Category Archives: The Players Room

There Is No Substitute For Hard Work


This article explains some of the work required to becoming a working professional, and to continually improve our aptitude on guitar, learn about gear, and optimize our tone. Who knew it was going to be this hard? Continue reading

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The Importance Of Playing with Other Musicians

"Yeah, just flew in...and what?"

There are different kinds of “chops” one can have. Playing by yourself to a click or metronome with your DAW is worlds apart from actually having other musicians in the room and interacting with them. It’s almost but not quite an entirely different skill set. Not that the first set of skills don’t benefit the second: having solid home practice chops are nearly invaluable when playing with others as you’re better prepared walking in the door, but it takes learning – and retaining the ability – to take cues from one another and vibing as a group to become a fully well-rounded musician. Continue reading

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Feed Your Frankenstein: Ten Halloween Sounds You Can Make With Your Guitar

The BC Rich Lita Ford Signature Warlock featuring a Kahler Hybrid Tremolo Unit

Have you ever wondered how they make all of those cool sound effects in your favorite thrillers? On those backlot tours I learned that there are entire crews of people dedicated to that very purpose for every horror film that is made. The cool part? You can use your guitar to make some of the very same sounds you’re used to hearing during your favorite horror movies. Continue reading

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Ten Things To Bail You Out Of A Gig Disaster

Gig bag essentials

In the span of my gigging career, I’ve encountered a number of situations that have left me saying, “I really wish I had had that!” Thankfully, those were issues that were easily resolved by procuring said item and sticking it in my bag for next time. With that, let’s discuss ten things that will bail you out of a gig, should any issue arise. Continue reading

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Chord Scales in the Key of Awesome


Wait, I am already learning chords and scales… you’re telling me there are also things called Chord Scales? Yes! Chords scales are not only useful when composing, but also in improvisation. When harmonizing a melody we can make our music more rich, have more twists and turns, and break us out of the riff-based power chord rut we have been in for far too long. This article will explain a basic harmonization of the major scale, using movable chord shapes on the four smallest strings of our guitars – all while sounds sophisticated, complex, and completely irresistible to the opposite sex. Continue reading

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Applying Techniques: Tapping


In this article we will practice the technique known as Tapping, which was popularised in the 70s and 80s thanks to one Eddie Van Halen. The tapping technique can be used in lots of different ways. Today we’ll study how to apply … Continue reading

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Five Fun Floyd Rose Tricks

Buddy Blaze Sevenator

If you’re not a fan of the Floyd, you might want to look away. Because this post is about how to make a whole bunch of freaky alien horse noises with your Floyd Rose. Continue reading

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This Sounds Odd: Understanding 9th Chords


Contrary to where modern guitar has gone, it started life as a rhythm instrument, bashing out chords on a large archtop (or larchtop*) in the back of the band. Yes, it is hard to believe that at one time, the idea of sweep picking lydian-dominant arps at 200 bpm was unheard of, and the idea of having a great chord vocabulary (and being able to improvise with those chords) was essential to be considered a great guitarist that could work steadily and support all of those spotlight-stealing brass players. These days, being an amazing rhythm player is downplayed in favor of other aspects of guitar playing, but understanding some small things about chords will only let our solos stand out more, and give us more interesting things to play over. If you haven’t read it yet, I would also suggest reading my article about 7th chords, as this article will build on those concepts. Continue reading

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Putting It All Together: The Mode Wrap Up


After many articles I figured it was about time I put this together into one, huh? Continue reading

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Cage Match: Learning Right-Handed or Left-Handed

Cobain's signature Mustang features a JB.

It all starts somewhere. The first trip to the music store is either with the parents, or as an adult because ‘you always wanted to play.’ Most players fit into the above categories, and usually the first thing the salesperson asks is if you are left- or right-handed. They don’t ask new flute players this, and they don’t ask new piano students. They don’t even ask drummers. New guitarists and bassists are supposed to know what feels more ‘natural’ when everything, from holding a guitar or bass, to pressing on those tiny strings feels so unnatural. Continue reading

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