GUEST POST: The Two Types of Music in Film—and How to Leverage Them


The Two Types of Music in Film—and How to Leverage Them

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The Two Types of Music in Film—and How to Leverage Them

Whether you’ve realized it or not, you’ve sat through two different types of music in all sorts of media. From music videos to commercials to business presentations to Hollywood films, all of them use either one type or the other.

Think you know what I’m talking about already? I’ll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with instruments or genre. It’s not royalty-free and licensed music either. No, these two types are much more comprehensive than that. And you’re going to want to know what they are so you can use music as effectively as possible in your videos. Read More …

GUEST POST: Floyd Rose Freak-Out!

floydOk Kids, this one is a cinch, but because I’m a detail freak I’m going to explain why it is so easy. For those with ADHD scroll straight to The Solution.

The Problem

You are a tech/muso/bandmate etc and are dealing with setting the intonation on floyd rose for the first time. Here’s the deal: the mighty Rose is a great tool that isn’t as hard to set up as rumoured. There are some things that actually make it easier to be consistent than other types of tremolo systems. Read More …

GUEST POST: Ormsby’s Amazing Synchronicity

944993_10152738785495618_448022147_nThere have been many times I’ve felt as though something, someone, has been looking over me as I build or repair an important instrument. The whole Randy Rhoads Tribute bass was an example (one day I’ll tell the stories, they literally freak some people out), but another happened today. I’m doing some work on a vintage guitar, restoring, and relicing (paint touch ups, and cracking, aging, etc) it to its former glory. Unfortunately the owner passed away, but his wife wants it back the way it should be (it had some heavy mods that didn’t do it many favours).  Read More …

Gear Porn by Dave Leslie: Grubisa Merlin


Hey there, Sports Fans. This is the first instalment of a column that I hope will be a regular occurrence around these parts. It basically entails me, Dave, chatting and sometimes waxing lyrical/nostalgic about the equipment that myself (and Suze, if you’re interested) have been playing/using/abusing during the last 20 or so years of Baby Animals (and maybe even the 17 years before that…).

Those of you who know me know that I’m a self-confessed ‘gear-head.’ I have been fortunate to have acquired some really nice stuff and I really enjoy discussing equipment, what it does, how it sounds, how it looks and most importantly, the way it makes music… Read More …

Guest Post: Maintaining Your Acoustic Guitar

By Alexander Briones

Understanding the basics of acoustic guitar maintenance is as important as knowing which guitar to buy. Even the most beautiful acoustic guitar will end up becoming a lump of twisted wood if not properly cared for. Here are some tips to keep your guitar safe and functioning properly.

There’s no place like home

Martin D-45 Case
Martin D45 in case

When buying an acoustic guitar, you should automatically be thinking of its proper guitar case. Getting the right guitar case for your guitar is the most important maintenance investment that you will ever make. It will serve as your guitar’s home, keeping it safe from impact, stress, heat and humidity. A great case will save you from a lot of unnecessary future repair expenses. Many quality acoustic guitars come with a guitar case, if it doesn’t, then it is imperative that you talk to the dealer to find a suitable case. Your guitar has to fit perfectly into the case and its neck should have good support.

Read More …

GUEST POST: Some Common Performance Pitfalls []

I think one of the most enjoyable parts of music is playing for an appreciative audience. Whether that is for a supportive spouse, a few friends, or some strangers at a coffee shop, playing for others beats sitting on the couch and playing alone. The music takes on a different quality when you are offering something up for other people to enjoy. I personally find that I am much more satisfied as a player when I am able to give something back to a listener as opposed to playing only by myself.

Venturing out to play music in public is a pretty daunting thing. Going from your living room couch where your only audience is your dog or cat, to a coffee shop or pub with strangers watching can be unnerving to some. Lets look at some things to keep in mind when taking the leap.

Always try to start in a friendly venue. Don’t go try to get a gig at the rough biker bar across town. I recommend open mics and things like song circles at music stores. At a song circle everyone goes around, picking a song and starting it, with everyone else joining in. So that means you are going to have to start a tune and sing it front of people. Some folks may be able to just jump straight to playing on stage, but others may not, so this is a good option.

I like open mics because they are often oriented towards the beginning performer. That means the audience is supportive, and you can go on stage worrying less about messing up. Participants usually play one to three tunes, depending on the size of the open mic. This can be a good time to work on stage banter as well. For me talking before and after the songs is more nerve wracking than actually playing them. That’s the fun part.

One thought I always try to keep in the front of my mind is that the audience is there to support me. They want the musician on stage to succeed, and they want to have a good time. It always pains me to see a musician go up on stage, and start of by saying, “Here is a song of mine, I hope I don’t mess it up”, or “I hope you like this next song of mine.” In my opinion statements like that put the audience in a negative or judging mindset before you have even started your piece. You don’t want them thinking anything except how they are going love and enjoy this piece of music you are about to play.

There are a few kind of mental pitfalls that can befall the performing musician, and its good to be mindful of them. They are especially prevalent in instrumental music.

One is the syndrome of perpetually speeding up, like a snowball tumbling down a mountainside. The performer comes on that phrase that they know gives them trouble, they get tense, speed up, and pretty soon are going faster and faster. Often times they are not aware this is going on. One way to avoid this is to be diligent about practicing with a metronome at home, making sure that you don’t speed up at tough passages. This will make it less likely that you will speed up during performance.

Another thing that can happen is the dreaded mental blank. You are playing along, sounding great, all of a sudden you forget where the tune goes next. Hopefully you can fumble through, or else you have to stop, crack a joke, and hope the audience understands. One way to avoid this is to always concentrate on what you are playing at the present. Don’t think about what you are going to play next, or what some members of the audience might think of your music. Just be in the moment.

I know when I started performing more I often stressed about what to say between tunes. Some audience interaction is required after all. A good place to start can be just to talk about the tune you are about to play. Since it can be a bit formulaic to start each time by saying “This next tune is about….” it can help to frame the story about a personal experience, or who you learned the tune from. I have found that good performers will take note of what works well during a gig, and recycle the same stories or jokes.

Hopefully you can use these tips to make the leap to playing on stage. Performing can be a very gratifying activity, and I always encourage folks to take the leap if its something they want to do.

About the Author

Anton Emery is the Community Manager of This site offers easy guitar songs for adult learners in a fun & patient atmosphere, taught by teachers who care. Students learn songs & technique lessons across a variety of genres, including Folk, Country, and Classic Rock- all with NO advertising.

NEWS: My guest post on

Hey! Head over to Jason Shadrick’s blog to see my guest post, a lesson on the crafty art of syncopation. Hope you dig it. Make sure you check out the rest of Jason’s site, including his excellent Twitter directory and the ‘7 Questions’ series including Greg Koch, Steve Vai, Alex Skolnick (I especially dig Alex’s Hunter S Thompson quote), Stu Hamm, Paul Gilbert and many more.

Jason is director of marketing and artist relations for The National Guitar Workshop. Follow him on Twitter!