Category Archives: Music

How to Buy a New Guitar Amp

Step 1: Accept that your old Marshall AVT50 hybrid amp has a noisy fan. Assume it is irreparable and convince yourself that you should get a new amp.

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Facebook is the reason I haven’t been blogging much here. I think I should change that, because even though I look back at some of my angrier screeds and cringe, this is still the one and only space where I … Continue reading

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The Tangerine Dream: Refinishing the Retronix R-800

I got a great deal on one of the first Retronix R-800s — the Korean-made models of J. Backlund‘s designs — thanks to Kickstarter. Fantastic look, very comfortable neck and body contours, trem bridge with coil-tapped humbuckers — extremely¬†well built … Continue reading

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Jethro Tull, Metallica, and the 1989 Grammys: The Last Word

Someone recently brought up Jethro Tull’s win over Metalllica at the 31st Annual Grammy Awards as a way to discredit Grammys. I think there are many more valid reasons to discredit the Grammy Awards. But the reality of the Jethro … Continue reading

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Farewell Activision & LA, hello Ubisoft & SF

I’ve got a new gig! In early April, I will start at Ubisoft as Community Developer for Studio SF, the team behind Rocksmith & Rocksmith 2014. This is awesome for several reasons. First of all, anybody who knows me knows … Continue reading

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My trip to Norman’s Rare Guitars

I’ve wanted to go to Norman’s Rare Guitars for a long time — mostly because Nigel Tufnel wears their shirt in This Is Spinal Tap. Norman’s is also where they got/rented/borrowed all the guitars for Nigel’s guitar room scenes — … Continue reading

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So You Want to Buy an Electric Guitar…

I’ve been approached by several friends this year who want to buy a guitar, and I know the arrival of Rocksmith 2014 has something to do with it. I am happy and proud to be The Guitar Whisperer for them, … Continue reading

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YouTube and the path of Zen Guitar, part 2

A few months ago I talked about Tina S., the YouTube guitarist who, while technically proficient, never smiled, never seemed to connect with the music she was playing, and how different that was from my own experience, particularly following the … Continue reading

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YouTube and the path of Zen Guitar

I am a mediocre guitarist at best. My technique is downright terrible. The nicest complement I ever received was from a friend who was very technically skilled, who told me that when I played, he could tell just how much … Continue reading

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Advice for guitarists

Learn to play a song. Doesn’t have to be tricky, doesn’t have to be long — but everybody can play riffs and call themselves a guitarist. Playing songs is what makes you a musician. ¬† Learn to play a song … Continue reading

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