Archive for September, 2013

Be The Hit Of The Party!

What’s the perfect instrument to bring to a party? No, the answer is not tuba or marimba. They’re way too big. Electric guitar and amp stack? Nope. Too loud. Nobody likes plaster falling from the ceiling. If you said ukulele, you’re right on the money!

What comes to mind when you think of the ukulele, or “uke” as it is lovingly called? Don Ho? Tiny Tim? Adam Sandler? How about venerable rock icons like George Harrison, Tom Petty, and Eric Clapton? The ukulele is a versatile little ukeinstrument and the choice of many fine musicians.

A Brief History of the Ukulele

Portuguese immigrants to Hawaii are credited with the first ukuleles, fashioned after earlier Portuguese stringed instruments, such as the cavaquinho (also called the machete) and its slightly larger cousin, the rajao. In late 1879, three Portuguese cabinetmakers began delighting the islanders with nightly concerts, and quickly attracting the attention and patronage of King Kalākaua.

The name ukulele translates into two rough definitions from the Hawaiian, one meaning “jumping flea,” after a fidgety English player, the other meaning “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift) and lele (to come).

Here in America, the ukulele became a hit with the Tin Pan Alley songwriters in 1915, then later became a staple in early jazz, and American country music. The ukulele has been enjoying a revival in America since the 1990s, and especially after the 2003 release of Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Over the Rainbow,” and “What a Wonderful World.”

At the 2002 Concert for George tribute to George Harrison, Paul McCartney fondly recalls many a night at George’s house playing ukuleles into the wee hours. Tom Petty, who spent time with George in The Traveling Wilburys, tells a similar tale. George had a deep love for the ukulele, and he loved to share it with his friends.

The ukulele comes in four sizes: soprano (or standard), concert, tenor, and baritone. These instruments are 13, 15, 17, and 19 inches. The soprano is the one commonly recognized as the instrument of Hawaii, but due to its small size, many players like the concert ukulele.

Check Out Our Ukes

Do you want to dazzle your friends with your very own rendition of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” or “Tiny Bubbles?” Drop by our store and check out our line of ukuleles. Or see our ukes online here: Andy’s Ukes. Don’t wait – you might be your generation’s next Don Ho!

End “Guitar Envy”

Yamaha P105B Digital Piano

Yamaha P105B Digital Piano

Have you ever been jealous of guitar players who tote their axes so easily to parties? How many times have you said to yourself, “Self, if only I could bring my piano along?” Hey! Stop talking to yourself. It’s unattractive at parties. Now, thanks to the  Yamaha P105 digital piano, you can bring your piano with you and make like Rachmaninoff or Tori Amos.

Weighing in at less than 26 pounds, the P105 can be tucked under your arm, or nestled into a nifty, lightweight keyboard case. With its built-in 14-watt stereo system, two-way loudspeakers, and the Intelligent Acoustic Control system, great sound is right at your fingertips without the need for a separate PA system.

Portability is just the tip of the iceberg. The P105 has 88 touch-sensitive keys that feel almost like an acoustic piano. Yamaha calls this the Graded Hammer (GH) touch sensitivity system, and it means lower notes can be pressed hard, while higher notes are more sensitive and responsive. No other instrument in this class offers such fine-tuned touch sensitivity. In fact, there are instruments far more expensive that don’t even come close.

“But how’s the sound?” you ask yourself. There you go, talking to yourself again! The P105 sounds amazing. It comes loaded with Yamaha’s PureCF sound system, giving you the richness and clarity of Yamaha’s CFIIS concert grand piano, a $120,000 instrument that you can’t tuck under your arm and take with you.

There’s even more! At the touch of a button, the P105 plays along with you in 10 different styles, including arpeggio, march, rag, boogie, swing, blues, slow rock, jazz ballad, waltz and jazz waltz. With 10 different drum machine patterns, it’s like bringing your own band to a party or event. How about splitting the keyboard? Play walking bass with your left hand and piano with your right. Or use two sounds at the same time, like piano with strings, for a really rich sound.

There’s even a USB port to hook your P105 directly to your computer or iPad. Yamaha now offers the NoteStar digital sheet music application for iPad, featuring hands-free, smooth-flowing, easy-to-read digital sheet music accompanied by realistic audio backing tracks and vocals.

The Yamaha P105 might just be the most versatile entry-level digital piano on the market. With 14 different “voices” and 128-note polyphony, this instrument is a powerhouse. The back panel sports audio outs, allowing you to hook it up to a mixer, PA system, or high-end sound system for those times you find yourself needing more juice.

So get a move on while parties are in full swing. Order your P105 today and your social calendar might fill up faster than you ever dreamed.

Life Just Got Easier For Mobil Musicians!

StagePas Portable Sound System

Yamaha StagePas 600i/400i

Life Just Got Easier for Touring Bands, Motivational Speakers, and Church Leaders: Yamaha StagePas 600i / 400i PA Systems

One of the most important choices touring musicians can make is choosing a road-ready PA system. From solo acts to up-and-coming power trios, to motivational speakers and ministers, it’s a jungle out there when it comes to figuring out which system best meets your needs. Your fans or audience need to hear every note or word clearly and distinctly.

In this inaugural issue of Andy’s Music High Notes, we’ll be taking a close look at Yamaha’s StagePas 600i and 400i, both excellent PA choices. Each has a host of features to make your next gig or speaking engagement really shine.

First, Let’s Take a Look at the StagePas 600i 

The heart of Yamaha’s versatile StagePas 600i is a detachable 10-channel powered mixer with onboard phantom power, four XLR microphone inputs, and six mono (or three stereo) line inputs. Phantom power is a real plus in a portable PA system. This means can you plug in your favorite condenser microphones without adding a stand-alone mic pre-amp. Since space is always an issue on the road, that’s one less piece of gear to take to your gigs.

What can you do with those six mono or three stereo inputs? Guitars and basses have a single output jack, while keyboard instruments have stereo (or more) outputs. In a typical scenario, you could have two guitarists, a bass player, and a keyboardist, and still have two available line inputs. With four mic inputs, you can have two singers and two drum mics at your service. That’s quite impressive for a PA system of this size and portability.

StagePas 600i Sound Quality

What about sound quality? With 680 watts (a stereo pair of 340 watts each), there’s power and headroom to spare in most room-sized venues. No, you can’t use this system at arena concerts; by the time you get to that stage, you’ll have your own gangs of roadies and enough big amp stacks to play the next Woodstock. But in medium to semi-large rooms, the sound quality of the StagePas 600i is impressive. It’s a Yamaha, and that means quality.

Ultimate Portability

The Yamaha StagePas 600i is a tight package of powered mixer, two speakers, and cables that lock together into one easy-to-carry package. At 56 pounds, the 600i can be carried by a strong road manager, a muscular drummer, two pop divas, or placed on a lightweight hand truck.

Yamaha StagePas 600i Features

  • 680W power output (340W + 340W)
  • Newly designed high quality portable speakers (LF: 10″ woofer/ HF: 1.4″ voice coil compression drive)
  • Detachable 10-channel mixer (4 mono mic/line + 6 mono / 3 stereo line)
  • Pod/ iPhone USB connection
  • One-knob master EQ with virtual bass boost
  • High resolution SPX digital reverbs (4 types, parameter control)
  • On board feedback suppressor
  • 3-band channel EQ
  • Switchable stereo/ mono inputs
  • Hi-Z (high impedance) inputs
  • Phantom power
  • Monitor and Subwoofer outputs
  • Optional reverb footswitch

Now Let’s Look at the StagePas 400i

Stagepass 600i Think of the StagePas 400i as the very versatile little brother of the 600i. Its detachable mixer is a bitsmaller – eight channels instead of ten. Four of those are selectable mic/line inputs, of which two are XLR and two will accept XLR or ¼” inch cables. Built-in phantom power means you can use your best condenser mics.

So with eight channels, if you’re using two vocal mics, and one stereo keyboard, you still have room for four more mono inputs, for example guitar, bass, and two drum mics. That’s a lot of versatility!

StagePas 400i Sound Quality

Although the StagePas 400i sports a bit less power than the 600i, its 400-watt output (200 per channel) offers impressive sound and power to spare in room-sized venues. From small churches to social halls to banquet rooms, the StagePas 400i delivers clear, reliable sound every time.

Extremely Portable

With its components locked together in an easy-to-carry bundle, the StagePas 400i weighs only 39 pounds. No special equipment is needed to haul it to your gigs.

Yamaha StagePas 400i Features

  • 400W (200W + 200W) power output
  • Newly designed high quality portable speakers (LF: 8″ woofer/ HF: 1″ voice coil compression driver)
  • Detachable 8-channel mixer (4 mono mic/line + 4 mono / 2 stereo line)
  • iPod/ iPhone USB connection
  • One-knob master EQ™ with virtual bass boost
  • High resolution SPX digital reverbs (4 types, parameter control)
  • On board feedback suppressor
  • Great-sounding 2-band channel EQ
  • Switchable stereo/ mono inputs
  • Hi-Z (high impedance) inputs
  • Phantom power
  • Monitor and Subwoofer outputs
  • Optional reverb footswitch

Both Systems Offer These Awesome Features

Both systems come with two portable speakers, a detachable powered mixer, and the cables you’ll need to get the system hooked up quickly.

The 600i and 400i both include SPX digital reverbs, on-board feedback suppression and versatile EQ.

An iPod/iPhone Digital Connection lets you play music through the system before or during the show. As an added bonus, this connection charges your device, so there’s never a drained battery during or after your performance.

If you need excellent sound and dependability in an all-in-one PA system, these two StagePas systems really deliver!

New Yamaha CP4 and CP40 Stage Pianos

Yamaha-CP4-Stage-2

Yamaha has just announced the new CP4 and CP40 digital pianos. They replace the current models CP5 and CP50.

The CP4 features voices from Yamaha’s Premium Collection of hand crafted grand pianos, including the CFX, CFIIIS and the S6. These sounds were hand selected by Yamaha artists for the CP4, and are sure to please even the most critical player. But that’s not all.

To round out the set of professional voices, the CP4 Stage also includes vintage electric pianos with VCM stomp box effects and a variety of bass, clav, organ, strings and pad sounds from the Yamaha Motif synthesizer. A sampling of the sounds included are the classic DX7 Rhodes sound, CP80 electric grand, Wurlitzer electric piano and many others.

The new Yamaha CP40 Stage digital piano also features a selection of grand piano sounds based on the Yamaha CFIII, one of Yamaha’s Premium Collection grand pianos.

The CP40 also includes a selection of vintage electric pianos with VCM effects and a variety of sounds from Yamaha’s Motif round out the sound set. With this versatile setup,you’re ready for any musical situation.

These new models will be available in October 2013. For more information visit www.AndysMusic.com, or call Andy’s Music at 251-633-8944.