Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Why Does My Amp Sound Different At High Volume?

Have you ever sat at home and basked in your “lion riding a motorcycle” guitar tone, only for it to end up sounding all “duck chewing on a balloon” at your next gig or band practice? I know I have. If you’re the kind of bats-for-breakfast, skulls-on-mic-stand, brutal guitar warlord sort for whom LOUD is life, then you’re probably cranked 24/7 and have no idea what I’m talking about. However, for those of us who cut our teeth on modelers with headphones or amps turned down to law-abiding levels, having to adjust to being audible over a drum kit can be a very frustrating experience. Continue reading

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Turning Your Pentatonics Into Blues

My earliest experience with playing blues guitar was being taught the Minor Pentatonic scale. I loved that damn scale: it allowed me to play those cool blues-based Chuck Berry licks. And it was always cool to be able to say “dig me as I play some sweet blues” at a jam with my then-fellow-13-year-olds (it happened once). But after a while, as I started to listen to more and more blues, something started to bug me. Continue reading

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Gifting Your Guitar Buddy

You can't go wrong giving a basic black strap. Duncan one? Even better!

It’s getting to be that time of year again, and people who are friends (or co-workers) with guitarists get nervous. What to give? Continue reading

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When Picks Attack!!

Once you’ve settled on a specific plectrum that feels good in your hand, how you approach each note (downward or alternate pick techniques etc, and even how you hold the pick itself) has a great deal to do with not … Continue reading

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A Big Argument for Small Bass Amplifiers

fake wall of sound

Here’s an actual conversation I had with a friend (and fellow bassist): Him: I just got a 1,200 watt head and 4×12 cabinet for my band. Me: Don’t you have PA support? That seems like overkill. Him: No way, it’ll … Continue reading

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Track Stacking: Fun with Guitar Orchestration

Don't be that guy!

As a budding home recording enthusiast, you’ve got your work cut out for you. The basic mechanics of your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) must be learned. You begin by studying the techniques of recording – mono vs. stereo tracks, amps, … Continue reading

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50s Vs Modern Les Paul Wiring

Les Paul with 4 controls

A Gibson Les Paul, SG, ES-335 and many other guitars use a two-pickup/four-pot setup: two dedicated volume controls and two dedicated tone controls. The tonal possibilities are almost endless if you know how to dial it in right, and the … Continue reading

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The Complex Art of Simplicity in Grooving

busy bass

In this internet age you can find nearly anything you want to learn. On one hand this is a great resource as it opens musicians up to learning things that they may not have otherwise had access to. On the … Continue reading

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How To Impress With Your Guitar

I'm not sure this is working.

One of many reasons for my starting to play the guitar was to impress girls. Yes, I know it’s shallow but I was 14, and most things I did involved attempts to impress girls in some way. However, it turns … Continue reading

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Four Simple (and Cheap) Ways to Personalize Your Guitar

Nice pickguard, eh

There’s a lot of appeal to owning something that’s truly unique, and guitars are definitely no exception. While we may not all want something as bold as the Eddie Van Halen Franken-Strat or the Rick Nielsen checkerboard Hamer Standard, it’s … Continue reading

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