Calum Vaughan

Calum’s first instrument was the acoustic guitar, and with that came a deep love and passion for all strings instruments. This passion led him to learn the violin, cello, piano, and brass instruments. You might say Calum is a jack of all music trades and knows quite a bit about the entire picture. He loves sharing that knowledge with you, our readers! What was your first instrument and what inspired you to learn it? The first instrument I learned to play was the acoustic guitar, and this was the beginning of my passion for stringed instruments. After this, I was keen to learn the violin and cello, and this swiftly led to learning other instruments such as brass instruments and the piano. What keeps you dedicated and inspired to learn and grow your skills and knowledge? I maintain my dedication and inspiration to learn and grow my musical skills and knowledge by interacting with music every single day. Even if I don't feel like practicing, I'll ensure that I watch a documentary about stringed instruments, an interview with my favorite musician... anything! What is your preferred instrument and why? It's incredibly difficult to pick a preferred instrument, but currently, I would have to choose the cello. I've been learning this instrument for many years, but recently I've begun experimenting with cello pickups and effects pedals, and it's opened up many exciting musical pathways! Who are your major musical inspirations? I grew up with a very experimental approach to music, and as a result, some of my core musical inspirations include Schoenberg, Stockhausen, John Cage, Alvo Part, Erik Satie, and Aphex Twin. Do you have a favorite composer? My favorite composer would probably have to be Erik Satie - his music takes me to another place, really! Do you have a favorite modern artist? In terms of modern artists, Aphex Twin would have to be my favorite. He has been breaking the creative boundaries of electronic dance music since the late '80s, and he's still pushing the envelope to this day. Favorite piece to play or listen to? My favorite piece of music to play would have to be Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major. It's not my usual cup of tea, but there's something so fun about performing it on any instrument! Favorite genre of music? The genre of music that you will catch me listening to most frequently is ambient, with artists such as Stars of The Lid, Brian Eno, and Aphex Twin in my regular rotation. Favorite musical memory? My favorite ever musical memory would have to be in my early childhood when my sister and I were bouncing up and down on the sofa whilst my father was blasting "Born Slippy" by Underworld. That moment really shaped my music taste forever

Viola Tuning Guide

Musical instruments can be a confusing world, and the viola is no exception to this. Finding the right size and the right brand can be difficult, let alone learning the playing techniques! However, perhaps the most confusing aspect for me when I was first learning the viola is the tuning – I wish I had …

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Best 4/4 Violins Guide

Purchasing a violin can be a difficult process, especially if you don’t know what size to buy, and I’m hoping that the following best 4/4 violins guide will help make things easier. I was there once years ago trying out all sorts of different violin sizes, and it was an absolute minefield. I will always …

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Best 1/8 Cello Guide

Purchasing a cello can be an incredibly confusing process, regardless of whether you are purchasing it for your child. There are a ton of variables to consider such as what brand to go for and what price range you should be searching within, but perhaps the most important variable is the size.  If you’re reading …

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