• Sheet Music Department

    March 21, 2017

    Mike Jackson has us playing ukulele in 40 minutes!

    We were excited to welcome Mike Jackson - author of the Uke’n Play Ukulele series and one of the most popular Australian children’s entertainers and music educators - for a very special free ukulele workshop on Sunday 19 March, in which he had an enthusiastic capacity crowd of all ages from 4 to ‘mature’ playing along with him in only 40 minutes!

    If you missed it but would like to join us for future events, please contact us on 0161 834 3281 or info@forsyths.co.uk to sign up to our mailing list.

  • The Forsyths Blog

    March 12, 2017

    Emily is shaving her hair off for the MND Association!

    Over the past 6 months, I have been fundraising for Marie Curie and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. In this time, myself, my friends and my colleagues have managed to raise over £2000 for the two charities. Through selling cakes in our staff kitchen, doing a sponsered Grade-one-athon (or in my case, Grade-three-athon!) and organising a charity concert, we managed to raise this much for two great charities.

    Motor Neurone disease is a dreadful illness, which my family has experienced the effects of first hand. The Motor Neurone Disease Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning. Much more needs to be known about this illness and hopefully, one day, a cure will be found. In the last few years, MND has had more public interest, due to the film, The Theory of Everything and the ALS Bucket challenge. Both helped to raise the profile of the disease, but research still needs to be done to help the patients deal with the day to day struggles and to look for a cure.

    All of the fundraising has been done in memory of my mum, Bernadette, who passed away last year, after battling with Motor Neurone Disease.

    To celebrate my mum’s birthday, I announced that I would be shaving my hair off to raise money for the MND Association. We reached the fundraising goal which I set in under 24 hours, which was such a great achievement. I’m still overwhelmed by the support of my family and friends. The head shave will definitely be happening next Saturday, the 18th March at 4pm, in the shop. Where in the shop depends on how much we raise between now and then! If we reach the £750 target on my Justgiving page, it will be done in our shop window!

    My hair is being donated to the Little Princess Trust, who make  wigs for children suffering with an illness which causes hair loss.


    Thanks for reading


  • Guitar Department

    March 11, 2017

    A Short History Of Eastman Guitars

    A few weeks ago we shared news that Forsyths are once again stockists of these fabulous instruments, and with the arrival of new stock we thought it might be worth giving them a fuller introduction.

    Eastman Strings was founded in 1992 by Qian Ni, a student at Boston College of Music who initially set up Eastman as an importer of Chinese made violins, violas and cellos into the US. Whilst China was well established as a source of cheap instruments, Ni believed that for China to have a long term future in musical instrument making it would have to demonstrate an ability to make high quality instruments that were comparable to those being produced in the US and Europe: from the start Ni looked for violin makers who were Western trained in making professional grade instruments.

    By 1994 Ni’s business was doing well enough to provide full time employment to a team of experienced makers and to set up a workshop based in Beijing dedicated to making Eastman violins. Critical to the success of the brand was Ni’s determination to produce instruments using traditional violin making techniques rather than relying on modern technology, and Eastman violins were made on workbenches using knives, chisels, gouges and rasps rather than routers and machine tools: to this day band-saws are the only modern devices to be used extensively within the workshops. By the end of the decade Eastman had expanded to include a bow making shop and a case factory in addition to ever increasing violin production.

    With Eastman making waves in the classical world, Ni turned his attention to his passion for classic jazz guitar designers such as John Monteleone, Bob Bennedetto, John D’Angelico, James D’Aquisto and Claudio Pagelli. Having a team of luthiers experienced in carved top instruments and considerable buying power with timber suppliers with access to the high quality Spruce and Maple required for high end string instruments, Ni realised his company was ideally placed to produce a range of high quality yet affordable carved top jazz instruments and in 2002 Eastman showed a pair of unlabelled prototype arch top guitars in amongst the violins at that year’s NAMM show. Encouraged by the feedback they began to work on the project in earnest, studying a series of vintage arch-tops and enlisting US guitar makers Mark Lacey and Otto D’Ambrosio (the latter of whom initially licensed the design of the El Rey series of Eastman guitars and currently bears the title of master luthier for the Eastman custom division) to collaborate on the designs In 2004 the first production runs of Eastman guitars were produced and were an instant success.

    Following a first wave of traditional arch tops, Eastman also released a range of mandolins based on the early 20th Century Gibson oval and f hole designs and using the same high quality and hand carved tone woods as the arch-tops, and a range of flat top acoustics based on pre-WWII Martin and Gibson construction techniques and with exceptional quality Sitka and Adirondack tops. The arch top range was also expanded to include a series of laminated construction electric guitars based on the popular Gibson ES-175 and ES-335.

    By the 10th anniversary of Eastman guitars in 2014 the company had expanded to include a workforce of 250 people split between two workshops producing guitars, mandolins and violin family instruments. Whilst this represents a huge increase on the original set up, Eastman continues to operate on a strictly traditional basis with mostly hand tools used in production of all instruments: Contrary to common beliefs about Chinese manufacture Eastman also operate with employment conditions in line with Europe and the US. Its workforce is split evenly between men and women and employees are able to choose the hours they work. Also in keeping with US practices, each employee is trained to be specifically skilled in a particular job within the production process, ensuring that at each stage of the process each guitar receives the highest attention to detail from the person best equipped for that specific job. The only elements of Eastman guitars not handled in-house are the Gotoh hardware and the pickups, which are either from Kent Armstrong or Seymour Duncan depending on the model.

    Although most Eastman models are finished in a traditional nitrocellulose lacquer, in 2016 Eastman introduced a unique new finish option on four of their models based on the antique varnish process specially adapted for the guitars by varnish shop manager Li Hua Rong: this process involves a traditional technique of hand varnishing the instrument in first a golden ground colour, then a further coat with a red dye that gives a beautiful three dimensional depth to the varnish and finally a shellac top coat that can be rubbed to a soft gloss finish. In addition to this the top coat is gently distressed to  these instruments to create an aged patina that should mature gracefully as the guitar ages – a very sophisticated and elegant take on the popular relic fashion.

    Eastman’s current range of electric guitars consists of the AR series of traditional carved and laminated top jazz guitars, the T series based on the Gibson ES-335 family of centre-blocked arch-tops, a more esoteric range of designer arch-tops such as the El Rey and Pisano, a Gretsch style arch-top named the T58, and the SB series of solid body Les Paul style guitars.

    You can view our stock of Eastman guitars here and mandolins here.

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

    Eastman guitars factory photos

  • Sheet Music Department

    March 7, 2017

    Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins inspire us to improvise at our latest workshop

    We are very grateful to Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins for spending the day with us on Sunday and inspiring so many of our customers to shed their inhibitions and start improvising!

    Two of the UK’s finest practitioners in this field, Elena and Andrew are both pianists, teachers, composers and publishers who believe that improvisation is not a specialist activity for a few advanced musicians but an essential part of everyone’s musical development from the outset.

    If you were unable to attend these wonderful workshops, you can discover their insights in their books, both of which are among our most popular titles:

    – Andrew Higgins - So You Want to Learn to Improvise?

    – Elena Cobb - Improv Exercises for Classically Trained Beginners

    And if you would like to receive updates about our upcoming events by email, please contact us on 0161 834 3281 or info@forsyths.co.uk to sign up to our mailing list.

  • The Forsyths Blog

    March 3, 2017

    Uke’n Play Ukulele Workshop - Coming to Forsyth!

    Uken Play Ukulele Workshop at Forsyth

    Attention ukulele lovers and wannabe uke-ists! We’re excited to be welcoming Mike Jackson for a very special free ukulele workshop on Sunday 19 March at 1pm. Mike is a real ukulele hero and one of the most popular Australian children’s entertainers and music educators. His face will be familiar to anyone who regularly browses our ukulele sheet music section, as the author of the hugely popular Uke’n Play Ukulele series.

    At his workshops Mike promises to have children playing the ukulele in just forty minutes, plus there will be plenty of advice available for kids (and adults) who already play. Mike’s books will be in plentiful supply and those attending will be able to purchase them at discounted prices.

    Places are strictly limited: as we expect healthy demand, please either email sheetmusic@forsyths.co.uk or call the Sheet Music Department on 0161-834-3281 extension 204 if you’d like you and your child to take part. If you already own a uke, please bring it along! We will supply extras for those who don’t, or you can browse the wonderful selection of ukes for sale in our shop.

    For more information, see our Events page.



  • Sheet Music Department

    February 16, 2017

    *** NEW SESSION ADDED *** FREE WORKSHOP on improvisation for pianists with Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins

    Due to the high level of interest in our free workshop on improvisation for pianists with Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins on Sunday 5 March 2017, we will now be offering the workshop twice that day.

    In addition to the previously advertised time of 2pm, the same workshop will now also be given at 11am. For full information, please see our Events page.

    Although places are no longer available for the 2pm session, registration is now open for the new 11am session: please let us know the names of everyone in your party via:

    0161 834 3281 (extension 204) or


    Places are limited so please register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment – we will not be able to add a third session!

  • Sheet Music Department

    February 11, 2017

    Valentine’s Day: La La Land, musical jewellery, and your favourite song printed by us

    Valentine’s Day is only a few days away… If you’re still wondering where to start, we’re here to help! You can reach us online, on the phone, or in person at our five-storey musical department store in the heart of Manchester.

    Here we share with you some of our top recommendations:

    - sheet music to record- and heart-breaking film La La Land;

    - a selection of musical jewellery and accessories;

    - and your favourite song, printed by us.

    * * *


    Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Piano, Vocal & Guitar • £14.99

    Easy Piano • £12.99

    A rare hit with both critics and audiences, La La Land has just been nominated for 14 Oscars, equalling the record set by Titanic.

    These sheet music collections were only published a few days ago but are already among our best sellers.

    Both versions include City of Stars, as performed by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, and John Legend’s Start a Fire.

    Read more and buy online

    * * *



    Read more & buy online

    * * *



    Read more & buy online

    * * *



    Read more & buy online

    * * *



    Read more & buy online

    * * *


    printed by us


    Whether you want to serenade your partner or be prepared to take requests while gigging on Valentine’s Day, we can supply an enormous number of songs of all genres via our print-on-demand service:

    - blockbusters like Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing;

    - old classics like What a Little Moonlight Can Do, recorded by Billie Holiday with Teddy Wilson and his orchestra in 1935;

    - and the latest hits like Ed Sheeran’s current No. 1, Shape of You.

    Most songs are transcribed in the standard “PVG” format (Piano, Vocal & Guitar) while many are also available in versions for guitar tab, easy piano, piano duet, ukulele and various other instruments. These can be prepared in-store while you wait or ordered by telephone: 0161 834 3281, extension 204.

  • Sheet Music Department

    January 24, 2017

    FREE WORKSHOP on improvisation for pianists with Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins


    with Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins

    Hosted by Forsyth

    Sunday 5 March 2017

    2pm – 3.45pm

    * * *

    For many of us, improvisation is shrouded in mystery: either you can do it or you can’t. But like every other facet of music-making, it is simply a skill acquired and developed gradually over time with experience and guidance.

    Improvisation can be learned – and it can be taught.

    Come and find out how in our next free workshop!

    We are delighted to be hosting two of the UK’s finest practitioners in this field, Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins. Both are pianists and teachers who believe that improvisation is not a specialist activity for a few advanced musicians but an essential part of everyone’s musical development from the outset.

    Places are limited so register now to join us for this myth-busting session.

    All attendees will be eligible on the day for a 20% discount on all sheet music published by Alfred, including:

    – Andrew Higgins’s So You Want to Learn to Improvise?

    – Elena Cobb’s Improv Exercises for Classically Trained Beginners

    * * *

    Event information

    Event – Free workshop on improvisation for pianists with Elena Cobb and Andrew Higgins

    Date – Sunday 5 March 2017

    Time – 2pm–3.45pm. Two 45-minute presentations with a 15-minute break in-between:

    In the first presentation (2-2.45pm) Elena Cobb will focus on methods for pianists and their teachers up to about Grade 3.

    In the second presentation (3-3.45pm) Andrew Higgins will focus on methods for more experienced players and their teachers.

    All attendees will be registered for both presentations and are strongly encouraged to attend both! While less experienced players will find the first presentation most immediately applicable, the second will offer relevant insights into continuing to incorporate improvisation into their music-making throughout their future development. Similarly, more advanced players with little improvisatory experience will benefit from the techniques of the first presentation as much as those of the second.

    Venue – Forsyth Brothers Ltd, 126 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2GR – staff will direct you to the workshop space in the basement

    Eligibility – Open to pianists at any level, parents and teachers

    Entry – Free

    Registration – Please let us know the names of all attendees via: 0161 834 3281 (extension 204) or sheetmusic@forsyths.co.uk

    >>> READ MORE

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