Archives

Effects Basics: The Volume Control

This article will explain exactly what these knobs do (duh!) and how you can use them to fool your audience into thinking that they are listening to a cello, steel guitar, or keyboard. Once you get to know these knobs well, it may even affect future guitar purchases! Continue Reading

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

Playing in Parallel: The 'Major' Modes

If you had checked out any of my previous articles about the modes, you are starting to hear the unique sounds they have. In most of the other articles I went through the modes of the C Major scale. Here, I take a different approach. Keeping C as our 'root', I divide the seven modes into major modes and minor modes. In other words, we take each mode, and compare it to the C Major scale. Some modes will sound better over minor chords and some with major chords. Don't worry though, it isn't as complicated as it seems. This article will compare the C Major scale with the modes that have an inherently major, or bright & happy sound. Continue Reading

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

How To Shield A Guitar

A few weeks ago, I completed an article about fixing my Ernie Ball/Music Man’s warped pickguard. While I had all of the electronics and pickguard off of the guitar, I noticed that the only shielding on the control cavity was a small strip of aluminum tape on the pickguard where the controls were. Now, the normal pickups in this guitar are humbuckers: a Custom Custom and Alnico […] Continue Reading

How I Fixed My Warped Pickguard

While storing ‘loaded up’ pickguards, I noticed that one of them started bowing itself into a bowl shape. When I wanted to use it, there was no way it was going to fit on the guitar. Yes, I could have forced it, but putting slight pressure on the edges caused the middle to bubble up, so more drastic methods were needed. Continue Reading

Breaking Down the Barriers: The Lydian Mode

The Lydian mode is one of the most expressive modes of the major scale, and through this article, I hope to explain its exotic, yet familiar sound, and how we can use it in our modern compositions. We’ll talk about F Lydian, which is based on the C major scale. Continue Reading

Choosing Pickups to Match Your Guitar’s Wood

We’ve discussed choosing pickups according to your style before. We’ve also had a bit of a look at choosing pickups with respect to the wood: what wood works best with which pickup for which style? In this article I want to explore some possible guitar, pickup, style and tone choices. What goes good with what? Continue Reading