Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Christmas Listening

Posted by Brian on 20th December 2011 in General Music, Music Review, Review

If you’re like me you find it challenging to find good Christmas music to listen to. It seems that most modern Christmas recordings are trying so hard to sound “fresh” that they overlook trying to sound good.

This year a friend introduced me to a very nice Christmas album by The Lower Lights titled “Come Let Us Adore Him”. The Lower Lights appear to be something of a musical collective who focus on performing bluegrass gospel tunes and this Christmas collection is a tastefully done recording of traditional Christmas tunes with a definite bluegrass flavour.

Have a listen:

You can order the album from their BandCamp site for US$ 11.99 or for an extra dollar plus shipping you can get an actual CD which includes a free download while you wait to receive it.

(As always, I have no financial or other interest in this band or recording.)


					

What NOT to give for Christmas…

Posted by Brian on 6th December 2011 in Beginners, Guitar, Rant

Please, please, PLEASE, if you don’t know what to get your child for Christmas, do NOT get them a guitar.

Does it seem strange that a guitar teacher would try to dissuade you from giving a guitar for Christmas?

Here’s why:

While there are three exceptions, 95 percent of the time, giving a guitar at Christmas is a bad idea.

Unless you want an unplayed guitar sitting in your closet for the next couple of decades.

Many times when a parent gives a guitar for Christmas, its because the child already has an X-box, an iPod, an iPad, a DS, a TV, a computer, and maybe even a bicycle… so they see a guitar on the shelf at the local Stuff-Mart and think’ “Oh! Junior doesn’t have one of those! I bet (s)he would like one.”

And, yes, on Christmas morning, Junior might very well be ecstatic – with visions of musical stardom dancing in his or her head.

However…

The thing that Junior does not yet realize is that guitar is hard. Really hard. It takes a lot of work. And if learning guitar isn’t something that he or she is passionate about, it’s probably not going to happen on its own.

Here are the three exceptions:

One: Junior has been pestering for a guitar for months. Playing air guitar for hours on end and stringing rubber bands over empty tissue boxes to work on his or her chops. In this case, promise me that you will not buy the guitar from a big box store and that you will not spend less than $200 and go ahead.

Two: You have already bought Junior a guitar from a big box store and by some miracle, it is still getting played. In this case, it is probably time for an upgrade and, if you promise me that you will not buy another guitar from a big box store and that you will not spend less than $200, you have my blessing.

Three: You are prepared to take on the grueling task of being the taskmaster and forcing daily practice until sufficient skill is developed that Junior actually learns and appreciates the rewards of playing music and discovers a desire to learn independently. (This is not a bad thing, but most modern parents don’t have the time or energy for this.) Just promise me that you will not buy the guitar from a big box store and that you will not spend less than $200.

(If you have, decided that, yes, a guitar would, in fact, make a great gift, then you should probably include a tuner, a music stand, and a metronome as stocking stuffers.)

So when you see that guitar sitting on the shelf at the Stuff-Mart, just think, “Thanks, Brian,” and walk on by.

 

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Brian on 24th December 2010 in Fingerstyle Guitar, General Music

A couple of fingerstyle Christmas tunes for you…

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Why Does Every Christmas Song Have So Many Chords?

Posted by Brian on 9th December 2010 in Canadian Guitarists, General Music, Performing

Today, I played a gig at a Christmas party for Windreach Farm which is a farm that “… strives to enrich the lives of persons of all ages with disabilities and/or special needs by providing opportunities to enjoy experiences in farming, nature, outdoor recreation & other activities and to share those experiences with family and friends.” In short, it is a great organization. And their Christmas party was a ton of fun.

But throughout our rehearsals and the event this thought kept recurring…