Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Here's how you can build unshakeable confidence in music

 Hi Family, 

Everyday I try to fit in some "Learning Time" and so I subscribe to websites and blogs that help me learn. 

One of those is Musical U, and today I got this great advice; so good that I'm sharing it on my blog. I highly recommend you check out their Mini Courses.
Cheers CC.

"Whether you're playing or singing...

Whether it's a piece you've played a thousand times...
Or you're improvising something new on the spot...

Performing music can be nerve-wracking.

 And yet the very best musicians all seem to be rock solid, don't they?

 When you see a professional perform it seems like they're immune to the confidence issues that you and me are so familiar with.

Is it possible to develop that kind of unshakeable confidence yourself?

Yes. I'm glad to tell you, it is.

And although a big part of it is the old advice "practice, practice, practice", there are more practical ways you can quickly develop rock-solid musical confidence.

Here are a couple of suggestions...

(Note: If you want more in-depth advice we have a free mini course, "7 Shortcuts to Musical Confidence". Click here to start it now.)

Confidence Technique #1: Practice realistically

It's actually not enough to just "practice, practice, practice" - and this is what trips a lot of musicians up.

Maybe you've experienced this yourself.

You practice your pieces a thousand times, you've got them note perfect and you're feeling confident.

The trouble is, you've only ever practised at home on your own, or in the classroom with your teacher.


Getting it note-perfect in an ideal practice situation does not mean you'll be able to nail it up on stage.

That's why when performance time comes and you step up there and look out at the audience, suddenly your confidence can evaporate. Leaving you nervous and shakey and prone to mistakes.

Fortunately the solution is simple: plan for this! 

You know the situation you'll perform in ahead of time. So don't just practice your notes, practice the situation too.

Find a few friends or family members to perform for, to act as your audience.

Find a place which resembles the actual performance venue, or if possible try practising in the venue itself.

Do everything you can to simulate the real performance scenario.

If you can still get your piece note-perfect when things are very similar to the real situation, you'll find the performance night itself far less intimidating.

And when you step up there on stage for the real performance, your confidence will stay strong.

Confidence Technique #2: Surround yourself with the right people

Another reason musicians struggle with confidence is that they've isolated themselves.

Why? Because for all of us, failure is embarrassing.

When we make a mistake during one performance, we're likely to close up and be defensive when talking about it and discussing future performances.

The problem is this leaves us all feeling like everybody else has it easy (like those unshakeable pros) while we're the only one suffering from confidence worries.

The result: a downward spiral of fear and anxiety and lower and lower confidence.

The fix for this is simple:

Surround yourself with other musicians like yourself, and talk about it!

That's why we put a focus on community at the heart of Musical U. We've seen again and again just how valuable it is for musicians to talk about issues like stage fright and performance anxiety and get reassurance from hearing that other people are going through the same things. It also provides a great opportunity to share tips and tricks for building confidence and overcoming anxiety.

Just employ these two techniques and you can transform your musical confidence. You'll quickly become a musician who can confidently step onto a stage and perform to the very best of your ability.

 So once confidence is covered, what about developing your actual ability?

How can you make the most rapid progress possible in learning music?

That's what we'll dive into next time.

Stay tuned!"

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Kala Koa Tenor ukulele KA-KTGE-C Electric

Koa Wood Acoustic / Electric Tenor Ukulele
with Cutaway. RRP $495

Hawaiian Koa Gloss Series
This elegant hardwood is a highly revered Hawaiian native, the most classic of woods to build
a ukulele. The wood becomes multidimensional as light reflects in it, and the tone resonates
through history. This is the most traditional of ukulele, a timeless masterpiece.

You will enjoy playing your Koa Kala for a lifetime!

The Kala KA-KTGE-C Hawaiian Koa Tenor Cutaway Acoustic Electric has a Hawaiian Koa top, back, and sides and a mahogany neck.  This combination of tonewoods deliver a tone that is bright, yet not ever shrill with some nice bottom end warmth.  Koa also has very good projection and volume.

The body features maple binding on the edges of the body really setting off the Koa wood pattern and the well applied and polished gloss finish.

As normal with all my ukulele sales a setup is included and you will enjoy the low action and the ease of playability.

The Kala KA-KTGE-C ukulele can be amplified because its factory fitted Kala UK-300TR EQ with built in Chromatic Tuner.

Tuning duties is handled by a set of upmarket Gold Grover open-gear tuning machines

Body size: Tenor
Top: Hawaiian koa
Back and sides: Hawiian koa
Trim: Maple with white and black accents
Headstock: Slotted with laser-etched mother-of-pearl inlay
Neck: Mahogany
Fingerboard material: rosewood
Fingermarkers: White dots
Side markers: Black dots
Bridge: Rosewood
Tuners: Gold Grover open gear
Nut: Graph Tech NuBone
Saddle: Graph Tech NuBone
Strings: Premium D'Addario Titanium
Finish: Gloss
Kala UK-300-TR (active system)
Features : 2-band EQ with chromatic LED tuner

Kala ASAC-T Tenor ukulele All Solid Acacia Wood

Kala KA-ASAC-T Solid Acacia Wood tenor Size Ukulele rrp$635

FREE Clip On Headstock Tuner ($15)
FREE Setup ($50)
FREE Shipping (approx $45 value within mainland Australia).

Your Choice of
1. Aquila or Worth Strings.
2. Low or High G String.
3. Right or Left-handed.

Solid Acacia SeriesThe All Solid Acacia Series have powerful projection and a round tone. The Acacia wood Kala use is from Taiwan, and is well known for its beautiful, varied grain pattern and curl. It is a close cousin of native Hawaiian Koa. Its all solid construction will have you playing it more as it gets older and is broken in. the Tenor ukulele feature a slotted-headstock, which is a favorite with many of ukulele players. You will enjoy playing your Tenor Acacia Kala for a lifetime!

Kala have got a lot of things right with their acacia range of ukes. They’re obviously going after a more serious ukulele player but they’re keeping it affordable by using Acacia wood (a close relation of Koa and much cheaper) and manufacturing it in China.

'Definitely worth checking these Solid Acacia ukuleles out if you’re in the market for a quality uke,
but don’t have a massive budget.'

Solid woods are usually reserved for high end professional luthier constructed ukuleles great to see a solid wood ukulele at this mid range price point. If you were looking for a beautiful, solid wood concert in this price range, then put this All Solid Acacia Concert from Kala on you short list, check out the pictures and the sound demo and you may find that the KA-ASAC-T may be just what you want.

Solid wood ukuleles sound better from the get go, but they get better with time, the wood ages like fine wine.  Unlike Ply (which is a laminate of 3 slices of wood glued together) solid wood ukuleles will dry out over time.

As moisture leaves the wood the top, back and sides become stiffer and lighter, that’s a good thing as the lighter and stiffer the wood the more resonant it is.

The stiffer and lighter the wood the better string energy can be transferred, that means a better dynamic range of frequencies and more volume.

Ply Ukes will sound pretty much the same now as in ten years, solid wood ukuleles will  improve every year you own it.

Solid Acacia trees are also called the Mimosa or Shower Tree; these tropical trees are cousins of the Hawaiian Koa tree. They have gorgeous striped patterns of light and dark brown and have a deep colourful tone that match their visual beauty.

My analogy for the Koa v Acacia wood is its 'Champagne if it’s made in France, sparkling wine if it’s made elsewhere'.  Do not think that Acacia is inferior to Koa, it's not.

These solid wood ukes are trimmed with rosewood edge binding and classic herringbone purfling and custom position markers accent the fret board.

'This beautiful, all-solid Striped Acacia has the WOW FACTOR that is going to get admiring looks from your friends at ukulele club'

Some of the key features -  a rosewood bridge and fingerboard, and ebony nut and saddle. Decorative features include custom abalone fret marker inlays, rosewood binding and vintage-style herringbone purfling.

With the all solid acacia wood construction this Kala is sweet and loud... a sweetness that ply laminate construction just cannot achieve.

I never ship unopened boxes, every Ukulele I sell gets a thorough inspection for cosmetic flaws and a play test, every note at every fret.

The Higher the action the harder your ukulele is to play, some ukes I've seen you can drive a truck under the strings.  I don’t like that and you won’t either.

Mass produced ukuleles come with "factory settings" and to get more units 'out the door' they err on the side of Medium to High-action (ACTION = The Gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the frets).

Ukuleles are made in the Far East and travel to Australia via Bulk Cargo Container Ship.  Sitting in 40 foot containers out at sea for months takes its toll on the wood, as it reacts to the changes in temperature and humidity. That's why I never ever ever ship out an unopened uke box, every ukulele is checked, tuned and played.  Also fret boards dry out a little and shrink leaving the ends of the frets exposed and feeling sharp.  I remove these rough fret ends and treat the board with lemon oil to hydrate and protect it.  In the drying process frets can move about a little, some pop up causing fret buzz.

You get your choice of
1. Aquila or Worth Strings.
2. Low or High G String.
3. Right or Left-handed.
Standard is Aquila High G Right-handed,
let me know if you want something else.

Just about every Ukulele can benefit from having a thorough setup.  You can feel the difference between a non-set up uke and a uke that has been through the Set Up Process.

I set up each instrument to ensure you get the absolute best feel possible from your ukulele for your money.

This includes, if required, altering Saddle and Nut heights/slots, Fret work and intonation checks, with levelling, re-crowning, fret end filing and fret polishing.

In Set up Ukuleles, the Fret ends will be smoother so your instrument feels more comfortable in your left hand, frets will be level and polished so you get the best possible contact between string and fret to extract every ounce of energy and tone.

Size: Tenor
Slotted headstock
All solid Acacia Top, Sides and Back
Rosewood Binding with herringbone purfling
Silver Nickel Frets
Custom vine Fret position Marks at 5th,7th,10th and 12th frets on neck and top of fingerboard
Rosewood Fingerboard and Bridge
Ebony Nut and Saddle
Mahogany neck
Multi-Layered Headstock cap with carved Kala logo
Satin Finish
Chrome Die-Cast Tuners

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Kala Banjolele KA-BNJ-BK-S Soprano 6 inch hoop body with Concert 20 fret neck.

$425 rrp in Australia

FREE Set-Up,
FREE Tuner
FREE Gig Bag,
FREE Postage within Australia

Open back design
Remo Weatherking Banjo Head
6 hoop diameter
Chrome hardware throughout
Deluxe geared tuners with chrome buttons

The KA-BNJ-BK-S smaller size 6 inch hoop banjolele is classed as "the Soprano" of the range.  But the neck is still Concert sizes with 20 frets.

It also sports the open back style.  With the open back you can vary the tone by how much/hard you press it again your body.

If you tilt it away from your body the sound is louder and more trebley ... much like the way a Horn Player waggles a mute in front of their trumpet horn to alter the tone.

The smaller open back Soprano Banjolele KA-BNJ-BK-S, it is super cute but still super loud. And at $425 a fantastic option for those wanting to get into Banjolele.

All my Banjoleles come ready to play! Bridge in place, action, set, skin tightened, neck at the right angle.  Basically all you need to do is tune up with the FREE complimentary tuner I include and off you go.

Most times when you get your mail order Banjolele the neck will be attached to the body, but that's about it.  The skin will not be tightened and usually the bridge will be in a plastic bag with the hoop adjustment tool. If you can do your own banjo setup that's cool. If not its a trip to your local repair shop to get your banjolele setup before you can even play a song, that sucks!

No Problem I can set your banjolele up for you southpaw players, no extra charge.

The banjo ukulele is recognised for its distinctive tone and ability to project sound in solo and ensemble settings. The banjo ukulele was originally designed by Alvin Keech in 1917 and was popularised by musicians such as George Formby and Roy Smeck. George Harrison favoured the instrument in later years and recorded his song “Any Road” on banjo uke.

Banjoleles or Banjo Ukuleles are they are sometimes called are fast becoming my favourite type of Ukulele to play.  They are loud and proud!  But being so loud you have nowhere to hide if you hit any bum notes.

Kala has a commitment to quality that I respect.  They are easy to setup, the fret placement and intonation is top notch and the neck angle and bridge height is well sorted so they are easy to play right up and down the fretboard with really nice actions.

Bottom line, Kala banoleles save me time in setup,   the Kala banjos don't get returned with faults and best of all ... my customers are very happy.

There are plenty of banjoleles out there in the market place but not all banjoleles are equal.Especially in the Banjolele field the saying "You get what you pay for" holds true.  Cheap banjoleles often have very high Actions.  Action is the height of the strings over the fretboard.

The high Action of cheapie banjoleles makes playing beyond the 4th fret near impossible on some banjoleles. And the non precise fret placement often makes them sound really sour and out of tune.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Guitarlele by Kala Brand Music KA-GL-KOA is THE RIFF MACHINE

Kala KA-GL-KOA Guitarlele $495

- Hands down the easiest way for guitarists to jump into the Ukulele World.

- 6 Strings, arranged just like a guitar, tuned a 4th above a normal guitar A D G C E A - low to high (like putting a Capo at the 5th fret)

- Your familiar chord fingerings, 

- Same scales you are used too, 

- Play along perfectly in-tune with your ukulele playing brethren.

MOST IMPORTANTLY It has The Bass Strings just like guitars do.  Bass strings that you need to play Classic Rock; Back in Black, Black Dog, Black Night, riff on Deep Purple, Sabbath, Cream etc etc ... play all your favourites without having to learn new licks, scales or fingerings. 
This Instrument is FREAKIN AMAZING!

Solid spruce top, Hawaiian Koa Back and Sides
Rosewood fingerboard
Tuned A D G C E A - low to high
Grover tuners, and a classical style slotted headstock

Kala's hybrid instrument, the Guitarlele, will delight guitar players looking for the perfect travel guitar, as well as, ukulele players exploring guitar for the first time. The six stringed instrument is tuned to A-D-G-C-E-A and projects a bright, full tone similar to capo-ing up on the 5th fret of a regular guitar.
Check out the video Demo

The Kala KA-GL-KOA Guitarlele features the size, sound, and feel of a tenor ukulele but with six strings, tuned just like a guitar, only higher. The Kala KA-GL-KOA is built with a solid spruce top, and is paired with Hawaiian Koa Back and Sides, a rosewood fingerboard, and a natural satin finish. 

The Kala KA-GL-KOA is designed to be tuned up a 4th from standard guitar tuning (same as a guitar with a capo at the 5th fret - A D G C E A - low to high), because the scale length is so much shorter than a guitar.

This diminutive axe is light, portable and a great travel option for guitarists on the go. It s also a fantastic option for the adventurous guitarist searching for new sonic territory, or ukulele players looking to explore the guitar. Additional features for the Kala KA-GL-KOA Guitarlele include a set of Grover tuners, and a classical style slotted headstock.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

LOW G Baritone Conversion String set 1 x AQ23U set of 4 strings + 1 x AQ16U Single Low G String Wound

LOW G Tuning Baritone Conversion. Converts Baritone ukuleles from DGBE to GCEA Low G Ukulele tuning. $22.95 Incl Postage in Australia

1 x AQ23U set of 4 strings
1 x AQ16U Single Low G String Wound

with USA Tutor Jeffrey Thomas, based in Hawaii your 1/2 lesson is via Skype.

Can I Tune My Baritone Ukulele to  Low G Ukulele Tuning GCEA?

"Yes"  you can tune a baritone ukulele like a standard ukulele, but you need the right strings.

What I include is a 1 Set of the Conversion Strings PLUS 1 Wound Low G String that you use instead of the High G string from the AQ23U set.

Best of both worlds, your choice of either re-entrant Tuning gCEA or linear Low g Tuning GCEA.

If you attempt to tune your standard baritone strings up in pitch to Standard ukulele Pitch (5 semitones higer) by simply turning the machine heads to tighten the strings you will most likely start snapping strings and/or pull your bridge off the top of your ukulele.

STOP! Get the Right Strings before you damage your ukulele

The standard baritone ukulele strings are lower in pitch than the standard ukulele tuning. They are tuned to DGBE (the same as the top four strings of a guitar). They also differ from the standard ukulele as they are not in re-entrant tuning i.e.. the strings go from low to high.

The Scale length of the baritone is longer than that of a Tenor Ukulele.  The strings are pulled to a lower tension and produce notes lower in pitch then regular ukulele.

If you attempt to tune your standard baritone strings up in pitch to gCEA you will most likely start snapping strings and/or pull your bridge off the top of your ukulele.

Baritone to Tenor tuning Conversion Strings made by Aquila are made specifically to produce notes of gCEA at the correct tension at the baritone scale length. From the  treble side to bass side / 1st string to 4th string are about 025 031 038 027 in thousandths of an inch.

The strings are all plain Nylgut material with no wound stings.  Nylgut is a new formulation of polymerized plastic mixed with additives and patented by Aquila.

$22.95 incl Postage in Australia
LOW G Tuning Conversion.
1 x AQ23U set of 4 strings
1 x AQ16U Single Low G String Wound

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Kala KA-SMHTE-C Tenor Solid Mahogany Cutaway Electric ukulele

$525 incl Postage in Australia

FREE Setup 
($50 value)
FREE Hardcase
  ($75 value)
FREE Tuner 
 ($15 value)
FREE Lesson  ($30 value)

Mmmm Mahogany.  Not Only a great looking wood but also a big sound with a rich and warm tone!
A really well constructed ukulele and nicely finished too, trimmed with faux tortoise shell binding. In your hand  a nice feeling Mahogany neck capped with a smooth well Fretted rosewood fingerboard.

Ukulele Lesson with USA Tutor Jeffrey Thomas.
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced player, Jeff can help you out.  Jeffrey Thomas teaches Skype ukulele lessons to students of all levels around the world.  He provides webcam ukulele lessons using Skype, ooVoo, Yahoo Messenger or Google Hangout which allows the student to learn at home without having to drive to and from a music store.

This Solid Mahogany Tenor Ukulele has a satin finish, and that is a good thing.  You see the thin finish allows the wood to resonate more freely.  The better the wood resonates the louder it is with better projection. (A too thick gloss finish can deaden the vibration of the wood leading to a 'dead" sounding a ukulele)

Solid Mahogany Ukuleles are firm favourites with my customers.  And the KA-SMHTE-C is a Great Value for Money tenor ukulele for you.

A Nicely contoured neck with easy playing fretboard.  If you like to so solos, or play up the neck then the Cutaway style is yours (for easy upper fret access nothing beats a cutaway)

Add an Excellent Pickup system that amplifies very naturally the tone of the ukulele through either Amplifier, DI Box or PA

Plus as per usual your ukulele gets an included FREE Setup (Aquila or Worth Strings, Low or Hgh G) so your ukulele plays the best it can.   I never just pick box from the shelf and ship it.  Every uke is removed, tuned, play tested and setup.  Every factory Setup can be improved upon with a hands on setup.

To protect your new Mahogany tenor ukulele I include a FREE Polyfoam Hardcase.

Your Polyfoam hard case is a foam core light weight hardshell ukulele case with a black canvas type material exterior. It has an inner compartment and outer zipper pocket. This will fit your tenor sized uke nicely and includes a velcro retainer to hold the neck in place during transport.

17 Tenor Scale (Distance from Nut to Saddle)
26-3/8 Overall body length
11-3/4 Body length
6-3/4 Upper Bout
9 Lower Bout
5-1/4 Waist
1-3/8 At Nut
All solid Mahogany top, back and sides
Faux Tortoise shell binding with black and white purfling
19 Silver-Nickel Frets
Fret position Marks at 5th,7th,10th and 12th frets on neck and top of fingerboard
Rosewood Fingerboard and Bridge
Mahogany Neck
Simulated Bone Nut and Saddle
Chrome Die-Cast Tuners

#SolidMahogany #TenorUkulele #pickup  #KA-SMHTE-C #KalaBrandUkuleles #UkuleleTradingCoAustralia