16 September 2010

How to Reamp Guitar in Reaper

Okay I am getting further off track with my posts lately, but I thought this might help some people who were as baffled as I was by the documentation of the ReaInsert plugin in Reaper, or just reamping in general.

09 September 2010

More Backing Tracks

I've been told that my previous post on backing tracks wasn't very helpful, so I'm going to try again. First, here's the video, which has pretty much all the info.

08 September 2010

Vintage Marshall BluesBreaker vs. General Guitar Gadgets Kit

I need to write something about how gear lust is a reaction to the unfulfilled desire to improve as a musician. It is most common among guitar players, and I think the reason is that guitar is the hardest instrument on which to improve.

Assuming that I do legitimately need a piece of gear once in a while - or I have earned the extravagance of a new overdrive pedal by reaching some goal - there is a lot of almost-helpful information on the web to assist in selection, but most of it leaves me frustrated - asking impossible questions of my mute computer monitor. The following demonstrates a more useful method for demonstrating gear.

29 August 2010

Simple Backing Tracks

I mentioned my Ableton setup in an earlier post but didn’t show it. Here it is in action. I am using a Behringer FCB-1010 footcontroller and a Roland GI-20 guitar/MIDI interface. Looks like I fumbled a lot in this video – maybe I always do and just don’t notice. It works slick enough that you shouldn’t have to pause between recording tracks; I’m just stumbling while I try to think ahead to what I’m going to do next. Here is a rundown of the whole setup.

12 August 2010

Iterative Routine

Here I am going through my iterative routine on the 3rd degree of the Ionian mode. I.e. I am mapping stuff to the third of a major chord - the Ionian scale [in a pattern, b/c who plays straight up an down a scale in real life?], a major 7 arpeggio, and one lick.

I start each iteration by singing the note, and as you can see, I have a hard time making my voice go to it. Study singing, kids!

Here is my study sheet for this mode:

22 July 2010


Been shedding a lot - my previous iterative routine was too compartmentalized to do much good for real world music. I boiled it down to the following.

20 July 2010

Iterative Routine for Ear and Fingerboard

I am trying to get up to speed with GMT. It occurred to me that just memorizing scale, arpeggio, and chord shapes is of little value without any music associated with the shapes. The following routine will help me build a repertoire of musical elements and burn in where these elements lie on the fingerboard.
Pick a single rhythm to study and play it percussively with a backing track. When I have command of the rhythm, it is time to add tones.
With each element, sing as much of it as I can. The more I hear the music I am playing, the easier it comes out.

06 July 2010

Dividends Already

I am still getting up to speed with the new tuning, but I can already tell by messing around with a simple 12-bar blues that it is making a huge difference. I think the main thing working to my advantage here is that I am learning the fingerboard this time as a musician who has some idea of what's relevant and important, and with standard tuning, I have decades of bad musicianship associated with every chord/scale shape.

05 July 2010

First Step: Eartraining, Backing Tracks, and Chord Tones

My first week has been mostly groundwork - lots of busy, not a high yield of increasing musical ability. I'm still happy with the progress tho.
First I tried a bunch of different eartraining programs. I have gotten a few levels in with the trials of Auralia and EarMaster, both of which I like. I'm focusing on diatonic chord progressions at the moment, which are proving harder than I would have thought. Still, I've cleared a lot of levels so far, so maybe it's a matter of getting used to the softwares' square voicings.
Here's what I'm doing with the guitar: I'm relearning the fingerboard in GMT (General Musical Tuning - all 4ths like a bass), practicing one tone of one type of chord at a time, including the accompanying scale. Here I'm on the 5 of a dominant seventh sound, playing a chord voicing, a lick, and a scale pattern. I do arpeggios, too, but I didn't happen to catch any in this vid.

28 June 2010

My Quest, Day 1

Here is the order of events and thoughts leading to my conclusion that I should strip my musicianship down to the frame and rebuild it over the course of the next year, documenting everything publicly in a practice journal/blog:

01 June 2010

Here Is My Problem

Here is my problem: I am a guitar player and I would like to become a musician. I have become frustrated my repertoire of rhythms, harmony, melodic shapes, and other musical elements that I can hear, identify, and piece together into improvised music. I must be the Taco Bell of musicians: I’ve got just a very few simple ingredients and I’m trying to present a full menu of varied, interesting flavors. Taco Bell is pretty good, though; that’s encouraging.