Music Is Right Up Our Alley!
Welcome to MusicAlley, your source for information on all things musical. We cover everything to do with music, from the instruments used to create it, all the way through the recording process and finally to the gear that lets you listen and enjoy it. Whether you need a guitar, drum kit, microphone or amp – we have you covered. MusicAlley offers general information on a variety of different families of instruments, to help you understand the advantages and limitations of each. We also provide detailed reviews and comparisons of different recording and audio equipment, so that you have the right information to make an informed purchase.
Creating music is a form of expression. Because of that, having the right instrument is of the utmost importance. Most musicians come to identify with their instruments, and often treat them like they have their own personality. Some – like Willie Nelson’s Trigger and B.B. King’s Lucille – even get their own name.
Given that potential close relationship, musicians want to get to know their guitar (even beginner acoustic guitars, bluegrass guitars, classical guitars, acoustic blues guitars, lap steel guitars, beginner banjos, beginner mandolins, or beginner ukuleles), bass guitar, or electric cello (and cello strings)before committing to a purchase. The same goes for the best drum set for kids, violins, best beginner trumpets, saxophones, digital pianos, and other instruments. Finding out as much as you can about them before you choose one is crucial.
Don’t forget the percussion section – the men and women driving the beat love their instruments, too. And that goes for more than just traditional drum kits. Players are passionate about everything from kettle drums to the best cajons. New Percussionists will find our article on the best drumsticks for beginners to be helpful.
That holds even more true for people just starting out as a musician. Experienced players will know the types of features and sounds they want, but a first-time buyer won’t know the difference between a poor instrument and a great one. Thankfully, we have a number of instrument reviews aimed at entry-level instruments to give you the information you need to make a good choice. For example, check out our list of the best kalimbas.
There are many instruments that are very easy to learn. For examples of these, check out our reviews of the best harmonicas and the best pan flutes. These instruments don’t require anything other than control of your breath. Beginners may benefit from investing in the best metronome they can afford. But if you have dreams of shredding, our review of the best beginner electric guitar packages might be just the thing. And don’t forget the guitar strings – both acoustic and electric guitars need new strings from time to time to keep sounding great.
If you are looking at guitars, you probably want to get the best deal you can on it. That is why we have lists of good electric guitars for the money, good acoustic guitars for the money, and electric guitars under $200 for those who are on a budget.
For live performances you may need many different pieces of equipment, including the best stage monitors, best tremolo pedals, and best looper pedals. If you are on the road then you will probably want the best travel guitar you can get.
Turning a live performance into a polished recording is as much an art as playing an instrument. There are so many factors that go into accurately capturing sound that it can make your head spin. Everything from the best microphones for live vocals and pickups to speakers and guitar amps have an effect on how your music sounds. For straight vocals you may prefer to get the best audio recorder and best vocal recording microphone you can afford. And you really shouldn’t skimp on a mic preamp either.
But just capturing the sound is not the end of the story. There are a variety of tools and gear that can help you mix and master a killer track. Having the best audio mixer is crucial to balancing the instruments in your recording, as is a quality mixing software package. There are many other pieces of studio equipment to invest in, so be sure to check out our articles on the best audio interface and the best midi controller. If you are on a budget, you can find turntables for under $500. For percussion, having the best drum machine is a good idea.To listen to everything you want to be sure to pick up the best studio headphones, headphone amps, and best studio monitors you can afford.
Video is another aspect to today’s recording industry that has to be considered. Most artists these days start out creating video performance recordings and uploading them to YouTube. Many others also live stream their songs on social media platforms. Having the right camera and microphone setup can be the difference between looking and sounding great or awful.