Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Affordable keyboards

ONE OF THE things we needed to improve on at Second String Music was getting affordable keyboards. We've been stocking the amazing Roland keyboards, and we've done very well with them, but they are for more serious players and the price starts at $640. Beginners had no options within the store and that is a market we need to improve.

So we've decided to go with some Casio keyboards for much less money. We start with the miniature SA 76 for $50 and go from there. We have the CTK-2550 ($119), LK-190 ($139), WK-245 ($199) and WK-7600 ($449). Basically the higher the model the more bells and whistles it has, and keys. The LK-190 has a lighted keyboard. The SA-76 is a miniature keyboard with 44 keys.

I've been monkeying around a little bit on them and for the better ones you actually need the manual. It can record stuff and play backing tracks and do your dishes too. They are amazing.

All our keyboards come with 4 free lessons at Vancil Music, 8th & Ohio. They have great teachers there, especially for beginning piano.

So ... if you just want something basic to learn on and go from there, Second String Music is now your place to pick up a new Casio. Sing us a song, you're the piano man! Or woman. Or child. Let's get started at Fifth and Maine!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Fender stuff is here

WE GOT A huge shipment of Fender products Thursday at Second String Music. Now we are stocked with awesome Fender Squire starter guitar packs, three different Rumble bass amps, 15-watt Acoustasonic amps, Mustang amps, a Squire Contemporary bass and three of the new Squire Contemporary electric guitars that are making me drool.

In stock are the Contemporary HH Strat, Telecaster and Jaguar. Yup, the Jaguar, which is a beast. You can't believe the tone you get out of the active pickups and I might spend a minute or 100 strumming it this afternoon. The HH Strat features humbucker pickups and takes you back to the 80s in an instant.

The Jaguar is $399 and the other two guitars and bass are $349 each. Worth. Every. Penny.

Sheryl says we have a bunch of other Fender stuff on the way. You can see it, touch it and play with it at Fifth and Maine, and nowhere else close to Quincy. Tomorrow is the St. Patrick's Day Parade downtown so it's a perfect excuse for you to stop by after getting a bit o' green.

We are rocking at Second String Music!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Blues In The District means summer around the corner!

BLUES IN THE District announced its summer lineup and it's killer. Washington Park will be jammed again on the second and fourth Fridays of June, July and August. We'll be taking it in from the sidewalk, of course!

Our Concerts In The Plaza at Seventh and Maine start the last Friday in April and will include the first three Fridays in May. And we are doing the noon Blues shows again after considerable thought and debate. The last two years attendance has been down but we have some ideas and some really good local acts playing again, so it will be worth attending. We will be announcing the official lineups soon.

And, the grandmother of them all, Q-Fest, is scheduled for the last weekend in June. Again we have a great lineup of local talent for the gazebo, a good mix of new and familiar faces.

All events are free. Repeat, FREE. As in no charge, won't cost you a thing, gratis. Thank you The District and all our great sponsors for making it happen.

So, let the weather warm up and let's get ready for another great summer in Quincy!

Washington Park in Quincy, IL
Harper and Midwest Kind
JUNE 28 (Q-FEST Weekend)
Amanda Fish
Ivas John Band
Mary Jo Curry Blues
Brother Jefferson Band
Marquise Knox

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Meet CoCo

SHERYL JUST ADDED a cat to the family. Meet CoCo, who comes from the same farm Angus was born and raised at before we got him 5 years ago.

Angus' sister, Jess, had a litter of puppies a few months ago. CoCo was rescued from abandonment shortly after the puppies were born, and was brought into Jess for nursing.

After 24 hours she smelled like the other puppies so Jess simply took her in like one of her own, and everybody was a big happy family.

Now CoCo has come to live in Calftown. She has made herself right at home and gets along famously with Tucker, Genie and Angus, her uncle. Angus is still a little mystified why this kitten is so attached to him, and it had to be explained to him that it was a family thing. CoCo likes to bat her paws at Tucker's prominent nose, but not with her claws, thank goodness.

Josie, the other cat, has adapted as well. They are chasing each other around the house and playing catch every morning. I think Josie needed a buddy. There's plenty of couch, chair and bed space to go around.

Welcome CoCo!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Turn it up ... or down

SOUND IS SUCH a relative thing. It's too loud, not loud enough, not clear enough, or just plain muddy. Getting the sound right is the trick for a live act, and it ain't easy.

Saturday night Cori Lyssy and I (HartLyss) played at Red Light in Quincy. We had a blast. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves and there were even a few folks who stuck around until the bitter end. It's always better when people get into what you are doing and give you positive feedback.

During the show, we were told there "wasn't enough high end" on the vocals. Then somebody complained they couldn't hear it and told us to turn it up. I thought the sound was murky and boomy at the beginning - it's a huge room. Yesterday I was told it was too loud, especially my guitar. It was an accurate assessment. I was experimenting with my Princeton Reverb amp and in the end, it was better to plug the acoustic guitar straight into our Boss L1 sound system.

But ... live and learn. Sound is elusive and you can chase tone and volume forever.

One thing I go off of is if the venue owner is happy. Also, there was another bar owner at our show and she was so impressed, she hired us practically on the spot to play at her place this summer. As the night went on I think we dialed it in a little bit better.

We'll keep chasing tone. And thank you to everybody who came out, it was a great night. Here's to many more at the right volume!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster

FENDER UNVEILED A new acoustic guitar at the recent NAMM show, and immediately it went viral. It's called the American Acoustasonic Telecaster. Our fender rep was in the store Thursday and happened to have one to show off, and it's pretty sweet.

It's an acoustic but it has the thinner electric guitar neck, and a three-part pickup system means it can go either way when you plug it in. Made in California, comes in five different color schemes and it's super easy to play.

We had a few people call us when it came out. Of course when the price was announced ($1,999) that more or less calmed things down. In Quincy it's tough to sell a guitar like that, even though it's worth every penny.

Sheryl and I are hoping to land one or two, but right now it's a waiting game. Fender sold out the first batch and now there's a 100-day wait if you order one. They make about 40 a day and the demand continues to increase.

Rodney playing the American made Fender Acoustasonic Telecaster.

Fender isn't known for its acoustic guitars, and deservedly so. This is there first serious foray into American-made acoustics in a while and so far it's worked. We have put in our first Fender order and we still have some amazing American Strats, Telecasters and basses in stock.