• The Forsyths Blog

    November 20, 2017

    Black Friday starts now – loads of instruments up to 50% off!

    THIS WEEK – ALL WEEK – IT’S BLACK FRIDAY

    … AND WE’VE GOT LOADS OF INSTRUMENTS FOR UP TO 50% OFF!

    With literally £1,000s off instruments, it’s going to be a pretty crazy week!

    We’ve got guitars and amplifiers available with silly discounts. Add to that:

    - various top quality ukuleles at half price;

    - £1,000s off digital pianos; and

    - huge percentages off pedals, basses and mandolins.

    All offers are available now until 23:59 on Friday 24 November 2017 both online and in-store.

    Check out our full range of offers here:

    BLACK FRIDAY LIST

    Plus we’ll be throwing in a few special surprises throughout the week on our social channels so keep an eye out on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for those!

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    HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR…

    SAVE £2,295!

    54% OFF!

    Rickenbacker 370-12 Midnight Blue

    RRP – £4,250

    Black Friday deal – £1,955

    Offer available until 23:59 Friday 24 November 2017 online and in-store

    >>> READ MORE

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    SAVE £700!

    58% OFF!

    Sanchez 3350 Electro Classical Guitar

    RRP – £1,199

    Black Friday deal – £499

    Offer available until 23:59 Friday 24 November 2017 online and in-store

    >>> READ MORE


  • Sheet Music

    November 1, 2017

    New LCM Piano Handbooks out now!

    The new London College of Music Piano Handbooks are available now!

    Each handbook is a complete resource for a graded exam, providing not only a selection of pieces but also:

    - notes on performance of the pieces;
    - all the technical work written out in full (scales, arpeggios and studies); and
    - explanations and samples of the supporting tests (viva voce, sight-reading and aural).

    LCM exams continue to grow in popularity with teachers and learners thanks to several innovative features, such as the opportunity for candidates to discuss their pieces with the examiner (during the viva voce), and the additional support offered in the earliest stages of pianists’ development with three levels provided prior to Grade 1: Pre-Preparatory, Step 1 and Step 2.

    These new Handbooks will give you everything you need to prepare yourself or your students for exams from January 2018.

    >>> TO ORDER YOUR COPIES CLICK HERE!




  • Instrument Department

    August 30, 2017

    Atkin 000-21 Custom Red Jasper Demo with James!

    Although we tend to think of the 000 as a 14 fret design, it actually started out life as a 12 fret, slotted headstock instrument - a parlour on steroids - and it’s that version that is the inspiration for this custom 000. This version has the classic Style 21 appointments of Spruce and Rosewood although it has a rather lovely and non-standard red jasper rosette and headstock logo. Red jasper is, as Wikipedia puts it, an aggregate of microgranular quartz and/or chalcedony and other mineral phases - or, as I would put it, a pretty red rock. It’s actually rather understated in appearance and a nice custom touch on an otherwise simple design.



    The nut is a roomy and vintage-correct 1 3/4″, with a C profile that is wide but not overly deep. We love the carve that blends the shaft of the neck into the thicker than standard slotted headstock. The 12 fret 000 design is slightly larger than the more familiar 14 fret version, so despite the parlour asthetic this is quite a big instrument. Tonally, it’s a sound that reflects its roomy dimensions - not quite the thumping bass of a dreadnought but it’s certainly a fairly strident guitar when strummed, with lots of ring and shimmer to the harmonics. The fairly small bodies of more typically proportioned 12 fretters tends to give them a boxy tone when pushed hard with a pick: there’s certainy none of that present in this guitar. For fingerstyle it’s a refined sound with lots of shimmer and fullness with a relatively slow attack that makes it better suited Joan Baez style folk than ragged Delta blues. It’s a sophisticated sounding guitar that’s perfect for poised, elegant picking and sweet, chimey strumming.

    For more information, click here.


  • Instrument Department

    August 2, 2017

    Eastman El Rey ER4 Demo with Lloyd!

    The next-generation electric archtop is here! Solid Spruce Top, Solid Mahogany back and sides with classic “Big Box” jazz and blues tones. Superior feedback suppression at high volumes.

    An all solid, hand carved, contemporary jazz guitar, the ER4 was designed by master US luthier Otto D’Ambrosio and put together by Eastman’s expert team.

    This is one of the best sounding arch tops we’ve ever had in the shop, and we’re delighted to have Lloyd playing it.

    He’s using the Fender Blues Junior Lacquered Tweed Amp and we’re mic’d up with a lavalier mic clipped on to the body and the Blue Encore Condenser 300 on the amp. All available (except the lavalier mic) to purchase from the shop (and online!).

    Lloyd says: “A short demo of me playing the Eastman El Rey ER4. Lovely chord melody arrangement from Barry Greene’s chord melody ebook of the tune ‘peace’ with a slightly improvised ending. Great work with the filming recording and editing Tom and Joe.”

    For more information, click here.


  • Instrument Department

    August 2, 2017

    Black Swan Walnut Parlour Guitar Demo with James!

    Whilst it’s always a pleasure to be surrounded by classic guitars, the one thing that fires our enthusiasm beyond anything else is when we get our hands on something that is brand new to us. Black Swan is a brand new company making a mix of classical and steel string parlour guitars one at a time from a workshop in Lincolnshire. This beautiful parlour is our first arrival and it’s a truly stunning guitar.

    It’s a tiny little thing, inspired by the maker’s love of 19th Century Martin and Bruno designs, and considerably smaller than a size 0 Martin. Structurally Black Swan have taken their own path and the design of this instrument owes more to classical guitar building than it does steel strings. The neck join is a Spanish heel design where there is no neck block as such - rather the neck extends into the body and the sides are tucked into channels cut into the sides of the heel. This is a common technique in Spanish classical building but very rare in steel string design, so it’s interesting to see it in use here. The bracing is also classical inspired with cross braces either side of the sound hole and a series of fan braces behind the bridge. Although not common in steel string making, there is a historical precedent in that many of the less ornate Martins of the late 19th Century used a fan brace structure, including the very first steel string Martins and the guitars they made for Ditson at the start of the 20th Century.

    Also unusual with this guitar is the choice of timber. There has been a lot of discussion this year about how conservation efforts impact the guitar industry with new restrictions already in place requiring permits to ship Rosewood guitars and a likelihood that other timbers such as Ebony and Mahogany will soon follow the same path.  For European makers there is also an issue that shipping exotic woods around the globe so they can make guitars our of it has an environmental impact of it’s own. With that in mind, one aspect that we love about the Black Swans is that they make use of timber sourced from Western Europe in place of the obvious Exotic alternatives. Walnut we’re already familiar with in that it is a popular timber for Fylde and Lowden - it makes for a lovely sounding guitar with a crisp response and lots of clarity. Less common is the use of Bog Oak for the bridge and fingerboard - it’s not the first time we’ve encountered Oak for these parts thanks to Fylde’s spectacular Single Malt guitars, but it’s still a very unusual feature. Bog Oak is extremely hard so a good substitute for Rosewood or Ebony, and it has a deep coffee colour to it that looks nicely traditional.

    For more information click here.


  • Recorded Music Department

    May 14, 2017

    Get your BBC Proms 2017 Festival Guide now and start planning your musical summer!

    Whether you are planning a trip to the Royal Albert Hall or to keep up with the concerts as they are broadcast, the festival guide is indispensable.

    Along with full details of every performance, it features new articles on some of the diverse themes running through this year’s programme:

    - the musical legacies of both the Reformation (from 1517) and the October Revolution in Russia (1917);

    - the birthdays of Minimalist composers John Adams (70) and Philip Glass (80), and jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917–1996);

    - stand-out works such as Handel’s Water Music (premiered in 1717), Elgar’s three symphonies, and the first collaboration between Rodgers and Hammerstein, Oklahoma!

    * * *

    BBC Proms 2017

    Festival Guide

    £7

    Read more & buy now!


  • The Forsyths Blog

    May 4, 2017

    Free piano workshop with Susan Bettaney (EPTA) - Saturday 13 May 2017

    FREE PIANO WORKSHOP

    with Susan Bettaney

    European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA)

    * * *

    Hosted by Forsyth

    Saturday 13 May 2017

    11am - 4pm

    * * *

    The wonderful Susan Bettaney returns to host her latest free workshop for the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA). This workshop will be for young pianists and adult amateurs who would like to gain experience of performing in front of a supportive audience – on a fantastic Schimmel grand piano – and to benefit from Susan’s vast experience and helpful advice.

    If you would like to take part in this free workshop, whether as a performer or member of the audience, please contact Susan:

    0161 427 6706

    piano@susanbettaney.com

    Read more about our forthcoming events here!


  • Recorded Music Department

    April 29, 2017

    Your last chance to enter our Hallé & NMC Recordings prize draw!

    There’s still time to enter our prize draw for passes to a special reception celebrating the Hallé’s recording partnership with NMC Recordings!

    In anticipation of the Hallé’s performance of Bruckner’s magnificent Symphony No. 9 at the Bridgewater Hall on 4 May, we’re excited to be teaming up with NMC Recordings to offer Forsyth customers the chance to attend a special reception celebrating their recording partnership with the orchestra.

    Two winners will each receive:

    - a pair of free passes to the pre-concert reception and post-concert drinks with the conductor Ryan Wigglesworth;

    - and a promotional code providing a 25% discount on a pair of tickets for the concert in the top four price tiers (£24, £29, £34, £39) booked online at www.halle.co.uk.

    To enter, all you need to do is email “NMC” and your name to sheetmusic@forsyths.co.uk by 11.59pm on Sunday 30 April 2017

    We will randomly select and notify the two winners the following morning!

    For further details of the concert and reception, please see last week’s post.