Disney•Pixar's Coco is a beautiful film - a critically-acclaimed hit that has managed to win over audiences around the world and here in the U.S. where it topped the box office for three straight weeks. Coco is also a very musical film, one that captures the cultural flair of its Mexican backdrop, opening up a new world of sound for many. When you think about guitars that are also "movie merchandise," the first thing that comes to mind are usually little more than toys with strings - but for Coco an opportunity was present to do something special, and that's exactly what's happened with the Disney•Pixar Coco x Córdoba Collection. Available now at Guitar Center, this new assortment of real guitars is inspired by Coco, and priced and sized just right for both beginning players, or experienced guitar slingers looking for the perfect travel-sized guitar!
Growing up as a kid in the 80s, I distinctly remember visiting the music lab at Beacon Hill Elementary School in Chicago Heights, Illinois, learning basic notes on the Recorder, and hoping to one day enter a bigger realm of music. I was big into two artists at the time - Michael Jackson and Huey Lewis and the News - and, maybe it was the artists, maybe it was just the times, but I really wanted to learn the Saxophone. It was offered as an option for the school's band program, but citing the expense, I was not allowed to scratch my musical itch until much later. I was 15 when I bought my first Guitar - an NJ Series B.C. Rich Warlock... the same one that currently hangs here in my office, just feet from where I'm typing these words right now. It was that guitar, purchased with my own money from working at the local Hy-Vee Grocery Store in Davenport, Iowa, that truly opened the door to my life-long musical journey, accompanying me to many gigs throughout the 1990s and beyond. Now, as parents, my wife and I have been eager to support The Rock Daughters™ in their musical exploration starting practically at birth. In a time when arts programs are increasingly cut from school budgets, we're fortunate to have them in our schools, and the folks at Music & Arts exist to support that - offering families a place to buy instruments with confidence and world class service. With the Holiday Season upon us, it's the perfect time to look toward the Music & Arts Holiday Gift Guide (featuring HALESTORM's LZZY HALE and GREAT BIG WORLD) to pick a great gift for the budding player in your family. What would THE ROCK FATHER buy? Here's a few picks that I'm going to include in my own Holiday Wish Guide this year... we're making musical memories every day, perhaps it's time to make some of your own...
With two girls and a variety of musical instruments available here at Rock Father HQ, the looming question has become "which will they want to learn properly first?" We've got a full fleet of guitars (both toy and real), a full-size drum kit, a children's piano, and our latest addition, the CASIO CTK-2400 portable keyboard. When Casio sent me a review unit at the tail end of National Piano Month this past September, I was eager to jump in myself as I've long been a "dabbler" when it comes to the keys - instruments that closely coincide with the notes of a guitar (my instrument of choice), so it makes a lot of sense that some killer guitarists like Zakk Wylde and Eddie Van Halen are also fantastic pianists as well. When teaching kids, there's also something that was noted by THE AQUABATS' drummer Ricky Fitness when I interviewed him here on the site last year - keyboards are percussive as well, and he calls piano "the gateway instrument." After having the CASIO in the house for about a month, I've deemed it a great addition to the "Music for Beginners" section of my 2014 Holiday Wish Guide here on THE ROCK FATHER.
One of the most prominent pieces of equipment here in my office at Rock Father HQ is my PEAVEY Supreme 160 Half Stack. I bought it new back in '94-ish, and this amp carries some true "road wear" (it traveled with me for years) and some crazy stories. We've had many adventures, my Peavey and I (even my first "practice amp" was a Peavey) - and as The Rock Father, it's the first electric guitar amp that my little ones have rocked out with first hand. Now comes news that Peavey has partnered with Nickelodeon to bring some rock to the kids... with the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.
Daisy Rock specifically makes "Girl Guitars," and for those of you with a daughter on-track to become a rock star, a starter guitar makes a great Holiday Gift. The Daisy Rock Debutante Junior Miss Acoustic Guitar Pack contains a Junior-sized guitar, picks, a strap, and an electronic tuner - all the basic supplies for a girl to get rocking right out of the box - all for under $100 through Guitar Center.