Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guitar Pro 6

I asked for guitar Pro 6 for Christmas, and I got it! For those of you who are not familiar with this software, it can be found at the following web location: Guitar Pro Website

I've been searching the web for locations where I can download guitar Pro 6 files.  The best site located so far is  GPROTAB.NET.  The content of files on this site are to be used for private study, scholarship or research only. 

As I listen to these songs, I realize that some of these recordings are recorded using a keyboard as an input device rather than a guitar. This sent me down the trail of looking for an “audio to MIDI” conversion device that would allow for guitar input into a program such as guitar Pro 6. One of the best devices that I discovered was the Sonuus Midi Product, the i2M Musicport Signal Converter (see AMAZON).  I foresee this device going on my next years’ Christmas list!

For copyrighted songs, the place to go is mySongBook.  It's discussed at the guitar Pro website as well. These are professionally done guitar Pro files that have paid their just due royalty fees. They can be downloaded for a price. As I listened to a few demos, it became apparent that they were using a real guitar for input of the guitar parts. They probably are using the new Sonuus device mentioned above.

What am I going to use the software for? While it's nice to use this software to learn popular songs, I also find it quite useful for practicing guitar chords and scales. These types of files are not copyrighted and are available at many guitar TAB web sites. Also, I'll probably use the software to document my own songwriting.

Check it out! It's pretty cool.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Performing “Sing Along Christmas” at Zion Lutheran


Will be performing at the Women of Faith Christmas Dinner this week.  Singing and playing guitar, the program will include:  Mary Did You Know by Mark Lowry, One Small Child by David Meece, as well as several traditional Christmas songs for all to sing along with….
Zion Lutheran Church on Facebook
http://www.zionlutherantippcity.org/

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The gig bag book of scales for all guitarists

Compiled and edited by Joe Dineen and Mark Bridges
copyright 1997 by Amsco publications
gig bag book of scalesCan be purchased at Guitar Center
Started working with this book the other day. I was using a combination of playing scales on my guitar and recording audio files in Cubase. Once the scale was recorded, you can then loop what you recorded and play that scale over and over again.  An interesting alternative is to play the scale starting the third off of where the recorded note starts. This generates thirds and forces you to become more familiar with the various fingerings. Scales will help build finger strength as well.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

10 PICKING POINTERS


  1. right-hand muting
    -- an example would be if you're playing power cords on the 654 strings and you do not want the 123 strings to sound, they can be silenced by resting the rest side of your right-hand palm on them.
  2. right-hand staccato -- the idea here is to use the pick to mute the string. Here's an example, using an open string try to shorten each note without speeding up. This is done by bringing the pick to rest on that string just before you strikes again.
  3. movement from the wrist -- this recommendation confuses a lot of people. Basically when they say the pick from the rest they're actually referring to a forearm motion not a up-and-down wrist motion. but just keep in mind, that you don't want into motion with the fingers or with the elbow.
  4. dynamics -- this word means to play louder and softer and can be achieved by striking the string harder or easier. A good exercise would be to play a steady series of notes, striking the fourth note a little harder to assist in keeping your tempo
  5. tone -- picking near the bridge is a bright metallic sound but picking near to the neck gives a warm jazz the sound.
  6. approach -- use alternate picking. This allows for faster picking technique as well as helping you stay in rhythm and on beat.
  7. timing -- speaking of the beat, it's always good to play with a drummer. This can be either MIDI files, your favorite metronome, are just tapping your foot.
  8. versatility -- The most common flatpicking method uses strict alternate strokes (down, up, down, up); however, some players opt for a less
    articulated effect, where the picked note is followed by hammer-ons or pull-offs. . There are many other types of picking styles. One is called country style were use both the pic and your finger. Another style is called two-handed tapping. Be comfortable in switching between these styles.
  9. dimension -- picks come in all sizes and dimensions. Make sure you find one that fits your playing style. I would suggest experimenting with different shapes and thicknesses until you find one that feels just right for you.
  10. practice -- set aside time in your day to practice. You'd be surprised at how much better you will become my focusing on picking techniques exclusively.
Here are my recommendations for programs that help build picking techniques:
Guitar Pro 5
Here are my recommendations on books that describe picking techniques at a much more detailed level. These books will take you to that next level of playing skill that you are looking for

Speed Picking - Frank Gambale (Paperback)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Back In The Studio–Playing with Pitch Correct

image The plug-in “Pitch Correct” automatically detects, adjusts and fixes light pitch and intonation inconsistencies in monophonic vocal and instrumental performances in real time. Steinberg Cubase 5 has a plug-in that is a real blast to use. I was running a few experiments today.
    My first experiment was to open up two vocal tracks. Using pitch correct, I set the controls to C major, and sang a familiar tune I then went to the next vocal track and sang harmony to that familiar tune. Pitch correct forced the harmony to stay in tune and in the correct key.
    My second experiment was to do a full song .  The song was "My Bonnie lies over the Ocean".  My goal was to sing in perfect pitch. I recorded the guitar and the melody line at the same time. Of course, I had pitch correct on my voice. The key was G major. Pitch correct has the ability to be set at a strong level or at a more moderate level. This makes the adjustments to the voice less mechanical.
When I get better at using this plug-in I'll release a public domain song on MySpace. It really does force you to sing in tune.
Bill