Strumming Along

Music tuition in Waterford; guitar, banjo, mandolin, recording, technology, leaving cert, music theory. Call for a Free introductory lesson

Music tuition in Waterford; guitar, banjo, mandolin, recording, technology, leaving cert, music theory. Call for a Free introductory lesson

tg4.ie

Fíorscéal | Baile | Seinnteoir | TG4

Interesting documentary about utilising cognitive science to improve learning. About half way through the programme they talk about repetition and how this creates pathways in your brain's neurons which is what we want when learning guitar. https://www.tg4.ie/en/player/home/?pid=6007313435001&teideal=Fíorscéal&series=Fíorscéal&dlft=33

Can cognitive sciences help us build a better kind of school? One that is more effective, less unequal and more adapted to the challenges of tomorrow?

Classic Rock Magazine

Well... playing guitar isn't easy you know...😀

In which David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore, Lemmy and others appear in an unlikely comedy sketch.

Added some colour to my guitar playing over the weekend

francislong.wordpress.com

Why learn an instrument?

Why learn an instrument? There are many benefits to learning to play an instrument, exercising the brain is definitely high on the list. Playing an instrument like guitar involves coordination and physical dexterity as well as learning new concepts. It can help to improve your concentration and motivation through discipline in your practice regime. There is also the feel-good factor that comes when you achieve something that maybe previously you thought you might not be able to do. [ 258 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/why-learn-an-instrument/

francislong.wordpress.com   Why learn an instrument? There are many benefits to learning to play an instrument, exercising the brain is definitely high on the list. Playing an instrument like guitar involves coordinat…

youtube.com

Frank Zappa-Don't Eat The Yellow Snow

Some advice from Frank Zappa...just in case anyone is tempted before it all melts away https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLIppgE45wM

Dreamed I was an Eskimo Frozen wind began to blow Under my boots and around my toes The frost that bit the ground below It was a hundred degrees below zero.....

francislong.wordpress.com

Practice, Practice, Practice

I've mentioned before in other posts about practice the importance of focus. Some students over the years have told me that they like to practice while watching TV. This is not something that I would recommend. I feel it would be better to focus entirely on the practice for a shorter amount of time instead of spending a longer period only half tuned into the task at hand. [ 171 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/practice-practice-practice/

francislong.wordpress.com I’ve mentioned before in other posts about practice the importance of focus. Some students over the years have told me that they like to practice while watching TV. This is not something tha…

ted.com

8 secrets of success

Lots of people sign up for courses with the best of intentions and then never participate in them or stop soon after. If this is you (or even if it's not) I'm posting a link to a short TED talk about achieving success. While it's not specific to learning an instrument most of it applies quite well. I hope it will give some inspiration and help you achieve your New Year's Resolutions
http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success#t-179805

ted.com Why do people succeed? Is it because they're smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.

francislong.wordpress.com

Music and the Brain

I got a very interesting book as a Christmas present - Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. It's an examination of how music can affect our brains through the stories and experiences of different people. The book doesn't just concern itself with musicians, as music can have an affect on anyone even people who might consider themselves as non-musical. I am only about a quarter of the way through the book but was just reading about how music can physically alter our brains. [ 301 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/music-and-the-brain/

francislong.wordpress.com I got a very interesting book as a Christmas present – Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. It’s an examination of how music can affect our brains through the stories and experiences of differ…

francislong.wordpress.com

The Irish rover

Over the years I've met a few famous people, mostly while working in music shops. It was in the late 80's while I was working in one of these shops, Waltons in Dun Laoghaire, that I first met the guys who would go on to form Rollerskate Skinny. Back then they were the Hippyshakes and they would come into the shop quite a bit. [ 272 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/the-irish-rover/

francislong.wordpress.com Over the years I’ve met a few famous people, mostly while working in music shops. It was in the late 80’s while I was working in one of these shops, Waltons in Dun Laoghaire, that I fi…

francislong.wordpress.com

Targeting root notes

Targeting root notes This is a technique that a lot of beginners struggle with. For example you're playing a D chord but the chord diagram has an 'X' over the 5th and 6th strings meaning that you are not to play those strings. The root note of the chord then is on the first string you can play, in this case the open 4th string. [ 266 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/targeting-root-notes/

francislong.wordpress.com Targeting root notes This is a technique that a lot of beginners struggle with. For example you’re playing a D chord but the chord diagram has an ‘X’ over the 5th and 6th strings …

francislong.wordpress.com

Rock ‘n’ Roll

Where I grew up in a suburb of Dublin there used to be a little music shop, 'Pat Dolans', buried in the heart of the housing estate. It was less than a ten minute walk from my house. I used to love going in to look at all the guitars that I couldn’t possibly afford. The guys in there were always helpful and friendly and let me try some of the expensive guitars. [ 238 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/rock-n-roll/

francislong.wordpress.com Where I grew up in a suburb of Dublin there used to be a little music shop, ‘Pat Dolans’, buried in the heart of the housing estate. It was less than a ten minute walk from my house. I …

Alice in Wonderland

a quick rendition of the jazz standard 'Alice In Wonderland' by Sammy Fain

TED

Try these fascinating optical illusions that reveal how your senses work:

Am I too old to learn guitar?

For adults I would say that it's never too late to learn and to benefit from the many advantages of playing a musical instrument. An instrument like the guitar involves so many different aspects that it can be beneficial on so many levels, (improve coordination & discipline, reduce stress, creative expression) even more so if you are older. The myth is that it's much easier to learn guitar when you are young. [ 183 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/am-i-too-old-to-learn-guitar/

francislong.wordpress.com music lessons in Waterford

The Fabulous Weird Trotters

Best urinal ever. Guitar Pee allows men to record tunes that are replayed for everyone in the restroom to hear.

Girl From Ipanema

As the weather is getting more wintry, listen to this and think of the beach

francislong.wordpress.com

Is my child too young to learn guitar?

Too young to learn guitar? If you have a child who is really interested in learning the guitar then age 8 is a good age to start. I have taught children as young as 6 but in my experience it is better to wait until they are a little older, although there are always exceptions. They will need a smaller instrument so a six year old would usually need a ½ size guitar, an eight year old possibly a 3/4 size, but obviously this all depends on how big/small the individual child is. [ 326 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/is-my-child-too-young-to-learn-guitar/

francislong.wordpress.com Too young to learn guitar? If you have a child who is really interested in learning the guitar then age 8 is a good age to start. I have taught children as young as 6 but in my experience it is bet…

francislong.wordpress.com

It’s just not cricket

I was sitting outside a café in Dublin enjoying a coffee and the evening sunshine when two friends passed by, making their way to Tower Records where Neil Hannon was launching his album ‘The Duckworth Lewis Method’. After explaining where they were off to they proceeded along their way. About ten minutes later they reappeared with Neil Hannon in tow. For whatever reason his piano/keyboard hadn’t arrived at the gig, so he was a bit stuck. [ 279 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/its-just-not-cricket/

francislong.wordpress.com I was sitting outside a café in Dublin enjoying a coffee and the evening sunshine when two friends passed by, making their way to Tower Records where Neil Hannon was launching his album ‘The Duckwo…

Do I need a metronome?

Do I need a metronome? A metronome can be a great tool to help with your practice, it can help you to make sure you are playing 'in time' which is a very important part of playing music. But...be aware that if you are just starting to learn an instrument like guitar there is a lot of things to think about, (are my fingers in the right place, are all the strings sounding clearly, have I started strumming the chord from the right string etc. [ 222 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/?p=472

francislong.wordpress.com music lessons in Waterford

Choro no. 1 Villa-Lobos

First part of Choro no.1 by Villa-Lobos

twitter.com

Francis Long on Twitter

Buy a guitar stand https://t.co/p4Yl6ua7La https://t.co/YTpt6LkuRD

twitter.com “Buy a guitar stand https://t.co/p4Yl6ua7La”

francislong.wordpress.com

Buy a guitar stand

Want to improve your playing - Buy a guitar stand. After your initial investment in your instrument I would suggest your next purchase should be a guitar stand. This will allow you to leave the instrument somewhere that is readily accessible so that you can pick it up when you have a spare moment and get some extra practice in. If your guitar is in its case, under the bed, upstairs in your bedroom and you're in the kitchen but you have some time to spare, the hassle of going in search of your guitar might tempt you to just put it off until tomorrow. [ 85 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/buy-a-guitar-stand/

francislong.wordpress.com Want to improve your playing – Buy a guitar stand. After your initial investment in your instrument I would suggest your next purchase should be a guitar stand. This will allow you to leave t…

francislong.wordpress.com

Do I need lessons?

Do I need lessons? https://t.co/7ryiS8TaEg

francislong.wordpress.com Do I need lessons? I want to learn guitar, there are lots of videos online do I really need to get lessons? I’d follow that with another question – Do you want to learn correctly? Yes there a…

francislong.wordpress.com

Do I need lessons?

Do I need lessons? I want to learn guitar, there are lots of videos online do I really need to get lessons? I'd follow that with another question – Do you want to learn correctly? Yes there are lots of tutorials on the internet but a video can't remind you to put your fingers in the right place or make sure if you're holding the instrument properly and you can't ask it any questions. [ 215 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/do-i-need-lessons/

francislong.wordpress.com Do I need lessons? I want to learn guitar, there are lots of videos online do I really need to get lessons? I’d follow that with another question – Do you want to learn correctly? Yes there a…

francislong.wordpress.com

Do You Remember the First Time?

My first Rock concert was way back in 1988 when I went to see Ozzy Osbourne playing in the Top Hat in Dublin (sadly this venue is long gone). The ticket was the princely sum of £8.50 (which is in the region of €45.00). I think it might have been Zakk Wyldes first tour with Ozzy and as far as I can remember Geezer Butler was playing bass. [ 277 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/do-you-remember-the-first-time/

francislong.wordpress.com My first Rock concert was way back in 1988 when I went to see Ozzy Osbourne playing in the Top Hat in Dublin (sadly this venue is long gone). The ticket was the princely sum of £8.50 (which is in t…

Pink Panther

A quick rendition of the Pink Panther theme

francislong.wordpress.com

How long should I practice?

How long should I practice? You should read the previous blog about practice too. The amount of time you have available will depend on your circumstance (working hours, homework etc.) so you need to decide on a goal for your practice each week and work towards that. (This week I'll learn how to play an F chord properly or I'll learn a new scale) [ 135 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/how-long-should-i-practice/

francislong.wordpress.com How long should I practice? You should read the previous blog about practice too. The amount of time you have available will depend on your circumstance (working hours, homework etc.) so you need t…

francislong.wordpress.com

What’s the best way to practice?

What's the best way to practice? We've all heard 'Practice makes perfect'. Well I'm going to amend that to careful practice makes perfect. You can change the adjective to diligent or focused or whatever you like but the point is that just playing an instrument for an hour a day might not give you the dividends you expected in your progress. [ 287 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/whats-the-best-way-to-practice/

francislong.wordpress.com What’s the best way to practice? We’ve all heard ‘Practice makes perfect’. Well I’m going to amend that to careful practice makes perfect. You can change the adjective…

youtube.com

Tuning the guitar

How do I tune my guitar https://t.co/tiImJWfwwa https://t.co/r565sh84vC

A short guide to tuning your guitar

francislong.wordpress.com

How do I tune my guitar

Probably the easiest way is to use an electronic tuner, you can buy inexpensive clip-on tuners which are usually very good and will work in a noisy environment, or there are smart phone apps available that will also do the job. It is possible to tune the guitar without an electronic tuner this is called 'relative tuning' but in order to be 'in tune' we would need some way of making sure that at least one string is correctly tuned from which we can then tune the rest. [ 261 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/how-do-i-tune-my-guitar/

Probably the easiest way is to use an electronic tuner, you can buy inexpensive clip-on tuners which are usually very good and will work in a noisy environment, or there are smart phone apps availa…

Deixa

Solo guitar version of Deixa by Baden-Powell

francislong.wordpress.com

How often should I change strings?

Well that depends on how much playing you're doing. If you're playing for 20 minutes once a week you won't need to change strings very often compared to if you're playing 2 hours every day you might need to change strings every 2 weeks or less. While this might seem gross another factor is our sweat. Perspiration from our fingers can contain certain elements that contribute to the corrosion of the strings. [ 232 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/how-often-should-i-change-strings/

francislong.wordpress.com Well that depends on how much playing you’re doing. If you’re playing for 20 minutes once a week you won’t need to change strings very often compared to if you’re playing 2 …

twitter.com

Francis Long on Twitter

Cult of Personality https://t.co/pevIIL7dIZ https://t.co/M2NPDtvcsl

twitter.com “Cult of Personality https://t.co/pevIIL7dIZ”

francislong.wordpress.com

Cult of Personality

After writing about meeting Dave Gilmour it got me thinking about all the other famous and maybe not-so-famous people I’ve met whilst working in music shops. While the trappings of fame I’m sure has its moments, being recognised while trying to go about your business must be a drag. Everyone feels like they own you and want a piece of you, and your time, and your autograph too – why not? [ 306 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/cult-of-personality/

francislong.wordpress.com After writing about meeting Dave Gilmour it got me thinking about all the other famous and maybe not-so-famous people I’ve met whilst working in music shops. While the trappings of fame I’m sure ha…

pic.twitter.com/jy2qt1xPtE

Francis Long (@Strumming_aLong) posted a photo on Twitter

What are the best strings? https://t.co/mkzlFJwvbB https://t.co/jy2qt1xPtE

pic.twitter.com/jy2qt1xPtE Get the whole picture - and other photos from Francis Long

francislong.wordpress.com

What are the best strings?

We're going to take a look at Acoustic guitar strings first. There are a few things to consider when choosing strings – the gauge (fancy word for thickness) the material (bronze etc.) the brand. I would also suggest that the level your playing is at will have some bearing on your choice but let's start with gauge. So this is how thick the strings are and traditionally is measured in inches as most guitar strings are manufactured in USA and they haven't followed Europe down the metric route. [ 915 more words ]

https://francislong.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/what-are-the-best-strings/

francislong.wordpress.com We’re going to take a look at Acoustic guitar strings first. There are a few things to consider when choosing strings – the gauge (fancy word for thickness) the material (bronze etc.) the bra…

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Videos (show all)

Alice in Wonderland
Girl From Ipanema
Choro no. 1 Villa-Lobos
Pink Panther
Deixa
Blue Moon

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Waterford

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