Thursday, May 22, 2008

Nashville, TN - All Things Music

Nashville, TN - All Things Music
By Anne Thorn

Many movies have been made about Nashville. Enough books about Music City have been written to fill a bookcase. And, of course, scores of songs are dedicated to the city of music. But, while music is the lifeblood of Nashville, visitors will also find here a city of culture and history, of haute cuisine, of pro sports, outstanding academics, natural beauty and pure Southern charm.

Nashville is a place where the past and the future peacefully coexist and build, one on the other, to create a destination that appeals to the interests of every visitor. This city is alive. You can feel its pulse when you walk down its sidewalks. And, fortunately, you can also hear it almost anywhere you go.

How Nashville became Music City:

From its very beginnings, Nashville grew from a foundation built on music. Music has always been the common thread connecting the life and soul of the city and its people. And visitors have always ventured here to experience the music that weaves such a fundamental pattern in its cultural, business and social fabric.

Nashville's earliest settlers celebrated in the late 1700s with fiddle tunes and buck dancing after safely disembarking on the shores of the Cumberland River, a spot now commemorated on First Avenue North with a replica of the original Fort Nashborough. Nashville's first "celebrity," the noted frontiersman and Congressman Davy Crockett was known far and wide for his colorful stories and fiddle playing.

As the 1800s unfolded, Nashville grew to become a national center for music publishing. The first around-the-world tour by a musical act was by the Fisk Jubilee Singers from Nashville's Fisk University. Their efforts helped fund the school's mission of educating freed slaves after the Civil War - and also put Nashville on the map as a global music center.

In 1897, a group of Confederate veterans chose Nashville as the site of a massive reunion. The event was held at the former tabernacle that would later become known as the Ryman Auditorium. So many former Confederate soldiers poured into town that a new balcony was built inside the tabernacle to accommodate their great numbers. It was dubbed "The Confederate Gallery," a designation still visible today as the Ryman continues to host an array of musical events.

Before even the Ryman became known as the downtown home of the Grand Ole Opry, it already enjoyed a national reputation. Enrico Caruso, John Phillip Sousa and the Vienna Orchestra gave roof-raising performances there that earned the Ryman the nickname "Carnegie Hall of the South." The Ryman's unrivaled acoustic qualities continue today - it has received Pollstar magazine's prestigious "Theater of the Year" award for two years in a row as the best auditorium in the nation to experience live music.

In 1925, the establishment of radio station WSM and its launch of the broadcast that would be called the Grand Ole Opry further secured Nashville's reputation as a musical center and sparked its durable nickname of Music City. The Opry, still staged live every week, is America's longest-running radio show, in continuous production for 80 years. It ignited the careers of hundreds of country stars and lit the fuse for Nashville to explode into a geographic center for touring and recording. The modern-day empire of Music Row, a collection of recording studios, record labels, entertainment offices and other music-associated businesses, populates the area around 16th and 17th Avenues South.

In recent years, cable television broadcast Music City's stars and music to the world. The Nashville Network, CMT and GAC took country music to a new level of acclaim and recognition. The gospel music series hosted by Nashville's Bobby Jones on Black Entertainment Television is now cable's longest-running program.

Nashville has also become a hub for pop, rock, bluegrass, jazz, classical, contemporary Christian, blues and soul music. Artists like Matchbox Twenty, India.Arie, Bon Jovi and Jewel, among many others, have come to Music City to write and record, and names like Michael McDonald and Donna Summer have chosen to call Nashville home.

The newly constructed Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home to the renowned, Grammy -winning Nashville Symphony, anchors the downtown end of the recently designated Music Mile, a symbolic stretch of roadway connecting the $120 million Symphony Center with the music district of Music Row, the vibrant new entertainment venues on Demonbruen Street, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame and Museum and the Nashville Arena. The Music Mile perfectly illustrates how the music of Music City is indeed a common thread throughout the business, cultural and entertainment sectors of Nashville.

Nashville's connection to music is unequalled, and its reputation as Music City has been consistently proven for over 200 years. Welcome to the most musical city in the world. Music City-the only Music City!

Visit: to see all Music City Events!

Check out all things MUSIC on the Nashville CVB website.

Contact Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau:

150 4th Ave. N

Suite G-250

Nashville, TN 37219


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Guitar Tones - 3 Ways To Get A Better Guitar Sound

Guitar Tones - 3 Ways To Get A Better Guitar Sound
By David B Black

How many times have you been to see a band play at a local club and you've been blown away by not only the guitarist's skillful playing but also the clarity and quality of their guitar sound? Or maybe you've been less than impressed with the sound coming from the guitarist's rig? A good guitar sound is a vital component of a great-sounding live performance, or any great recording. Think about the signature guitar tones of the great players such as Mark Knopfler in Dire Straits, or David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. Would their albums be half as memorable if it wasn't for not only their great guitar playing but also their distinctly individual guitar sounds?

I've been playing guitar as a hobby for 20 years, and professionally for the past 5 years. In this time I've picked up a lot of experience that have helped me to get a guitar tone I'm happy with - it's taken many years, but by bearing the following tips in mind, I'm almost completely happy with my sound(us guitarists are rarely entirely happy!) - and I hope there's some useful info in here for you too.

1. Less Is More

The truth is that we all love to buy the latest gadgets and toys for our guitar rigs. Whether it's a new wah pedal, distortion box or multi-effects unit, it's a lot of fun to explore and experiment with the different sonic textures these add (or subtract!) from your guitar tone. The trouble is, you might find that the more pedals and signal processors you put between your guitar and your amplifier, the weaker your guitar signal gets...

One thing many of us guitar players forget is that the most important factor in determining your sound is your fingers. What you PLAY is what counts. Try using a cleaner signal path with as few digital boxes as possible, and let your amp do the talking.

2. Less Gain, Less Pain

Using excessive amounts of gain on your amplifier can have disastrous results that not only annoy your fellow band members, but also (and most importantly), your audience. Lots of gain can mean your guitar produces a horrific feedback squeal during the the gaps in your playing, which can cause hearing damage, as well as audience members leaving the gig early.

Excessive gain means your signal becomes distorted, which is great for musical styles such as rock and metal. But take the example of Angus and Malcolm Young of AC/DC... Those guys use minimal amounts of gain and let the sheer volume of their amps do the distorting. This means their sound cuts through in the mix very clear, as their sound is more solid and less broken up by distortion. Of course, you have have to work a little harder to sustain your notes (by using vibrato), but the difference in clarity to your sound is the reward.

3. Learn to really use your multieffects unit

If you're using a multi effects unit, for example a Line 6 or a Boss GT-8 or similar, you'll know just how amazing these boxes can sound. There are so many great amp simulations available, the possibilities are virtually endless. However there are so many variables, you could go mad with option anxiety before you finally find your dream guitar tone!

I think the trick here is to ignore the factory presets and design your own tones from scratch. It helps to listen to your favourite albums and try to emulate the same guitar tones you hear. The factory preset tones are usually designed to wow you in the store to make you buy it, however they're not really suitable for live use or recording. Take the time to read the manual and really understand and get to grips with the operation of the unit, and you'll be more confident in shaping your own unique guitar sound.

If you want a tip on how to really get the very best from your multi effects unit, take a look at

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Piano Lesson - Learn To Play Easy Fur Elise Piano Solo

Piano Lesson - Learn To Play Easy Fur Elise Piano Solo
By Peter Edvinsson

Fur Elise Is a very popular piano solo by Mozart. It is fairly advanced to play for a beginner. In this piano lesson you will learn a simplified version of the melody without sheet music.

Piano tabs

Instead of using piano sheet music we will use a form of piano tabs that show you with letters and numbers what piano keys to press down to play Fur Elise.

First you have to learn a few notes on the piano. The note C4 is the middle C on your piano. You will find it immediately to the left of two black keys.

In some piano tabs it is called number 1. The number 4 indicates that the C is in the fourth octave of an ordinary piano keyboard with 88 keys.

Actually there can be pianos and other types of keyboards with a less number of octaves but the C in the middle of the keyboard is still called C4.

Fur Elise part 1

Now we will start to play the first notes on Fur Elise. Here is the first little melodic phrase:

E5 D#5 E5 D#5 E5 B4 D5 C5 A4/A3

E5 is the E in the octave that is to the right of the middle octave with the note C4. D#5 is the black key immediately to the right of the note D5. A4/A3 means that at the same time as you play the A in the middle octave you will play the note A3 with your left hand as a bass note.

A3 indicates that you play an A in the octave to the left of A4.

Let us continue with Fur Elise:

C4 E4 A4 B4/E3 E4 G#4 B4 C5/A3

G#4 is the black key to the right of G4.

E4 E5 D#5 E5 D#5 E5 B4 D5 C5 A4/A3

I guess the best way to learn the melody is to memorize it one line at a time. Here are the next piano tabs.

C4 E4 A4 B4/E3 E4 C5 B4 A4/A3

This was the first part of the melody.

Fur Elise part 2

The next part has a contrasting melody:

B4 C5 D5 E5/C3 G4 F5 E5 D5/G3 F4 E5 D5 C5/A3 E4 D5 C5 B4/E3

Now it is time to play the first melody again:

E5 D#5 E5 D#5 E5 B4 D5 C5 A4/A3

C4 E4 A4 B4/E3 E4 G#4 B4 C5/A3

E4 E5 D#5 E5 D#5 E5 B4 D5 C5 A4/A3

C4 E4 A4 B4/E3 E4 C5 B4 A4/A3

This was a portion of Fur Elise written with piano tabs. As I mentioned above the best way to learn this very simplified version of the composition is to memorize it one line at a time. You will then have access to it whenever you are asked to play piano for your friends!

Peter Edvinsson invites you to download a free easy piano version of Fur Elise as a high quality pdf music sheet and more free piano sheet music at

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