The Journey to Accomplishment by Sarah Lightman

Burbank was the first place I ever street performed with my first acoustic electric guitar: my Fauna Dolphin. Its beauty and sound attracted eyes and ears as I performed in the downtown shopping center. My name is Sarah Lightman and I’m going to tell you a story about how powerful working together can be and my journey to getting my music video featured on Universal CityWalk’s in LA! 

One day during the Summer of 2017, I was street performing in downtown Burbank in Los Angeles, California in front of a restaurant being built. At the time I was working multiple jobs on top of street performing: dog walking, a café job, and a dog daycare. That day I met some friends who invited me to play at the NAMM Show 2018 – which goes to show you one day of street performing can change your career!

September 2017: Street Performing

My NAMM Show invite gave me some momentum so, I reapplied to audition for Universal CityWalk Street Performer Program. I applied a couple of months before, and I decided to try again. Right around this time I quit some of my many jobs to devote more time into music. I was so scared to take this step! The Sunday after I reapplied, I was street performing and a man with glasses walked over to listen. He had so much intention and excitement in his steps. My gut told me this guy must be important, or he’s a really big fan! His presence inspired me to sing my two best songs. After I sang, he came over and told me he was part of Universal Entertainment and that he read over my cover letter.

January 2018: The NAMM Show, Anaheim, CA

I walked into the Anaheim Convention Center with butterflies in my stomach and with great excitement. A few months before heading to the NAMM Show, I was accepted to be part of the Universal CityWalk Street Performer experience! At the time, I had raised roughly 30% of the funds needed for my music video that would be played at CityWalk, LA and there were only 2 weeks left until the day of the shoot. Walking into the show, it was my first time working with Audio Gear Group and M&K Sound – I knew what my mission was walking into NAMM; professionally represent my brand, build relationships, and speak to Luna Guitars.

Like practicing and honing your craft you have to put the work in; it took me a few times to walk into the Luna booth in hopes to collaborate. Sometimes that means submitting over and over while you keep improving the way you finesse as an artist. I walked in to booth 207AB and this year Luna brought a couple of their Artists with them. The first I met was Carly Jo Jackson – She was full of so much fire and much taller than myself. That’s where I first met Adam Gomes, Director of Marketing & Artist Relations at Luna and my team talked over what we wanted to do in collaboration with Luna. I told him why I wanted to represent the brand and the Luna Tribe at heart. When I left the Luna room to go back to the Audio Gear booth to play another set with Carly Jo and one of the acoustic guitars that Adam let us borrow; the Henna Oasis acoustic electric. When I tried it out it sounded so nice and it attracted so many eyes and ears just like my Fauna Dolphin! I thought to myself I HAVE to get myself one of these.

February 2018: Trouble Arises 

A week after NAMM, it was just a few days before the shoot of the music video and one of the sponsors did not deliver the funds they guaranteed. Their donation was going to cover the exact remaining funds needed for the project. My management team (Brianna Fish and Daniela Simmen) did their best to support and brainstorming fundraising ideas. It was a truly trying and sad moment. I did not want to let Luna, supporters, or my cast and crew down. There were only two days left to make some extra money so I didn’t break my bank account. Right until the night before the shoot, I hit the streets performing as much as I could while running to the grocery store and planning all of the last-minute needs for the shoot with management. I was going non-stop and realized I still needed to shower, eat dinner, meet with the director, and check the mail. The mail sounded the most exciting so I went for that first. When I went inside the house, there were 5 or 6 giant boxes sent from Luna waiting for me in the living room. I opened them up and it felt like my birthday. Luna let me feature not only the Henna, but Adam from Luna also let the band use all Luna guitar instruments in the music video! In that moment, that’s when I knew that I would be more than just okay because I had the support from the Luna Tribe and the great folks at Luna Guitars.

April 2, 2018: Lights, Camera, Action on City Walk!

Finally, the day arrived, my music video hit YouTube and social media! I sent it to everyone: friends, family, gigs I booked, gig I never heard back from, open mics, Ken Callait. You name it and I sent it! One day I sent emails from 1PM-3:30AM to help it get the word out. Universal Entertainment notified me that the video was up and ready to be viewed at CityWalk 4 times a day, every day. I grabbed as many involved as I could and we headed out to see it on their big screen. To my surprise the video played after the following artists: Justin Timberlake and Christ Stapleton, Sean Mendes, and Diplo. Some of these artists are ones that I grew up watching and listening it is such an honor and so surreal to share the screen with my idols.

As of Saturday, April 21st, the video hit 7,600+ views. Last week it was only at 400! The folks at Luna Guitars and I were so excited about this whole journey that we worked together to share this story with you. Everyone is capable of achieving greatness, as long as we keep fighting for it, together.

Luna Guitars Partners with iHeartMedia Nashville for Annual Songs & Stories Hosted By The BIG 98



Luna Guitars to Donate Acoustic Guitars To Raise Money For St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Tampa, FL —April 04, 2018 — Luna Guitars, most commonly known for its art inspired acoustic guitars and a leader in the ukulele movement, has again partnered with The Big 98, Nashville’s No.1 for new country music, to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the annual Songs & Stories on Sunday, April 8th at Wildhorse Saloon.

The annual event hosted by iHeartMedia Nashville’s The BIG 98 will feature performances from prominent songwriters such as Chris Destefano, JT Harding, Matt Jenkins, Jon Nite, and special guest Lauren Alaina. Luna Guitars will donate several acoustic guitars to be signed by the headline artists including Lauren Alaina. The signed Luna guitars will be auctioned for charity and all proceeds will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“Songs & Stories is a much anticipated event Nashville scene that focuses on the art of songwriting as songwriters play a prominent role in the music process,” said Adam Gomes, Director of Marketing & Artist Relations for Luna Guitars. “We hope the guitar donations help make a big impact in terms of donations for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Additionally, Luna Guitars will be operating a demonstration area where attendees can take a picture and noodle around on new for 2018 Luna instruments. Luna is proud to announce country music Singer & Songwriter Payton Taylor will be joining the Luna Lounge and performing throughout the evening.

Instruments include but not limited to: ART Vintage DCE, ART Recorder DCE, Vista Deer, and Tattoo Mahogany Ukulele. The ART Vintage Dreadnought Cutaway Solid Top Distressed is a New for 2018 guitar that features a vintage rustic look that is received well by country artists, songwriters including Brett Warren and anyone that loves creativity.

For more information regarding The Big 98 Songs & Stories contact Mark Petty at markpetty@iheartmedia.com. For questions regarding Luna Guitars contact Adam Gomes at adam@lunaguitars.com

About iHeartMedia Nashville:

With over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S. and over 85 million social followers, iHeartMedia has the largest national reach of any radio or television outlet in America. As the leader in multiplatform connections, it also serves over 150 local markets through 858 owned radio stations, and the company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile app, in enhanced auto dashes, on tablets, wearables and smartphones, and on gaming consoles.

iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital radio platform, is the fastest growing digital audio service in the U.S. and offers users thousands of live radio stations, personalized custom artist stations created by just one song or seed artist and the top podcasts and personalities. With over a billion downloads, iHeartRadio reached 100 million registered users faster than any other radio or digital music service.

iHeartMedia’s platforms include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital and social media, podcasts, personalities and influencers, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

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Songwriting & the Inspiration Within

Whether it be through yoga, a long walk, a song on the radio or a simple conversation, We all find inspiration at some point. Songwriting is born of this simple and undeniable truth that every one of us all hit the occasional “Writers Block”. The amount of frustration that follows from this symptom can sometimes be unbearable.

Over the last few years of gigs and traveling I’ve had very rare opportunities, to sit down and speak with some successful Singers. I was able to pick up one tip that’s helped me make the most out of my writing and I’m hear today to share it with you….TAKE YOUR TIME. Rushing a song that ultimately comes from your heart is like playing a guitar without strings. The universe has a way of revealing its message to us all and there’s no way we can hear it if we are overwhelmed. How can we possibly reach ears and hearts with a song we didn’t take the time to genuinely appreciate?

There are some days that I’ll find myself in total seclusion, finding meditation and simply strumming my Luna Guitar with a hot cup of coffee and the next verse suddenly reveals itself. If you can’t find the right words, let the right words find you. MUSIC my fellow tribe members deserves your contribution to the world. Give it your best by loving and feeling every note you create.

Your Instrument is an Extension of Yourself

Wolf Critton

I think I speak for most songwriters when I say our instruments are an extension of ourselves. I never truly understood the meaning of this until I saw the “Vista Wolf”; to me there is nothing more important and precious on stage than having a guitar that speaks for itself. When I was in Iraq I was very closed off and kept to myself. There were nights when I would stand in the desert outside my tent and look at the moon thinking of my family. Knowing no matter how far away I was, we were all looking at the same moon. It was my way of staying connected to the people I love. So you can imagine the flow of emotions that came over me when I saw Luna Guitars “Vista Series”.

“What’s the story behind that Guitar?” I hear this question a lot when I am performing at shows. This gives me the opportunity to share more than my music. What makes us stand out is our testimony in life and how we express ourselves. In my own personal opinion, only Luna has ever created a guitar that spoke to me and brought inspiration just by looking at it. So when you shop for your next Guitar, consider the endless joy of standing on stage with something that has meaning and truly shows an EXTENTION of yourself.

More about the Vista Wolf…

 

Luna Guitars

 

Vista Wolf A/E – Gloss Natural w/Case

$699.00+ FREE SHIPPING (U.S. Only – lower 48)

Luna Guitars Introduces the Art Inspired Starry Night Concert Ukulele

Inspired by van Gogh’s Creative Vision and the Art of the Ukulele

Tampa, FL – Luna Guitars, most commonly known for its art inspired instruments, announced the latest addition to the Concert Series: the uke Starry Night. Iconic in its own regard and inspired by the historic van Gogh painting, the Starry Night ukulele has been widely popular since its release at the NAMM Show 2017. One can expect a stunning design with the warm sound and full tone from a concert series ukulele, matched with Luna’s creative vision and the Starry Night design.

“This morning I saw the countryside from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big.” These words were written by van Gogh, to his brother Theo, describing his inspiration for one of his best-known paintings. 

Features Include:

• Mahogany Body & Top

• Walnut Fretboard

• Mother of Pearl Moon Phase Inlays

• Scale Length – 15”

• Pearloid Open Gear Tuners

+ Watch the demo & learn more about the Uke Starry Night.

LUNA LINKS

Website – lunaguitars.com

Newsletter – lunaguitars.com/subscribe

Social Media

Facebook – facebook.com/lunaguitars

Twitter – twitter.com/lunaguitars

Instagram – instagram.com/lunaguitar

YouTube – youtube.com/user/lunaguitars

Watch a Video

Top 5 Acoustic Guitar Rock Cover Songs

Great rock ‘n’ roll covers are an homage to their original versions. Some versions can be considered as one of their own thus becoming as popular as the original version it was derived from. Here are some of the most popular cover versions using ukuleles and acoustic guitars:

The Call of Ktulu by Metallica (cover by Warsaw Guitar Orchestra on Acoustic Guitar)

Still Loving You by Scorpions (Cover by Gabriella Quevedo on Acoustic Guitar)

Tornado of Souls by Megadeth (cover by Simona Soddu on Acoustic Guitar)

Fear of the Dark by Iron Maiden (Cover by Thomas Zwijsen on Acoustic Guitar)

Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin (Cover by KellyValleau on Acoustic Guitar)

Top 5 Acoustic Guitar Pop Cover Songs

Renditions or covers are an homage to the original versions. Some versions can be considered as one of their own thus becoming as popular as the original version it was derived from. Here are some of the most popular cover versions using ukuleles and acoustic guitars:

Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran (Cover by Boyce Avenue on Acoustic Guitar)

Versace on the Floor by Bruno Mars (cover by ralphjay14 on Acoustic Guitar)

Careless Whisper by George Michael (Cover by Igor Presnyakov on Acoustic Guitar)

How Deep is your Love by the BeeGees (Cover by Tommy Emmanuel & Igor Presnyakov on Acoustic Guitar)

Hello by Adele (Cover by Mackenzie Johnson)

Top 5 Fun Ukulele Open Mic Spots Around the World

luna-ukuleleLuna High Tide Concert Koa Electro-Acoustic Concert UkuleleWho doesn’t love a good open mic night? Open mic gives the opportunity for aspiring musicians to practice their skill set, poets to improve upon writing skills and comedians to see if their jokes survive. For the ukulele movement, open mic nights are a big opportunity for aspiring players to practice their passion. As a leader in the ukulele movement (and lover of ukuleles), Luna Guitars offers a variety of ukuleles with an artistic touch! We believe that beautiful music can be created on an ukulele or any instrument when there is an artistic presence. And the driving force behind this concept comes from our Luna Tribe members, who share their performance pictures, videos and recordings on our social media pages. So let’s look into some cool open mic spots.

Many cities around the world have their own admiration for the ukulele. In 2013, we really saw the powerful impact ukuleles can have when folks come together to spread happiness and brighten up your morning commute on the subway. How awesome is that!? We are seeing the ukulele, as well as the acoustic guitar, appearing more in open jams, house concerts, and schools as part of the ukulele movement.

Check out this list of 5 places around the globe that you can get up to sing or play your guitar and ukulele in front of an open mic:

One of the most popular hot spots in the Greater London area, the atmosphere is built for musicians to test their luck on stage! This pub offers a variety of fresh made dishes, great beer, wine and spirits selection and a cozy atmosphere for guests. In 2014, they won CAMRA North London Pub of the Year and are currently listed in the Good Beer Guide. What more could any musician want from a gig spot?

Ranked the #1 LA Open Mic spot in USA Today in 2016, this spot offers open mic slots 5 nights a week! Nestled in the lively Historic Filipino Town area of Echo Park, you will surely have a great time. The many time slots are open to anyone from musicians to spoken words, comedy and other forms of creative self-expression. They offer a great menu of food and drinks, too! Be sure to check this place out next time you find yourself in LA.

When in Paris, you might find yourself desiring for just a bit more culture. Why not head to the local Irish pub? Don’t forget to take your instrument with you, as there is an open mic night on Mondays, beginning at 9:30 PM. So, grab a pint and some yummy food, beforehand, and get ready for a great night!

Now this place, it is near and dear to my heart. A Nashville icon, the heart and soul of country music gigging; The Bluebird Café is an absolute MUST! On any given night of the week, you will find music and often from some of country music’s most prolific songwriters and musicians, but don’t let that intimidate you! Get down there to have a great time in an intimate setting. Be sure to call ahead for their Monday Open Mic; see their website for more information about snagging a slot!

What an amazing resource for up and coming musicians in Australia! This organization hosts open mic nights at four different hot spots on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. From hotel bars, to standalone bar and supper club spots, they’ve got you covered four nights a week! All levels of performers and musicians are welcome, as are original pieces or covers! What a fantastic organization for the gigging musician to get in with. Get out there and put your skills to the test!

LUNA GUITARS INTRODUCES THE VISTA DEER

vista-deer

Tampa, FL (December 07, 2016)Luna Guitars announced the latest addition to the Vista Series, the Vista Deer Tropical Wood Acoustic / Electric. This new offering from Luna offers an artistic glimpse of a deer in its natural habitat, surrounded by the fruits of nature. Consumers are not only drawn to the aesthetically pleasing aspect of a Vista Series guitar but also the variety of wood combination used to craft the instrument together. See specs for more information on wood selections: https://goo.gl/S84bQU 

The Vista collection evokes majestic landscapes, with open spaces to all sides and above, allowing creativity room to roam. Like the other Vista models, the Vista Deer comes with a tooled leather hard shell case.

To schedule an interview or showing at the NAMM Show, please contact adam@lunaguitars.com.

Features Include:

• Cocobolo Body

• Mahogany Neck & Ebony Fretboard

• Pearl Moon Phase Inlays

• Fishman® Presys+ Preamp System

• Grover Tuners

• Natural Gloss finish with Black and Gold Hardware

To watch Demo video, visit https://goo.gl/S84bQU.

LUNA LINKS

Website – lunaguitars.com
Newsletter – lunaguitars.com/subscribe

Social Media

Facebook – facebook.com/lunaguitars
Twitter – twitter.com/lunaguitars
Instagram – instagram.com/lunaguitar
YouTube – youtube.com/user/lunaguitars

LUNA GUITARS INTRODUCES THE FLORA ORCHID


flora-orchid
LUNA’S NEW Flora Orchid – Classic White Model to be Introduced at NAMM

Tampa, FL (December 07, 2016) – Expanding on the popular Flora Series, Luna Guitars announces the Flora Orchid in Classic White. The Flora Orchid is a symbol of the Orchidea flower, offering a variety of colorful sounds and a unique look. Guitarists will find this to be an exceptionally comfortable instrument as both a result of its parlor size, and also the onboard pre-amp, which delivers flexibility for amplification. The Flora Orchid features a comfortable, parlor body that suits a variety of players. To schedule an interview or showing, please contact adam@deanguitars.com.

Features Include:

• Maple Body / Spruce Top

• Mahogany Neck & Rosewood Fretboard

• Pearl Moon Phase Inlays

• Luna SL3 Preamp w/Tuner

• Comfortable C Shape Neck Profile

• Classic White finish with Brushed Nickel Hardware

To learn more about Luna Guitars, visit lunaguitars.com.

LUNA LINKS

Main

Website – lunaguitars.com
Newsletter – lunaguitars.com/subscribe

Social Media

Facebook – facebook.com/lunaguitars
Twitter – twitter.com/lunaguitars
Instagram – instagram.com/lunaguitar
YouTube – youtube.com/user/lunaguitars

4 Key Tips for the Aspiring Musician

When one chooses the path to becoming a musician they slowly start to realize that it is a road of uncertainty. There are individual obstacles, goals, and forms of independence. However, there is this vision that we each share; the undeniable desire to succeed and in that comforting thought, you are not alone. Having been a traveling musician for ten years, I’ve slept in airports, on park benches and trains. As a result, I have been lucky to play some pretty amazing shows. Those times on the road taught me how bad I really wanted this life and if I had the heart, mind and spirit to see it through.

If I could give you any tips it would be this:

1) There is no such thing as over planning, but always be ready to adapt if things don’t go as planned.

2) Discuss every aspect of your show with the venue before you leave.

3) Learn the area your traveling too, the safe places and dangerous.

4) For the solo artist, as we say in the military “Bring a battle Buddy”. That means a relative or friend. Not only will they look out for you, but I promise they will also enjoy the journey just as much as you.

Above all, these are four things that have saved me in so many ways. Although, I promise when you’re done you’ll have tips of your own to give other musicians. Pass along your experience to the next artist and you’ll likely gain a fan in the process. Wishing you safe travels and the wonderful experience of self-discovery.

Why small guitars don’t mean less quality

In today’s world, we have seen almost all things humans use grow smaller as our knowledge of the universe grows bigger.  Our favorite gadgets, an overhead limit of 8 second clips in internet content, even songs on the radio show the world is becoming more concise!  There are many ways we as striving musicians can bend with this new tiny trend of “all small”, but one theme that seems to be standing out more and more is the use of the “Travel Guitar”. Commonly, these tiny tune-makers seem to lead buyers to believe they should second guess the quality of the instrument, due to its size; however, there are many reasons why small does not mean “less quality.”  Less is more they always say!

There are many benefits of cutting down your guitar’s size. One of the main reasons why one might strike up a friendship with one of these baby guitars is that they are lighter for travel. If you are a bustling musician on the go, like me, you will love the way they don’t weigh you down. Since they are so lightweight, they are also very conducive to on-the-spot-jam sessions.  These guitars can go with you everywhere!
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