Buying an Oud is unlike buying other musical instruments. It’s not about buying the one that is fancy and appeals to you. The Oud you choose is an expression of your identity. This is because each Oud has its unique soul that should reflect your musical personality and style.
If you’re buying your first Turkish Oud, here are five things you need to know to choose the right one:
1. Not All Ouds Are From Turkey
Like many modern instruments, Ouds come in variations, many of which can be eerily similar. There are Turkish Ouds, Arabian Ouds, Iraqi Ouds, and Iranian Ouds. When making your first purchase, you must know how to spot a Turkish Oud, so you don’t make a mistake.
The fastest way to know what type of Oud you’re looking at is the small ornament where the fingerboard joins the soundboard. This ornament looks like an extension of the fingerboard and is rarely present in other Ouds but may feature in a few Arabian Ouds.
Turkish Ouds also typically do not have coated soundboards, and they come in very light wood color, most likely because of spruce. Another thing to note about Turkish Ouds is that many of them today have a shorter lifespan, mostly because they are made with thinner soundboards. It’s important to take note of the dimensions when purchasing your first Turkish Oud.
2. Find The Style And Sound That Describes You
While Turkish Ouds have similar sounds, they are different from one another. Generally, Turkish Ouds have a vibrant and healing sound, while others vary. So, in choosing your first Turkish Oud, you need to find the style and sound that describes you best.
3. Turkish Ouds Must Be Properly Cared For
Caring for your Turkish Oud is vital for it to keep giving the same sound regularly. The first tip is to keep your Turkish Oud at room temperature. No heat, no damp places, and no cold! The next tip is to wipe your Turkish Oud down gently with a soft cloth and polish it at least once a year.
You should never use chemicals such as damp cloths, soap, and alcohol to clean your Oud. You will need to change your Oud’s strings every six months to maintain a high degree of sound quality. If you’re not going to play for a long period, it’s best to leave the strings loose.
4. You Need A Good Oud Pick
Turkish Oud picks or plectrums are known as Risha and come in a variety of sizes and hardness, depending on the musician’s desire. You can’t use a random pick or pluck for your Oud. This is an important note as many people assume guitar picks can work just fine for a Turkish Oud. That will limit your playing technique and distort the sound the Oud makes. The best Risha is long and thin and typically made of wood or plastic. Hold significance with your whole hand and not just your fingers to use it.
5. Type Of String Is Important
Since all strings sound different, choosing the type of string for your Turkish Oud plays an important role in your identity as an Oud player. There are several distinct sorts of strings that are measured by their weight, and each variety produces a different sound. Although nylon and metal strings are the most popular string materials, some require a special type of material.
To achieve a clearer tone, a G string, for example, should be made of steel. It’s also critical for you to note that the string’s pulling force increases as the keyboard’s distance from the hand grows, causing the height to become unbalanced. It can make strumming more difficult and cause scratchy noises. If you notice a scratchy sound when purchasing your first Turkish Oud, don’t buy it. It indicates that it’s bad and should be fixed.
On A Final Note
Usually, the price of a Turkish Oud is a big determinant in choosing one. Many can reach up to $3,000 depending on the material used and its maker. However, since this is your first purchase, you can go for a reasonably priced one or a fairly used Turkish Oud. If you follow the tips outlined in this article, you have successfully passed the first stage of becoming a Turkish Oud player.
Daniel Karni -The Owner of Ethnic Musical. An expert for Turkish & Arabic musical instruments since 2008. A multi-instrumentalist, and a fan of middle eastern musical traditions. Plays the Oud, Saz & Ney.
7 Steps To Set Up A Solid Concert Stage
From time to time, there will be occasions and social gatherings that’ll require you to set up a solid concert stage. A concert stage will provide a perfect venue to present various performances, host contests, or set up a loud sound system with a music DJ. Thus, you must ensure that the whole stage is well-equipped and ready for the type of concert or event you’re hosting so the show can run smoothly from start to end.
However, setting up a concert stage won’t always be easy, especially if it’s your first time. From the stage lighting, sound system, and microphones to the placement of the instruments and performers’ positions, you need to ensure everything is ready before the show starts.
But don’t worry as this post will discuss the following steps you can take to help you set up a solid concert stage before the show begins. Keep on reading to learn more.
1. Choose A Venue
Before you worry about the lighting and sound system, you need to find a venue where you can set up these things. The venue for your concert stage will depend on the event you’re hosting.
For example, if you need a small stage for your resto-bar or coffee shop, you need to choose a venue inside your bar that’s spacious enough to accommodate the performers, the band, and their instruments. If your bar already has a mini stage floor, the better.
Meanwhile, if you’re setting up a stage for an outdoor event/festival, a large open field may be the perfect venue for the concert. And since an open field doesn’t have a stage floor yet, you’ll need to invest in staging decs in various sizes to assemble them into a large stage.
Your stage must be made of tough and durable materials to handle and carry bulky instruments, speakers, and performers. Preferably, before you buy staging decs and stage risers, estimate how much weight the stage will need to support to avoid serious accidents and liabilities.
2. Plot The Stage
Now that you have the venue and the stage, it’s time to plot it. You must plot the stage first before placing any instruments or equipment in the area to clearly illustrate how the stage will be utilized. When stage plotting, you can use the following symbols to indicate what each spot is reserved for:
● X is for the stage chair;
● — is for the music stand;
● Rectangles are for the stage risers;
● O is for the drums or the Tympani; and
● The small o is for the stools.
You may also customize your own symbols, especially if you need many stage plots. Just make sure to list everything on one sheet and provide copies to your stage staff and crew so everyone will know their positions.
3. Set Up The Lighting
Great lighting is one of the critical keys to achieving a solid concert stage. Without proper lighting, the stage crew and stage performers might have difficulty finding their spots, and the atmosphere of the concert will be affected.
For optimal stage lighting, consider hiring a professional lighting company as part of the concert planning process. These professionals have the complete set of stage lights for you to choose from. You can pick the ones that’ll perfectly fit the ambiance that you want to achieve for your concert. Most importantly, they have the talent and skills to create stage lighting designs, which is essential, especially for pop concerts.
4. Organize The Sound System
The sound system isn’t only about the music for the concert. This includes gathering the microphones, speakers, headsets, amplifiers, and other audio equipment you may need throughout the concert. Before the show, it’s essential to test all these tools to see if they’re functional. You must also test the volume level of the microphone and speakers to see if the audio’s too loud or too soft for the audience.
5. Pay Attention To The Backstage Area
The backstage is still an important part of the concert stage so ensure you also pay attention to it. This is where the stage crew, band, and other performers gather around before they perform. Thus, ensure you dedicate enough space so everyone can move around and do their individual tasks before they go onstage.
6. Provide Enough Seating For The Audience
Your concert stage would be nothing without the audience. So, to ensure your target viewers will watch the entire concert, you must provide enough seating for the expected number of people. Plus, you need to ensure that their seats are strategically positioned so the viewers at the back can still have a good view of the stage.
7. Add Decoration
To complete the ensemble, you can decorate the stage depending on the ambiance you want to achieve. You may add banners, flags, flowers, or anything that will make the stage look more exciting and inviting for the audience.
Overall, setting up a solid concert stage may take time and intense preparation. But as long as you and your stage crew are on the same page, you can all work together to assemble a perfect stage for your event.
10 Amazing Marketing Strategies For Musicians To Focus On In 2022
Becoming a successful musician is one thing but promoting one in today’s digital world is another. According to Digital Music News, the top 1% of artists earn about 77% of the total earnings in the music industry. But one cannot miss the point of building a good online profile especially when everything today is connecting with others digitally.
From designing promotional campaigns to deciding where and whom to promote to, marketing plays a pivotal role in helping musicians progress. That is why having a complete idea of your promotional strategies is crucial for your music career.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled some of the best marketing strategies for upcoming musicians to consider. Based on tried and tested methods, these strategies will surely allow you to get great results, helping you leap forward in your journey. So, without further ado, let’s get started:
1. Use Streaming Services
According to stats, a staggering $12.4 billion (2021) increase in streaming revenue indicates an amazing opportunity for musicians to generate income as well as get promotional perks. But make sure your streaming is as good as your music quality. Recording, going live, or uploading your song (or video) will surely need a good setup and solid internet backup.
For the latter, we can surely recommend a formidable option i.e. Windstream. Using internet services from Windstream, you’ll be able to get things done without any hassle as well as get smooth online performance, helping you focus solely on growing your career. Just visit https://www.localcabledeals.com/windstream/ to find an optimal internet plan right away.
2. Launching a Website
Many artists don’t know but launching a website alongside your career is a great strategy for marketing. One doesn’t know when a website will be needed to sell merchandise, and instead of running after development later, get it in the first place.
Of course, it’s not needed almost immediately but having a website will allow you to launch your brand, upload videos, create a PR section, accept fan comments, and do so much more. There’s a lot a website can offer, and having one is definitely an option worth the while.
3. Keeping a Broad Audience Spectrum
Another important element that you should remember as a musician is your audience. From your current segment to your targeted and future segment, you should be foresighted about it. Stats show that companies that have invested in customer segmentation have gained 60% of insights into customer challenges and more than 100% understanding of customer intentions.
As a musician, it’s going to be easier for you since every genre has somewhat fan following that will surely hit you up when you launch yourself.
4. Create Cross-Platform Community
Yes, TikTok is a great platform for launching yourself but is it enough to make you famous? You need to do more than just upload reels on TikTok. According to a blog by AdRoll, companies with cross-channel communication can grab 89% of clientele more than those that don’t.
Even if you consider this for organizations, doing a cross-platform promotion will bring about a good number of fan following. Plus, it’ll increase the credibility of your account, and fans from different bases can follow you for updates wherever they like easily.
5. Organize Events
Don’t feel like performing on a stream? Go live! Creating events is a great way of engaging fans from a specific location. Even if it’s a local bar or an outdoor space that you just went to, performing live with your mesmerizing skills will surely build a firm foundation for growth.
Even if you’re not familiar with the audience of the area, you can simply share the event on your social profile, and let it go live while you tag the area/ location of your performance. It’ll surely generate a footprint, even if it’s small, for you to get noticed.
6. Perform Genre Specifically
A good way of engaging with your fans is picking your genre instead of shifting from one option to another. Yes, it’s productive and can help you progress further with the right audience too. In addition, you can find genre-specific concerts and events where you can perform too.
7. Launch a Blog
Blogs are immensely useful not only for engagement but for improving brand awareness too. Stats showed a 70% increase in brand awareness because of engagement received via blogs. We’ve already mentioned how creating a website will help improve online visibility.
Adding a blog will allow you to document your overall journey. It can also be used to create an inspiring journal, mentioning the background, overall journey, future inspirations and so much more.
8. Reach Out For Featured Posts
Though featured posts will cost you, still, getting a featured post will surely boost your online presence by miles. Particularly TikTok and Instagram, which are well-known for their huge following, are great places, to begin with.
The cost depends on the type of featured posts you’re going for. Contacting influencers, pages with immense followers/ traffic, pages with a huge number of follow-up links, etc. each has its own rates. You’ll have to comb through the options to find an optimal one.
9. Optimize YouTube Presence
With the platform, which has over 2 billion monthly users, you’ll be losing a lot if you don’t create and optimize your YouTube channel. It’ll be wrong to say that it shouldn’t be added to your campaign because it’s one of the core platforms to use for connecting online these days.
Plus, with time, you’ll be able to monetize your channel, which for those who don’t know, allows you to earn from $0.5 to $6 on average (1000 views per video)! Not to mention, you can run AdSense too!
10. Teach What You’ve Learned
The last thing you can do for connecting online for promotional purposes is to become a teacher. Inspire others to do the same and let them voice your ideas online. Connecting with them emotionally has been quite beneficial for companies and will do good for you too.
But make sure you’re versed with what you’re teaching. Only then your word and skills will be considered credible while improving engagement with like-minded people.
Well, this is it! Following these amazing marketing strategies, you’re sure to get a good start on your musical career. Though it’s not limited to just these, still, if you want to get started already, then follow these and make your way to progress!
Proposing To A Musician: 6 Tips You’ll Want To Consider
For many men, there’s nothing scarier than getting down on one knee and popping the question, “Will you marry me?”. This holds true even when you know the answer will be yes.
If you’re proposing to a music lover, these 6 tips will help you shake off the nerves.
1. Choose the Right Engagement Ring
Every woman has different likings when it comes to an engagement ring. For music lovers, consider something music-inspired. There are beautiful engagement rings that feature a treble clef or similar music symbols.
Also, find a way to determine your soon-to-be fiancee’s ring size. If there’s a ring she often wears (on her ring finger), take measurements. Asking a friend or family member for help will be of great help in trying to determine the size.
Once you have the style and ring size down, it’s time to pick up a quality ring from a trusted store like DOR in Auckland. And, of course, when you buy the ring, keep it hidden from your partner!
2. Consider a Guitar Serenade
Serenading a woman is the most romantic way to propose. And, if your special someone is a musician, this touch will be extra special. Make sure you choose a song that’ll touch her heart.
Moreover, when selecting the date to propose, make sure you choose a day on which both of you are free. You don’t want to schedule a proposal on the same day your partner has an important performance.
Further, invite a small group of friends and family to be a part of the proposal. Not letting your partner’s loved ones know about the proposal is a common mistake when proposing.
3. Choose an Appropriate Venue
With the date set, the next step is to pick a venue or location. Think of a romantic place that your partner will enjoy and appreciate. The location can be somewhere comfortable, like your living room, or somewhere more luxurious, like a beach.
By “appropriate,” we’re referring to a location where your loved one will feel safe and comfortable.
4. Find the Right Time
There will never be a perfect time to propose. However, musicians are busy, so make sure you choose a time that works for them. This will require some investigation on your end.
Further, if you’re considering proposing to a popular spot like the beach, go for a less busy time of day. The last thing you want is to propose in an overcrowded location filled with strangers.
5. Inform Her Parents
Perhaps the most important tip of them all… don’t forget to inform her parents! Asking someone to marry you is a large decision, and you want to make her parents aware.
While it’s not always necessary to seek permission from parents, it’s seen as a sign of respect to let them know what your intentions are. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and so will your partner.
Equally important, make sure to let your parents know as well.
6. Hire a Photographer
The day of the proposal should be memorable. Hiring a photographer or videographer to capture this moment is a great way to do this. You’ll have high-quality photos to cherish for the rest of your lives.
Alternatively, you can ask a close friend or family member to capture the event using a high-quality camera.
Just like a wedding, a proposal comes once in a lifetime. For this reason, don’t leave anything up to chance. For a successful proposal, use the tips above. The musician in your life will appreciate the thought that went into the planning. Best of luck!