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B. Chor_l (Canada)

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Breville Ikon Removable Plate Grill BGR400XL
Breville Ikon Removable Plate Grill BGR400XL
Price: CDN$ 164.99
3 used & new from CDN$ 164.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooks great, problem free, Nov. 2 2011
We have had this for 2 years. Works great on steak (boneless), pork, salmon, tuna steaks, paninis. No complaints, no problems of any kind. Temperature range is entirely sufficient for everything we've ever tried. Stainless steel finish is fine, knobs are fine, plates are fine. We are in the market again because our son went off with it to college. We have compared it to others and nothing else out there comes close. This was the first Breville product we ever bought, and we are getting the exact same one again.

The only MINOR comment would be that the tabs on the back of the plates that hold them in place are rather sharp and will scratch the teflon if left stacked. Maybe don't do that.

Build Your Own Acoustic Guitar: Complete Instructions and Full-Size Plans
Build Your Own Acoustic Guitar: Complete Instructions and Full-Size Plans
by Jonathan Kinkead
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.75
17 used & new from CDN$ 14.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great intro to guitar building, Aug. 30 2011
Nice book. I bought this during my fifth guitar build. I don't use the plans that came with it ("OM" size but with the waist moved forward), but they look as good as any other plans I've used. The text is much more thorough than what I've found in other books. It takes a modern approach and describes lots of alternatives and choices to be made. It points out the more critical steps and spends more time on them so you know where you have leaway and where you don't. The book's organization is excellent. Pictures are clear and well reproduced. Lots of worthwhile tips. Great value for the cost.

Step-by-Step Guitar Making
Step-by-Step Guitar Making
by Alex Willis
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.61
29 used & new from CDN$ 9.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Who was this written for??, Aug. 30 2011
I am on my fifth guitar build, and bought this to help with some technical questions regarding adjusting the neck angle with a bolt on neck. It didn't provide any answer, so it was of no use to me. Se here is my general impression.

I can't figure who this book is written for. On the one hand it assumes you have no tools yet and don't know how to organize your own workspace. Thus these handy tip; a good way to get tools is to ask for them for Christmas, and, don't subject your family pet to noxious fumes.

On the other hand he uses very very advanced manual techniques and includes complex details that only an advanced craftsman could handle, with no overall benefit to the 'guality' of the guitar. Just funny embellishments (internally and externally) that appear to be nothing more than the author's personal preference.

The real danger with it is that a novice woodworker might think that this book will help them to build their first guitar. That person would be doomed to fail. Only the author's traditional hand tooled methods are described in short one-paragraph captions to the photos. The level of detail is very poor. And that assumes that you want the exact single design that is discussed. For that matter I find the steel string 'OM' style with integrated 'spanish/classical' neck is a bit peculiar to begin with. Alternatives and optional choices that a person might made even with this design are rarely mentioned. The opportunities to make critical flaws without knowing it would be staggering, and you would be well past the point of no return before you realized something wasn't quite right.

I am sure that the author builds fine guitars. I am an experienced woodworker with a very well equiped shop (hand and power tools), and I would never under any circumstances try to build a guitar as this book suggests. There are too many easier, safer, and more risk-free methods to choose from.

On a positive note, as a documentary on how guitars can be made (one method only) the book is ok. Certainly well put together, lots of clear photos printed on quality paper. That's about all.

Rodrigo y Gabriela - 11
Rodrigo y Gabriela - 11
by y Gabriela Rodrigo
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.76
25 used & new from CDN$ 11.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Seems accurate, Feb. 26 2011
Having given it a first run-through, it seems perfectly accurate and completely detailed. Rodrigo's parts are mostly pretty easy (plectrum), but emulating Gabriela's lightning fast hands is going to take more than just knowing the notes. Solid rasguedo skills are essential to begin playing her parts.

Of course, this is the companion book to their popular CD of the same name. I would suggest you buy the CD first. If you don't already know this brother/sister duo you'll want to be aware that they call themselves flamenco but they are very contemporary. While most of their recording are on nylon string guitars, Rodrigo likes to incorporate electronic effects, distortion, flanger, etc, and I would bet is playing an electric guitar on at least one song.

Also beware that most of these are duets, not solos. (Some have third and fourth guitar as well, all included in the transcriptions.) You might be able to adapt some of it to solos, but for that purpose you're on your own.

My motivation was to try to crack some of Gabriela's parts that were otherwise eluding me. Mysteries solved. So it provided exactly what I was hoping for.

Music of Mexico for Acoustic Guitar Volume 1  Book/CD Set
Music of Mexico for Acoustic Guitar Volume 1 Book/CD Set
by Ruben Delgado
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.95
12 used & new from CDN$ 12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice surprise, Feb. 26 2011
I am always surprised when a book turns out to be slightly more than I expected, as this one did.

Very traditional Mexican folk songs with origins in the Mexican Revolution, some of which anyone would recognize, some even cliche. The arranger/composer claims "they are presented in a form that is undistorted but interesting". I basically agree. He did a very good job.

There are 10 arrangements ranging from 2:00 to 3:18 long, and one original composition of 6 minutes. Overall, I think the songs are certainly not concert solo pieces, but would be good recital material and most would stand up to being played professionally in the lounge/restaurant setting. Most songs are at a fairly modest pace, a few slower 'romantic' ones, nothing really blazing.

The book says for a "medium level classical" player. At first I thought that was overstating, but although some of the songs sound simple the left hand fingering can be tricky and all over the neck. Right hand technique goes well beyond arpegios but is mostly quite straightforward. A couple songs make use of basic rasguedo techniques, and a couple incorporate a-m-i tremolo. Both right and left hand fingering is included in the notation where it gets tricky.

The CD is professionally recorded, straight solo guitar. Nothing more to it than that.

I lean towards flamenco and picked this book up out of curiosity, so I am quite happy to have added a couple songs to my repretoire.

The Art of Rasgueado
The Art of Rasgueado
by Ioannis Anastassakis
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.99
13 used & new from CDN$ 11.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just a technical manual, Feb. 12 2011
This review is from: The Art of Rasgueado (Paperback)
This book was the only disappointment I've had with this musician/author, who has otherwise produced excellent material.

It is merely a technical list of rasguedo patterns. There are a few notes on practicing (ie: practice slowly and use a metronome) but nothing to warrent buying it.

To me, the "ART" of rasguedo is in the fluidly changing rhythm that come from progressions of various rasquedo patterns, and the embellishments added to them. This book doesn't even give a nod to that.

Guitar Journals - Flamenco  Book/DVD Set
Guitar Journals - Flamenco Book/DVD Set
by Ioannis Anastassakis
Edition: Perfect Paperback
Price: CDN$ 24.95
27 used & new from CDN$ 20.33

5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the feint of heart, Feb. 12 2011
I like the songs. I like the variety of techniques. Very detailed tabs with notes. You have to be quite advanced to master this concert quality stuff. A good intermediate player (don't kid yourself on this though) can pick up a LOT of technique if you patiently pick through it, practicing slowly and one movement at a time.

The only drawback is that the DVD video is extremely fragmentary and completely useless, and the audio tracks are ONLY on the dvd, so you can't play them back through a stereo or mp3 player.

Gipsy Guitar Value Pack: Rumba-Styles of the Flamenco Guitar
Gipsy Guitar Value Pack: Rumba-Styles of the Flamenco Guitar
by Gerhard Graf-Martinez
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 41.47
13 used & new from CDN$ 32.47

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Production, Feb. 12 2011
Having gone through about 20 books on the subject, this is by far the best beginner level book I have found. (Assuming you already know basics of reading music/tabs and know something about how to play a chord or two.)

Four different rumba songs, one repeated in an alternate style (5 total), each with both lead and accompaniment parts. All songs are recorded at full tempo and at a slower practice tempo. And all of those are recorded with both parts at once, or just either part alone so you can play along. (30 recordings altogether).

The DVD is the most instructive I have seen ever, in any genre. Very interactive. Extremely prefessionally done.

The only caution I would give is that although the songs are excellent practice pieces, they are really not performance solos. They work best as duets.

Sound Recording Advice: An Instruction and Reference Manual That Demystifies the Home Recording Studio Experience
Sound Recording Advice: An Instruction and Reference Manual That Demystifies the Home Recording Studio Experience
by John J. Volanski
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 21.99
17 used & new from CDN$ 3.71

1.0 out of 5 stars Should be called "used equipment buyers guide", Aug. 1 2007
Although I knew it would include equipment and setup recommendations, I didn't realize to what extent. The actual "recording advice" amounted to only 35 pages, and 20 more on mixing and mastering, all ultra simplified. Even the equipment recommendations seemed to dismiss the reality of today's ultra high quality, low cost digital equipment (relatively speaking). The author constantly refers the reader to the internet. Having already spent a day brousing internet articles I didn't find the author had anything to add. Of the half dozen books I've read so far on the subject of recording, this has been the least useful by very very far.

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