Category Archives: The Players Room

Preventing Disaster: Carpal Tunnel, Tendonitis And Hearing Loss

Dr Spaceman

Many musicians have had their careers cut short – or life just made more miserable – by being plagued by two of the most common ailments for a long-time musician: Tendonitis and Hearing Loss. In this article we are going to look at these two common ailments, how to prevent them and lessen the impacts of the symptoms. Continue reading

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For What It’s Worth: Valuing Your Work As A Musician

Cardboard-Sign

We can get this out of the way right now. Most people who play guitar are not professionals. The musical instrument and accessories industries realized several years ago that in order to be successful you have to market to pros, semi-pros and hobbyists alike. No matter where you put yourself in the Venn diagram of the music business, you probably care about the music you make and the gear you use to make it. You probably spent hours practicing, maybe even getting a band together, and hopefully doing a few gigs. This article isn’t really aimed at the working pros; they have already made the choice to put a value on their musical work. This article is for the current and future hobbyist and semi-pros who are either thinking about entering the world of musical commerce, or have already dipped their toes in the water. Continue reading

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25 Ways To Improve Your Playing

Guitar Picks

It isn’t fun to get stuck in a rut. Sometimes you can chase the musical muse down the metaphorical rabbit hole and get wedged in there, unable to back out or to go any deeper. It can feel pretty frustrating, and at a certain point a rut can discourage you from playing altogether. Or maybe you’re not in a rut: maybe you just want to get better, and fast. Either way, the trick to technical transcendence is often found in how you approach the guitar from a philosophical rather than physical point of view. We’ve compiled 25 tricks that will help you to up your skill level, whether you’re stuck in a rut or if you just want to bolt a new dimension or two onto your playing. Continue reading

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Top Ten: Most Recognizable Basslines

playing-bass-guitargetting-the-right-sound-with-half-wound-bass-strings---music-bzk7vto8

Whether you love or hate the song or band, you hear two second (if that) of the bassline and immediately know what song it is, and who’s playing it. And usually, if you go into Guitar Center, there’s a really … Continue reading

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Less Than Or Equal To: The Diminished Chord

dogz

As modern guitarists, we are constantly trying to come up with new sounds. We all have heard how Yngwie plays diminished arpeggios at the speed of light and how practicing our diminished scale runs adds some Bach to our rock. Instead of focusing on scales or arpeggios here, I’ve reached back into to time of frilly shirts and harpsichords to check out the harmony which goes hand-in-hand with those shredilicious melodies. If we tire of djentrific root-5th power chords, folky granola-scented open major and minor triads, or murky jazz voicings, we can start by looking at those triads again. This article focuses on the diminished triad, what it sounds like, and how we can use it to break out of patterns where we seem to play the same thing, the same way, all the time. Continue reading

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Guitar Tech Tasks You Can Easily Do

hammer

In many ways, guitars are like a 70s Chevy. Almost anything can be customized, and many of those things are done by the owner. This post will be a guide about maintenance and customisation tasks that any beginning guitarist should … Continue reading

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Talking Tone With Joe Bonamassa

joe-bonamassa31

Anyone who is even remotely familiar with Joe Bonamassa knows he’s a huge collector of vintage guitars and amps. There’s the now-famous picture circulating of him on a nearly basketball court-size soundstage packed with gear. You think it’s staged, but nope, it’s all his. The guy could stock his own music store, so impressive is his collection of classic Gibsons and Fenders. Electrics. Acoustics. Cool Alvarez models among them, as well. To-die-for instruments that drip mojo. We’re talking ’59 Les Pauls (yes, plural). 60s too! And the amps! Marshalls, Dumbles, Friedmans, so many flavors of tone. His four-amp touring rig is a sight and sound to behold as well, with a Marshall Silver Jubilee JCM800 at the heart of it.
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Jason Becker: The Interview

JasonBecker

In 1987, Jason Becker was one of the fastest rising stars of the world of guitarists. Having joined Cacophony with Marty Friedman at just the age of 16 and played on Speed Metal Symphony and Go Off, his skills were … Continue reading

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Mode Mania: Hearing the Unique Sounds of Each Mode

catpickups

Misunderstanding the modes of the major scale is common among guitarists. We practice them in all keys, up and down the fretboard, in sequences, with different rhythmic groupings. The secrets to these mysterious inversions of the major scale lie in the chords they are played over. This article will explain some ways we can hear the unique sound of each mode, and develop interesting chord progressions that allow us to hear them in their native habitat. Continue reading

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Dissecting the Augmented Chord

bunny

With all of the emphasis on fast soloing online and in guitar magazines, it is easy to forget that working players spend most of their time playing chords. Even the heaviest of metals use more chords and rhythm than anything else, and increasing our chord literacy will help us become better players. This article will focus on one of my favorite types of chords and show us how we might use it to add some unexpected color no matter what genre of music we play. Guitar is generally considered a rhythm instrument, after all. Continue reading

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