Fender American Professional

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Fender has just announced the newest guitar range to join the Fender family. The all new Fender American Professional series of guitars is set to take the world by storm!

Pickups

A huge element of an electric guitar’s tone is the pickups that it uses. The Fender American Pro series of guitars is using a brand new blend of alnico pickups. Normally, pickups will be made using only one type of magnet. Fender has changed this up by using a proprietary blend of alnico magnet types. They are using a blend of alnico 2’s and alnico 5’s.

This blend of magnets gives the guitar a new and innovative voicing, while still maintaining a tone that is true to Fender.

The Shaw Buckner humbucker pickups have also undergone a redesign. By using a combination of these pickups, Fender is providing tone which has been specifically voiced for each position on the guitar.

The Sensation

Playing on an American Pro will be unlike anything you’ve encountered from the Fender stable in the past. The Fender American Professional guitars all have an asymmetric neck.

To clarify, this means that the neck is fatter at the low end of the guitar and gets progressively thinner as you move up the neck. Because of this, you will have a meaty neck feel when playing open chords, but when you start soloing above the 12th fret, you will have a fast and comfortable neck.

The Precision bass guitars in the professional range use a vintage ’63 P Bass neck profile, whereas the Jazz bass uses a modern “C-Shaped” profile. This will ensure the greatest amount of speed and comfort while playing.

The Style

In addition to the ever-present Stratocaster, Fender has added 3 new shapes to the Professional range of guitars. Namely, the Tele® Deluxe, Jazzmaster® and Jaguar® guitars.

To add to the appeal, these guitars come in a range of new colours.

Try One Out

If you would like to try one of these guitars out, contact your local Paul Bothner Music or Village Music store. The guys there will be able to bring one into the store for you to test drive.

For more info, check out the Fender Website.

Roland GO:MIXER

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We are living in the age of smartphones. They have replaced portable game devices, palm pilots and diaries. However, it is the use of smartphones as digital cameras that seems to be most significant of these replacements.

Roland GO:MIXER

Every year, the camera’s on our smartphones are getting better and better. The one area limiting the use of smartphones has always been poor audio quality. Enter, the Roland GO:MIXER. No longer will you have to record HD video with really poor audio quality.

The Roland GO:MIXER is compact, portable and easy to use. It will allow you to record high-quality music with just your smartphone. All you need to do is plug it into your smartphone, and you can record full high-quality audio directly onto your video track as you record.

In the world of social media, quality is king. Simple smartphone videos have always been rejected for being poor quality. The mono microphones are often noisy. In addition, they are impossible to control a mix with. Whoever was closest to the phone, would generally be the loudest.

Before, you could use your phone to record video, then use an additional unit to record audio. You would then need to do some post editing to align the video and the audio. After that you would then need to bounce the video down and only after that would you have a complete project.

By using the Roland GO:MIXER you are able to eliminate that step. If your band was to record live playthrough videos, you can now save hours of work. It truly is the ideal solution for adding professional sound to your social media videos.

This will allow you to create candid and on the fly videos for your audience. If you get the video you want in one take, you can directly upload it to the social media channel of your choice. And the video will have great audio quality.

For the full specs, check out the Roland Website

The Benefits of Music Education

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Does music education affect your child’s ability to learn? The short answer is a simple and resounding YES! Research shows that learning the do-re-mis can help children excel in ways beyond the basic ABCs.

The Brain

Studies have shown time and time again that the earlier a child learns a second language, the easier they find it learn more languages later on. So what does this have to do with music?

A group of trained jazz musicians was recently studied. They were attached to probes and asked to listen to some music, while brain scans were being performed. The study showed that while listening to music, the language centre of the brain was being activated. So music, in essence, is just like learning a new language! When you learn music, you are learning a second language. When you listen to music or play music, you are speaking a second language.

This means that if your child starts learning music from a young age, they will be able to learn languages faster later on. This will give them a huge advantage over other students. They will also learn to express themselves better.

Other areas of learning

Research and studies have found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects. This enhances skills that children use in other areas.

“A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music.

“Music learning supports all learning. Not that Mozart makes you smarter, but it’s a very integrating, stimulating pastime or activity.”

Increased IQ

A study, published by E Glenn Schellenberg at the University of Toronto found a small increase in the IQs of six-year-olds who were given weekly voice and piano lessons.

The children who were given music lessons year tested on average three IQ points higher than the other groups. The drama group didn’t have the same increase in IQ but did experience increased social behaviour benefits not seen in the music-only group.

Improved Test Scores

A study published in 2007 by Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, revealed that students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs, regardless of socioeconomic disparities among the schools or school districts. Johnson compares the concentration that music training requires to the focus needed to perform well on a standardised test.
In conclusion, if your child starts learning an instrument from a young age, they will be better spoken, have a higher IQ and get better test results. If you want the best for your child, ensure that they take up music lessons.

Make Music Your New Years Resolution

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Make music your New Years Resolution!

2016 is a year that will go down in infamy. Many people you speak to will have something negative to say about 2016. But, as resounding as the hate for 2016 is, there is a new and refreshed hope for 2017.

Is this your year?

As lame as some people find New Year’s resolutions, they can be massively helpful and motivational. There is no better time to put your music first, than right now!

What can you do to improve your music this year?

Try signing up for some lessons, or join a band.

Lessons

If you already play an instrument, there is no better time than right now to learn a new one. Maybe you just want to get your chops up? We have the right teachers to help you along your path!

Many of our stores offer in-store music lessons. These lessons are hosted by passionate and experienced teachers who want nothing more than to see you succeed.

Whether you’re wanting drum lessons, guitar & bass lessons, piano & keyboard lessons or even vocal lessons, we have the right teacher for you. In addition to our in-store teachers, we are in contact with a wide range of top schools and teachers in South Africa.

To put it another way, if you have the desire to learn or to improve, let us know. We will be able to set you on the right path!

To have a look at all our in-store teachers, check out our in-store teacher’s page.

Join a Band

In that same way that lessons will help you put your music first, so will joining a band.

Joining a band can be a tricky endeavour. Finding the right people who are into the same music is not easy. Because of this, we run our annual Weekend Warriors programme.

During Weekend Warriors we take musicians from all walks of life and put them into bands. We match skill level and interest in music so that the bands are all as compatible as possible.

All you need to join Weekend Warriors is the ability to play an instrument, the desire to join a band, and to be 30 and over. Simply go to the weekend warriors page and sign up. We’ll take care of the rest.

Therefore, stop making excuses and make music your resolution this year!

We Can Find It

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Are you looking for something specific? A guitar in a particular colour or a double bass drum pedal that you read about online? If it’s available in South Africa, we can find it for you!

We Can Find It

With ten branches around the country as well as two warehouses, we at Paul Bothner Music have access to a massive selection of stock. Our ethos has always been that if it is available locally, we can and will source it for you.

What does this mean for you?

It means that you don’t need to drive or phone around the country in the hopes of finding gear. You don’t need to email different people and keep track of all their replies.

Likewise, it also means that is you played a blue bass that you fell in love with, but want it in red, we can make arrangements to get you one.

In other words, we can do all the work of finding your dream gear while you go about your day to day business.

All you need to do is chat with one of our customer consultants, and let them take care of the rest. They will dig around at length, and find out if the gear you want is available. If it is, they will be able to get you a price and make arrangements to have the gear brought to your preferred store. What could be more simple!

International Orders

Furthermore, if the gear is not available in South Africa, there is still a chance that we can order it for you. So if you want one of the newest Fender Professional Stratocasters or Boss Katana amps, drop us a line.

We will be able to contact the suppliers and find out the price and availability.

Stock Take 2017

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We are as sorry as you are that we will be closed during our stock take.

It’s time for our annual stock take. We would like to apologise for any disruptions that will be caused during our stock take period. Please take note of our operational hours during this period.

Monday 16 January

On Monday the 16th of January, our Somerset West, Stellenbosch and Parklands stores will only open at 12 pm.

Thank you in advance for your patience in this regard

Boss Katana Amp Series

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ai-katana

To most musicians, Boss is synonymous with rugged quality pedals that last a lifetime. In addition, they are world one of the world leaders in guitar and bass tone.

Boss have taken their years of experience, and have created the Boss Katana Amp range of amplifiers.

The amp has been named after the traditional Japanese sword; a symbol of honour and precision. The Boss Katana Amp range was born out of the same process that created the Waza amplifier.

According to Boss, “these innovative amps embody BOSS’s determined pursuit of the ultimate rock sound”.

Upon first hearing the amp, you will notice how much punch it offers. It does so cleanly and without muddying up your tone. The dynamics are clean and cut through a mix well.

Players have said that this guitar works well for anything from driving metal to country fingerstyle playing. This is because the low end on the Katana amps is controlled and the tops have been perfectly pitched and voiced. This allows the amp to be used in a large range of genres.

Versatility 

The Boss Katana Amp offers five amp characters that you can choose from. They are Clean, Crunch, Lead, Brown (derived from the Waza amp), and Acoustic (for acoustic-electric guitars).

If amp modelling alone isn’t enough to get you excited about this amp, then how about onboard effects?

Moreover, you will be able to choose from 55 different customizable effects. This effect can be easily tweaked on your computer using the Boss Tone Studio editor software that comes with the amp.

Once you have tweaked your patch, you can save it to one of 15 save slots on the amp. This will allow you to have complete control to dial in the perfect delay or distortion. The amp lets you use 3 effects at the same time.

To further control your tone, there are dedicated gain, EQ, presence, and effects controls for adjusting your tone on the fly.

Once you find your perfect combination of effects, amp characteristics, and tone settings, you can save the whole set-up into one of four amp settings slots.

Home Practice

A big amp doesn’t sound good at low volumes. This is true for valve and solid state amps. When an amps volume is pushed, it has a natural breaking sound that you just cannot achieve when playing with the volume turned down.

In order to combat this, Boss have made the Boss Katana amps have a variable power control. This means that you can drop the power of the amp and still achieve a cranked amp tone, but without the neighbours complaining.

Range

So far, there are currently 3 amps and one amp head in the Boss Katana Amp range.

 

ai-m-katana-50

 | KATANA-100/212

100 w 2 by 12 Guitar Amplifier
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| KATANA-100

100 w Guitar Amplifier
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ai-m-katana-100212

| KATANA-50

50 w Guitar Amplifier
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| KATANA-HEAD

30 w Guitar Amplifier Head (When using internal speaker)
100 w Guitar Amplifier Head (When using external speaker)
Read More

10 Ways to Maximize Practicing

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Maximize Practicing
We’ve all been told that practice makes perfect, but is it really true? Well, sort of. If you are practicing wrong, then you will take a very long time to improve. Often people who think they aren’t hacking it at their chosen instrument are just practicing wrong.

Use these simple tips to maximize the benefit of your playing!

1) Practice is about discipline, not motivation

All of us find motivation is different things. Whether it be a pretty smile, a brutal riff, political outrage or just something that wonders into our head. The one thing that motivation has in common, is it isn’t always something we can call on at will. You should never use the lack of motivation as an excuse to not practice. Ultimately, discipline is what you need. You need to make a schedule and keep to it. It will eventually become second nature to practice, whereas if you rely on motivation, you run the risk of going days or even weeks without playing a single note.

2) Don’t over do it

You should practice smarter, not harder. Know your body and learn to listen to it. If you are in pain, your posture might be wrong or it might just be time to take a break. There are many repetitive strain injuries that can come from over practicing. If you are zealous and don’t want to stop your session, switch to theory for a while.

3) Find a quiet place

Your practice time should be focused. You want to be in a quiet room with as few distractions as possible. You definitely shouldn’t be on your bed with a movie playing in the background. Practicing is similar to meditation.

4) Set Goals

If you just play whatever new style or riff you’ve learned, then you are not getting the most out of your playing session. You should identify and set goals for yourself. IF you want to learn to play pieces beyond your current ability, then set a clear path of what you need to learn to achieve your goals. If you are unsure how to do this, then you should consult a music teacher

5) There is a difference between playing and practice

Practice time is the time you set aside to polish new pieces and exercises. If you are at a braai and you grab the guitar doing to rounds to play a few songs, that is not practice. Or if you’re just jamming a few songs at home on a Friday night and singing along, that does not qualify as practice. Practice should always be done with the knowledge that you are going to play the same piece over and over again until it is polished and perfect. This is not something to be done with an audience.

6) Record Yourself

In order to fully grasp where you are going wrong, you need to critically listen to yourself playing. This isn’t always easy to do while you are in the moment, and for certain faster pieces, it can be near impossible at first. If you record your practice sessions and listen back to them, you will be able to identify what you need to focus on

7) Be honest with yourself

You need to be critical of your own playing, and you need, to be honest with yourself. Was that piece good enough? Would you think it was good enough if you heard someone else playing it? Would your high school music teacher have any tips on playing it better? These are all things you need to consider while polishing a piece

8) Be patient

Learning anything new takes time. Music never gets easier, you just get to learn to play cooler songs. To push yourself and become a better musician takes time. Ans it takes a lot of time at that. You should push yourself, but you shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you are taking a long time to get something down. Not everyone can be Shaun Lane after all.

9) Take time off

Playing is important. No

t playing can be as important. Don’t play for 6 hours every day of the week. You should try to take at least one day a week for recovery. You use muscles to practice, and just like any sport if you don’t take recovery time, you can hurt yourself or even burn out. Every year I take 2 weeks off from playing. I don’t touch an instrument. When I go back to playing after those two weeks I have a new found passion and excitement for playing.

10) Don’t always practice solo

Play in a band or with mates. Get one or two or three people together to learn the same song, and play it as a unit. If you practice by yourself all the time you are limiting the flow of new ideas and information. The bulk of your practice should be solo work in a quiet distraction-free zone, but practicing with other people is vitally important.

Sourced from capewebdev.co.za

10 Tips to Conquer Stage Fright

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AI Stage Fright

Stage fright can be crippling. It’s one of those ailments that almost everyone suffers from, albeit to varying degrees; from a mild tingling sensation to full-blown panic attacks. Stage fright can be beaten. Follow these simple steps to overcoming stage fright

    1. Don’t overthink it
      If you spend too much inside your own head, you will start to think about everything that could possibly go wrong. You might be plagued by thoughts like, “Is all my gear working”, “What if my battery dies”, “what if I loose my pick”. Many musicians have suffered stage fright thinking about everything that can go wrong.

 

    1. Arrive Early
      Arriving late to the venue means you will be running around and getting stressed about your rig. If you suffer from stage fright it is important to get to your destination early. This is especially important if it is a venue in which you’ve never before played. You want to acclimate to your new surroundings as quickly as possible

 

    1. You will make a mistake – and that’s ok
      Every musician has made a mistake on stage. EVERY. ONE. OF. THEM. Your audience will be forgiving if you make a mistake. How you recover after the mistake will make all the difference.

 

    1. Breathing, stretching and relaxation
      Certain Yoga poses and breathing techniques have shown to reduce heart rate and can cause a relaxing effect. Try some light meditation or some simple stretches before going on stage to help loosen yourself up

 

    1. Don’t rush it
      It is a common mistake for anyone who is nervous to speak faster or play faster. Try playing to a click track live to ensure that you are not speeding things up.

 

    1. Don’t speak about mistakes
      Mistakes happen, but they can be forgotten if you let them go. If you tell your friends about every mistake you make, then you are more likely to remember every mistake you’ve made. This will weigh on your mind after a will and be tough to let go of later. Rather, ignore any mistake you make and celebrate great shows instead.

 

    1. Double check your gear
      While setting up, double check that everything works. If you use batteries, be sure to have a spare. You should always have spares of all your consumables. Strings, picks, sticks and so on

 

    1. Practice until your music is muscle memory
      Once your piece is in your muscle memory, it becomes more comfortable to play it. Your mind might go blank, but your fingers will know what to do. Practice every song you play until you are sick of it, Make sure it’s perfect.

 

    1. Focus on the Audience
      Musicians are the modern day gladiators. We step onto the stage to entertain the masses. If you are on stage, you are there for the audience. Focusing on the audience instead of yourself and your fear is a great way to become more confident on stage

 

  1. Connect with the audience
    Find a pretty girl to smile at, give a knowing nod to the front row, smile or pull Dave Martone style faces. Having fun with the audience and interacting with them, getting a connection with them, is a sure-fire way to make you relax. You’ll be playing in front of all your new friends instead of a group of strangers

Repairs, Servicing, and Upgrades

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Have you bought and upgrade for one of your instruments, but don’t know how to mount it yourself? When was the last time you had your keyboard serviced? Don’t stress, our Service Department has all your Repairs, Servicing, and Upgrades requirements covered!

Upgrading

Are you one of those people who wants to get new parts for an old instrument? The thought of getting a new bridge or pickups for your guitar is tempting, but do you know how to mount your new items? If, not, our service department has you covered.

Our service department is able to handle and all of your upgrade requirements. Our guys have years of experience behind the bench and can expertly tackle any job. So there really is no better time to get those new pickups!

Never thought about upgrading your parts before? Then read this to find out why it might be the best thing for you

Servicing

Most modern electronic gear doesn’t need regular servicing. This is one of the biggest selling points of electronic drum kits and electronic pianos. They are hassle free and give you years and years of reliable service.

There are however some cases where your gear might need a service. Dust can, and often does get into the chassis of electronics. Over years this dust can build up, and this build up could cause your equipment to not work as well as it used to. For keyboard, this can mean that the keys get sticky and don’t bounce back as nicely as they once did.

If you live in a high dust area, or if your gear isn’t as responsive as it once was, it might be time for a service.

Repairs

Sometimes things go wrong. Maybe you dropped your mixer and it doesn’t work anymore. Maybe someone spilt their beer over amp at a gig. Instead of throwing out your broken and old gear, getting it repaired might be the best solution for you.

Booking In

To book an item into our workshop is simple. You can head down to any of our branches and have the item sent to our head office at no cost to you. Alternatively, you can head down to our head office in Ottery and book the item in there. Please note that the Head Office and workshop are closed over weekends, so if Saturday is the only day you are able to make it down, you will need to book your item in at one of our stores.

For more info, like rates and the Service Department contact details, [click here]

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