Posts By Jessica Jordan

Electronic Wind Instruments

Flutes are considered to be the first musical instrument to be created. The flute is in the woodwind family of musical instruments. However, flutes give a different aspect of woodwind than any other woodwind instruments because it does not require a reed, which makes it an aerophone or reedless woodwind instrument. The flute generates its sound by the flow of air across the opening of the instrument on one end.

The flutes can be broken into a few major categories or classes which includes the traverse, end-blown, and fipple flutes. Flutes can also be in different forms where the keys have closed holes or open holes. There are no differences in sounds between the two, but the open holes require different techniques, and it also encourages proper finger position on the keys.

A transverse flute also called the side-blown flute is a flute, which is held horizontally when it is played. It is played by blowing across the lipping hole, in a direction perpendicular to the flute’s body. Transverse flutes include the Western Classical concert flutes, fife, dizi, piccolo, bansuri, and Japanese/Korean flutes.

The end-blown flute, also known as the edge-blown or rim-blown flute, is keyless and played by blowing air through the sharp upper end of the flute. End-blown flutes are widespread in folk music and art music. Some examples of end-blown flutes are the ney, kaval, xiao, Anasazi flute, quena, shakuhachi, and danso.

The fipple flute is similar to the end-blown flute but has a duct inside the flute that directs the air above and below the sharp edge of a hole. The whistle, gemshorn, recorder, tin whistle, flageolet, fujara, ocarina, and tonette are all fipple flutes.

My wife played the flute growing up. She began playing at the age of 12 and continued playing for about 13 years. She took private lessons from a renowned flutist residing in Dallas, Texas. She enjoyed going on competitions and performing in front of a crowd. She was mainly a solo flutist, but she often did duets with other flutists or with a piano accompaniment. The two-flute duo or when accompanied by a piano creates a beautiful melody that is very enjoyable to the audiences’ ears.

Instruments have come a long way in quality and sound. More impressively, many instruments have a digital counterpart. Even flutes have a digital version that sounds very similar to that of a Western classical concert flute. To get a better idea of what that looks like, check out this digital instrument that can mimic many of the woodwind instruments.

With one digital instrument, Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI), you can play music with the sounds of many instruments. Now, that is impressive! I know the true sound of the real instrument is a lot better than any digital sounds, but the flexibility of only needing one device to play multiple sounds is perfect for a multi-instrument player. Also, check out this review and video of the Roland Aerophone AE-10 from djmag. I didn’t realize the popularity of these EWIs until I saw them at guitarcenter.

Perhaps Best E-drums need to add the digital wind instrument to their list of electronic instruments, which will be a fascinating addition to completing a band!

Acoustic vs Digital Piano

Not only are there debates about acoustic drums versus electronic drums, but also there are debates about all traditional instruments versus their digital counterpart. I believe the debate of an acoustic piano versus digital piano is similar to the debate between an acoustic drum and an electronic drum.

There are three major types of pianos today. You have your digital pianos, upright pianos, and grand pianos. There are also many brands out on the market today whereas no two pianos are alike and each has its own characteristics. The pianos vary in size, sound, touch, feel, and price. The only brands I believe are worth spending the big bucks are the major Japanese or Italian brands: Kawai, Casio, Yamaha, Roland, Dexibell, and Korg are the ones I would highly recommend.

Just like acoustic drums, arguably the major difference and biggest benefit of an acoustic piano over the digital piano is the touch and feel. Based on the force of which you prefer to play the keys can produce a more powerful and louder sound. There are higher quality digital pianos that can imitate this effect but a majority of the digital pianos do not. Many people also say the touch response on an acoustic and digital piano is different, which can make it hard to switch between the two. The feel of an acoustic piano is important to many people. Being able to feel the weight and texture of the keys is great. Many digital pianos with higher qualities also try to mimic the weight and texture of the keys. The other benefit of the acoustic piano is the sound. The true sound with better sound resonance due to the reverberations created when the hammer strikes the string after a key is pressed. This is hard to replicate on digital pianos. These realistic features on a digital piano come with a high price.

The benefits of the digital piano are very similar to that of the electronic drum. Volume control is a big benefit since the sound is digital and amplified by speakers. You can control the noise, as well as put on a headset.  Portability is also an advantage the digital piano has over the acoustic piano. Digital pianos can be much lighter and have a smaller frame compared to an acoustic piano. If space is a concern the digital piano could be a better fit. Like the electronic drum, the versatility of the digital piano is also an advantage. The ability to change the sound of different instruments and being able to play along with other beats is a great advantage. Some digital pianos also have the capability to record what you are playing.

Everyone always says that there is nothing like the real thing. I can understand where people are coming from but I also think that digital pianos have their benefits. Watch this video and I will let you decide on the appropriate piano for you. It may not just be the argument of acoustic versus digital, but the quality of the piano and the piano that fits your current lifestyle may be the one that suits you the best.

Your very first music instrument lesson

This video is pretty awesome. You can learn how to play drums watching this video. There are many people want to learn and pick up their dream instrument. Personally, my 5-year-old is learning how to play violin right now. It’s one of the cutest things I ever have seen in my life. The first month of the lesson isn’t fun. It is all about learning your instrument. You get to pick up the name of instrument parts, what each of the parts does, and when/how to use them at the right moment. You have to endure several months of practicing the same stuff. Then you will get your instrument to be part of you and you get to have the fundamental basic stuff engraved in your body.

Acoustic Drum vs Electronic Drum

There are many different types of drums today. The first acoustic drums were introduced in the early 1800s. Many percussionists developed a drum kit set by adding different parts to it. However, many years later, the first electronic drum set was invented during the 1980s. Professional percussionists found them to be innovative and more convenient because the drum set provided more various sound options without having to add extra drum parts. Not only did it provide more sounds, but it also took up less space and made it portable.  

There are continuous debates about acoustic drums versus electronic drums. Some people believe that only the acoustic or what they call traditional drum is considered a true drum set, where they do not consider electronic drums as real drums. I have experiences in playing both types of drum sets. I got my first set of acoustic drum set when I was in middle school. I still remember the way I used to drum on the traditional drum sets with the wooden sticks. Then, I bought my first electronic drum sets when I went to college. I have always loved playing on my traditional drum set, but the electronic drum set had a lot to offer as well.  Although many people have their preferred drum type and are biased toward one specific type of a drum set, it is hard to say that one is real and the other is not.

Most drummers started out their drumming experience with an acoustic or the traditional drum set. One of the major differences and the biggest advantage of the traditional drum over an electronic drum is the ability to play with more feel and touch. With the traditional drum, you can play soft to very loud. Cymbal washes are possible with acoustic drums unlike a majority of the electronic drums. You can also learn and perform drum rolls, buzz rolls, cymbal swells, and hi-hat technique; and not to mention, cross sticks better and more realistically on acoustic drums than on an electronic drum. Traditional drums are more sensitive and the level of dynamics and different sounds that can be created from the drums and cymbals themselves is far superior and more realistic to those of an electric drum kit. There is something about the traditional drums that can never be fully replicated by the electronic drum and I think that is why the acoustic drum will never go away. Unlike electronic drums, acoustic drums are tunable in many different ways, allowing the drummer to create sounds for the music they want to play. Besides the feel and sound of the drums, the look of an acoustic drum set is more appealing than that of an electronic drum set. Traditional drums can come in various sizes, colors, and type, which make them customizable to every individual. The positioning options of an acoustic drum set are superior to the electronic drum set allowing angles and heights of drums to be placed where you want due to advanced adjustable stands. Finally, the last benefit that might be surprising to people is that acoustic drums can be cheaper than electronic drum sets for beginners. This is because used acoustic drums are more reliable and less of a risk than a used electronic drum set, so you can easily build an acoustic drum set. Acoustic drumheads and other general parts can be less expensive to source and purchase than electric ones.

One of the greatest benefits that an electronic drum set has to offer is its ability to control the noise level on the drum. The noise control option allows the percussionists to play at their normal strength and speed without waking up their roommate or their next door neighbor. Being able to practice anywhere without having to worry about disturbing people near you is a huge advantage for drummers. As previously mentioned by professional percussionists, the portability piece that most electronic drum sets offer is a tremendous advantage. Traditional drums are usually bulky and not easily transportable, while most electronic drum sets are compact and lightweight. Electronic drum sets are also convenient in limited space spots. Electronic drums take up a lot less space and can be stored away very easily when not in use. Another reason that makes electronic drum sets charismatic is that of its versatility. As all know, traditional drums have specific sounds from specific parts of the drum. However, electronic drums not only have the sounds like the traditional drum set, but it has the ability to play different sounds like digital sounds that can easily be changed with a touch of a button. With that said, if you are in a mood to drum a beat with a traditional sound, or in a mood to drum more house music type of sound, then electronic drum set can cater to our preference in one sitting.

I wanted to share this Youtube video that portrays great comparisons on the acoustic versus electronic drums.

Also, check out the Best E-Drums website, which has some great reviews and advice on acoustic drums versus electronic drums.