Guitar https://www.kennycarlile.com/ en Hot-rodding the Hot Rod - 2011 Fender American Nashville B-Bender Upgrades https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2020-09-14/hot-rodding-the-hot-rod-2011-fender-american-nashville-b-bender-upgrades <span>Hot-rodding the Hot Rod - 2011 Fender American Nashville B-Bender Upgrades</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Back in the mid-2000s, I fell in love with the idea of a Fender Telecaster with a B-Bender, but I didn't want to have someone put a B-Bender in an existing Tele for a couple of reasons (cost, heavily modifying a stock guitar, etc.). Fender made the American Nashville B-Bender Telecaster, but it was out of my price range at the time and then they discontinued it. BUT THEN they brought it back in 2011! I jumped on the opportunity and my lovely, wonderful, thoughtful wife agreed to get it for me for Christmas and my birthday (they fall really close together and I often combine gifts to get something bigger). I had to wait a few months, but it finally arrived and it was fantastic!</p> <h2>Must-do Mods and Costmetics</h2> <p>I wanted to do a few things to customize it to my own preferences. First, like all of my Fenders, I put installed <a href="https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/0990690000--fender-strap-locks-and-buttons-set-chrome">straplocks</a> because I'm terrified of my guitars falling when the strap slips off. Second, I like all of my Fenders to have white pearl pickguards and black pickup covers. That look is kinda my signature style for my Fenders. This guitar already came with a white pearl pickguard, so I just had to add a <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fender-Vintage-Strat-Pickup-Cover/dp/B000LPP6XU/">black pickup cover for the middle pickup</a>.</p> <p><img alt="2011 Fender American Nashville B-Bender Telecaster with upgraded costmetics" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="16bef7f8-e797-40dc-81d1-cc9c9e056b86" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/fender-american-nashville-b-bender-cosmetics_0.jpg" width="600" height="800" loading="lazy" /></p> <h2>Got it on Lock!</h2> <p>That was all I did to my B-Bender Tele for a while, but a few years later, I started getting the itch to do some more customizations to that guitar, so I installed <a href="https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/0990818100--fender-locking-stratocaster-telecaster-tuning-machines-chrome">Fender locking tuners</a> after getting them on my Fender Mod Shop Stratocaster and loving them. They don't do much for fixing tuning issues (not that my guitars have any tuning issues), but they sure are convenient when changing strings or needing to loosen them for maintenance. Plus, they are super easy to install.</p> <p><img alt="Fender locking tuners" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="93e534df-99ea-46bc-b486-f2eb4917d398" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/fender-locking-tuners.jpg" width="600" height="800" loading="lazy" /></p> <h2>Take the Bridge to Twang City</h2> <p>Next, I wanted to try a vintage-style Telecaster bridge with 3-brass compensated saddles. As it turns out, it's really hard to find one that works on a modern American Tele because the new ones use a 3-hole pattern instead of the vintage 4-hole pattern. Also, no one makes a bridge with an extra hole for the B-string to pass through for the bender. I finally found a <a href="https://www.kluson.com/kluson-hybrid-replacement-bridge-for-fender-american-standard-telecaster-steel-with-intonated-brass-saddles-details.html">Kluson vintage-style bridge with brass saddles</a> that would fit the American hole pattern. As I expected, I had to drill a hole (and dremel it out a bit so it's smooth) for the B-string to pass through. The new bridge works great and gives my B-Bender Tele more of that classic twangy sound.</p> <p><img alt="American Nashville B-Bender Telecaster stock bridge and Kluson vintage-style bridge" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bf212af7-7949-4c25-9882-d49726919602" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/fender-american-nashville-b-bender-stock-bridge.jpg" width="600" height="800" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><img alt="2011 Fender American Nashville B-Bender Telecaster with Kluson vintage-style bridge" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="403668a8-e441-4991-bd9f-c146921ecc9a" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/fender-american-nashville-b-bender-kluson-bridge.jpg" width="600" height="800" loading="lazy" /></p> <p><img alt="Kluson vintage-style bridge with B-string hole for B-Bender" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a43b047c-e02f-4ee3-b395-39c8d52b3f09" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/fender-american-nashville-b-bender-kluson-bridge-b-string.jpg" width="600" height="800" loading="lazy" /></p> <h2>Pickup Headaches...and Help from a Friend</h2> <p><strong>WARNING: I am not a pickup expert. I'm about to say some stuff that may not be completely accurate. I am not a pickup expert. :)</strong></p> <p><em>I've replaced pickups in my guitars before, but I generally try to swap entire sets so that I don't have to deal with the intricacies of phase and winding and all that stuff, so I barely know anything about those things. That being said, this is my experience in swapping pickups in this guitar, so if I'm mistaken in this, I'd love to hear from someone who knows better than I do about this.</em></p> <p>Okay, back to the story. When I found out that <a href="https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LaBreaSet--seymour-duncan-brad-paisleys-la-brea-pickup-set">Seymour Duncan had announced the Brad Paisley La Brea signature Telecaster pickups</a>, I knew I had to try them. I did a little research, but obviously not enough from what you're about to read. I ordered the La Brea pickups from Sweetwater and dropped them into the B-Bender Tele and, while I'm not a soldering expert, they worked on the first try...sorta. If you're not aware, the switching on this guitar is like a Strat rather than a Tele:</p> <ol><li>Bridge</li> <li>Bridge and middle</li> <li>Middle</li> <li>Middle and neck</li> <li>Neck</li> </ol><p>In positions 2 and 4, you should get the quacky sound like a Strat. After installing the La Brea pickups, the guitar worked fine in positions 1, 3, and 5. However, in positions 2 and 4, the tone was extremely thin and not like a Strat at all. I was getting sound out of both pickups, but it just didn't sound right when the new pickups were combined with the middle pickup.</p> <p>I had read that Seymour Duncan's support was great, so I started with them and, while they were friendly and responsive, they were unable to help much. Oddly, I couldn't send the pickups to them to swap for a different winding (if that had been the issue) because of the deal they have with artists and how they can't do any customizations to the pickups. I thought that was an interesting fact. Also, they seemed to think the issue was that the Tele pickups were opposite wound (bridge one way, neck the other) so I couldn't solve this problem in a Nashville Tele. (Disclaimer: it's possible that I didn't fully understand the response from their support agent.) However, with positions 2 and 4 both sounding weird, I thought that it meant that the middle pickup was the one that didn't work with the others. Seymour Duncan support did tell me that their pickups are wound opposite of how Fender does them, so that gave me another clue, but I wasn't sure what to do, so I just left the guitar hanging on my wall for a couple weeks.</p> <p>I follow <a href="https://askzac.com/">Zac Childs</a> on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/c/AskZac">YouTube</a> because he's extremely interesting and knowledgable. Last year, he published a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vYOYw9ojwk">video about the La Brea pickups</a> and I learned that he <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej4Uee78cpo">used to be Brad Paisley's guitar tech</a>. While watching one of his recent videos, I realized that I <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrwpRIDBKQY&amp;lc=UgxbT5EqcclI9tyQ5014AaABAg">could ask him and he might be able to help</a>, although I didn't really expect an answer. Sure enough, he responded quickly with a great suggestion to try swapping the wires on the middle pickup. Later that weekend, I gave it a shot and it worked! My Nashville B-Bender Tele was back to normal, but with the new La Brea pickups in the bridge and neck and the stock Texas Special in the middle.</p> <p>I'd like to give a very special thank you to Zac Childs for helping with this. (I did drop some money in his PayPal tip jar for this time and knowledge.) I'm sure it wasn't much for him to reply to my comment, but it saved me a lot of hassle and I really appreciate the help.</p> <p>So what exactly happened and what fixed it? Here's a diagram illustrating what I believe happened and why switching the wires on the middle pickup fixed it:</p> <p><img alt="Nashville Tele Pickup Compatibility" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a7d85095-33e2-4670-9f9b-76d00e4a343a" height="auto" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/nashville-tele-pickup-compatibility-v1.0.png" width="100%" loading="lazy" /></p> <h2>Parts list</h2> <ul><li><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Fender-Vintage-Strat-Pickup-Cover/dp/B000LPP6XU/">Fender black pickup cover</a> - $7.99</li> <li><a href="https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/0990690000--fender-strap-locks-and-buttons-set-chrome">Fender strap locks, chrome</a> - $9.89</li> <li><a href="https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/0990818100--fender-locking-stratocaster-telecaster-tuning-machines-chrome">Fender Locking Stratocaster/Telecaster Tuning Machines Set, chrome</a> - $49.24</li> <li><a href="https://www.kluson.com/kluson-hybrid-replacement-bridge-for-fender-american-standard-telecaster-steel-with-intonated-brass-saddles-details.html">Kluson Hybrid Replacement Bridge For Fender American Standard Telecaster Steel With Intonated Brass Saddles</a> (Part # KASHYG-C) - $50.75 (purchased on Reverb)</li> <li><a href="https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LaBreaSet--seymour-duncan-brad-paisleys-la-brea-pickup-set">Seymour Duncan Brad Paisley's La Brea Pickup Set</a> - $169.00</li> </ul><p> </p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Mon, 09/14/2020 - 12:48</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-files field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Files</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.kennycarlile.com/sites/kccom/files/blog/files/nashville-tele-pickup-compatibility-v1.0.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=38288" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">Nashville Tele Pickup Compatibility v1.0 PDF</a></span><span class="file-size">37.39 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/guitars" hreflang="en">Guitars</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1416&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="XjcG0OCM4cVv-QzULhYlkBLaZSfFIJ0TJr4MCtmLXNY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 14 Sep 2020 19:48:52 +0000 Kenny 1416 at https://www.kennycarlile.com Preamp Usage with Microphones https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2020-09-09/preamp-usage-with-microphones <span>Preamp Usage with Microphones</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>This is the second post in a series of tutorials to help my kid learn some of the more technical aspects to recording and music production. After recently buying him a PreSonus TubePRE preamp, I realized he may not know exactly how to use it.</p> <h2>What is a Microphone Preamp?</h2> <p>A microphone preamp is a signal amplifier that can boost the signal level and <em>can</em> enhance the quality of the signal by adding color, such as emphasizing certain harmonics in the source signal. That is, a preamp can add mild distortion to your signal (vocal or otherwise) to add a desirable color to the tone.</p> <p>Sometimes, the stock preamps built into an interface, such as a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, can be extremely clean. Using a preamp can add a bit of analog warmth missing from modern digital signal conversion (analog-to-digital).</p> <h2>Great! How do I use it?</h2> <p>The preamp goes between your microphone and the interface and it does not require +48v (Phantom power). You should set your interface's input to be line level, rather than instrument level, for the line coming from the preamp and +48v should be disabled on the interface. You will want to use a balanced cable, either TRS or XLR input, when connecting your preamp to the interface.</p> <p>Now you're ready to plug your microphone into the preamp. If you're using a dynamic mic, such as a Shure SM57, +48v should be disabled on your preamp. If you're a condenser mic, such as an AKG Perception 220, you'll need to enable +48v on the preamp to power the condenser microphone.</p> <p>Your preamp will generally have a drive and gain control. These may be labeled something else, such as input and output. Regardless of the naming convention, you can think of these like pre-volume and post-volume where the pre-volume impacts the distortion and the post-volume impacts the line level after the distortion has been applied.</p> <p>Your preamp may have other controls as well, such as:</p> <ul><li>Ø - phase inversion</li> <li>PAD - some decibel level of input reduction or <em>padding</em></li> <li>Low-pass filter - reduction in low frequencies, such as an 80Hz low-pass filter</li> </ul><p>If your interface has auxiliary inputs on the back, your best approach is to use a balanced TRS cable to connect your preamp to your interface. This will free up your front-mounted combination inputs (1/4" and XLR compatible Neutrik NCJ6FI-S style jacks) for other inputs to be used later.</p> <h2>So what about Gain Staging?</h2> <p>Gain staging is a tricky topic that is much larger than this article can address. In short, you need to balance your signal level with the preamps drive and gain levels <em>and</em> your interface's input level. That is, you don't want to drive one of these too hot or you may end up distorting your signal in a way you haven't intended. You'll want to carefully adjust your various gain stages in your signal path for the desired sound. Generally speaking, you'll want to get the tone coloration from your preamp's drive level and then set your other levels for the most headroom to retain signal integrity.</p> <h2>Other Uses</h2> <p>You can use a preamp for coloring a clean signal or for boosting a quiet microphone such as a ribbon mic. You can also use it to add a little analog warmth to a direct signal from bass or guitar or even synth.</p> <p><img alt="Preamp Usage with Microphones" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="dd49ef66-ad52-468c-8a15-a6f9f7b3d58a" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/preamp-usage-v1.0.png" width="100%" height="auto" loading="lazy" /></p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/09/2020 - 21:29</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-files field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Files</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.kennycarlile.com/sites/kccom/files/blog/files/preamp-usage-v1.0.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=597330" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">Preamp Usage with Microphones.PDF</a></span><span class="file-size">583.33 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/recording-production" hreflang="en">Recording &amp; Production</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/296" hreflang="en">Bass</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/351" hreflang="en">Recording</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/356" hreflang="en">Producing</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/361" hreflang="en">Preamps</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1411&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="8gjYTeSE1jqruakLf8vXfLQAIlDW0Zu4SkH2NwbdDT0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 10 Sep 2020 04:29:54 +0000 Kenny 1411 at https://www.kennycarlile.com Direct Box (DI) Usage https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2020-08-12/direct-box-di-usage <span>Direct Box (DI) Usage</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I was recently talking to my kid about recording and the topic of signal flow came up. We were discussing options with regard to how to record guitar: direct into the interface with software amps and effects, through the pedalboard and then into the interface with software amps, and through the pedalboard into the amp and then mic'd and into the interface. We were talking about this in the context of recording both guitar and bass (not simultaneously). I mentioned the idea of a direct box and he said he hadn't heard of that, so I thought I'd put together a diagram to explain the use of a direct box.</p> <h2>So what is a direct box?</h2> <p>Direct boxes are also called a "DI" which stands for <em>direct inject</em>. According to <a href="https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/di-boxes/">Sweetwater's article on direct boxes</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>...the primary function of DI boxes is to take an unbalanced, high-impedance signal and convert it to a balanced, low-impedance signal.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>A direct box allows the signal to run over longer distances without degradation of quality (volume reduction and loss of high-end frequencies) and it also allows a guitar or bass signal (or other instrument) to be run directly into a microphone preamp or other similar signal processor.</p> <p>Most direct boxes allow for a passthrough signal (unbalanced, instrument) and an output (balanced, line-level). In addition, many direct boxes allow for a ground lift as one of the standard features. Direct boxes are powered by 48v phantom power like a condenser microphone and the line-level output runs through a balanced cable like an XLR microphone cable.</p> <p>While there are many different direct boxes on the market, the primary variations are between active and passive direct boxes. The Sweetwater article linked above does a great job of explaining the differences and why you might want one over the other.</p> <h2>Okay, what do I do with a direct box?</h2> <p>If you're on stage or in a large recording studio, you could use a direct box to take an instrument signal and run it over a long distance to a preamp while retaining the signal integrity. But, let's talk about the more interesting uses for recording and production.</p> <p>You can use a direct box to split your guitar or bass signal to record one line directly into the recording interface and one signal into the amp. You could use the amp for live monitoring, but it's a lot more common to then mic that amp and record it so you have a dry signal and an amped signal going to two separate tracks in your DAW. Let's look at a few options:</p> <h3>Completely dry guitar in parallel</h3> <ul><li>Guitar &gt; direct box: <ul><li>line output: recording interface</li> <li>passthrough: pedalboard &gt; amp &gt; microphone &gt; recording interface</li> </ul></li> </ul><p>By splitting the signal right after the guitar and recording it completely dry, you have the option to either use plugins for effects and amps or you can preserve the original recording for re-amping later (see below).</p> <h3>Guitar with effects in parallel</h3> <ul><li>Guitar &gt; pedalboard &gt; direct box: <ul><li>line output: recording interface</li> <li>passthrough: amp &gt; microphone &gt; recording interface</li> </ul></li> </ul><p>Having the direct box after the pedalboard allows you to retain the effects from your pedalboard in the recording while still being able to use software amps or re-amp your signal.</p> <h2>Re-amping your dry signal</h2> <p>Re-amping is where you take a recorded guitar signal and play it from the DAW, through a re-amp box (think of it like a reverse direct box) and back through an amp (with optional effects) to be recording again. With re-amping, you can re-record the same original dry guitar performance as many times as you need to change the tone until you get it just right on the recording.</p> <h2>Anything else?</h2> <p>There are other ways to use a direct box, but these are the most common uses. The diagram below shows the "guitar with effects in parallel" flow mentioned above, but also shows the location of the direct box (faded out) if you wanted to use the "completely dry guitar in parallel" flow.</p> <p>Also, bass is very often recorded as a dry DI signal in parallel with an amped signal. Those two signals are then mixed together, sometimes with software effects on the DI signal, to achieve the desired bass tone.</p> <p><img alt="Direct Box (DI) Usage" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="392bd673-df4f-4f35-ab49-a5930a9fee87" height="auto" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/direct-box-di-usage-v1.0.png" width="100%" loading="lazy" /></p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Wed, 08/12/2020 - 20:36</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-files field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Files</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.kennycarlile.com/sites/kccom/files/blog/files/direct-box-di-usage-v1.0.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=686598" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">Direct Box (DI) Usage v1.0 PDF</a></span><span class="file-size">670.51 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/recording-production" hreflang="en">Recording &amp; Production</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/296" hreflang="en">Bass</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/103" hreflang="en">Effects Pedals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/70" hreflang="en">Pedals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/351" hreflang="en">Recording</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/356" hreflang="en">Producing</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1391&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="UtnV1zPGxrClFwrCnFr0m3IwUGkaYKbGJtTTYsWDD6c"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 13 Aug 2020 03:36:48 +0000 Kenny 1391 at https://www.kennycarlile.com Flash Chord - Practice chords, scales, or arpeggios with an endless stream of randomized chords! https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2020-07-28/flash-chord-practice-chords-scales-or-arpeggios-with-an-endless-stream-of <span>Flash Chord - Practice chords, scales, or arpeggios with an endless stream of randomized chords!</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><a href="http://www.flashchord.com/"><img alt="Flash Chord - Practice chords, scales, or arpeggios with an endless stream of randomized chords!" src="http://www.flashchord.com/images/flash-chord-logo.png" /></a></p> <p>I've recently published a new project called <a href="http://www.flashchord.com/">Flash Chord (at FlashChord.com)</a>&nbsp;which is a web-based tool for practicing chords, scales, and arpeggios against an endless stream of randomized chords.</p> <p>I've used various backing tracks and other tools, like <a href="https://irealpro.com/">iReal Pro</a>, for practicing chords and scales, but those tools require you to enter the chords ahead of time or use a pre-built track for practicing. This is great, but it allows you to fall into patterns of comfort without really challenging you to learn every part of your instrument. I couldn't find any tools that I thought met all the requirements for which I was looking, so I decided to create Flash Chord as a free web-based tool that would work for any instrument to help musicians practice.</p> <p>Flash Chord is configurable for various difficulty options which makes it usable for all levels of musicians. Configuration options include:</p> <ul> <li>Tempo</li> <li>Bars per chord</li> <li>Time signature</li> <li>Key</li> <li>Chord types</li> <li>Chord extensions</li> <li>Toggle rare enharmonic equivalents&nbsp;(C♭, B♯, F♭, E♯)</li> <li>Toggle next chord</li> <li>Toggle audible metronome</li> <li>Toggle visual metronome</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://github.com/KCarlile/flashchord">Flash Chord is also an open source project on GitHub</a>, so if you'd like to help contribute in any way (code, testing, documentation, etc.), please head over there and get involved.</p> <p>To stay updated on the latest with Flash Chord, be sure to&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/flash_chord">follow us on Twitter&nbsp;<i class="fab fa-twitter" aria-hidden="true"></i>&nbsp;@Flash_Chord</a>.</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Tue, 07/28/2020 - 12:32</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/web-development" hreflang="en">Web Development</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/106" hreflang="en">Music</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/331" hreflang="en">Music Theory</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">PHP</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/336" hreflang="en">JavaScript</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/341" hreflang="en">jQuery</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/56" hreflang="en">CSS</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/346" hreflang="en">Bootstrap</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=1386&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="-cLVq34bS2pjsbVdRCNj_CXZPmjjrnhqv3s_8xIgLHI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 28 Jul 2020 19:32:36 +0000 Kenny 1386 at https://www.kennycarlile.com Recommended Guitar and Bass Pedal Ordering https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2019-09-26/recommended-guitar-and-bass-pedal-ordering <span>Recommended Guitar and Bass Pedal Ordering</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I often find myself in discussions with friends about effects pedal order for guitar and bass. Now that my kid has started playing guitar and is getting into pedals, I realized that I didn't have a good go-to resource for the topic. I decided to write my own article on the subject, not because I have something fundamentally different to say than other people, but because I think I have a better way of presenting the information.</p> <h2>Why should I care?</h2> <p>There is no actual rule for pedal order. These are guidelines. You can do whatever you want. Some pedals may not work exactly as you expect, but you're not going to harm anything by running them in some atypical order. (Caveat: I suppose it's possible there's some combination of pedals that <em>could</em> harm one another in a certain order, but I've never heard of it. Usually, it's only power issues that can damage pedals.) You can always experiment and find what works for you. However, some people, like myself, don't have unlimited time to try out every pedal in every possible position. I like to learn what I can from others and grow from there.</p> <h2>How could order really matter?</h2> <p>While order of pedals doesn't matter in most cases, there are some instances where order really does matter. For example, some older fuzz pedals are very sensitive to buffers being in front of them in the signal chain because of [insert explanation here about impedance that I didn't really understand]. Because of that sensitivity, those old fuzz pedals need to be placed before any buffers in your signal chain.</p> <p>Another example of this comes from a mistake I made recently on one of my pedal boards. Without thinking about it too much, I put an envelope filter after a compressor. In most instances, it probably doesn't matter that much because you would rarely use a compressor and an envelope filter at the same time. But, if you did, you'd find out that your envelope filter doesn't work that well. Why? An envelope filter works on the signal variation coming from dynamics in your playing. The harder you play, the greater the envelope is impacted. If you have a compressor in front of your envelop filter, all of your playing dynamics are evened out and your envelope filter only sees one signal level. You're better off to put your compressor after the envelope filter so you don't negate your dynamics going into the envelope filter.</p> <h2>Alright, I get it. Now tell me the <s>rules</s> guidelines!</h2> <p>As I said and as you'll read in plenty of other articles on this topic, there are no <em>rules</em> per se, but here are the kinda-sorta rules—more like <em>guidelines</em>—to get you started:</p> <ol><li><strong>Buffer-sensitive pedals <em>first!</em></strong> If you have an old Fuzz Face, you probably want that first in your signal chain. Some modern fuzz pedals, like the Wampler Velvet Fuzz, can be placed anywhere in your signal chain.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Buffer.</strong> You want to convert your signal to a high impedance signal early in your signal chain in order to preserve high-end frequencies and maintain signal strength. Some tuners, like the Boss TU-2 or TU-3, have built in buffers, but if you have a dedicated buffer, you want that out front.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Tuner.</strong> Your tuner should be early in your signal chain to act as a mute and so that you're tuning a clean signal for more accurate tuning. Your tuner won't work as well if it's trying to tune a distorted, chorused, delayed, reverbed signal and you don't want to have to turn off all those pedals in order to tune.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Wah.</strong> Your wah should be next, but you really could put this wherever it is convenient toward the front of your board. Often times, a wah might be the very first pedal because you want it to sit on the floor instead of on your board. Think of the wah like the tone knob on your guitar, because that's pretty much what it is. You want it close to the guitar.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Envelope filter.</strong> This is similar to a wah or tone knob in terms of what it's doing to your signal and you want it before any of your dynamic effects, like compressor (see above).<br />  </li> <li><strong>Dynamics/EQ.</strong> Compressors, limiters, and equalization pedals probably go here in your signal chain, although some people like compressors after drive pedals if they are running amp overdrive as well. EQ pedals can go in multiple places, depending on what your intended usage is.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Pitch shifter.</strong> Any pitch shifter or harmonizer pedals, like octave pedals, would go here because you want the least effected, but most stable signal (compressed) to hit these types of signal processors.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Uni-vibe.</strong> This is a weird one. Usually, you want modulation pedals later in your signal chain after drives and before delays and reverbs. However, there's something about Uni-vibe pedals that just work better before drive pedals. I didn't believe it at first, but it's true. You'll get a harder pulsing vibe sound if you put it in front of dirt. Some people like phasers in this position, but I find this is only necessary for Uni-vibes.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Dirt/drives.</strong> This is where you're going to start your gain staging from lightest to heaviest hardest drive. That is, clean boost (mild drive), overdrive, distortion, and then fuzz (if you didn't have to put it out front because of buffers). You want to use increasing order of drive so you can stack them properly. If you have your heaviest drive first, then your other pedals after it won't add anything. Also, I would add amp-in-a-box type pedals in the last position of your drive section. Pedals like the Wampler Plexi-Drive that simulate an amp would go after your other drive pedals because that's how they would be ordered if that amp-in-a-box pedal was actually an amp.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Modulation.</strong> Chorus, phaser, flanger, tremolo, and rotary are all modulation pedals. That ordering (chorus to rotary) is in ascending level of significance, in my mind, but I can't really give you a reason why that ordering makes sense to me, so order them as you wish. Uni-vibe is also a modulation effect, but as previously discussed, it works better <em>before</em> drive pedals. Modulation pedals can also be put in the effects loop of your amp, if it has one.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Time-based effects.</strong> Echos, delays, and reverb are all time-based effects that should go near the end of your signal chain because they emulate the environment in which your amp exists. I prefer to stage my delay pedals in order of shortest to longest delay and then put reverbs after all delay pedals. Time-based pedals can also be put in the effects loop of your amp, if it has one.<br />  </li> <li><strong>Volume pedal or clean boost.</strong> Depending on the effect you desire, a volume pedal or clean boost pedal can go in multiple places in your signal chain. For example, I generally like to use my volume effects as just that, so I put my volume pedal or clean boost pedals at the very end of my signal chain so it is just an increase in volume (this might not be <em>as true</em> for you if you don't use high-headroom amps like I do). If you want to use an increase in volume as a signal boost to drive the input gain of other pedals, then you can place it earlier in your signal chain. Note the multiple <em><strong>*V</strong></em> instances in the diagram for examples of where you might want to place your volume pedal(s).</li> </ol><h2>Show me the...diagram!</h2> <p>To help visualize this ordering, the following diagram lays out the signal chain guidelines I've described above. You can click on the image to view it full-size or you can download the PDF of this diagram below (see the Files section at the bottom of this post).</p> <p><a href="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/recommended-guitar-and-bass-pedal-ordering-v1.0.png"><img alt="Recommended Guitar and Bass Pedal Ordering" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b96d91bd-e177-44bf-be71-b77cd566aca5" height="auto" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/recommended-guitar-and-bass-pedal-ordering-v1.0.png" width="100%" loading="lazy" /></a></p> <h2>Now what?</h2> <p>Once you've absorbed the concepts here and have an idea of how your pedals might fit into this ordering, give it a shot! My advice is that you leave your pedals <em>loosely mounted</em> or not mounted at all on your board until you have your signal chain confirmed. This will allow you to experiment with placement and ordering without feeling like you are stuck. Also, consider which pedals you use at the same time. For example, if you are never going to use two pedals together at the same time, then the ordering between the two doesn't matter, so if you need to bend the rules ("guidelines") to make something fit, go ahead!</p> <h2>Breakin' the law!</h2> <p>Start with the ordering documented here and make adjustments as needed based on sound and location limitations, such as putting your wah on the floor for easier use. This, plus further reading online, is how I discovered that my Uni-vibe sounded so much better in front of my drive pedals. Experimenting is also how I learned that the ordering of compression and envelope filters is so important. Don't be afraid to make a change; you want your signal chain to work for your sound and your board. Break the rules if you have to as you strive for the tone you hear in your head.</p> <p>Now go forth and make some awesome music with great tone! :)</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Thu, 09/26/2019 - 21:33</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-files field--type-file field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Files</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf icon-before"><span class="file-icon"><span class="icon glyphicon glyphicon-file text-primary" aria-hidden="true"></span></span><span class="file-link"><a href="https://www.kennycarlile.com/sites/kccom/files/blog/files/recommended-guitar-and-bass-pedal-ordering-v1.0.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=496618" title="Open file in new window" target="_blank" data-toggle="tooltip" data-placement="bottom">Recommended Guitar and Bass Pedal Ordering v1.0 PDF</a></span><span class="file-size">484.98 KB</span></span></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/guitars" hreflang="en">Guitars</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/296" hreflang="en">Bass</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/70" hreflang="en">Pedals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/103" hreflang="en">Effects Pedals</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=991&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="EjFEH8QPCwIRsesri7xBB9VlMOaVVTHlI5q3JsFEQlQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 27 Sep 2019 04:33:03 +0000 Kenny 991 at https://www.kennycarlile.com Building the Beast - Custom DIY Guitar Effects Pedalboard https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2015-09-17/building-the-beast-custom-diy-guitar-effects-pedalboard <span>Building the Beast - Custom DIY Guitar Effects Pedalboard</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>I love guitar effects pedals. Oh mah science, do I love guitar pedals. I love 'em! Give me more! It's a bit of an addiction. I've had a lot, I still have a lot, and I want more. Pedals, pedals, PEDALS! I think you're starting to see the picture here: pedals = good. :)</p> <p>This is the story of my latest guitar effects pedalboard build, including the successes and failures.</p> <h2>Inception</h2> <p>I have a lot of effects pedals that I like to keep on my pedalboard. Why do I like to have so many? It's mostly because I can't stick to just one style of music and I love having the versatility offered by lots of different effects. Also, I'm a <em>gearhound</em>, but you could probably guess that already. To have an ultimately flexible pedalboard, I'd need to hold a lot of pedals. Those pedals also require a lot of power in the form of multiple power supplies.</p> <p>To accommodate all of those pedals, to keep them organized and usable, I've been building custom pedalboards for myself for a little over a decade now. A long time ago, I found a cheap sheet of diamond plate aluminum (about 4-feet by 5-feet) and I've mostly used that to build my pedalboards. In the past, I didn't like using velcro to attach my pedals because 1) the sticky residue left behind and 2) they aren't as secure as using zip ties. However, zip ties come with their own complications. It's hard to make a board that can work with zip ties because of the grid of holes necessary for mounting. Also, your pedal placement needs to be a lot more permanent since it's a pain to redo all the zip ties. After much personal mental strife, mostly battling with my OCD, I had come to the realization that the versatility of velcro was just too much to keep ignoring. I had accepted that I would be using velcro to attach my pedals to my new board.</p> <p>Given the large size of the board I wanted to build and the fact that I don't have the skills or tools to do much metalworking, I decided to make this board out of wood. I'm not much of a woodworker either, but I do have some woodworking tools and a little bit of experience. After making several mockups of pedalboard designs in Google SketchUp, I had learned a lot about what I wanted as well as what would work and what wouldn't. I came up with the following list of requirements and features that my board should have:</p> <ul><li>Large, shallow box with inclined top that lifts to expose the inside for placing power supplies and cables</li> <li>Strong enough to support the weight and pressure of using a wah-wah pedal</li> <li>Permanently affixed input and output jacks for audio routing</li> <li>Permanently affixed power plug with switch and fuse</li> <li>Handles to lift the top deck of the board to expose the inside</li> </ul><h2>Preparations</h2> <p>I got all of the wood for this project, as well as the hardware (brads, screws, brackets, handles) at The Home Depot, but I also had to get a few specialty items for powering the board and running audio in and out.</p> <ul><li>2 x solderless 1/4" audio jacks (<a href="http://pedalboardshop.com/product/black-solderless-14-jacks/" target="_blank">Pedalboard Shop link</a>)</li> <li>1 x Tenflyer 10A 250V Inlet Module Plug Fuse Switch Male Power Socket 3 Pin IEC320 C14 (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tenflyer-Module-Switch-Socket-IEC320/dp/B0114B0V4I/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1" target="_blank">Amazon link</a>)</li> </ul><p>I built a tapering jig for my tablesaw to cut the angled sides and supports for the board. Here's the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOVhDBE2kIk" target="_blank">video I found for how to make a tapering jig for tablesaw</a> out of scrap lumber and some hardware. This jig worked great and was easy to build.</p> <h2>Building</h2> <p>I'm not going to go into all of the detailed steps for how I built the board because it would be too complicated and I didn't document the entire process. However, I will provide some tips and interesting techniques I used throughout the build.</p> <ul><li>I don't have a dado blade, so I used multiple passes on my table saw to cut out notches, ledges, and grooves.</li> <li>I used a forstner bit to cut the holes for the audio jacks and I used a hole saw bit to cut the rounded ends of the pass-through slots in the top of the board. I used a jigsaw to cut out the straight parts between the rounded ends of the slots.</li> <li>For the power jack, I used the forstner bit to cut out two overlapping rounded holes that were about the right size, then I used a chisel to clear out the rest of the wood to make room for the jack.</li> <li>I used a groove and rabbet joint on the corners to hold the sides together, but I was concerned that this wasn't enough to support the weight of the board, especially after I broke one of the sides and had to remake it. I used some corner brackets on the inside of the board to help give the joints more support and stability.</li> <li>I didn't have any large clamps to hold the board together while the glue dried, so I wrapped a couple motorcycle tie-downs around the board like a belt. I used an air nailer to secure the corners as well.</li> <li>I used furring strips to support the top of the board along the insides of the perimeter.</li> <li>I think I had to do 4 or 5 coats of paint to make sure that I got decent coverage everywhere. The painting process was a hassle.</li> <li>I used a standard power strip to connect to the other side of the power jack/switch. I cut the prong-end off the cord and wired up the raw cables to the switch and soldered it together. I had to do the soldering after the cord was routed through the hole.</li> <li>I nearly attached the top incorrectly to the hinges on my first attempt. I wanted the hinges to attach to the underside of the top, but then I realized that the board would be in the way when trying to open it as it would hit against the front side of the board.</li> <li>Lots and lots of sanding. Lots.</li> </ul><p><img alt="Beast Pedalboard Build 1" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="1994db9a-d234-4ceb-9062-943b0fbcdbe8" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-build-1.jpg" width="900" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard Build 2" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8a71ac4c-227a-45e3-92d5-b7618a8afd0f" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-build-2.jpg" width="900" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard Build 3" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c7bb1e27-fd01-4f54-a348-32720a9fab2b" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-build-3.jpg" width="900" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard Build 4" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f2d05b17-88eb-4bb2-86f8-3acfbc19f51c" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-build-4.jpg" width="1600" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard Build 5" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="dd4baa20-717c-442a-9147-a496d85b8c1e" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-build-5.jpg" width="900" height="1200" loading="lazy" /></p> <h2>Completion</h2> <p>Once the paint had dried, I added the electronics, the hinges, the handles, and the wide non-adhesive loop-sided velcro (stapled down). I spent quite a few hours trying to figure out all the routing of cables and power supplies for my pedals. In the end, I was really happy with how it turned out.</p> <p><img alt="Beast Pedalboard 1" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9e178e94-3724-4a7a-8cca-69b6f8ea686c" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-1.jpg" width="900" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard 2" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="3a49ff2e-eb6c-45b8-a3e6-eebe08546b73" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-2.jpg" width="1600" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard 3" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="028be455-1f2e-499a-a2ad-275355eb1475" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-3.jpg" width="1600" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard 4" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="0a3c29cb-f351-47fa-a400-1a2d6dc1db73" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-4.jpg" width="1600" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard 5" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="46a34d85-2e48-49a8-ab6d-5c74021ea5ed" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-5.jpg" width="1600" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard 6" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="5a5a34db-5182-48d8-bdf3-7b5c0e7b8dc1" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-6.jpg" width="1600" height="1200" loading="lazy" /><img alt="Beast Pedalboard 7" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f432c74f-c7bb-4f28-a99d-5b41efc25d5a" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/beast-pedalboard-7.jpg" width="1600" height="767" loading="lazy" /></p> <h2>Acceptance</h2> <p><em>I was really happy with how it turned out</em>...until I tried to move it. I knew it would be big and heavy, but I underestimated how big it would be. I couldn't even move it from my kitchen to my office without the help of my wife. This was when I started to get worried, but the point was to have a giant, do-it-all board for my home office, not for being portable. However, I could feel myself already having second thoughts about this plan.</p> <p>A few months after I built the board, or <i>The Beast</i> as I began calling it, I started going over to a friend's house once a week to jam. I threw some spare pedals on an older, much smaller board that I had and made due with this secondary pedalboard for a couple of weeks. I missed having my best pedals and this secondary board with minor league pedals just wasn't cutting it. (I should clarify here that those "minor league pedals" were still great. I just meant that they were my second string pedals, not my favorites.) I pulled some of my favorites off <em>The Beast</em> and put them back on my smaller board to take to my friend's house each week. This was when it really started setting in: my giant studio board was cool, but completely impractical and I'd rather have something more mobile. In addition, I was still having some of the noise issues that I thought having a wooden board would fix. (I later learned that digital and analog pedals on the same non-isolated power chains don't play well together. Thanks, <a href="http://wamplerpedals.com/" target="_blank">Wampler Pedals</a> for that tip!)</p> <p>So, here I am, 9 months later, as I plan my next pedalboard. It's going to be bigger than my secondary pedalboard, but much smaller and lighter than <em>The Beast</em>. I plan to build it out of aluminum for the top deck, possibly with a wooden frame. I'm also going to try to use adhesive carpet squares instead of strips of velcro on the top of the board. I think I can get full coverage with stronger attachment for less cost this way.</p> <p>Admitting that I had made a big design mistake with this board was tough. I'm saddened by the wasted effort and time that I put into building this monster, but it was a great learning experience and I always enjoy working with wood. Plus, now I've made mistakes on a large scale pedalboard that will help me build the right-size board. I still think there are a lot of great techniques and designs here that can be used by someone, but probably on a more reasonably sized pedalboard, maybe <em>The Beast Jr.</em> :)</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Thu, 09/17/2015 - 23:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/guitars" hreflang="en">Guitars</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/102" hreflang="en">Pedalboard</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/103" hreflang="en">Effects Pedals</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/104" hreflang="en">DIY</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=36&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="RQgHAWIYYmGafBmjM2mseeFZ8zZ6Eq9quR086PkFOTA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 18 Sep 2015 06:02:57 +0000 Kenny 36 at https://www.kennycarlile.com Jim Dunlop Eric Johnson Classic Jazz III Picks https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2011-02-08/jim-dunlop-eric-johnson-classic-jazz-iii-picks <span>Jim Dunlop Eric Johnson Classic Jazz III Picks</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>When I was 17, my jazz choir teacher introduced me to the <a href="http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/jazz-i-ii--iii" target="_blank">Jim Dunlop Jazz III</a> guitar pick (in black, incidentally). From then on, I was hooked. When I wasn't strumming or swinging my whole arm for Texas bluesy goodness, I had a black or red Jazz III in my hand. It was especially great for jazz as I could hybrid pick for comping...that was before I even know what hybrid picking was.</p> <p>Fast forward a nearly a decade and a half.</p> <p>I've been a fan of Eric Johnson for many years and I knew that he played Jazz IIIs as well, although he only likes red. I like red or black, just to mix it up. Anyway, a little while ago, Jim Dunlop introduces the <a href="http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/eric-johnson-classic-jazz-iii" target="_blank">Eric Johnson Classic Jazz III</a> pick to fulfill Eric's preference for the older Jazz IIIs that had a slightly different finish. These new versions are not only less glossy for better grip, but they are also slightly larger than the more modern Jazz IIIs.</p> <p>I recently bought a pack of the new Eric Johnson Classic Jazz III picks at my local guitar center on a whim to see how different they are. WOW! I was really impressed. The slightly bigger feel is hardly visible, but it feels significant. Also, the embossed lettering on the pick is thinner and more raised. The modified lettering in combination with the duller finish gives the pick a sandpaper-like feeling that is just right for grip without being annoying.</p> <p>My only complaint with the modern Jazz IIIs were that they would sometimes slip because they are so small, but these new (old...reissue?) Classic Jazz IIIs are just about perfect. Eric Johnson knows his stuff. Go pick up a pack today and see how they improved on the best pick!</p> <p><a href="https://www.jimdunlop.com/product/47pej3n-7-10137-03913-1.do" target="_blank"><img alt="Jim Dunlop Eric Johnson Classic Jazz III" height="250" src="https://www.jimdunlop.com/images/jimdunlop/products/en_us/detail/22047139206.MAIN.jpg" title="Jim Dunlop Eric Johnson Classic Jazz III" width="250" /></a></p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Tue, 02/08/2011 - 00:31</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/guitars" hreflang="en">Guitars</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/22" hreflang="en">Picks</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/23" hreflang="en">Jim Dunlop</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/24" hreflang="en">Jazz III</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/25" hreflang="en">Eric Johnson</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="sakYYvZOls5kfGBdE8P9OqUsJ8weSKuhrRjDRw2dR04"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 08:31:09 +0000 Kenny 3 at https://www.kennycarlile.com Guitar Tips And Tricks https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2007-09-19/guitar-tips-and-tricks <span>Guitar Tips And Tricks</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>This is intended to be a living document, so check back often for new tips and tricks to help your guitar playing. These appear in no particular order.</em></p> <p><strong>Use a metronome when you practice.</strong> This helps establish consistent timing, accuracy, and synchronization between your left and right hands. Your playing will improve much faster by using a metronome. You can also build up speed by slowly increasing the tempo in small increments such as 8bpm at a time.</p> <p><strong>Shorten the length of your strap.</strong> Sure, it looks cool to play with your guitar hung really low, but it hurts your playing. If you're more concerned with looking cool, then you probably aren't reading this anyway. Your left hand can't reach or stretch as far as it can with the guitar high up. The higher the guitar, the more your thumb can be behind the neck and the more your wrist can be pushed forward and your hand can wrap around the neck. Think of holding the neck like you'd pick up a pencil, not how you'd pick up a shovel.</p> <p><strong>Pay attention to where you fret.</strong> Fretting in the middle between strings has a different sound and feeling than fretting right behind the fret. For accuracy, precision, and tone, you should fret as close to the back side of the fret as possible without muting the tone of the string. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule, as Eric Johnson is quick to point out.</p> <p><strong>Less is more...in terms of gain.</strong> Many beginning guitarists want their sound to be completely distorted because it sounds cool. Surprisingly, a lot of the music you might want to emulate isn't as distorted as you might think. Also, it's important to understand that tone is a big part of playing guitar. If you have too much distortion, there is no tone. No tone, means less distinction between notes, which equals poor dynamic and melodic contrast.</p> <p><strong>Intentionally order your pedals.</strong> While there are many schools of thought on pedal order, and your ears should be the ultimate decision makers, there is a general order to pedals that makes them most effective in the typical setup.</p> <ol> <li>Guitar - this one should be obvious</li> <li>Pre-volume - some people like to run volume pedals or clean boosts before everything else</li> <li>Wah - the wah is a tone control, so generally, you want it close to the clean sound of the guitar</li> <li>Compression - this is like the pre-volume so you want it near to the clean sound of the guitar</li> <li>Harmonizers - pitch shifters, octavers, harmonizers, etc. should be next before the sound is colored</li> <li>Overdrive - put the lightest drive first so you can cascade them into heavier sounds</li> <li>Distortion - this is heavier than overdrive, so it should go after it</li> <li>Fuzz - this is the most extreme form of drive and should be last in the chain of drive pedals</li> <li>Noise suppression - if your noise suppressor has a loop, put your drive pedals in that loop to cut hiss</li> <li>EQ - equalization pedals should typically go after drive pedals</li> <li>Modulation - this is where your chorus, phaser, flanger, or rotary pedals go</li> <li>Delay - just like with drives, it's a good idea to cascade your delays in ascending order with slapback first and long delay last</li> <li>Reverb - this ambient effect should go last after all other types of delay</li> <li>Post-volume - if you don't run a pre-volume, this is another good place to put a volume pedal</li> <li>Amp - again, obvious</li> </ol> <p>Alternately, if your amp has an effects loop, EQ, modulation, delay, and reverb often go well in that loop. Ultimately, try out different combinations and see what works best. Stevie Ray Vaughan often ran his wah <em>after</em> his TS9 Tube Screamers, which goes against the general rules to follow for pedal placement.</p> <p><strong>Play acoustic <em>and</em> electric guitar.</strong> These instruments are very different beasts; playing acoustic <em>will</em> make you a better electric player and playing electric <em>will</em> make you a better acoustic player.</p> <p><strong>String gauge is directly proportional to tone.</strong> If you want a big, fat, thick tone, you better not be playing on 9s. A big part of Stevie Ray Vaughan's sound (a surprising amount, actually) was based on the strings he used. He typically played on 13s and he would tune to Eb for easier bending. There is almost no excuse why you should ever play on 9s or, god forbid (no, not the band), 8s. If you need to do a lot of bending, especially compound and oblique bends, try some 10s for country or similar styles. Otherwise, you should be on 11s or better, especially for blues. Once you hit 12s, make sure you look for a wound 3rd (G) string rather than a plain string.</p> <p><strong>They say that cat Shaft is a bad motha--shut yo mouth!</strong> Never underestimate the power of left-hand muted pick scrapes and wah-wah.</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/19/2007 - 07:48</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/guitars" hreflang="en">Guitars</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/66" hreflang="en">Tips</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/67" hreflang="en">Tricks</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/68" hreflang="en">Strings</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/69" hreflang="en">Metronome</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/70" hreflang="en">Pedals</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=19&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="RWzhW49w2Ranf8cyf73ptbSAI2rTzCPypSc-MBKegxE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 19 Sep 2007 14:48:19 +0000 Kenny 19 at https://www.kennycarlile.com Speed Picking Exercise 1 https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2007-09-17/speed-picking-exercise-1 <span>Speed Picking Exercise 1</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Learning to speed pick can be quite difficult. Many guitarists do it different ways from circular picking to stiffening their arm and wrist. I recommend trying to keep your arm and wrist as loose as possible and let the movement come from the wrist. Try to minimize the range of motion.</p> <p>The following exercise is done in 3 parts. Each one should be repeated starting on the 12th fret and working down the neck until you hit the first fret. Then you should move to the next string and repeat until you have played the exercise on each string. I also highly recommend using a metronome to stay in time and focus on keeping the notes even. Find the starting metronome tempo by seeing at what speed you can comfortably play 16th notes, then go back and start with the 8th notes.</p> <h4>8th Note Speed Picking</h4> <p>First, start with 8th notes, just two picks per note.</p> <pre> 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + e|-15-15-12-12-13-13-12-12-|-14-14-12-12-15-15-12-12--| B|-------------------------|--------------------------| G|-------------------------|--------------------------| D|-------------------------|--------------------------| A|-------------------------|--------------------------| E|-------------------------|--------------------------| 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |-14-14-11-11-12-12-11-11-|-(etc.)-| |-------------------------|--------| |-------------------------|--------| |-------------------------|--------| |-------------------------|--------| |-------------------------|--------|</pre> <h4>8th Note Triplet Speed Picking</h4> <p>Now increase the complexity a bit by adding a third note to each beat and play 8th note triplets.</p> <pre> 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a e|-15-15-15-12-12-12-13-13-13-12-12-12-| B|-------------------------------------| G|-------------------------------------| D|-------------------------------------| A|-------------------------------------| E|-------------------------------------| 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a |-14-14-14-12-12-12-15-15-15-12-12-12-| |-------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------| 1 + a 2 + a 3 + a 4 + a e|-14-14-14-11-11-11-12-12-12-11-11-11-|-(etc.)-| B|-------------------------------------|--------| G|-------------------------------------|--------| D|-------------------------------------|--------| A|-------------------------------------|--------| E|-------------------------------------|--------|</pre> <h4>16th Note Speed Picking</h4> <p>Now add a fourth note, essentially doubling the first version of this exercise. At this stage, it really helps to think of the notes as not faster, but rather shorter.</p> <pre> 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a e|-15-15-15-15-12-12-12-12-13-13-13-13-12-12-12-12-| B|-------------------------------------------------| G|-------------------------------------------------| D|-------------------------------------------------| A|-------------------------------------------------| E|-------------------------------------------------| 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a |-14-14-14-14-12-12-12-12-15-15-15-15-12-12-12-12-| |-------------------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------------------| |-------------------------------------------------| 1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a e|-14-14-14-14-11-11-11-11-12-12-12-12-11-11-11-11-|-(etc.)-| B|-------------------------------------------------|--------| G|-------------------------------------------------|--------| D|-------------------------------------------------|--------| A|-------------------------------------------------|--------| E|-------------------------------------------------|--------|</pre> <h4>16th Note Triplet Speed Picking</h4> <p>For the trickiest challenge of all, add two more notes to make 16th note triplet groupings of 6.</p> <pre> 1 e a + e a 2 e a + e a 3 e a + e a 4 e a + e a e|-15-15-15-15-15-15-12-12-12-12-12-12-13-13-13-13-13-13-12-12-12-12-12-12-| B|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| G|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| 1 e a + e a 2 e a + e a 3 e a + e a 4 e a + e a e|-14-14-14-14-14-14-12-12-12-12-12-12-14-14-14-14-14-14-12-12-12-12-12-12-| B|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| G|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| 1 e a + e a 2 e a + e a 3 e a + e a 4 e a + e a e|-14-14-14-14-14-14-11-11-11-11-11-11-12-12-12-12-12-12-11-11-11-11-11-11-| B|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| G|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------| |-(etc.)-| |--------| |--------| |--------| |--------| |--------| </pre> <p>If you can't play all of these up to speed, then slow it down and work your way up. This will take quite some time, so don't expect to shred the first day. Over a few months, you should be able to work up your speed slowly. Don't try to take big jumps or you will suffer in accuracy and technique.</p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Mon, 09/17/2007 - 22:45</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/guitars" hreflang="en">Guitars</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/71" hreflang="en">Picking</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/72" hreflang="en">Speed</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/73" hreflang="en">Fingering</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=20&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="Tk3zaP2726_ZI8MqlLbML0HqaI7MDjD7WmCCTtyS-RM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 18 Sep 2007 05:45:00 +0000 Kenny 20 at https://www.kennycarlile.com Major Scale and Arpeggio - Shape 3 https://www.kennycarlile.com/blog/2007-09-12/major-scale-and-arpeggio-shape-3 <span>Major Scale and Arpeggio - Shape 3</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><h3>Illustrated in A Major</h3> <p>The Shape 3 Major Scale is an alternate moveable root-6 (meaning that the 6th string contains the root of the scale) major scale. This example is illustrated in A major and should be practiced in all available positions.</p> <p><img alt="Major Scale Shape 3" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="cd4885f6-4f18-4581-a798-e7e346813935" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/MacScaleArpShape3Notation.gif" width="600" height="278" loading="lazy" /></p> <h3>Scale Fingerings</h3> <p><img alt="Major Scale Shape 3 Fingerings" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f1d8169f-cddf-40c9-887c-665a1bd799dc" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/MajScaleShape3Fingerings.jpg" width="600" height="187" loading="lazy" /></p> <h3>Scale Tones</h3> <p><img alt="Major Scale Shape 3 Fingerings" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="55f9133d-4329-4b71-81e8-7e03893d8007" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/MajScaleShape3Tones.jpg" width="600" height="187" loading="lazy" /></p> <h3>Arpeggio Fingerings</h3> <p><img alt="Major Scale Shape 3 Arpeggio Fingerings" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="b12350e3-9928-4339-81ce-73a45d4522ad" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/MajArpShape3Fingerings.jpg" width="600" height="187" loading="lazy" /></p> <h3>Arpeggio Tones</h3> <p><img alt="Major Scale Shape 3 Arpeggio Tones" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c9599000-474c-4a2b-a8ba-b0b1bfa6a24b" src="/sites/kccom/files/inline-images/MajArpShape3Tones_0.jpg" width="600" height="187" loading="lazy" /></p> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Kenny</span></span> <span>Wed, 09/12/2007 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-blog-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Category</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/blog/categories/guitars" hreflang="en">Guitars</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/21" hreflang="en">Guitar</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/74" hreflang="en">Scales</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/75" hreflang="en">Major</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/73" hreflang="en">Fingering</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/76" hreflang="en">Arpeggio</a></div> </div> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=21&amp;2=field_blog_comments&amp;3=comment" token="99KWcafILHKzzimelPVVtuDa5XZ3jjZyJ2-reyAbBAI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 12 Sep 2007 17:00:32 +0000 Kenny 21 at https://www.kennycarlile.com