Enter here for your chance to WIN a OPFXS V-Uno! Giveaway Ends October 18, 2021.
It includes almost all the OPFXS effects made so far (Dig Deep, Cometa and Asteroide) and a few more. Check the list of available effects.
The software application can run on Windows, MacOS and Android devices equipped with USB OTG.
The effects available have various number of parameters, most simple ones only have 3 parameters and complex ones can have up to 16! The parameters can be either knobs, switches or multi-switches.
It's taken 14 years to come around to this realization, but do I regret the journey? Nah.
I'm trying to remember exactly how it all started—and why. Some details are hazy, as the accumulation of reasons has collided and compounded into each other over the course of approximately 14 years.
I think it started at least partially due to ol' SRV. Not because I was an aspiring bluesman angling for Texas-sized tone via telephone wires. I dig/dug Stevie, don't get me wrong. But maybe I was also breaking strings more than I would've liked. Like I said, when the beginnings of a routine go back that far, it's tough to keep track of all the whys. After a while, your wagon's traveling a deeply rutted road that's difficult to diverge from—if the thought even occurs to you as you enjoy the scenery and tend to other matters at hand on your musical journey. And, of course, early on there are no ruts. It's a fresh, exciting new path to traverse for the first time in your own reality.
All this time, my standard-tuned guitars have had .011 sets. My D-standards, .013s. Then I moved to a new city and state with a smaller scene and wasted too much time trying to find like-minded, well-adjusted players. After a few false starts, I said, "fuck it" and committed to a drums-and-guitar duo format. I figured baritone guitars would be the most effective way to fill out the frequency spectrum, and before long I was primarily playing .014 sets. For eight, maybe nine years now. Add that to nearly 30 years of workdays pounding a QWERTY keyboard, and it's no wonder the inevitable is now reality. Tendonitis and early carpal tunnel syndrome have made playing much more difficult and painful than is healthy or acceptable.
Despite the "crow" I'm now eating, I'm not saying there aren't true sonic and physical differences. It wasn't all in my head. Again, it goes to the compounding rationale. About five years ago I started augmenting my rig's low end by incorporating a bass amp alongside my guitar combos. But before I'd hit upon that idea—when I was trying to fill out the spectrum with just the baritones and guitar amps—the extra low-mid frequencies inherent in heavier strings did make a difference. Along the way, I also got hooked on heavy steel picks (an addiction I heartily stand by and recommend). I liked that you can bash on heavier strings without nearly as much worry about frequency warble as the strings vibrate back to center, not to mention little to no string breakage. Again … the tangled path.
Mortality sucks. It came down to: Do you want to play without pain, or do you want to stay in your stupid wagon tracks?
Alas, mortality sucks. It came down to: Do you want to play without pain, or do you want to stay in your stupid wagon tracks? I'm stubborn, but not that stubborn. My baris are now strung with .012s. Believe it or not, that makes a big difference despite being heavy in the grand string-gauge scheme. But I've also brought standard-scale guitars into the duo format. My Teles, Jazzmasters, and Gretsch aren't just outfitted with .010 sets now—they're also tuned down a full step.
A couple of months ago, when I first dipped a tepid toe into the lower-gauge waters, I figured it would be a tonal sacrifice, albeit a very necessary one. It hasn't been. With a bass amp still in the rig, the whole need for heavy strings' lower mids is completely moot. Apparently I had to shred my tendons to discover this rather than just sit back, think through my gear journey, and untangle its myriad winds and turns like a big boy. The bass frequencies are still there but the signal is clearer, less muddled. Even better, I feel like a man unfettered. Bends and runs are a breeze, stamina is much improved, and aches and pains have been greatly reduced. I've had to learn to adjust finger pressure and attack for proper intonation, but that's a small price to pay.
Plenty of you are looking at me in your mind's eye, thinking, "Everything you've said here is a big duh, dumbass." But I don't regret this journey. And not out of stubbornness, either. The rutted path I've followed these 14 years has led me through myriad gorgeous musical landscapes and lessons too varied and subtle, even subconscious, to separate from my guitar psyche. What's more, it's reinforced a lesson most of us have to learn over and over again in all aspects of our lives. Pausing to nakedly, unswervingly evaluate ourselves, where we've been, and where we're going is a must for progress.
Enter here for your chance to WIN a Temple Audio SOLO 18 Templeboard! Giveaway Ends October 17, 2021.
SOLO 18 Templeboard in Gunmetal Grey complete with 4X MOD, IEC MOD, Soft Case, and an assortment of pedal plates.
One of the most mysterious and interesting guitarists to come out of the post-grunge scene is a master of dynamics, tone, and deceptive rhythms.
- Explore the sound of the Phrygian dominant scale.
- Learn how to combine odd-meter signatures.
- Use open strings to create hypnotic, droning riffs.
In Ex. 1, we take some ideas from our polymeters lesson for a hip single-string riff in dropped-D tuning. Each measure follows a 7-7-2 grouping to give the riff an odd-time feel without actually leaving 4/4. Not too much thought went into the note choices here, but in essence it's using notes from the D Phrygian dominant scale (D–Eb–F#–G–A–Bb–C).
Ex. 2 uses notes of the D Phrygian mode (D–Eb–F–G–A–Bb–C), mostly against the low open D. To execute this cleanly, use the tip of the fretting-hand first finger to mute the 5th string. This allows you to strum the low three strings and get an aggressive sound. The riff is a repeating idea in 5/4, so spend some time listening and counting along before trying to play the idea. Also, for the sliding power chords at the end, I slide up on the third finger, and down on the first. This feels comfortable, but the jump back to the start of the riff will still be tricky, so heads-up!
Our next riff (Ex. 3) takes inspiration from one of Tool's most famous jams, and is a fun little idea that alternates between 5/8 and 7/8. Tool are no strangers to multiple time signature changes like this, and there are songs of theirs where I still can't work out what the time signatures change between as they're so frequent and well masked by the groove. This idea could be seen as an eighth-note motif with a 16-note triplet played as an informal turnaround. In the first measure, it's a four-note idea, and in the second this is extended to six notes. This sounds very unexpected the first time you hear it, but after a few plays you'll get in the groove.
In the next few examples, we'll explore how Adam layers different rhythmic parts on top of each other. Our first piece is Ex. 4, which also hovers around the D Phrygian dominant scale we touched on earlier. The minor third between Eb and F# gives this scale its distinctive sound. Also, you might have noticed how the open string creates an almost drone-like quality. That's another signature part of Tool's music.
Now, we create a simple melodic idea to go over what we played in Ex. 4. As you can see in Ex. 5, the Gtr. 2 part is our low-end riff and Gtr. 1 is a rather syncopated riff that combines eighth- and 16th-note patterns. Especially prevalent in Danny Carey's drumming, these complex rhythms are at the core of the band's ethos.
Ex. 6 uses bigger chord voicings to get a huge sound. In essence, a big D5 chord is played over five strings, and then one note is changed (Bb) on the 3rd string to create a moving inner voice. As in previous examples, the sound has a lot more to do with the driving rhythm than the notes being played.
Not all the band's riffs are based around thick, saturated distortion. In Ex. 7 we use a clean tone with some effects to create a moody riff in 5/8. You want to let the notes ring out as much as possible, so be careful with your finger placement as the bass notes start moving from D to F, and finally to G. In terms of sonics, I've put different delays on the left and right channel, plus a phaser on one side and a flanger on the other. The concept here is to create a richly textured part that could support a vocalist.
The final example (Ex. 8) mixes arpeggiated notes with bigger chord stabs for some drama. I made sure everything rang out because this gives the biggest sound and is perfect for a full-band setting. The idea is based around D minor, but the Ab (b5) adds a darker, bluesy sound.
This collection of apps can help you with learning tunes, mapping out the fretboard, navigating a tricky lick, or even inhumane metronome practice.
More than ever before, guitarists are on the go. Finding time to sneak in a bit of practice is tougher than ever. Below are a handful of apps that will not only open your musical mind, but make more mundane tasks a bit easier.
Cleverly designed by fusion guitarists Tom Quayle and David Beebee, this app helps you visualize how to navigate chord and scale tones all over the neck. It comes loaded with tons of progressions and challenges you to snake through by hitting the correct notes.
This modern, tablet-friendly version of the famed "illegal" Real Book that sprouted up in the '70s is a treasure trove of changes to thousands of jazz, pop, rock, and country tunes. The app also allows you to choose style, tempo, key, and more to create customized play-alongs.
You don't have to be a session cat in Nashville to get the most out of this sleek app that aims to make your charts clean and easy to read. Using simple Nashville-style notation, you can create charts with either numbers or chord symbols, rhythmic figures, and much more.
GUITAR NOTE ATLAS
Imagine this app is your handy travel guide to nearly every possible scale, chord, and arpeggio around. It features a bass mode, left-handed mode, and the ability to view both a single position and the entire fretboard at the same time.
AMAZING SLOW DOWNER
If you're trying to get inside the licks of Vai, Satriani, Yngwie, or EVH, there will likely come a time when the notes are simply going by too fast. This app can tap into your streaming service and create customized loops, adjust the tempo, or even raise and lower the pitch of a tune.
The focus of Fender's instructional app is to get your favorite songs under your fingers quickly, while teaching the fundamentals of good technique. The extensive song library covers everyone from the Beatles to Billie Eilish, in addition to courses on bass and ukulele.
Inside this all-in-one app is a deep collection of instructional materials, song tutorials, a tuner, and a progressive learning path that uses augmented reality to help you better recognize what you're doing right and wrong.
ULTIMATE GUITAR TABS
This app serves as an extension of the largest collection of user-sourced guitar tab on the internet. Nearly every style of guitar is represented here, and the app also includes backing tracks, transposable chord charts, and much more.
One of the more popular guitar notation programs is available in a mobile version that will let you view pro-looking tab on the go. There are 19 available sounds, support for 4- to 8-stringed instruments, a mySongBook portal to learn your favorite songs, a metronome, and extensive looping controls.
Only the mind of Wayne Krantz could come up with this twisted take on a metronome. It's designed to not only improve your internal clock, but help you adapt quickly to sudden changes in tempo. If you're feeling adventurous, then make sure to check out inhumanome mode.