48 Years of Helping Musicians
This year, the Guitar Center celebrates 48 years of helping musicians across the
country make amazing music. In the beginning, the store may have been mainly
about peace, love, and guitars, but today, when you walk through the Guitar Center’s
doors, you’ll find just about every instrument known to man, including keyboards,
drums, banjos, and clarinets.
Mention B&B and You’re Guaranteed Exceptional Service.
But even more noteworthy than their incredible selection is Guitar Center’s
unbeatable service. The sales staff is inviting, informed, and eager to help. In fact, it’s
all of the the glowing reviews that our students gave Guitar Center reps that led to
B&B partnering with the Guitar Center ourselves! That was over five years ago. And
our relationship keeps getting better and better. Today, if you walk in a local Guitar
Center store and mention B&B, you’re guaranteed exceptional service.
So, if you’re in the market for a new instrument, one that’s just new to you, or
new instrument accessories and parts, try Guitar Center for yourself. And now is
the perfect time to check them out since you can take full advantage of their 48th
anniversary deals through the end of summer.
Stop by one of the following stores to get the Guitar Center experience for yourself.
And don’t forget to tell them B&B sent you!
Gary knows about drum equipment. He also knows about teaching and performing.
Useful information for drummers
Using a practice pad is very beneficial. There are wooden based practice pads with rubber on tops and Plastic pads with adjustable head tensioners, Both work very well.
These days you can find great deals on full adult and junior drum kits starting around $300 dollars. These deals can be found at The guitar center and Chuck Levens Washington music center (Talk to Coleman) in the drum department, Tell Him i sent you and he”ll take great care of you.
For great deals on vintage and second hand Drums check out Atomic music in College Park (talk to Lewis). They have tons of great drum kits at great prices. The benefits of buying a vintage drum are that they sound great and the value over the years will possibly increase.
B&B Music Lessons Pricing:
$45 for 30 minute single lesson
$55 for 45 minute single lesson
$65 for 60 minute single lesson
1. PAYMENTS – We do not accept checks at all. A valid credit or debit card number is required to proceed with lessons. We keep your credit or debit card number in our secured database. Then, we automatically charge your card 3 days after you have received your invoice. If you have any issue with your invoice, we will happily resolve the issue before any charges are applied to your account, as long as you contact us within 3 days. Please know that the intention behind our policy is to make paying the bill easier for all of our customers. In fact, we created our current payment policy in response to customer feedback. Our customers really appreciate the added convenience of paying this way. Our record at the Better Business Bureau is consistent with this claim.
2. CANCELLATIONS – To avoid being charged for a missed scheduled lesson you must notify your music teacher at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled lesson. Failure to provide 24 hour notice to cancel will result in a charge for the missed lesson. This policy helps us to retain the highest quality teachers who have very tight schedules and cannot afford to tolerate last minute cancellations. We understand that you are extremely busy and that you might need to cancel a lesson, but please remember that we will charge you for any last minute cancellations.
Discounts for Consecutive Lessons:
10% off for two consecutive lessons taught by the same teacher on the same day
15% off for three or more lessons taught by the same teacher on the same day
Basically you are playing harmonics every time you pluck a note on the guitar. However, you usually don’t hear them because the main note (the “fundamental note”) is much louder. So to play “harmonics” on the guitar, you need to eliminate the fundamental note. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:
Open String Harmonics
Open string harmonics are also referred to as natural harmonics. To do this, you simply place your finger on the string at certain fret points, and don’t push the string down to the fingerboard. So lightly touch the string just over the fret. The natural harmonics occur at fret numbers 3, 4, 7, 9, 12 and then the cycle repeats from the 12th fret (the 12th fret is one octave above the open strings and the following frets are a repeat of the first octave).
Fretted harmonics are more difficult to achieve but give the guitar player significantly more options. The idea is that you finger the fret of the note to be played, then touch the same string 12 frets above the fingered note. The touch of this string is similar to open string harmonics technique, in that you don’t push the string to the fret board. You will then need to pluck the string above both of your fingered notes so that the string resonates.
Here is a video of Eddie Van Halen playing a solo with harmonics. Enjoy!
We do our best to find teachers for guitar students as soon as possible. However, if you have a few weeks before lessons begin and your child is ‘chomping at the bit’ to sound like his favorite guitar hero, here are a few steps to help get started up without having to wait for the first lesson.
Let’s begin with a few easy chords that you can help them learn quite easily. They are the E minor chord and the A minor chord. The E minor chord only needs two fingers of the left hand while the A minor chord uses the same two fingers plus one more. The link below will give you these two chords as well as countless others:
Go to this page then select the ‘root’ of the E minor chord by choosing the letter ‘E’. Then ‘select type’ by clicking the small ‘m’ for minor. You can see the two finger chord at this point, and the numbers on the notes which state the correct fingers to use. The fingers are 1 for index, 2 for middle, 3 for ring and 4 for the pinky. So you’ll be using the second finger and the middle finger for the E minor.
For the next chord, choose ‘A’ for the root and leave the ‘select type’ on the small ‘m’. This will produce the A minor chord and it uses three fingers; the 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
Now have your child switch back and forth from E minor to A minor by strumming all 6 strings for the E minor and then if possible just 5 strings for the A minor (omitting the low E string). The 2nd and 3rd fingers will hold the same structure as you move them up and down between the two chords, with the pinky being used only on the A minor chord.
Purchasing a guitar for a young child is a wonderful investment to make. Of course, we need to spend our hard-earned money wisely, so it’s good to learn a bit about guitars before making your purchase.
When buying for a child, it’s most sensible to get something that gives the student an adequate instrument for the first several years of his/her study, while not breaking the bank.
There are three types of guitars to choose from. Electric, steel string acoustic, and nylon string acoustic. Electric guitars have the lightest strings of the three types, although nylon strings are soft and therefore also easy on the fingers. Steel strings are, well, steel. They can take some getting used to for beginners until calluses are developed.
Nylon strings are easier on the fingers, but they also have a softer sound. Classical, Spanish, and Bossa Nova generally use nylon string guitars. The strings are set apart further than steel string guitars to accommodate the use of finger picking (fingers naturally need more space than guitar picks).
Steel strings are brighter in sound but closer together on the fingerboard. Smaller hands might appreciate the thinner neck, but closer strings require additional accuracy with the picking hand.
Each type of guitar can be used to play most styles of music, but they do have distinctively different sounds. Since the idea is to find the best instrument for the student, it’s good for students to listen to both types of instruments before a purchase.
Here are two videos to show the different types of guitar in action. The first video features two guitarists playing the same guitar. Mozart deserves two guitar players, right???
Here is a video of Eric Clapton playing a blues on an acoustic guitar. Enjoy!
There has been much discussion regarding Suzuki method vs. more traditional methods of teaching. It is helpful to know a bit more about it before requesting a Suzuki method teacher.
Suzuki takes an approach that is similar to a child learning a new language. Children learn to speak by listening, not by reading. Similarly, the Suzuki method teaches children to play their instrument without the use of written music. Instead, they focus on using their ears to learn specific pieces of music which are prerecorded to accompany the student. Memorization of each piece of music is eventually attained, with the goal of performing the piece. Performances are frequent and become natural and enjoyable over time.
More traditional methods introduce sight reading, scales, key signatures, sharps and flats, and other theory right away. These are necessary components of a well-rounded musician. Therefore, the combination of traditional and Suzuki methods is common, and many versions of Suzuki methods have added sight reading and theory to their programs.
Suzuki method is very popular and it is a great way for younger students to gain confidence and ear training early on. The added confidence provided by frequent performances also helps. But the primary consideration is to find the best teacher for your child. With a good teacher, the music should lead the way. It is first about the music, and then persistence. Suzuki is more about the teacher using Suzuki than anything else. Find a teacher who connects well with the student and you have a recipe for greatness.
If you’d like to discuss the possibility of working with a private music teacher in the DC area, contact us at anytime and we’ll be happy to help you.
“Because Music Matters”!
If you are interested in getting your child started on an instrument, it is a good idea to consider the age of your child in relation to the instrument that might best fit their needs. We hear from a lot of parents who have 4, 5 and 6 year olds who are begging for guitar lessons. Maybe the cool videos on MTV or more likely the popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band have added to the number of youngsters getting into the guitar.
Generally we recommend that students under the age of 8 start on the piano. This is because the guitar takes more coordination and effort to play. The piano is accessible to virtually anyone who can press their fingers down on the keyboard, while the guitar requires both hands to play a note. And you can only look at one hand at a time. We have a lot more students between the ages of 5 and 8 on the piano than we have on the guitar. We welcome children of all ages to give the guitar a try but we’ve seen what happens too often. So unless your child is especially drawn to the guitar and at the same time has a better than average ability to focus, we would recommend the piano.
Remember that the knowledge drawn from the piano will transfer well to other instruments. Theory and ear training are more easily learned and assimilated through the piano or keyboard than most other instruments. Either way, the student should be expected to practice 10 to 15 minutes a day 4 or 5 days a week so if you have a young child interested in the guitar, be sure to support their curiosity by urging them to practice routinely. Without practice, the chances of making significant progress are minimal.
B&B Music Lessons has a flexible policy so if you think it is worth trying guitar lessons between the ages of 5 and 7, we’ll accommodate you. However, we urge parents to consider the piano as a more practical alternative at that age.
It is important to get the most out of your private music lessons. Here are a few tips:
1. Keep a log of your lessons. This binder should include all of the assignments, and will be an excellent reference source in the future. Parents should be able to easily reference the current assignments here.
2. A student should start preparing for the lesson at least 15 minutes prior to the arrival of your B&B teacher. This includes setting up and tuning instruments, producing all materials, warming up and reviewing previous assignments.
3. Parents should take the time to ask about their children’s progress. Follow the progress of your child and encourage them to give family and friends â€˜mini concertsâ€™. This will provide a â€˜low pressureâ€™ setting which allows them to perform comfortably.
Below is the kind of response from one of our teachers that indicates a student isn’t interested in continuing. Sometimes it is good to give children the option to choose when to stop lessons.
Well, maybe she’ll come to enjoy another instrument someday in the future.
I hope so…her family is very musical. But I think maybe that intimidates her. The fact that her dad keeps forcing her to have an interest probably makes it worse. She is at that early teen age when she wants to do nothing her parents want her to do. Just sit in her room and text friends.