So, You Want To Make Some Music?

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Making music can be very therapeutic and enjoyable. The catharsis of creating music can be greatly beneficial in your life, and if you have a passion for music, making sounds that excite and inspire you might be a hobby worth pursuing. 

If you are thinking about getting into creating your own music, either for your own personal pleasure or as a professional sideline, you may be wondering where to start. 

Decide What You Want To Get Out Of It

Do you just want to make music for your own sake? Are you looking to create, record, and perform with other musicians? Or, are you looking at creating your own studio space and creating music that you can share and maybe even earn money from? 

There is no reason why you could not do any of these things if you apply yourself. Decide what you want to get out of your music and pursue that avenue. If you just want to play for your own sake, do it. When it comes to working with others, look online for bands to join. Once you have jammed with the right musicians, you might find a connection. 

Starting up your own studio space at home will involve buying the right equipment. 

Buying The Right Kit

Whatever you decide to do in order to make music, you will need the right equipment. This may mean instruments, amplifiers, or recording software and microphones so that you can turn your spare room into a studio. 

Whether you are reading focusrite 2i2 reviews or looking for opinions on which specific Fender guitar to buy, other people’s experiences with specific musical instruments and equipment can be invaluable when it comes to deciding on your next major purchase. 

Make a shopping list of all of the things that you will need, and then go and read as many reviews of different products as possible. With some purchases being quite expensive, you will want to be sure that you have made the right decision. 

Promoting Yourself

If you have decided to start a band, or are making your own music from home that you would like other people to listen to, you will need to promote yourself. There are plenty of avenues that you can explore when it comes to self-promotion. 

Firstly, get yourself a profile on the major social media sites. Make sure that you create an image that suits your musical brand. Think carefully about what you want people to know and focus on. Secondly, get yourself signed up with as many music promotion sites as possible. Think about using sites like Bandcamp or SoundCloud to promote yourself. 

Share your music online as often as possible. Sites like YouTube can be very helpful, you will need to create some great videos to share. 

Make sure that you are active on all of your profiles. The key to building a name for yourself will be interacting with anyone who pays your music any interest.

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Steampunk Books To Add To Your Reading List

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If you are looking for a new set of books to add to your reading list this year, we want to share a genre with you that you may not have thought about before. Today, we are going to share with you some of the top steampunk books you should read this year to take you away to another world and show you some incredible adventures. 

But, what is steampunk? Well, steampunk is a literary genre that is similar to sci-fi in tone. It is a genre that brings together science fiction alongside 19th century industrial themes. If you have ever seen any steampunk artwork you will notice an emphasis on cogs and machinery, and this is where the industrial inspiration can really be seen. But today we are sharing with you some of the steampunk books you should definitely read. 

Boneshaker –  Cherie Priest 

If you love the zombie genre and you are looking for a new take on it, this is the right book for you. It combines what we know about zombies and pulls it into an alternate version of Seattle. During the Civil War, there are rumours of gold in the frozen Klondike that attracts many towards it. Russians endevour to create a large drill to drill through the ice and find this treasure, anf the titular Boneshaker drill is born. However when using this drill for the first time, gold is not discovered, and instead a torrent of gas is released that turns the population into zombies. 

Against the Day – Thomas Pynchon 

For an introduction to the steampunk genre there is nothing better than Against the Day. This is a book filled with complex themes and beautiful literature that gives you a wonderful entry into this world. It is set at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893 and follows a team of balloonists who go on all manner of adventures. It is a unique read and one you should consider this year. 

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

What? You may be wondering. Although the steampunk genre didn’t exist back in the early 1800s, this is a great example of an early work in this world. As we all know, Dr Frankenstein tried to build life from deceased body parts and machinery, and what comes of this is the iconic character we know today. 

Agatha H and the Airship City –  Phil & Kaja Foglio

This couple have created a story that is filled with wonder and awe, and it has a very cyberpunk inspiration throughout. During the industrial revolution there is a lot of conflict, and this story follows 18 years after a group of adventurers called the Heterodyne Boys went missing. We follow a young student called Agatha as she struggles to build anything that works. Over time she adapts and we follow her adventures through a world overrun with mad scientists. 

Lady of Devices – Shelley Adina

Our main character Claire finds herself out on the streets of London after her father gambles his entire estate and loses. Claire however is a nifty woman and soon she uses her knowledge of machbinery and devices to succeed in this underworld life. A new leader emerges known as the Lady of Devices, and soon she realises her talents could be put to amazing use for the greater good… if only she lives that long.

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DIY Jokes To Get You Through Your Project

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DIY is one of those skills we all have to learn when we become adults and own our first home. Home projects can often be fun and exciting, but others can also be arduous and stressful to complete. If you are looking to build the house of your dreams this year you’ll need to get to grips with how to do many simple DIY tasks such as changing light fittings and wallpapering. 

When it comes to installing Interstate Dry Wall, ripping up carpets, and drilling holes in the walls we could all use a little bit of motivation and encouragement. That’s why today we are going to share some fun DIY jokes to get you through the work…

God walks into a DIY store in Lancashire looking for an ornamental well for the garden of Eden. Not sure where to look, he seeks a cashier for directions…

Before God says a word, the cashier recognizes the big guy and says “well, I’ll be!”

God replies “I thought I was the only one with superpowers?! Thanks.” and off he goes to the second isle.

I’m not very good at DIY but I managed to attach a piece of wood to another piece of wood.

Nailed it.

Went to a DIY store and asked for a plank. Since I’m a cheapskate I asked for 20% off.

The salesman came back with a plan.

Why does Sean Connery suck at DIY?

A lack of shelf awareness.

I wrote a book on DIY.

It comes with a free pen.

My wife told me if I went on the lads holiday to Vegas leaving her and the kids behind I’ll come home to find the locks changed …Good. My key has been sticking for months, it’s about time she did some DIY.

I think my new idea for DIY orthodontics is going to take the world by storm.

brace yourself

A man was doing some DIY work on his gas stove

When it all of a sudden blew up and sent him flying through his roof and up into the sky.

On his way up he passed a man falling down from the sky and asked him: “Hey, you know anything about gas stoves?”

The guy falling responded, “Nope, you know anything about parachutes?”

My friend told me that his DIY liquid rocket made it to space…

I told him to quit being hypergolic.

I’m addicted to DIY repairs.

I can’t stop thinking about my next fix.

I’ve had a bad day…Not only would the toilet not flush but I’ve been banned from the DIY store.

A DIY kidney transplant…

…is a home renalvation.

The worst thing about living next door to MC Hammer is the constant DIY noise.

I shouted ‘Stop!’ but if anything that made it worse.

I went to the DIY shop and bought a curtain rail. The shop assistant asked if I was putting it up myself. I replied “no you dirty sod. I’m putting it up in the dining room”

I wanted to buy some literature on DIY shelving

Sounds easy, but try going into a book store and asking if they have “any books on shelves”

DIY Holy Water…You take ordinary tap water and boil the Hell out of it.

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Audiophile: Getting The Best Sound Wherever You Go

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Speakers have been around for a very long time, and this market has been developing steadily since their inception. The products available on the modern market are a far cry from those which people were using in the past, with things like digital music and wireless technology shaping the market into something new. Of course, though, with a market so broad and expensive, a lot of people resort to using the first options they can get their hands on. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring audio, and the simplest ways to improve your listening experience without spending a small fortune.

Personal Listening

Listening to music on your own gives you an excellent opportunity to use devices like headphones. These products offer a better experience and a lower price than speakers, though you have to be careful with what you buy. Modern wireless headphones sacrifice quality to be able to provide you with their advanced features. This makes wired headphones a much better option for those on a budget, and this is before you even consider the difference between in-ear and over-ear headphones. Over-ear examples are often offer better value for money, though a lot of people will want the convenience of something smaller.

At Home

Being able to listen to music at home is a treat, and a lot of people like to do this using speakers instead of headphones. Modern smart speakers are great for those who want a touch of convenience, though you will often find the best sound quality if you go back a few years. eBay is filled to the brim with old hifi equipment, and you only need a set of speakers and an amp or receiver to get yourself started. It’s worth doing some learning before using hardware like this, as it can be quite complicated to set up, but most people would agree that the sound which comes from setups like this is far better value than a lot of modern products.

In The Car

Cars can present some challenges when listening to music. Unlike a square or rectangular room, your vehicle is likely to be an awkward shape for sound to travel around. There are a lot of products on the market which have been designed to combat this, and you can read Alpine car amplifier reviews, along with resources surrounding all of the other parts you’ll need, around the web. Each car will have its own procedure to install speakers, though YouTube should be able to teach you everything you need, and any facia panels you require can be bought on sites like eBay and Amazon.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of getting the best sound wherever you are. It isn’t always easy to listen to music, though most people enjoy this sort of pastime, making it well worth putting the time and effort to ensure that you can get the most out of it.

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Your Smartphone Can Simplify Your Life–If You Use It Properly

Smartphones are incredibly versatile devices that are capable of enriching our lives and helping us stay connected. Unfortunately, the way they invade our lives as been met with a lot of negativity with some critics even argue that they’re taking over our lives and, thanks to social media, making us more stressed than ever.

But that’s simply not true.

One argument is that people tend to interact less in person now that we have smartphones, but if anything, people are more prone to interact with each other thanks to the internet, especially if they previously lacked confidence or had no real social connections in their daily lives. But to go an extra step further; did you know that smartphones are now capable of completely simplifying your life and getting rid of a lot of clutter, stress and frustration?

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Use your phone to help keep your life schedule

Your phone is a convenient little organizer that can help you keep things in order, take notes and also schedule things with notifications. There are pre-installed apps that can help you do this on both iOS and Android devices. For example, you have Apple Calendar and Google Calendar on your phone which can also be edited and accessed on laptops and desktops.

Notifications can also be attached to sound clips and music which can be played to alert you when something is coming up soon. There are also third-party notifications that can add extra features such as smart reminders or even use text-to-voice reminders.

A quick break to have some fun

For many people, smartphones have become the ultimate portable gaming device. With both the iOS and Android app stores, you can download thousands of fun games for free or even pay a small price to play premium titles such as slots online or fully-fledged ports of existing PC and console games. These games are great for having a bit of fun on a commute or when you’re waiting for someone, and they’re even a good choice to replace existing consoles if you don’t have time to play full games anymore.

Fun also doesn’t need to be limited to video games. Fun can also be reading or watching your favourite shows which can be another way to clear up the clutter in your home. You can purchase digital versions of all of your books or even subscribe to a service to get unlimited access to thousands of books to read, and there are also options for audiobooks and subscription TV on your phone. This means you never have to buy a physical copy of a show anymore and they’re conveniently organised and stored in your phone, able to be transferred to any new device you buy in the future.

Shopping made convenient with your phone

Ever needed a last-minute purchase from the store? Perhaps you’ve forgotten the milk or maybe you need to buy a lot of drinks but don’t see yourself carrying everything.

Thanks to the myriad of shopping services available, it’s incredibly easy to just make a purchase on your phone and have it delivered to you within 24 hours. There’s nothing quite as convenient as shopping from the comfort of your phone and it can simplify your life greatly while also giving you more time to spend on other things.

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Empty Nesters: Time To Forget Your Age

Aging parents can have a hard time coping when their children have left the family home. Indeed, as a parent, you can feel useless. As an individual, the sudden realization that you are not the young adult you were when you started your family can be equally painful. But the truth is that most parents will go through the empty nest experience, and it is the sign that you’ve done your job as a parent. However, don’t let the situation affect the way you think of yourself. Time has passed and now’s the perfect moment to train yourself to forget about your age. 

Fancy a RC car race down the park?

Nobody is ever too old to have fun

Do you have moments when you find yourself avoiding activities and hobbies that you think are for young people? While it’s fair to say that the aging process is as much a physical as it is mental development, empty nesters who believe they are too old to do this or that are more likely to struggle with a variety of self-inflicted health issues. The truth is, age is only a number. As long as you are safe, there is nothing you can’t do, and that includes splashing out on the best RC rally car to have a play at your local park. Don’t let your mind put age in your way of fun. 

Who said there’s no gym for seniors?

Just because your local gym tends to attract a young population, there is no reason why you, as an older fitness enthusiast, wouldn’t benefit from sports. In fact, keeping active is tremendously important, regardless of your age. Sports activities help not only to boost oxygen to your brain and maintain cognitive functions, but it also keeps your heart and bones healthy. More importantly, as you engage in physical activity, you learn to push the mental barriers your age would typically set for you. 

You don’t need to be young to look good

Fashion is for young people, right? You couldn’t be further from the truth. Even popular platforms, such as Instagram, are filled with accounts of huge fashion influencers who are over 50. There is no need for you to stay away from the clothes you like and embrace the dull grandparents’ style. Wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable and cool at the same time is half the battle when it comes to age. You are only as old as you tell yourself to be. 

Is it too late to learn something new?

Life is full of excitement and new adventures. From the moment you decide you can’t contribute or learn anymore, your mind begins to shut down. While society continues to push the idea that a young brain is quicker and more effective, there is something that most people get wrong. Indeed, the plasticity of the brain is at its best when you’re a child and up to your 20s. However, the brain develops learning patterns and a facility to make sense of new knowledge in time. In other words, if you’ve always wanted to learn a new language, you’ll never be as good at it as today. 

In conclusion, age is no indication of your value as an individual. While it’s tricky to adjust to the situation as a new empty nester, you have to put yourself first and rediscover what you can do. Don’t deny yourself fun, sports, style, or even knowledge; the more you allow yourself to engage with the world, the younger you’ll feel. 

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Transform Your Backyard Into A Party Space

Want to throw lots of parties in your backyard this summer? Making sure that your home’s outdoor space is well equipped for socialising could be important for ensuring that all your guests have a good time. Here are just a few ways in which you can transform your backyard into a party space.

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Create a designated social area

If your backyard is just a lawn, you may want to consider adding a designated social area. Most people position this area right next to the house for easy access, but you may decide to locate it at the bottom of your backyard if this area gets the most amount of sunlight.

Creating a hard, dry, level surface for this social area could stop people’s feet from getting muddy and offer a stable surface to place furniture. The three main choices of surface tend to be gravel, patio and decking – each type of surface has its pros and cons.

Gravel tends to be the cheapest option and requires little maintenance – you may only have to rake it to keep it looking neat. It’s not always the most stable surface, but it will keep guests’ feet dry. Gravel may not be a good option with young kids – infants may try to put the stones in their mouth and it could hurt to fall on.

Patios tend to be the most favourable option. Laying a patio can be a little more expensive than laying down gravel and you may want to hire a professional to do it as it can require more precision. Patios require little upkeep – you can simply sweep them to keep them clean. Over time, they may start to get discoloured with dirt, in which case you may want to use a pressure washer to clean them.

Wooden decking is another popular option that you may want to consider. Decking can be easily elevated to keep it level, making it the most suitable option for sloped yards. It can be the most expensive option and the most time-consuming to build. That said, wooden decking is easy to clean and maintain – it may only need to be refinished every few years.

Invest in good quality outdoor furniture

Having good quality outdoor furniture is important when hosting backyard parties. There are many different materials that you can choose from, each of which has its advantages.

Wood tends to be a good weatherproof option, providing that it has been sealed. It can also be lightweight making it easy to carry. That said, you may want to protect wooden furniture in a storm to stop it getting carried away.

Metal outdoor furniture can be a little more resilient against winds. Cast iron generally won’t budge in a storm, however its heaviness means that it’d more difficult to manoeuvre around. Materials like cast iron are also prone to rust in the rain and may need to be regularly painted to keep them looking presentable. Aluminium could be a better option for offering something lightweight and waterproof.

Synthetic materials can also be good choices. You should avoid cheap plastic which is likely to flimsy and easily carried away by a strong wind. Instead, opt for premium synthetic materials. Such options may not be suitable for those that want to keep their backyard natural and eco-friendly.

Provide shelter from the elements

It can be worth having the option of shelter to hide under for when it starts raining or for when the sun is too intense. There are many different types of canopy that you can look into.

Umbrellas are the most basic form of shelter. These tend to sit in the middle of tables, although you can get large freestanding umbrellas. Umbrellas tends to be there purely to offer shade – in the rain they may not offer suitable enough shelter to keep your guests outdoors.

A gazebo or a marquee could be a better option for providing shelter against the rain. These are large fabric canopy structures that everyone can huddle under. Some people keep marquees up permanently in their backyard, whilst others use them as a temporary measure.

There’s then the more luxury option of an opening roof. This is a canopy fixed to the side of your house that can be opened or closed to provide shelter for when you need it. This can be the most effective form of shelter, but it’ll cost you the most. The most basic opening roofs are retractable fabric awnings that are pulled out manually, whilst more premium opening roofs can be operated via a button or even smart controlled.

Add some outdoor lighting

A good party is likely to continue long into the evening. For when the sun sets, you’ll need some form of outdoor lighting so that everyone can still see each other.

Candles are the most basic form of lighting and could help to create a soothing atmosphere perfect for when the party is winding down. You could even put these candles in lanterns to protect them from getting blown out by wind or rain.

Another affordable option could be solar lighting. Such lighting is powered by the sun, saving you the need to use batteries or trail cables out whilst also saving you money on energy bills. Solar lighting can come in all forms from fairy lighting to fixed wall lighting.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, you may want to get something that runs off the mains. There are spotlights and floodlights that can buy cable of lighting up a whole backyard. Just make sure that your lighting isn’t do bright that it annoys the neighbours!

Upgrade your barbecue

No backyard party is complete without a barbecue. Upgrading your barbecue could help you to cook more in less time, which could be useful for large gatherings.

The most basic barbecues are charcoal barbecues. Some people prefer these for the distinctive taste that they give to food. They do however take the longest to cook on. Buying a large grill could allow you to cook more at once, which could make this style of barbecuing more convenient.

Gas barbecues are easier to get going and you can adjust the heat more easily. They tend to be more expensive than charcoal barbecues and buying gas may work out more expensive than buying charcoal. That said, for many the convenience makes up for the cost.

Electric barbecues are some of the most expensive grills. These tend to run off the mains and don’t require any fire. Like gas barbecues, they can be convenient allowing you to easily adjust temperature.

Offer some outdoor heating

Having some outdoor heating could also be handy for when the temperature drops in the evening. There are many types of outdoor heating that you can try.

Fire pits are the most basic form of outdoor heating. This involves building a designated area for lighting a fire. Some neighbourhoods may have restrictions on fire pits and they could dangerous if you have kids.

Chimineas are another option. These act as portable outdoor fireplaces allowing you to position them in the best suited place. They may not offer as much warmth as a fire pit and they may still have some of the same safety concerns, although neighbourhoods are less likely to have restrictions on them.

Electric and gas patio heaters are another option to look into. These forms of heating don’t use an open flame making them safer and are usually fairly portable. They will however cost you more to buy and to use.

Take anti-pest measures

When throwing a party, you may also want to deter unwanted visitors such as bugs. There are many anti-pest measures that you can take to keep your backyard critter-free.

When it comes to warding off wasps, you could try using wasp traps – these can be made using empty bottles containing a sweet substance to lure in wasps and trap them. Hanging up a crumpled paper bag can also sometimes deter wasps by making them think that it is a rival nest.

As for mosquitoes, citronella candles are a popular way of warding off these critters. Mosquitoes may also be attracted to still water where they like to lay their eggs – if you’ve got a pond, adding a filter or a fountain to keep the water flowing could stop mosquitoes nesting there.

Ants could also ruin your party by getting at food. It could be a good idea to keep sugary foods wrapped up. Getting rid of any ants nests in your backyard could also help to solve the problem.

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