PlayRecord.Net Community Mailer Issue Three

The third edition of the PlayRecord.Net Community Mailer (ISSN 1743-1476)

To the third edition of the Community Mailer...



Well summer is definitely here - festivals, frivolity and loads of fun in the sun. And loads of music. And all this music inspires more music. All types of music for all types of people - people playing music, people recording music, people dancing to music or just listening.

What is it about music that makes it so great, so universally enjoyed? Who knows? But if you play an instrument you understand the pleasure you get from it, you don't know why, but it is there and it keeps you coming back.

If you haven't tasted this pleasure yet - I recommend you try it at the earliest opportunity!!

If you want some help or advice getting into playing an instrument then we are the people to talk to... no question is too simple, so email us today and lets get you on the path of the musician

Remember: We are more than happy to answer any questions or queries - no matter how simple, just e-mail for a fast and friendly response.

General NewsGuitar NewsPercussion News

Recording & Hi-Tech NewsDJ News

Orchestral, Wind & Brass News

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General News

Site News
Those of you that have been using PlayRecord for a while will have noticed that the front page has been changed. This is to help you get to the area you want to be in as quickly as possible, and also to help search engines understand what PlayRecord is about. We have also fully integrated the resources section of the site - which can now be accessed either from the front page or under the 'resources' heading on the left hand side of the shop pages. We are going to be expanding this area of the site continuously with useful links, articles, sheet music and tabs and more, so do check back.

General News
EMI, BMG, Warner Music, Sony Music and Universal Music are among the record companies which are set to launch a joint music Internet platform in Germany in an effort to combat a decline in sales. The initiative, called Phonoline, could be announced as early as the week commencing 14 July 2003, reports The Financial Times. In 2002, music sales fell by 11% to EUR 1.97 billion in Germany, mainly as a result of the economic downturn and the popularity of online music services.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
Ever in the situation where you are bored of your music collection, but you don't know what new album or artist you should get into? Maybe you know what style of music you are interested in, but don't know the names of the key artists? Even if this isn't you, you should still check out

This incredibly detailed database has information about every act I could think of, with info on their influences, discography, biography and more - an awesome tool for researching new bands to listen to or finding out info about bands you already love.

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Guitar News

Site News
After so many of you bought the great value PlayNow electric guitar starter packs that were on special offer we have now found another electric guitar package that we can put out at the same great price.

Based around a Stagg S300 electric guitar which, like the KC3 in the PlayNow packs, is based upon the American classic - the Fender Stratocaster. They are great first guitars because they look great, but would not look our of place with any musical genre from classical to metal. With a scalloped body they are also very comfortable guitars to play whether stood up or sat down. If you are looking to get into electric guitar - check them out:

Everything You Need To Play Electric Guitar - 124.99 inc UK Delivery

General News
They might have played out of tune, but at least they are the world's largest guitar band. More than 520 serious and would-be guitar players gathered in Portland, Oregon, in the US to set a record for the Guinness World Records and raise funds for a non-profit organisation for the homeless. The massed guitarists strummed Woody and Arlo Guthrie's This Land is Your Land in the key of G for an hour, led by a band of amplified musicians from a local music store. Participants wore lyrics and chord guides on the backs of their shirts to aid the players behind them. "I thought I might cry because an hour is a long time but I think also there is something in the song," organiser Monica Beemer said. To meet Guinness requirements, guitarists registered before two witnesses and wore numbers during play. Ms Beemer, who worked with Guinness officials, said the record was easily set. "We really can't fail today because there is no record," she said. "Next year we'll try to break this record."

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
So you have splashed out on the guitar of your dreams, and you play it loads, but are you getting the best out of it that is possible? To get optimum performance you need to ensure that your guitar is properly set up. One way of doing this is to pay a guitar technician to do it for you. However this is often an expensive choice with mixed results. A better idea is to get on and do it yourself.

There are loads of tutorials on the web that tell you everything you need to know about setting up your guitar, including what tools you need etc.

This site has a well written, detailed set of tutorials that take you through stringing and setting up your guitar step by step.

There are also a couple of articles on setting up a guitar and strings in the articles section of PlayRecord.

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Percussion News

Site News
Hello! This is Ben, the resident percussion bloke from PlayRecord! I've been busy checking out the latest gear and getting some new products ready for action. Coming soon: A full, extensive & fully comprehensive range of Evans drum heads. From percussion to kick drums to the toms & snare heads - we'll have it all up in the next few days! Excellent quality heads, and some new gadgets including the new Evans Min-EMAD, which we're particularly excited about. This little baby dampens your heads with no need for felt or horrible gaffer tape. Its a deceivingly simple device:

It works on solid acoustical principles.
It has a fabric 'bridge' that links the resonant head with the inert, metal counterhoop.
When attached by Velcro dots to both the head and the rim, it removes 'overtones', by controlling the vibration of the skin.
Minimal intrusion on the skin means no choking of the sound.
Increased dampening by moving the contact towards the centre of the head.
Minimised dampening by moving the contact towards the rim. Drum Guide Up!

The Drum Guide is now finished and on the site. This is a fully organic guide and will be updated and expanded as time goes by. It is aimed at beginners to the drum world and teaches what each part of the kit is and what its for, plus a few notes on tuning and re-skinning the kit.

Any requests for additions / updates please email to me at the address below. If you have any drum queries or questions, or want to see a particular drum/percussion related product on the site, or just want to chat about problems your having, or what your interested in getting - email for a fast and friendly response.

General News
Stagg are bringing out a new kit, the LX-22 MA P, which is a top kit for a quality price. Its a really nice kit to play and comes in a superb maple. Maple snares have a gorgeous sound and this entire kit is a delight for the price. Watch the site for an ETA. Also the Evans Min-EMAD will be out soon, and they are great for new kits - to dampen them (which all new kits need) without adding felt & tape to your shiny new pride & joy!

Scroll down the page to see a table containing links to loads of different lesson areas. There is also a load of links to drum notation sites. there is enough content to keep even the most dedicated surfing drummer occupied for days.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
Interested in becoming a drummer? If you are thinking about taking up the drums, or if you are a new recruit to the way of the drummer - then you will find this online aptitude test both useful and amusing. There is even an audio loop so you can hear what it is supposed to be like.
More experienced drummers will find the collection of lessons etc on the Vic Firth web site useful, including this tutorial on paradiddling, including sound files.
Click here for a link to musician magazine which is a site that will track down any music publication you could want.
Also try here for a similar site for any drumming publication and magazine / book.
Last this month, try this site for all you ever wanted to know about drummers, lessons, artist forums, CD's etc. Happy hunting!

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Recording & Hi-Tech News

Site News
PlayRecord is currently looking for hard working, British artists, producers, performers and bands to become PlayRecord sponsored. By gettting sponsored you would get a free mini website built and hosted by PlayRecord, you would get special discounts on your music equipment, and you would be included in any other promotional brainwaves we get including sponsored gigs, albums... who knows, ideas are more than welcome.

If you think this might be something you would be interested in you can read more about it here

General News
Steve Vai is putting his Pro Tools rig on ebay to raise money for charity. The Casey Lee Ball Foundation, a non-profit organization benefiting pediatric kidney research, is auctioning off Steve Vai's Personal Pro Tools|24 MIX3 system until July 10 on eBay.

Valued at over $12,000 it was Vai's first Pro-Tools rig, which he used to record "Alive In an Ultra World," additional songs on "The 7th Song," and many projects recorded between 1999-2002.

Vai will also provide a personal Digidesign training class at Digidesign's headquarters in Daly City, CA for the lucky auction winner.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
No matter what studio equipment you use, you will be running it on electricity, most likely from the mains. How your mains electricity is set up has a dramatic impact on the quality of your recordings and can also damage your valuable equipment.

In the latest edition of Sound on Sound magazine - available online as well as in print, there is an in depth article all about mains electricity in the studio. You can view this article here. Well worth a read

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DJ News

Site News
Gemini's FX7000 mixer is a revolutionary new mixer with all the usual things you would expect ot find on a pro quality mixer, but with the addition of a full fledged DSP effects unit built in, allowing for all manner of creative possibilites. 14 Variable Effects Including: Delay, Echo, Reverb, Pitch Shifters, Filters, Brake, Auto-Pan, Flanger, Phaser, Rotary, Ambient, 9 Additional Preset Reverbs, & 1 FX Send/Return mean that your mixes will never be the same again.

Newsletter Special: Gemini FX-7000 only 229.99 inc delivery

General News
After being branded the scourge of the airwaves for more than 40 years, pirate radio DJs are to be offered the chance to win their own shows on legal stations. The Government's radio authorities have approved a controversial scheme being launched today by Kiss 100 to give pirate broadcasters the chance to perform lawfully to a national audience. Four pirate radio DJs will be allowed to play on Kiss for two hours each, with the winner promised his or her own show on the station.

The Radio Authority, the government agency that approves licences for legal broadcasting, has given its approval to the scheme in the hope that it will encourage the pirates to respect the law. Mike Phillips, the authority's senior programme and advertising officer, said: "It's a good way to try and lure people away from illegal stations." Mr Phillips said he hoped other legal radio stations would set up similar competitions. The authority is concerned at the proliferation of pirate stations. The Radiocommunications Agency, aligned to the Department of Trade and Industry, made 1,000 raids on stations last year and increased prosecutions by 145 per cent. Mr Phillips said: "There are a couple of pirate stations I listen to because they are a cut above the ones who only go on air to give shout-outs to their mates down the road. It would be nice if some of the better-run stations did take up the Kiss offer."

Kiss, which broadcasts to 1.5 million people in the London area and a further million nationally on digital radio, has been warned not to mention the frequencies of unlicensed stations on air. The launch of "Pirate Radio Soundclash" also marks a return to its roots by Kiss, which was once Britain's best-known pirate station, but is now a mainstream broadcaster in the Emap media empire. Before it obtained its licence in 1990, Kiss gave a platform to DJs such as Trevor Nelson, Tim Westwood, Judge Jules and Danny Rampling, now some of the biggest names in British dance music. The four semi-finalists will play back-to-back one evening in September. Listeners will be asked to vote for the DJ worthy of a three-month contract to present a show.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
Get out and about - there are a wealth of UK clubbing guides on the web - here is a shortlist of some the best:
UK Clubbing Directory one of the most comprehensive UK clubbing guides
Night Clubbin UK win FREE entry into many UK nightclubs, club nights & Live gigs up and down the whole of the UK
Nuthing Sorted holds over 19,500 pictures and 700 video clips from clubs across the UK

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Orchestral, Wind & Brass News

Site News
We are having a saxophone theme in this edition of the Mailer, so i am going to introduce you to the range of entry level saxophones availalbe from

With prices starting from 269.99 for a soprano sax including case, you have no excuse not to being realizing that life long dream to wail away on one of these distinctive sounding instruments.

The quality of these instruments is astoundingly high for the price, meaning that whereas beginner saxophonists used to have to buy ratty old second hand models, you can have a beautiful shiny new model that will perform just as well.

Check out the Wind & Brass section of - today

General News
Benny Carter, who died on Saturday aged 95, was one of the greatest alto saxophonists in the history of jazz, and a composer and arranger of distinction; he was also something of a phenomenon in that he remained creatively active into extreme old age.

The elegance of Carter's alto style, with its unruffled poise and creamy tone, expressed his affable, urbane personality to perfection. He also played excellent trumpet as well as clarinet, piano and the rest of the saxophone family. He composed a number of popular ballads and, in his younger days, occasionally sang too.

Despite these accomplishments, Carter's attempts at bandleading all ended in failure. It was often said that he was too good a musician, and too much of a gentleman, to succeed in that rough-and-tumble trade.

read the full story here

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
This fortnight is dedicated to all the saxophonists out there... we have pulled together a load of web sites with lessons, tutorials and primers relating to saxophone and Jazz in general. The first port of call is a site called which surprisingly enough has a good collection of saxophone lessons for your perusal.

A more in depth page is Marc Sabatella's Jazz Improvisation Primer.Here you can find information on almost every topic relating to jazz improvisation, from jazz history to music theory to practical advice on playing in a group.

If these two don't satisfy, there is a good amount of sax related links here which should keep you going for ages.

Check out this great selection of guitar, drum and general music accessories we have put together for you - free guitar tablature search, online metronome / drum machine to play along to and we even have an online guitar tuner for you.