St Cecelia Guido

Historical musical instruments for blind musicians – St Cecilia Guido

Blind children can learn to play a musical instrument just as well and often even better than, sighted children provided the desire and interest is there. Blind children often have a strong sense of rhythm and musical sensation since their hearing is more in tuned with the world.

Of course the assumption should not be made that just because they are blind they should play a musical instrument. However if a child or an adult who is visually impaired decides that playing a musical instrument is something they would find beneficial, then by all means, there should be every consideration made just as you would for a sighted individual.

There are instruments which are better suited for the visually impaired than others. Most string instruments are a good musical instrument for the visually impaired because the strings can be easily felt in order, especially for the violin, viola, and cello.

The piano and woodwind musical instruments can also make very good choices for the visually impaired when learning to play a musical instrument. They are considered the easiest of the musical instruments to memorize tactilely and are fairly versatile in the musical arrangements they can be applied to playing. However, there is of course no restriction to the possibilities.

It is usually not necessary to find the visually impaired musical student a specially trained music teacher. A teacher that is creative and patient (which we would hope all music teachers are) should be able to help the visually impaired student feel the musical instrument of their choice in order to learn to play it competently. Musical instruments often are able to be handled by the visually impaired simply because their design and structure is quite unique from a tactile standpoint.

Children and adults from all walks of life should learn to play at least one musical instrument. Learning to play a musical instrument teaches so many skills at once that it can be difficult to find a downfall to learning to play a musical instrument regardless of who you are, where you come from, or what type of disability you may bring to the table. It should never be assumed that simply because an individual doesn’t see the world that they can’t fully participate in it. Learning to play a musical instrument is just one way of reaching out through the world and bringing the world as we know it to life.

Encouraging musical instruments for the blind makes a lot of musical sense because a visually impaired music student is not encumbered with notation and tablature. Instead, they learn through hearing, touching and the sensation of the vibrations coming from the instrument. That can lead to more “feel” in their musicality. They rely more on what sounds good than what the rules on a music sheet dictate. In the end, it’s what sounds good that matters in music.

By no means an exhaustive list, but there are many successful musicians with visual impairment including Jeff Healey (played the blind musician in roadhouse), Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Ronnie Milsap, and many country blues style artists such as Blind Willie McTell, Sonny Terry, and Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Learning jazz guitar scales can be a very daunting project. For the jazz newbie there seems to be an endless number of jazz scales that have to be learnt. It can be very overwhelming, and it can often be hard to even know where to start!

In this series of articles we

At some point, all guitarists need to learn how to change the strings on their guitar. Sometimes you’ll be forced to change one when a string snaps. But usually, you’ll simply want to change them, as strings lose their brightness and wear out.

The amount of time you leave between change strings varies depending on several factors. If you play your guitar regularly, then you might like to change your strings once a week or once a month.

Most Professional guitarists tend to change their strings before each gig. But in the end, it all comes down to a matter of personal preference. Something to bear in mind if you’re using your guitar for a gig, is that your strings need a few hours of play to break in properly. During this time, your strings will go out of tune as they stretch so you’ll have to retune.

Anyway, here’s what you do:
Remove the old strings by detuning the machine heads until the tension becomes loose enough to allow you to pull each string away from the headstock.

Another quick way to remove the old strings is to snip them using a pair of wire cutters. Be very careful if you do it this way, and make sure they are loose, since the bare ends of the strings can be sharp and easily flap around. Bare guitar strings are amongst the many things you DO NOT want to catch in your eye.

How you go about installing your new strings will usually depend on the type of guitar you have, as many guitars have slightly different methods. However, the strings are usually held in place at one end by fixtures behind or on the bridge, and at the other by turning the machine head on the headstock.

Here’s a small insider tip guitarists have been using for years to get more life from your steel strings once you’ve removed them: Boil them.

Dropping a set of strings into a pan of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes will remove a lot of the grimy build up and bring a new life back to what would otherwise be lifeless strings.

It won’t last for very long, and you can’t get away with doing it too many times, but it can be an effective temporary measure.

I wouldn’t suggest you rely on this technique too much, strings aren’t too expensive – and using new strings saves you a lot of hassle.

Regardless of what kind of guitar you have, your strings need to be stretched after you’ve put them on. When you first tune your guitar, put your hand under each string around the pickup area, pull the string a few centimeters away from the fretboard, then release it. If the pitch has dropped, retune and repeat the process. Keep doing this until all the strings stay in tune.

On most electric guitars the strings are either secured at the bridge end by an independent tailpiece (like most Gibson guitars), or passed through the body of the instrument from the back into an all-in-one bridge unit (like most fender style guitars).

At one end of every steel string, you will find a tiny disc of metal around which one end of the string is wrapped. This is called the ball end.

Take the opposite end of the string and thread it through the fixture at the bridge.

Pull the string through until the ball end stops you from pulling the string any further.

Most electric and steel-string guitars use a similar system for securing strings at the machine head. The capstan to which the string is attached stands out vertically from the headstock. Strings can be passed through a hole in the side of the capstan.

The end is then passed around and under, trapping it in place when the machine head is tightened. Some capstans have vertical slots instead of holes. To use these, cut the string to length, and insert into the tip of the capstan. Then bend the string to one side and wind it around.

This leaves the string endings neat and tidy.
Here’s what you do next: Slowly turn the machine head for each string, increasing the tension until the string becomes suitably tight.

To save yourself time and energy, you can use a cheap plastic string winder, which simply fits over the machine head allowing you to crank it along more quickly.

With the increasing popularity of rock music during the last few decades, playing the guitar has become very appealing for many people. While there are many teenagers out there who dream of becoming rock superstars, there are also many people that want to learn how to play the guitar just for the sake of it. However, many of them don’t find the best way to learn guitar and after a few unsuccessful attempts, they finally give up.

Different people have different learning needs. In addition, we also have different resources, different jobs, different errands to run and different schedules. If you’re not at the level you want, maybe it’s because you haven’t found the best way to learn guitar yet. There are several ways to learn how to play the guitar. Listed below are only a few of them.

Theory Books

There are thousands of theory books on the market that teach you how to play the guitar. Some of them are even very good and can provide you with all the information you need. Books are an inexpensive and comfortable strategy to learn how to play the guitar. Unfortunately, experience shows that for many of us they just don’t work. However, if you are a very patient person, a theory book might be the best way to learn guitar.

Video Lessons

Video guitar lessons are available on DVDs and video tapes in almost any music store, as well as on virtual shops. In addition, there are also some video lessons available online. Some of them are even free. Video lessons are more dynamic and have a better chance of keeping you focused. They have the advantage of allowing you to practice at home whenever you find the time to do it. However, the inconvenience is that you can’t benefit from the personalized attention and useful feedback a teacher could provide.

Private Lessons

If you are willing to dedicate a lot of time as well as some money to this, private lessons are definitely the best way to learn guitar. A good teacher can design a customized teaching program to suit your learning style and provide you with individualized attention and positive feedback to get you motivated. In addition, he/she can also spot and correct your mistakes very fast.

Learning by Ear

Learning the guitar by ear can be very fun, especially if you have some sort of musical bone in your body, and that bone is humming with lots of vibration, you might find that this is the best way to learn guitar for you. With the modern slowing down technology, it is much easier now than it used to be for our parents’ generation.

You should always keep in mind that playing the guitar should be fun. If you find it difficult or stressing, your learning strategy might have a lot to do with it. Sometimes you need to try several learning methods before finding the one that works best for you. However, if you really want to play the guitar like a pro and have enough time and money, taking up private lessons is probably the best way to go.

If you do not know how to read musical notation, but lets say you want to learn how to jam the new Fall Out Boys song on your guitar. You will first need to learn how to read guitar tablature. Don’t worry though, because learning guitar tabs is very easy once you know all the basics.

Guitar Tab Basics

A standard tablature staff would look something like this:


When you look at this, you have to visualize that each line and letter represent each string on a guitar. Starting from the bottom to the top they are:


Not everybody is gifted with the art of music. Some can sing with it or dance with it but only a few chosen ones can actually play a specific musical instrument. It would take all of your endearing overflowing patience and precious, precious time to create one piece of melody and make it whole. This is one predicament most beginners have when learning to play something.

This article would be discussing how to play one musical instrument that is pretty considered as the most popular among other instruments for the reason that it is one of the cheapest and handy instruments you can drag along anytime, anywhere you want

Music industry is quickly developing similar to many other existent branches. Nowadays the number of those who have the complete access to what music means is considerably increased comparing with other periods. The times when only a few people were accepted in the musicians circus, only after they worked a lot by taking private lessons are gone. Now, if you are passionate about learning how to play an instrument, you can find many programs meant for making this much easier than ever for you. By only using such programs you will not become a professional but you will surely get to significantly improve your skills.

One such product is the slow down music software, which can do more help for you than anything else you tried. One important reason for using slow down music software is that these programs allow you to listen to any song note by note. As a consequence, it will be much easier for you to learn how to play by ear and the process will also be fastened a lot. Slow down music software has plenty of options for you to use so that you can improve your style. The programs are not difficult to be handled as they benefit from a friendly interface and you will find simple the task of using it.

Slow down music software is not only meant for you to slow down the song so you can play it faster. If you choose to use such a program you will benefit from a speed option that will allow you not only to slow down the song, but also to increase the speed. This is a good reason for you to use slow down music software as this way you will get to modify the speed according to how much you increased in level. You will be able to listen note by note at the beginning and to play the song faster once you are ready for that. This is a great advantage because you will not only learn to play a piece but you will also get to handle that certain song very well after some practicing.

Another good reason for practicing by using slow down music software is that you can set the loop points option as well. You can create the loops you want just by clicking and this will allow you to get insight the song much better. This is a great advantage when it comes to slow down music software because you will be able to control much better the way you listen to the music.

The main consequence of using slow down music software is that you will definitely be able to play better by ear and that you will get to play faster and with much more accuracy any piece you want. If you want to become a professional, using slow down music software is not enough but it can help you to improve your skills faster so you can move to the next level. If you are not sure of the quality that slow down music software has, you can try different trial versions before you choose a program that can fit your needs.

When first starting to learn guitar chords, one of the most difficult tasks to master is to get your fingers to do what you want them to do. Independence does not come easily. This is why most beginning guitar players focus on and learn the most commonly used guitar chords and scales and proceed to use those handful of chords for the rest of their life.

Most guitarists do not experiment with different areas of the guitar or try adding or subtracting a note or two to the original chord so as to give some hint of originality or a personal style, that is why a lot of guitar music around today is so uninspiring and un-original.

Once guitar players get a few licks and tricks under their belt they become lazy. When you consider the combinations that are available from just one chord in one position on the neck, it is absolutely mind boggling, let alone the hundreds of other positions and variations available. Just by experimenting with one chord shape at a different starting place on the fretboard can take your mind and fingers to uncharted areas you could not have conceived of before.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider breaking out of old patterns and learning guitar chords in a new key.

1. Inspiration can come immediately from taking one of your most prized over used chords and moving it over one fret to a new key. You probably will have to re-arrange your fingers to accommodate the new shape, but persevere with it, this new chord is no harder than any chord you have learnt so far. Now try moving all of the chords to this new key. Now you have just doubled your fretboard knowledge.

2. Play through those chords and just listen to the sound those new ‘shapes