Gigging *Without* an Amp

  Now I know the image above will give some people fits. Just the idea of doing a gig without your favorite amp roaring behind you is enough to send people to their sheds, grabbing pitchforks and lighting torches.

What is MIDI and How Can I Use It?

Anyone reading through the specs of an effects processor or has ever bought a keyboard has seen the word MIDI. What is this crazy thing, and will it make my guitar sound like an 8-bit Atari game? Am I going to have to dig out my protractor and sextant to understand how MIDI works? This article…

Straps and Strap Height: Playing While Looking Cool

We’ve all seen it: Les Paul down by the knees, swaggering across the stage. This is an image that’s burned into our brain, and probably the reason why many guitarists picked the guitar over the trombone in the first place. But if we want to play in front of people, this means to most rock,…

The Ins & Outs Of Effects Loops

If you’ve been a guitarist for more than five minutes, you’re pretty familiar with effects. Effects can morph our plain guitar sound into something from outer space or just make it seem a little bigger than it actually is. There are many different kinds of effects out there, and many theories stating the ‘correct’ order of effects in your Chain of Sonic Domination.

7 Great Android and iOS Apps For Musicians

Music making has changed a lot over the past few years. No longer is someone chained to their bedroom desk bouncing tracks on a 4-track cassette recorder, or chained to a variety of books, pedals, cables, and other devices for practicing or playing. We sometimes forget that all of this information overload today can be…

Cage Match: Big Strings vs. Small Strings

In the wonderful guitar universe, it’s important not to criticize what size strings a man or woman uses. However, any guitarist that has spent just a small amount of time on internet forum and message boards has navigated the minefield of these types of threads. This article will explain the reasons why someone might choose…

Cage Match: Gig Bags Vs. Hard Cases

Cases are a fact of life for any guitarist. Even if you don’t ever intend to pile all of your equipment in the back of the van to get to the next gig, every guitar we spend money on will spend at least part of its life in a case. Just the thought of taking a guitar without a case out of the store, across the parking lot and into the car for the ride home gives me shivers. Choosing a case for your new life partner (or fleeting romance) is sometimes as easy as saying “well, it came with this case, so that is what I use.” Sometimes it is a bigger consideration, which brings me to the subject of this article. The case you choose has more to do with its intended use than anything else.

Choosing Pickups In Unusual Wood Combinations

We all know the tried-and-true electric guitar tonewoods: Maple, Mahogany, Alder, Ash, Rosewood and Ebony. But what if your guitar only contains some of these woods, none of them, or no wood at all? How can you choose a pickup for construction materials which don’t follow the same wood combinations used for the past 70…

Guitar Synthesizers and the Use of Hex Pickups

Mention the idea of ‘midi guitar’ to most guitarists and the image that springs to mind is most likely an ’80s cover band with skinny ties where the guitarist has to cover the keyboard parts to ‘Jump’ and ‘Safety Dance.’ That is, if you don’t get the outright dismissal of the use of guitar synth…

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