Stringing your guitar can be a drag, but it doesn’t have to be

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Guitar players everywhere dread one thing: the time when the strings begin to deaden and hurt just a bit more to play. With the right tools and a little practice, changing strings can become less of a chore and more of something to look forward to.

Here’s a step by step guide to making stringing your guitar a breeze.

What you’ll need: bridge pin puller, wire cutters and new strings.

1. Slowly unwind the strings and remove the bridge pins. IMPORTANT: remember to keep the pins in order of which string the pin goes with. The string can pop out if the proper pin isn’t used, damaging the pin and undoing your hard work!

2. Use the bridge puller to remove the pins. Pliers and other tools aren’t meant for the job and can also damage your pins.

3. Put the string in the corresponding pin hole. Place the bridge pin in just enough to hold the string. Begin tightening the string. Once the string is fairly tight, push the pin flush and finish tightening.

4. Snip off the excess string on the end with the wire cutters. Be careful not to damage anything.

5. Now it’s time to tune your guitar. It can take up to a full day to stabilize as the strings adjust to their new tightness. Enjoy!

There are several ways to string a guitar and none of them are wrong. Brian Swerdfeger of Taylor Guitars prefers to snip the strings before he winds them around the posts. He snips them two inches behind the post. You can see more here.

The record that made my dad appreciate whole albums

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If you like music, there’s a time that everyone experiences: the switch from singles to full albums.

For my dad, David, — as well as myself —that transition didn’t happen until the summer entering college. I can’t point to one record that began my musical journey, but my dad can.

After buying singles in high school for a couple years, he stumbled upon the Eagles and their fifth studio album, Hotel California. The rest is history.

“That’s the first album I listen to. I bought singles before that and that’s the first album I listened to that was like, ‘Oh, you can do more than singles,'” he said.

Forty years later, he still rarely listens singles. The farthest he will go is the ‘shuffle’ feature on his iPod. Instead, he will listen to an album front-to-back when he buys it.

Lucky for him, he got to experience the golden era of when albums were made to be played all the way through. Just before his time, in the 50s, singles were the norm. These days, we again are seeing a resurgence of the single.

Forbes covered this very topic in an article titled: “The Album Is Dying — And Good Riddance”.

In the Nielsen mid-year report, album sales (including CDs, cassettes, vinyl LPs and digital albums) have fallen by 13.6% this year but even more worrisome is the fact that albums by current artists aren’t catching on, falling by 20.8%.

The article goes on to say that since albums are long, time consuming and expensive to make, artists are focusing on the one or two songs from an album that people will listen to. They do this because people will either buy those songs or cherry-pick them through streaming services.

Albums will still be made by artists in it for more than just a paycheck, but will be harder to find. It’s up to us to support them!

Neil Young delays release of new album, ‘Peace Trail’

neil_young_2008_firenze_02Music fans will have to wait a little bit longer for new music by Neil Young. Originally scheduled for Dec. 2, Young pushed his release date for his new effort to Dec. 9.

Peace Trail is the acoustic heavy follow up to his 2015 album, Earth, and was recorded at Rick Rubin’s Shangri-La Studios. The album will be Young’s 38th solo record and is available for preorder on his website.

Young recently released a song and video in September for “Indian Givers”, which according to Slate, is “a condemnation of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a major oil duct project under construction in Native American territory.”

Young, fresh of a Desert Trip appearance, has been one of the few major artists to speak out about the controversy, either through song or otherwise.

Tracklist:

1. “Peace Trail”
2. “Can’t Stop Workin'”
3. “Indian Givers”
4. “Show Me”
5. “Texas Rangers”
6. “Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders”
7. “John Oaks”
8. “My Pledge”
9. “Glass Accident”
10. “My New Robot”