Luna is always interested in hearing from players re: what their dream guitar would look like.
Here’s your chance to close your eyes and dream! You can either respond on the Luna Blog site or write to me at email@example.com. Be as specific as possible and I will post responses in a future blog. If we end up using your idea as a springboard for an instrument, we will feature you on the site and you will own the very first one, hot off the press! : ) Acoustic or electric. Uke, mandolin & banjo players welcome to respond as well! Please make sure that we can get in touch with you if we like your idea. Also, please forgive multiple posts but we are trying to reach as many readers as possible.
Archive for July, 2010
Luna is always interested in hearing from players re: what their dream guitar would look like.
HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR GUITAR
I get letters every day from Luna players about how to best care for their guitar. The article below, courtesy of essortment.com, has some of the best practical advice on the web:
STORAGE: If you’re not going to play for months on end, loosen or remove the strings. This will keep the bridge, nut, neck, and body from warping, bending out of shape, or even snapping – yes, they can snap. I’ve seen bridges snap clean off because the strings were left tight for months at a time. Don’t let this happen to the instrument you paid so much money for.
Also, if you have an acoustic, you might want to consider a humidifer. Humidifiers are generally placed in the sound hole of your guitar so that the wood can maintain a proper humidity level. This keeps the wood in shape – especially in wintertime, when you’ve got space heaters annihilating every drop of moisture in the room your guitar calls home.
If your guitar is stored in high-traffic areas, you might want to invest in a case, or a rack so that the instrument can be safely stored in the corner or on your wall. The case will prevent damage to the instrument in the event that someone should step on it, drop it, or spill something.
As for soft shell cases – the standard, flimsy cardboard – they’re a whole lot better than having nothing at all. Not only do they make your guitar a lot easier to carry, they also prevent damage done to the instrument through spilled liquids, cats walking all over it, and other such mishaps that occur in our everyday lives. The twenty to thirty dollars you spend now could save you a whole lot of money later.
Also, should you decide to use a case, remember to check all the latches before you move it. There have been plenty of times when musicians – new and expert – haven’t done this. Their instruments fell out of the case because it wasn’t latched – the guitars have hit everything from asphalt to grass.
Racks – either floor stand models or hooks that you screw into your wall – are worth the ten bucks or more that you can spend on them. This way you can display your instrument in a fairly safe place as well as save some money on storage options. If you decide to hang your guitar on the wall, please select a rack that is padded to prevent damage to the instrument’s neck. Also, be sure to install it so that the screws are through wall studs – if they aren’t, your instrument could very well fall without warning.
TRANSPORTATION: Don’t forget, hot cars and other extreme climates can mean the death of your instrument! Don’t leave them in your car – or anyplace where they could be stolen.
INSURANCE: Yes, you can insure your guitar. Just think: If something unexpected happens – such as a flood or tornado – your prized instrument is covered! Many musicians – serious and casual – have purchased insurance policies for their instruments. It may cost a little now, but think of how much time, money, energy, and care you’ve invested in your guitar. Isn’t it worth at least thinking about?
INSTRUMENT CARE: You have to take care of your instrument if you want it to give you years of pleasure and entertainment. Treat your guitar with care. Don’t drop it, leave it out where it can be abused, neglect it, or fail to replace broken or worn parts (such as bridge pins or strings).
Maintain your guitar. Keep it tuned – unless you’re not going to play it for a long period of time, that is. Keep the strings changed out regularly – not only do the older strings sound bad and go dead quickly, they’re also not great on the machine heads if they’re left on for too long. Keep your guitar clean – make sure dust and other elements can’t get to it, and make sure you’re clean before you even pick it up.
If you’re unsure about something concerning your guitar, don’t be afraid to ask somebody who knows what they’re doing. The man who runs the music store a few blocks away, the guitarist in the garage band playing next door to you, or even your cousin if he or she plays – whatever the case, you’ll always be able to find someone to help you if you aren’t afraid to open your mouth.
Take care of your instrument and it’ll take care of your musical needs for a long time to come. Use common sense, ask questions of the right people, and have fun playing your guitar.
Bobby McFerrin uses the pentatonic scale and an audience’s expectations to demonstrate neural programming at the World Science Festival 2009. This short clip shows how a small bit of shared knowledge can be expanded collectively through music……Amazing example of music as the universal language!
I was taught in martial arts that energy follows intent and it was a powerful exercise to settle down and spend time imagining how I wanted to move before begining practice. Olympic trainers do the same before each performance. In this clip from http://www.artistshousemusic.org – Classical guitarist and teacher William Kanengiser discusses the benefits making musical decisions without having an instrument in hand.
Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you. Figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
– Barbara Kingsolver
These thought-provoking musings are from Luna’s artist liaison, Dennis Stafford.
Recently, I ran across the following excerpt written by a Persian
nobleman, “…(We) have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means
whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not,
therefore, as wings to self and passion.”
You may or may not be religious, but I think this quote speaks to
something all artists should bear in mind. Whether you choose to use
it (or not) music has the power to inspire, as well as entertain.
And, like Peter Parker (aka Spiderman:) came to realize, “with great
power comes great responsibility”
History bears this out; be it John Cougar Mellencamp & Willie Nelson’s
efforts to save family farms, Stevie Wonder helping to win
congressional approval for Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday as a
national holiday, or even the great war protest music of the 60’s,
artists have often been the ones to speak up and speak out about the
things that affect us and our country – often when others were afraid
Music that speaks to the broader topics relating to the human
condition don’t have to be cheesy – though some artists may think so.
You may believe that there’s no real acceptance for “music with a
message” in today’s landscape, though there are many examples to the
My main point is simply that you have the opportunity to write your
own soundtrack for today’s times. You are a teacher, friend,
confidant and more through your music and you never know how or when
your music may inspire people you’ll never meet.
You posses the ladder to men’s souls.
Use your super powers well:)
(courtesy of FirstGuitar.com)
The following items will help you become more aware of what to look for in a quality, adjustable instrument and one that is inspected and properly adjusted.
The tuning machines should operate smoothly and accurately with the strings wound properly around the tuning post.
Tuning gears of less quality may tune a guitar accurately but will require more time and effort and is generally a difficult task for the uninitiated player.
The neck joint and heel should be stable and secure with no finish cracks around the joint for all guitars with set-in necks.
Electric guitars with bolt on necks should also be stable and secure with no finish cracks where the neck and body join.
For acoustic guitars, the wood bridge should be securely glued with no open gaps.
Except for children’s guitars, there should be no round pearled or black dots that conceal nuts and bolts to hold the bridge on!
The bridge hardware on electric guitars should be secure and stable.
The adjustment screws in the saddles should fit firmly but not tight. Lesser quality hardware tends to have loosely fitting adjustment screws, which can easily become stripped.
The neck should be reasonably level with the top of an acoustic guitar.
Neck angles that are too far forward or backward will tend to have or develop adjustment problems. A helpful visual indicator of a good neck angle is a bridge that is about as high off the top or soundboard of the guitar as the fingerboard. An extremely high saddle on the bridge may indicate a neck angle that is too far back.
A functional truss rod will usually make slight changes in a neck with as little as a 1/4 to 3/4’s of a turn.
A functioning truss rod is important for periodically adjusting the neck/fingerboard when necessary to help keep your guitar playing easily. Classical, or nylon string guitars, traditionally do not have truss rods as these guitars are under less tension than steel string guitars. However, some full size classical intermediate guitars include an adjustable truss rod.
String height or action at the nut should be low at the first fret, which results in all six strings being easy to play.
This is necessary for all guitars and even more so for children’s guitars which are generally unplayable before they are adjusted. A good test is to use your 4th finger (pinkie or smallest finger) to gently push down one string at a time at the first fret. The string should not bend excessively. There should be little effort to play the note and the tone should be clear. If this task is difficult to perform, then the guitar may not be properly adjusted. A child would find it almost impossible to play.
The bridge saddle suspends the strings over the length of the fingerboard.
A properly adjusted saddle or individual saddles for the electric guitar, will suspend the strings high enough to have minimal to no rattle or string buzz along the length of the fingerboard but low enough to be relatively easy to play. The strings by necessity have to be higher along the fingerboard than at the first fret to create room for the vibration arc of the strings. Strings that are too high above the fingerboard are not only difficult to play but also cause the strings to be stretched or pushed out of tune when attempting to play notes and chords along the length of the fingerboard.