Guitar, recording & music in general.

Guitar, recording & music in general.

Pearl Jam Kicks Ass

I've always liked some of Pearl Jams' songs but it was mainly their more "mainstream" stuff:

  • Wish List
  • Last Kiss
  • Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
  • Better Man

I always thought their other stuff was too "weird" but now I'm an absolute Pearl Jam freak. My favourite album is "Backspacer" and, specifically, these songs just kick ass :)

  • Gonna See My Friend
  • Got Some
  • The Fixer
  • Johnny Guitar
  • Just Breathe
  • Amongst the Waves
  • Unthought Known
  • Force of Nature
  • The End (Beautiful, deep song. Your girlfriend/wife will cry.)
  • Push Me, Pull Me (Vitalogy Album)

Go check these out on YouTube or iTunes and enjoy :)

Figure Out Your Guitar Modes A Little Easier

About 1 or maybe even 2 years ago, I created a site about guitar modes. At the time, I was just coming to grips with the concept so creating a blog in which I taught people what I learned made good sense and helped cement the ideas in my head.

Along with my blog, I also created a little widget which gives you a bit of a shortcut to remembering the formulas for the modes and also gives you basic tips on when and where to use them. Check it out:

If you'd also like this on your blog, go to my guitar modes blog post where I show you the code. Copy and paste the code into your blog and you're done! Enjoy :)

My Tribute to Michael Jackson

My favourite musician while I was growing up was Michael Jackson. I was thoroughly obsessed with his music, his dance moves and his general persona. There wasn't a single song of his I didn't adore and this love for his music has stayed with me into my adult years.

The fact of the matter is the Michael Jackson was :( an amazing artist. He pushed the envelope and gave 110% of himself at all times.

I remember when he came to SA. We didn't have the money to go to his concert and we were visiting a friend close to Ellis Park (where his Joburg concert was held) and it was horrible to hear my idol so close and yet so far away.

Each one of his videos told a story, each one was a production in itself. The man did everything to his absolute best abilities and it showed.

Watching his concerts on TV was always a mesmerising experience for me and it was always sad when it ended. I would sit and wait in front of the TV - hoping for an enchore.

He was passionate about changing the world for the better and he sang about it, loud and clear. From "Heal the World" and "Earth Song" to "They Don't Really Care about Us" and "Black or White".

As a child, I wanted to be him, I wanted to meet him, I wanted to dance like him and sing like him. As an adult, I love his music and always will. I would have loved to have met the man that changed the world in so many ways and with an amazing childlike innocence that was, in my humble opinion, largely misunderstood by the world at large.

I think I owe my passion for music (and musicianship) to Michael Jackson. Thank you and rest well.

You'll always be remembered.

Edit: How I'll Always Remember the King of Pop:

Edit: These Songs Changed My Life...

- The Man in the Mirror
- Black or White
- The Earth Song
- Heal the World

Edit: Other Amazing Songs that will Always Mean Something Special to Me...

- Ben
- Stranger in Moscow
- I Just Can't Stop Loving You
- Liberian Girl
- Remember the Time
- Will You Be There
- She's out of My Life

What did MJ mean to you?

I'm overjoyed about my new Korg PX5D

Here's the story:  A few months ago, my friend "sold" me his guitar (Ibanez RG42-DX).  He said I could pay it off when I had the bucks.  As it turned out, I infrequently had the bucks ;)  It's so bad that, until this morning, I still owed him 600 bucks or thereabouts.

The other part of the story is that, a few months ago, I borrowed Francis one of my G3 DVDs as well as my Brett Garsed instructional DVD.  Both great DVDs.  So great that I haven't seen them in months.

The third part of the story is that Francis had a rough year and needed bucks.  He also had recently bought this UBER cool Korg PX5D that I absolutely love but had little use for it.  As soon as I'd tried it out, I decided that I wanted one.  So he suggested that, once I'd paid off the Ibanez, I could get the Korg until I had the bucks to pay IT off.  That was his way of motivating me to pay faster but, alas, it was a rough year for us all so, while it did help a little, it didn't get either one of us what we really wanted...  Francis: his bucks months ago; and me: that Korg months ago :)

(Oh, by the way, a few months back I sold my guitar (Ibanez RG470) and amp (Roland Cube 30))

So skip to this morning when Francis proposes that he gets to keep those DVDs and I get to keep the Ibanez (ie: it's paid off).  The Korg then comes to it's new home and I get to actually PLAY guitar again! 

Woohoo!  I'm so stoked.  This thing has so many awesome features.  You can record short clips of yourself, you can plug it into the USB port of your PC and record as long as you want, it has MIDI backing tracks which sound awesome, you can change their key, tempo or remove parts out of them (bass, rhythm, drums, etc).  You can use the phrase-trainer feature to nail a REALLY hard legato run.  And it just sounds so damn awesome!

I'm officially the happiest man on earth :)  I just had to share this with the world.  Yippeeeeee!

What it means to be a guitarist...

The Fender Forum
"Persons never trained in music will never understand the discipline and the passion for it. They will never appreciate the need to play a phrase over, and over, and over again until it is mastered. They will never understand the emotion that is reflected in what has been referred to as a "guitar face''....that bent note that comes from your soul, driven outward and upward, starting in your feet and ultimately smashing forth through the top of your head. They will never understand how we can exorcise our demons through it, how it saves our souls and brings us peace.

Easier to describe light to the blind, sound to the deaf, and speech to the dumb." -zzdoc

Metallica - Death Magnetic Done!

Today we finished mixing and mastering our ninth studio album of original material, "Death Magnetic" which hits the streets worldwide on Friday, September 12. Produced by Rick Rubin and recorded at Sound City Studios, Shangri La Studios, and our very own HQ. The first track and video "The Day That Never Comes" will hit the airwaves later this month. In addition, you'll be able to download every song from "Death Magnetic" for the video game "Guitar Hero III" the same day the album comes out!

Can't wait to hear this!<!-- technorati tags begin -->

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My 1st Guitar Recording

OK!  I lied.  It's not my first guitar recording but it's the 1st one I'm really proud of!

Sure there are a bunch of bum-notes and I stray off-theme a coupla times but, damn, it sounds sexy!

Check it out:

And here's a cleaned-up version after some great critique from The Guitar Forum:

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Musician's Friend - Musician's Friend's Exclusive In-Depth Interview with Joe Satriani, Part 3

Or sometimes I'll bring out my seven-string and put on a Linkin Park record and play along with that. I'll be like the annoying soloist that they decided not to have in the band [laughs].
Musician's Friend - Musician's Friend's Exclusive In-Depth Interview with Joe Satriani, Part 3

Man, I'd LOVE to hear what Satch does with Linkin Park!!  *all hail Professor Satchifunkilus*<!-- technorati tags begin -->

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Recording Guitar in Linux - LightSnake STUSBG10

LightSnake STUSBG10 I'm on a mission to record myself as cheaply and effectively as possible.  Part of the problem is that I'm using Linux which is still in its infancy as far as multimedia is concerned, especially when compared to, say, a Mac ;)

My goal is to take my little laptop (HP Compaq NX7000) and turn it into a recording studio, of sorts.  I'm not exactly aiming at professional results but acceptable results so I'll be taking a few shortcuts along the way.

One such shortcut is this little goodie.  It's called a LightSnake STUSBG10 and it's basically an external laptop that goes directly from your amp or guitar into your PC, via USB.  It allows for decent quality recording at a very good price (R300-R400).

Compared to the M-Audio Jamlab, this baby comes with a lot less extra but also comes in at around half the price.  Now I haven't bought, much less tested this cable so I can't vouch for it yet but, at that price, it's worth the gamble ;)

The idea, with this little project, is to keep it all very affordable and produce results that may be suitable for a demo.  My REAL focus is just to be able to stick my ideas down somewhere but I know that there are a lot of folk out there that would like to know how to get this sort of thing done affordably so here goes!

If you'd like to be kept up to date with my progress, keep watching this topic I created on recording guitar using Linux.<!-- technorati tags begin -->

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Guitar Forum SA has a Theme Song!

It's official, we have a theme song!  If you visit any page at, you can give it a listen.
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