Category Archives: The Players Room

Top Ten: Influential Bassists

As someone that’s been a working musician for a number of years, I’ve found that I try to keep my mind – and ears – open to all sorts of music, as you never know when inspiration is going to hit you and inspire you to new heights. It gives you a more well rounded view of music, which is always good (especially when that music is paying the bills). So with that, here’s a list of the Top Ten Influential Bassists worth checking out. Continue reading

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Play Nice With Others

l to r: Chance Onody, yours truly, Michael Thurber, Edward Howe, Charles Yang, Nora Germain

Mom always told you when you were young (and probably also when you were old enough to know better), “Play nice!” And while it was probably given to you in the context of a sandbox, or during a Transformers debate (because while everyone longs to be Optimus Prime, they yearn to rule the world with the cold hand of Megatron), it translates directly into the role of a musician, especially when it comes time to play with musicians you’ve never met or played with before, or when you walk into a situation that you’ve never been in. And that ability to “play nice with others” will provide invaluable as your musical palette expands. Continue reading

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Chords of the Harmonic Minor Scale


In the last music theory blog article, I introduced you to the odd and sometimes dissonant chords derived from the melodic minor scale. This time we’ll look at the prettier-but-slightly-aloof older sisters of the melodic minor chords: Chords of the Harmonic … Continue reading

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Five Questions With Five Finger Death Punch’s Jason Hook

Five Finger Death Punch is hot off the release of their fifth full length release in just seven years, The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 2,  and are currently busy banging heads across the entire … Continue reading

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When To Say “No”

Stages in most clubs are small, and backstages are sometimes non-existent.

You’re gigging a lot. A lot. You’ve also been hustling your musical butt off, making connections and marketing each and every gig your band has had. Slowly but surely you’re building your name and a dedicated following. The gigs are still coming in but now you’re at a point where you’re questioning if you should take every gig offer that comes your way. As someone that knows the joy of playing 42 gigs in 35 days on a regular basis and the pleasure of double booking, let me say that picking your gigs in a practical and quick manner is vital. We’ll talk about the criteria that many musicians – myself included – have come to rely on before committing to a gig. Continue reading

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Cage Match: Locking vs. Traditional Tuners

On my Warmoth, these locking tuners have a wheel which engages the lock in the tuner post.

Guitarists spend endlessly debating about guitar bridges: which Floyd is better, Kahler vs. Floyd, Floyd vs. Strat, trem vs. stoptail. There might not be as much paid attention to the other end of the guitar. The headstock is the first place many guitarists look when they see another guitarist playing, and the shape is the highly-protected trademark of most guitar companies. The headstock contains one of the most important parts of the guitar: the tuners. Because no one will notice how much you paid for that RockStar LesOCaster with the perfect flames (and skull inlays, dude) if you aren’t staying in tune. This article will explain some of the differences between traditional tuners and the benefits of choosing one over the other. Continue reading

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Greatest Music Videos Of All Time


There was a time directly preceding the age of the Internet where the music video was just as important of an expression of creativity as the song itself. In many cases a good music video could cause a good song to become a hit thanks to avenues like MTV which would then put it into heavy rotation. Continue reading

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Using Amps And Pedals Together


When I was younger, I absolutely refused to play with pedals: stompboxes, distortions, overdrives, boosters: anything that would make your amp go to ’11.’ I simply didn’t want to understand why you should or would use them. “I always chose my amps based on their ability to crunch and the voice of the overdrive, so why bother,” I thought. “Wanna have more distortion? Crank up the gain pot of your amp. Not enough gain? Wrong amp!” It was that simple for me. My turn-around point came somewhere last year. I saw more players use the backline of a venue or the house PA with a bunch of pedals in front of them, and sometimes with a tiny 15 watt tube amp with a nice clean sound. I couldn’t see why that approach had benefits until I borrowed a few pedals to see how that worked. So, let’s take a look at how stompboxes worked for me. Continue reading

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Tips From The Recording Studio


Howdy folks – Johnny Hawthorn here giving a little insight on what to prepare and look out for when you get called into the studio for a recording session (even if you are just going in to record some songs … Continue reading

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Unleashing The Mysteries Of A Scalloped Fingerboard


Over the years there have been many modifications to the electric and acoustic guitar. One of the more radical ones is the use of a scalloped fingerboard. This is an irreversible modification that ‘scoops out’ the wood between the frets (see pictures). This article will explain exactly why someone might do this, the benefits and drawbacks of scalloping and why this became popular in electric guitar playing. Continue reading

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