Guitar Aficionado - A New Twang In Town

Cover of the premier issue

I'm a sucker for guitar magazines, especially those that spotlight the acoustic guitar like the monthly Acoustic Guitar magazine. The cover of Guitar Aficionado caught my eye while browsing in a magazine store. What do you expect from a guitar freak like me, I grab a copy because it's a premier issue.

Just as this blog is affectionately devoted to the sound of wood and wire (aka the acoustic guitar), Guitar Aficionado is the new quarterly magazine "for passionate people who enjoy the guitar in all of its timeless, functional beauty."

This Summer '09 copy of Guitar Aficionado was launched recently with an 'aristocratic' mission statement by publisher Greg Di Benedetto (he also publishes Guitar World) that this magazine celebrates the art of fine living "with the guitar as the common point."

Thumbing through its pages, I soon realized that this high-gloss mag belongs to a different crowd - it addresses the person whose lifestyle encompasses more than just the guitar.

These folks are just not your regular guitar guys working out in a garage, they are more into expensive cigars, wine, watches, cars, fashion and other collections that fall under the hedonistic culture.

Did I mention cigars? Now I remember seeing a somewhat similar-looking mag called Cigar Aficionado. However, a check indicates that the two magazines are not related. Could be just a coincidence.

By the way, the cover story features award-winning chef Tom Colicchio, owner of the Craft empire of restaurants. Obviously, Colicchio talks not only about how he ventured into cooking but also his collection of guitars and music.

The guitars on view in the magazine belongs to the upper-end range, probably not less than $6,000. So it's not for the average picker like you and I.

If you want to learn guitar techniques and chords, I guess you will not find it in this magazine. It's for those who want to polish up their status symbols and enjoy the celebrity lifestyle.

To be frank, it's not likely to be a magazine that most of you guitar pickers would fall in love with. Oh well, let's get back to our Seagull, Yamaha, Washburn, Maton...  -  AcousticTwang


Go Flamenco - Passion, Grace and Fire

The Flamenco Music

Flamenco's origins are obscure. It is regarded as gypsy music coming from Andalucia, a region in Spain. However, it is generally accepted that this musical form was Moorish influenced from North Africa.

The emergence of Flamenco came about towards the end of the 18th century when it was always played as a combination of dance, song and guitar accompaniment. The original form later split into two different styles - Solo Flamenco Guitar and Cante Flamenco.

Spanish guitarist Ramon Montoya (1880-1949) was credited as the man who gave birth to the solo guitar form. Performing artistes such as Paco Pena, Paco de Lucia and a host of other noted modern-day Flamenco solo guitarists have turned the solo guitar form into a popular musical genre worldwide.

Flamenco music is often regarded as a loose, undisciplined form. In actual fact, it is a combination of improvisation and strict rhythmic structures.

For example, the soleares is one of the four most significant structures. It has a rhythm based on a 12-beat form, with accents on the third, sixth, eighth and tenth beats. It is played in 3/4 time. More often than not, a guitarist usually sticks to one form of specialization.

The Flamenco Guitar

When it comes to wood, the flamenco guitar is traditionally constructed from Spanish cypress for its back and sides. The finest cypress is reputed to come from Aranjuez. The Spaniards call cypress the "sad wood" because most of the wood comes from old trees cut out of cemeteries where Spanish cypresses are usually found.

Cypress is adopted because the wood produces a more brilliant, penetrating sound, thus giving the instrument greater volume. The Flamenco guitar is normally an accompanying instrument, its qualities being percussive rather than melodic. The sharp metallic tone of the guitar will cut through all the background noise of dancing, singing and palm clapping during a Flamenco performance.

The Flamenco guitar is usually slightly smaller than the Classical guitar. Traditionally, wooden pegs are favoured for Flamenco guitars. They are considered to give a better tone than geared pegs which are normally used on Classical guitars.

While Flamenco guitars are generally associated with light golden colored woods the real differences between modern Flamenco guitars and Classicals are in design and construction.

Today Concert Flamenco is something rather removed from the traditional style. Paco de Lucia usually play Classical guitars in his concert performances. - acoustictwang


Microphone Techniques For Acoustic Guitars

By Victor Epand 

Guitar is a very old musical instrument. It is normally played in an unplugged way. But when played in a show, a microphone is also used. Otherwise the sound will not reach every listener. Acoustic guitars have a unique sound.

Microphones sometimes cause different kinds of problems. And for that reason, the use of a proper microphone is ensured for acoustic guitars. Here we will talk about different microphone techniques for acoustic guitars.

The acoustic guitar delivers a varied range of frequencies. The range is from under 100hz to the extent which is not audible to human beings. The resonance of the largest string delivers low frequencies and the plucking system delivers the high frequencies. In most types of acoustic guitars, the sound hole generates the bass sound.

This instrument has always been so popular that people have thought of making some microphone which will not harm the sound of this instrument. And for this reason, a lot of experiments were made on microphones.

Dynamic and condenser microphones

After a lot of experiments, dynamic and condenser microphones were made. These two microphones are suitable for acoustic guitars. But among these two, the condenser microphone delivers the most detailed and the brightest sound.

There are small and large diaphragm microphones available. Both of them are perfect for acoustic guitars. But while playing the lead portion of the acoustic guitar, if you stroke the string hard, then a sharp transient will be produced. It is louder than the sustain portion of the waveform. This will not sound well at the time of recording. So it will be better if you use the dynamic microphones for playing the lead portion.

To get a good sound out of the microphone, it is necessary to know where you should keep the microphone. If you keep the mike just in front of the sound hole, then the guitar will create a very dark, boomy sound. Just like that if you put it in front of the neck then it will produce a thin sound. Even the surrounded portion of the bridge will not be able to produce a proper sound, if you put the mike there.

Actually the proper microphone technique for acoustic guitars depends on the instrument itself and the playing pattern. That means it depends also on whether the instrument will be strummed or plucked, and on the music style and the recording place. The perfect place for a microphone is one to two feet away from the acoustic guitar. The mike must be pointing at a place somewhere between the sound hole and the very place where the 

neck of the guitar meets its body.

If you use a directional mike, then you have to adjust the distance, to make a balance between the proximity effect and the room ambiance. If you use an omni microphone for acoustic guitars, then you will be able to put it closer to the instrument and also will get a sound which is pretty much well balanced.

The most common microphone technique for acoustic guitars is the use of two microphones. One will be closer to the guitar and the other will be a bit far away. But the interesting thing about microphone techniques is that you do not always have to use all these existing styles. You can try some technique of your own. And perhaps one day you will be able to make a microphone technique that will help many acoustic guitar players.

About the author:
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for music gear, speakers, and microphones. You can find the best marketplace for music gear, speakers, and microphones at these three sites: music gear, DJ, speakers, subwoofers.


The Best Beginner Guitar Lessons Can Be Found Online

By Russ Coop

It can be natural to make excuses, or rationalizations, about learning a new skill as an adult or child. However, those excuses are holding you back. Let them go and join the music education revolution that is taking place online right now.

Beginner guitar lessons that are found online, range from beginner to advanced, and covering every genre and every price range. You'll be looking for lessons that will help you learn most effectively and fit into your price range.

There are plenty of free lessons through numerous video web sites, and they are great, but they don't really help you "learn" to play guitar. Keep looking around until you find what works. Most people find some sort of video course to be helpful, but instructor style varies considerably. Keep this in mind when shopping for online lessons.

It is often the case that beginners can become frustrated in the early days of learning to play music. If you find that you are a person who becomes easily frustrated with new situations such as this, perhaps you can have some motivational words at the ready, or a good friend who will help you if you try to back out.

Remind yourself of the benefits and rewards you'll receive (admirers, tips, offers of free beer, confidence, etc.). The Internet is a great place to find groups of supportive and like-minded people. Search out a group of beginning musicians who can help support and motivate each other. Something like this may even be available to you within your beginner guitar lessons website.

It may be easier to learn the type of music that you enjoy listening to, since you already naturally enjoy it. Listen around for simple tunes, or even catchy commercial jingles that you can learn to play by ear. Frankly, not everyone needs to learn to read music; maybe you don't even want to. It can be very gratifying to learn to play by listening to, then copying the sounds you hear. You don't have to play music you don't like. Play what you like, just get started playing before it's too late!

About the author:
Russ is a professional guitar player with over 30 years of experience. Let him show you how to learn to play guitar in the easiest way possible. Get more free powerful tips and free guitar lessons now at http://www.onlineguitarpro.com Also visit now to Get The #1 Beginner Guitar Lesson and Learning Method and Stop Asking Yourself How You're Going To Learn To Play Guitar Fast!