Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bass Players

Rock music and jazz would not be the same without an insistent bass line. They say that good bass players are hard to find. We take them for granted sometimes, while the lead guitarist or drummer shows off his solos, the bass just does its job. These guys, and sometimes women, are usually the quiet ones that stand at the back. As Mick Jagger cavorted around, Bill Wyman looked vaguely bored.

One of the most accomplished players is Paul McCartney, respected by other musicians as one of the most melodic bass players around. Sting is also respected and being the leader in The Police, their reggae inspired songs tended to be bass driven. He is also extremely accomplished on the double bass. Early rock and roll and rockabilly used the double bass before the electric bass began to take over. Bill Black was an expert player on this, performing on many early Elvis Presley hits. His old instrument came up for auction and McCartney bought it.

Drum 'n' Bass is a recent innovation, which puts the bass guitar at the forefront. Sampling and computer programming can relay the bass sound but good, live bass players can't be beaten. Another outstanding player was Noel Redding, who played in the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Jack Bruce came from a jazz background and went on to fame and glory in the supergroup Cream. Bruce, guitar hero Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker took live rock music to another level. Baker came from the world of jazz too and these jazz influences gave Cream another dimension from other rock bands at the time. Bass players are just as necessary to jazz, from the double bass in a trio to a full band. The classic combination of piano, bass and drums is very simple and it works, as shown by the Oscar Peterson Trio.

Charlie Mingus is the most influential double bass player to come from jazz. Unusually, he led his own band that meant extended bass solos. Modern rock and folk musicians have been inspired by him and recorded their own versions of his compositions. Covers have been done by Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, Jeff Beck and Pentangle's Danny Thompson. Bass players also draw inspiration from the work done by bassist, Jaco Pastorius. He was a member of jazz group, Weather Report and perfected a technique of playing fretless electric bass. The bass keeps everyone on track, we don't appreciate it as much as we should and we'd quickly notice if that bass line wasn't there.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

How To Buy An MP3 Player

Are you looking for an MP3 player but am not sure which type and model to buy? There is a wide variety of MP3 players out there, from flash memory based players to hard drive based players. Choosing a good player from the market is no easy task. What features should you look for? What are the key considerations? This article aims to answer those questions and more. Now, let’s see how we can pick the perfect MP3 player.

Types of MP3 player

There are essentially four types of MP3 players in the market today. These include flash-based players, hard-drive based players and MP3 CD players. Let’s look at them in turn.

Flash-based MP3 players

Flash-based MP3 players have a flash memory chip built-in. They tend to be very tiny, ultra-portable and have no moving parts. As a user, you can do all your sports activities without worrying about your music skipping a beat. The downside to flash players is their high cost per megabyte. These players range from 32MB to 2GB, and the most popular models tend to be those from the Creative Muvo line, the iRiver iFP series and more recently, the Apple iPod Shuffle.

Hard-drive based MP3 players

Hard-drive based MP3 players use a 1.8-inch hard disk drive to store your music. The hard disk can hold large amounts of music – we’re talking about 10GB and above. If you have a large music library and want to store tons of music, a hard-drive based MP3 player is the way to go. The cost per megabyte is very low. The downside? Well, due to the hard disk drive, which has moving parts, these players are not suited for rough physical activity or extreme sports. One of the most popular MP3 players in this category is the Apple iPod, which is selling like hot cakes out there.

Micro hard-drive based MP3 players

More recently, manufacturers have come up with micro hard-drive based MP3 players like the Apple iPod Mini, Creative Zen Micro and Rio Carbon. Featuring a smaller hard drive (which still gives ample storage space of about 4 to 5 GB), they have a much more compact design compared to full fledged hard disk players. The few models mentioned above are selling like crazy too.

MP3 CD players

MP3 CD players are another type of MP3 player. These units look and feel like regular CD players. You can burn up to 150 MP3 songs to fill one CD-R disc, then play it on the unit. The disadvantage of such players is their large size and their tendency to skip if jostled.

Key Features of MP3 Players

Having looked at the different types of MP3 players, let’s look at the key features of an MP3 player.

Size and weight: If you’re looking to bring your MP3 player on trips or on sporting activities, a small compact design is very important. In such cases, you should go for a small flash based player or one of the micro hard drive players.

Storage capacity: This is an important factor too. If you need to store your whole music library into the MP3 player, then you probably need a hard drive based player with 10GB of storage or above. If you only want a few select songs to listen to on the subway, then a flash based player would suffice. Do take note that some players offer expansion slots in the form of CompactFlash or SD cards.

Battery Life: This is often overlooked. Battery life is a very important consideration, especially if you’re out with your player and have no way to recharge. Hard disk players tend to have lithium-ion rechargeable batteries while some flash players offer AAA battery support. I personally own a Creative MuVo Micro N200 which uses AAA batteries. This is great for me because once it runs out, I can just pop in a new one – no hassles about finding some electrical socket to recharge.

Connectivity Options: The way the MP3 player connects to your computer is also an important factor. The latest models tend to support high-speed USB 2.0 transfers. The better ones like the Apple iPod also give Firewire support.

File Format Support: You will most likely be wanting to play MP3 songs on your player. However, if you want to listen to a wider variety of music files, like WMA or OGG Vorbis, then make sure you see it in the player specs.

Other Considerations

Many of the latest players also include features I’ve not covered in the above. For example, some players come with a built-in FM tuner, which is very useful if you get tired of your MP3 music. Other have a built-in voice recorder which allows you to record audio as WAV files.


As you can see, there are many considerations to think about when purchasing an MP3 player. To get the most suitable player, you want to think about how you will use the player. Usage should drive your purchase decision. The other thing to take note of is to shop around, both online and offline – compare prices before shelling out the cash. Good luck hunting for that MP3 player!

Classical Music CD

One of my college professors used to tell the class not to underestimate the power of song. This great teacher was a little eccentric but he did inspire me to buy my very first classical music CD and I am thankful for that. This music does a lot for us mentally as well as physically. A classical music CD is wonderful for people of all ages.

My investment in the songs was due to a desperate attempt to make it through a grueling language course. The History of the English Language was a really appealing course on paper but it was an absolute nightmare for me in real life. I just wasn’t grasping the information and I was afraid that I would have to drop the class or suffer the disappointment of a nasty grade.

That is when the professor suggested that I listen to a classical music CD right before class. He also suggested that I listen to the songs before studying and before taking exams as well. I figured that I had nothing to lose so I added the classical music CD to my collection and started using it right away.

Though the songs didn’t make the course fly by without effort, I seemed to be able to process information better after listening to the classical music CD. I also studied quicker and more efficiently after listening. My test scores went up, too, and that was a really exciting aspect of the system.

As the years went by, I added one classical music CD after another to my collection. I also read a lot of articles about the benefits of listening to this kind of compositions on a regular basis. The music is great for mental stimulation and focus. It is also ideal for relaxation and unwinding after a long day.

These songs and compositions are not only for adults. If you have a newborn then you might want to invest in a classical music CD. There are many reasons that this item is important. Not only does the music help you relax and get yourself together it also serves to help your little one along as well. I made sue to have at least on classical music CD on hand after having my son.

I am very glad that I took the professor’s advice. The power of song is great and shouldn’t be underestimated. I might thank him by sending him a classical music CD to show my appreciation.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Best Mp3 Players

Many electronic items are being introduced every day making man’s life easier and enjoyable. The things that were thought impossible in this field are now on the hands of the common man enjoying the fruits of technological explosion. Some of the gadgets like Mobile Phones, digital Cameras, etc. have completely changed the ways in which things were done for centuries.

An MP3 player is also an equally revolutionary and most admired technical device that has completely changed the way in which man was hearing his music. An MP3 player is simply an electronic gadget that plays not only MP3, but additional audio files as well. DAP or Digital Audio Player is the closest term to correctly define the term MP3 player Many MP3 players are software-based and available for most computer platforms. MP3 players are highly flexible, so they can be hooked into car stereos, CD players, computer hard drives, and simply as a stand alone player with its own music collection.

The first MP3 player was launched in the market during 1998. It was a very basic unit, handy and with a small memory capacity of 32MB. MP3 players have undergone many innovations after its launch in the market till now.

There are many web sites that offer MP3 players for free as well as for a small fee. The most popular MP3 player downloads is the Music Match. Music Match offers the powerful Music match Jukebox. Based on the MP3 player available at the site, there are two versions of this software. The free version lets you play and manage your digital audio files, transfer music to portable devices, and burn music to your CDs.

The Music Match Jukebox Plus on the other hand is a pro, full-featured version. With this MP3 player download, you can not only burn CDs at high speeds of up to 48x, but also rip tracks from CDs up to 40x. You can tag tracks fast for automatic file naming, covert vinyl and cassette audio files into MP3s, and many more. With the help of Super Tagging which is featured in this MP3 player download.

WinAmp.com is one of the best places to get an MP3 player. It was developed by Nullsoft. This website offers Win Amp player, an audio software application that can play MP3 as well as other audio files. This MP3 player download lets you play music and video files, as well as MP3, ITZ, CDA, M3U, AVI, OGG, WMA, AU, NST, WAV, AIFF, MP2, MOD, FAR, NSA, MP1, VOC, WMV, and many more.

You can organize, search, and browse your entire media collection and create your own play lists from the search results with its full-featured media library. Integrated Internet radio and TV, skins, visualizations, plus the capability to rip and burn CDs are the several features that are included in the software.

There are many more websites which offer MP3 players.

Portable MP3 player speakers

When I was a kid, portable audio speakers were rare and fairly poorly made. No one had started to make portable powered speakers yet, so the sound that you got was very weak and not very good. Basically, portable speakers only put out about as much sound as came through headphones. They could be cleverly designed so that they would carry through a small room, but that was about it. The sound was flat, tinny, and much too quiet.

Portable speakers, however, have come a long way since then. You can get basically anything from a portable speaker that you can from bigger home speaker systems except for the volume and some of the bass. Portable speakers actually have a surprising amount of power. I got some iPod portable speakers the other day, and I was blown away by how they sounded. They actually sound better than my stereo system, and I only bought that about five years ago. Although it is not a top-of-the-line system, it always sounded pretty good to me until now. After hearing those portable speakers, however, I wouldn't listen to anything else besides them.

Another great thing about portable flat panel speakers is how little room they take up. Back in the day, portable speakers were fairly bulky as well as inefficient. Nowadays, however, they take up very little room indeed. They have a smaller profile than your average novel, and can be fit conveniently into any travel bag if you are flying on an airline. This is a great advantage, because it allows you to take your portable speakers with you on vacation. It is much better than what you had to do in the 80s – lugging a boombox with you everywhere. Try getting that on a plan nowadays!

If you are looking for portable MP3 player speakers, the only way to go about it is to go to a store that lets you listen to them. Whatever you have heard, most portable speakers will last for a long time. Even if they are not exceptionally well made, there is so little that can break that, as long as you are careful with your portable speakers, you should have them for years. The big issue is not how they are made, but how they sound. Most stores will let you try out a floor model of their portable speaker systems, so you should definitely do this before you invest in a set.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Jogging Music

Jogging Music

Jogging is good for the mind and the body, but sometimes, it can get a little boring. When you jog around your neighborhood, you only have so many options for where you can go, and you probably have a specific path you take. Sometimes this is out of habit, but for most people, this happens because they have found the smoothest and perhaps the safest areas. The same area each day can lead to boredom, however, and that is why many people like to have some good jogging music to accompany them on their daily run.

There are a few things to consider when you are choosing jogging music. You have to choose something that you like, of course, but you don’t want something too fast or too slow. You may end up trying to keep up with the beat of the music, or perhaps slowing down. You want to find jogging music that you can keep pace with comfortably as you go about your daily run. You don’t want to over exert yourself, and you certainly don’t want to slow down so that you aren’t getting much out of your run.

When you are contemplating your jogging music, you also have to decide what type of player you want to use. If you have an MP3 player, you don’t have too much to worry about. Though I don’t have one, I don’t think you have to worry about them skipping and they are lightweight and easy to manage. If you don’t have one, and you want to take a CD player with you, you have to get one that is skip resistant and can stay in a pouch so you don’t have to worry about it as you run. Just remember that if you use a CD for jogging music, you are probably going to get bored with the same CD day in and day out, so make sure you switch it up.

Also think about safety when you are listening to jogging music. You have to watch out for traffic if you run in your neighborhood, and you don’t want to have your music so loud that you can’t hear anything else. If you listen to your jogging music too loudly, not only will you put yourself in danger with oncoming traffic, you might also damage your hearing. Keep the music at a comfortable level and enjoy your run.

Sports MP3 player

When my friend bought a sports MP3 player, I thought she was crazy. If there is anyone who is more accident prone than me, it is her. Although she is an outstanding athlete when she is not on the bench due to injury, those periods are rarer than with most people. She has had a broken arm, a broken leg, several broken fingers, and a fractured skull. The sport MP3 player seem like just one more thing that she could break.

Nonetheless, I was so surprised by how much the MP3 players sports helped her that I was finally tempted into getting one myself. I guess I didn't realize how tough the sport MP3 player was. Back when I was a kid, I had a Walkman that I used to take jogging with me. That lasted for about a month before I had a fall. It broke the very first time, although it was supposed to be a sports Walkman.

The sports MP3 players, however, seem to be more ruggedly made. It's not like the one that I bought is a particularly high end one either. It is just your basic run-of-the-mill sport 128 mb mp3 player. It was practically the cheapest sports MP3 player that I could find, but it seems to work well. It is small and portable, and it has just enough memory for a few albums at a time. It seems to be rugged and durable, but I spent so little money on it that, if it breaks, I won't be crushed.

The best thing about the sports MP3 player, however, is how much it motivates me to exercise. I had forgotten how nice exercising to music is. There are all kinds of tricks to psych yourself up and motivate yourself to get a better workout, but listening to music is one of the best and easiest ones. Sports MP3 players are a great alternative to all of the cheesy music that my local gym plays. With my sports MP3 player, I can listen to what I want when I want to.

If you want to get a sports digital music player, You have to pay a little bit of attention to the format. There is no reason that a sports MP3 player is any better than, say, an Apple iPod. It is just that they use different musical formats. You should look at what music you have so far and see which model of sports mp3 player is compatible.