Improv 101 for Electric Guitarists

Improv 101 for Electric Guitarists

All music performance is a creative endeavor, whether it’s an original composition or an interpretation of someone else’s piece. Creativity is absolutely necessary to the art of making music, and without it, all we have are meaningless strands of notes trailing across a page or hanging limply in the air. Great musicians nurture creativity, and one of the best ways to do this is with consistent improvisation. How can you give life to someone else’s written music without being able to create your own? It’s possible to mimic musicality, but to own it, you’ll need to create music.

What You Should Know About the Different Bass Guitar Playing Styles


So you’ve completed basic lessons for playing the bass guitar. Are you satisfied with your current repertoire? If not, here are a couple of neat bass guitar playing styles or techniques that are easy to learn and can immediately add depth and variety to your music.

Better Now or Then? – The Tone Survey Results!!!

Mackrill Tone Survey 2010: Question 1

As promised, this month we’ll take a look at the results of The Tone Survey. Last month, I published a survey that asked questions about the state of electric guitar tone as it is today vs. what I called the “golden age” of rock and roll.

Better Now or Then? (The Tone Survey!)

Is electric guitar tone better now than it was in rock’s ‘golden age’ in the 60’s and 70’s? A recent article titled “Is It Tougher To Get Good Tone Now Vs. Then?” on Jay Kumar’s fantastic Woody Tone site explores that very question. Quoted from the article, guitarist and producer Dave Cobb, who recently recorded a new album with Black Robot, believes that “Everything was better back then.”

Getting Great Guitar Sound On Stage

Guitar, check. Amp, check. Cables, check. Effects, check. You’ve got all the gear necessary to get a great sound on stage. Aside from the guitar player’s skill, why do some sound better than others? This month we’ll look at a few aspects of getting a good live sound. While this article is mostly aimed at those of us with who have don’t have much or any stage experience, there may be something of interest here for almost anyone.

Adventures in Intonation

Guitar Repair Intonation

Getting a guitar in tune, and keeping it in tune, is often an interesting endeavor—in the sense of the ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times!” Most serious players know that there is a never ending series of adjustments needed to keep your instrument playing right

Guitar Troubleshooting: Finding the Source of a Bad Electric Guitar Connection


It’s good to know what components of your electric guitar connection need replacing so you can prevent yourself from spending money on something that wasn’t actually necessary. Here is a basic order for troubleshooting the connection between your electric guitar and amplifier.

How Your Guitar Heroes Learned to Play So Fast

Guitar Hero: Jimmy Page

Have you ever watched your favorite guitarist and wondered how they got so fast? You may think you’ll never get there, but that’s not true. With guitar, just like anything else, you get out of it what you put into that. That’s the first and most important thing. But there are things you can do to help the process along and progress faster to the speed licks you’d like to be playing.

What Is A Boutique Guitar Amp?

Mack Amps Heatseeker HS-18

Most guitarists instantly create an image in their minds when they think of ’boutique’ guitar amps. But, what does the term really mean? Perform a Google search on the term “What is a boutique amp” and you will find many threads from many gear related forums where members debate the meaning of the term and the criteria by which a boutique amp is defined. This month we’ll sort through the debate and see if there is an underlying theme that describes what makes an amp worthy of being called ’boutique’.

Music Practice & Motivation

If you want to learn to play an instrument or get better at playing an instrument there is a guaranteed way that you can achieve this: practice. Like with anything we decide to learn, the more we do something the better we get at doing it. This applies to everything we do in life. Its obvious that practice is a requirement of becoming a better musician, so you want to set up a good routine that is enjoyable and will keep you motivated to want to continue practicing.