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Twenty-One Pilots Inspired My Young Niece to Start Playing the Ukulele

How Twenty-One Pilots Inspired My Young Niece to Start Playing the Ukulele

I just got back from the music shop with my niece.  We only planned to buy some guitar strings, but then we got distracted by all the beautiful ukuleles on the wall.  Then my niece told me that Tyler Joseph, from the band Twenty-One Pilots inspired her to start playing the ukulele last year.  And, I knew I had to make a post about her creative journey.

She takes her instrument everywhere she goes.  She’s self-taught, and she learns to play a new song practically every day.  This informational post is to inspire others to follow their musical dreams too.

 

The Band Twenty-One Pilots is Full of Multi-Instrumentalists

Tyler Joseph's "Aloha" ukulele

Credit: www.thehunt.com

According to my niece, who’s almost thirteen years old, Tyler Joseph plays several different instruments.  He learned to play the ukulele nine years ago.  But he also plays the piano and the electric guitar.  I love hearing about talented multi-instrumentalists, and great singers who also know how to play at least one instrument.  A great voice is hard to find.  But a singer who’s musically inclined and can read music is a rare breed these days.

There are lots of singers and rappers who have no musical training whatsoever.  Their only instrument is their voice.  Singers get a lot of credit for being the backbone of the band, but what about all the talented musicians standing behind them on stage?  They deserve a lot of credit too.  Don’t forget about the guitarists, bassists, keyboard players and drummers etc.

Another talented band member from Twenty-One Pilots band is Josh Dun.  Josh Dun is a self-taught drummer for Twenty-One Pilots.  He started playing the trumpet in school.  But then he took interest in playing the drums, and now, he’s a millionaire, along with the rest of his band members.  One of my favorite quotes from Josh Dun is below.  His story inspires me.  You’ll never know what kind of instrument you like unless you get creative and start playing!

 

“Somebody else teaching me how to play an instrument… was kind of prohibiting me from being creative”

 

Why Some Guitar Players Can’t Play the Ukulele

If you’re already a guitar player, don’t think you can pick up a ukulele and just start playing it.  The ukulele is not at all like the guitar.  On most, there are only four strings, which means the tuning, chord structure, and fingering is different.  Also, unless you buy a concert style ukulele, you’ll have less frets to work with.

But like Josh Dun, you can learn to play any instrument if you put your mind to it.  My niece played the violin in grade school.  But after listening to Twenty-One Pilots, she wanted to start playing the ukulele.  Now, she owns a “Kala” brand ukulele, and she’s self-taught.  She’s only twelve years old, but she can read music and sing because of her violin background.

Everything my niece knows about playing the ukulele she’s learned from various websites, including UkuTabs, which she absolutely loves.  The website gives her chord structures, scales, and various levels of difficulty to work with.

 

Which Ukulele is Right for You?

There are several different sizes and brands of ukuleles.  Tyler Joseph plays an “Aloha” brand ukulele.  And, like I mentioned before, my niece picked up a “Kala” brand ukulele for about fifty dollars.  But it sounds amazing!  I think that’s partly because of the plain wood finish.  No lacquer or embellishments.  Just a basic wood instrument.

Four Types of Ukuleles

Credit: www.ukeguides.com

I played several ukuleles at the music shop today.  But I thought the ones that sounded the best were all wooden, rather than plastic.  My niece told me that she really wants a waterproof ukulele, which I’m still trying to understand.

Many ukuleles come with four nylon strings.  But today, I saw several with two metal strings and two nylon strings.  I also got to play a baritone ukulele, which offers even deeper sounding notes.  Besides baritone, there are three other types of ukuleles you can choose from including, soprano, concert and tenor.

You can choose from wooden, plastic or waterproof ukuleles.  Some are plain woodgrains with beautiful abalone inlay, while others have skulls, rainbows, and flowers painted on them.  But like I said before, I prefer the wooden ukuleles because they sound more natural, crisper, and cleaner.

 

 

Learn to Play the Ukulele with an Inexpensive Starter Kit

Today, my niece finally got a canvas bag for her Kala ukulele.  She loves it!  But before today, she was just using the box that her instrument came in.  Now, she has another way to get creative by decorating her new gig bag in buttons, pins and iron-on patches.

Looking back,  I wish my niece bought a ukulele starter kit from the beginning.  But she didn’t, and now she has to piece together her kit.  For example, she’s still using a guitar strap for her ukulele, she doesn’t have any books or chord charts, and she has to use an online app to tune her instrument.

When I got home from the music shop I found a ukulele starter kit on Amazon for only $59.  But there’s an even bigger and better one for $129, which I’m considering for myself.  It comes equipped with everything I wish my niece had from the beginning.

Below, is the complete starter kit I’m talking about, if you’re interested too.

If you already own a ukulele, tell me more about it in the comments.

Check out this post if you’re looking for hip hop, trap or R&B beats to get creative!

Thanks for reading!

Now, go get creative!

 

Zelena Hull: Singer, Songwriter and Musician

Zelena Hull: Singer and Songwriter Inspires Other Artists to Chase their Dreams

Last December was an important month for Zelena Hull, as many of her Twitter fans know.  She released her newest EP and has been going strong ever since.  But as she continues promoting her own music, she also supports other artists who are trying to do the same.  We can learn a lot from Zelena’s compassion, ambition, optimism and her contagious smile.

Where Zelena Hull Finds Her Inspiration

It’s no wonder why Zelena is so creative as a singer, songwriter and musician.  Her family is full of creativity, which I’m sure helps keep her motivated in music.

Zelena’s mother, Valerie, is an artist who loves creating clay sculptures.  Zelena’s father, Edward, is the president of Platinum Z Records, and a business entrepreneur.  Zelena shares a lot of her mother’s art on her page and she always gives her father great shout outs on Twitter.  Check out Zelena on Twitter to see what she’s been up to.

Some of Zelena’s creative inspiration comes from her Christian religion and faith.  Lyrical Gypsy loves to feature artists who explain their reasons for writing a song and what the lyrics mean to them.

On her SoundCloud account,  Zelena writes about the meaning behind her song, “I Believe”:

Zelena Hull: Singer Songwriter

Credit: Zelena Hull | Twitter

“This song is about the Christmas Truce of 1914. In 1914 the Pope sought a truce on Christmas day but the warring nations refused to give in. Soldiers were trained that to fraternize with the enemy was an act of treason. Historically speaking this is based on a true story where the German and British troops dropped their weapons on the morning of Christmas, giving each other gifts, sharing supplies, food, medical supplies, and even had a good will soccer game.   The backdrop is a beautiful haunting melody. As the song starts is commemorates the wars horrific conditions and immediately transforms as two arcs drawn in Deadman’s land symbolizes each solider telling the opposing forces I am a Christian, Merry Christmas. An early secret code of Christianity, the fish symbol was used as two people would greet each in ancient Rome by drawing the arc of the one side of the fish to be finished by the other so both would know they were Christian. This did this as Christians were heavily persecuted. This is symbolic of each other’s faith that became the Christmas Truce of 1914 and ends in restored faith in humanity. I Believe.”

Listen to Zelena’s song, “I Believe” here.

 

Zelena Won’t Let Autism Hold Her Down

In her July 2016 interview with the television show, Your Carolina, Zelena talked a little about her appearance at the Greer Idol, her high-functioning autism, and how she got started in music.  In some ways, just understanding autism helped Zelena realize her true creative potential.

“I’ve been singing since I was 11.  I have high-functioning autism, so I couldn’t listen to music until I was 8.  It hurt my ears.  I used to scream when people sang…”

“I didn’t know I was high-functioning autism for a long time.  So my mom worked (with) me looking at the camera and basic interactions.  Eventually…I realized I could sing.”

Every day, Zelena encourages other artists to start chasing their dreams through her Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.  And she does that by not allowing her personal struggles with high-functioning autism hold her down.  She willingly stands in front of crowds of hundreds and thousands of people and shares her beautiful gift of creativity and musical talent with the world.

Zelena has won several local awards for her music and she’s competed in local and regional singing competitions too.  She’s been interviewed by various television programs, and according to her website, ZelenaHull.com, she was even mentioned in an article written by the New York Times.

 

Painting the Airwaves with Beautiful Sound

Besides finding creative inspiration in her personal life, Zelena also finds inspiration in the songs she listens to and from other artists.
On Zelena’s YouTube channel titled, Zelena Hull, she shares many of her original songs.  But she also sings several cover songs by artists like Carrie Underwood, Christina Aguilera, The Band Perry and Vicki Vann.  Check out her YouTube channel for the complete lineup!

Some of Zelena’s original music is available for purchase on Crowdfire, ITunes, Google Play, Amazon, SoundClick and Spotify.  Look for her accounts and show your support!

Some radio stations like, Chasing Your Dreams Radio, IHeart Radio, The Mess Hall Australia, and WESU Middletown, CT have featured a few of Zelena’s songs.  But she continues to work towards broadening her listening audiences. Help her by supporting local musicians!

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Zelena’s voice paint the airwaves, you’re missing out.  She has a gorgeous pitch and she sings with beautiful vibrato in her voice. Check out Zelena’s single, “Serious” on her website.  Or, pick up her newest album, “Six Feet Under”.

In her February 3rd tweet, Zelena explains the meaning behind her album title, “Six Feet Under”:

“…It means life’s a struggle but you shouldn’t give up!”

 

Generation Z Gets Creative: Things We Can Learn from Our Nation’s Energetic Youth

Thirteen-year old Amia, a.k.a. the Dance Princess, is part of Generation Z.  She was born after the 9/11 tragedy and she probably doesn’t remember much about the economic crash of 2008.  Most of what she knows about either event comes from stories she hears within society and what she reads in her history books at school.  But just as adults teach children about our nation’s history, children teach adults about our nation’s future.

Triller, Inshot, YouTube Inspires Creativity

Have you noticed?  Generation Y and some of generation Z is very active on social media.  But they’re not just chatting and posting selfies anymore.  Ok, at least not all the time.  They’re becoming active parts of society, and some with strong influential power over social media.

Generation Z adolescents were born into an age of technology and artificial intelligence. They have iPhones, tablets, lap tops, FitBits and video games to help keep them occupied.   They’re full of energy and they’re using their knowledge and creative talents to help shape the world.

Generation Z Dances and Shares their Creations

With the help of music networks and video sharing networks like Triller, InShot and YouTube, Generation Z is getting even more creative. They’re streaming live music, sharing video game play, hosting free personal blogs, creating videos, and producing vine loops for the world to see.  But best of all, they’re teaching and inspiring more adults to do the same.

If we want to start healing the nation, we need to start paying more attention to our nation’s children.  Because Generation Z is the backbone of this country, along with all of its new technology.

Generation Z Teaches Society Creative Tolerance

In most ways, Amia is just like any typical teenager.  She loves surfing the internet, chatting and posting selfies.  She loves cheerleading, dance, going roller skating and listening to loud music.  But there’s one thing that sets Amia apart from a lot of Generation Z teenagers and that is her ambition.  She knows what she wants in her life and she works hard to achieve it.  She openly shares her creative talents with the world, which also means she puts herself out there to be judged by her peers and by the rest of society.

“Her attitude is savage, but her heart is gold.” ~ Amia

Honestly, I’m glad I nabbed these two videos from social media before Amia had a chance to take them down.  She posted them while feeling proud about her achievements but then took them down a few days later.

Sometimes, Amia says negative things about her dancing like, “It’s not very good.”  But that’s where she’s wrong.  Her videos are great!  Because she’s staying active, learning new things and pushing herself to become even better.  Best of all, she’s learning how to cleanse her mind and feed her soul through creativity. 

“Creativity is how the soul prays.  Pray often.” ~ Lyrical Gypsy

What Our Nation Can Learn From Its Youth

Let me make something clear.  The problem isn’t Amia’s level of creativity, talent or performance.  The problem is her concern with how society might judge her.  But, can we blame her?  All she sees is negative comments and thumbs down flooding social media.  Because some people have nothing better to do with their lives than to troll social media and pass judgment.  Constructive criticism is always good, but the key word being constructive.  These people aren’t surfing the web to find creative inspiration or motivation.  They’re just being assholes.  It’s pathetic, really.

There’s an old saying, “Everything happens for a reason.”, and I believe it’s true.  History repeats to teach.

“If we do as we’ve always done, we’ll have as we’ve always had.  That works both ways.” ~ Lyrical Gypsy

But despite being born in the face of adversity; when terrorism, racism, disease and addiction are the highlights of today’s news, Generation Z is exercising positive ways to grow through creativity.  Hopefully, if they stick with it, they won’t resort to bigotry, alcohol and drugs like many adults use to cope with life’s challenges.

Generation Z is turning to creativity as a defense mechanism, which is how things were meant to be all along.  New technology can teach and inspire us in more ways than just the physical.  But along with technology, we need to have ambition, drive and spontaneity in our lives too.  Like this spontaneous bathroom recording of Amia dancing after school.

 

It’s Time to Support Generation Z’s Creativity

As adults, we need to support Generation Z in their creative endeavors. We need to encourage them to express themselves creatively and work out the kinks in their everyday lives by positive means.  In return, these kids and teenagers will teach us adults how to relax, lighten up and enjoy our lives more.

Mark my words, Generation Z will produce some of our nation’s finest leaders.  Because they initiative not to repeat the past.  They’re sharing their creativity while hoping to inspire change in the world, even if they don’t realize.  But more than anything, Generation Z is helping society bring passion for something – anything, back into this unloving world.  And that’s an objective worth sharing.

Generation Z teaches adults the power of creativity

 

 

Thank you, Amia, for letting me do this write up about you.  I seriously can’t dance very well.  But if your dance videos have taught me anything, it’s that talent and leadership skills knows no age group or generation.  Those long legs of yours are going to take you places creatively, and I can’t to see where the road leads you.  It might be a bumpy ride, but at least you’re on the right track.  Peace and Blessings, love.

Find Yourself…Inspiring Others

 

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Beats for the Soul Music Review

Beats for the Soul: Da’Professor’s Instrumental Beats Aim to Inspire Creativity

Let me tell you how Beats for the Soul, a.k.a. Da’Professor, inspired me with just one of his songs. For one, I’m writing this unsolicited music review for him. Why? Because talented artists like him need all the support they can get.  Even if it’s from a no-name writer/blogger, like myself. Because any public exposure will keep his creative fire burning strong. And that passion will help his music career thrive.

Music Is Life. I Make Beats & Samples Out This World. Let Me Make Your Life A Little Easier With My Music.”

~ Da’Professor via Sound Cloud

Da’Professor’s music is powerful, engaging and inspiring and it’s available for purchase on his Band Camp website. I urge every aspiring artist and lyricist looking for music inspiration to start there. He offers leasing options ranging anywhere from $30-50. And he also offers exclusive licenses by email. Click here to email Da’Professor for more information.

Trust me, it will be hard to choose just one instrumental beat to work with. Because the entire lineup is just THAT good. Whether you want instrumental Hip Hop, Trap or Rap beats to work with, he’s got it all.

Beats for the Soul Inspires Creativity

One of my favorite instrumental hip hop/trap beats by this artist is, “I’ll Never Change”. Even after the song’s over, it replays in my mind over and over. And from the moment I pushed play on the video, I was hooked.

Warning! Proceed with caution. Because, this beat is addictive!

 

Can you imagine the lyrical fun you could have with that kind of sound? I definitely can. Most of his instrumental beats inspire me to write, but nothing like that one. Just the sound floods my music loving brain with lyrics. So fast, I can barely write them all down.

The Right Equipment to Do the Job

I’ve listened to a lot of music in my lifetime and career, but this music sounds fresh, high-quality and professional. And it’s no wonder why. Take a look at his music studio, and all of his professional looping equipment. With a music deck like that, it’s clear that Beats for the Soul has a true passion for music. And he’s good at what he does. His end product is proof of that.

 


Today is the first time I’ve ever heard any of Da’Professor’s creative work. But I’m so glad he decided to follow me on Twitter. Because he’s definitely one artist I want to keep my eye on. 

Beats for the Soul: I hope you continue playing around, and mixing more genres and sounds together. I’ve heard rock, oriental and even orchestral sounds in a lot of your beats. Keep that shit up! You have a creative gift, so take it to the next level – wherever that might be. See what happens. Because with a talent like yours, I’m sure that everything you produce from this moment on will be great. Can’t wait to see your name in lights!

Peace & Blessings.

Namaste.

Saxophone player Notehawk

Saxophone Music Review: Notehawk is Shaping the Wind With His Musical Talent

Saxophone player, Notehawk, is a singer songwriter, musician and on-stage performer who’s sure to please any audience with his musical talent.

Hailing from the Midwest, perhaps Notehawk first inherited his love for music from his mother. She sang in church, and then she taught him how to play the guitar. Her guitar is hanging on display at his home.

Eventually, Notehawk’s love for music pushed him passed the church pews and onto a few local stages. He fell in love with jazz, and decided that he wanted to play the saxophone. He bought himself a tenor saxophone, which took every last penny he had saved. Saxophones, especially tenor saxophones, are not cheap. A golden goddess like Notehawk’s can cost anywhere from $4000-6000, depending on the brand and series. But, Notehawk will be the first to admit that purchasing his saxophone was one of the best investments he’s ever made into his musical future.

Now, Notehawk and his trusty sidekick light up stages together everywhere. And luckily, his fans don’t have to pick a genre of music around him. Because his wide variety of musical talent and training allows him to play just about anything.

A Saxophone Player Who’s Music is Full of Variety

Some of Notehawk’s best genres include jazz, rock and folk. But he doesn’t stop there with his love of music. He’s always working in his music studio to come up with some new riff. And he has a unique way of mixing several genres together to come up with a new sound.

He adds a little jazz saxophone to his performances with the Biscuits and Gravy Band, a pop and classic rock band whom performs all around Midwest.

Notehawk also plays with a local big band, which is hosted by his employer. He helps entertain hundreds of locals at a time during special events. And when he’s not performing on stage, he likes to meet up with some of his old friends from the band, Mute Karma, for a late night, basement jam session.

Usually, Notehawk lets his instruments do the talking. But in the future, we hope he’ll introduce us to some of his original music. Because he has a great voice, and it’s definitely worth a listen.

 


 

Support Local Musicians and Aspiring Artists

Notehawk is a quiet competitor in the music industry. He just recently started promoting himself as a musician through his websites. Support local musicians and aspiring artists.  Notehawk is definitely talented and we need to encourage him to start sharing more of himself with the world. Check out Notehawk when he’s performing live on Facebook.

Whether he’s sitting around a campfire with some friends, competing at a jazz festival, doing some live improv, or performing on stage, Notehawk’s love for music always shines through. And maybe that’s why his fans love him so much. Because we can all hear the passion in his voice.

Subscribe and watch for new uploads on his YouTube channel.

Notehawk – Shaping the Wind website

Notehawk – Half a Mile From Normal

 

Notehawk: Keep shaping the wind with your creative soul.

Peace & Blessings.

Namaste.

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