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How To Teach Yourself To Play Guitar

 

Have you always wanted to learn to play the guitar? A wonderful instrument that once mastered will allow you to play beautiful melodies, it is a popular choice for those of all ages and those from all walks of life. If you are a beginner and you have always wanted to play (perhaps you’ve had a delay in learning because of parenthood or because of attending school), there are a few things to get sorted before you begin to learn.

Decide on what you will learn and purchase your guitar

First of all, decide whether you want to learn to play the electric or acoustic guitar. Once you have set your mind on either one, you have to work out how much you want to spend on the guitar. As a beginner, you don’t necessarily need to spend tons of money on your first guitar. It’s just a starter guitar after all and as you get better you can always upgrade.

Have a look online and read reviews on how they sound, the quality of the materials they are made from and compare the different brands/models (Yamaha for example, is a known brand that has guitars for all budgets). You don’t however, want to go for the cheapest option; simply find one that’s in the mid-price range if you can (otherwise you might end up wasting your money on several guitars). You will also have to see if the size is correct for you (guitars come in alternate sizes depending on what your age and what you’re looking for).

Stick to a strict schedule

Once you have your guitar, decide on when/where you will learn it. Learning an instrument takes dedication, therefore you want to set out a schedule that you know you can realistically stick to. If you lead a particularly busy life, with work and looking after the kids, you want to find a time that will work for you. You don’t want to have to learn late at night when your motivation isn’t at its best after all.

Work out what your learning style is

Everyone learns differently, therefore you need to work out what learning style fits you. If you are teaching yourself to play the guitar, you need to make sure that you can learn on your own. Yes, you will be following online tutorials to learn but you must be comfortable in your own company to be able to take in what you are learning. Many people that are learning the guitar are auditory learners. This means that they listen by ear to what chords they are playing and learn how to create a rhythm that way. You might be a visual learner, that will be able to master the guitar by looking at diagrams or from video tutorials.

The benefit of online tutorials

As mentioned above, when learning to play the guitar without a physical teacher present, online tutorials are an invaluable source. Using a knowledgeable website (such as Musician Authority) you can discover what songs are perfect for beginners to learn, how to master the guitar chords and how to improve as you learn. Perfect for visual learners, you will learn how to play at your own pace and will progress in your studies.

Tune your guitar

This may go without saying, but before you begin your guitar journey, you will have to make sure that the guitar is finely tuned. You can see if it is tuned if it plays nicely and there aren’t any poor notes. If you are unsure as to how to tune it, once again by watching videos online you will get a better understanding of what the guitar should sound like. When it is all tuned, you are good to go.

Learn all the chords

By watching and reading tutorials, you will learn what each of the chords is and how to position your fingers on them. There are five major chords – A, E, D, C and G. Once you have learned the major chords, you can start to learn the minor chords. By learning the chords you can learn rhythm and start to string together a song. Without the knowledge of the chords, you won’t be able to read music or adapt to play different genres/different songs easily.

Try to learn some of your favorite songs

A great way of teaching yourself how to play the guitar is by learning how to play some of your favorite songs on it. It is a great way to pick up the chords and adapt to how different they sound. One of the key elements of teaching yourself to play the guitar is to ensure that you practice every day and by listening to your favourite songs and learning them, it will help you to pick it up quicker.

Practice with chromatic exercises

Chromatic exercises can be used to improve coordination, picking dexterity, can help with your fretting and will help to strengthen your fingers. But what are they? Determining on which website you use to teach you how to play the guitar, the exercises can consist of playing the different frets with your fingers and then moving your hand down the neck of the guitar. This movement is defined as the chromatic scale.

Learning the guitar will undoubtedly take a lot of patience and time. No one is a perfect guitarist straight away. But you need to remember that you will get there in the end, if you have the determination and motivation to learn. By practicing every day you will improve and by following in-depth tutorials you will learn the different chords and start to pick up a rhythm. A great way of gaining confidence in your ability is to play to family and friends – this will be a real test of how well you are progressing and how far you have come. No matter what your age you can learn the guitar if you have the willingness to do so.

How to Choose Your First Drum Kit

 

Taking up a new hobby is exciting – especially for music lovers committing to a new instrument. With inspiration from amazing drummers like Sheila E who worked with Prince, many ladies are turning to the exciting world of drumming. Choosing your first drum set is part of that fresh excitement.

Before committing to a kit, you’ll need to do the research and ensure you are buying the right product for your needs at the best price. Here, we’ve put together many of the factors to consider before buying your first drum set.

Terms to Know 

Before diving into specific considerations, be sure to know the lingo. You don’t know what to buy if you don’t know what the words mean.

  • Acoustic Drums are the traditional drums with wood shells.
  • Auxiliary Snare Drums are typically the second snare drum, left of the hi-hats. It provides a different snare sound to the main snare.
  • Bass Drum is also called a Kick Drum, which is on the floor and uses a bass drum pedal. It tends to be larger, ranging from 18 to 28 inches in diameter.
  • Hi-Hat Cymbals are cymbals set on a hi-hat stand and are opened using a foot pedal controller. 
  • Shells are the finishing or hardware that make up acoustic drums. Shells can be made of many types of woods, such as maple, which produces different types of sounds.
  • Snare Drums are positioned next to hi-hats and blow the bass drums. They create back-beats using the snare wires on the bottom of the drum to create popping sound. These can have wood or metal shells.

So, How Do You Choose a Set? 

For the first drum set, it tends to be easier to choose an all-inclusive starter acoustic set. An inclusive set typically has drums, cymbals, and assorted hardware. That hardware includes pedals and stands to hold each in place. The benefit of an inclusive set is the friendly price point, which tends to range between $300 to $600. These sets will be basic, so it is great for a starter.

Read the Reviews

No matter if you’re a novice or a pro, you’ll want to read the reviews before choosing just any drum set. There are plenty of starter kits that are affordable and of great quality. If you don’t want to bother with a starter kit because you know you’ll be aiming higher and want to invest in a quality kit up front, it’s still worth it to read the reviews of the best drum kits to help narrow down this process.

Create Your Own 

Of course, an inclusive package might not meet your needs. Some people opt to assemble their own kit through mix-and-match decisions. If you opt to select your own drum set and hardware, you will need to consider a few factors. For example, you will need a hardware kit that provides hi-hat stands, cymbal stands, bass drum pedal, and a snare drum stand. Of course, you’ll also need drumsticks.

Choosing the pieces typically includes choosing a snare drum, bass drum, and three toms. The number of pieces can be adjusted based on personal preferences.

Creating a kit also includes considering drum sizes. Depending on the type of music you are trying to create, you will need different sizes. For example, rock drums tend to be a bit larger. The bass drum will be around 22-inches in diameter with 12-16 inch toms, and a 14-inch snare drum.  A fusion or hybrid set will look different with slightly smaller diameters. For new drummers, it is good to start with smaller diameters as you learn your way around the instrument.

Accessorize 

A drum set will also involve certain accessories, especially if you plan on traveling with your kit. Again, choose things like travel bags with the size of the kit in mind. Nothing is worse than having a set of bag cases that don’t fit your drum! You can also buy extra items like sound control accessories, stick holders, moon gels, and more.

Choosing your first drum set can be exciting and overwhelming with all the options. Hopefully, this points you in the right direction as you choose your first kit.

Learn to make beautiful music with a Casio CT-X700 portable keyboard

 

Me at Christmas time (approx. two years old) next to our organ/keyboard.

When I was a young girl my family owned a keyboard, although I think we referred to it as an organ back then.

I used to love to play with it every chance I had. We did have music sheets for it, but I couldn’t read music, so I just made up my own songs.

My sister taught me how to play the Marine Battle Hymn (our brother was in the Marines back then). I also learned how to play Silent Night, but I honestly don’t remember how I learned it. Maybe my sister taught me that too.

A friend of mine in high school taught me how to play the theme to the Godfather on our organ as well.

I only knew how to play a few songs. Most of the time I just made stuff up.

Our organ/keyboard didn’t have any “bells and whistles.” It was as basic as it gets. Today’s keyboards a light years ahead of our keyboard. Today’s keyboards are truly amazing with their capabilities.

I was sent to review a brand new keyboard. I received to review the Casio CT-X700 portable keyboard.

We’ve had this keyboard all summer and I can honestly say we still haven’t scratched the surface of all it’s amazing capabilities. Talk about “bells and whistles” – WOW!

This affordable keyboard could easily sell for thousands with all it can do.

Let me start with the basics.

This is a portable keyboard, meaning you can take it with you where ever you go. It’s not very heavy at all. It’s large size might be a bit cumbersome for “vertically challenged” (short) people like myself, but it’s light weight enough to take it from place to place.

The keyboard runs on both a plug or batteries (6 AA batteries, which are not included). I LOVE that it uses batteries so I am not confined to placing it next to an outlet in order to use it. Most outlets in our home are not readily accessible or they already had things plugged into them. I like that I can literally enjoy this in any room of our condo.

You can start enjoying this right out of the box. There is no assembly or set up required. Just find a comfy location to play with it.

The built in speakers are phenomenal. You can get this to go pretty loud, so much so that my husband was worried that we might be bothering our downstairs neighbors with it. I wasn’t worried. I wouldn’t never play this on a loud setting anyway. Besides, their large dog parks non-stop all day and night. I think a little “payback” would be acceptable. Ha Ha.

My husband playing with the keyboard as it rests on the ottoman. I love it’s portability.

The keyboard has a large panel where you can access all the features. I will admit that I was (and still am) a bit overwhelmed by it all. There are so many things I am really not very knowledgeable about such as splits, beat metronome, and working with tone and rhythm. To be honest, whenever I play with this I just play around with the various buttons. It’s fun enough just to come up with my own music. I’m sure over time I’ll learn what all the buttons really do. That is why I said that I barely scratched the surface of what this incredibly piece of musical equipment can do.

There is a keypad that allows you to punch in the numbers/codes for the various features you want to utilize. The codes are printed right on the keyboard so that you have easy access to them and you don’t have to stop what you are doing to look them up in a book/manual.

There is a tremendous variety of instruments you can play on this keyboard, including instruments that most people don’t play anymore, like a harpsichord, to really funky instruments/sounds. It’s like you can play music that sounds like it’s from the olden days all the way up to modern/funky sounds. There are even drums and string instruments!  The possibilities are endless with what you can create with all these instruments to choose from.

What impressed me is how incredibly realistic the instruments sound. There is nothing “fake” about them. If you closed your eyes you would truly believe you were listening to a guitar, or a drum or even a string instrument. The sounds are so lifelike that it’s hard to believe they are coming from a keyboard in your home.

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of possibilities when you utilize the instruments, tones and rhythms together. Again, I’m still learning how to use this so I haven’t even been able to see all that it can do.

One of my most favorite features, aside from the realistic sounds, is the display where you can learn to play music. The keyboard comes with 100 songs that you can learn to play by watching the display. The screen will tell you what keys to press on the keyboard.

I think the lessons are a GREAT feature, but for me, it takes time to learn where to put your fingers. There are so many keys and it takes me time to count over from the ends so I know which key specifically to press. There might be an easier way to do it, but I haven’t figured it out yet.

I think I am missing out on telling you about more of the great features this instrument has. There is just so much it does!

What I love about this is that it’s something myself, and my family, can enjoy for a very long time. It will take a while for us to figure out all the features. It’s great that we can learn it at our own pace. It’s also fun just to press buttons and make our own music.

Our daughter recently commented that we have something fun to do if/when we lose electricity rather than just sit there. Because this runs on batteries, it would be fun to use to entertain ourselves until the power comes back on.

Whether you are an experienced musician, or a “newbie” like me and my family, the Casio CT-X700 is the perfect piece of equipment to use.

For more information about this and other Casio products, visit Casio.com. You can find the musical instruments category on the top menu bar for “products.”

What do you think about this AMAZING keyboard? Does it sound like something you would enjoy playing with?

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Bring out your inner “Rock Star” with Yamaha

 

Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

Do you play an instrument? Have you ever played an instrument?

When I was in elementary school we were given the opportunity to play an instrument. We have many options to choose from. For me there was only one choice – the drums! I wanted to learn how to play the drums. I begged my parents to let me take up drums. Sadly, they didn’t share my enthusiasm for the drums and instead signed me up to learn how to play the Viola. Sigh…

I took lessons for about a year then I told my parents it was not for me and I quit. Thankfully they didn’t purchase a viola for me so they were not out hundreds of dollars.

Fast forward to when my kids were offered the opportunity to play an instrument in school.

Our daughter chose to play the clarinet. In fact, she was so adamant that she was in it for the long haul that we did purchase a clarinet for her. Sadly, two years later she lost interest in it. We ended up donating her clarinet to the school for a child who wanted to play but couldn’t afford to rent one.

When it came time for our son to choose he wanted to play the drums. Yeah!!! I could live vicariously through him. I was just as excited for him to play the drums as he was.

Unbeknownst to us, before the school lets you lose on REAL drums, you have to learn how to play on a drum pad. I guess there is a process you have to go through.

Drum pad and drum sticks. Photo Source: Dreamstime.com

I was equally as disappointed as our son when we had to purchase a drum pad and some drum sticks for him. It’s not what we had in mind. We were thinking he would learn to play on real drums.

A drum pad doesn’t really make much noise. All you hear is tap-tap-tap when you hit it with a drum stick.

Our son was able to play a real drum during a school concert, but it was just a lone drum and all he did was hit it with a stick a few times during one song. He was so disappointed. So much so that he told us he no longer wanted to play the drums. I didn’t blame him one bit. It wasn’t what we had in mind. We both thought he’d learn how to rock out on a real drum set.

Years have gone by and our son has often talked about how he wished he kept up with the drums at school in hopes he would learn to play on a real drum set.

A couple of months ago I was sent information from Yamaha about their electronic drum kits. I told them how our son really wanted to play, and how I wanted to play the drums too (something I have held on to since I was a kid). The company was kind enough to send us their Yamaha DTX400K electronic drum kit to review.

I don’t know who was more excited – me or my son.

Here are some features that really stood out to me.

Keeps the noise down: Hook up your child’s DTX kit to a set of headphones so you and your neighbors will be undisturbed while he/she practices quietly.

We live in a condo complex. We have neighbors next to us, across from us and below us (we’re on the top floor – thankfully). I am pretty sure our neighbor would NOT be too happy listening to the banging of drums throughout the day. Our neighbors are not necessarily quiet people – so they deserve a “taste of their own medicine” – but we wouldn’t do that. Not only that, we didn’t want to hear it from the condo board.

This drum set is SUPER quiet. In fact, you barely hear a thing. You can hear the tap-tap-tap of the drum sticks hitting the pads, but that is about it. The person playing the drums hears a totally different thing. When you are wearing the headphone while playing this drum set it sounds like REAL LIVE DRUMS!!!! It’s amazing! More on that later.

If you have concerns about disturbing your neighbors, or you simply do not want to listen to the drums day and night, this is the PERFECT option for your wannabe rock star.

Expand the kit with your iPhone: Use the DTX400K Touch app (free at the App Store) for iPhone to create new kit configurations, select preset kits, access tempo and metronome settings, and much more.

There are free apps (there are more than one) you can download for your phone that can help you to change up the drum set to make totally new sounds. There is also an app that can teach you how to play the drums. It’s like having your own personal music instructor right at your finger tips.

I love how you can change up the sound, tempo and other details of the drum set so you are not stuck with just one way of playing it. You can jam like a rock star or kick it with some jazzy beats. It’s like having multiple drums all in one set.

The apps not only teach you how to play the drums, but it also gives you more ways of enjoying the drum set and there is less of a chance your child (or you!) will get bored with it.

There is a built in “dashboard” (for lack of a better description) that allows you to change the sounds of the drums, change the tempo and more. There are 169 sounds to choose from so you can truly customize this set.

There is even a spot on top to house your smart phone when using the apps that you use when playing with these drums.

Built to last:The Yamaha DTX400K line offers quality and durability at an affordable price; your child’s kit can take a lot of punishment and still maintain a solid performance level for years.

Yes! I have to agree with this. The set is made very well.

The frame is made from a strong, plastic pipe. Maybe a PVC type pipe? All I know is that we have banged on these drums a lot over the past couple of months and they are still in perfect condition.

I LOVE that this drum set is very light weight. You can easily pick it up and move it to another location.

Originally the drum set was supposed to go in the corner of our son’s room, near the window. The problem with that was the cats looked at it as a “jungle gym” and something fun to climb on to look out the window at the birds and anything else happening outside. That was not what we wanted for the drum set. So we ended up putting it in the corner of the living room. It’s still by a window, but the cats don’t bother with it much there.

Whenever we want to play with the drum set we simply lift it up and carry it into the living room. When we are done we put it back in the dining room. It sounds inconvenient, but honestly, it’s not that big of a deal.

We need to rearrange a few things in my son’s room so that we can put them in a place where the cats are NOT going to look at them as a “jungle gym” to climb on.

*The foot pedals were not attached/plugged in when I took this photo.

The drum set is electronic, so you need a play to plug it in if you want to play with it.

Overall I think this drum set is THE BEST SET you can purchase for your child (or yourself) if you have an interest in learning to play drums.

This is NOT some cheap set you can pick up at the local toy store. This is NOT a toy! This is a legitimate drum set, with the only difference being you don’t hear the music you are making without headphones and the drums are pads, not real drums.

This set gives you the real drum experience, from the realistic clashing sound of the cymbals, to the beats you get when you step on the foot pads.

Yamaha thought of everything when it came to this drum set. They even went so far as to include Velcro straps so that you can have the wires hug the drum set frame so that they are not dangling and in your way.

I should mention that set up is a breeze. My husband had the drum set put together and ready to rock out in about a half hour (give or take). Yamaha even took great care in the packaging of this drum set.

Each piece was carefully packed.

Set up was a breeze!

My husband couldn’t wait to start playing the drums once they were set up.

I cannot rave enough about this drum set. I love it. My husband – who didn’t really have an interest in drums – plays with it often and our son (before he got his first girlfriend) played with it almost daily.

I honestly feel like I’m playing real drums when I play with this set. I can live out my rock star fantasies I had when I was a child. It’s awesome!!!

If you, or your child, has interest in learning to play the drums, this is the way to go. Forget about those silly drum pads that don’t make real drum sounds. Skip those and go right to the real deal (well, almost real) with the Yamaha DTX400K electronic drum kits.

*There is another cymbal where the arrow is pointing. I didn’t realize it at the time that one of our cats was on the coffee table next to the drums and stepped on the cymbal, making it tip to the side.

If you are interested in learning more, visit THIS PAGE on the Yamaha website. There you’ll find a great video that explains the kit a bit more (including how it really sounds!) as well as a video about the apps.

You can also go to www.USA.Yamaha.com to learn more about other products the company offers. The brand is also on social media. You can find the links on the bottom of their website.

What do you think about this drum kit? Does it look like something you, your child/grandchild would enjoy? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received a free sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

The Golden Age of Musicals

 

Bigamist_DVD_Final

Are you a fan of musicals? I’m referring to movies, not stage productions.

Ever since I was a young girl (back in the Stone Age – ha ha), I have enjoyed musicals. Sadly, they don’t make musicals like they used to. Today’s musical movies (Pitch Perfect, Strange Magic, Jem and the Holograms...) can’t compare to classics like Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Grease, Yankee Doodle Dandy and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I do give credit to Into the Woods. That is a recent musical movie that was pretty good.

As a young girl I had so many favorites – Music Man, Dr. Doolittle, Hello Dolly, Singing in the Rain, West Side Story, Mary Poppins, Gigi… the list goes on and on. I love the major productions they would put on in the films including entire streets filled with people singing and dancing. Even the songs were fun and catchy. I often find myself singing a song from a classic musical (I just don’t sing and dance – ha ha).

There are a plethora of musicals from years gone by that I have never even heard of before.

Available today on DVD is a collection of delightful musicals from the golden age of movie musicals. The collection is from Film Chest and it’s called The Golden Age of Musicals. The collection contains a whopping 17 classic musicals featuring famous actors like Danny Kaye, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, James Cagney, Jimmy Stewart and many, many more.

The collection comes on five discs so you can find the exact movie you want to watch quickly and easily.

Here is a breakdown of the titles with a brief synopsis for each.

Something to Sing About (1937), James Cagney stars as a New York City-based band leader who gets offered a Hollywood contract, but doesn’t find a place to his liking.   Evelyn Daw co-stars in this rare non-Warner Bros. film (one of two he did for the short-lived Grand National Pictures) where Cagney gets to sing and dance (a non-gangster role) … included are “Bridal Chorus” (a dance routine with Cagney and Daw), “Any Old Love” (song by Cagney) and Daw sings while Cagney dances in “Out of the Blue” and “Loving You.”

The Duke is Tops (1938) is a black musical starring Duke Davis and Lena Horne from Million Dollar Productions (specialized in casting black talent during the pre-war period) as sweethearts who go their separate ways (doom and gloom), but it all ends on a happy note.   Lena Horne is showcased in two numbers — “I Know You Remember” and “Don’t Let Our Love Song Turn Into a Blues” — plus there are performances by a half-dozen black groups rarely seen by white audiences during this period.

Second Chorus (1940) teams Fred Astaire with Paulette Goddard, with Astaire who has to make a tough decision – college or the girl of his dreams … it’s a tough decision! Over a dozen song and dance numbers are included here.

Pot O’Gold (1941) stars Jimmy Stewart and Paulette Goddard in a fun-filled Irish-themed musical-romantic-comedy (based on a popular radio show of the time) that features Stewart belting out “When Johnny Toots His Horn” and Goddard teaming with Horace Heidt & His Musical Knights for renditions of “Pete the Piper” and “Broadway Caballero.”

All American Co-ed (1941), starring singer Frances Langford as a college girl who gets caught up in a rival college prank delivered by Johnny Downs and still manages to get in — between the romance and comedy hijinks — such songs as “Out of the Silence,” and “Up at the Crack of Dawn” and teams with Downs for “I’m a Chap with a Chip on My Shoulder” and “The Poor Farmers Daughter.”

Private Buckaroo (1942), the Andrew Sisters and Harry James and His Orchestra shine with such delights as “Private Buckaroo,” “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “Three Little Sisters,” plus Donald O’Connor and Peggy Ryan deliver dancing routines.   And be on the lookout for Three Stooge alumni Shemp Howard and East Side Kid star Huntz Hall in this all-star musical comedy.

Stage Door Canteen (1943), this all-star musical review from World War II has a loose plot about a soldier named Dakota (played by William Terry), who visits a “club” for service men — that is populated by celebrities (dozens of familiar faces do cameos) — and falls in love (Cheryl Walker).   There are something like 18 musical numbers performed during Dakota’s visit … included are “A Rookie and His Rhythm” (performed by the Kay Kyser Band), “She’s a Bombshell from Brooklyn” (performed by Lina Roman, with backing from The Xavier Cugat Orchestra) and Ethel Waters delivers “Quick Sands” (with backing by the Count Basie Orchestra).

This is the Army (1943) is a filmed version of Irving Berlin’s extremely successful Broadway Play — Berlin provides something like 19 tunes for this all star musical comedy starring George Murphy, Rosemary DeCamp, Ronald Reagan and Joan Leslie.   Included in the review are Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America,” George Murphy singing and dancing with “We’re on Our Way to France” and “My Sweetie,” Frances Langford chimes in with “What Does He Look Like” and even Irving Berlin gets in the act with “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” (he is joined by George Murphy, George Tobias and Charles Butterworth).

Career Girl (1944), songstress Frances Langford returns, this time as a young woman trying to break into show business … she sings four songs during the course of this swiftly-paced film: “A Dream Came True,” “Blue in Love Again,” “Some Day” and “That’s How the Rumba Began.”

People are Funny (1946) features Jack Haley and Ozzie Nelson as radio rivals (the film’s title is based on the Art Linkletter radio show of the same name), Helen Walker is Nelson’s love interest and Rudy Vallee is the clueless sponsor that Haley and Nelson are after.   Blended in with the hyper comedy elements are “time outs” for musical numbers, including Frances Langford’s singing “I’m in the Mood for Love” and The Vagabonds teaming for a trio of numbers.

Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) is the big all-star musical of the Christmas-season of 1946 which was laced together as a biopic for the career of Jerome Kern, but was really a showcase for the talents of June Allyson (“Till the Clouds Roll By” and “Leave it to Jane” with Ray McDonald), Judy Garland (“Look for the Silver Lining,” “Who?” and “Sunny”), Dinah Shore (“The Last Time I Saw Paris”), Lena Horne (“Why was I Born?”), Frank Sinatra (“Ol’ Man River”) and more.

The Fabulous Dorseys (1947) stars Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey as themselves in this United Artists theatrical biopic directed by Alfred E. Green (who did The Jolson Story the year before).   This is a delightful trip down “memory lane,” which is more or less an excuse to showcase over a dozen musical numbers, including two sung by Janet Blair — “To Me” and “The Object of My Affection.”

Inspector General (1949), Danny Kaye is a traveling performer in a “medicine show” who sings a half-dozen songs, romances Barbara Bates and is mistaken for the Inspector General by corrupt town officials in this Golden Globe-winner for Best Musical Score.   Co-stars include Walter Slezak, Gene Lockhart, Alan Hale and Elsa Lanchester.

At War with the Army (1950), a post-war comedy vehicle for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis … between comedy bits involving life in boot camp Dean Martin gets to croon with Polly Bergen with “You and Your Beautiful Eyes” and goes solo with “Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral.”

Royal Wedding (1951), directed by Stanley Donen and starring Fred Astaire and Jane Powell … who could ask for more!   Included in the dance routines is Astaire’s classic dancing on the walls and ceiling of his hotel room (done with a rotating gimbal) in “You’re All the World to Me” and “Open Your Eyes,” which features Astaire and Powell in a dance routine on board ship during heavy waves (it’s a hoot).

Road to Bali (1952) finds Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamore in their sixth “Road” movie (which never left California if the truth be known) … a half dozen musical number spark this fun comedy, with Crosby going solo on “To See You” and duets with his sidekick Bob Hope for “Chicago Style,” “Hoot Mon” and “The Whiffenpoof Song.”

The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1957) is a made-for-television musical special that aired during Thanksgiving on NBC.  Van Johnson stars as the title character, Lori Nelson is the romantic lead and Claude Rains is the Mayor of Hamelin, with Doodles Weaver and Kay Starr joining in.  There are a dozen musical numbers included in the festivities — “How Can I Tell You?,” “Feats of the Piper,” “Fool’s Gold” and “My Heart Will Fly To Heaven” are counted among these.

I was sent this collection to review. I’ve only heard of a few titles before (but never saw them) – The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Road to Bali and The Fabulous Dorseys. 

I’ve started this collection and I’m half way through the second disc. Since I have never seen any of these movies before I figured I would start from disc one – movie #1.

So far I am really enjoying these films. My husband is not a fan of musicals, so I have been popping in the DVDs in the afternoon.

These are fun to watch. As I mentioned earlier, they really want all out to put on these musicals back in the day.

Some movie are silly and a bit over the top, but that is what makes them fun and entertaining to watch.

I’ve even heard some songs that I recognize, but never knew where they came from.

If you are interested in learning more visit the FilmChestMediaGroup.com website. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Hulu (links are found at the bottom of their website. I do believe this DVD will be available on Amazon, as well as other places where DVDs are sold.

Are you a fan of musical films? Which is your favorite?

Logo FC

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Now available on Blu-ray/DVD/VOD – Sing Street (giveaway ends 8/12/16)

 

SingStreet-DVD

The weather outside is “frightful,” and I don’t mean cold. It’s way too hot to be outside. Here in NY we’ve been having a heat wave. The heat and humidity is horrific, which no relief in sight. I cannot wait for the fall weather to arrive. Summer is my least favorite season.

If you are like me, you are probably looking for ways to entertain yourself indoors where the air conditioner can keep you cool and comfortable. One of my favorite indoor activities is watching movies, both at the theater and at home.

There is a new film available on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD (Video on Demand) you might be interested in. It’s called Sing Street.

Sing Street is a feel-good, coming of age story written and directed by John Carney (Once, Begin Again) featuring the ultimate soundtrack of the 80’s.

SING STREET

Sing Street takes us back to 1980’s Dublin seen through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy named Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who is looking for a break from a home strained by his parents’ relationship and money troubles, while trying to adjust to his new inner-city public school where the kids are rough and the teachers are rougher.

He finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious, über-cool and beautiful Raphina (Lucy Boynton), and with the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band’s music videos. There’s only one problem: he’s not part of a band… yet. She agrees, and now Conor must deliver what he’s promised – calling himself “Cosmo” and immersing himself in the vibrant rock music trends of the decade, he forms a band with a few lads, and the group pours their heart into writing lyrics and shooting videos

Inspired by writer/director John Carney’s (Once, Begin Again) life and love for music, Sing Street shows us a world where music has the power to take us away from the turmoil of everyday life and transform us into something greater.

The film is rated PG-13.

Check out the film’s trailer.

 

I am a child of the 80’s. I graduated high school in 1986. I remember all too well the music, the hair, the fashion. Seeing the film’s trailer brought me back to a more simpler time. The 80’s were pretty wild with the big hair, neon clothing and weird music – but it was also a fun time. If anything stands out the most about that decade it’s the music.

Check out the songs featured in the movie’s soundtrack.

Sing Street Soundtrack

I’ve had the song “Pop Muzik” stuck in my mind ever since I read that title on the soundtrack list.

Radio, video
Boogie with a suitcase
Your livin’ in a disco
Forget about the rat race
Let’s do the milkshake, sellin’ like a hotcake
Try some buy some fee-fi-fo-fum

This looks like a fun, coming of age film. I’m looking forward to seeing myself.

If you would like to learn more about the film you can “like” the film on Facebook and follow the film on Twitter and Instagram.

You can find out where you can purchase your copy of Sing Street on Go Watch It!

SingStreet-Still6

I have a copy of the film I can give to a lucky winner, as well as a $25 iTunes gift card that the winner could use to purchase the official Sing Street movie sound track. The prizing courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on August 12, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package – or – what was your favorite song/band of the 80’s?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t quality.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I will be receiving the same prize package from Anchor Bay Entertainment for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.