The Guilt of a Restless Instrument

Have you ever put your instrument down for a long period of time and felt guilty when you looked at? I have too. In our ever-increasingly busy lives, it can be hard to regularly play your instrument if it’s not your job. I don’t make a living from playing my instruments, it’s just something I enjoy, but when I leave my instruments alone for a long period of time, I find myself avoiding eye contact with them.

Whenever I walk past them, tired and wanting to lay down, I feel a glare coming from, as if they’re speaking “why aren’t you playing me? You’re just sitting there!” And, yeah, some days all I can do is lay still at the end of the day. There’s nothing wrong with taking time off if that’s what you need, I know this. But, I find myself wondering why I feel such guilt over not participating in a pastime.

I suppose it’s the hard work I’ve put into learning to play the instrument. As a trombone player, your embouchure is something you spend time developing, but can be lost/weakened in a few days time. As a guitar/ukulele player, my calluses fade away if I don’t play. It makes returning feel like I’ve taken 5 steps back. How can we avoid this feeling of guilt? What can we do to turn that time away from a “tsk tsk” into something that fuels our playing?

I don’t have the answers to everything, but I can speak from my own experience. My first step is to look at myself and validate that I was busy, and that that’s okay. Some days we work harder, do more, are more stressed, or whatever the day’s ailment was. That’s totally okay; you shouldn’t feel bad. My second step is to get over myself, and pick the dang thing up. Maybe the first chord hurts my fingertips a bit, and the first note sounds a little more wobbly than usual, but that’s okay. If you’re playing for your personal pleasure, your guilt is with yourself. That’s why my next step is to take a deep breath and say “stop judging yourself. You’re playing, doesn’t matter what happens in between.” Music is a wonderful thing to have in your life, and we shouldn’t hold ourselves in a bad light from only getting to it sometimes. If you’re not relying on it for a living, that’s totally fine.

In short, don’t feel guilty if you haven’t picked up your instrument in a while; we’re only human. The best thing you can do for yourself is to, in that moment of guilt, pick up your instrument and play, whether it be for a few minutes or hours. Pick it up, and forget the guilt. Let yourself have fun with it, and remember that fun when you’re away–it’ll keep you coming back.

Hosa Edge Series Cables

One of our brands with the most in-store inventory consistently is Hosa Cables. If you’ve tried any of their cables, you know why we love them; great quality at a price that almost anyone can afford. Although we commonly stock the “Pro” line of cables from them, you may have noticed a few from a different line of theirs–the “Edge” line.

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What makes Hosa’s “Edge” line cables different from other cables? Let’s dive in.

  • 20 AWG Oxygen-free copper
  • 6-Layer cord for protection and longevity
  • Neutrix AG connectors

With an oxygen-free environment we reduce the risk of oxidization in your cable immensely. A beefy cable, and solid, lightweight, tough connectors pair together to make the Hose “Edge” cables great for the studio or on the road. To checkout their cool diagrams, or to learn more about the “Edge” line, click here!

 

Ernie Ball Cobalt Guitar Strings

Artists like Toto’s Steve Lukather, Jason Richardson, and The Ride’s Kenny Wayne Sheperd are using Ernie Ball’s Cobalt strings. But why?

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The Cobalt strings are wound with cobalt, instead of the standard nickel, which is a more conducive alloy. What does that mean? It means that cobalt has a  “stronger relationship” with the magnetic field that our pickups create. This gives us “an extended dynamic range, incredible harmonic response, increased low end, and crisp, clear highs.”

Try them out next time your electric guitar needs some strings!!!

For all versions of Cobalt strings available, visit their website–We can special order strings just for you.

The Scarlett Focusrite Audio Interfaces – A Game Changer!

If you’ve been in the store, you’ve most likely seen our microphone testing setup. We know we put sound into the microphones, but how does it get into the computer? We have to take sound, turn it into a computer code, and then turn it back into sound! Audio interfaces, like the Scarlett Focusrite, do this for us. 

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Of course many computers are equipped with microphones, and can do this transference of sound on board, but they don’t have the best microphones or processes for the job. Having a separate component to do this allows for the job to be done much better, ending in a better end product for you.

The Scarlett Focusrite in a versatile product. We carry both the Solo and the 2i2 models. The solo has one 1/4″ input (for guitar) and one XLR input (for a microphone). The 2i2 has 2 stacked inputs, meaning they can be either 1/4″ OR XLR.  With a left and right output, as well as a direct USB connection, you can plug in almost anything, and go almost anywhere with that sound. A neat headphone output also allows you to listen to the sound on the interface, before sending it to speakers or your computer.

Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 Front and Back Faces

One notable aspect of the Focusrites are the negligible amount of latency when recording. Many interfaces have large amounts of latency, making on-spot recording hard, and adding extra work to match up tracks. The Focusrite has barely any, making your ears happy, recording easy, and editing simple. Plus, it’s a a dang good price.Audio interfaces with similar performance standards are double (or more!) the price of the Focusrite. 

Overall the Focusrite line offers stellar performance, on-time recording, great processing, and all at an affordable price. Stop by the store TODAY to try one out. We’d love to sit down and show you how to use it, and make a fun on-the-spot song with you!