Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Music In The Family

Welcome to another week and to another post made by myself. Nothing much has been happening in my life at all lately, but I am mainly here to tell you about music and that is what I am doing and this time, it is going to be unrelated to Elton John.

Since October last year, members of my family have been getting musical instruments. It all started that October when my sister, Michelle (who moved out of home in June 2006) rang Mum up and said that she got a guitar, so one day she came over and brought it over with her so Mum could tune it and get it right. Michelle, her boyfriend and my brothers all went to the coast that day while Mum and I were spending time with Grandma and Granddad, who had come over to spend the day with us. That afternoon, Reece (one of my brothers) was playing Michelle's guitar and he really liked it a great deal that he wished he had one! The next day, Reece went out to the local musical instrument store called The Music Spot with Mum and he came home with a new guitar as well. Mum said that she saw a guitar that she really loved and would love to get one day (Mum used to have her own guitar before we went to America and she really enjoyed playing it).

A few weeks later, I went into an electronics place called Tandy down at our local shopping centre, Grand Plaza, and brought a keyboard that I had my eye on for the last few years. Actually, Mum and I waited for the keyboard to be brought into the store from the storage room. The keyboard I looked at, the CASIO CTK-451, was very similar to my cousin Skye's one, except it wasn't MIDI compatible and had different songs, but the one they brought from the storage area looked a lot better and I got it for exactly the same price I was wanting the older model for, and I bought a keyboard stand separately, as that didn't come with the keyboard.

The newer one was is a CASIO CTK-481 and it was even better than the one I was looking at because it was a lighter color and it also is MIDI compatible, which is what I need as I am going to et into MIDI creation for when I get my web site up and running. Two days after getting the keyboard, I bought a book from the local bookstore called The Complete Idiot's Guide To Music Theory Second Edition by Michael Miller. I found the book very easy and fun to follow and was impressed at how much I was learning through it. It contained an audio CD, which includes The Complete Idiot's Guide To Music Theory Ear Training Course, which will help you know the difference in pitches and what are intervals, scales and much more, just follow along with the book and do the CD for the chapters that have the CD icon and you will be all set for that chapter. The worst thing is that I have only just started Chapter 4, the last chapter in Part 1, so I better get a move on with it. Even though I'm still on Chapter 4, I feel like I could really recommend this book for everyone who loves music. In my opinion, the book doesn't make music theory seem hard at all, just another fun lesson that you can do at your own pace!

Since I bought the keyboard, I wanted to get into learning some songs, so I eventually went to The Music Spot with Mum, the place Reece got his guitar and I was looking for a music book.
Mum helped me find a more modern E-Z Play Today book that includes keyboards as well, and it had a lot of my favourite songs, so I ended up buying it and an M-Audio MIDISPORT UNO MIDI-to-USB cable (a MIDI cable that had a USB cable at the other end for plugging into the computer to make MIDI music with the keyboard). The music book, E-Z Play Today - Adult Contemporary Songbook is quite good. The MIDI cable was expensive though, I nearly didn't buy it, but I couldn't resist it. If you want to know what MIDI is, I can't really tell you as it is a little bit complex, but you will find a link to the MIDI Manufacturer's Association website in my Links section.

Even more surprising was that Beau, my other brother, bought himself a keyboard as well. At the time, I thought it was good, but then I realized what a few of the fall backs were such as having a built-in sustain button instead of a sustain pedal, which would be a lot easier to work with if you're changing between notes than having to press the button. Beau also eventually went out and bought himself a keyboard stand. Skye, my cousin, had already got an electric guitar a while back, but she loved my Aunty Angela's acoustic guitar so much that she used to play it. Aunty Angela and Uncle Peter got Skye her own acoustic guitar for Christmas, including a guitar tuner and a device that shows you correct finger positions for certain chords, Skye was rapt about that.

Well, that is it for me at the moment. The next time I do a post, I am going to talk about my interest in web design how I've come to know about it. It may not be totally to do with music, but at least it is music related as my web site will be totally about music and I will also tell you bits of the stuff that will be included.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

My 2006 Elton John Concert

This is a picture of Uncle Peter (left) and myself just before we left to go to the Elton John 2006 concert.

Hi everyone! As I promised, I've done another post for you to read! I said last time that this time I was going to tell you about my last Elton John concert that happened on November 26, 2006! The concert I went to back in 2002 that I told you about last fortnight was fun, but I didn't do a lot of cheering or singing along with songs like everyone else was in the Entertainment Centre, Mum encouraged me to sing along and just enjoy myself as I was a bit nervous! At the concert I went to last year of Elton's called The Captain And The Kid, I did a lot more cheering and clapping and singing and fully enjoyed myself!

When I found out that Elton was coming back to Australia for his Captain And The Kid tour, I was, like the first time, very excited! I told everyone in my family about it coming! I tried getting through on various radio station competitions, but had no luck, except my Granddad, who won Elton's new CD on 4BH. Little did I know, the week before the concert, I found out that Uncle Peter had bought tickets for he and I to go to the concert. That really made my day.

It is worth me mentioning here that since June, I've been watching Australian Idol and was (not voting until the end) hoping for one of the contestants, Damien Leith, to win each week, he made it to the Final 2 with another great singer in that competition Jessica Mauboy. I didn't realise that the Australian Idol Grand Finale would be on the exact night of the Elton concert.

Uncle Peter and I listened to Elton's new CD, The Captain And The Kid all the way to the concert and Uncle Peter thought it was quite a good CD! When we got to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, we got a park just near the building, therefore it would be easy to leave when the concert was over! When we got inside, we paid for the concert programme! The programme looked so good, especially with an interview with Elton and Bernie about the Captain And The Kid CD.

We went in just before 8:00pm to get our seats. Since the last concert, I was concerned if I had to go up or down steps, but we sat was an area where people with disabilities can sit. When we got in, I was shocked to see the view we had, it was fantastic! At the 2002 concert, me and Mum were on the ground floor, therefore you could always get some one's head in your way when you don't want to, but where we sat in 2006, you could see the stage and the big screen directly opposite us. It was such a good concert with Elton even doing 5 songs in a row from the new album!

Unfortunately, I found out later that Elton was sick that night when we saw him, he went off stage for a few minutes to be sick while Davey Johnstone played guitar until Elton came back and apologised for the sickness. I was actually surprised that there was no support act this time like the last time. Elton just performed straight for a few hours before finishing. It was a fantastic concert, even Uncle Peter enjoyed it! The lights were nice and bright and the sound was nice and loud! I do intend to go to another Elton concert in the future. I did hear that he might be slowing down after this year, but he will still be good. If he ever announces a final world tour, I hope to get right up front on that night and enjoy seeing him live close up.

Next time, I am going to talk about various music things that are unrelated to Elton, so watch this space for more posts vary soon!
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