Blog

09/25/2017
by Pats Music

Pats Music Store Blog

If you are looking for the best music advice in town, Pats Music Store has the Blog you simply must read. Learn what our music aficionados have to say about some of the Musical Instruments in store. Experts from our Piano Shop and our Guitar Shop, frequent these pages with invaluable insights into choosing the right instruments.

Advice on Musical Instruments

If you are looking to buy Piano music or perhaps change the tone of your Electric Guitar, follow this forum to get some great ideas, straight from Melbourne's favourite Music Shop.



Acoustic Guitar Packs

11/12/2018
by Pats Music

Acoustic Guitar Packs

Are you trying to choose between Acoustic Guitar Packs for a Christmas Gift?

As we get closer and closer to Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about your Christmas shopping. Here at Pat’s Music, we always try our hardest to make sure you find the perfect Christmas present. Whether it’s for a professional musician or a beginner, just starting their musical journey. We have plenty of options for all skill levels. Furthermore our friendly staff will always do their best to help you find what you need.

A Guitar for Christmas

One of the most popular presents around Christmas time, are acoustic guitar packs. Acoustic guitars are a great gift for anyone interested in music. Whether you’re looking for an entry level guitar to start someone off or a higher end guitar for a friend or family member who already plays. Our range of acoustic guitars at Pat’s Music spans a broad range of makes, brands, styles and budgets. To that end, Pat's Music Store provide plenty of options. One of the easiest and most affordable options is our acoustic guitar packs. These packs include all you need to get you on your way. A guitar pack ensures you get all you need to start playing the acoustic guitar, in the one purchase. Of course at Pat’s Music there are several packs to choose from.

Yamaha Guitar Pack Gigmaker 310

Yamaha Gigmaker 310


Priced at $219, the Gigmaker310 is an incredibly affordable guitar pack that is set up with the same specs as the professional models. In fact the Gigmaker 310 offers an outstanding playing experience. Along with the F310 spruce top guitar, the pack includes a Korg digital tuner, instructional DVD, gig bag, capo, picks, strings, pitch pipe, string winder and guitar strap. The pack includes everything you need to get you started on the guitar. Consequently, this makes for a perfectly affordable, high quality gift.

Yamaha Acoustic Guitar Packs Gigmaker 800


Yamaha Gigmaker 800

If you’re looking for a slight step up from the Gigmaker 310, the Gigmaker 800 guitar pack is the way to go. The guitar itself is a popular choice amongst guitarists, and the pack makes for a great gift around Christmas time. The pack is perfect for anyone looking for a high quality guitar at an incredibly affordable price. For $299, the Gigmaker 800 pack comes with the FG800 solid-top acoustic guitar, carry bag and a Korg digital tuner.


Fender FA-115 Dread Pack

Fender Acoustic Pack FA115

Similarly to Yamaha, Fender also have several guitar packs to choose from, giving you more options than ever thisyear for Christmas. The new FA-115 dreadnought guitar pack offers not only great value, but a great sound for anyone looking to start their musical journey. For $199, the pack includes the spruce-top FA-115 acoustic guitar, as well as a gig bag, picks, guitar strap, a spare set of strings and a free 90-day subscription to Fender Play. Fender Play gives you access to hundreds of online lessons and guides to assist in your musical journey.

Fender CD-60S Dread Pack

The Fender CD-60S is a popular acoustic guitar from the Fender line. Similarly, it now comes in its very own pack making it a great gift idea. This complete starter pack not only includes the Fender CD-60S acoustic guitar, with a solid spruce top and mahogany fingerboard. But also a gig bag, guitar strap, picks, and a spare set of strings, as well as a free 90-day subscription to Fender Play, with access to online lessons. For $299, this Fender dread pack includes everything you need to get started with playing the acoustic guitar.

Visit our Guitar Shop

Pat’s Music has all you need to find the perfect present for Christmas. Our acoustic guitar packs are an easy and affordable way to get everything your guitarist may need, in one purchase. An assortment of packs come with a variety of accessories as mentioned above. Therefore even if you’re a beginner guitarist or a buyer with little musical experience, you’re sure to find a pack that is complete with all you need, whether it’s simply a guitar, bag and tuner combo, or a pack with the lot.

Lay-by a Guitar now

With our Yamaha and Fender guitar packs being incredibly popular choices, they are sure to go flying out the door. At Pat’s Music we also have our 10% deposit deal in the lead-up to Christmas, meaning you only pay 10% of your item as your initial deposit, making it the perfect time to come into the store and get your hands on one of these packs.


Christmas Gifts & Lay By

10/16/2018
by Pats Music

Christmas gifts for musicians and Lay-By options

Choosing Christmas gifts for Musicians (especially if you are not one yourself), can be tricky. But with Christmas fast approaching, it’s not too early to start thinking about presents for your loved ones.

Pat’s Music have a huge selection of great gift ideas for those ‘hard-to-buy for’ musician friends and family. If we don’t happen to have what you’re looking for, one of our friendly staff members will do their very best to track it down and get it in for you.

Guitar starter packs

Closer to Christmas time, many of the much loved, big brands like Yamaha and Fender bring out guitar starter packs. For an amazing price you can pick up not only a great guitar but added accessories as well. These high quality guitar packs come with a range of straps, cases, cables and amps. They ensure aspiring musicians have everything they could possibly need when they first pick up the guitar. These affordable packs are great for beginners and they are sure to make perfect Christmas gifts.

FenderPlay Pre-Paid Cards

Another great gift idea for any guitarist, are our official FenderPlay Pre-Paid Cards. Choose between three months or six months, and guitarists can connect their card. Then redeem step-by-step, bite sized lessons from world-class instructors, as well as progress tracking and guided videos on Fender’s official learning platform. These cards make great, affordable Christmas gifts for beginner guitarists. Additionally, anyone looking to expand and develop their skill set will love this gift.

Musical Instrument Accessories

Piano Shop Christmas gifts for musicians

Pat’s Music Store also stocks a wide range of music accessories. From guitar straps, capos, tuners and strings, to

reeds, metronomes, stands, cases, rosin. If you’re friends or family members are already covered for instruments, then music accessories are just the ticket. Markedly, we are sure to have something in store for the perfect Christmas present to assist their musical journey.

Sheet Music Gifts

If you’re still looking for more gifts or stocking fillers, our Print Music Department is perfect for those added extras! You’ll be sure to find sheet music for your favourite musicians, movies, musicals and composers. Titles are available for a wide selection of instruments and skill levels. Music books are available for piano, guitar, woodwind, brass, strings, drums, choral groups, vocals and more. Furthermore, our Print Music Department also has a large selection of holiday music. Now that's perfect for that Christmas day performance in front of the family.

Miscellaneous Christmas Gifts for Musicians

As well as sheet music and books, there’s also a large variety of giftware and accessories, perfect for stocking fillers or KK gifts. Gift wares are especially popular amongst students and teachers, looking for end of year gifts and prizes. Of course, we have no shortage of items to pick from. Choose from our collection of stationary, glass wares, bags, cases, collectibles and memorabilia. You are sure to find something.

Music Shop Gift Vouchers

If you’re really struggling to find that elusive present and have no idea what to buy for your musician, why not come into the store and pick up a gift voucher! A Pat’s Music gift voucher is an easy and affordable option to give someone a Christmas gift they can essentially choose themselves! Use of our Music Shop Gift Vouchers covers all products across the entire store. So they’ll definitely be able to put their voucher to good use and you can be sure they will appreciate it.

Music Store Lay-by

In the months leading up to Christmas, keep in mind you can also choose to set up a lay-by, to ensure you have the perfect present ready to go. We now also offer a 10% deposit in the weeks coming up to Christmas, making it easier to get started on your lay-by payments, for less.

Prepare for a Musicians Christmas

If you are looking for Christmas gifts for musicians, you have come to the right place. Make sure you’re prepared for Christmas. Head to our website or come into the store and we’ll do our best to make sure you find everything you’re looking for to make this Christmas great! Whether it’s a brand new instrument for an inspiring musician, accessories to make the process a little easier, sheet music and books or gift wares for students and teachers, Pat’s Music has all you need to get yourself sorted this Christmas!

Yamaha Keyboard Month Event

09/19/2018
by Pats Music

Yamaha Keyboard Month

It's Yamaha Keyboard month at Pat's Music Store. To further celebrate Keyboard Month, Pats Music has teamed up with Yamaha Music Australia for the Yamaha Music Education System concert. The event will be held at Monash University’s Clayton campus on the 22nd and 23rd of September. Of course, we here at Pats are very excited to be involved in this event.

The following is a brief summary of what the Education System has to offer to students of all skill levels.

The Yamaha Music Education System

The Yamaha Music Education System provides music education through courses designed for a broad range of students. Including children, youths and adults, the course covers beginners to those who wish to acquire a high-level of music ability.

The foundations of this idea began with “Music Class for Pre-school Children”, in Tokyo in 1954. This later developed into the Yamaha Music School, establishing itself throughout various countries from 1964. Subsequently the course came to Australia in 1970.

Since launching almost 50 years ago, Yamaha Music Education Australia continues to embody Yamaha’s internationally designed curriculum. The course focuses on bringing out a child’s potential by nurturing their capabilities to express themselves through music.

Today, the Yamaha Music Education System remains part of the world’s largest music company. It has developed into a globally recognised system with more than 650,000 students, with 20,000 instructors across 40 countries. Along with this, more than 6 million students have graduated from our schools, with alumni numbers continuing to grow.

Throughout the year

Throughout their time at Yamaha, all students from beginner to advanced, will have the chance to participate in Yamaha’s Annual Concert. Each year, Yamaha holds these student concerts in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide. The school concerts provide an opportunity for Yamaha Music Education students to demonstrate their progress to family and friends.

It’s also a valuable opportunity for all students to develop the confidence of performing in front of a large audience. This experience is then shared with students from all Yamaha Music Schools.

Annual concerts also provide students with a goal to work towards throughout the year. Students will learn to prepare their pieces and focus their practice towards their concert performance.

The Yamaha Keyboard event

This weekend, Yamaha Music Education will host their Melbourne concert at Monash University over two days, with 6 concerts in total. Each concert will have over 70 students performing, as proud parents and other family members look on.

Over 400 students will perform in Melbourne on the 22nd and 23rd September, with around 900 audience members passing through.

Pats Music representatives will be present on both dates, with Kate Finkelstein attending Saturday and Shane McMahon attending on Sunday. Additionally, stock of the brand new Yamaha gear, shall be available to both try and purchase on the day. Furthermore, the team will have everything digital with them. Try a portable Yamaha Keyboard like the P45 or P125, right through to the digital pianos in the Clavinova range.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

Piano Keyboards Sale

09/04/2018
by Pats Music

Piano Keyboards at sale prices

Keyboard Month

It’s now September and at Pats Music that can mean only one thing; Keyboard month is back!

Piano Keyboards, Digital Pianos and Acoustic Pianos have contributed a huge part of our business over our 28 year journey. So if you are in the market, there is no better time to visit our lovely showroom than now. In celebration of this sale, we have put together the following blog. The article outlines where to start looking for beginners considering learning to play either keyboard or piano.

With so much available on the market, purchasing your first keyboard or digital piano can be a daunting task. Fortunately, with decades of experience in this area, Pats music is here to help make that task an easy one. Stocking a wide range of both Casio and Yamaha products, we are confident that we will be able to find the right instrument for you.

So, if you or your child are starting to learn, the first question you need to ask yourself is “Do I want to play piano or keys?" Although they are both very similar instruments, subtle differences in their respective functionality and playability set them apart. If you are hoping to learn to play piano, digital pianos are ideal for building the correct posture and playing techniques. If you want to play around with a whole bunch of different sounds, backing tracks, and work on arrangements, then a keyboard with all its bells and whistles is better suited to you. Here is a more in depth breakdown of the differences and advantages of both digital pianos and keyboards.

Digital Pianos

As previously mentioned, Digital Pianos are the right choice of instrument if you want to build your skills as a pianist. Digital pianos are simply made to replicate the feel and sound of an acoustic piano. They boast the same 88 note scale as an acoustic piano with weighted keys. Additionally, they deliver a realistic touch, similar to the mechanical action of an acoustic piano. The weighted keys are the real selling point, helping you to build the strength in your fingers required for playing piano pieces of music. In contrast to a piano, digital pianos do not require any maintenance such as tuning.

They come with a range of different sounds from organs through to strings. In addition to built in speakers, you can also play silently through headphones. You can adjust their volume and, most importantly, they are much more affordable. Starting from just $539 for a Yamaha P45 or $599 for a Casio CDP135, Pats Music will be able to get you started on your journey as a pianist!

We stock a little bit of everything from both the Yamaha and Casio Digital Piano range. This includes the Yamaha YDP Arius and CLP Clavinova, along with the Casio PX Privia and AP Celviano.

Non Piano Keyboards

The design of Electronic Keyboards is of course, very different to that of Digital Pianos. Most often built to a smaller scale, Synthesizers and Home Keyboards are usually fitted with 61 keys. Unlike a Digital Pianos weighted keys, Keyboards have a much lighter feel. They contain hundreds of different sounds suitable for all different genres of music. These include drum and percussion sounds to build backing tracks and beats.

Functionality varies across different models, but recording and accompaniment are just two of the many functions attractive to keyboard players. Despite having a different feel to an acoustic piano, keyboards are an affordable alternative. Consequently they provide easy way to build your knowledge of music theory. Also yo can create song arrangements and play with a variety of different sounds. If you are considering entering into the world of music, keyboards are a popular and easy choice. Starting at just $239 for a Yamaha YPT360 or $279 for a Yamaha PSRE363, they are very affordable.

Regardless of your reasons for entering the realm of Keyboards and Digital Pianos. You can be sure that here at Pats Music Store we will find the right instrument to start your journey.

A Digital Piano Keyboard for Singer Songwriters

07/24/2018
by Pats Music

The perfect Digital Piano Keyboard for developing Singers and Singer-Songwriters.

There is one Yamaha digital piano keyboard that stands out amongst the rest. It is a multifaceted musical instrument designed to assist in the development of the next era of Musicians. These include pianists, singers, performers, songwriters, composers and music producers. Furthermore, it is also a super handy tool for Vocal teachers.

Yamaha DGX660 Digital Piano Keyboard

The Yamaha DGX660 is an ALL IN ONE digital piano keyboard, stage piano and recording studio.

Pianists:

For the piano player it has 88 notes with a graded hammer action allowing for the development of piano technique. It comes with a wooden stand and a three pedal unit. This allows players to familiarise themselves with the position of an acoustic piano. It also has a guided lesson function on board for the beginner keyboard player. Additionally there is a headphone socket for silent practice. Both size and feel make this an ideal Piano Keyboard for expressive recordings.

Singers:

For the singer, the DGX660 has a microphone input. Vocal effects allow the developing vocalist to learn how to sing into a microphone. Additionally effects such as reverbs and choruses are accessible from the comfort of your own home, without the need of a studio. Developing microphone technique is an important skill for an aspiring singer.

The digital audio recorder allows a singer to record their performances and listen back to them. This can be an unnerving experience for a singer, as singers are often their own worst critic. But recording and listening back to their voice is essential for any singer aspiring to be a recording artist. Recording and listening back to their voice allows a vocalist to improve intonation (singing in tune) and learn to hear their voice from outside, rather than inside their head

Yamaha DGX660 Music Arranger Keyboard

Accompaniment Keyboard

With over 200 rhythms and auto accompaniment, the DGX660 allows singers or singing teachers to create backing tracks for their favourite songs in their preferred key. With over 500 general midi sounds, a singer is also able to down load pre recorded midi backing tracks and transpose them.

For the audio recorder, backing tracks can convert to MP3 and saved to a thumb drive. This means they become transferable to a computer, emailed or uploaded to the ‘cloud’, saved to smart devices and used for live performances, auditions or competitions.

The DGX660 Yamaha Piano Keyboard also has an audio line in that can be connected to computer, tablet or phone. The audio input can amplify audio tracks such as pre recorded backing tracks, MP3 karaoke tracks, or even YouTube Karaoke tracks to sing along to.

Performers:

Yamaha DGX660 Vocal Recording

When an artist wishes to use their Yamaha DGX660 to perform, the wooden stand is removable. The Piano Keyboard

is then put on an adjustable stand. This electronic keyboard comes with a free cabled sustain pedal for this purpose, and with a balanced line-out the DGX660 can be amplified through PA systems or amplifiers.

The 2 x 6 watt speakers act as fabulous on stage fold back. Conveniently, the on board, mic input and effects allow the performer to adjust the vocal levels directly from the piano. In addition the line-in allowing for connection to phone or tablet, amplifies audio playback such as backing tracks or pre recorded music to add to a performance.

Songwriters/Composers/Producers:

The DGX660 Digital Keyboard has over 500 realistic sounds, including; Drum kits, Brass, Strings, Organs, Electric Pianos, Guitars and Bass Guitars, Synthesisers. It also has an array of traditional world musical instruments. With so many sounds at their fingertips, composers have access to a multitude of voices when creating a new composition. And the 6 track multi track recorder allows the budding artist to create compositions directly on the piano.

Recording with the Yamaha DGX660

The microphone input also doubles as an input for guitar or any other amplified instrument.

In addition to the multi track recorder the on-board audio recorder records performance to MP3 allowing storage on thumb drive and shared online.

If the developing songwriter-composer-producer evolves beyond the recording capabilities of the DGX660, why not use it as a midi controller keyboard. Via MIDI the Piano Keyboard works any computer laptop or tablet along with the producers choice of recording software.

The large speakers and audio line in also double up as monitor speakers when used with a computer or tablet.

The DGX660 ALL-IN-ONE digital piano comes in either black or white and retails at $1599.

A great addition to the DGX660 is the MPKAMSI microphone pack that comes with boom stand, mic clip, mic bag and the correct cable for the DGX660. The MPKAMSI retails at $99.95


Check out our online store for special offers on the DGX660 and the MPKAMSI


Learning the Piano gives you Brains

07/18/2018
by Pats Music

Learning the Piano gives you Brains

It’s well known that learning the piano can enhance brain development.

But how does this happen?

Learn Piano Keyboard and get smartWhen we play the Piano we use multiple parts of our brain at one time.

We use our eyes to read which requires the visual cortex and the occipital lobe.

We use our ears to hear and adjust the notes which require our auditory cortex and temporal lobe.

We use both our hands and our 10 fingers to play different rhythmic patterns, requiring our primary motor cortex, our prefrontal cortex and our cerebellum.


To be able to play ‘in time’ our brain needs to synthesise a ‘beat’ then synchronise all sensory input and motor activities to this ‘beat’. This requires the use of our prefrontal cortex and cerebellum.


Learning the Piano

We also need to develop spatial awareness in order to play without looking at our hands. This utilises our parietal lobe, cerebellum and the right hemisphere or our brain.

Learning to read sheet music is like learning another language. The language of musical instruments is predominately mathematic but also requires visual spatial awareness; it is somewhat like map reading.

As well as developing brain function, playing or learning the piano can be a great way to express feeling and release stress. It is known to encourage the release of endorphins which is a feel good hormone.

Most notably, learning to play the piano strengthens the link between the right and left brain which has been associated with the creative problem solving skills known as ‘divergent thinking.




For help finding the best learner piano or recommendations of Piano teachers call Pats music on 0396538711.

To read more about how learning either an Acoustic Piano or Digital Piano Keyboard, follow this link to an extremely interesting article.

Audio Recording Technology

07/11/2018
by Pats Music

Audio Recording Technology

Audio Recording Technology or Music Production is an industry once reserved for life-long professionals and money-fuelled record companies. Today however, Audio Recording has been made easily accessible to bedroom musicians and amateur bands everywhere. The introduction of Digital Audio Interfaces, Recording Software and Digital Audio Workstations, means recording is more affordable than ever before. Additionally, new Audio Recording technology has made music production a whole lot easier. Not just for professional audio engineers and producers, but for beginner recording artists as well. This blog will give you a rundown of exactly what you need to get your home studio up and running.

Steinberg Audio Recording Interface

Building a Home Studio

The first step in building your home studio is selecting an Audio Interface. Thankfully most brands are compatible with both PC and Apple Mac computers. This means you will have a variety of options regardless of your operating system and budget. Here at Pats Music, we stock Focusrite Scarlett, Steinberg UR, and Presonus Audiobox interfaces. Each of these interfaces conveniently comes with a free version of the brands respective recording programs. In some instances, this may help you in deciding which interface to go with.

Focusrite Scarletts

The Focusrite Scarletts come with Ableton Live Lite, the top DAW choice for electronic artists and producers. With an extremely user friendly setup, Ableton Live Lite lays down all the tools, including selected instruments and effects, that you need to record and produce your own music.

Steinberg UR

The Steinberg UR interfaces ship with a download code for Cubase AI. Cubase AI provides all the basic tools for recording, editing and mixing everything from the initial idea to the final masterpiece.

Presonus Audiobox

Finally, the Presonus Audiobox interfaces come with Studio One Artist which is an easy to use Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). In fact, Presonus Audiobox has enabled many artists from around the world, to get more out of their productions.

How many Audio Ins do I need?

Once you have decided on brand, the next thing to consider is how many audio inputs you will require. Each of the audio inputs on board your interface, allow you to record just one signal. So, for example, if you would like to record an acoustic guitar and your voice simultaneously, you will need to purchase and interface with a minimum of two audio inputs. One input assigned to your guitar and the other input for your voice.

But what if you are wanting to record something a little more complex such as live acoustic drums? In this instance, you may need to consider an interface with 8 or more audio inputs. Focusrite, Steinberg and Presonus all offer interfaces in multiple sizes, all of which we stock at Pats Music. Regardless of how many audio inputs you require, we have the Audio Interface to suit your needs!

Recording Microphones

Once you’ve chosen your audio interface, you will need to purchase yourself some recording microphones. There are three different types of microphones available;

Shure SM58 Microphone

Dynamic, Ribbon and Condenser Microphones.

Each of these has different strengths and are used to record different instruments and sound sources.

Dynamic Microphones

In short, Dynamic Microphones are great for picking up loud sound sources which are strong in the mid frequency range such as snare drums, tom toms and percussion.

SE Electronics X1R ribbon

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbon Microphones are more sensitive than dynamic mics, picking up a broader frequency range. This makes them

more suited to record Guitar and Bass Amplifiers, Kick Drums, Brass and Woodwind instruments.

Condenser Microphones

Condenser Microphones are the most sensitive, capturing everything from sub bass through to sparkly highs. Of course, this makes them the most versatile Microphone and is used for most recording situations. Indeed, such a wide audio range affords the Condenser Mic the luxury of recording various sounds like vocals and acoustic guitars. What’s more Condenser Microphones can be placed in front of Guitar Amplifiers, Organs and Wind Instruments. Not to mention all kinds of acoustic Drum recording as Drum overheads.

SE Electronic SE2200 Condenser Microphone

Microphone for Sale

Therefore, at Pats Music, we recommend starting with a condenser Microphone due to their versatility and overall professional sound. For example, the SE Electronics X1A condenser microphone is popular choice at our store. At Pat’s, you’ll find the X1A Microphone for sale at the very friendly price of $129.

The SE 2200 is another popular condenser microphone at $349 and is perfect for crystal clear vocal and acoustic guitar recording. If you are looking for something more specialist, Pats also offers a range of Ribbon and Dynamic microphones. These include the SE X1R ribbon mic, the SE V3 and V7 dynamics, and of course the famous Shure SM57 and Sm58 microphones.


Audio Recording Accessories

The final piece in your home studio puzzle is the necessary accessories. Firstly you will need microphone cables, which we stock from only $10 each. Brands available are D’addario, Carson, SM Pro and Planet Waves.

Equally important, you will also need recording headphones or studio monitors, in order to be able to get a true reflection of your mixes. We offer Smart Acoustic Headphones and both the Yamaha HS and Presonus E series Studio Monitors.

Reflection filters and pop filters are advisable, but not necessarily required, for recording vocals at home. These give you greater control over your recordings and start from $142 and $19.95 respectively.

On a final note, setting up a home studio can seem to be a daunting and expensive task, but help is at hand. With a little bit of research and friendly help from the highly knowledgeable staff at Pats Music, you will be up and running in no time.

Oh and it doesn’t have to break the bank either!

Piano care and caring for your piano

07/02/2018
by Pats Music

Piano Care

Caring for your piano.

In the following article we discuss Piano Care and ways you can increase the enjoyment of your musical instrument.

The delivery day of our Piano is a special day in the life of any piano player.

It takes pride of place in the specially selected room, standing proudly and silently with the promise of musical adventures for decades to come.

What a marvellous sight.

It’s only natural that we want take the very best care of our piano.

How do we do this?...

Inside a Piano:

Pianos are made with the need to stay tuned. Strings are made to resonate at their best when they are tightened to their ideal tension. As a string is struck, the sound waves from string transfer through the bridge, and onto the soundboard. It then travels along the grain of the wood spreading all over the soundboard and amplifying. As these sound waves travel they end up gently shaping the wood on a molecular level to better amplify sound. That’s why the soundboard of an older, regularly tuned, piano can resonate so magnificently. If a piano is regularly played out of tune, it will not mature as sweetly.

As a rule of thumb the tuning of our piano should occur at least once a year. Exposure to heat can cause a piano togo flat, because the wood in the pin block relaxes and the pins loosen. In the same way it can sharpen when the piano gets colder and the wood tightens. Strings do stretch slightly over time too so regular tightening is usually required. It is cheaper to tune our piano regularly rather than let it go out of tune. When piano strings are left at a looser tension (flat) they are slowly stretched so as not to break. This takes much longer and may need to happen over repeat visits.

Piano Cleaning

Cleaning the inside of a piano is a little more difficult. With an upright piano, the front panels and the fall, or lid, are taken off to access the inside. If you have a Grand Piano it is easier to access the inside but it is harder to clean, manoeuvring a cloth or duster under the strings is very tricky and not recommended.

A light dust and vacuum is all that is recommended.

If your vacuum cleaner can blow in reverse, even better. Blowing the dust out from under the strings is better than trying to reach behind them.

Try not to touch the strings at all. Finger prints on strings can make them go rusty and any pressure on the strings from a cloth or duster can affect the tuning.

If there is the requirement for more detailed cleaning, we recommend using a piano tuner or technician. They can pull apart the piano and clean inside and put it back together properly for you. Such technicians are experts in Piano care.

A piano technician is our best friend when it comes to looking after the inside of a piano. For a recommendation of a piano technician in your area feel free to call Pats music on 03)95638711.

Important note:

Keep the piano dry. Pianos and water don’t mix! Keep other liquids away from them too, such as red wine or champagne. It can be very expensive if not impossible to fix the damage if water, or any other liquid, gets into a piano.

Outside of a Piano:

Many people ask us how to clean the outside of a piano.

Microfibre Piano Polish Cloth

Pianos with French polished finish, the high gloss mirror effect, like regular dusting, weekly cleaning and monthly

polishing.

We recommend using a soft duster, and a soft microfiber or cotton cloth. To remove finger prints, fill a spray bottle with 50% water and 50% methylated spirits.

Music Nomad Piano Polish

Spray a light mist of this liquid onto the cloth and clean gently. The water helps lift the finger prints and the methylated spirits helps to dry the water and reduce streaking.

Polishing is another important aspect of Piano care. When polishing a piano we recommend using a piano polish (such as the ones pictured) and 2 microfiber or cotton cloths, one cloth for applying the polish and another for removing it.

Then... pretend to be the Karate Kid and use a ‘polish on polish off ‘ type movement.

Older Piano Care

If your piano is an older piano with an antique-style, matt-wood finish, then a regular wood furniture polish works well. If the wood is thirsty it may take a lot of polish to restore its former lustre.

The keys of a piano will also need attention. You should try to keep keys free of dust to avoid dust building up between them. There may also be the need for cleaning if little sticky fingers have been at them.

If the keys are acrylic (not ivory) then use a soft cloth in soapy water and wring it out thoroughly before cleaning. Clean the keys in a back to front motion rather than a side to side motion to avoid getting dirt between the keys.

If your keys are ivory then you should require less water. A light spray onto the cloth and the same back to front motion. Clean one key at a time for the best result.

Acoustic Vs Electronic Drums: What is right for me?

06/22/2018
by Pats Music

Acoustic Vs Electronic Drums: What is right for me?

Whether you are looking at buying your child their first kit, starting drums yourself or picking the sticks up again. The first question you will need to answer is a difficult one; Should I go with an acoustic or electronic drum kit?

Both of these options come with their own unique advantages and challenges. The answer can be complex and difficult to arrive upon. That said, through careful consideration, you will find yourself leaning in the direction that is right for you. Ultimately it is a balance between your needs and your budget.

Acoustic Drums

The greatest advantage of an acoustic drum kit is the unmistakable feel of its skins and cymbals. Consequently, this

feel is what delivers a large array of achievable tones. Just like any other musical instrument, mastery of the drum kit Yamaha Acoustic Drum Kitsis found through great control of dynamics and tone. A set of acoustic drums will allow its player to perfect their stick handling technique. Furthermore, Drum practice will also teach them how to control volume and intensity. In terms of building good drumming habits, you cannot go past an acoustic kit.

How much is an acoustic drum kit?

At Pats Music, acoustic drums start at very reasonable prices. For example, a 5 piece Yamaha Rydeen kit including a stool, kick pedal, Paiste PST3 cymbal set and various bits of hardware. These kits come in 6 stunning colours and are perfect for the beginner level player. For the aspiring drummer looking to build their craft from the ground up, this is ideal. The Yamaha Rydeen drum set presents the perfect balance between quality and affordability. Additionally, the PST3 offers that world renowned Yamaha tone, without breaking the bank.

Professional Drum Kits

Pats Music also caters to the player who is looking to invest in their forever drum kit. One obvious example, is the famous and much loved Yamaha Stage Custom. This stunning kit once again comes complete with everything you need and more. This includes a second floor tom and upgraded Paiste PST5 cymbal set (currently including a free splash cymbal). Whether you are rehearsing at home, gigging relentlessly, or making records, the Yamaha Stage Custom with its solid birch shells will meet all of your expectations with ease.

Silence please

The main challenges you will find in owning an acoustic drum kit are space and noise. Drums are very big and loud instruments. For players in smaller living arrangements, this can be an issue. There is nothing worse than having your rehearsal session interrupted by a visit from the local police. However, if you can manage the space required to set up a drum set, there are options available which enable quiet practice. The Remo Silent Stroke skins are a semi-permanent solution, offering the same feel as regular drum skins with a sound that reduces to below talking volume. Vic Firth drum mutes are another option which are added or removed from a kit in a matter of minutes, allowing for both quiet practice and full blown rehearsals.

Electronic Drums

An electronic drum kit is absolutely perfect for any person looking to build their sense of rhythm and timing. Electronic kits are smaller than their acoustic cousins and enable close-to-silent practice. An electronic kit’s greatest asset is its

digital capabilities. Selection and alteration of a wide variety of sounds is achieved with the touch of a button. Most noteworthy however, is that you can rehearse songs through headphones or amplified through an external speaker. This also means that recording is a breeze.

Yamaha Electronic Drums

On top of all this, electronic drums come in a variety of different setups to suit a player’s budget and drumming requirements. The Yamaha DTX series has been a Pats Music favourite for a long time. Offering superior sounds, playability, and user-friendly interfaces, the Yamaha DTX range has something to offer for everyone. Even if you are the person picking up a pair of sticks for the first time, or the advanced player who lives and breathes rhythm.

Due to their affordability and silent capabilities, electronic drum kits may seem to be the perfect solution. They do, however, have their own challenges. Electronic drums do not allow for the same level of control a player might have over an acoustic kit. This is largely due to the difference in feel between electronic drum pads regular acoustic skins. To combat this issue, Yamaha begins introducing silicone pads in the middle of the range, starting with the DTX522K.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be difficult choosing between acoustic and electronic drums. In some circumstances, the choice may be made for you due to space and noise restrictions. Our recommendation would be to closely consider what is important to you as an individual. More importantly, to choose an instrument that you are going to love to play. If you need help in finding what is right for you, come and visit us at Pats music and we can take you through the all of the different options.

Beginners Piano on a budget

06/01/2018
by Pats Music

How can a student get a Beginners Piano?

For the budding pianist, having access to a beginners piano with which to practice is paramount. That said, even a beginners piano could be too expensive for the average student. So what options are there for beginners who need a Piano Keyboard to practice on?

Four options for beginner piano students on a budget.

1. Beginner Piano Keyboard

The most affordable solution is a keyboard like the Yamaha PSRE363 , which retails at $349. This keyboard has touch-sensitive keys, meaning it can play loud and soft notes. This depends upon the pianist use of expression in controlling the way the keys are struck. It also has rhythms and auto accompaniment, which can teach the player how to play in time. It will also help with learning chords. On top of this the Yamaha PSRE363 has a built in lesson function. The built in lessons show the player what notes to play in order to play a song.

Yamaha Piano Keyboards

Unweighted keys

Though the piano keyboard has touch sensitive keys, they are not ‘weighted’. This means the keys are light to press down unlike a piano keys, which are heavier to press down. Therefore although a student will learn the coordination required to play the piano, they will not learn to control the dynamics (louds and softs) of a real piano with this. Furthermore, the Yamaha PSRE363 is also not a full length keyboard, meaning it only has 61 of the 88 keys that a piano has.

2. Beginner digital piano

Amongst the digital pianos a model like the Yamaha P45B is a very popular affordable solution. Firstly, the Yamaha P45B has all 88 notes of a piano and the keys are both touch sensitive and weighted. Also called 'Graded Hammer Action', this means that the weights on each key are made to feel like the hammers an acoustic piano. They are heavy at the lower notes gradually get lighter at the higher notes. Yamaha Digital Piano

Additionally, the P45B has headphone socket, USB port and metronome and comes with a music rest and sustain pedal. Students can use the P45B with a computer, however the keyboard is not ideal in a professional live situation. It is also possible for the P45B to attach to a H frame wooden stand or sit on an adjustable stand.

3. Renting

Another option for first time piano students who want to try piano is to rent. At Pats music we have a partnership with rental company 'Studio 19'. Through Studio 19 a musician can choose a new digital or acoustic piano and try it out for a minimum of 6 months. After this time if they choose to stop learning or want to upgrade their piano they can return the instrument at no extra cost, with the exception of the cost of freight if required. However if the student wishes to continue with the instrument they can buy it out or keep renting it and pay it off over time.

4. 2nd hand Pianos (Gumtree or eBay)

When the budget is tight it can in some cases be worth checking out Gumtree, eBay or Facebook market place. The obvious risk purchasing 2nd hand items privately getting stuck with a faulty item. With brands like Yamaha, Roland or Kawai their manufacture warranties are not transferable so if something does go wrong the instrument the warranty may not be applicable, even if it is within the warranty period. When purchasing privately we recommend asking your teacher or a piano technician to help assess a second hand instrument before you buy it.