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  • Instrument Repair Etiquette

    This article is part of a series of repair articles written Rheuben Allen.

    Taking your instrument into a repair person is comparable to visiting a doctor. Your instrument, like your body, needs regular check-ups and telling the doctor (or repair person) any symptoms you (your instrument) may have will help with diagnosis.

    So, make sure you talk to your repair person! They are unable to guess your problems and if you don’t tell them about the issues you’re having, they can’t help you diagnose or repair them. If you are having trouble in the lower register, tell him or her. If you cannot play a harmonic G on your tenor, tell him or her.

    When looking at your instrument, on the other hand, they may discover problems you were unaware of and miss something that made it difficult to play. But to ensure that your horn gets the best attention, point out anything you think may be wrong.

    It is important to have a good relationship with your repairman or woman, and the basis of a good relationship is communication.

    There are two things to look for when choosing a repair person. The first is obviously his or her ability as a repair person, and the second is whether or not you can get along with him or her. If they will not talk to you or listen to your needs, find another. Be sure to check with other musicians for references.

    This article has been taken with permission from Rheuben Allen‘s website.

    August 30, 2012 • Repair Tips • Views: 945

  • Basic Saxophone Repair

    This article is part of a series of repair articles written Rheuben Allen.

    Here are a few tips for basic saxophone repair.

    Removing the Bounce in Your Low C Key:

    In order to remove the bounce in the low C key of a saxophone, you must first move the spring out from under the arm of the key. Next, cut a small slot in the key. Make sure that the slot is not too deep. Adjust the spring and place it in the slot. This changes the pivot point of the spring and does not allow the key to bounce as much.

    Fixing Sticky Saxophone Keys:

    The G# and the low C# keys on the saxophone have a tendency to stick. The reason that the G# and C# keys stick is because the pad is closed against the tone hole, and so, whenever someone drinks anything other than water or eats before they play, they are contributing to the build-up on the pad that causes the key to stick.

    There are several ways to prevent sticky keys. Here are five ways to help prevent your keys from sticking:

    1. Place a thin piece of plastic sandwich wrap between the pad and tone hole so that the seat of the pad will not change when it dries. (After you are done playing)
    2. Have the spring tension adjusted so that it is as strong as possible without making the G# or C# difficult to finger.
    3. Change the direction of the spring. Leverage is very important to the operation of the G#.
    4. Replace the blue steel spring with a stainless steel spring. The stainless steel spring works differently than the blue steel and seems to have more tension.
    5. Brush your teeth and tongue before playing your instrument.

    This article has been taken with permission from Rheuben Allen‘s website.

    August 30, 2012 • Repair Tips • Views: 1101

  • Success as a YouTube Musician @hopeonatenspeed | Careers in Music

    I thought the best way to start our new series of Careers in Music would be to commence with one of the most contemporary careers in music possible. So, I approached a good friend who fills that job description perfectly and YouTube Musician/Personality, Paige (username @hopeonatenspeed) was kind enough to grant me an interview – and film a video with her!

    For those of you who don’t know, you CAN make a career in music by creating Youtube videos! A few examples of people who do this include Pomplamousse and of course our interview guest Paige.

    Youtube is a great tool for promotion. Whether you use it to make money on its own or just as a promotional tool for your career and music. Our guest, Paige, has managed to make the best of both worlds. She writes creative, funny, and entertaining songs which she posts on her Youtube channel AND has an album out which includes a small selection of some of her songs.

    Youtube is a really great way to connect with people and to let others get to know you and your music. It also has the potential to be yet another venue for creative output for you and your music.

    If you don’t already have a Youtube account, I suggest making one. It took me way too long to discover what to do with mine, so learn from my mistake. Start posting videos of your performances, of you talking about your music, or of you just singing or playing in front of the camera. Share whatever you feel expresses who you are and what you are about as an artist!

    The internet has provided a great way for everyone to connect and share and Youtube is just one of those fantastic mediums. Connect with your audience!

    For more about Paige:
    Her wrock album:
    http://tinyurl.com/magizooitunes
    http://tinyurl.com/themagizoologists
    i love youtube boys/girls t shirt:
    http://hopeonatenspeed.spreadshirt.com
    bandcamp:
    http://hopeonatenspeed.bandcamp.com
    twitter:
    http://twitter.com/hopeonatenspeed

    August 29, 2012 • Interviews, Music and Career Advice • Views: 1035

  • U-Nam | Weekend in LA: A Tribute to George Benson Review

    Today marks the official US release date for French guitarist U-Nam’s George Benson Tribute Project, “Weekend in L.A.” The album has already made it to #1 on iTunes in Japan for Jazz, the Top 13 on Amazon in the US and has been a Top 5 for radio stations throughout Europe and the world.

    “Weekend in L.A” provides fans with a fresh perspective on many of Benson’s most popular songs with the playing and performances comparable to the great artist himself. The songs are reinterpreted in a way that not only remains true to George Benson, but leaves listeners with something new, fresh and exciting. One definitely has reason to listen to and enjoy the album on it’s own and without comparison.

    With this album, U-Nam’s goal was to provide tribute to an artist who served as a significant musical influence while taking classic songs and making them his own with a soulful and urban touch. In other words, only U-Nam could successfully incorporate rap into the R&B classic “On Broadway.” That’s not to say, of course, that Jeff Lacey’s well composed lyrics didn’t help in the success of this feat – it’s quite the contrary! In fact, Lacey’s cleverly crafted words appear on more than one track on the album.

    Weekend in LA, a tribute to George Benson The project also features the talents of many renowned musicians including Phil Perry, Ronnie Foster, George Duke, Marcus Miller, Michael White, Wah Wah Watson, Patrice Rushen, Stockley Williams, Paul Jackson Jr, and more. Despite the amazing list of guests, however, the real stars are vocalist Tim “TiO” Owens and U-Nam himself. Tim Owens is a huge part of the album, appearing as the primary vocalist on the majority of the tracks. He does a fantastic job performing the different pieces, namely my favorite track from the album “Give Me the Night.” Of course, as for U-Nam, there are no words to describe his excellent playing and all the heart he poured into putting together this album.

    Although I was a part of this project since it’s inception and performed as part of the horn section, I did not have the opportunity to hear the songs in their entirety until the album was mixed and mastered. Like anyone else, the first time I heard each of the songs from start to finish and without pause was when I received a finished copy of the album. When I finally had the hard copy, I was very impressed with how it all came together, especially since I had the opportunity to see all the work that went into the project behind the scenes.

    Because of U-Nam’s tribute, I personally have found a reason to connect with the music of George Benson and that of artists that came a generation or two before me. That’s not to say I was not a fan of Benson – I’ve always appreciated his great artistry – but U-Nam’s contemporary versions of his music provided me with the means to relate to the songs and the music in a way that didn’t exist for me before the release of this album.

    Overall, I think the album is amazingly put together. U-Nam combines the talent of a large collection of musicians from a diverse range of genres, bringing them all together to pay tribute to a great artist. I give this album two thumbs up and I definitely have to say it is my favourite tribute albums by far.

    Track listing:

    1. Weekend in L.A (feat. Andreas Oberg & Ronnie Foster)
    2. Give Me the Night (feat. Tim “Tio” Owens)
    3. Shiver (feat. Paul Jackson Jr & Tim “Tio” Owens)
    4. Love X Love
    5. Nature Boy (feat. Stokley Williams)
    6. This Masquerade (feat. Marcus Miller, Phil Perry, Tim “Tio” Owens, Jeff Lacey & George Duke)
    7. Hip Skip
    8. I Just Wanna Hang Around You (feat. Tim “Tio” Owens)
    9. Turn Your Love Around
    10. Before You Go / Breezin’ (feat. Patrice Rushen)
    11. On Broadway (feat. Tim “Tio” Owens & Jeff Lacey)

    Buy the album Weekend In L.A ( A Tribute To George Benson ) | Download the album Weekend in L.A (A Tribute to George Benson )

    August 29, 2012 • Reviews • Views: 1231