In the 40 years that I have been teaching all styles of guitar to every type of student, there have been a few questions that come up over and over which seem to be the cause of great concern and anxiety.
The Best Epiphone In Santa Barbara
High on the list is “Am I too old to learn guitar in Goleta ?I have been anxiously asked this question by a 28 year old student, a 38 year old, a 46 year old, and let’s see…off the top of my head, I can remember students at age 52, 65, 77, and finally, good old Frank who was 84! I have had plenty of experience with this question, and more importantly, with the answer
.I am going to tell you the answer right up front to set your mind at ease, just in case you are one of those guitar students desperately attempting to remain hopeful about your chances of success. Yes, anyone can learn to play the guitar at any age, period and any place in Santa Barbara
Jump to navigation Jump to search The music of Hawaii includes an array of traditional and popular styles, ranging from native Hawaiian folk music to modern rock and hip hop. Hawaii's musical contributions to the music of the United States are out of proportion to the state's small size. Styles like slack-key guitar are well-known worldwide, while Hawaiian-tinged music is a frequent part of Hollywood soundtracks. Hawaii also made a contribution to country music with the introduction of the steel guitar. In addition, the music which began to be played by Puerto Ricans in Hawaii in the early 1900s is called cachi cachi music, on the islands of Hawaii. Music of Hawaiian people is largely religious in nature, and includes chanting and dance music. Hawaiian music has had a notable impact on the music of other Polynesian islands; Peter Manuel called the influence of Hawaiian music a "unifying factor in the development of modern Pacific musics". Major music festivals in Hawaii include the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival, which brings together hula groups from across the world, as well as a number of slack-key and steel guitar festivals: Big Island Slack Key Guitar Festival, Steel Guitar Association Festival and the Gabby Pahinui/Atta Isaacs Slack Key Festival. April's Aloha Week is a popular tourist attraction, as is the Moloka'i Music Festival held around Labor Day. There was also a Hawaii International Jazz Festival, which ran from 1993 until 2007. The annual Pacific Rim Jazz Festival occurs in mid-autumn at the Hawaii Convention Center. The annual Manoa Jazz & Heritage Festival takes place in early autumn at the Andrews Amphitheatre on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus. Hawaii is home to numerous hotels, many of which feature music in the afternoon or evening; some of the more prominent ones include the Kahala Hilton, the Sheraton Moana Hotel, the Sheraton Waikiki, the Halekulani, Casanova's and the King Kamehameha Hotel. Large music venues in Hawaii include the University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Arts Center, which has 600 seats and is the largest venue on the Big Island. A 560-seat venue and cultural exhibition center on Kauai is the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center. In Honolulu, the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena, Concert Hall, and Exhibition Hall are three of the largest venues in the state. Other venues for Hawaiian music on Oahu include the Waikiki Shell an establishment used primarily for concerts and entertainment purposes. Over the years many local, as well as international artists have graced the stage there. It is unique outdoor theater located in Kapiolani Park. This venue seats 2,400 persons, with the capacity to hold up to 6,000 more on the lawn area. Concerts, graduation ceremonies and hula shows are very popular at this site. As well as Kennedy Theatre and Andrews Amphitheatre on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the Blaisdell Center Concert Hall, the Hawaii Theatre in downtown Honolulu, the Red Elephant (a performance space and recording studio in downtown Honolulu), Paliku Theatre on the campus of Windward Community College and the Leeward Community College Theatre. The historic Lanai Theatre is a cultural landmark on Lanai, dating back to the 1930s. Hawaii is home to a number of renowned music institutions in several fields. The Honolulu Symphony Orchestra is an important part of the state's musical history, and is the oldest orchestra in the United States west of the Rocky Mountains, founded in 1900. The Orchestra has collaborated with other local institutions, like the Hawaii Opera Theatre and the Oʻahu Choral Society, which sponsors the Honolulu Symphony Chorus and the Honolulu Chamber Choir. Numerous businesses have been created supporting the special musical styles and instruments suited to the Hawaiian musical tradition. The Guitar and Lute Workshop was an early manufacturer and proponent of specialty slack-key guitars in the early 1970s, and the Kamaka Ukulele company was established as key manufacturer of ukuleles for Hawaiian musical acts. Dancer with ʻuliʻuli, hula kahiko competition, Merrie Monarch Festival 2003 Hawaiian folk music includes several varieties of chanting (mele) and music meant for highly ritualized dance (hula). Traditional Hawaiian music and dance was functional, used to express praise, communicate genealogy and mythology, and accompany games, festivals and other secular events. The Hawaiian language has no word that translates precisely as music, but a diverse vocabulary exists to describe rhythms, instruments, styles and elements of voice production. Hawaiian folk music is simple in melody and rhythm, but is "complex and rich" in the "poetry, accompanying mimetic dance (hula), and subtleties of vocal styles... even in the attenuated forms in which they survive today". Hula performance at a ceremony turning over U.S. Navy control over the island of Kahoolawe to the state performed by Uncle Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett The chant (mele) is typically accompanied by an ipu heke (a double gourd) and/or pahu (sharkskin covered drum). Some dances require dancers to utilize hula implements such as an ipu (single gourd), ʻiliʻili (waterworn lava stone castanets),ʻuliʻuli (feathered gourd rattles), pu`ʻli (split bamboo sticks) or kalaʻau (rhythm sticks). The older, formal kind of hula is called kahiko, while the modern version is ʻauana. There are also religious chants called ʻoli; when accompanied by dancing and drums, it is called mele hula pahu. In the pre-contact Hawaiian language, the word mele referred to any kind of poetic expression, though it now translates as song. The two kinds of Hawaiian chanting were mele oli and mele hula. The first were a cappella individual songs, while the latter were accompanied dance music performed by a group. The chanters were known as haku mele and were highly trained composers and performers. Some kinds of chants express emotions like angst and affection, or request a favor from another person. Other chants are for specific purposes like naming, (mele inoa), prayer (mele pule), surfing (mele he'e nalu) and genealogical recitations (mele koihonua). Mele chants were governed by strict rules, and were performed in a number of styles include the rapid kepakepa and the enunciate koihonua. Historical documentation of Hawaiian music does not extend prior to the late 18th century, when non-Hawaiians (haoles) arrived on the island. From 1778 onward, Hawaii began a period of acculturation with the introduction of numerous styles of European music, including the hymns (himeni) introduced by Protestant missionary choirs. Spanish-speaking Mexican cowboys (paniolos), were particularly influential immigrants in the field of music, introducing string instruments such as the guitar and possibly also the technique of falsetto singing, while Portuguese immigrants brought the ukulele-like braguinha. also immigrants from all over the world had brought their own instruments along with them to the islands. Elizabeth Tatar divided Hawaiian music history into seven periods, beginning with the initial arrival of Europeans and their musical cultures, spanning approximately from 1820 to 1872. The subsequent period lasted to the beginning of the 20th century, and was marked by the creation of an acculturated yet characteristically Hawaiian modern style, while European instruments spread across the islands. Tatar's third period, from 1900 to about 1915, saw the integration of Hawaiian music into the broader field of American popular music, with the invention of hapa haole songs, which use the English language and only superficial elements of Hawaiian music; the beginning of the Hawaiian recording industry was in 1906, when the Victor Talking Machine Company made the first 53 recordings in the state. By 1912, recorded Hawaiian music had found an audience on the American mainland. Puerto Rican immigration to Hawaii began when Puerto Rico's sugar industry was devastated by two hurricanes in 1899. The devastation caused a worldwide shortage in sugar and a huge demand for the product from Hawaii. Hawaiian sugarcane plantation owners began to recruit the jobless, but experienced, laborers in Puerto Rico. They took with them their music and in the early 1900s introduced what is known as Cachi Cachi music, on the islands of Hawaii. From 1915 to 1930, mainstream audiences outside of Hawaii became increasingly enamored of Hawaiian music, though by this time the songs marketed as Hawaiian had only peripheral aspects of actual Hawaiian music. Tahitian and Samoan music had an influence on Hawaiian music during this period, especially in their swifter and more intricate rhythms. The following era, from about 1930 to 1960, has been called the "Golden Age of Hawaiian music", when popular styles were adapted for orchestras and big bands, and Hawaiian performers like Lani McIntire, John Kameaaloha Almeida and Sol Hoʻopiʻi became mainstream stars. In the 1960s, Hawaiian-style music declined in popularity amid an influx of rock, soul and pop acts from the American mainland. This trend reversed itself in the final period of Hawaiian music history, the modern period beginning with the Hawaiian Renaissance in the 1970s and continuing with the foundation of a variety of modern music scenes in fields like indie rock, Hawaiian hip hop and Jawaiian. Lili'uokalani Queen Liliʻuokalani was the last Queen of Hawaii before the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown. She was also a musician and prolific composer who wrote many musical works. She was best known for Aloha 'Oe. A compilation of her works, titled "The Queen's Songbook", was published in 1999 by The Queen Lili'uokalani Trust. Aloha'oe performed by Madam Alapai in 1911. Lili'uokalani was one of many members of the Hawaiian royal family with musical inclinations. They studied under a Prussian military bandleader, Henri Berger, who was sent by the Kaiser at the request of Kamehameha V. Berger became fascinated by Hawaiian folk music, and wrote much documentation on it. However, he also brought his own musical background in German music, and heavily guided the Hawaiian musicians and composers he worked with. King Kamehameha V also, in 1847, sent to Germany for a "band Leader" for "The Kings Own Band", now the Royal Hawaiian Band, William Mersberg, from Weimar, Germany. He is Henry Kaleialoha Allen's great grandfather. Henry Kaleialoha Allen is "one of Hawaii's Living Treasures of Hawaiian Music" and a master music educator and has been honored many times on the Senate Floor and by the Legislature for such. Guitars could have come to Hawaii from several sources: sailors, missionaries, or travelers to and from California. The most frequently told story is that it accompanied the Mexican cowboys (vaqueros) brought by King Kamehameha III in 1832 in order to teach the natives how to control an overpopulation of cattle. The Hawaiian cowboys (paniolo) used guitars in their traditional folk music. The Portuguese introduced an instrument called the braguinha, a small, four-stringed Madeira variant of the cavaquinho; this instrument was a precursor to the `ukulele. Steel-string guitars also arrived with the Portuguese in the 1860s and slack-key had spread across the chain by the late 1880s. A ship called the Ravenscrag arrived in Honolulu on August 23, 1879, bringing Portuguese field workers from Madeira. Legend has it that one of the men, João Fernandes, later a popular musician, tried to impress the Hawaiians by playing folk music with a friend's braguinha; it is also said that the Hawaiians called the instrument `ukulele (jumping flea) in reference to the man's swift fingers. Others have claimed the word means gift that came here or a corruption of ukeke lele (dancing ukeke, a three-string bow). The popularity throughout the 1920s of Hawaiian music, with its unique slide-style of guitar playing, prompted the invention of the electric guitar in 1931, as a lap steel guitar, the "frying pan", by George Beauchamp. Electric amplification allowed the Hawaiian-style guitar to be heard in performances of larger popular bands. 1913 sheet music cover In the 1880s and 90s, King David Kalakaua promoted Hawaiian culture and also encouraged the addition of new instruments, such as the ukulele and possibly steel guitar; Kalakaua died in 1891, and so it is highly unlikely he would have heard it [See: Kanahele, George S., Hawaiian Music and Musicians, pp 367–368]. Kalakaua's successor, his sister Lili'uokalani, was also a prolific composer and wrote several songs, like "Aloha 'Oe", which remain popular. During this period, Hawaiian music evolved into a "new distinctive" style, using the derivatives of European instruments; aside from the widespread string instruments, brass bands like the Royal Hawaiian Band performed Hawaiian songs as well as popular marches and ragtimes. In about 1889, Joseph Kekuku began sliding a piece of steel across the strings of a guitar, thus inventing steel guitar (kika kila); at about the same time, traditional Hawaiian music with English lyrics became popular. Vocals predominated in Hawaiian music until the 20th century, when instrumentation took a lead role. Much of modern slack-key guitar has become entirely instrumental. From about 1895 to 1915, Hawaiian music dance bands became in demand more and more. These were typically string quintets. Ragtime music influenced the music, and English words were commonly used in the lyrics. This type of Hawaiian music, influenced by popular music and with lyrics being a combination of English and Hawaiian (or wholly English), is called hapa haole (literally: half white) music. In 1903, Albert "Sonny" Cunha composed My Waikiki Mermaid, arguably the first popular hapa haole song (The earliest known hapa haole song, "Eating of the Poi", was published in Ka Buke o na Leo Mele Hawaii...o na Home Hawaii in Honolulu in 1888 [See Kanahele, George S., Hawaiian Music and Musicians pp 71–72]). In 1927, Rose Moe (1908–1999), a Hawaiian singer, with her husband Tau Moe (1908–2004), a Samoan guitarist, began touring with Madame Riviere's Hawaiians. In 1929 they recorded eight songs in Tokyo. Rose and Tau continued touring for over fifty years, living in countries such as Germany, Lebanon and India. They even performed in Germany as late as 1938 when the Nazi racism was on the rise and people of a darker color were regarded as inferior people; it is said that they even performed for Adolf Hitler himself. With their children, the Tau Moe family did much to spread the sound of Hawaiian folk music and hapa haole music throughout the world. In 1988, the Tau Moe family re-recorded the 1929 sessions with the help of musician and ethnomusicologist Bob Brozman. The 1920s also saw the development of a uniquely Hawaiian style of jazz, innovated by performers at the Moana and Royal Hawaiian Hotels. Main article: Slack-key guitar Slack-key guitar (kī ho`alu in Hawaiian) is a fingerpicked playing style, named for the fact that the strings are most often "slacked" or loosened to create an open (unfingered) chord, either a major chord (the most common is G, which is called "taro patch" tuning) or a major 7th (called a "wahine" tuning). A tuning might be invented to play a particular song or facilitate a particular effect, and as late as the 1960s they were often treated as family secrets and passed from generation to generation. By the time of the Hawaiian Renaissance, though, the example of players such as Auntie Alice Namakelua, Leonard Kwan, Raymond Kane, and Keola Beamer had encouraged the sharing of the tunings and techniques and probably saved the style from extinction. Playing techniques include "hammering-on", "pulling-off", "chimes" (harmonics), and "slides," and these effects frequently mimic the falsettos and vocal breaks common in Hawaiian singing. The guitar entered Hawaiian culture from a number of directions—sailors, settlers, contract workers. One important source of the style was Mexican cowboys hired to work on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi in the first half of the 19th century. These paniolo brought their guitars and their music, and when they left, the Hawaiians developed their own style of playing the instrument. Slack key guitar evolved to accompany the rhythms of Hawaiian dancing and the melodies of Hawaiian chant. Hawaiian music in general, which was promoted under the reign of King David Kalakaua as a matter of national pride and cultural revival, drew rhythms from traditional Hawaiian beats and European military marches, and drew its melodies from Christian hymns and the cosmopolitan peoples of the islands (although principally American). An advertisement for the Broadway show "The Bird of Paradise" In the early 20th century Hawaiians began touring the United States, often in small bands. A Broadway show called Bird of Paradise introduced Hawaiian music to many Americans in 1912 and the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco followed in 1915; one year later, Hawaiian music sold more recordings than any other style in the country. The increasing popularization of Hawaiian music influenced blues and country musicians; this connection can still be heard in modern country. In reverse, musicians like Bennie Nawahi began incorporating jazz into his steel guitar, ukulele and mandolin music, while the Kalama Quartet introduced a style of group falsetto singing. The musician Sol Hoʻopiʻi arose during this time, playing both Hawaiian music and jazz, Western swing and country, and developing the pedal steel guitar; his recordings helped establish the Nashville sound of popular country music. Lani McIntyre was another musician who infused a Hawaiian guitar sound into mainstream American popular music through his recordings with Jimmie Rodgers and Bing Crosby. A 1916 advertisement for Hawaiian music records from Victor Records. In the 1920s and 30s, Hawaiian music became an integral part of local tourism, with most hotels and attractions incorporating music in one form or another. Among the earliest and most popular musical attractions was the Kodak Hula Show, sponsored by Kodak, in which a tourist purchased Kodak film and took photographs of dancers and musicians. The show ran from 1937 through 2002. Several vinyl LPs featuring music from the Kodak Hula Show were released by Waikiki Records, with full color photographs of the show's performers. In the first half of the 20th century, the mostly young men who hung around the Honolulu beaches, swimming and surfing, came to be known as the Waikiki Beachboys and their parties became famous across Hawaii and abroad; most of them played the ukulele all day long, sitting on the beach and eventually began working for hotels to entertain tourists. Popular Hawaiian music with English verse (hapa haole) can be described in a narrow sense. Generally, songs are sung to the ukulele or steel guitar. A steel string guitar sometimes accompanies. Melodies often feature an intervallic leap, such as a perfect fourth or octave. Falsetto vocals are suited for such leaps and are common in Hawaiian singing, as is the use of microtones. Rhythm is mostly in duple meter. A musical scale that is unique to Hawaiian music imbues it with its distinct feel, and so is aptly named the Hawaiian scale. The Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in 1915 introduced Hawaiian steel guitar to mainland country music artists, and by the 1930s country stars Hoot Gibson and Jimmy Davis were making records with Hawaiian musicians. The influx of thousands of American servicemen into Hawaii during World War 2 created a demand for both popular swing rhythm and country sounds. The western swing style, popular on the mainland since the 1930s, employed the steel guitar as a key element and was therefore a natural evolution. Beginning in 1945, the Bell Record Company of Honolulu responded to the demand with a series of releases by the western swing band Fiddling Sam and his Hawaiian Buckaroos (led by fiddler Homer H. Spivey, and including Lloyd C. Moore, Tiny Barton, Al Hittle, Calvert Duke, Tolbert E. Stinnett and Raymond "Blackie" Barnes). Between 1945–1950 Bell released some 40 sides by the Hawaiian Buckaroos, including a set of square dance numbers. In recent decades, traditional Hawaiian music has undergone a renaissance, with renewed interest from both ethnic Hawaiians and others. The islands have also produced a number of well-regarded rock, pop, hip hop, Dubstep, soul and reggae performers, and many local musicians in the clubs of Waikiki and Honolulu play outside the various "Hawaiian" genres. Hawaii has its own regional music industry, with several distinctive styles of recorded popular music. Hawaiian popular music is largely based on American popular music, but does have distinctive retentions from traditional Hawaiian music. Main article: Hawaiian Renaissance The Hawaiian Renaissance was a resurgence in interest in Hawaiian music, especially slack-key, among ethnic Hawaiians. Long-standing performers like Gabby Pahinui found their careers revitalized; Pahinui, who had begun recording in 1947, finally reached mainstream audiences across the United States when sessions on which Ry Cooder played with him and his family were released as The Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Vol. 1 on a major mainland label. Pahinui inspired a legion of followers who played a mix of slack-key, reggae, country, rock and other styles. The more traditional players included Leland "Atta" Isaacs, Sr., Sonny Chillingworth, Ray Kane, Leonard Kwan, Ledward Ka`apana, Dennis Pavao, while Keola Beamer and Peter Moon have been more eclectic in their approach. The Emerson brothers rekindled the classic sound of Sol Ho'opi'i with the National steel guitar on their vintage 1920s stylings. George Kanahele's Hawaiian Music Foundation did much to spread slack-key and other forms of Hawaiian music, especially after a major 1972 concert. Don Ho (1930–2007), originally from the small Honolulu neighborhood of Kaka'ako, was the most widely known Hawaiian entertainer of the last decades of the 20th century. Although he did not play "traditional" Hawaiian music, Ho became an unofficial ambassador of Hawaiian culture throughout the world as well as on the American mainland. Ho's style often combined traditional Hawaiian elements and older 1950s and 1960s-style crooner music with an easy listening touch. Loyal Garner also embraced Hawaiian elements in her Vegas-style lounge act and in the songs she recorded. A third notable performer, Myra English, became known as the "Champagne Lady" after recording the song "Drinking Champagne" by Bill Mack in 1963 became her signature song in Hawaii, and she achieved considerable commercial success both locally and abroad. Jawaiian is a Hawaiian style of reggae music. Reggae music is a genre that evolved in the late 1960s and earlier in Jamaica. It has become popular across the world, especially among ethnic groups and races that have been historically oppressed, such as Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Australian Aborigines. In Hawaii, ethnic Hawaiians and others in the state began playing a mixture of reggae and local music in the early 1980s, although it was not until the late 1980s that it became recognized as a new genre in local music. The band Simplisity has been credited by Quiet Storm Records as originators of the Jawaiian style. By the end of the 1980s, Jawaiian came to dominate the local music scene, as well as spawning a backlash that the Honolulu Star-Bulletin compared to the "disco sucks" movement of the late 1970s. Reggae culture as a whole began to dominate Hawaii, as many locals can be seen sporting Bob Marley memorabilia, and lots of local merchandise and souvenirs have been emblazoned with the red, yellow, and green colors of the Hawaiian sovereignty as well as the Ethiopian flag, a known symbol of the Rastafari movement. The Rasta colors have also become a symbol of local pride. Rock and Roll music has long been popular in Hawaii - numerous rock and roll artists spent their developmental years in Hawaii (i.e. members of The Association, The Electric Prunes, 7th Order, Vicious Rumors, as well as guitarists Marty Friedman and Charlie "Icarus" Johnson), and its local popularity dates back to the earliest days of rock music. Elvis Presley's career included several Hawaii-related performances and records: a March 1961 live performance to raise money for the construction of the USS Arizona Memorial at the Pearl Harbor Bloch Arena in March 1961, his Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite "comeback" record and concert in 1973, and three of his movies were based in Hawaii (Blue Hawaii, Girls! Girls! Girls!, and Paradise, Hawaiian Style). Through the 60's and 70's, rock concerts were frequently held at venues like the Honolulu International Center and The Waikiki Shell by artists like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Eric Clapton, Deep Purple, Jeff Beck and many other top rock artists. The 3 day long Crater Festivals (held over the New Years and July 4th holidays) at Diamond Head in the 60's and 70's were well attended through the era, and frequently featured popular bands like Fleetwood Mac, Journey and Santana (Carlos Santana and Buddy Miles actually released their 1972 Crater Festival performance on the LP Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live!). Some notable current and retired jazz musicians in Hawaii include Gabe Baltazar (saxophone), Martin Denny (piano), Arthur Lyman (vibraphone and marimba), Henry Allen (guitar), vonBaron (drums), David Choy (saxophone), Rich Crandall (piano), Dan Del Negro (keyboards), Pierre Grill (piano/keyboards/trombone), Bruce Hamada (bass), DeShannon Higa (trumpet), Jim Howard (piano), Steve Jones (bass), John Kolivas (bass), Noel Okimoto (drums/percussion/vibes), Michael Paulo (reeds), Rene Paulo (acoustic grand piano)was a forerunner of recording Hawaiian music in the jazz venue in the early 1960s and is one of Hawaii's legendary music greats, Robert Shinoda (guitar), Arex Ikehara (bass), Phil Bennett (drums), Aron Nelson (piano), Tennyson Stephens (piano), Dean Taba (bass), Betty Loo Taylor (piano), Tim Tsukiyama (saxophone), Reggie Padilla (saxophone) and Abe Lagrimas Jr. (drums/ukulele/vibes). Notable jazz vocalists in Hawaii, both current and retired include Jimmy Borges, Rachel Gonzales, Azure McCall, Dana Land, Joy Woode and I. Mihana Souza. Although Hawaiian vocalist Melveen Leed is known primarily for singing Hawaiian and "Hawaiian country" music, she has also earned good reviews as a jazz singer. There are frequent performances by the University of Hawaii jazz bands. Regular venues to hear jazz in Honolulu include: Main article: Ukulele The ukulele was introduced to Hawaii by Madeiran immigrants near the close of the 19th century. The Portuguese brought a small guitar-like instrument, known as the machete. The instrument became a very popular one in Hawaiian culture, and a majority of Hawaiian songs involve the ukulele. In Hawaiian, ukulele literally means "flea (uku) jumping (lele)." It was named as such because when plucked, the high pitch of the strings brings to mind the image of a jumping flea. There are currently four sizes of ukulele; soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. Queen Liliuokalani, the last Hawaiian Queen, believed that the name for the ukulele means "The gift that came here". She believed this because of the Hawaiian words "uku" which means "gift or reward" and "lele" which means "to come." The ukulele can be played with simple or elaborate strums, as well as fingerpicking. The ukulele is mostly recognized as being Hawaiian, even though it is originally based on the Madeiran machete. Koa wood is one of the more higher quality woods which creates a deep and also clear sound for the ukulele. This makes Koa ukuleles very distinguishable by sound. Because of this, koa wood is known as a revered wood to create an ukulele. Not only are koa ukuleles distinguishable by sound, but also by looks. They have a very unique grain pattern and color that allows them to stand out more than the average wood. The Ukeke is a Hawaiian musical bow played with the mouth. It is the only stringed instrument indigenous to Hawaii. The 'ohe hano ihu, (Hawaiian: `ohe = bamboo +hano = breath + ihu = nose) or Traditional Hawaiian Nose Flute in English, is another type of Hawaiian instrument that has cultural and musical importance. It is made from a single bamboo section. According to Arts and Crafts of Hawai`i by Te Rangi Hiroa, old flutes in the Bishop Museum collection have a hole at the node area for the breath, and two or three fingering holes. In the three-finger-hole specimen, one fingering hole is placed near the breath hole. Lengths range from 10–21 inches (250–530 mm). Oral tradition in various families states that numbers of fingering holes ranged from one to four, and location of the holes varied depending on the musical taste of the player. Though primarily a courting instrument played privately and for personal enjoyment, it also could be used in conjunction with chants, song, and hula. Kumu hula (dance masters), were said to be able to either make the flute sound as though it were chanting, or to chant as they played. Kumu hula Leilehua Yuen is one of the few contemporary Hawaiian musicians to perform with the nose flute in this manner. Into the 19th and early 20th centuries, young men still used the 'ohe hano ihu as a way to win the affection and love of a woman. Today, the `ohe hano ihu is enjoying a resurgence of popularity. Two different oral traditions explain the use of the nose for playing the `ohe hano ihu. According to one, the `ohe hano ihu is played with air from the nose rather than from the mouth because a person's hā, breath, is expressive of the person's inner being. As the hā travels from the na`ao, or gut, through the mouth, the hā can be used to lie. When the hā travels through the nose, it cannot lie. Therefore, if a young man loves a woman, that love will be expressed in the music he plays with his `ohe hano ihu. According to the other tradition, the instrument is played with the nose to enable the player to softly sing or chant while playing. Modern folklore says that the Hawaiian flute expresses "aloha" because to hear the flute one must come close to the alo, "face" or "presence" of the player to hear the hā, "divine breath" and so the listener experiences "being in one another's presence sharing the divine breath." While useful as a way to remember the contemplative and personal nature of the traditional Hawaiian flute, there is no actual etymological evidence, nor is there evidence in traditional chants or stories, to support this etymology. In the Hawaiian language, hā, breath, is unrelated to the word ha, a causative prefix. a search of cognate words in related languages also reveals no such etymologies for the word "aloha". According to the book `Ohe, by Leilehua Yuen, the instrument was popularized in the 1970s by members of the Beamer family who played it during performances on tour in North America, as well as in the Hawaiian Islands. Segments of the children's educational TV show, Sesame Street, showing Keola Beamer and Mr. Snuffalupagus, one of the large puppet characters, playing `ohe hano ihu brought the instrument to national attention. Winona Beamer, Keola Beamer's mother, a noted kumu hula, also taught the use of the `ohe hano ihu in hula. Her hānai daughter, Maile Beamer Loo, continues to preserve and teach that legacy, and document such important aspects of Hawaiian musical and performing heritage through the Hula Preservation Society. Notable late 20th Century and early 21st Century musicians of the`ohe hano ihu include Mahi Beamer, Nona Beamer, Keola Beamer, Kapono Beamer, Calvin Hoe, Nelson Kaai, Anthony Natividad, and Manu Josiah. The music that is considered popular or "underground" in Hawaii does not necessarily correspond to similar genres in mainland areas of the U.S.A. This is partly a result of Hawaiian music, which appeals to many generations; in contrast, music like heavy metal or punk rock appeals primarily to a more youthful generation, and is not considered as commercially attractive to tourism. Na mele paleoleo is an emerging form of Hawaiian rap. It is difficult to promote popular acts from the mainland due to its geographical isolation, and the smaller group of people interested in the music. Bruno Mars from Honolulu has 6 #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, including "Uptown Funk" in 2015. Yvonne Elliman, from Honolulu, had a #1 Hot 100 hit with the disco song "If I Can't Have You" from Saturday Night Fever in 1978. Bette Midler, also from Honolulu, had a #1 Hot 100 hit with "Wind Beneath My Wings" in 1989. Glenn Medeiros had a #1 Hot 100 hit in 1990 with "She Ain't Worth It" ft. Bobby Brown. Tane Cain, who was raised in Hawaii, had a #37 Hot 100 hit with "Holdin' On" in 1982.
Jump to navigation Jump to search Mesa-Boogie "Mark IV", a guitar combo amplifier A guitar amplifier (or amp) is an electronic device or system that strengthens the weak electrical signal from a pickup on an electric guitar, bass guitar, or acoustic guitar so that it can produce sound through one or more loudspeakers, which are typically housed in a wooden cabinet. A guitar amplifier may be a standalone wood or metal cabinet that contains only the power amplifier (and preamplifier) circuits, requiring the use of a separate speaker cabinet–or it may be a "combo" amplifier, which contains both the amplifier and one or more speakers in a wooden cabinet. There is a wide range of sizes and power ratings for guitar amplifiers, from small, lightweight "practice amplifiers" with a single 6" speaker and a 10 watt amp to heavy combo amps with four 10” or four 12" speakers and a powerful 100 watt amplifier, which are loud enough to use in a nightclub or bar performance. Guitar amplifiers can also modify the instrument's tone by emphasizing or de-emphasizing certain frequencies, using equalizer controls, which function the same way as the bass and treble knobs on a home hi-fi stereo, and by adding electronic effects; distortion (also called "overdrive") and reverb are commonly available as built-in features. The input of modern guitar amplifiers is a 1/4" jack, which is fed a signal from an electro-magnetic pickup (from an electric guitar) or a piezoelectric pickup (usually from an acoustic guitar) using a patch cord, or a wireless transmitter. For electric guitar players, their choice of guitar amp and the settings they use on the amplifier are a key part of their signature tone or sound. Some guitar players are longtime users of a specific amp brand or model. Guitarists may also use external effects pedals to alter the sound of their tone before the signal reaches the amplifier. A 1940s-era Valvo combo amp. Fender Deluxe 1953 In the 1920s, it was very hard for a musician playing a pickup-equipped guitar to find an amplifier and speaker to make their instrument louder as the only speakers that could be bought were "radio horns of limited frequency range and low acoustic output". The cone speaker, widely used in 2000s-era amp cabinets, was not offered for sale until 1925. The first amplifiers and speakers could only be powered with large batteries, which made them heavy and hard to carry around. When engineers developed the first AC mains-powered amplifiers, they were soon used to make musical instruments louder. Engineers invented the first loud, powerful amplifier and speaker systems for public address systems and movie theaters. These large PA systems and movie theatre sound systems were very large and very expensive, and so they could not be used by most touring musicians. After 1927, smaller, portable AC mains-powered PA systems that could be plugged into a regular wall socket "quickly became popular with musicians"; indeed, "...Leon McAuliffe (with Bob Wills) still used a carbon mic and a portable PA as late as 1935." During the late 1920s to mid-1930s, small portable PA systems and guitar combo amplifiers were fairly similar. These early amps had a "single volume control and one or two input jacks, field coil speakers" and thin wooden cabinets; remarkably, these early amps did not have tone controls or even an on-off switch. In 1928, the Stromberg-Voisinet firm was the first company to sell an electric stringed instrument and amplifier package. However, musicians found that the amps had an "unsatisfactory tone and volume, [and] dependability problems", so the product did not sell well. Even though the Stromberg-Voisinet amp did not sell well, it still launched a new idea: a portable electric instrument amp with a speaker, all in an easily transported wooden cabinet. In 1929, Vega electrics launched a portable banjo amplifier. In 1932, Electro String Instruments and amplifier (this is not the same company as Stromberg Electro Instruments) introduced a guitar amp with "high output" and a "string driven magnetic pickup". Electro set out the standard template for combo amps: a wooden cabinet with the electronic amplifier mounted inside, and a convenient carrying handle to facilitate transporting the cabinet. In 1933, Vivi-Tone amp set-ups were used for live performances and radio shows. In 1934, Rickenbacker launched a similar combo amp that added metal corner protectors to keep the corners in good condition during transportation. In 1933, Dobro released an electric guitar and amp package. The combo amp had "two 8″ Lansing speakers and a five-tube chassis. Dobro made a two speaker combo amp that was on the market over 12 years before Fender launched its two-speaker "Dual Professional/Super" combo amp. In 1933, Audio-Vox was founded by Paul Tutmarc, the inventor of the first electric bass (Tutmarc's instrument did not achieve market success until Leo Fender's launched the Precision Bass). In 1933, Vega sold a pickup and amplifier set for musicians to use with existing guitars. In that same year, the Los Angeles-based Volu-Tone company also sold a pickup/amplifier set. Volu-Tone used "high voltage current" to sense the string vibration, a potentially dangerous approach that did not become popular. In 1934 Dobro released a guitar amp with a vacuum tube rectifier and two power tubes. By 1935, Dobro and National began selling combo amps for Hawaiian guitar. In 1934, Gibson had developed prototype combo amps, but never them. By 1935, Electro/Rickenbacher had sold more amps and electric guitars than all the amps and electrified or electric guitars that had been made from 1928 through the end of 1934. The first electric instrument amplifiers were not intended for electric guitars, but were portable PA systems. These appeared in the early 1930s when the introduction of electrolytic capacitors and rectifier tubes enabled economical built-in power supplies that could plug into wall sockets. Previously, amplifiers required heavy multiple battery packs. People used these amplifiers to amplify acoustic guitar, but electronic amplification of guitar first became widely poplular in the 1930s and 1940s craze for Hawaiian music, which extensively used amplified lap steel guitars. In the 1920s, the earliest combo amplifiers had no tone controls. The first tone controls were simple, mainly providing treble adjustment. The limited controls, the early loudspeakers, and the low amplifier power (typically 15 watts or less prior to the mid-1950s) gave poor high treble and bass output. Some models also provided effects such as an electronic tremolo unit. In confusion over nomenclature, Fender labeled early amplifier tremolo as "vibrato" and called the vibrato arm of the Stratocaster guitar a "tremolo bar" (see vibrato unit, electric guitar, and tremolo). Some later amplifier models included an onboard spring reverb effect, one of the first being the Ampeg Reverberocket amp. Gibson Lancer GA-35 (mid-1960s) guitar amplifier In the 1950s, several guitarists experimented with producing distortion by deliberately overdriving amplifiers. These included Goree Carter, Joe Hill Louis, Elmore James, Ike Turner, Willie Johnson, Pat Hare, Guitar Slim, Chuck Berry, Johnny Burnette, and Link Wray. In the early 1960s, surf rock guitarist Dick Dale worked closely with Fender to produce custom made amplifiers, including the first 100-watt guitar amplifier. He pushed the limits of electric amplification technology, helping to develop new equipment that was capable of producing "thick, clearly defined tones" at "previously undreamed-of volumes." U2 guitarist The Edge's 1964 Vox AC30 combo amp. Distortion became more popular from the mid-1960s, when The Kinks guitarist Dave Davies produced distortion effects by connecting the already distorted output of one amplifier into the input of another. Later, most guitar amps were provided with preamplifier distortion controls, and "fuzz boxes" and other effects units were engineered to safely and reliably produce these sounds. In the 2000s, overdrive and distortion has become an integral part of many styles of electric guitar playing, ranging from blues rock to heavy metal and hardcore punk. Guitar combo amplifiers were at first used with bass guitars and electric pianos, but these instruments produce a wider frequency range and need a full-range speaker system. Much more amplifier power is required to reproduce low-frequency sound, especially at high volume. Reproducing low frequencies also requires a suitable woofer or subwoofer speaker and enclosure, with bass cabinets often being larger in size than a cabinet for mid-range or high-range sounds. As well, the open-back cabinets used on many electric guitar amps, while effective for electric guitar, do not have good bass reproduction. Woofer enclosures must be larger and more sturdily built than cabinets for mid-range or high-frequency (tweeter) speakers. As such, in the 1950s, when Ampeg introduced bass amplifier and speaker systems, bass guitarists began to use them. Similarly, Hammond organ players used a specialized keyboard combo amplifier, the Leslie speaker cabinet, which contains a woofer for the low frequencies and a horn for the high frequencies. The Leslie horns rotate and a baffle around the woofer rotates as well, producing a rich tremolo and chorus effect. A Fender Bassman amp head with a 15" speaker cabinet. Typically, guitar amplifiers have two amplifying circuit stages and in addition frequently have tone-shaping electric circuits, which usually include at least bass and treble controls, which function similarly to the equivalent controls on a home hi-fi system. More expensive amplifiers typically have more controls for other frequency ranges, such as one or two "midrange" controls and a "presence" control for high frequencies. Some guitar amplifiers have a graphic equalizer, which uses vertical faders to control multiple frequency bands. Some more expensive bass amps have a parametric equalizer, which enables precise control of tone. The first amplifier stage is a preamplifier. It amplifies the audio signal to a level that can drive the power stage. The preamplifier also changes the tone of the signal; high preamp settings add overdrive. The power amplifier produces a high current signal to drive a loudspeaker and produce sound. Various types of tone stages may affect the guitar signal: Tone stages may also provide electronic effects—such as equalization, compression, distortion, chorus, or reverb. Amplifiers may use vacuum tubes (called valves in Britain), solid-state (transistor) devices, or both. The two common guitar amplifier configurations are: a combination ("combo") amplifier that includes an amplifier and one or more speakers in a single cabinet, and a standalone amplifier (often called a "head" or "amp head"), which passes the amplified signal via a speaker cable to one or more external speaker cabinets. A wide range of speaker configurations are available in guitar cabinets—from cabinets with a single speaker (e.g., 1×10" or 1×12") or multiple speakers (e.g., 2×10", 4×10" or 8x10"). Guitar amplifiers vary widely in price and quality. Many music equipment companies import small, low-powered practice amplifiers for students and beginners that sell for less than $50 USD. Other companies produce expensive custom-made amplifiers for professional musicians, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars (USD). Most combo amplifiers have a carrying handle, and many combo amplifiers and cabinets have metal or plastic-reinforced corners to protect the amp during transportation. Control knobs and buttons are typically on the front of the cabinet or chassis, though in some cases, the knobs are on a recessed panel at the back of the top of the amplifier. The most basic amps only have a few knobs, which typically control volume, bass and treble. More expensive amps may have a number of knobs that control pre-amp volume (or "gain"), distortion or overdrive, volume, bass, mid and treble, and reverb. Some older amps (and their re-issued versions) have a knob that controls a vibrato or tremolo effect. The 1/4" input jack is typically mounted on the front of the amplifier. In the simplest, least expensive amplifiers, this 1/4" jack is the only jack on the amplifier. More expensive amplifiers may have a patch bay for multiple inputs and outputs, such as a pre-amp out (for sending to another guitar amplifier), a second low gain input, to use with active basses, an in jack to create an effects loop (when used with the pre-amp out jack), an external speaker output (for powering an additional speaker cabinet), and stereo RCA jacks or an 1/8" jack, for connecting a CD player or MP3 player so that a player can practice along with recorded music. Some amps have a 1/4" jack for connecting a pedal to turn the amp's onboard overdrive and reverb on and off or to switch between channels. Some amps have an XLR jack for a microphone, either for the guitar amp to be used for singing (in effect as a mini-PA system, or, for acoustic guitar, to mix a mic signal with a pickup signal. The vast majority of guitar amps can only be powered by AC mains power (plugging into a wall outlet); however, a small number of practice amps designed for buskers also have battery power so they can be used for street performances. Kustom 200 bass amp – amp head and speakers, 100 watts RMS, two channels, two 15" speakers, 1971 A combo amp contains the amplifier and one or more speakers in a single cabinet. In a "head and speaker cabinet" configuration, the amplifier and speaker each have their own cabinet. The amplifier (head) may drive one or more speaker cabinets. In the 1920s, guitarists played through public address amplifiers, but by the 1940s, this was uncommon. A rare exception in the 1990s was grunge guitarist Kurt Cobain, who used four 800 watt PA amplifiers in his early guitar set-up. Besides instrument inputs and speaker outputs (typically via 1/4" jacks), an amp may have other inputs and outputs. These can include an auxiliary input jack (sometimes with its own level control, for a drum machine), "send" and "return" jacks to create an effects loop, a “line out” jack and an extension speaker jack. Practice amps sometimes have a 1/4" headphone jack, or stereo RCA or mini jacks for connecting a CD player, portable media player or other sound source. Some guitar amps have an XLR input so that a microphone can be plugged in for singing. Guitar amps that include a mic input are in effect small, portable PA systems. Some amps, typically bass amps, have an XLR connector to provide a balanced output from the preamp section to go into a PA system or recording input. Instrument amplifiers are available in a wide range of price, quality, and performance levels. Some are designed for beginners, such as small, low-wattage practice amps, which typically have a single 8" speaker and about 10 watts, or smaller "combo" amps with relatively low wattage (15 to 20 watts) and a single 10" speaker. Mid- to large-size "combo" amps with 30 to 50 watts and one 12" speaker or four 10" speakers are best for high-volume situations, such as band rehearsals and onstage performances. For large venues, such as outdoor music festivals, guitarists may use one or more 100 watt (or several hundred watt) heads with one or more 8x10” cabinets. Some guitar amps are strongly associated with specific instruments or genres, such as the Marshall amps, which are widely used in heavy metal music. Gjika Gold Amp ("Shawn Lane Amp) 1989 - Class A single-ended high-power 8-EL34 tube guitar amplifier that was used on Shawn Lane's Powers of Ten. Main article: Valve amplifier The glow from four "Electro Harmonix KT88" brand power tubes lights up the inside of a Traynor YBA-200 bass guitar amplifier Vacuum tubes (called "valves" in British English) were by far the dominant active electronic components in most instrument amplifier applications until the 1970s, when solid-state semiconductors (transistors) started taking over. Transistor amplifiers are less expensive to build and maintain, reduce the weight and heat of an amplifier, and tend to be more reliable and more shock-resistant. Tubes are fragile and they must be replaced and maintained periodically. As well, serious problems with the tubes can render an amplifier inoperable until the issue is resolved. In the 2000s, high-end tube instrument amplifiers (along with a small number of hi-fi power amplifiers used by audiophiles and high-end studio microphone preamplifiers) survive as the few exceptions, because of their perceived sound quality. Tube enthusiasts believe that tube amps produce a "warmer" sound and a more natural "overdrive" sound. Typically, tube amps use one or more dual triodes in the preamplifier section to provide sufficient voltage gain to offset tone control losses and drive the power amplifier section. While tube technology is, in many ways, outdated, tube amps remain popular since many guitarists prefer their sound. Rear view of a tube (valve) combo guitar amplifier. Visible are two glass output tubes, six smaller preamp tubes in their metal tube retainers, and both the power transformer and the output transformer. Since the 1980s, most inexpensive and mid-priced guitar amplifiers are based on transistor or semiconductor (solid-state) circuits. Some designs incorporate tubes in the preamp stage for their subjectively warmer overdrive sound—see "Hybrid amplifiers", below. Solid-state amplifiers are much cheaper to produce and more reliable, and they are usually much lighter than tube amplifiers. Solid state amps are less fragile than tube amps. High-end solid-state amplifiers are less common, since many professional guitarists tend to favor vacuum tubes. Some jazz guitarists, however, tend to favor the "cleaner" sound of solid-state amplifiers; only a few solid-state amps have enduring attraction, such as the Roland Jazz Chorus. Solid-state amplifiers vary in output power, functionality, size, price, and sound quality in a wide range, from practice amplifiers to combos suitable for gigging to professional models intended for session musicians who do studio recording work. A hybrid amplifier involves one of two combinations of tube and solid-state amplification. It may have a tube power amp fed by a solid-state pre-amp circuit, as in most of the original MusicMan Amps, later amplifier models from Alamo Electronics, the Fender Super Champ XD, and the Roland Bolt amplifier. Randall Amplifiers V2 and T2 use hybrid amp technology. Alternatively, a tube pre-amp can feed a solid-state output stage, as in models from Kustom, Hartke, SWR and Vox. This approach dispenses with the need for an output transformer and easily achieves modern power levels. A modeling amplifier, shown from above. Note the various amplifier and speaker emulations selectable via the rotary knob on the left. Microprocessor technology allows the use of digital onboard effects in guitar amps to create numerous different sounds and tones that simulate the sound of a range of tube amplifiers and different sized speaker cabinets, all using the same amplifier and speaker. These are known as modeling amplifiers, and can be programmed with simulated characteristic tones of different existing amplifier models (and speaker cabinets—even microphone type or placement), or dialed in to the user's taste. Many amps of this type are also programmable by way of USB connection to a home computer or laptop. Line 6 is generally credited with bringing modeling amplification to the market. Modeling amplifiers and stompbox pedals, rackmount units, and software that models specific amplifiers, speakers cabinets, and microphones can provide a large number of sounds and tones. Players can get a reasonable facsimile of the sound of tube amplifiers, vintage combo amplifiers, and huge 8x10” speaker stacks without bringing all that heavy equipment to the studio or stage. The use of "full range, flat response" (FRFR) amplification systems by electric guitarists has received an extra impetus from modeling amplifiers. Before widespread availability of modeling, guitarists did not commonly plug electric guitars straight into PA systems or powered speakers, because most genres relied on the tonal coloration of a regular guitar amplifier setup—from the preamplifier, equalization filters, power amp, guitar speakers, and cabinet design. The FRFR approach assumes the tone is shaped by sound processors in the signal chain before the amplifier and speaker stage, so it strives to not add further coloration. or dedicated combo-style amplifiers with a broad frequency range. Such processors can be traditional guitar effects, a modeling amplifier (without power amplifier), or a computer running tone-shaping software. Using a modeling amp or a multi effects pedal used with line level output, a guitarist can plug in the guitar into a flat response mic input or into a keyboard amplifier. Acoustic amplifiers are intended for acoustic guitars and other acoustic instruments, especially for the way these instruments are used in relatively quiet genres such as folk and bluegrass. They are similar to keyboard amplifiers, in that they have a relatively flat frequency response with minimal coloration. To produce this relatively "clean" sound, these amplifiers often have powerful amplifiers (providing up to 800 watts RMS), to provide additional "Headroom" and prevent unwanted distortion. Since an 800 watt amplifier built with standard Class AB technology is heavy, some acoustic amplifier manufacturers use lightweight Class D amplifiers, which are also called "switching amplifiers." Acoustic amplifiers produce an uncolored, "acoustic" sound when used with acoustic instruments with built-in transducer pickups or microphones. The amplifiers often come with a simple mixer, so that the signals from a pickup and condenser microphone can be blended. Since the early 2000s, it has become increasingly common for acoustic amplifiers to provide a range of digital effects, such as reverb and compression. As well, these amplifiers often contain feedback-suppressing devices, such as notch filters or parametric equalizers. Main article: Vintage musical equipment Vintage guitar amps are guitar amplifier "heads", speaker cabinets and combo amp/speaker cabinets from the past which guitarists, record producers and bandleaders seek out for their unique tone. Some recording studios have a selection of the most popular vintage guitar combo amps, amp heads and speaker stacks, so that performers can get a retro sound. During the 1980s, when most guitar amps being manufactured used "solid state" semiconductor technology, many musicians seeking an older style of sound (for blues, roots rock, etc.) favored older amps that used vacuum tubes (called "valves" in the UK). Popular vintage models include the Fender Showman, Bassman and Vibroverb amps, and older models made by Ampeg, Gibson, Marshall, and Vox, as well as other smaller companies such as Valco, Danelectro, and Premier. Orange amplifier and cabinet from the 2000s with a look and design approach reminiscent of the 1960s and 70s. Vintage amplifiers can be very costly, due to their rarity. A less costly alternative is "reissued" vintage amplifiers. By the 1990s, many of these vintage amplifiers had become so popular and sought after, that manufacturers began to reissue some models, while newer, smaller companies built newly made amps that boasted a "vintage sound". The degree to which a "reissued" or "vintage style" guitar amp can recreate its historical equivalent varies from manufacturer and often also depends on the price point of the product. A relatively inexpensive "reissue" amp aimed at amateur guitarists will probably have less strict attention to historical detail than a high-priced reissue aimed at professional session musicians. Metal guitarist Klaus Eichstadt in front of his Marshall stack. A 3×6 stack of mock Marshall guitar cabinets for Jeff Hanneman of Slayer An amplifier stack consists of an amplifier head atop a speaker cabinet—a head on top of one cabinet is commonly called a half stack, a head atop two cabinets a full stack. The cabinet that the head sits on often has an angled top in front, while the lower cabinet of a full stack has a straight front. The first version of the Marshall stack was an amp head on an 8×12 cabinet, meaning a single speaker cabinet containing eight 12" guitar speakers. After six of these cabinets were made, the cabinet arrangement was changed to an amp head on two 4×12 (four 12" speakers) cabinets to make the cabinets more transportable. Some touring metal and rock bands have used a large array of guitar speaker cabinets for their impressive appearance. Some of these arrangements include only the fronts of speaker cabinets mounted on a large frame. There are many varieties of speaker combinations used in guitar speaker cabinets, including one 12" speaker, one 15" speaker (this is more common for bass amplifiers than for electric guitar cabinets), two 10" speakers, four 10" speakers, four 12" speakers, or eight 10" speakers. Less commonly, guitar cabinets may contain different sizes of speaker in the same cabinet. Cabinets with eight 10" speakers are large and heavy, and they are often equipped with wheels and a "towel bar"-style handle for transport. Some cabinets use mixed speaker types, such as one 15" speaker and two 10" speakers. Combo guitar amplifier cabinets and guitar speaker cabinets use several different designs, including the "open back" cabinet, the closed back cabinet (a sealed box), and, less commonly, bass reflex designs, which use a closed back with a vent or port cut into the cabinet. With guitar amps, most "open back" amp cabinets are not fully open; part of the back is enclosed with panels. Combo guitar amp cabinets and standalone speaker cabinets are often made of plywood. Some are made of MDF or particle board—especially in low-budget models. Cabinet size and depth, material types, assembly methods, type and thickness of the baffle material (the wood panel that holds the speaker), and the way the baffle attaches to the cabinet all affect tone. When two or more speakers are used in the same cabinet, or when two cabinets are used together, the speakers can be wired in parallel or in series, or in a combination of the two (e.g., two 2x10" cabinets, with the two speakers wired in series, can be connected together in parallel). Whether speakers are wired in parallel or in series affects the impedance of the system. Two 8 ohm speakers wired in parallel have 4 ohm impedance. Guitarists who connect multiple cabinets to an amplifier must consider the amp's minimum impedance. Parallel vs. series also affects tone and sound. Speakers wired in parallel slightly dampen[s] and restrain[s] them, giving what some describe as "tighter response" and "smoother breakup". Some describe speakers wired in series (usually no more than two) as sounding "...looser, giving a slightly more raw, open and edgy sound." A Marshall JCM 900's knobs for equalization, gain, reverb and volume. The relationship between power output in watts and perceived volume is not immediately obvious. The human ear perceives a 5-watt amplifier as half as loud as a 50-watt amplifier (a tenfold increase in power), and a half-watt amplifier is a quarter as loud as a 50-watt amp. Doubling the output power of an amplifier results in a "just noticeable" increase in volume, so a 100-watt amplifier is only just noticeably louder than a 50-watt amplifier. Such generalizations are also subject to the human ear's tendency to behave as a natural compressor at high volumes. For electric guitar amplifiers, there is often[vague] a distinction between "practice" or "recording studio" guitar amps, with output power ratings of less than one watt to 20 watts, and "performance" or "stage" amps of 30 watts or higher. Traditionally,[according to whom?] these have been fixed-power amplifiers,[jargon] with some models having a half-power switch to slightly reduce the listening volume while preserving power-tube distortion. Power attenuation[when defined as?] can be used with either low-power or high-power amplifiers, resulting in variable-power amplifiers. A high-power amplifier with power attenuation can produce power-tube distortion through a range of listening volumes, but with a decrease in high power distortion. Other technologies, such as dual rectifiers and the sag circuit[jargon]—which should not be confused with attenuation—allow high power amplifiers to produce low power volume while preserving high power distortion. Speaker efficiency is also a major factor affecting a tube amplifier's maximum volume. For bass instruments, higher-power amplifiers are needed to reproduce low-frequency sounds. While an electric guitarist would be able to play at a small club with a 50-watt amplifier, a bass player performing in the same venue would probably need an amplifier with 200 or more watts. Marshall is a popular amplifier manufacturer for metal and hard rock. Pictured is the MG15DFX guitar amplifier. Distortion is a feature available on many guitar amplifiers that is not typically found on keyboard or bass guitar amplifiers. Tube guitar amplifiers can produce distortion through pre-distortion equalization, preamp tube distortion, post-distortion EQ, power-tube distortion, tube rectifier compression, output transformer distortion, guitar speaker distortion, and guitar speaker and cabinet frequency response. Because many factors beyond preamp distortion contribute to a particular guitarist's sound, recording engineers and PA system techs typically put a microphone in front of the guitar speaker, rather than only use the guitar amp's pre-amp out signal. A sound engineer or music producer may send the DI out signal from the pickups to a separate track at the same time, so they can re-amp the signal later. In contrast, it is fairly common to use a DI box with electric bass. Distortion sound or "texture" from guitar amplifiers is further shaped or processed through the frequency response and distortion factors in the microphones (their response, placement, and multi-microphone comb filtering effects), microphone preamps, mixer channel equalization, and compression. Additionally, the basic sound produced by the guitar amplifier can be changed and shaped by adding distortion and/or equalization effect pedals before the amp's input jack, in the effects loop just before the tube power amp, or after the power tubes. Power-tube distortion is required for amp sounds in some genres. In a standard master-volume guitar amp, as the amp's final or master volume is increased beyond the full power of the amplifier, power tube distortion is produced. The "power soak" approach places the attenuation between the power tubes and the guitar speaker. In the re-amped or "dummy load" approach, the tube power amp drives a mostly resistive dummy load while an additional low power amp drives the guitar speaker. In the isolation box approach, the guitar amplifier is used with a guitar speaker in a separate cabinet. A soundproofed isolation cabinet, isolation box, isolation booth, or isolation room can be used. Even in the 2010s, the vintage Fender Bandmaster remains a sought-after amp by guitarists. Note the four inputs, two for regular sound and two that run through the on-board "vibrato" (tremolo) effect unit. The amp pictured is a 1968 model. A variety of labels are used for level attenuation potentiometers (knobs) in a guitar amplifier and other guitar equipment. Electric guitars and basses have a volume control on the instrument that attenuates the signal from selected pickups. There may be two volume controls on an electric guitar or bass, wired in parallel to mix the signal levels from the neck and bridge pickups. Rolling back the guitar's volume control also changes the pickup's equalization or frequency response, which can provide pre-distortion equalization. The simplest guitar amplifiers, such as some vintage amps and modern practice amps, have only a single volume control. Most have two volume controls: a first volume control called "preamplifier" or "gain" and a master volume control. The preamp or gain control works differently on different guitar amp designs. On an amp designed for acoustic guitar, turning up the preamp knob pre-amplifies the signal—but even at its maximum setting, the preamp control is unlikely to produce much overdrive. However, with amps designed for electric guitarists playing blues, hard rock and heavy metal music, turning up the preamp or gain knob usually produces overdrive distortion. Some electric guitar amps have three controls in the volume section: pre-amplifier, distortion and master control. Turning up the preamp and distortion knobs in varying combinations can create a range of overdrive tones, from a gentle, warm growling overdrive suitable for a traditional blues show or a rockabilly band to the extreme distortion used in hardcore punk and death metal. On some electric guitar amps, the "gain" knob is equivalent to the distortion control on a distortion pedal, and similarly may have a side-effect of changing the proportion of bass and treble sent to the next stage. The patch bay at the rear panel of this Line 6 Flextone guitar amp provides a number of additional inputs and outputs, including stereo XLR DI unit outputs. A simple, inexpensive amplifier may have only two tone controls, a passive bass and treble control. In some better quality amps, one or more midrange controls are provided. On the most expensive amps, there may be shelving equalizers for bass and treble, a number of mid-range controls (e.g., low mid, mid and high mid), and a graphic equalizer or parametric equalizer. The amplifier's master volume control restricts the amount of signal permitted through to the driver stage and the power amplifier. When using a power attenuator with a tube amplifier, the master volume no longer acts as the master volume control. Instead, the power attenuator's attenuation control controls the power delivered to the speaker, and the amplifier's master volume control determines the amount of power-tube distortion. Power-supply based power reduction is controlled by a knob on the tube power amp, variously labeled "wattage", "power", "scale", "power scale", or "power dampening".
In the 40 years that I have been teaching all styles of guitar to every type of student, there have been a few questions that come up over and over which seem to be the cause of great concern and anxiety. High on the list is "Am I too old to learn guitar?I have been anxiously asked this question by a 28 year old student, a 38 year old, a 46 year old, and let's see...off the top of my head, I can remember students at age 52, 65, 77, and finally, good old Frank who was 84! I have had plenty of experience with this question, and more importantly, with the answer.I am going to tell you the answer right up front to set your mind at ease, just in case you are one of those guitar students desperately attempting to remain hopeful about your chances of success. Yes, anyone can learn to play the guitar at any age, period. That is the truth. However, as with everything else in life, the devil is in the details!The Correct Approach Is EssentialYes, anyone can learn at any age if they use the correct method to learn the guitar. The bad news is that virtually every guitar method on the market is severely deficient in the information that will guarantee success for everyone. Only the very talented and the very dedicated can learn from the many flawed guitar methods on the market today. The average guitar student is in for a tough time.This is because the biggest obstacles to learning guitar are physical obstacles, meaning, getting your fingers to actually make movements they have never made before, and getting them to do them smoothly and quickly. What all guitar methods are failing to address is that when you learn guitar you are really attempting to teach your fingers, hands, and arms new abilities. You are not really learning "guitar", you are actually engaged in "body learning", so, you must know and follow the well established laws of how the body (your muscles, nerves, and brain actually learn to do new and unfamiliar movements.For instance, one of the laws of body learning is that all movements must be practiced extremely slowly, with great focus on relaxation throughout the body. If you do not do this, if you allow your shoulders to tense when your fingers are stretching, that tension will stay in the shoulders and be reinforced every time you practice. It will feel "normal" to you and you will not know your shoulders are tense. All you will know is that you cannot control your fingers.This happens to a very large percentage of people of every age who try to learn guitar. It will tend to happen more with adult students and seniors because they have had more years to acquire tension in their bodies even apart from practicing guitar. However, if a student knows how to practice the necessary finger movements in a way that does not allow excess tension into the hands, arms, shoulders, and the rest of the body, they will be successful at learning to play no matter how old they are.Learning According To the Body; Not the GuitarGuitar instruction is a disorganized, unscientific, and (compared to piano or violin) a young and immature profession. Many, perhaps most, "guitar teachers" are not teachers; they are guitar players. There is a vast difference. Guitar players know how to play the guitar; guitar teachers should know how to cause other people to play the guitar. However, most of the people I have met who have failed at guitar have taken lessons for years. They were told they had no talent, when the fact is their teacher had no knowledge of how to teach. Unfortunately, such "teachers" often write the method books that the unsuspecting guitar aspirant buys and places their trust in!Such books are often mere collections of guitar information, pages full of chord diagrams, scales, songs, etc., containing no information about how to actually get your fingers to be able to do these things. Worse, the information and exercises are given according to how the guitar works, not how the human body and the human hand work.For instance, all guitar books begin by teaching you chords or notes in the first position at the first fret. By custom, the area of the guitar fingerboard furthest from the body is called the "first" position. So, everyone assumes that a student should learn that first. The problem is that this requires the arm to extend farthest away from the body, which requires the deltoid muscle in the shoulder to work hard to support that weight. This effort (especially in the beginner or older student) will inevitably cause muscle tension throughout the body, even to the point of the student holding their breath! After that, everything locks up and the student will be unable to control their fingers, or will struggle to control them, which is really no control at all. They will become either a failure at guitar, or a handicapped player.Students will suffer greatly from these flawed guitar learning methods, and being insecure of their own potential to begin with, will blame themselves. It does not have to be this way. There is a method of learning guitar that is scientific and based on the laws of body learning. It works for everyone. It is called "The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar", and you can find out more about it by following the link at the end of this article.I wish you all success in your sincere desire to learn to play this most beautiful and rewarding of musical instruments.
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