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Buxsa’s First Birthday: An Open Invitation

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! Buxsa turns one—wootwoot!

Buxsa turns one this 14th, and the whole team is over the moon.

In the past year, Buxsa has covered a lot of ground. All thanks to the enthusiasm of the hobbyists- the rare breed that makes us proud. Right from day one, when Buxsa was learning to take those baby steps, we committed ourselves to provide everything that a hobbyist needs. We wanted to be the go-to place for each one out there who keeps a hobby, and in just a year, Buxsa hit quite a few right notes. The baby is now an adolescent and is getting quirkier by the day. And no one minds. At least we hope not.

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Getting Started With A Guitar

Insofar as candid confessions go, you can’t get better than Barefaced Liars’ Sumant Balakrishnan’s take on why he chose a guitar though he was initially keen on drums—“My parents’ tolerance would have had to be much higher because drums have no volume knobs!”

A lawyer by training, Sumant grew up in a really good era for rock music (the 90’s), “All my favourite musicians were invariably guitar players or singers,” which probably explains why he also handles the vocals for the band.

Sumant Balakrishnan

Sumant Balakrishnan: Singer, Song-writer, Lead guitarist for Barefaced Liar (BFL)

Experts often ask you to go for the best equipment you can get, but Sumant’s idea on buying a guitar comes as a surprise: “The most important thing for me to consider is comfort and functionality. It is important to view your first guitar as a sort of stepping stone into the world of music, and not a permanent investment.”

Beyond the investment comes the practice and Sumant said that a budding musician should concentrate on practicing solo as well as with his band. Explaining, he said, “A budding musician has to reach a certain proficiency at his instrument before he decides to venture out into the world of live music. Playing with other people enables a quick exchange of ideas and techniques between musicians.”

Most new hobbies can be a pain in the neck, but a guitar can be a pain in the fingers as well. Recalling his early days, Sumant said, “When I was 16 and started learning the guitar, the pain that I felt in my fingers was outmatched by my eagerness to learn my favourite songs. The pain you get will only go away once calluses have formed on your finger tips, and there is no way to get those but to keep playing. Since this pain is unavoidable, try and ignore it, power through it, and definitely never let it get the better of you.”

Click here to browse through a wide range of guitars and other musical instruments from Buxsa.com.

Sumant’s tips:

What brand?

  • Fender or Gibson: If you want an entry-level product from a big name
  • ESP, Schecter or Cort: If you want a high quality product at a much more reasonable price. *Sumant’s Pick*
Barefaced Liar

Barefaced Liar is a Delhi based band which was formed in 2002.The band has a distinct blues rock driven guitar style that has developed over the years,influenced by the musical tastes of its members.

In Five Easy Steps

You can’t do everything at once. Sumant’s tips:

  1. Beginners should get the cheapest, most comfortable acoustic guitar they can afford and work their way up from there
  2. First, concentrate on training your fingers to navigate the fret-board
  3. Once you know your way around the fret-board, buy an entry-level electric guitar with a small amp
  4. Want to increase your speed on the fret-board? Buy a metronome. This will also help you when you’re playing with more experienced musicians
  5. FX pedals are important if your music requires a large array of sounds. To begin with, use digital effects processors or amps with included digital effects

Scratch. Mix. Burn.

You may have watched the DJs on the dance floor enthuse even those with two left feet to dance. Maybe you have even tried to imitate a DJ in your bedroom. But have you ever thought about becoming a DJ, if not professionally, at least for a group of friends having a party at home or in the office?

To get you the low-down on how you can become a DJ, Buxsa.com spoke to DJ Ivan, who has been a DJ of repute since the early 90s. Ivan became a DJ because he grew up with music around him all the time. “I grew up in a place where the record player was on from morning to evening,” he recalled. This, he said, is also the case with his two children, aged 12 and 10.

Even if you haven’t grown up with music, you can become what is called a “bedroom DJ”–somebody who DJs for friends. Contrasting the skills required for a bedroom DJ with a professional DJ, Ivan said that while professional DJs don’t think too much about crowd profiles, a bedroom DJ does. “Ten people at a party will want ten different songs, so they just have to queue it–no mixing is involved,” he said.

DJ Ivan

DJ Ivan is one of India’s foremost DJs, having played in the world’s top party cities and alongside the best DJ’s. Armed with a passion for music and individuality, DJ Ivan plunged into India’s then nascent party music scene nearly 2 decades ago and pioneered a musical revolution in the clubs of Bangalore.

In effect, such a person, though playing to a live audience like a club DJ, is closer to a radio jockey or a video jockey–he merely introduces the songs, he doesn’t mix them. A club DJ, on the other hand, will have to learn how to mix songs seamlessly so that there is harmony on the dance floor. Some of the popular DJ equipments and mixers like Behringer and Numark are now available in India. Browse now.

Just as every journalist wants to become an author, every bedroom DJ may want to become a professional DJ, and today, you have software helping you. “When I started 22 years ago, a DJ had to do it manually. Now, you have software,” said Ivan. He said that there are two top software products for DJs, called Traktor and Serato, which work on PCs and the Mac. “I personally use Traktor. Beginners can experiment with Virtual DJ, which is free,” he said.

How easy does DJing get with the help of software? “Just press the sync button and the beats will match,” said Ivan. The downside? “Since everybody can do it, you have to ask yourself how you can create an experience that is unique. That will separate the skilful from the non skilful guys.”

And here, according to Ivan, passion plays a crucial role. “You have to know and love your music. The crowd is interested in knowing this–is the DJ loving what he is playing?” Ivan said that you must know the whole background of the track you are presenting. “If your passion doesn’t come across, it is not good,” he concluded.