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Found 10 results

  1. Practicing your instrument is an art in itself. For guitarists, some find it a very fun routine while others look at practicing their finger exercises and scales regularly as a discipline and may see it as a boring chore. There is no reason why it can be both: a disciplined process and a fun activity. Finding the right balance between the two is very essential. The following article gives you insight on what it means to practice with discipline and to practice with fun. It also gives you tips on how to balance both of these aspects and make the most of your daily routines. http://www.songstuff.com/guitar/article/practicing_guitar_self_discipline/ Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.
  2. Preparing for the Linnstrument

    When I made the decision to purchase a linnstrument I knew I'd have challenges before me. First arranging the money, then coping with the wait (it will be close to two weeks from decision till delivery. Setting up my studio to accommodate the linnstrument and still having access to all the other physical objects required. I've decided to make the most of this waiting period by practicing concepts before it arrives, printing out an image and securing the image to a sturdy folding table. Now for the challenges For a guitarist,,,,,,Everything is upside down and backwards when playing the linnstrument as a desktop instrument!!!! Not only that.the lowest note is... F# So as soon as the linnstrument arrives I'm transposing it to C. There are numerous reasons for this. Including when instruments are sampled they rarely are to the full range of the instrument. Rather plugin makers often sample a few (or sometimes only one) keys and then shelf the octaves above and below. Each octave downward gets continually grainy sounding due to the artificial transposition of the note. The breaking point is always...C As well If you have spent much time transcribing piano C is usually the lowest note played on the piano for a song. Which introduces a new challenge... I should have printed out a mock up of the linnstrument with the proper tuning I'll be using. It would have made the transition from mock up to usage easier. Here's where things get interesting. There are no "How to play the linnstrument books or videos or online lessons. I'll be the first. For us linnstrumentalists on the bleeding edge of a new frontier. We are left with watching videos to try and grasp at concepts or to our own devices. A simple example... Scales. With one hand you can play 4 finger scales, three finger scales, and two finger scales ...oh yeah you can also play five finger(thumb) scales. That's one hand... You can also play all the above mentioned with the other. With two hands combined you can also play scales. I did some demos of playing 1+2 and 2+2 approaches for the ztar here - And Here - Here's another interesting facet about playing the linnstrument. Each one hand primary (three notes only) chord has three different shapes. Three for major, three for minor and three for diminished. Once you master those three "Shapes" you can transpose them to anything. Which is fine but as you expand your chords more options become available as to what finger does what. . A Linnstrument can play up to three notes per string simultaneously. I as a musician am not a natural. People often compliment me for my graceful performances as if they are too magical to be anything but natural. Even the gift of self discipline isn't a gift. I have to work to make it a reality.
  3. Improve Your Vocal Range

    Though it might not be an absolute necessity for a singer to have a wide vocal range, it does prove to be a huge asset when it comes to giving a powerful and emotional performance. Singers such as Freddie Mercury (Queen), Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) are great examples of singers who've shown vocal power and range being used to its maximum potential. Even for an experienced singer, the vocal range cannot be expanded in a day or two. It needs consistent and dedicated vocal routines and the right technique used in combination. The following article presents you with a few exercises and tips to help you expand your range without pushing and straining your voice but through the application of correct and proven techniques. http://www.songstuff.com/vocals/article/3_ways_improve_your_singing_range/ Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.
  4. Vocal Warm-Ups for Singers

    Vocal warm-ups are an invaluable practice and some would even say, an absolute necessity when it comes down to being a professional or semi-professional singer. I'm sure there is no one here who would want to settle for a mediocre performance or for something that could easily be made better with proper vocal practice. One of the most important realizations I've had as a singer-songwriter and a performing musician is that I'm able to express better and to move the audience better when I'm at ease with the songs I'm singing. While singing a song, if the singer is too worried (and distracted) about whether he or she will hit that high note or whether that vibrato can be easily sustained, then the emotional quality of the performance maybe compromised. The following article deals with a few tips and exercises that maybe used in your warm-up routine to help you deliver a powerful performance! http://www.songstuff.com/vocals/article/vocal_warm_ups/ Be sure to share and like the article if you find it useful. If you have any questions, feel free to discuss it on the Songstuff Community Forums.
  5. Do You Ever Feel Like Quitting?

    I gave up music for the entire year when my first son was born. I was playing drums in a jazz quartet, and it got to feel like clocking in each Saturday, same venue, same songs, same people, same pay. When I took a paternity leave, I realized I didn't miss gigging, so I quit the band and stopped playing all of my other instruments and only wrote one song that year. My self-identity had been so tied up in being a musician that I needed to know if I could handle life as non-musician. I have to say, it was a great year; I learned to cook, went on a 30 day juice fast, became a yellow belt in Kali/Escrima in under 6 months, and I took up archery lessons. by the time my son turned one, I got the itch to pick up my bass again and decided to take my playing to a new level and I immediately started looking for work that would stretch my comfort level a bit. My first audition was terrible. I was nervous, the band was lifeless and distant as the moon and, although they said I made the cut to the second round of auditions, I never got a call back. Right away that nagging voice in the back of my head started screaming, "give up, you're not good enough, you're parents were right, you should have gotten a job with your sister at her office, you're not in your twenties, you'll never make it as a musician." Even though I wanted to quit, I decided to reply to one more ad for a trio looking for a bassist. A week later I got a call, and unlike the previous band leader, our personalities clicked. Luckily, the band played some of the songs I had already learned for my previous audition so I felt confident. We got together and "jammed" (which is really just an audition but psychologically it takes the pressure off) and I got hired in two of the band leaders bands out of the one jam/audition. The catch was, I had to learn roughly 80 songs in a month (which I did with a similar systematic approach that got me to become a yellow belt in such a short period of time). This isn't the first time in my life where I had to keep going even though I wanted to quit? Does anybody else struggle with that? Do you ever tell yourself things like, " I have been playing for years, but I still can't do (skill/technique/song)?
  6. Drum Loops For Free

    Hello there, I hope this is the right topic for this. I make drum loops with a drum program and sometimes with my E-kit. The reason behind is to let everybody to practice, jam, compose or record for free. I'd like to make a huge collection of any styles of drumming for everybody to have a good time with them instead of practicing with metronome all the time. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLs1_py20462eWjZWnI0io4knuit7vscuy Any feedbacks, shares, likes or comments are welcome. Feel free to mail me or send a message at facebook or wherever you'd like to. Thanks for reading, Oliver aka LichDesign
  7. As an apartment dwelling guitarist one of the greatest frustrations I have is coaxing quality tones from my guitar amps without disturbing the neighbors. While I already have a Roland Cube 60 with cosm technology I always was a little let down by the amp modelling and very let down in the fact that I'd have to crank it past acceptable levels to try and coax the tones out of the speaker. Yeah the Cube is great for small clubs in band situations where the tone is often lost in the wash of other instruments and room dynamics. But I wanted something else. My 40 year old pignose wasn't getting any younger or better sounding and I'd sold a few amps that I didn't feel I needed anymore as I wasn't going out on stage on a weekly basis. Enter the THR Yamaha has a few thr models out now. 5 watt version, A 10 watt standard version a 5watt acoustic only version, a 10 watt Heavy Metal version and mine. I won't get into all the differences here as there are plently of references for the rest of the models online. I got the THR10C specifically for the "C" Combo amps. Not just a guitar amp Normally, Reviewers put this in the last little bits of a column, When I'm in the kitchen cooking or cleaning up I'll ofted put it on the counter and listed to music with the THR. It not only has a guitar line in it has a usb connection and a stereo pin plug suitable for portable devices like smartphones and ipods. The sound is quite "high definition" with a near field amp / speaker design that doesn't need eq for non guitar inputs. Stunning, simply stunning. There are two volume controls on the far right side of the top. One is for the level of the guitar amp after modeling and the other is for the usb and/or external analog input. The USB in on the back serves as both a conduit for the THR software editor and as a sound card. The sound card operates at a respectable 24bit/48k on my vista machine. The soundcard utilizes Steinberg's asio drivers (not a generic ASIO4ALL) and a version of Steinberg's daw software is included (though I chose not to install it). While at first I had some sorting issues as I'll often run two daws with different drivers at the same time. Once I sorted things out it worked like a charm in all my hosts/daws. Noticeably lower latency compared to my internal sound card (realtec) and my external m-audio fast track. It just works. As well due to the design I can send both the modeled amp and a clean guitar signal to my host application. Which is extremely handy when I decide to use a third party plugin to handle amp modelling. Reamping and side chaining is something that are new to me in regards to guitar sounds. The THR10c has replaced my sound card and speaker system on all levels. I'm using it whenever I'm on the computer. Online video's internet radio and even recording. It truly is the end all be all. The Profile About the side of a bread box. A little narrower (front to back) and longer (left to right) Width 360mm Height 183.5mm Depth 140mm Runs on 6 "AA" batteries or via power supply. The Amp Sims For the record there are only five amp sims not eight. There are indeed 8 settings but only 5 can be considered amp modelling. The other three... well you'll have to scroll down a bit for more on that. Deluxe True to it's name the Deluxe is a very very faithful recreation of a fender deluxe. Although I'm sure someone with a real deluxe is wanting to go fisticuffs with me over that. Unlike the original THR10 the THR10c version doesn't break up untill everything is cranked and then it is only slightly noticeable. If you want some serious crunch tones consider other amp models or putting a stomp box between your guitar and the amp in. That's not to say it doesn't have punchy tube like compression or crunch value when the master and the gain are cranked. It's there and in your face. Thank goodness for the separate "guitar amp" volume control on the far right. With that I can get all the tone of all the amp settings without the cops showing at my door. Yes it is a rather loud ten watts when you need it. The yamaha virtual circuitry models the amp at all stages including how the power tubes react not just the pre's. This is something of which I could never attain from my roland cube. The technology mimics all tube amp behavior. Including reaction to string attack. play softly or roll off the volume and the tone cleans up just like on a real amp but unlike a solid state or generic amp sim computer or external. As well the tone controls faithfully react as the amp models do. It's not a generic eq for all models like other sims. These tone shaping characteristics are unique to the amp model selected. How faithful is the sound.... Well I've played two fender deluxes in my life time. Both a very long time ago in less then ideal rooms. This sim sounds great. I was able to pull out amazing clean tones of yesteryear and today. Class A The Class A is modeled after a matchless. The Matchless amp was considered the amp of the 90's . As it so happens the original Matchless was modeled after a Vox AC30 though heavily hotrodded This pulls out all those Rolling Stones, Sheryl Crow, Beatles and pretty much anything that has a loud and proud punchy mids. US Blues Fender Blues Junior incarnate. If you like fender amps with a little bit of bark to them for...Rockabily, Chicago Blues, SRV or even Knopfler tones you can pull it out here. UK Blues This is based on the Marshall Blues Breaker amp. And just like the blues breaker the tone controls are practically useless. If you really want to pull up the full spectrum of tones from this particular model be prepared to use stomp boxes. Mini This doesn't sound as much like A DrZ to my ears as it does a traynor darkhorse. Loads of gain from having only one power and one pre tube emulation. Again it's one of those amps that draws tonal character from your playing technique. Bass While intended for running a bass into the amp more then being an amp sim. I find this very very useful in "solo" fingerstyle playing regardless of style or guitar. (Yes. I've run all my guitars through it) The enhanced bass response is similar but not quite the same as my old Traynor Bass Mate. Acoustic No it's not an acoustic simulator. Actually it has the reverse effect. It's a mic sim that reduces the brightness of the tone much like live mic'ing would do. I find this especially pleasing for my jazz box tones where I want a pristine clean sound with a little bit of warmth. Flat Does what it says. treats the signal like sending it directly into a board. Effects Section My god,,, move over every amp with built in effects this one gets it right. No it won't emulate your favorite brand name stomp boxes to a T. I'll be honest. I've never been a fan of effects aside from a little reverb when casually practicing. Hooking up a pedal board adding more cables to the floor, wasting batteries. I also don't like stacking a billion effects on top of each other. None the less I'm more inclined to add a little chorus, etc today then I've been in years past. Simply because it's close at hand and rather well done. Of special note. The choice in amp selection has a direct correlation to the response of the effects in the mix. While I won't get too far into the effects in general one thing to note. The delay effect emulates tape based delay rather then digital delay. This emulation has all the artifacts of tape based delay. So if you are wanting to recreate that David Gilmour vibe have at it, However if you are looking for more of a Duran Duran / U2 delay well... pull out a stomp box or feed it through your daw. The delay does have a tap tempo button on the left side of the top that only controls delay. The button also serves (press and hold) as a means to access the chromatic tuner. About the presets Along the top of the amp selector is located 5 presets. This allows you to store all the values (amp type, master and gain levels, eq settings and effects settings to a single preset. It's quite a handy little feature for me as I have favorite sounds that I don't want to recall all those settings when ever I come back from doing something else. But I have to ask the questions Why only five and why don't they have a pedalboard for this thing? I know it seems petty of me after all these features (and more to come) It's just a practice amp. But it would be really nice to have some type of footswitch control for switching from chords to soloing. Setting a preset is as simple as pressing and holding the corresponding number. After that a quick touch of the button will bring it back. The THR10C Editor Yamaha provides software editors for mac and pc which allows the user amongst other things to access features not available from the top of the unit. These include the ability to switch speaker cab emulations. A compressor (stomp or rack) Different types of reverb(spring reverb is only available on top while the editor allows for spring, room, hall and plate) and a noise gate. I'll be honest as much as I love recreations of classic tones I'm not the type to spend hours tweaking knobs to recreate them. While I found the 24 included presets useful and a lot of fun I really wish they were more artist song specific as found on my pandora mini. However I'll take the clarity of signal and faithfulness of amp recreation in the THR10c over the pandora anyday. (the pandora is noisy as hell) There is a resource page for user contributed presets here - http://guitarpatches.com/patches.php?unit=THR10C Though it's rather limited Even though the THR10c has a near identical clean/deluxe sound these amps and the patches are not cross compatible. You can't take a preset intended for a THR10 or THR10X and simply run it in the THR10C. Final Words I've had this for a few weeks now. While the newness has worn off, what remains is an amazing little amp. I've had more stop boxes and all-in-one floor units then one can imagine. My daws are chocked full of even more dsp's. I've tried line6 stuff and really they always come close but the aliasing and the rather apparent delay have always been off putting. This little amp sounds as organic as any tube amp I've ever owned. It's replaced my soundcard and sits atop my desktop next to the monitor. Always ready for me. As a result I've done more guitar playing in the last month then I had for the entire 6 months prior to ownership. Every guitar I've owned has spent some time going through this amp. Strat, tele, lp, you name it. I've heard all them in a "new light" and the amp has rekindled the romance of my old guitars. I wonder about the future of these great little amps now that Yamaha has acquired Line6. Unlike line6 amps and pods the yamaha thr10c doesn't try to be all things all the time. Instead it it focuses on a nice market and serves that one extremely well. The niche market being classic rockers / jazzers, bluesmen like me.
  8. Tips & Tidbits Blog

    Since I started writing drum tutorials for this site, I've found that I keep coming up with little bits of information that I'd love to pass on in the articles. The problem has been.....finding appropriate places to include them. It finally occured to me (with John's help), that maybe I shouldn't be concerned with trying to link these bits to a central theme. They could simply be passed on as regular blog entries.....so that's what I'm gonna do. I'll be making new entries on a regular basis. I'd expect the first tip/tidbit to post within the next week or so. Hope you find them worthwhile & please feel free to comment. Tom Tips, Information & Opinions about Music & Drumming "Tips & Tidbits" blog
  9. I'm not sure if this is in the right section, but my group recently had an unfortunate setback resulting in us being out of a place to practice. Now I know it's possible to rent practice space, but I'm not really sure how one goes about finding it. I've spent a bit of time looking online but am having trouble finding anything in my state (Ohio). Does anyone have any advice?
  10. Mwah.

    From the album Just Me.

    While Adrian and I were practicing after I decided to blow money on a blue guitar, well blue is cool.