Friday, December 19, 2014

Best Cheap Acoustic Guitar (Yay!)

Christmas is around the corner! And I've been busy looking for the best cheap acoustic guitar, among other things. It's been quite a search -- who knew that there's a ton of choices on earth nowadays?

Most of what I initially found, however, were either too expensive or too cheap. Cheap is good, but guitars at the very low end seem to be borderline toy-ish. And buying a toy we're not. Good thing is, I stumbled upon the Jasmine S35. It was the cheapest in this post about the best acoustic guitars for the money.

I really like how it sounds, and my hubby does too. It's just so...romantic. The best thing however is that it's only $99. Being new to guitars, I thought that such amount is still a little too much. That is, until I saw acoustics that cost thousands of dollars (lol). The S35 is quite a deal – despite it's relatively low price, the reviews are very positive.

Now, I mentioned in my previous post that my hubby suggested that we get a Taylor GS Mini. It's a really nice guitar, but at $499, it's just too much for our budget. It seems it would be a better fit for my slightly small hands (I think I can manage the S35 though). Anyway, if we'll ever buy another guitar, we'll most likely save up for a Mini.

While checking out the Mini, I also got to discover the Baby Taylor. It has a great looking Taylor Swift edition (she does endorse the brand, just as what hubby said).

I really like it's swirl designs at the soundhole. I haven't come across any other guitar under $500 that have elaborate art (the Mini and S35 were kind of plain). What's more, it's only $299. I would have chosen it if not for my hubby. It would be awkward to see a grown man play such a small guitar with “Taylor Swift” on it (lol).

Speaking of $299, I found another brand that has a guitar around such price. That brand is Freshman Guitars, which I first read about at Guitar Coach Magazine. I checked it out because I liked the name -- sounds beginner friendly and reminds me of college days. :) Its FA1TRAV-BK model (I hope they rename it to something catchier) is only a little above $300.

So that's it for my top cheap acoustic guitars. This is probably my last post for this year, so see you in the next!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Buying an Acoustic Guitar...for Our Brains

"It's good for our brains," says my husband, with the last word uttered in the way that the antagonists do in Plants vs. Zombies.

This was over dinner while we were discussing the impending Christmas season and the deluge of shopping that comes with it. We went to a mall that day, and I noticed him linger longer than usual at the music section. And now he's trying to convince me to buy an acoustic guitar, with a price that is nothing to sneeze at.

I've always believed that listening to music kind of make you like a brainiac to some extent. Of course, it won't make an Einstein out of people (otherwise, we should be blasting music all over the place). But despite what researches say, I listened to music while pregnant with the hope of helping our baby become smarter. And surprisingly, I actually liked the classical music referred to me by friends.

Apparently though, playing music is a different tune. A couple of researches say that learning to play a musical instrument does improve the brain significantly. Some of the skills improved are listening, linguistics, execution and memory. And just like that, I was sold into buying an acoustic guitar.

Now, like I said, the prices are nothing to sneeze at. The good thing is, Christmas isn't really as near yet as it seems. Hence, we still have time to read buying guides about the best, affordable acoustic guitars available. I'm also mulling over whether to purchase one online, because it's really more convenient.

That's not to say that my husband hasn't been eyeing something already. In fact, he's been raving about something called Taylor GS Mini (I think). And I guess it's a good one indeed -- after all, my husband actually used to play in high school. Or maybe he's just suggesting it because it sounds as if it's endorsed by Taylor Swift (whom I am liking right now).

Anyway, whether it's that brand or model or not, there's gonna be an acoustic guitar this coming Christmas. And who knows, if I get good at it, I might actually take it for a carol next year. :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shaken And Stirred

I really want to shake off my post pregnancy "excesses." Ten months after giving birth, I still haven't seen my old self. I miss her dearly. Not that she's got a body like those of celebrities on Instagram. But still, it's a far cry from what I think I got right now. Worse, I feel like I'm getting farther away.

There's no getting around it -- I have to EXERCISE. And the best way to stir anyone up to work it out -- good music! So, I scavenged the Internet looking for songs to include in my workout playlist. The first one that I found -- Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. It's the first single off her upcoming album 1989. And conveniently, I also found a cool workout choreography to it made by Christina Chitwood:

I love that song -- it's just so much fun! Apparently however, not everyone enjoyed it like I did. I saw articles saying that a country music organization disowned Taylor because of the song. But like a lot of YouTube commenters, I didn't even thought she was country before. She have always sounded pop to me.

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, her tunes are fun to dance to. Yes, I love dancing! I always have. I was actually part of the dance troupe back in high school. However, life got busier so I hardly have any time for it anymore. As it turns out, dancing is a great cardio exercise. So aside from shaking it out with Taylor, I will also try out Zumba (shown below).

Looks fun, right? I specially like the choreography at around 0:48. It looks like some version of the chicken dance. My hubby laughs out loud every time he sees that part. Also, the crazy guy says I'm about to become a "Zumbie" (he's a Walking Dead fan).

Zombie Dance

Anyway, I will probably also try Shaun T.'s Hip Hop Abs (yes, I'm swallowing more than I can chew, but at least it's not food). My hubby actually wants to join in when I do, because he says that the moves aren't "as feminine as Zumba." It would probably be funny -- I could already imagine his butt sticking out awkwardly in some of the moves.

The best thing however is that I'll have someone to shake with, and it would help keep me motivated. And probably, the laughter will keep me stirred up until I shake off what I want to lose. :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Internet Killed The Radio Star

As part of my daily commute, I listen to FM radio through my phone. It's been my routine for quite sometime now, so it feels weird when I don't do it. And there were times that I didn't, due to various reasons: earphones broke, low battery, poor radio signal, etc. My phone and I, we've been through stuffs, but we continued with our daily journeys nonetheless.

This month however, the contract for my PC's USB internet is about to expire. Since I'm usually outdoors, I decided to switch to an internet subscription that includes a free phone. So after years of using my "radio" phone, I'll finally upgrade to something more up to date. Now, I'm not that into gadgets really, but my husband is. So I got the latest brand and make, gave it to him, and used his old one instead (but it's still also a new model).

But alas, his phone doesn't have an FM radio! The phone is a Samsung S4, which I already named as "Samson" (lol!). Samsung Russia explains why, and below is the translation:

Our studies show a trend shift of interest to digital broadcasting, specifically – focus on listening to music content in social networks or on the channel YouTube. The flagship model of our products are focused on customers who use digital content, which use modern formats and channels of information consumption.

The above reminds me of "Video Killed The Radio Star," a song about new technology replacing an old one. Statements like that are sure to incite talks about the impending death of FM radio.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like YouTube, Spotify and what have you. Unfortunately for me, not all the places I pass by have really good internet. Also, FM radio is still a decent medium where I discover new music. An example of such is "Wrong Club" by The Ting Tings. For some reason, it does as good a job (or even better) as "digital broadcasting" in curating music for my tastes. And heck, I actually discovered on FM radio the phone that I got my husband!

And speaking of my hubby's phone, it's a Sony Xperia Z2, and it has FM radio! He's not that happy with it's camera though. The camera actually has really nice specs, but it doesn't have lots of presets that my my husband is used to. And so, we might actually switch phones anyway (what a funny turn of events). But I'm giving him time to explore, because he might like it in the end. As for me, well, I guess it's more road trips with radio phone after all. This time though, we're tagging along Samson. :)