Sunday, December 5, 2010

Acoustic Music TV Gift Products Video

Video for our Acoustic Music TV Gift and Products Store. We have all kinds of cool items for the holidays using the designs and artwork from our Notebook Music Chords and Charts book.

Design include: Acoustic Music TV Designs, 3 Guitars, Mandolin Banjo violin, 3 Electric Guitars, Guitar 7 Major Chords, Mandolin 7 Major Chords, Ukulele 7 Major Chords, String Instruments-Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin, Fiddle/Violin, Ukulele, Retro Microphones, Singing with Microphones

Products include: t-shirts, v-neck t-shirt, long sleeve t-shirts, men and women, fitted t-shirts, toddler t-shirt, sweatshirt, boxes shorts, thong underwear, mouse pad, electric wall clock, journal, throw pillows, keepsake box, framed tile, mug, large mug, apron, Sigg water bottle, dog t-shirt, pet bowl, magnets, calendar, tote bag, messenger bag, gym bag, beach bag

You can see all the products at

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Great Holiday Gift Ideas from Acoustic Music TV

We have been busy on our new Acoustic Music website. Adding in all our chord and music charts, a Resource Page, a Marketing page on how to get your music videos found in YouTube and Google search, and a Clothing and Product Gift page for the holidays.

We have pulled together our most popular music designs with our most popular products for the holidays into one place. So if you are looking for a great gift for the music fan in your family we now offer a lot of great choices. Everything is produce by CafePress so the quality is great and they handle all the shipping.

Products include: t-shirts of all kinds, clocks, notebooks, aprons, bags, mugs, close to 50 different items for each design. We hope you enjoy them and have a great holiday.

Please visit our Acoustic Music TV Clothing and Product Gift Shop

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cool Ukuleke Site with Books and Videos

Hi, all, found this great ukulele site the morning. Helena's Ukulele Online Guide, with tons of reference books, and video to get you playing. The uke is a great little instrument and has really grown in popularity over the last few years. Great site to learn and get information,

The site has tab cords, printable chord charts, scales, music books and strings, and some great videos. Take a look. Also make sure you visit our new site, we have all of our music charts up there now.

One of the books from the site, (amazon affiliate link)
Mel Bay Learn To Play Fingerstyle Solos for Ukulele

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Guitar Lessons - Major Chords Vs Minor Chords

By Keith Dean

When first attempting to tackle playing guitar it's perfectly natural for the beginning guitarist to feel a little overwhelmed with new concepts and terminology.

One thing that a lot of new students become confused about is the differences between major chords and minor chords.

Early in the guitar lessons process, many students learn "how" to play major and minor chords, but quite often do so without really understanding "why" they are named "major" and "minor".
From a music "theory" perspective, chords are made up of several individual notes that are put together to form the chord.

The notes that make up a particular chord are chosen according to a simple formula that identifies the notes in reference to their placement within the 8 notes of the major scale.
For example, look at the notes that comprise the "C major" scale below:


As you can see, the scale begins and ends on the "root" note, which in this case is "C".
Each note in the scale is assigned a numerical value from 1 through 8, sequentially. In this case it would look like:

C = 1
D = 2
E = 3
F = 4
G = 5
A = 6
B = 7
C = 8

In their simplest form, chords consist of a "triad" or three notes. The "formula" that we spoke of earlier identifies the three notes of a triad according to the numerical value of particular steps within the scale, as shown above.

In the case of a "major" chord, the formula is this - a major chord triad consists of the 1st, 3rd and 5th steps of the major scale. These "steps" are often referred to as "intervals".

So to determine the notes that make up a C major chord (triad), you simply count the first, third and fifth steps of the C major scale. This brings you to the conclusion that the C major chord is made up of the notes:

C (1st), E (3rd) and G (5th)

This same formula can be applied to all scales, for example, here is a "G major" scale:

G A B C D E F# G

To determine the notes of the G major chord triad, just apply the 1-3-5 formula to the scale. In doing so you will find that a G major chord triad is made up of the notes:

G - B - D (1-3-5)

It's equally as simple to determine the notes in a minor chord triad. The only thing that changes is the formula. In the case of a minor chord triad the notes are determined as such:

1 - (b)3 -

Notice that in the case of a minor triad, the third (3) is a "flat", and is called a "flat third".
So to form a minor chord triad, all you have to do is "flat" the 3rd step in the scale, which means to lower that note by an interval of a half step - or in terms of the guitar, lower the note by one fret.
Using the previous example above of the C major scale, the C minor chord triad is formed using the following three notes:

C - Eb (E "flat") - G

...the third step in the major scale is an "E" note, and you make that note a "flat third" by lowering it a half step, resulting in an Eb (E flat) note.

To determine the minor triad notes of other chords simply apply the minor triad formula to the scale notes of that chord.

As in the case of the G major scale, as illustrated above:
G A B C D E F# G

...the first, "flat" third and fifth steps would look like this:
G - Bb - D 

...the third step in the major scale is a "B" note, and you make that note a "flat third" by lowering it a half step, resulting in a Bb (B flat) note.

As you can see, determining the notes of a major or minor chord triad is not nearly as complicated as it may seem initially.

Although I constantly console guitar students on the importance of learning how to "execute" on the guitar, over getting too bogged down in music theory early on - it still helps to have a good understanding of the basic theory behind some of the more common concepts that you will use on the guitar day in and day out.

Over 40, 50, 60? For Free Video Guitar Lessons designed for Active Adults go to

Keith Dean is founder of and a 30 veteran of stage and studio. He toured extensively as a road musician throughout the US and Europe, was a former lead guitarist for Jason Aldean, and has shared stages with Little Big Town, Wild Rose, Winger, Confederate Railroad and more. He is a published songwriter, owned and operated a successful music store, and has instructed numerous students in guitar.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Promoting Your Music Gigs Across the Web

I follow Joan Stewart and her Publicity Hound newsletter and blog on tips, trick and tools for free publicity. She mentioned this site for musicans in this week's newsletter., it is a free service for musicians that automatically updates your show, newss or blog updates across MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and many more music related sites

A free ArtistData account gives you unlimited synchronization to all of their partner sites! You can post as many shows, blogs news, and status updates as you want and watch them magically appear across our network. It's a powerful platform that will save you an enormous amount of time. They support sites lit Artist Direct, Bandloop, eventful, Fan Bridge, Live Music Machine, Songkick, JamBase and many more.

As they say, "That's given them more time to write music, meet fans, and be creative. Which is why they're musicians, right?"

You can learn more about artistdata at

And to follow Joan Stewart and learn more about PR,

 Music Marketing (amazon affiliate link)
Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution, and Retail

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our Best Selling Design, 3 Guitars with no Text

We have a lot of different designs on CafePress based on our Notebook Music Charts, from guitars to mandolins, ukes and banjos, to our chord charts. Over the last 3 months our Three Guitars without Text design has been our best selling. Thank you everyone.

You can see all the items with this design at CafePress, including shirts, mugs, clocks, kids and pets, bags, notebooks and tiles. Visit the page Three Guitars with no Text.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Notebook Music Chord Charts Now on Amazon

We now have our full 36 pages Notebook Music Chord Charts Book on Amazon. It has taken a while and there have been many version but this is the big one and we are very proud of it. In color with all of our chord and music charts.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Carolyn Waters CD Release Party, Great Experience

Carolyn Waters CD Release Party earlier this year

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Marketing with Video, Mike Delaney

In following up with our Marketing Your Music 101 articles on of my singer song writer friends, Mike Delaney, took the info and applied it to his video on Youtube, "Drill Baby Drill"

Note all the things he did:
• Good title with web address in it back to his site.
• He recorded the song with enough vocal volume so that the CC transcription feature of YouTube could get a clear Close Caption, watch it scroll by, very good
• A link first in the description, with a copyright, and then the lyrics of the song, he even went one step further and added in the chords so that others can play. Very cool
• Lots of keyworded relevant text, and then good keywords

Follow up:
What else could Mike do, he could put in the links to his store page, or a link to CDBaby so people could buy, Here is the store link,
You can also put links to the his other videos in the descriptions or use the annotation feature of YouTube and drop a link in there.  Next steps would be to put this video on a Hubpage or a Squidoo page with some oil drilling related info. He could also put in contact info, but you can do that through YouTube.

What else, post your video on a blog or website using the embed code from YouTube. I just wrote a post about this and dropped the video into my blog, this create a backlink for Mikes video and helps promote it. Also now my readers will see it and maybe come on over. Remember viewing off the YouTube platform counts just as much as watching it on the YouTube platform, Huge amounts of traffic are generated off of these video links. You can create a series of these blogs or have friends with blogs and cross promote each others videos, it really helps

All of this is important in promoting your music.

Great job Mike

Friday, July 2, 2010

Getting Your Music Up on YouTube

Working this afternoonon turning the Marketing Your Music 101 using YouTube post into a series on publishing your music using YouTube and its global reach, just recorded the first one more to come.

You can view it at

Acoustic Music TV Notebook Chord and Music Chart, Second Edition

News Release
Today we are please to announce the release of the second edition of our Notebook Chord and Music Chart book. Updated for 2010 and doubled in size this is the essential Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele and Banjo chord and music charts book.  Simple, clean fingering charts for all players showing the 7 basic guitar chords, A-G for major, minor and seventh chords.

Also includes the I, IV, V chord progression for each key.  Plus movable guitar fingerings for Barre Chords, Arpeggio scales, and soloing scales for folk, country, rock and blues.  Basic Mandolin full and 2 finger chords and the I, IV, V progression for each key and movable arpeggio scales.

The charts are designed for taking with you when you go jamming with your friends.  We have also added in Ukulele chord charts, and Banjo chord charts for G and D tuning. Along with blank sheet music pages with chord boxes for guitar, mandolin, ukulele and banjo. Bound with coil binding so the book can open and lie flat, easy to read, or in pdf format that you can print out for your jam or practice book.  A great reference guide for every beginning player.

Book is available at


Friday, June 11, 2010

Marketing Your Music with Video 101

A discussion was going on the SAMW(WUMB Summer Acoustic Music Week) list serve on an article in the Boston Globe on the shrinking venues, coffee houses, etc. for independent and folk singers to play at because of the BMI, ASCAP and others efforts to demand performance license fees. Very few of these places can afford these fees and are just closing their doors, and cutting off places to get exposure and play music.

Here is the article

It just got me started thinking about all the new ways that we can promote ourselves these days and this was my response.

This is all the more reason to start recording your own songs on video and put them on YouTube, make sure you put your copyright  info in the description or YouTube will assume you took it from someone else and pull your account (this happen to me with AcousticMusicTV, I had to tell them they were all original songs and I had signed releases, they put the account back up), and blast them out to the world. You will have a global audience, put links back to your website or CDbaby or ITunes and don't worry about the shrinking venues, who cares, it is a global world. Play to the world.

It is easy to do, stand in a room with decent light, turn on the camera and play your music. Almost any camera will work, just make it clear and the sound decent. Most of the mikes on most of the cameras will do fine if the room isn't to big. You will only get better and as you learn you will get better equipment, but you can start with that camera in your pocket. If you have a Mac, you have iMovie, if you have a PC you have MovieMaker, they come included, they work great for just taking the footage from your camera, a little editing (cutting off the front and back where we see you pushing the button), drop in a title, your web address along the bottom a couple of times and a call to action at the end.  "Visit our site ####, buy our songs at CDBaby, to see more of our music" You can also annotate the videos and link them together right in YouTube with messages like, "see our other songs"

3 Tips on How to Make Your Videos Get Noticed

Most people who put up videos don't do any of the things below, if you tag and label and put in descriptions and or lyrics it is very easy to rank very high if not #1 in YouTube on your subject matter. Also if you have 2 videos on YouTube you are 51xTimes more likely to be found in Google Organic Search. Remember Google owns YouTube, they love em. By March of 2011 YouTube Video Search will be passing Google Search for the most searches, and this is all about text. YouTube is currently 25% of all traffic on the web, and it is GLOBAL, within the next couple of years it is forcasted to be 90% of all traffic. And 25% of all web video traffic are music videos. YouTube is built for music. You can sing to the entire world for free.

Ok you have finished your video and you have it loaded up on YouTube or some of the other video hosting platform. Will anyone see it? Well usually no, so what can we do to help it along. There are a lot of very easy steps that most people just never do.

1. The most important part of any video is the title. Google indexes all the text around videos with the title being the number one. Titles should be descriptive, and key worded along with your web address right in the title at the end. The title might be the only thing that attracts a viewer, is yours attracting. Make the song titles descriptive

2. Your video description, located on the right or now below is vital for attracting Google and educating your viewer with information and resources or lyrics. The first part of the description should be your web site address starting with http:// . . . ., this is a live link to your site. Then fill in with a description of the song or whatever the video is about along with contact information, phone number and links. YouTube lets you put in a ton of text, how about typing in the lyrics of your song right into the description. Other video hosting platforms allow for short descriptions but YouTube lets you write a book.

3. Your Tags, vital, vital, vital, can't say this enough. This area contains the key words that viewers will be putting into Google and other search engines. If you don't fill it in viewers will have a much harder time finding your videos. Use Google External Keyword Tool to figure out what to put, the sweet spot words that get 100 to 300 searches a day. Another great tip is to search on similar videos and see what the successful videos are using for their tags, copy or modify them for yours.

4. I know you will be doing songs with music but Google now does transcriptions of every video that gets loaded up, all videos are now closed captioned with subtitles. Just an idea, maybe do your songs acoustic with the music kind of low and the vocals up so that Google can transcribe them. if not  then make sure the lyrics are in the description. In fact put in the chords along with the lyrics and see if you can get people to play your music.

5. Sneaky trick, search on your song subject matter in YouTube, see who comes up, look at their title, description and keyword/tags and copy them, you don't have to be word for word, but it gives you a real good idea of what videos come up first with what words, just duplicate it.

6. go to sign up and blast your videos to 10, 20, 30 other video platforms, (it is FREE, and they are all GLOBAL)

7. Every time you put up a video, Facebook it, twitter it, blog it, Stumble it, DIGG it, etc.  Submit it to ITunes for Podcasting.

8. If you don't want to be seen on video, how about using some pictures or your CD cover or the lyrics going by from a powerpoint presentation, PowerPoint has a make movie mode, just look under the File pull down menu, it creates a .MOV file, perfect for YouTube,

Ok that is enough for now, the  point is it is super easy to get yourself out into the world using YouTube, remember there are 3 billion pcs out there with web access, that is 3 billion potential customers for your music, and mobil is 5.5 billion and a huge chunk of them are equipped with web ability. People love music, give them what they love.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Why is the Mandolin Such a Hard Instrument to Play?

Why is the Mandolin Such a Hard Instrument to Play? 
I saw this headline fly by today on a blog about playing the mandolin. I never thought of it that way, in fact I think it is one of the easier string instrument to play. Especially if you just use the two finger chords. You only have to know three basic finger positions and you can play any song by just moving your hand up or down the fret board.

The mandolin doesn't have a 5th string tuned lower that caused all of the different fingerings. The strings are all tuned the same so the fingerings work anywhere on the fret board. You can use one of the three finger positions illustrated below to play a major, minor or 7th chord. Then just sliding up or down the fret board you can play different chords. Each fret is 1/2 step, so depending on the key you are in you only have to move up or down 1 or 2 frets to the next chord.

If you are on the bottom two strings you get low sounding chords, excellent for verses. If you are on the upper two strings you get higher sounding chords, excellent for the chorus. Playing this way gives you some nice dynamics without having to know a lot.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Marketing your Music Business with Social Media

Chris Brogan has an excellent post on using social media to promote writing efforts if you are an author. Take out the word author and drop in musician and you have a game for promoting youself. Well worth the read

 Chris Brogan: An Author’s Plan for Social Media Efforts 

I also dropped the entire post on my Bruce Jones Design Blog

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Mandola an Earlier Cousin of the Mandolin

Nice post on the Mandola at Mandolin

The mandola somehow predates the mandolin. Mandora was a renaissance lute with similarities to the mandola. What we know as the mandolin evolved from the mandora during the baroque period. Mandolin means little mandola. Read More at

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sweet Georgia Brown on Guitar and Mandolin

Curtis Jones (guitar) and Jeff Midkiff (mandolin) playing an acoustic version of Sweet Georgia Brown, a highly recognized song used by the Harlem Globetrotters

Friday, May 14, 2010

How to Play 7th Chords on the Ukulele

This is a lesson on how to play C,D,E,F,G,A, and B 7th chords on a ukulele. It shows the fingering for each and how they sound on a ukulele tuned GCEA.

Amazon Affiliate Link for the Mel Bay book, Fun with the Ukulele
Mel Bay Fun with the Ukulele

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Play Minor Chords on the Ukulele

This is a lesson on how to play C,D,E,F,G,A, and B minor chords on a ukulele. It shows the fingering of each and how they sound on a ukulele tuned to GCEA.

Amazon Affiliate Link for Hal Leonard's Ukulele Method Book
Hal Leonard Ukulele Method Book 1 (Fretted)

How to Play Major Chords on the Ukulele

This is just a lesson on how to form C,D,E,F,G,A, and B major chords on a soprano or concert ukulele. It shows the fingering for each and how they sound with a GCEA tuning. Minor and Seventh chords coming soon.

Amazon Affiliate link for a Kala Makala Soprano Ukulele
Kala Makala Soprano Ukulele Starter Pack

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You Know the Guitar Can You Play the Mandolin, yes!

Nice post from on how to take your guitar knowledge and transfere it to the mandolin

Guitarist looking to learn the Mandolin. What are the main differences?
Mandolin is a very cool instrument but it is different than the guitar. It is tuned “backwards” to the guitar. The top 4 strings on a guitar are (high to low) E1, B2, G3, D4, but on a mandolin the strings are (high to low) E, A, D, G, and it is one octave higher than guitar. This is the same tuning as a violin so it is possible to use violin music arrangements on the mandolin.  (read more)