have lots of plans for additions and improvements over the summer, do let me know if there is anything you would like to see on the website.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

New Music This Week, 01/06/11

Lots of new music on the website this week, here are the highlights, most are published by Schott as I'm currently working through their new music catalogue.

Tempo Tempo - a collection of fast tempo pieces for the intermediate pianist
Beethoven's 5th - the fifth symphony, arranged for solo piano
Joplin Waltzes - Joplin's little known waltzes for piano
Fiori Teneri - a piece for accordion by Czech composer Laburda

Moving away from the keyboard, Argentinian Tango and Folk Tunes for violin comes with CD. The French Fiddler is the latest in the the Fiddler series from Boosey & Hawkes.
More for violin: Senfter's Five Pieces, Penderecki's Tanz and Eotvos Seven, which was written as a memorial to the Columbia astronauts. Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance march is also available in a new arrangement for violin and piano.

In violin studies, there is a new edition of Kreutze's 42 etudes, and a new edition of Rode's 24 Caprices, which also has a version for smaller hands.

For viola, Rode's 24 Caprices are also available in a new edition, while I have also added Dancla's 36 melodious and easy studies, Dont's Studies and Knox's Viola Spaces.

For other instruments, we have Discovering Rock Drums, a guide to all the rock styles since the 1960s, Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance march arranged for trumpet, and Scottish Folk Tunes arranged for guitar (tab and notation).

All in all, lots of new material, I have a long list of new music still to work through so watch this space or follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

New Music This Week 25/05/11

Here's a quick round up of new publications now on the website:

Teenage Cool Clarinet Repertoire Book 2 - pieces to accompany the second tutor book in the series.

Classic FM: Hall of Fame - best loved tunes from classical works, arranged for piano. Includes Pachelbel's Canon, Beethoven's Ode to Joy, and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, among others.

Red Hot Violin - a new series of famous tunes and songs, arranged for violin of Grade 3-4 and Grade 5-6 standard.

Guitar Basics Repertoire - a collection of folk songs, classical tunes and film music for young guitarists.

Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March (think Last Night of the Proms) has been given a makeover for those who don't have a full orchestra to hand. An arrangement for piano is now on the website, but I can see further down the list of new music that there are also arrangements for other instruments too, will add those as I get to them.

Movie Classics for Sax, another title in the Schott Saxophone Lounge, brings arrangements of 14 famous film melodies for alto sax and tenor sax. Includes Hit the Road Jack and Pink Panther, with CD.

A collection of Love Ballads for piano completes this week's round up, tunes for romance, with an accompanying CD.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

New Music This Week 18/05/11

Trinity has just published the 2010 Theory Papers for all grades. They can be found on this page of the webshop.
Trinity has also published a set of supplementary exercises or grades 1 to 5, to be used in conjunction with the Theory workbooks. They can be found on the same page as above.
Kevin Mayhew has brought out more books in the Teenage Cool Clarinet series: Tutor Book 2.
In music for piano, the 200th Anniversary of Franz Liszt has prompted new publications from Wiener Urtext: Consolations, Dreams of Love and Pathways to Franz Liszt.
Wiener Urtext has also published a new edition of Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, one of the most important piano works of the 20th century.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

New Music This Week, 03/05/11

With the Associated Board changing the aural parts of their exams and publishing their new Aural Training in Practice books (Grades 1-3 and 4-5), Faber Music are in the process of publishing revised versions of their series, Improve your Aural.

As is often the case when a publisher revises a whole series, not all the books are available yet and the order of publication seems slightly random. So available now are Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5 and Grades 7-8.

A new publication for piano from Christopher Norton, Microballads, is designed for pre-Grade 1 to Grade 3.

At this time of year I start to get swamped by pamphlets from publisher telling me about new publications and not-so-new publications which they think I might have missed. Plus the exam boards start to give advance notice of their new syllabus and related publications which will start to come out in June. So I'll start to wade through all of this and do weekly updates again.

Monday, 11 April 2011

New this Week, 11 April 2011

The Associated Board has finally published the first two volumes of their revised Aural Training in Practice series, Grades 1-3 and Grades 4-5. Each comes with two CDs for practice. Don't hold your breath for the books for grades 6-8, I think they're a long way off yet.

The Microjazz Collection for Piano has also been revamped by Boosey & Hawkes, Book 1 and Book 3 are available now with CD backing tracks, though the original music only books are still on sale. Book 2, however, has now been withdrawn and replaced by a new edition, also with CD. As I sold my last copy of the old edition last week, the new Book 2 is now in stock.

Monday, 4 April 2011

New Music This Week, 01/04/11

The latest in the Pure Solo series, The Green Book, has just been published. Book and CD for clarinet, flute, alto sax and trumpet.

Not new publications, but new to the website are Techniques of Oboe Playing and Techniques of Flute Playing. These books are designed for the advanced player, with a rather hefty price tag!

For cello, we have Saint-Saens' original Suite in D Minor for cello.

And for piano, Stainer & Bell have just published a revised and fully fingered edition of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

Those are the highlights for this week, I do add to the website and stock every single day, so there are plenty more pieces of music available. If you can't find what you're looking for, just drop me a line at:

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

New Music This Week, 22/03/11

At this time of year, fewer new publications come out so my updates will be a bit sparser.

A new series has been published by Schott, "Free to Solo". It comes with CD and is available for guitar, trombone, trumpet, clarinet/tenor sax, alto sax and violin/flute.

Barenreiter has published a collection of favourite opera arias by Handel, for mezzo soprano/contralto, tenor and bass.

And finally Faber has now re-published Team Strings 2 for Violin under its own imprint (formerly an IMP publication). It's now in stock and available for immediate despatch.

All of these books are available to order, just follow the links to the shop.

Friday, 25 February 2011

New Music This Week, 25/02/11

Finally, what we've all been waiting for has arrived - the theme to Downton Abbey! I'm humming it as I type; when I watched the first programme of this series my very first thought was "what's that music?"
So here it is, arranged for piano. As yet I haven't got my hands on a copy so I'm not sure how difficult is though I guess intermediate standard. Hope to have it in stock by Tuesday.
Other new music this week- 100 years of Popular Music: 30s Volume 1. Contains hits such as A Foggy Day, Blue Moon, I got rhythm, Over the Rainbow, the Lady is a Tramp, and many, many more.
Another book in this series, published last week - 100 Years of Popular Music: 70s Volume 1, contains songs such as Amarillo, Diamonds are forever, Hi Ho Silver Lining, Leaving on a Jet Plane, Save your Kisses for me, Send in the Clowns, Stand by your Man and many other classics.
And another great compilation book, for piano - Music for Pleasure, 100 famous tunes for piano, excellent value.
Other activities this week include a good number of organ pieces published by Kevin Mayhew, on the website for the first time. And the cello tutor/studies section has doubled in size, so much more to choose from there.

Monday, 14 February 2011

New Music This Week, 14/02/11

A brand new tutor for young alto sax players has just been published - Super Sax. It's written by Heather Hammond, who is also behind the phenomenally successful Funky Flute and Cool Clarinet. There is also a repertoire collection to accompany the tutor book.
Heather Hammond has also just published the next book in her series for clarinet; Cool Clarinet 3. This takes players up to around grade standard and is accompanied by a repertoire book
Drumming Styles is a new book which contains over 70 beats, tips on how to play and a demonstration CD. By Noam Ledermann.
Another well known composer for children, Mary Cohen, has just published two more books for strings. Bags of Fun for Violin and Cello are full of tunes designed to give beginners confidence to play on open strings and the first two positions.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

New Music This Week, 05/02/11

If you're keen on the theory of music, compose your own or are studying music at an advanced level, this new publication may be for you. Behind Bars has been years in preparation and as a result comes with a hefty price tag. It may be one for libraries and universities rather than the average music lover!

The ABRSM Theory Exams and Answers have now been published; they are available in the Theory section of the website.

The viola is an often neglected instrument, so a new sonatina is to be welcomed.

Himalayan Suite for flute and piano is another new publication, and comes adorned with a picture of one of my favourite flowers, the Himalayan Poppy.

For student Clarinettists, I Hate Crossing the Break! is sure to be a welcome collection of studies by prolific composer Paul Harris.

Taylor-Made is a collection of pieces for cello which help cellists to learn the different positions, and comes with CD.

Horn Warm Ups is a new collection of exercises for French Horn, tested by the horn section of Opera North!

For oboe, we have an arrangement of Gounod's Serenade.

As always, if you can't find what you're looking for on the website, just drop a line to: If it's in print, we'll find it!

Monday, 31 January 2011

Postal Record

A couple of weeks ago I got an invoice for a stock delivery I received in December. The invoice was posted a couple of hundred miles away on 16th December and arrived almost exactly one month later. I suppose we can put that down to the snow. I thought that was pretty much the record, but on Friday I received an even older envelope.

On 22nd June last year, a customer posted a cheque for a music book in London. It arrived on 28th January, over 7 months later! It probably got stuck in the bottom of a bag somewhere and never escaped, wasn't even postmarked. In the meantime, the customer had paid for the order by card over the phone as I do keep an eye on cheque orders, in case they get delayed. So I've destroyed the cheque now, but what a record!

The new website has been up and running for almost two weeks now, there's still a lot of work to do to tidy up but overall I'm pretty happy with it.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

New VS Music Supplies Website

This week the big news is the launch of a new website.

The old website has been retired, as it was looking a bit tired and didn't give me all the functionality I wanted anymore. I still have a lot of work to do to improve the look of the product descriptions as inevitably there were formatting problems moving everything over.

But it is a cleaner, "whizzier" design and should also load faster on most computers. Do let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

New Music 10/01/11

Quite a number of pieces have been published over the last month:

For percussion, we have Ruby, a concerto for percussion and orchestra.

For 2 clarinets, Mozart's Bowling Duets.

A new Guitar Duet Collection from Schott, which is already attracting a lot of interest and is in stock now. Also for guitar duet, we have Mayran de Chamiso's Reveries en Duo, also known as Fantasia for Guitar Duet.

A well-known German string method called Early Start has also been published in English for the first time by Barenreiter. It covers violin, viola and cello; just put Early Start the search engine on the website and select from the list.

For trumpet, we have Philip White's Sonatina.

For piano, a collection of 30 Piano Songs from the Movies.

And the first collection of songs from Glee, arranged for SATB or SSA.

And finally, four books from Faber - Pure Solo: The Red Book. Hit songs:

Don’t Rain On My Parade (Glee Cast); Empire State Of Mind (Part II) (Alicia Keys); Everybody Hurts (R.E.M.); Home (Westlife); I’ll Stand By You (Pretenders); I Say A Little Prayer (Aretha Franklin); Isn’t She Lovely (Stevie Wonder); Let’s Face The Music And Dance (Frank Sinatra); The Loco-Motion (Kylie Minogue); Material Girl (Madonna); Mercy (Duffy); Nella Fantasia (Gabriel’s Oboe) (Ennio Morricone); She’s So Lovely (Scouting For Girls); Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana); You’re Beautiful (James Blunt)

arranged for alto sax, clarinet, flute or trumpet with CD. All at a special introductory price of £10.79.