It can be a challenge for new musicians to decide how much to spend on their first instrument—should they go higher-end to get a quality instrument and sound better right away?  Or spend less since they are just getting started?  There isn’t a perfect answer for every person, but it’s important to know that some beginner and/or low-cost guitars are nearly impossible to play!  Low cost instruments are made quickly with lower-quality material.  For guitars, that can mean the strings are far away from the fretboard—making it hard and painful to press down the strings; the frets can be out of tune—so even if you’re playing in the right position, it will sound bad; and they can be impossible to keep in tune in general.  Are these issues for you?  Read on!

            A good way to test if your music troubles are coming from your guitar is to head to a guitar shop and play 5-10 of the more expensive models on hand.  (Leave wallet at home  ) If you notice you are having a significantly easier time playing and it’s more enjoyable, consider improving the instrument you have or upgrading to a higher quality guitar.

            If you have an instrument you like, we recommend getting it “setup” professionally.  This is where a guitar repair professional adjusts: 1. guitar’s neck, bridge, and nut for improved playability and tuning; 2. the guitar’s action (how high the strings are off the neck); and 3. the intonation (how well a guitar hold’s it tuning).  This is considered basic maintenance and guitarists should have it done regularly—with the changing of the seasons, or every 6 months. Ask them to lower the strings as low as possible without buzzing.  We also recommend light or medium light strings.  Let us know if you need help finding a guitar, a guitar repairman, or any other equipment related questions!  Happy music making!

Student of the Month Shane Roe

 Congratulations, Shane!  Shane has been a KCRB student for 5 years—first taking piano lessons for four years, then switching to drum set in December 2019.   He’s been flying along on the drums—learning quickly and having a great attitude at lessons.  Shane is a curious and ready learner.  Way to go, Shane! Here’s a little more about Shane:

How old are you and in what grade? 9 ½ and 4th grade
Why did you choose to play drums? Before I played drums, I tapped on tables and stuff, so I asked Mom, “Can I play drums?” Because I wanted that rhythm to be in use.
 What’s your favorite song you’ve played so far?  Toosie Slide and Megalovania
 What are your other hobbies?  Playing Xbox, going outside, hanging out with my cousins, and playing with Shell Shock, my turtle.

Is Your Equipment Holding You Back? – Guitar Focus