Everyone at some point in their life wants to play a musical instrument. It’s never as easy as it sounds, and there are a lot of extras that go into learning an instrument. Do you think choosing your instrument is tough? There are tons of little extras like microphones, amps, tuners, strings, and many more options that are also necessary to get educated on before you commit to a purchase. That’s why Making Music has spoken with the School of Rock to learn some of the must have products in the lesson studio, but this isn’t only for beginners, long time musicians can benefit as well.
The School of Rock is a “performance based music school,” according to Shane Baskerville, Music Director of three institutions of the School of Rock, “[We] go backwards. We’ll teach them a Zeppelin song and break it down theoretically after they learn it.” This way kids aren’t bored with lots of scales and chords in the beginning. They get to play a song, feel great for playing a song, then understand what it took to perform the song. It’s a new way of teaching that is found to be highly successful.
Below is a list of products that are suggested by Shane and Making Music, many of which he uses personally in the School of Rock to teach the kids. They range from what guitars are good to start out with, all the way to music stands that are study enough to survive the onslaught that is the recklessness of children.
11 Must Have Products In The Lesson Studio
A Fender Stratocaster is always a good pick. There are many models, but some really good price points for the amazing sound you can get out of these guitars. They are very versatile so you can play all sorts of different styles. Not only that, but their strength allows you to play them as hard as you want and as long as you want. Best of all, this means they can survive the daily destruction that kids tend to drag with them.
Just as we mentioned above the Fender is a great guitar to go with, but a normal sized guitar can be difficult for little kids. That’s why the Fender Mini Guitar is perfect on almost all fronts for children. They sound great, fit in a kid’s arms nicely, and the price is something any parent can appreciate, especially if they’re afraid the guitar may only be a phase for their children.
When it comes to microphones, Shane suggests the Shure FM 58 Microphone, as he claims, “[It] takes a beating. Sounds great. Pretty much a standard in all the clubs.” With a $99 price-tag it’s hard to deny the quality that comes with such a cheap price.
The YPG 235 may not have weighted keys, but that’s about the only downside. Costing around $520 it is a solid option for anyone looking to get their hands on a keyboard with an extremely wide range of sounds. You can play jazz, funk, reggie, and more with it all sounding great. “It has the best sounds for the buck.” Shane told us.
Once again, versatile is key when it comes to instruments, especially in regards to teaching children or experimenting yourself. A Fender can play a wide range of sounds with excellent tone, and factoring in the price once again makes this a great choice for anyone looking to play Bass.
How good are the Mustang III amps? “They are amazing,” according to Shane, “I couldn’t believe how good they work.” Besides sounding great for their lightweight and small size, these digital amps allow you to visit their site and download any tone you are looking for. They are also easy to program, but best of all, they can be locked, so kids cannot mess with the settings when you have your back turned.
When you pick out your drums you need to have something that can take a beating but sound great. The Pearl Export drum kits are great for kids or just starting out. They sound good, can take a real beating, but are inexpensive. When you’re ready to step it up a level, check out the Yamaha Birch Stage Customs. They have a great tone, look great, easy to tune, and still have an acceptable price range for serious drummers.
8. CRX Cymbals
Seeing how some cymbals break in six months, the cost of replacing them can get pretty pricey. That’s when when it comes to cymbals you need to go with the CRX cymbals. Compared to other cymbals that cost around the same price, these last longer and sound better, making them the all-around better choice.
Skill and the instrument alone aren’t the only aspects to sounding good. You need the proper cables to transport the music. As Shane says, “They sound better and have a better frequency response than most cables of equal price.” He even goes on to say how relieable they are, “They have a lifetime guarantee, but you almost don’t need it since the cables last so long!”
The GHS Boomer Strings are a great choice for beginners when it comes to guitar strings. They may not sound the best right out of the packaging compared to some other more intricate strings, but their sound and quality won’t fade with time. So if you are a person who rarely changes your strings (like many children) you may want to consider these strings.
“They’re built like tanks,” as Shane describes. He goes on to say how they come put together in the box and are user-friendly. On-Stage Stands has stands for every type of instrument no matter what you play. The teachers and kids love how easy they are to adjust and Shane puts it best, “They’re just great.”