4 Dynamic Cities Every Musician Should Travel To

4 Dynamic Cities Every Musician Should Travel To

“Gonna travel, gonna travel wild and free I’m gonna pack my bags because this great big world is calling me” Elvis Presley – Harem Holiday Music — the universal language that draws humans together regardless of race or color or country — is an adventure in itself. When the travel bug bites, here are the best places for musicians to go and discover the magic of music. 1. Paris From Chopin to Edith Piaf, from ballet to muses in cinematic cabarets, Paris has been both home and destination for music lovers around the globe. Come here to be whisked away on an adventure of fantasy and reality, following the footsteps of many a bohemian traveler with a guitar. You’ll enjoy the accordion street music as well as the theatrical jazz concerts. Visit the hometowns of famous  artists and musicians, and find your own inspiration for your next composition. 2. Vienna Once known as the European capital of music, it’s still where you can hear some of the most renowned notes wafting through the air: Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart all congregated here, learning from their mentors and writing their own stanzas. Many music festivals take place annually, from pop to electric, classical and everything in between. Once you’ve been here and waltzed to Strauss’ “The Blue Danube,” you can truly say you’ve experienced “The Sound of Music.” 3. Leipzig This historic German city can lay claim to many things, including the beginning of the East German demonstrations that led to the eventual fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification of Germany. But it was also here where a young Bach worked...
Bohemian of the Month: Justin Johnson

Bohemian of the Month: Justin Johnson

  We had the privilege of sitting down with Nashville songwriter and guitarist, Justin Johnson! Justin is one of the most dynamic players we’ve ever seen – incorporating soul, roots, country and blues to create his own unique and seamless tone. He’s been known to play a wide variety of funky instruments – from one string slide guitars to cigar box guitars – and now his very own vintage BoHo! We’re excited to welcome him into our #TeamBoHo family and we’re eager to announce him as October’s Bohemian of the Month!    Erik: “You recently ran a very successful crowdfunding campaign for your album, If Walls Could Talk, that was recorded in the famous Cash Cabin in Tennessee. How much preparation went into writing and recording this album? What was the biggest obstacle in the whole process?” Justin: “I moved to Nashville last December, after living on the road and touring full-time for 4 years.  I settled into a historic Braxton Dixon house in the Tennessee hills, and began the writing process for “If Walls Could Talk,” inspired by Nashville’s rich musical culture, and also the art, history, and architecture of that home.  Braxton Dixon is the master builder who built Johnny Cash’s iconic la ke house, and also played a part in the construction of Cash Cabin Studio.  His artistic legacy is a thread that is woven into every aspect of this album. The biggest obstacle with the album project was that I performed all of the parts for every instrument myself.  In other words, I arranged all of the songs, chose the instruments best-suited for the arrangements, test...
The Impact the Guitar Has Had on American Culture

The Impact the Guitar Has Had on American Culture

When some people look at acoustic and electric guitars, they only see unique instruments. Guitars are definitely that, but they’re also much more. In fact, these popular instruments have resulted in great changes in American society since arriving. These included cultural, political and even economic changes. Once you realize how much of an effect guitars have had on the USA, you’ll have an entirely new appreciation for them. History of the Guitar in America To fully understand how much of an effect the guitar has had on America, you must first recognize its difficult journey to prominence. When the guitar arrived on the shores of the USA, it was nearly unrecognizable compared to modern versions of the electric guitar and its acoustic counterpart. In reality, it remained a formal European instrument for years and was taught as such. Ironically, the American social and economic conditions had an effect on the guitar long before the favor was returned. American society, and even the climate, was a harsher environment than European guitars were usually exposed to. Immigrants eventually created x-bracing to make guitars stronger, and the American guitar was then well on its way. At first, guitars in the USA made their way into the folk music genre. Around the turn of the 20th century, though, steel strings were introduced. It was this that created the instrument that would soon change America. Economic Impact of the Electric Guitar The societal impacts of the guitar are complex, but the economic impacts are much easier to understand. Again, it was the electric guitar that took precedence over the acoustic. This is because the...
5 Awesome Online Sources for Building Your Set List

5 Awesome Online Sources for Building Your Set List

One of the best features of the guitar is its versatility as an instrument. Not only is it easy to take on the road and easy to pair with a wide range of other instruments, but it is also capable of a full spectrum of musical genres, from blues and country to indie and classic rock. The key to making guitar work for you, either as a career or a hobby, is to continue to build on your skills and technique by adding to your repertoire. These five sites are great resources to expand your set list and your versatility as a guitarist. Justin Guitar Unlike many websites that offer only chord charts, Justin Guitar features many resources for guitar enthusiasts. Funded through donations and product sales, the website provides free video lessons for both beginner and intermediate players, as well as masterclasses with expert guitarists. Justin Guitar’s song selection is also organized by level, making it easier to find the perfect new song to learn regardless of your guitar experience. This online source also has collections like “Classic Solos” and “Awesome Licks” so you can focus on exactly what you want to learn. Coach Guitar App Coach Guitar is a mobile app that takes a very different approach to teaching guitar. Using colored dots to show finger placement, this app is the perfect way for casual players to quickly pick up their favorite songs — or an easy way for more experienced players to add new genres to their playlist. With left-handed and right-handed views, Coach Guitar’s full lesson library is just $7.99 a month and includes popular...
Stage Survival Kit: 7 Essential Items to Pack for Your Next Gig

Stage Survival Kit: 7 Essential Items to Pack for Your Next Gig

If you don’t have a checklist for your guitar gear, you’re bound to forget a vital tool for your next gig. That’s why it’s important to stay prepared, but what should you pack? Here are seven essential items that should be in your guitar travel kit for your next performance. 1. Earplugs When the music gets too loud, you need to protect your ears. Keep your hearing safe with a pair of comfortable earplugs while you keep entertaining the crowd. 2. A Spare Guitar Strap and Strings There’s nothing worse than getting into your performance and getting thrown off guard if your guitar strap or strings pop. Just as you drive with a spare tire in case any of your tires go flat while you’re driving, you need to have essential spares while you’re on stage. So, pack a spare guitar strap and spare strings. 3. Pen and Paper You need a pen, or pencil, and paper to write down the sets of music you plan to play so you don’t forget what is coming up next. 4. Backup Batteries and Amplifier If you have an electrical guitar or you use an amplifier, you need a backup plan should the power in your venue go out. These tools will help you keep the music going regardless of the situation. 5. Adapters and Cables It’s important to have your own set of extension cords and electrical adapters in case the venue that is hosting your performance doesn’t have the power cords or outlets you need. You also want to make sure you pack a variety of cables to cover essential...
Behind the Bohemian: Todd Pritchard Interview

Behind the Bohemian: Todd Pritchard Interview

  We had the pleasure of sitting down with Philadelphia based guitarist, composer and fellow Bohemian, Todd Pritchard. Todd has carved his niche in music using social media and has become an Instagram sensation, recognized for his tasty funk, jazz, and neo-soul arrangements. Between his online lessons, video tutorials and live performances, Todd is embarking on a very successful music career that is influencing thousands of musicians around the world. Here at Bohemian we have become big fans of Todd’s videos and were lucky enough to be able to pick his brain and learn more about the man behind the posts. Listen along to Todd’s latest video as you read about his personal love and dedication for music!     Erik: When did you start playing and who were some of your first early influences? Todd: “I started playing when I was 14. John Frusciante from RHCP and Mike Einziger from Incubus were two of my biggest influences at the time. I loved the feel and emotion they were able to convey through their instrument. They always had memorable guitar parts on their records which were very rhythmic, soulful, and melodic.” Erik: Was music a big part of your childhood? Todd: “My father was a music teacher for piano and voice back in the day so I learned a lot from him. There were always tunes playing throughout the house. When I was a baby he used to to sit me down at the piano and play for me. We’d play ear training games and he exposed me to all sorts of music, specifically Rnb, Jazz, and funk. He always had...
From the Streets to the Spotlights

From the Streets to the Spotlights

They are ubiquitous in every major city: some play music, others tell jokes, still others do both (and more) in a single act. Whether performing magic tricks or pretending to be a bush and startling pedestrians (cheers to you, Bushman!), street performers, or buskers, populate subway stations and street corners all around the world. Derived from the Spanish word buscar, meaning “to seek”, busking is an art form in and of itself, with performance only part of the equation — the location (or “pitch”), the way they collect money (do they use a “bottler” to walk around and collect money?), and the nature of the act (are they putting on a circle show? Are they a walk-by act?) can make the difference between making pocket change or laughing all the way to the bank.   There have been laws governing street performance as long as it has existed: the first recorded legislation came from Ancient Rome in 462 BC, where the Law of the Twelve Tables made it illegal for performers to sing about or parody government officials in public places, under penalty of death. It’s not unusual for modern street performers to have tenuous relationships with law enforcement, but many cities have legislation that tolerates, if not encourages, street performance. And fortunately for the performers, punishment is much less severe than in Roman times! Some cities have an especially rich history of street performance – South Africa is famed for its township jam sessions (and two Cape Town musicians recently parlayed a performance of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” into viral success). Dream-seekers from all over the...
Buy a Boho. Give a Boho Uke – JUNE 2016

Buy a Boho. Give a Boho Uke – JUNE 2016

For the month of June for every instrument we sell, we will donate one ukulele in partnership with Music Heals International. For the past two years, Music Heals International has been training music teachers and building schools in the Delmas 32 area of Haiti, one of the areas hardest hit in the 2010 earthquake. In summer 2016 they built 2 more schools and are bringing in over 60 more students to learn how to play everything from guitar, to drums, to bass, to keyboards and more. The total number of kids in the program is 140, including 30 special needs kids. We are honored to be able to support this program and have all the children of Haiti jamming out on Boho Ukes. So, please share with your friends, buy your Christmas gifts early, and finally treat yourself to that new guitar you’ve been wanting, because the more we sell the more we can give. For the month of June, Bohemian Guitars and Music Heals International are teaming up to help get ukuleles into the the hands of the youth that Music Heals supports in Haiti. Yep that’s right! With every guitar, uke or bass we sell this month, we will be donating a Boho Ukulele to Music Heals to support their youth music initiatives in Haiti. Since the birth of the company, Bohemian Guitars has been on a mission to not only sell amazing instruments but make music more accessible to everyone while being conscious of the environment. Whether it’s building our instruments out of upcycled oil cans, using recycled metals, repurposing parts, or even breaking down wooden...
Top 7 Traits of an Awesome Band Member

Top 7 Traits of an Awesome Band Member

Top 7 Traits of an Awesome Band Member Being a good band member goes beyond just having chemistry and sounding great with your fellow bandmates. It’s the non-musical aspects of being together that will determine whether the band makes it or breaks up before having a real shot at success. Use the following list to determine if you’re an awesome bandmate or the one who has some work to do. At Bohemian Guitars, we’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing bands and have come up with 7 traits of an awesome band member. 1. They Are Punctual No one likes having their time wasted. Don’t be the band member who is always showing up late to practice, soundcheck or shows. People can understand occasional tardiness; things do happen. However, chronic lateness is a sign of disrespect and a casual disregard for the other band members time. Especially if you’re in an indie band, everyone has other significant commitments from full-time jobs to family obligations that take up their time. Being punctual allows everyone to accomplish the band’s goals and still manage the rest of their lives. 2. They Are Committed to the Band Having outside commitments is not an excuse to flake on the band. It is up to you to manage your time so you can handle all of your responsibilities and still be a fully present, involved bandmate. The band doesn’t exist to revolve around your schedule. Make your band a priority in your life and the time scheduled with them, from practices to shows, sacrosanct. 3. They Are Reliable Be the person everyone can count...
9 Best Guitar Music Festivals Around the World

9 Best Guitar Music Festivals Around the World

9 Best Guitar Music Festivals Around the World There’s nothing like good music to bridge cultures and bring people together. For hundreds of years, the guitar has been played, loved and celebrated the world over. Here are nine great guitar music festivals that you don’t want to miss. 1. International Guitar Festival of Great Britain When and where: November, Wirral, UK The country’s longest-running guitar fest has been taking place in November for the last 26 years. Hear presentations of everything from jazz, rock and blues, to classical, slide-guitar and flamenco. Local performers have a great platform to gain exposure and new fans. 2. New York Guitar Festival When and where: May 8-15, New York, USA Since its birth in 1999, the New York Guitar Festival has presented some of the world’s most influential guitarists. For the last six years, it has also incorporated the Alternative Guitar Summit, where artists explore the sonic possibilities of the guitar. Past performers have included Pepe Romero, The Assad Duo, Eliot Fisk and surprise guest Bruce Springsteen. 3. Les Nuits Guitares When and where: July 21-23, Nice, France Translated as “The Guitar Nights,” this guitar festival began in 2000 on the French Riviera. An eclectic round-up of international performers alongside local French guitarists make it one of the best guitar fests to catch in summer. Set on 6,000 m² of olive groves, listeners enjoy the open, cool air amidst hundreds of olive trees. Music-lovers with children will enjoy the family-friendly vibe. 4. North Sea Jazz Festival When and where: July 8-10, Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands What began in 1976 in the Hague is...

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