Sunday, January 30, 2011

Great iPhone app for guitarists

Need something to practice soloing over? Want to be able to specify the chords and their durations? Quickly and easily? Say hello to chordbot. A very cool 'Band in a box' type app.  There is a free version with basic features and a full blown one with many more as well. Great for casual unplugged type chord/scale practicing, or traveling/hotel type situations.

Some of the features:
  • 60 chord types
    Including classics like Aug7(#9) and Min11(b5). Should be enough for anything but the most esoteric bebop songs.
  • 20+ comping styles
    Simple but usable guitar/piano/synth based backgrounds.
  • Auto inversion
    Chordbot will automatically select the inversion that is best suited to follow the current chord.
  • Slash chords
    Lets you specify the bass note for each chord.
  • Transposition
    Easily transpose songs to any key.
  • Song-O-Matic
    Automatic song generator with profiles for pop, jazz and avant-garde.
  • MIDI/WAV file export
    Refine your compositions in Cubase/Logic/GarageBand, etc.
  • Live editing
    Change chords/tempo/style while the song is playing.
You can download it from the itunes app store or similar type source for Android. Or here is the link:

Pretty excellent little find. Thanks to my good friend Mo!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Internet Lessons Made Easier - The Guitar Lesson Guide

Hey all, just wanted to take a minute to throw some support behind a friend of mine from over at the Lesson Loft, known to us as GreenAsJade. A great guy, who has built an excellent resource for any level of guitar player. This is a completely non-commercial site built for nothing more than the love of studying guitar - and making that process easier so let's share the love.

Jade takes the time to review the myriads of guitar based instruction on the net, reviews it, ranks it with stars and presents it to you. So if you want to save some valuable time bookmark this site. When you want to find a quality lesson it's a simple thing to do.

Here is the link 

Check it out and if you have any comments or suggestions for him let him know. Nice job Jade!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Having writers block?

A great site that explores the beauty of chord progressions. Well put together and a nice little resource for any guitarist who is interested in writing. Enjoy!

Here is the link

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No charge sheet music - damn!

Thanks to my good friend Jon Phillips, Today I stumbled across a great, bordering on overwhelming,  resource for anyone looking for sheet music. All scores are 'public domain' so there is no cost. Although as their disclaimer says "all copyrights are to individuals countries" so do check that before you distribute.

For those of you who don't read, I would highly recommend rectifying that. The process of learning to read can very much speed of the process of learning the notes on the neck. Plus you have access to a greater range of music, are able to communicate your ideas with not guitarists and improve your ability to land a gig. There are far more pros than cons so get yourself a method book and get going.

Isn't the method book good enough?
The problem with most method books is that they lack material for you to work on. With printing cost being what they are having pages and pages of reading material goes beyond the typical publishing budget. So it is important to have a large library of music you can blindly read. Once a piece is memorized, it is no longer of use to you. So resources such as this, or the "Real Book" for those jazz fans can really help speed up the process and generally make it more fun.

Here is the link

Also violin or clarinet scores can work well for guitar reading. So peruse and enjoy more than just the guitar area. Man, this interweb can be a useful thing! Who knew?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Game on!

Some rights reserved by NVJ

"What happened to all the good music?" or "It seems like musicians have run out of ideas" How many times have you heard (or felt) these feelings? Personally, I have heard many people pondering these pretty valid questions.

Ever the optimist, I have always held tightly to the theory that in popular music's 'heyday' there were hundreds of smaller record labels producing music. Therefore, the ability for an artist to produce their craft unmolested, was quite common. In the years that followed the 'suits' came to realize how much money was to be made in, what was at the time, a fairly untapped resource. One by one small labels got consumed by larger corporate entities. With each take-over the amount of voices with a say in the industry, became smaller and smaller.

Over the last 2 decades, what we have been 'allowed to hear' has been largely decided for us, by a small group of individuals. What's worse: these individuals ONLY interest has been making a buck.

Along comes the internet!
More specifically - high speed internet. Followed by sites like MySpace and YouTube. These great equalizers will once again splinter the control and the old boys club hopefully for a long time. At least this has been my theory! Until recently it was a theory ... then along comes a band like Project RnL to brighten my day.

Check out this sonic coolness:

Big fan. These guys aren't alone either. The emergence of other cool young bands seem to be happening with increasing frequency. Bands like Black Dub - to name another.

Hold onto your hats my friends. I believe we at the beginning of a musical renaissance. Hearing young cats playing with such soul and intensity only strengthens my resolve. The old system IS losing control. Musicians are beginning to take the power back (come on COME ON!)

Get your ears on and get out there. It's an exciting time to be a music lover.

Happy Friday indeed!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Friday Fun - guys who make me want to play - John Scofield

Seriously, this guy is the man. If you aren't familiar with the brilliant Mr Scofield, you should spend some time getting acquainted with the man and his career. He has played and collaborated with Miles Davis, Joe Henderson, Charles Mingus, Joey Defrancesco, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Pat Martino, Mavis Staples, Phil Lesh, Billy Cobham, Medeski Martin & Wood, George Duke, Jaco Pastorius, John Mayer, and many other well known artists.

While on my quest (better known as YouTubing : ) I came across this old series from the years of VHS, called "John Scofield on Improvisation". If you can get your hands on this DO IT. It is chock full of great insights and a very close-up and personal look and one of America's leading guitarists.

Here are the bits that i could find, enjoy!:

For more information on John and his career click here

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

155 Strum Patterns

Hey all! Short post today. I happened across a great site resource you may enjoy. It was assembled by Heartwood Guitar Instruction (I have zero affiliation with these folks). The site demonstrates 155 songs, by showing the strumming patterns. Also including chords and video in many cases. Check it out.

Here is the link