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Ara Ajizian

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About Ara Ajizian

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    Medford, OR
  1. New for 2015 from Michael Tobias Designs (MTD) is the Kingston Saratoga Deluxe bass guitar, a jazz-style monster that's not only a tonal powerhouse but a superbly playable instrument as well. Essentially a beefed-up J-bass at its heart, by combining the advantage of passive/active switching, MTD has crafted an instrument suitable for really any style of playing and any genre of music. The Saratoga Deluxe takes many of its cues from its popular, non-Deluxe sibling: carved basswood body; a one-piece, bolt-on maple neck with an asymmetrical profile; Buzz Feiten Tuning System; MTD quick-release b
  2. In the world of musical instruments, there are only a handful of companies that achieve legacy status. It usually takes world-class craftsmanship, unique designs that capture the imaginations of players, and superb playability that lets players tap into their creativity and write timeless songs—for starters, anyway. Along the way, it helps to have associations with famous musicians who create iconic music with your products. Not too tall an order, right? So you see, there's a reason why only a few brands are instantly recognizable and revered by nearly all musicians: it's really, really, reall
  3. It's always a bonus when pedal makers add a killer visual treatment to a pedal. What that won't change, however, is what's inside, and in the craft of making music, it's better to sound good than to look good. No amount of custom silkscreening is going to change that. When a tried-and-true favorite gets a custom treatment, like VOX has given to their V847 Wah, it's even better. To celebrate the British legacy of VOX and the contributions of their iconic wah, they've released the limited edition Union Jack Wah that delivers the trusted sound of the V847 in an eye-catching new finish. VOX'
  4. Ahh, the theremin. It still captivates us with its eerie, warbly sound, not to mention the touch-free method by which it’s played (it just looks fun, doesn’t it?). Although some might say the theremin’s time came and went, it left an indelible mark on the late, great Bob Moog. His love for electronic instruments began with the theremin, spawning every incredible innovation and instrument that he gave us during his lifetime. And of course, those innovations continue today at Moog Music, so it’s fitting that they have re-imagined the instrument that started it all and brought us the Theremini, a
  5. As musicians, we're always looking to get the most for our money when it comes to gear. More power. More tone. More flexibility. Because all that "more" leads, hopefully, to a rig that inspires you when it comes time to create and play. Unfortunately, for decades we've trained ourselves to think that when it comes to amps and speakers, all that "more" you want also means more weight. Back-breaking weight,in many cases, especially when you think of the monstrous tube heads and 8x10 cabs that bass players have grown accustomed to. Gallien-Krueger has mastered the art of removing the weight from
  6. A few weeks back I reviewed Casio's LK-175 keyboard, the mid-range model in the Lighted Keys Series. The series aims to bring a wealth of sounds, playability and learning features to make learning to play as fun and engaging as possible. This week, I'm looking at the LK-260, which adds to the rich array of features the series has to offer. Casio's LK-260 boasts touch sensitivity and loads of features that make learning fun and easy. What You Need To Know The LK-260 is the second-to-the-top model of the LK Series and has all the standard onboard goodies that make the LK Series great f
  7. There's no shortage of devices out there to interface with your iOS devices for creating music. And that's a good thing, because this whole mobile thing is going to be around for a while, and the devices and apps that fuel our creativity will only get better and better. New to the game is the Jamstik, which bills itself as "The Guitar for your iPad." It's a unique guitar MIDI controller that employs real strings, real frets and the ability to optimize it to the way you play for a more authentic playing experience. It has a lot more going for it too, so let's dive in and check it out. The Ja
  8. The electric guitar has come a long way over the last 50 years, rising up from the confines of the rhythm section in the early days of R&B to a full-fledged, versatile instrument that drives the sound of modern music. And perhaps no element of guitar playing has evolved as much as the guitar solo: from its origins in lap steel passages during the '40s to Chuck Berry's groundbreaking licks in the '50s; through Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, Page and Townshend in the '60s; through the larger-than-life solos of the 1970s (Freebird, anyone?) and the shredding '80s; into the amalgamation of all that
  9. Important Players in the History of the Saxophone Woodwind & Brasswind Contributing Writer – Greg Vail There are so many names we could mention in classical and jazz, but I am going to focus on the big name, popular saxophonists of their day and look at how they helped develop the saxophone players of our generation. The history of the saxophone is pretty short. It was invented in the early 1840’s by a Belgian instrument maker named Adolph Sax. The saxophone was first included in military bands, classical music in the French tradition, and later, jazz which was the pop music of t
  10. I can remember way back to buying my first real bass amp. I was a quick study when it came to playing and quickly outgrew the 8" Gorilla practice amp I used in the bedroom. After a few months of playing I was ready to jam with friends, so I needed something that could contend in a band environment. At 18, I was obviously low on cash, so I finally settled on a mid-priced 15" combo. In the store, I remember thinking that thing was so loud I'd have to really dial it back once I had it in our rehearsal room. I couldn't have been more wrong. That first practice, I was beaming with pride at my n
  11. Woodwind & Brasswind: Trumpet Mute Buying Guide By Tony Guerrero The modern-day keyboard player has literally thousands of sounds at his fingertips thanks to electronics and digital technology. But trumpet players don't have to be jealous - while it may not number in the thousands, we've had many different sounds available to us for much longer! From King Oliver's habit of putting a kazoo in the horn, to the Duke Ellington trumpet section's stellar use of plungers, to Miles Davis' signature Harmon-muted trumpet tone - there are a myriad of different sounds that have been emanating fr
  12. We live in an interesting, in-between time when it comes to technology. Many of us who are 35 and up can easily remember a time when not even cell phones were common, much less things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any social media existing. Conversely, to many of those below that age threshold, having an online presence and being connected 24/7 seems perfectly normal. As new technologies arrive and their progression speeds up, it's easy to get left behind. This is true in all walks of life, and it's especially true for musicians—and not only when it comes to gear. Before the explosi
  13. By Woodwind & Brasswind Contributing Writer - Greg Vail Hal Leonard Charlie Parker Omnibook - CD Play-Along Edition - 3-CD Pack Let me start off by saying I love Charlie Parker. Much of my early improvisation study came from playing the Omnibook and studying Parker's solo lines and phrasing. Needless to say, I was excited to see the CD Play-Along set released, with all 60 songs from the Omnibook performed with a great sounding rhythm section. I was glad to see the background tracks follow the books format almost all the time. For example: if the song has an 8 bar rest before the
  14. Portable keyboards can be a great entry point for beginning musicians who want to learn their way around a keyboard, as well as an affordable tool for established musicians looking to do the same. There's no denying that understanding a piano's layout can help with nearly any instrument, as well as songwriting and composing. Casio has long been a leader in bringing keyboards to market for just these purposes, keeping them both affordable and packing them with great sounds, rhythms and other tools to assist learning. The CTK-2400 continues in that tradition, with a street price right around $10
  15. Powered speakers come in all shapes, sizes and price points these days, often making it difficult to make a decision when it’s time to outfit your band or venue with a set that will deliver the kind of performance working musicians expect and rely on. Especially when good sound can make or break your livelihood. With that in mind, and an 85-year legacy in audio engineering to back them up, Electro-Voice brings us the new ETX Powered Loudspeaker series.. Designed to satisfy the needs of working professionals, these speakers incorporate copious amounts of power with advanced control and a pro-gr
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