Check this site out if your New Year resolutions included one that went “Learn to play the guitar like John Petrucci”. ShareMyGuitar is a social network that will let you see to that. The only people who use it are guitar enthusiasts. By signing up for an account, you’ll be able to share pictures and videos of your favorite guitars and players. You’ll get to read interviews and news. And you’ll also be able to create polls and post questions for more knowledgeable folks to come to the rescue.
Alternative guitar tunings, chord charts, rare tablatures… you can request (and get) all that through this site.
And when it comes to polls, you can ask whatever you want. You can ask who’s the best rhythm guitar player under the sun (pointless – everybody knows it’s Pete Townshend), what’s the most famous guitar in history (pointless – everybody knows it’s Lucille), who’s the hottest chick who’s ever played a guitar (pointless – everybody knows it’s Orianthi)… all these things you’ve always wanted to ask but kept to yourself can be elucidated here. Continue reading →
The hardest bit when trying to learn an instrument is finding the time to practice. You show someone who hasn’t picked a guitar in his life how to play an E chord and he will get it. And he will retain it, even if he’s got a memory like a sieve. No doubt about it. But being able to concatenate different chords together harmoniously is something which only comes with practice, and the kind of perseverance that lies beyond most people’s grasp. Progress is always slow at first, and while few do a Pete Townshend and put their feet through their instruments most call it a day before too long.
Well, that’s what this emerging company is trying to remedy. Ovelin is a Finnish startup that is about to release an iPad app that turns practicing the guitar into nothing short of a game. Continue reading →
Being almost tone deaf wasn’t the only reason why I gave up on instruments when I was younger, but it certainly played its part. With a tool like this one back then, things might have gone more pleasurably. I would have been encouraged to keep at it for a little longer, and maybe (just maybe) reach the point in which I could actually play something. I find myself thinking that every time I go to a rehearsal of any of the bands I write lyrics for, and any member couldn’t make it there on time, leaving an instrument vacant. Today was one such day. Hence, today is the right time to review this site.
Found at http://pitchimprover.com, this a site that will let you learn to play instruments by ear. The site lets you choose the one you want to master from a list made up by “Piano”, “Guitar”, “Strings” and “Woodwinds”, and then it will let you do as many exercises as you want. These all revolve around a melody being played to you, and you having to reproduce it using an interactive keyboard. There are 20 different skill levels, and you are actually the one choosing the one you are in at the beginning of the process. Level 1 is “Major 1, 3, 5” (the one even I get right), and level 20 is “Chromatic” (the one I wouldn’t get right in twenty consecutive reincarnations). Continue reading →
Google’s Doodles were implemented by the search giant as a direct response to the random backgrounds that one gets when using Bing. Doodles conmemorate the birth of famous people, the date in which discoveries and inventions were made, and the date in which remarkable products were issued. And just last week, one of the most interesting Doodles ever was featured on Google’s homepage.
I’m obviously talking about the Les Paul Doodle. It celebrated the 96th anniversary of the birth of Les Paul, unarguably one of the biggest names in guitar history.
This Doodle proved so popular during its original run that it was left online for two full days (Doodles are only left there for 24 hours at most). And the immense popularity of the Les Paul Doodle was confirmed when Google announced the musical logo would live forever on a page of its very own.
So, the Les Paul Doodle will remain accessible for perpetuity here. You will be able to create songs and have them recorded and shared with all of your chums. Just check the video featured below in case you have not seen what this latest Doodle is capable of.
Can you imagine how cool would it be if people like Richard Thompson or Carlos Santana built sites featuring hand-picked content for guitar players? That would be comparable to someone like Stephen King building a site showing budding writers the way things really click.
Well, the day such sites come to be might not be that distant. Guitar maestro Steve Vai has just released one such website, and it can be reached at Guitartv.com. It is a site 100 % dedicated to the streaming of guitar-related content. Those who visit it will get to watch music videos, live shows and lessons dealing with all things guitar. Information such as which axe any performer is playing can be accessed at a click, and tablatures are provided via Songster.com.
And in all cases, users are provided with the links for buying what they are watching at stores such as Amazon. Plus, tickets for shows can be purchased in an equally-easy way.
So who do you think is following on Vai’s footsteps now? And which instrument is next? Bass? Drums? Place your bets in the comments below…
Get ready for automated and intelligent tablatures, because that is what this shiny new website has to offer. Guitaryst allows anybody to play his guitar while the relevant tablature is automagically scrolled down the screen of his computer or tablet. This means that the performer (IE, you) won’t have to leave his guitar unattended in order to flip a page any longer.
Guitaryst works along with last.fm, like.fm and libre.fm. You are given the chance to choose the one service you want for the song to be streamed. As soon as the music begins, the tab will be displayed and automatically scrolled down to the timing of the song. Continue reading →
Clean Tab is a site that will make any guitar’s player day. It collects together tabs for most popular bands and displays them using cutting-edge technology (it is the first site of its nature that I have seen which uses HTML5, for example).
Also, the site comes with full support for social networking services (IE; Facebook and its cronies) so that sharing any tab that you find and that lets you replicate your guitar heroes to the tee is a piece of cake.
The site can be browsed by genre and by artist, and the ones that are better-represented are actually highlighted on the main page for you to know about new bands to try out, although I doubt you will make any new discovery there – the artists which are showcased are all of stature, like The Beatles, The Who and David Bowie. Continue reading →
This is the second part of my interview with Ian Cox from DigiClef. Remember to check part 1, as he introduced the company and its products there.
MUSIC & YOU
When did you become interested in music? What was the first album or single you ever purchased?
I have been interested in music since I started learning the classical guitar at the age of 10. I think my first popular music purchase was Kings of the Wild Frontier when I was 12 (the album had been out for a few years, but I liked it).
I mainly borrowed my brother’s music during my early teens which lead to an interest in goth and punk music. I think my first purchases of that genre were The Mission and The Cult.
Are you in a band yourself, or have you been in a band in the past? Is there a file on YouTube or elsewhere we could watch?
I am not currently in a band. I have been in a few bands but nothing more than just having fun with mates.
I did run an acid trance and techno night in Bristol called Lunacy in the early noughties for a while with some friends. The website for that is not available any more but you can find it on the internet archive. Continue reading →
"Adventure" Was Issued In 1978, Little Less Than A Year After Television's Debut "Marquee Moon" Had Been Released
A “Marquee Moon petit”. That is the best way to describe Television’s second LP. It was issued in 1978, and it was to be their final release for almost two decades as they disbanded some time after the record had hit the shelves.
Obviously, Marquee Moon was a hard act to follow. You must remember that the songs which were recorded for the debut had germinated over three years of live performances, and that alone gave them a crisper edge when placed against the songs on Adventure. Those were written in a very limited lapse, but at least the band exploited the bigger budget they had the second time around.
In many cases, they slowed down the tempos and came up with songs that ended sounding a little trippy. The most obvious examples are the cuts “Carried Away” and “The Fire”. The former has a sort of lulling melody that mirrors the marine themes and motifs of the lyrics in a manner not really dissimilar to that in which Yeats’ “The Lake Isle Of Innisfree” lulls you over with its vocal rhythm.
On the other hand, “The Fire” has Verlaine playing a slide part in which he uses a knife instead of a bottleneck to quite good effect. The song also has the best set of lyrics on the whole album – it must have helped that Tom picked the standout verses from over twenty he claimed he had penned. Continue reading →
Richard’s first album of the century found him in a small label for the first time in more than two decades, and the record itself was to have a streamlined approach, with few musicians and a sound that was far removed from the layered approach that had marked/marred his 90s output. Perversely enough, the new formula worked quite magically – the record hit the Billboard Top 200, and the top 5 of the Indie charts. The truth is producer John Chelew came closer to capturing Richards’ rotund live sound than virtually anybody else – for sure much closer than Mitchell Froom.
The title of the album references a World War I song, as it is only fit since the record has a conceptual tinge of boys that grow to become soldiers only to be hit by the intricacies of destiny and the egotism and apathy of the adult world – “the fire in your eyes/how could they know”, Richard sings on the set opener, the fiercely beautiful “Gethsemane”. The first side of the record also has the Celtic-styled “One Door Opens”, probably one of the album highlights with vocalist Judith Owen (a recent associate that joins long-time bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Michael Jerome) providing a rich backdrop, something she does not only on that tune but on more than half the tracks.
This backing becomes even more noticeable in one of the closing numbers, the tension-riddled “Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen”. Richard mutes the guitar, and he lets it ring only when the intensity is such that the lyrical flow demands a sturdier backbone so that the song won’t collapse.
“Word Unspoken, Sight Unseen” is placed next to the Eastern-derived “Outside Of The Inside”, which is (appropriately enough) a song about Muslim faith and the way a radical sees Western culture. Continue reading →