Monday, January 25, 2010

My Current Setup

Not much has changed these last few years, but my current setup entails a Toneport UX2 interfacing with my IBM T42 with output leading to my Marshall MGx. The Toneport allows two microphones to be hooked through, with a few instrument inputs. I've just recently started experimenting with the microphone, but have used the Toneport to capture some songs and riffs.

This is a totally useful tool for recording and the options for effects are endless. If I like, I can convert the song into an MP3 or video file to share with fellow musicians online or the occasional curious friend.

I've been trying to get my hands on a Korg Pandora, but this will have to wait. I like the idea of a pocket amplifier with builtin effects. I simply lack the cash right now.

Last Friday I plugged in my Schecter. I think it is time this was brought to the shop for a setup. While the strings were new, the tuning up and down the fretboard was a little off.

Anyone familiar with the Korg Pandora, and if so, what are your opinions?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Online Jam

Anyone ever try eJamming? If so, did you find it was worth it? I have a friend (my drummer) who moved down to Florida. I live in NJ. You all know how hard it can be to find a quality drummer, so I was thinking of giving this a try. Maybe there's a better (or cheaper) alternative.

Anyway, I had an awesome jam session with my piano player, and my lyricist (my wife). We wrote the elements to an entire song in one evening, which is astoundingly rare! I must say, I believe this song has the potential of being an epic tune, which is a far cry from what I typically write.

Again, let me know if you all have experience with online jamming, and if so, what are the pros and cons from your experience!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A New Start

Ok, this site has become severely neglected. I'm still playing guitar, but I quickly became bored with creating lessons, so I'm going to use this site as a place to just talk about guitars...and music.

I am no expert, but I love playing. I'll try to use this site to keep inspiration, and hopefully to connect with other players allowing an educational, and fun exchange of music and guitar playing.

With that said, I'll go into my practice habits. Maybe someone out in the internet world can critique my style of practice, give tips on improving my technique, etc.

So every night after dinner, and after the kids are settled into bed, or close to settling into bed, I pull out my acoustic. I have two folders of music, one filled up with contemporary worship songs, and the other with random rock tunes I enjoy.

I usually go through about 10 worship songs, just to stay fresh in case my church comes calling for a substitute worship guy. After the worship songs, I'll pick a rock song to practice. Maybe its the Beatles, or King's X, whatever it is, I'll try to get a part down until I think it sounds right. Unfortunately, I have to try to have more patience, because I want to get that tough part of the song right away, or I can become tempted to ignore it, or fake it.

After playing one or two rock songs, I will try to work on any licks I've created on my own. This can get boring, because I don't feel like I'm the most creative guy in the world, so my licks can sound totally uninspired at times. However, I think it is important for all guitar players to avoid getting stuck in that "cover song" attitude. You know the guy. He can play all of the popular songs with no problem, but if you ask him to lay out a jam, 1-4-5 in D he's left scratching his head.

That brings into the last part of my practice, which is the most neglected. Theory and technique. I don't know about you, but I just want to pick up the guitar and become awesome. So I often neglect this key element, and as a result, I know my playing suffers. When I remember, I try to pull out an instructional book and work on some theory, or picking techniques, perhaps a few odd scales or chord patterns. I hate this part, but have to admit, I find myself expanding my guitar playing when utilizing that which I learned during the technique and theory portion of my practices.

So, it seems that a big chunk of practice is just myself tooling around on someone else's song, a bit on my own, and tiny fraction spent on theory.

Anyone else have a similar session? How about any tips for practice that you found useful? I'm not sure if there is any wrong way to practice.