Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fanfarlo - Feathers - Chords/Tab/Lesson

This song was a fave off the June Indie/Rock playlist.

verse riff "*" means quickly sweep these notes
G|                         6 6  6("8" sometimes this note instead)
D|6* 6 6 9 9 6 9 6  6* 6 6    6   6
A|7*                7*
Verse Chords: E | C#m
Transition Chords: G# | B
Chorus Chords: E | C#m | G#m | A

One of the best takeaways from this song is the use of the III chord in the transition passage. Usually this would be a iii chord but the substitution provides some extra color and the major tonality is more driving heading into the chorus. Theoretically, you can view this as borrowing from the parallel harmonic minor. In this case the parallel minor of E is C#minor and G# serves as the "V" chord in that key which makes it harmonic minor, rather than natural minor which would use a "v" chord. When used at just the right moment a non-diatonic chord like this can make all the difference.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Red Bear Guitar Pick - Review

Finally received a guitar pick from Red Bear, and it
was definitely worth the wait. It's the 2.0mm Classic II model with the speed bevel which beats the regular Dunlop picks on every level. This pick is not only
comfortable in your hand, but is terribly difficult to drop while playing because of the holes in its center, and this is coming from someone who has nearly put people's
eye out many a time with flying picks; haven't dropped this one even once. Another thing that's really cool about these is they don't wear down like a normal pick, so you don't have to worry about a new pick without a speed bevel or adjusting to the wear on your pick. This allows, once you familiarize yourself with the pick, to play with much more accuracy and precision. Finally, while tone is subjective, many would
argue that this brings a richer sound with more clarity than most production
picks. There's an audio example below where you can hear for yourself which sounds
better to your ears. The first example is the Red Bear pick and the second is a 2mm
Dunlop pick. The only downside to this pick is the price ($28.50 w/ shipping) and
wait (It took 4 months).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Panic Parade Backing Track

Here's a version of 'Panic Parade' without vocals so u can plug in a guitar and practice jamming in C# minor.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Songs to Admire

Stumbled across the monthly indie/rock playlist here, and after checking it out, would definitely say it's one of the best sources for killer tracks that u might otherwise miss out on. It is comprehensive though, with like 150 tracks, so if u don't have time to listen to them all these were some favorites from the March playlist that deserve a place on your mp3 gadgets:

Said The Whale - "Heavy Ceiling"
Little Comets- "Waiting In The Shadows In The Dead Of Night"
Emma Acs - "Green Stars And An Orange Sun"
Bogan Via - "Purple Catacomb"
Bleeding Knees Club - "Teenage Girls"

And finally...overall favorite track with bonus analysis junk for songwriter-y ppl
Evan Voytas - "Feel Me"
*note there are some short passing chords which I denoted with "()" listen to track for timing on those.
Verse Chords: F/C/Gm(F)(/Bb
Chorus Chords: F(C)/Gm(F)/Bb(F)/Bb

Okay a couple cool things going on here we can learn from this song. First, the chorus contains the same chords as the verse, but the harmonic rhythm changes becoming faster. In other words, the Gm chord appears in the third bar in the verse, but in the chorus we've already gotten to it by the second bar. This serves to give a sense of urgency to the part that is fitting for the higher energy a chorus usually needs. Another thing worth mentioning is the bass -- which is basically batshit insane. Better yet, cuz it's badass and he knows it; he holds it back, only letting it loose at just the right moment (the bass doesn't actually enter until 0:53). This is metaphorically like the card shark with an ace in the hole. You don't play it right away just save it till the moment is ripe. That's something to keep in mind if there's a part in a song ur working on that seems really fierce, then maybe restrain from playing it too soon.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

1000 Lover's Heartbeats - mp3

Wanted to whip up something a little sexy for the sultry/slutty dayz of summer. So here ya go.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Songwriting Tip - Syllabic Rhyming Awareness

Working on a recent track and was noticing how important it is to keep some awareness of the number of syllables in ur rhymes if a polished well-crafted touch is needed. For ex, if u look at ur rhyming words and they are all two-syllable words u may have a problem. Things can become too predictable and stale easily if u aren't careful. It can be a good idea to count and make sure there is some variety in the number of syllables that make up each of the rhymes. In addition to making sure the syllable lengths of different rhymes compliment each other, also don't be afraid to use a different number of syllables between two words u are rhyming with each other. For ex, instead of rhyming 'through' with 'do' (each one syllable) try rhyming 'through' with 'pursue' ( one syllable connected to two syllables). There are no real rules here, so just be consciously aware of wht ur doing so that u can mix it up and keep it interesting. FWIW, in the track that brought this concept to mind the rhyming words were originally (trance, chance, romance, glance) and this was changed to (trance, chances, romances, glances). By simply adding an 's' two syllables were formed on some of the words and it becomes a little asymmetrical and makes a huge overall difference in the song well beyond what one simple letter should be able to accomplish.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review - Ernie Ball Cobalt Strings

Was looking for some new strings because of recently spending a lot of time w/ a floyd rose equipped guitar and the regular slinkys just weren't holding up to the whammy abuse. About to switch brands completely, but the new ernie ball cobalts had a wave of hype behind them so decided it was worth a go, though, yeah, a little skeptical. Well, the skepticism was unfounded because these definitely sound and feel drastically different from an ordinary set. Instead of needing to strain your years to hear a difference you can actually hear it without even plugging in. Noticed an immediate difference in volume, and after focusing on the tonality itself thought it had really nice low mids and tightened up some of the flabby mud that lives down there. The highs were also very clear and present and if you like messing with harmonics they literally jump out at you, even the ones that normally don't want to come out at all. The feel is a bit softer and smoother that what you may be used to, as well. Feels a bit strange though if you've put tens of thousands of hours on a regular set, so may take getting used to. Overall impressions are that it is being something vastly different than the norm. Whether that difference is better or worse is going to depend on what tone your after. Generally, these seem aggressive and punchy in nature so if that's your cup of tea they may make you very happy. But if you prefer mellower or jazzy sounds you may not like them at all. They do seem to have solved some tuning issues, so probably going to keep them on the floating bridge guitar, but stick with regulars on the others so more flavors to cover more sonic terrain ya know.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chord Substitutions - Songwriting Lesson

Listening to a lot of music the other day and noticed a couple of songs that repeated the same lyrics w/ the same melody 4 each of the verses. Something seemed different though and after playing through them a couple of times on the guitar figured out that they were using chord substitutions to add depth so that u wouldn't get bored hearing the same lyric/melody repeatedly. Chord substitution just basically involves playing a different chord progression other than what was originally used that the same melody can still fit 2gether with and not sound odd, unless of course odd is what ur going 4. Generally, the substitute chord will have some strong relationship to the original chord, but u don't have to rely on rulez if u just let ur ears be ur guide. If u have any songs that use this repeating lyrics/melody theme give it a go and see what other chords will work over the same lines and u may stumble upon something that adds a little more dimension than repeating the same lyrics, melody, and chords each time around.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bricast M7 Reverb - IR Library

Want to get a taste of Bricasti reverb without dropping serious coin? Check out this site

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Guitar Porn

Lots of ridiculously creamy guitar-y goodness at this site Would love to play them all but the Flying Finn pictured is a personal fave.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Prima Facie - Galaxy Swan mp3

Just put 2gether a little chillstep mp3 for fun. Used NI Maschine for the drums and a combo of Massive and Sylenth for the synths.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tightening Up Timing

Recently finished "Creative Guitar" by british guitarist Guthrie Govan which was quite a bit better than your run of the mill guitar book. Here is something he mentions that is good to incorporate into your regimen to tighten up your timing. Instead of always speeding up the metronome and trying to go faster and faster, work from the opposite direction and slow down the metronome. So for example, you would play a riff or progression with the metronome at 120bpm. Then, when your comfortable slow it down to 60bpm however keep playing at the same speed. The only difference will be the clicks will be on every half note instead of quarter note. When you have that so you're right on time then half the tempo again to 30bpm. Now continue playing as if the tempo was still 120bpm and the click will only fall on the first quarter note of each bar. This can help you to keep your internal metronome synched even when you don't have all the clicks to guide you and make everything much tighter when you do have a normal click to work with.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New MP3 Day - Galaxy Swan - She Drives a Lamborghini

She Drives a Lamborghini by galaxyswan This was our first track using the Axe Fx II guitar processor and it definitely is an impressive box. Have a Kemper Profiling Amp on order too and will give some thoughts on how these stack up against each other when it arrives.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Production Tech - Vocal Movement

Checking out this track by Mt. Eden, and in addition to just being an all-around st0mp3r, there is a cool technique around 3:44 where a the vocal line for the next section comes in early and further back and kind of rises into the actual line, so it's like the vocal is moving towards the listener. Guessing they used a sampler for this. Kind of reminiscent of how a lot of ppl use reverse reverbs, so could probably work in a song just abt anyplace something like that is appropriate...