What is the Secret Room?

The Secret Room is a place to exchange tips and tricks about playing, performing, gear, technique, recording, or anything else that helps you play better and sound better. It will go live on Tuesday, Jan 31st, 2012.

The Secret Room is password protected. In order to enter, you must submit one of your best “secrets” — a tip that’s almost too good to share. In exchange you’ll get access to the best secrets of many other players. You can also rate the secrets if you like. Contributors with high-scoring secrets will sometimes win prizes. For example, the person who contributes the highest-rated secret will win a $1,000 Godin Natural Summit CT, a pretty and versatile carved-top solidbody. The authors of the second and third most popular posts win a their choice of Seymour Duncan pickup sets. (Custom Shop sets excluded.)

There will be no intrusive ads, spam, blatant self-promo, or other nasty stuff. Your email address will remain secret, and will not be displayed on the site. You can choose whether to credit the tip to your real name, a fake name, or simply “anonymous.” You may also include a link to your homepage and a few words about yourself if you like.

Try to make your tip interesting and unique. It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering or super-advanced — newb tips are great! But try to aim a little higher than “Practicing makes you better” or “It’s good to play tastefully.” Not that those things aren’t true, but they aren’t exactly secrets, are they? ;)

Oh, about the password thing: This isn’t about snobbery — I hate that “velvet rope” crap! But since I’m asking you to contribute something of value, I want to repay your generosity with a carefully curated library of ideas, free from blatant commercialism and the wrong kind of stupidity. (Clever stupidity is always welcome.)

Please submit your secret using the contact form below. If you have any other questions or comments, just email me directly. Since I process all submissions manually, please be patient if you don’t hear back from me immediately. I usually reply quite quickly, but if I’m on the road or wrestling a deadline, it can take a little longer.

FYI, here are a few secrets that have been submitted many times already. They’re all good ones, but these particular points probably don’t need to be restated for now:

    • Practicing makes you better.
    • Changing pick types changes your sound.
    • Practice to a metronome.
    • Don’t play with too much gain.
    • It’s a good idea to adjust your pickup height properly.
    • Different pickups sound different.
    • Midrange is good. Don’t scoop too much.
    • It’s good to play with heart/soul/passion.
    • It’s all in the hands, not the gear.
    • My ___ guitar into my ____ amp via my ____ pedal is the ultimate tone in the universe.

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