December 2nd, 2008 by buddyhawke
If you haven’t seen them at the local Guitar Center yet, the Gibson Robot guitars are now on sale and causing quite a bit of discussion. I’m still on the fence with them because I’ve always appreciated traditional Les Paul’s to the more “modern” models they are cranking out at Gibson (like the Les Paul BFG crap sandwich). They seem to keep the integrity of the instrument while adding the robot tuner system. Is this good enough for you to spend between the one and three thousand they are asking for them?
Les Paul Robot guitar
January 28th, 2008 by buddyhawke
One of the best tools I’ve been introduced to in the last few years turned out to be one of the best self guitar lessons I’ve ever had, and one of the best ways to remember a cool riff as it develops. Teach yourself guitar by learning how to play your favorite songs. And there’s a world of downloads to keep you entertained.
Guitar Pro is essentially a program that will bring a guitar tab to life. It’s powered by a MIDI engine that will read and playback the notes while you follow along with the tab. For those of us who don’t always practice with a metronome, it breaks down the tough runs for us. Although the backup band isn’t that fantastic (come on, it’s a basic MIDI engine), it will still keep you in time and involved in the song. With multiple instruments and tracks playing simultaneously, you can just focus on the leads or solidify the rhythm track. It’s even pretty neat to go see the vocal or keyboard parts transcribed for guitar. Stare in amazement as you see your favorite Dragon Force song being shredded out by a computer.Once you’ve acquired the software, head over to a reputable guitar tab site. I recommend Ultimate-Guitar.com for its accurate tabs, constantly updated tab list and lack of “payment required” access. In other words, the guitar tabs are free as of this posting. Run a search for your favorite song (and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself!) You’ll see Guitar Pro files listed with ratings on song accuracy. Download, rock.
Guitar Pro is also an excellent arrangement tool for songwriters. With a little to no knowledge of written music, you can quickly pick it up and compose that masterpiece that’s been begging to be unleashed upon the masses. Use Guitar Pro to mesh your riffs into songs rather than random thoughts, and add accompanying instruments behind it. You might be surprised at how well a part sounds on piano rather than electric guitar. Or a vocal line played on a trumpet. What ever it is, it’s worth the time spent experimenting and amusing yourself. You can even transpose your songs into different keys to see if down-tuning really is the way to go, or write a song out in an alternate guitar tuning a la Kashmir. It even has guitar tricks like whammy (take it 3 octaves up if you’d like), artificial harmonics, slides, hammer-on’s and even pick scrapes.
So stop making excuses not to practice, or take up that New Year’s resolution before it’s forgotten about. Either way, Guitar Pro is going to be the tool to get you to the next step.
August 14th, 2007 by buddyhawke
An internal debate I’ve been having recently revolves around the constant options guitar players have with effects, analog or digital? To explain further, digital processor/modeler or traditional pedal board?
I’ve used my trusty traditional pedal board for years. It’s been a constant revolving door of Dunlop , BOSS, Electro Harmonix, DOD, Digitech (almost every kind of guitar pedal) wiring configurations and power supplies. With all the knobs and dials a guitar tone freak could hope for. The upsides have always been similar. Great tone and dependability (and the flexibility wasn’t bad either). The downside has become a bit more apparent recently. The more pedals I add to my pedal board also means more space required, and I’m currently the proud owner of 2 decommissioned pedal boards. The current two-tier pedal board I’m using is one of the pieces of gear I’m most proud of. Until it comes time to remove it from the rehearsal studio into the real world of gigging on tiny stages made for a drummer and maybe three other performers. My pedal board has become the fifth wheel in this relationship. Aside from the massive amounts of room required for it now, the weight of the pedal board and case is closely approaching that of my Mesa Boogie 4×12 cabinet.
*I know at this point you may be thinking I should just remove pedals and my problem is solved. You will meet this with as much resistance as taking a baby panda from her mother. It just doesn’t happen with a guitar tone obsessed player such as myself.
To help with the issues mentioned above, I recently purchased a Line 6 POD XT Live Guitar Multi Effects Pedalboard. The reviews I’ve read rant about the ease of use, and the above average sound quality. In my experiences, Line 6 gear has always been a great performer and continues to be. I sat down over two different nights and set all of my presets to the standard configurations I am used to. The next rehearsal was the testing ground for the new unit. The sound was right on par with my expectations. With some tweaking, I was able to achieve a lot of the sounds from my old pedal board with ease.
With all sound and testing aside, I felt incomplete. My over three feet by two feet pedal board of tangled wires and endless knobs was no longer there to provide the confidence boost it always had. But to the unknowing listener, nothing had changed in my guitar tone. It was almost awkward to only press one button and call a preset that normally took me three taps on pedals in a fancy tap dancer move. It wasn’t the usual eye sore on the floor everyone noticed, and it didn’t have any of the hum the old pedal board did. This new Line 6 unit had to be the obvious winner right?
Yet I never felt right. Almost like I was cheating.
Has anyone else dealt with this? Do the withdraws ever end?!
June 19th, 2007 by buddyhawke
Is there anything better than taking a day to yourself from work?
Yes. If it’s missing work (and being paid) because of your heavy metal addiction.
Man gets sick benefits for heavy metal addiction