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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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

Your Brain on Music: Why It’s Good For Mind & Soul

Your Brain on Music: Why It’s Good For Mind And Soul Your Brain on Music: Tell us why it’s good for YOUR mind And soul! “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” ~ Billy Joel It’s a no-brainer that music makes people feel good. But that old adage that “all the best things in life are bad for you” definitely does not apply here. As it turns out, music is beneficial for the mind, the body, and we would definitely argue—the soul. Here’s a quick snapshot of how: The Emotional • Music may do a better job of lowering anxiety levels than anti-anxiety drugs do, according to one study that measured the outcome of over 400 studies published in the in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences. • As many of us have experienced ourselves, music can definitely lift our moods and statistically can help with depression. The Intellectual • It’s also been shown to improve cognitive function and increase performance and reaction time when people are put in high pressure situations. The Physical • There’s strong evidence out there that music actually helps us cope with pain, or reduces our experience of it. (This might very well be true for other forms of pain—not just physical!) Music therapy is often used to help sooth those about to undergo surgery, or who are recovering from it. • Perhaps it’s because of our elevated moods that we also work out harder, and for longer when we listen to... read more

Who’s in Your “Rushmore of Rock” Line-Up?

Who’s in Your “Rushmore of Rock” Line-Up?   Click here to create your Rushmore of Rock Have you ever thought about ways you could make Mount Rushmore even better? Yeah, we think about it all of the time too! Those old dudes etched up there right now? They’ve had enough time in the spotlight, right? Isn’t it about time somebody got all “Hollywood” on that rock-face and did a remake? What better way to decorate a wall of rock than with the stars of rock? But who would you choose? If you could choose a singer, guitarist, bassist or keyboardist and a drummer from any band to cast in rock forever, who’d be on your list? Just for fun, we’ve put together our suggestions for the ultimate “Rushmore of Rock” line-up. Just don’t tell those dead presidents! Singer Okay, this was a pretty tough one. There are some awesome vocalists in the rock space, dead and alive, and so it wasn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Kurt Cobain, Robert Plant, Bob Dylan — not many could contend with these greats. But one man truly stands out, and deserves to have his face immortalized forever more. That man is Freddie Mercury. We’re sure we won’t get many arguments there. Guitarist Of course, with front-man Freddie leading the line-up, it would be almost too tempting to choose Brian May as our Rushmore guitarist, but we’re not gonna! We’re going to think outside the guitar case a little on this one, leapfrog over Hendrix, Page, Slash and Beck, and point our chisel at David Gilmour. Perhaps we could put him on... read more

How to Prepare for Your College Band’s First Gig

College produces more than great students – it produces great bands. Radiohead, The Strokes, Pink Floyd, and Coldplay all got their start in school. But, long before they were headlining Bonnaroo, every band had a first gig. Where most people would tell you to practice, practice, practice above all else to prepare for that first show, I disagree. While practice has it’s merit – especially if you want your performance to be a technical success – it’s not entirely necessary. In reality, your first shows will be a warm-up for the real thing. Ready to play your first show? Make sure you take these steps to prepare:   Get Your Gear in Order Whether your first show is at a club or house party, don’t count on the venue to provide you with a thing. Be ready with your own power cords, extension cables, microphones, mixer, PA, and anything else you could possibly need to rock the house. Treat it like it’s the host’s first show in addition to yours. While we’re talking gear – bring your backups. You don’t have a roadie and you won’t have time to fix a broken string. Take your old practice instruments with you and plan for the worst.   Don’t have all the gear you need to throw a show? Find another band (or more) to join the bill and help out. Double the acts means double the audience, anyway.   Give Yourself Extra Time How many shows have you been to that start on time? I can count less than a handful and I’ve been to hundreds. Expect challenges to arise... read more

Pitch In To Gift Your Friend A Guitar

Guest Post by: Melissa G. Community Manager, Gifstarter GiftStarter makes online crowdfunding for gifts a reality. The concept is simple: you want to give someone an awesome gift you know they’ll love and use, but you can’t afford to gift it all by yourself. So, you create a Gift Campaign on GiftStarter for the gift, and invite the recipient’s friends and family to pitch in. Once the gift is funded, we ensure that the gift is shipped for you, and we send a handmade card filled with special messages and photos from all the recipient’s friends and loved ones who pitched in on the gift. GiftStarter also brings your community together in a more meaningful way. Gifts given by groups communicate to the recipient that they’re more appreciated and loved than perhaps they ever realized. That’s really what GiftStarter is in the business of: not gifts themselves, but the experience of joy, and the power of community. We’ve received heartwarming stories from people who have used GiftStarter to give a colorblind friend special glasses that allowed him to experience the world in (literally) a whole new light, and people who have used GiftStarter to purchase a brand new bed for a beloved friend. We know that nothing can help brighten someone’s day more than giving, and receiving, a little gratitude and generosity. Well, that and music. When all else fails, music is my personal therapy. A couple of hours strumming my old acoustic guitar, writing songs, and singing has a totally unique and unfailing way of soothing my soul. As a former professional musician, I can’t express how awesome... read more

Mixtape of Love Vol #1

Has anyone else noticed this crazy blast from the past that has been happening this past month? There was “Back to the Future Day” on the 21st, the day that Marty and Doc travelled to in the movie. Ghostbusters is in production, and Sylvester Stallone is about to be in a movie playing Rocky. Not to mention John Stamos and Fred Savage are starring in TV shows. Everywhere you turn there is something, or someone once labeled “old school”. So we at Bohemian decided to stick with the theme and bring back something old school ourselves: The Mixtape! (or in this case mix-CD or playlist)   To let someone of the opposite sex know you liked them in 2015, you simply swipe right. Pre-dating app days there was a bit more of a game to locking down a date for Friday night. One of the best plays in the book was without a doubt the Mixtape; aimed to pull at the heartstrings of the person you so desire. Starting with cassettes a person would literally have to record each individual song to create the tape. Then through the 90’s with the creation of MP3s and CD’s it became a whole lot easier. Yet as we start to see CD’s fade more and more, and everything is happening online, I feel like the basic concept of the mixtape, which was passed to the CD, is now dying altogether. You’d have to strategically pick 10-15 songs that would set the mood for the perfect party, road trip, or in this case, telling someone of the opposite sex how you feel about... read more

Boho Indiegogo Recap

  The Boho Series 2.0 Indiegogo Campaign   Thanks to our backers, we had an absolutely amazing Indiegogo campaign. We crushed our goal by over 879%, sold to over 52 different countries and planted over 2000 trees! Thank you to everyone who supported us, we couldn’t have asked for a more successful campaign. We look forward to getting our bass, ukulele and new designs in your hands this December. We love our community! And if you missed our campaign, make sure to check out our website... read more

The Pump Up Playlist

So we are only a couple weeks into fall and I’m already starting to lose that summer drive. Now if you’re like me, once summer is over, you get into this Autumn slump and it becomes much harder to stay active. It’s cold in the morning, dark when you leave work, constantly overcast, and you just can’t seem to find the motivation. Your choosing to stay in bed instead of getting up to run, or heading to the couch after work instead of going to play some sports. And you know you’re filling up the gas tank cause it’s just too cold to be walking or biking to work anymore. Now I know you don’t want to lose your drive but you just can’t help it, nothing will get you motivated, until now! The Boho Team has put together a full playlist of 20 songs guaranteed to get your heart pumping: The Pump Up Playlist. We put a healthy mix of old and new, all that will have you back at your routine in no time. Feel free to comment with songs that we should add. Let’s build this playlist up, and don’t forget to follow us on Spotify for tons of other playlists that will fit any mood you’re in.... read more

A Moment in Music History with Tony Iommi

Photo by Anil Sharma   There are some really crazy stories in Rock and Roll. Almost every artist can look back on their life and pull on instances that led to their creativity, talent, or success. Very rarely do you find an artist who says, “My life was boring. I grew up normal, never got in trouble and just ended up playing music.” I’m not saying it never happens, but it’s rare. But I wonder how many musicians can pull from one moment in their life that changed the course of music history forever. How many can say that because of this one incident, I started a whole movement of music? I can only think of one, and his name is Tony Iommi. Tony Iommi is the legendary guitarist from Black Sabbath, who created some of the most legendary riffs of all time. For those living under a rock for the past 50 years, the members of Sabbath were some of the main pioneers of Heavy Metal and are clearly one of the most influential bands of all time. Iommi himself is credited as the father of heavy metal by most artists who came after him, and has even been noted as one of the inspirations for the grunge and 90’s alternative scene. I can only imagine the stories Tony has as the guitarist for Black Sabbath and his time spent with Ozzy, but there is one story that took place when Tony was 17 that seemed to be irrelevant, yet changed the course of music in its own way. It’s a well known story that when Iommi was... read more

The 10 Best Harmonizing Bands

When thinking about what makes a band great, your brain starts filing through different traits. Does that band have a catchy song, or great guitar playing, or amazing singers? There are so many characteristics that could potentially make a band great. However, one trait in particular is constantly overlooked. We always see Top 10’s dedicated to the best singers and greatest guitars players, but this Top 10 is dedicated to the best vocal harmonies of all time. 10 bands who created their signature sounds around the blending of their voices. This list is in no particular order, but is just recognizing 10 bands who did it better than the rest. Let us know what you think of the list and who we should have added. The Beach Boys: When creating a list of the best harmonizing bands of all time there’s no better place to start than the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson, the brains of the operation, was gifted with an ear that can’t be compared. His ability to arrange a 5 member band into these amazing harmonies that blend perfectly with their instruments to create a once in a lifetime sound is incredible. Mixing pop, 50’s rock and roll, and of course doo wop, their harmonies would be arranged to compliment the lead singer or full group. Harmonies that blended so perfectly you almost thought it was supernatural. Songs like “Wouldn’t It be Nice” highlight just how creative this group could get with their harmonies. While being labeled as pioneers for these high quality arrangements in rock music, they still remain some of the best.   Queen: Queen... read more

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