My name is Chris and I'm coming to you from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.
I just found this site and so far, it looks like I stick around for a bit.
I have been playing, on and off (mostly off) for 30yrs (I'm 48yrs old BTW). I am not, by any means, a good guitar player. I knew a few chords and would just play very easy stuff. I own an acoustic and a hollow body electric that I rarely play. I also play harmonica (much better at that than guitar).
Recently, after hanging out with a buddy that builds guitars. I decided to really jump back in. I picked up a new guitar (Yamaha Pacifica, an OK axe) and tired my hand again. Unfortunately, I sounded just like I always did and was less than enthusiastic. I mentioned this to my brother (who plays way better and more seriously than I do) and he stated that it had to be related to the crappy amp I was playing through. He suggested I ditch the solid state junk and get my shelf a tube amp. After some online searching I came across the Fender Champ 600 so off I went to my local music store to check it out. WOW....I immediately could see the difference. This little cheap amp was giving me the sound I wanted even with my crappy and limited playing. Needless to say I left the store with one.
Well since then GAS (as you all call it) has set in....I picked up a couple of pedals (Boss Blues driver and Boss 63 Reverb) and the sound was even better. It got me thinking about better gear all round. So after spending an afternoon jamming with my brother and learning more in a couple of hours than I had in 10 yrs of goofing around by myself, I decided to take the plunge.
Two weeks ago, I bought a brand new Fender American Standard Stratocaster. I can tell you, for me, it has made a world of difference. The Strat, combined with a nice tube amp giving the sound I was looking for, has made it a joy to start learning again. Combine all of the above with some books and now this site and I am actually starting to play halfway decent (to my ears anyway). I am starting to learn the scales and some simple riffs and licks. Guitar playing is fun again and even just sitting plucking away at scales for an hour is not a chore.
I hope that I can eventually work my way up to playing like some of you guys here and even upload some of my own work....but I'm not gonna get ahead of my self.
Thanks, I think this'll be the start of something wonderful.
Chris "Wildlabman" Lee
You have some nice gear buddy .......just gotta make it sound nice now .....A problem I often have!! .whatever guitar I am playing !!
Keep at it and.............. .as and when the mood takes you ........share something in the Blues Room, there is space for everyone !!
lyric from "Out in The Fields"
Gary Moore 1952-2011
This could be the start of one great journey - and it seems like you now have the gear for it. That's one of the difficulty I have with the idea that is voiced often that a new player should start with cheap gear in case in doesn't work out. The cheap gear is much less likely to give you the encouragement to make a go of it. Sort of like giving a child two badly fitting left shoes when they start to walk and then wondering why they go back to crawling!
You also now have a great advantage now over when you started 30 years back - the resources for learning on the internet and forums like 12bar. I've certainly learned a great deal here.
Look forward to seeing you around on the forum.
Champs rule and the 600 is no exception!! Reminds me, I have yet to record my '65 Vibro Champ...hmmm
Looking forward to hearing some sounds from you! Great place to learn and share here! This forum avoids the BS that is on so many others and you can find honest feedback on your playing and gear! Enjoy man, this is a treasure trove of resources!!
– Robert Louis Stevenson
This is the best blues guitar forum on the web. You can get lots of good advice, objective criticism, and encouragement here.
There is also lots of great music to listen to.
Hello and Welcome. I am from Sweden and it is so wonderful to be here and have friends all over the world. They are so helpful and I really enjoy this. Hope you will do it too.
Sorry its taken me so long to respond but I've been a bit busy these last few weeks.
Things are moving ahead at really fast pace.
I've hung out more with my brother and my buddy and we have jammed a few times at his place. My playing is really starting to come along. I'm still not where I want to be yet but I'm on the path.
GAS has really hit hard and my bank manger is probably gonna be calling me soon LOL. Since my last post I have acquired some new toys . In an effort to get ahead in my playing, a few weeks ago I picked up a Tascam PocketStudio DP-008. It's a nifty little digital 8 track recorder. However, my first attempts at recording were really not worth the time it would take to listen. Still it's a start.
Then, last Friday, the local music store chain, Long + McQuade, were have a "Blowout Sale" so i thought it might be interesting to check it out. I decided to visit 2 of their locations on my way home from work Friday. The first place was one of their stores that I had not been to before. I was disappointed by the place. It was much smaller that the usual store I go to and the stuff on sale was mostly DJ gear and crappy guitars. Nothing there for me. So I hopped back in the car and headed to the other location, the one I usually go to. Well, they had a lot more stuff there that interested me. Top of the list was a sweet Fender Limited Edition Blues Jr amp (in brown with upgraded tubes and speaker). Not only was it a nicer looking amp than the standard, it was also on sale for substantially less money. I also met a guy there, he was playing a very nice Tele though the amp I was interested in. He told me that he already owned one and that's why he was using it to test out the Tele. He told me that it was a great amp at a great price and he gave me a run down on its features. After about 10 mins (and the store manager asking us to please turn it down, whoops!), I decided to buy it. Unfortunately, I have been working a lot lately and have had much time to get to know it yet. The few times that I have played it though have been fantastic.
Today I finally got a day off work and spent some time playing with the new gear. WOW. I am really starting to love my setup. It won't be long before I will be posting some of my work here.
I was able to spend the day recording a track. Unfortunately, it's a copyrighted tune so I won't be uploading here (Dead Flowers by the Rolling Stones, more country/rock and roll than blues). I chose the tune because it is a pretty simple song to play and would translate well to the way I wanted to play it. I have to say, it was a real rush to play all the guitar parts, acoustic and electric rhythm, lead guitar and play harmonica as well as do the vocals. I mixed it all down and it sounds pretty decent. I was surprised how well the lead guitar worked out. I guess the time I'm spending here is starting to pay off. Whenever I practice now, either my laptop or my tablet is displaying one of the pages from this site. It has really helped a lot.
I do have a couple of questions for everyone though....I do not have a drum kit, nor do I want one (drums is something I don't think I'll ever get any good at, I have tried). What do you guys do to add drums to your tunes (bass as well for that matter)? I would like to be able to add some simple drum parts to the tracks I'm recording to spice them up and flesh them out a bit.
The other question is a technical computer question. The Tascam recorder I have mixes everything down and saves it as a wave file. Can anyone recomend a program for editing the file (chopping the long pauses at the beginning and end of the track) as well as converting the files to MP3 so I can upload them here?
You people here are the best.
I've just returned after a lengthy absence myself so I missed saying welcome to you when you joined. So uh...welcome.
You have some great gear and I'm looking forward to hearing your stuff. If you get hold of the Lawrence Fritts backing tracks which are free and no copyright then you can uploaded them here.
I just asked a very similar question about drum parts but not really got a reply from anyone who knows a lot about that stuff, hopefully you will get a better reply.
The Tascam is one I know well having used both the 4 track and 8 track versions of it. If you are looking for free software to edit your music then Audacity is a good place to start, if you do want to spend money then there are tons of options like Adobe Audition, Cakewalk, Pro Tools, Cubase. But they are all pretty pricey. I have Adobe Audition which I "acquired" online and it does everything I need to do. I suggest you get Audacity to start with to get to grips with that kind of software, then you can always advance on to one of the paying programs.
"I'm So Lonesome I Don't Even Have Me No Friend, I've Done So Much Crying Will I Ever Laugh Again" - Peter Green
For rhythm, we have a backing track section here on the board as well as in the ftp archive. There are lots of free BT's on the net.
You may also use some software like Garageband or Band In A Box, or even special drumming software. There's also a freeware alternative to BIAB (well, not really): http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~keller/jazz/improvisor/
Get the gear right and it's amazing how much the enthusiasm for playing is boosted. I've always had reservations about the "you should have a cheap badly set up guitar to start with because you'll have to really work at it" sort of argument I often seem to see floating around when it comes to the question of what guitars new players should buy.
The drumming problem is one that's raised its head a few times here. The trouble for me is that any sort of programming that requires you as the programmer to input the subtleties of the way the drum pattern should be means you need a solid understanding of how a real drummer plays - and knowledge of the little bits of light and shade, emphasising certain notes, slight variation in timing etc. It's like trying to input guitar tab into something like GuitarPro and expecting it will sound like someone playing ... it doesn't without a huge amount of work at "humansing" it. Attempts I've had at pogramming software for drums have sounded much worse than drum machines. I've heard a guy on a forum that does good drum tracks for his songs by programming but he might spend at least a week doing nothing but programming the drum track for one song.
For bass if I'm not using a backing track I now use a bass myself, but used to use a guitar through a pedal that had the octave down function - it served OK, once it was in the mix with everything else it sounded reasobaly like a bass.
So I still scour the net looking for backing tracks. There are a few drum only ones around but they're rare unfortunately - it might be worth looking at wikiloops for drum only. I'm tempted by Band in a Box, but I have little faith in my computer being able to run it properly. The recent Gee Blues in the backing tracks section from HalfBlindLefty shows how good a quality BIAB can produce.
Look forward to hearing some of your recordings at some point.