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Our next Live Stream will happen on 3/22/18 at 8:oopm Eastern!
Our next Live Stream will happen on 3/22/18 at 8:oopm Eastern!
Here’s a video I made where I share some helpful tips on how to make progress in the studio and not get side tracked with all of the endless options for sounds, software and technology.
Please share your thoughts, comments and questions below!
Here’s a new original tune that I wrote called “Big Sky”. I worked on this song on and off for the better part of a year. I had most of it done relatively quickly but couldn’t find those last few parts to tie everything together with.
I was on a trip to Montana at the beginning of the summer when I was working on it and found the parts to finish the song… so I named it after the Big Sky state!
Something that I’ve noticed about my writing style is that I get inspiration from many different places, but the environments I resonate with have a lot to do with how songs develop. I have been visiting Montana a couple times a year for the last few years and I personally believe that even if I’m not there when I work on a song like this… The memories and emotions of being in a place like that have a profound effect on what comes out of me when it’s time to write.
So even though I only finished this song while I was in Montana, I believe that my previous trips there have made this song what it is. Please leave a comment below if you have similar experiences or would just like to talk about where your inspiration comes from!
Here’s a hopefully inspirational video in which I share some thoughts on how to stay focused on getting better as a guitar player and why it’s worth it to keep practicing, playing and improving. Enjoy!
Here’s a video to talk about what’s new and what to expect in 2016! My main goal with this video is to not only tell you about what I plan in 2016, but also to find out What You Want!
So PLEASE let me know what you think, what you want and what your working on so that I can help you achieve your goals this year and make you a better guitar player. I read and reply to all messages myself so if you would like to keep things private, email me at: [email protected] or if you don’t mind sharing, please use the comment section at the bottom of this page:
Ok… With that said, here’s the 2016 State Of The Strings Address:
This is a video of me playing the tune “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears. This arrangement was done by Andy McKee.. If you don’t know of him already, go check him out!
Please leave comments below and let me know what you think. Also, let me know if anyone is interested in learning more about how to play this style of guitar. I may create some lessons to teach some basic finger style techniques
In this video I talk about Adam Rafferty’s website for learning Fingerstyle Guitar. It’s DEFINITELY something to check out. Watch the video to learn why and then click on the link below to check it out!
Here’s the link to go check out Adam Rafferty’s website:
Affiliate Disclosure: We do receive compensation from sales of the products mentioned in this review. We have reviewed this product extensively and only promote products that we feel are of the highest quality and worth their investment.
So I recently finished writing a new tune and it’s called “Closer To The End”. I grabbed a camera and went to my favorite place to play and practice to shoot a video of me performing it. Check it out and please let me know what you think by leaving some comments down below.
If your curious about learning any of the techniques or parts to this song, let me know and I can create a lesson or two to teach them to you!
So it’s been a LONG time since I’ve finished new music and one of the things that I love most about listening to music is hearing what influences, techniques and styles went into making a song what it is.
Over the last year I have been focusing most of my attention on learning Finger Style guitar playing. When I listen back to this song I’m excited to hear how much of what I’ve been learning and playing injects itself into my writing. What influences can you hear?
Despite being conceptually simplistic, getting your guitar volume “right” can be complex and problematic.
To be clear – a lot of that is no fault of the responsible guitarist.
Exterior factors like environment, indoor/outdoor acoustics, other musicians and a litany of additional variables can have an impact on how successful you are when it comes to optimizing your guitar’s volume levels.
And for the most part, we’ll avoid addressing those variables, simply because we have have little or no control over them.
I want to discuss volume optimization in the context of what we do have control over, because it’s more control than one might realize.
The “Traditional” Electric Guitar Rig and Some Assumptions
To loosely define a traditional guitar rig, Let’s begin with a few assumptions.
1. We’re dealing with one electric guitar and one amplifier.
2. There are no pedals involved.
3. Our amp has multiple channels.
So to be clear, this does not concern acoustic guitars, nor can it be fully applied to a rig where the amplifier has only one channel.
Most amplifiers will have between two and four channels.
Thus the goal of this article is to understand and learn how to manage volume in that context. So we can assume one guitar and one amp with at least two channels to work with.
The Three Dimensions of an Electric Guitar’s Volume
Most assume, perhaps fairly, that volume is a one-dimensional issue.
This is not always correct.
In most cases (and in the context we’ve outlined above), your electric guitar’s volume is going to be controlled in three different dimensions that include the following:
1. The Electric Guitar’s Built-In Volume Knob
2. Channel Volume (amplifier)
3. Master Volume (amplifier)
All three of these factors work together to produce your “final output.” Now we haven’t even considered external mixing entities like software, mixing boards and PA systems, which all add further complexities.
But for the purpose of this article, we’ll stick to our three-dimensional volume context.
We need to deal with them one at a time, learning how each one functions and impacts your signal and then, finally, how they all work together.
Let’s start with the electric guitar’s built-in volume knob.
1. The Volume Knob
Your electric guitar’s volume knob – in and of itself – is simple. Yet, it has sonic and tonal implications that go beyond a flat volume adjustment.
You’ve probably noticed that cutting the volume on your electric guitar alters the tone, in addition to shifting the volume lower. These tonal changes could be described in the following ways:
1. Bass reduction
2. Gain reduction.
3. Overdrive reduction.
4. Negative boost.
At the same time, if you’re a player that constantly keeps their volume knob at six or seven, pushing it to 10 would have the exact opposite effect.
The point is that the volume knob on your guitar acts a lot like a booster pedal.
It shapes tone because it’s changing the volume of the source of your guitar’s signal. That means it impacts your guitar’s pickups and electronics directly.
Here are a few typical results, based on a volume knob with a one to ten scale:
● Volume Always at 10: Full volume, gain and presence are going straight from your pickups into the amplifier.
● Cutting Volume to Six or Seven: This cuts gain and reduces the thickness of your tone, while cutting a smaller amount of volume.
● Cutting Volume to Less than Four: On most guitars this means a significant drop in volume and a tonal shift that will sound more “thin” or twangy.
So the signal that leaves your guitar has already been shaped tonally in a manner that’s likely similar to one of the scenarios we’ve mentioned here.
The question now becomes: What can we do with it when it reaches our amplifier?
2. The Channel Volume
As I mentioned earlier, most amplifiers have multiple channels. That means each channel has at least it’s own volume control and likely its own three-band EQ.
What we need to understand first is that your amp’s channel (whichever channel it may be) has the first say about what happens to your signal after it comes out of your guitar. That means you’ll want to deal with these configurations before handling master volume.
So how do we use channel volume to shape our guitar’s signal?
The primary reason for having multiple channels in an amplifier is to give you the ability to change volume on the fly and to allow you to work with multiple volume points without manipulating the sonic properties of your guitar’s signal.
Now, as I mentioned, most channels have their own three-band EQ and can (in some cases) even handle different effects being assigned to them.
So you can use channels to make tonal changes, if you so choose.
But if you’re just talking about volume, the channel volume changes the loudness of your signal without altering the tonal shape of your guitar’s output.
For example, you might have the following configuration on a three-channel amp:
● Channel 1 – Volume: 10 (for solos or lead sequences)
● Channel 2 – Volume: 7 (the “default” or go-to volume)
● Channel 3 – Volume: 5 (for quieter playing or background fills)
Channel volume allows you to set and prepare different levels of volume for different situations. However the compression stays the same across the board.
3. The Master Volume
This is perhaps the easiest of the three volume dimensions.
Master volume is simply the final level and the overall output of your entire rig. It’s the last-man-standing, if you will, before your signal is pushed out to a PA system, recording software or the open air.
And if you’ve understood the previous two volume aspects, this one is actually pretty easy to manage.
It’ll have more to do with your environment and situation than anything else. For example, playing at home means you’ll want master volume to come down, while playing a gig outdoors means you’ll need it to be a lot higher.
Either way, it’s an easy variable to manage, since it’s your final output.
You’ve just got to decide how loud you want it.
Post by Bobby Kittleberger who writes about all things guitar for the online guitar lesson website GuitarTricks.com. Guitar Tricks offers beginner guitar lessons for players wanting to learn both acoustic and electric guitar.
Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of RedTxarli
In this video I give my review of Supercharged Soloing Made Simple… The new guitar soloing program by Claude Johnson. Check out the video to see what the program is all about and get details on how you can get FREE Access to SuperGuitarLicks.com if you purchase the program by going through the following link:
If you are interested in purchasing Supercharged Soloing Made Simple and getting my bonus of Free Access to SGL, then order the program through the link below and then send a copy of your receipt via email to: [email protected] and I’ll hook you up with an account to Super Guitar Licks… Normally $127!
Here’s the link to purchase the program: http://www.rockguitarpower.com/supercharged
Affiliate Disclaimer: I am acting as an affiliate for Supercharged Soloing Made Simple and will make a commission from sales that occur from this promotion :)