PlayRecord.Net Community Mailer Issue Five

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

To the fifth edition of the Community Mailer...



Like any vocation, music requires a certain set of skills, namely pitch perception, understanding of timing and also the ability to play with and react to other musicians. Some people would also include the ability to read music as a neccesity, although this is very much dependant on the style of music you play.

These skills are the same no matter which instrument you play which means that in the same way that if you drive a car you would probably be able to drive a van without much extra effort, if you can play one instrument then you would find it pretty easy to pick up another.

There are loads of advantages in being a multi-instrumentalist; you get an all important alternative perspective on music meaning that you will improve at your primary instrument as well as being able to play your second instrument. If you are into home recording there is also the benefit of increased independance, say being able to lay down your own drums and guitar can save you the money and hassle of involving other people or session musicians when you are creating your masterpiece E.P.

The moral of the story is: look into getting into more than one instrument - if you play guitar, maybe get into drums, or even just some bongos.

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

back to top

General News

Site News
We have been scouring the web so that we can find you some free goodies and utilities. You have already seen the metronome, but new additions since the last mailer include a couple of free guitar tuners, one that is flash based and one that is a downloadable program for people who don't have shockwave installed.

We have also added links to some free music software which will allow you to create music on your PC. Whilst these programs are a little limited in comparison to applications you could purchase such as Cubase, they are useful as in introduction to the concept of computer music without spending any cash.

All these things and more are up in the resource section of PlayRecord - check em out...

General News
Musician admits burgling bandmate's flat
Pete Doherty, a singer and guitarist with The Libertines, pleaded guilty at Horseferry Road Magistrates court in London to breaking into a flat belonging to his friend and fellow frontman Carl Barat.

The list of items taken from Barat's Harley Street flat on 25 July included an antique guitar, laptop, video recorder, CD player, mouth organ and books.

Mr Doherty, 24, from Kensington, west London, was granted bail on Monday. His case has been adjourned until 8 September for pre-sentence reports.

The Libertines are one of the most promising new British rock bands to appear over the last year, with three top 40 singles.

Doherty has been absent from the band's line-up in recent months because he was "unwell", and the remaining three members played a UK tour without him.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
This edition we are going to give you guys and girls some links to help you if you are wanting or thinking about getting your songs published.

This site has a nice collection of links related to music publishing - aimed in particular at lyricists and songwriters.

The MCPS or Mechanical Copyright Protection Society is the industry body that collects royalties and distributes them to the people or organisations that own the copyright of the actual recordings whereas the
PRS or Performing Rights Society collects royalties derived from the public performance or broadcasting of songs - such as on the radio - and gives this to the owners of the copyright of the actual tune.

back to top

Guitar News

Site News
We have now started selling mandolins on PlayRecord. Mandolins evolved from the Lute family in Italy during the 17th -18th centuries, and the deep bowled mandolin produced particularly in Naples became a common type in the19th century. The original instrument was the mandola ( mandorla is almond in Italian and describes the instrument body shape) and evolved in the 15th century from the lute. A later, smaller mandola was developed and became known as a mandolina.

The 20th century saw the rise in popularity of the mandolin for celtic, bluegrass, jazz and classical styles.

here are some general tips for the mandolin novice:

Learn how to tune the instrument and keep it in tune.
Tune it (before) every time you play it.
Hold the instrument on your lap (don't hug it tight or you'll deaden the sound), or get a strap
and adjust it so that your arm is horizontal from the elbow.
Find a pick (plecrum) that you are comfortable with (light to medium is normal on a mandolin, slightly heavier on larger instruments but it's a matter of preference - try several different grades).
Hold the pick lightly but firmly resting on your first finger between the first and second joints and clamp it with your thumb (pointy end towards the strings!).
You should be able to move the hand so the plectrum moves from horzontal to a downward angle.
Normally the pick is held horizontally and the hand is moved up or down from the wrist.
Rotate the pick to get an angle for faster movements (tremolo and fast triplets)
Try to practice alternate notes on a down-up cycle. Sometimes it will feel normal to deviate from this.
Often the first or accentuated beat is better always on a down.

General News
UK Air Guitar Championships @ Roadhouse (Manchester)
On the 28th of July a crowd of manic air guitarists decended on the Roadhouse for a night of air guitar excess...

Almost a decade on from its beginnings above a pub in Brighton, the event has succeeded in dragging what once was a secret teenage pursuit into the public eye and in front of ever larger and drunker audiences.

In a three-way final, Kid Cardiac’s combination of gurning and stripping sees him take a deserved victory and place in the final.

The final takes place on the 14th September at the London Electric Ballroom where the winners of all the regional heats will fight it out for the glory of being the nations premier air guitarist...

Check out the UK Air Guitar website for the full story

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
To encourage all the would be mandolin players out there, we have pulled together the cream of mandolin links for you to peruse and learn from in this edition.

This site has a short collection of tutorials related to scottish mandolin in particular.

This site has a collection of mandolin tablature arranged under styles for you to check out.

If it is bluegrass that you are really wanting to get into then you should definately check out this site which has a wealth of articles, links and tablature related to bluegrass mandolin.

back to top

Percussion News

Site News
Hello again, time for more drum news! We have just put some cool new products on the site, and heres just a couple to keep the percussive feel flowing this summer!
Stagg Thai Bongo's
Cowbell holder & pedals
10" headless tambourine As the heat creeps up and everyone is in the summer party mood, these percussion accessories are a must for the steamy nights we're enjoying. Why not purchase some Latin style percussion to keep the parties going!

The Stagg Thai Bongo's are a superb set of bongos, sized at 7.5" & 6.5", with steel rims and laquered wood, these are a real treat to play. Perfect for that percussive accompaniment to an acoustic guitar, they produce a lovely high sound that cuts through whilst sounding sweet.

For the percussion player who has his hands full........(of bongos, shakers and maracas!) the perfect tool. This Cowbell holder clips onto a kick drum pedal so you can have your feet joining in the fun! Great live for percussionists who want it all!!

So, you have your bongos on your knee, your cowbell firmly attached to the pedal at your feet....whats missing? (Apart from more hands?) a tambourine! This new 10" headless tambourine is perfect, made from wood, creating a nice warm sound, and including 16 gigs (the little cymbals) this creates a rolling, shaking sound, but the wood keeps the sound more organic than the metal counterparts.

General News
Rock drummer legend Cozy Powell dies....

The music industry and fans have paid tribute to the legendary rock drummer, Cozy Powell, who has died at the young age of 50.
The drummer, whose real name was Colin Powell, was killed in a car crash when his Saab 9000 crashed into central reservation barriers on the M4 outside Bristol.

Cozy Powell was a legend in rock circles - his career reading like a definitive list of Seventies supergroups and 80's early metal / rock.

The drummer was a member of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Whitesnake, the Michael Schenker Group and the ELP spin-off Emerson, Lake & Powell. He also appeared with Donovan, The Who's Roger Daltrey, Gary Moore and Queen's Brian May. However, his membership of most bands was more like a brief guest slot, rather than a long term commitment. Headlining on his own, his Dance With The Devil single made it to number three in the UK charts in 1973. Recently, he had made a comeback with Peter Green, a founder member of Fleetwood Mac.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...

Some drum tab for you guys this wek to help you pick up those nasty beats and brain hurting do they do that???

MX Drum tabs includes all your new(er) bands drum tabs, so for those complicated beats and fills - here is the best place to learn!

Tabarchive features looooads of drum tab and a handy search function to find just the bad your after.

Top 100 tabs has tab for drums, guitars & bass and is very comprehensive and has access to some of the best drum tab sites out there. Excellent for finding artist / band drum tabs.

back to top

Recording & Hi-Tech news

Site News

General News
Platinum/Gold winner Recording Engineer Joe Jorgensen Passes Away.
On Wednesday, July 23, 2003, the recording industry lost Joe Jorgensen, one of its finest engineers.

Born in Gentofte, Denmark, Joe immigrated to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with his family in 1951, bringing with him a zest for music and a talent for technology. During his late teens, he landed his first job editing programs at New York's WOR Radio in 1957. In 1960, he met legendary engineer/producer Phil Ramone and joined A&R Recording Studios as one of that studio's first staff engineers.

Working with many of the industry's finest composers, arrangers, musicians and artists, Jorgensen developed a recording style that attracted many clients including Bob James, Frank Sinatra, Maynard Ferguson and many others.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...

Audio-recording has some cool stuff and is a resource for analog, digital, home demo, sound software, studios and other recording information.

Harmony-Central has forums,news, FAQ's, Discussion groups, magazines and all things sound & recording. has on-line courses, distance learning and is one of the best sites we've seen for educating on sound recording. If you wanna do it properly, then this is the place to go...

back to top

DJ News

Site News
Due to popular demand we have now put together some DJ kits which contain everything you need to get mixing and scratching, at a super affordable price:

The DJ Starter Pack is a basic kit with direct drive turntables - ideal for novice DJ's.
comes with 2x XL300 direct drive gemini decks, gemini mixer and free headphones all for £434.99

The High Torque Decks Kit is a Pro quality kit with two high torque PT100 decks and a PMX mixer with three band kill switches, combined with a free set of headphones - this is a really great kit.

If you are wanting to get into CD mixing, you definately need to check out this CD Mixing Kit which contains two Gemini cd decks, mixer and free headphones for just £434.99.

General News
Gatecrasher Plans For World Domination Costing £15 Million
Sheffield promoters, Gatecrasher have announced a five-year expansion plan costing £15 million and kicking off with the unveiling of their £1.5 million refurb of the club's spiritual home, Republic. Now renamed Gatecrasher One set to launch September 2.

With the big plans ahead, the brand has also reunited its successful partnerships with heavyweight advertising agency, Team Saatchi to reposition the Gatecrasher brand name.

Gatecrasher One will launch Gatecrasher's Signature Sound System, which has been specially designed and supplied exclusively by Opus with Ostrich skin finished boxes. Their “technical partners”, Vestax, have also specially designed exclusive equipment for all the DJ booths. Their infamous Gatecrasher nights, are now re-packaged and renamed "Crasher" and are set to continue as a regular feature at the venue

The company, which also owns Sheffield’s Bed venue, is said to be looking at several sites in major cities across the UK for the other nine units including Birmingham, Brighton, Leeds, Glasgow, Bristol, Liverpool, Cardiff, Newcastle and Dublin. It is envisaged that the second of the ten units, will be launched within six months of the flagship club being opened.

Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...
Here are few generally interesting DJ related sites for your surfing pleasure:
information portal for the dj. they've dj news, chat, conventions and party games.
subscribe for this mag on the site or check out the latest tunes on the hype chart.
downloads available, Traktor mp3 mixer, music libary, dj libary, news and features and club guide/event guide

back to top

Orchestral, Wind & Brass News

Site News
You can now buy harmonicas from Here is a brief introduction to the different types of harmonica available:
  • Diatonic- The standard 10-hole major diatonic harmonicas come in all 12 keys of music and allow you to play a complete 7-note major scale of the key of the harmonica. Many additional notes from outside the major scale can be acquired by "bending" certain draw (inhale) and blow (exhale) notes. Most professionals are predominantly diatonic players. Diatonic harmonicas are typically used in blues, rock, country, and folk, but can also be found in nearly all styles of music. They are sometimes referred to as a "blues harp", "harp", "short harp", or "standard 10-hole".
  • Chromatic- The chromatic harmonica has a button on the side, which when not pressed in, allows you to play a normal major scale, and with the button depressed, gives you all the missing half-step notes in-between the major scale notes. This allows you to play in any key and any type of scale. It is typically used in jazz and classical music, but is found in all styles of music. Bending doesn't work nearly as well on the chromatic as it does on the diatonic harmonica and is used more for a "bending effect". In most cases, you will be doing good to bend a note a half-step down.
  • Tremolo- Tremolo harmonicas are Diatonic models constructed with double holes (sometimes 8, 10, 12, or more sets of double holes), each containing two reeds tuned to the same note, one tuned slightly higher than the other. Since both reeds are either blow or draw, when played, both will sound together and the slight difference in tuning creates a vibrating or tremolo effect. The tremolo harmonicas are primarily used for special effects. They are not made to play blues, bend notes, or do anything other than play the most simple melodies. Depending upon the particular model and brand, the major scale would begin on the 3rd or 4th set of holes, and then the pattern would be the same as the diatonic major scale pattern in relation to blows and draws.

  • General News
    A top jazz trumpeter will be stepping on to English soil for the first time to perform with his band at the Coventry Jazz Festival.

    The Enrico Rava Quintet will play at Warwick Arts Centre on Saturday, August 23, as part of the fifth annual festival of jazz in the city.

    Enrico Rava, who was born in Trieste, Italy, won the Jazzpar prize, a major international jazz award, in 2002, and last year he performed four concerts at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

    Danny Greene, of festival organ-isers CV One, said: "This is a unique opportunity for jazz enthusiasts to see a world-famous jazz musician on their own doorstep. We are the first festival to bring Enrico across the channel with his band."

    Tickets for the Enrico Rava concert, which starts at 8pm, cost £12, and £10 for concessions, and entry to Coventry Cathedral event costs £8 and £6 concessions.

    Festival details are available from the Tourist Information Centre, Bayley Lane, or by ringing 024 7622 7264.

    Online Resources:We do the searching so you don't have to...

    The world's first internet-based competition for young musicians was announced at the National Eisteddfod in Wales yesterday.

    Musicians anywhere in the world will be able to compete against other players of the same instrument for a £5,000 prize.

    But the organisers plan to sidestep the difficult issue of comparing music from different continents and cultures by restricting entries to the classical repertoire.

    Organisers hope that by creating a separate category for each instrument, the conflict of styles will be minimised. But an instrument such as the violin is used in contrasting ways - even within the UK.

    Gill Griffiths, director of the Worldweb Musicians competitions, said, "We are starting with classical music but it will go on to brass bands, string quartets and so on. The classical adapts itself to a whole range of things.

    The competitions are supported by the BBC World Service, which will broadcast a series of six one-hour programmes based on the finals of each category and the winners' concert in Cardiff.

    Check it out here

    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.