I previously wrote about unusual guitar practices and sometimes you`ve gotta have an unusual name just to back yourself up….Furry Lewis, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Blind Lemon, Pink Anderson & Little Pink, Keb` Mo, Big Bill Broonzy, Muddy Waters, Black Spider Dumpling, Hound Dog Taylor, Pine Top Smith, Screamin Jay Hawkins, Smellfoot Johnson, Jake “The Snake” Edwards,
As a follow on from my post here on being unusual, having something unique and not running with the crowd I thought it might be good to run a short list of unusual guitar related ideas. Being unusual really, really helps stylistically. Here’s a few interesting players off the top of my head! Keith Richards […]
Fender Special amps, what makes a Fender Pawnshop special? I personally love Pawnshops, it can be really surprising some of the treasures you can find in these stores. You might not be able to find a Fender PawnShop special amp, but I am sure you can find an old console or radio with the same […]
After the last post on listening and guitar it’s time to focus upon one of the world’s greatest listeners, Evelyn Glennie, the Scottish virtuoso percussionist who has been profoundly deaf since age 12. This does not inhibit her ability to perform at the international level. She regularly plays barefoot for both live performances and studio […]
Fender has struck again. This time at the hearts of early-90s, Nirvana loving guitarists with a penchant for hard rock…the way rock ought to be. Carefully crafted to exacting precision, they’ve reproduced Kirk Cobain’s “battle-hardened left-handed Jaguar” including all the unusual details and the unique electronics that were on-board when Cobain first acquired the guitar […]
After last weeks biscuit tin bandolero post today`s magnificent homewares based gutar art comes courtesy of the fine, fine craftsmen at Daddy Mojo!After last weeks biscuit tin bandolero post today`s magnificent homewares based guitar art comes courtesy of the fine, fine craftsmen at Daddy Mojo!
If you have a penchant for the ostentatious and chocolatey flavours of the Republic of Cuba’s most famous export, hand rolled upon the thighs of young Cuban virgins as it is then light up another top ranking stogie because when you’ve finished that box the fellas at Mojo Daddy can turn it into a world of acoustic worhty of any bluesgrass, cotton-pickin’, square dancin’, chicken pickin` jamboree!
Are you sick of Eric, Jimmy and Joe getting in your way when it comes to your solos? Well, show them who’s boss with the JAMVOX an integrated monitor and software system that extracts the guitar from any MP3 and plugs you into the mix of their favorite bands.
JamVOX gives guitarists instant access to dozens of legendary amps and effects all in one easy to use “drag and drop” software interface. Revolutionary Guitar XTracktion (GXT) technology lets you remove the guitar part of your favorite song with the push of a button.
1. 19 famous guitar amps and 54 effect units ranging from vintage to modern are provided as software.
2. Easy-to-use “drag and drop” interface enables guitarists to create their “dream guitar rig” without any advanced knowledge of amps or effects. Sound famous fast!
3. A music player feature with convenient functions for jam sessions or practice.
4. Import music files to jam along with from your favorite CDs, music library or MP3 player.
5. A dedicated USB monitor speaker is included, and there’s no need for complex wiring or specialized knowledge of computer music.
6. Two guitar play-along CDs containing 28 famous rock classics.
You can loop the playback, use the Tempo Change function to slow down the playback speed without affecting the pitch, and you can even use these functions while using GXT to extract the guitar part, making it much easier to learn rapid phrases by ear, or to practice difficult phrases. The Pitch Change function lets you change the pitch without affecting the tempo of the song, allowing you to correct slight discrepancies in pitch between your guitar and the song, or to play along with songs that use a dropped tuning.
How lucky can you get! Today I`m going to spend ten minutes with highly accomplished south pacific blues master Darren Watson. You may not have heard of Darren but in a career spanning three decades Darren has worked on the bill with such blues luminaries as Robert Cray, Koko Taylor, George Thorogood, Billy Boy Arnold, […]
After the nuclear war there will only be cockroaches and Keith Richards!! So let`s get practicing…with some general tips that you oughta bear in mind when you want to get all Zen on your fretboard.
1. Cultivate a desire to try and achieve excellence. When your lazy friends are down at the bar setting the world to rights you could stay at home beginning a journey to set either your own world on fire or even set the real world on fire.
2. Set yourself goals – both sensible & unattainable
Set yourself some goals and schedule your practice and STICK to IT. Perhaps consider two goals:
A.An aspirational one such as becoming as good as Jeff Beck (insert your favourite guitar maestro here) but also
B. A realistic, realtime short term goal: for example “In six months I will be able to play Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry”. Remember though it’s the journey not the destination that counts, a guitar is for life not just for Christmas if you want to go anywhere with it.
Don`t use your aspirational goal to beat yourself about though. Expecting to be able to play like Jeff Beck is akin to expecting to replicate the Cistine Chapel Ceiling on the interior of a ping pong ball – it’s a long hard difficult road walked only by those with a unique, god-given gift.
3. Find an environment that really works for you it may be outside beneath your favourite weeping willow or it may be in a quiet corner of your barn – make it as comfortable and as appealing as possible with few, or no distractions or interruptions.
If you can and you are serious about progression try to practice alone in a silent area. Also get the right chair, I`ll sometimes find myself thirty minutes into a jam session only to realise I`m curled up like a pretzel…no good man!
4. Make it easy – as the playing will initially be hard enough make it easy by using the tools that help. Buy the best guitar you can, buy a decent tuner and invest in learning materials that suit where you want to take your playing. Read this blog for more advice on the learning tools available. There is a veritable cornucopia of new digital practice tools such as the Ovation iDea guitar, the Fretlight guitars, Loopstation pedal or Fender G-Dec amplifier.
5. Develop Routines and excercises
A. start off with easy rewarding warm up work before moving onto your structured learning path (or course) – this may be a couple of songs you really enjoy, so write them down, and maybe singalong.
6. Join a band – the fastest way to leanr is from other more competent players. Use your ears and your eyes, ask questions.
7. It`s never too late to start and whatever happens don’t give up. If David Geffen isn`t ringing you up don`t worry. The journey is usually far more interesting than the destination.
8. Make mistakes and try stuff well outside your usual playing boundaries. Experiment as much as possible and try unusual positions. Try sliding chords around or even moving them across the strings.
9. If your fingers, hands and wrists are hurting then stop awhile.
10. Enjoy using effects and guitar toys but don’t fall into the trap of letting them do all the playing for you – one day you`ll want to be at the stage where you compliment the effects and not vice versa.
8. Reward yourself afterwards with something you enjoy like “icecream”.
12. Try and listen to the right records for a start but don’t limit yourself to the world of guitar. Choose your poison for example saxophonists Sonny Rollins, Roland Kirk and Miles Davis play some fantastic lead lines.
11. Most importantly – make sure it’s fun.
12. Have alook at “Zen Guitar” by Philip Toshio Sudo – it’s about motivation and fulfillment, not technique.