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#1

Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:43 pm
by Cliff • 344 Posts

Hey all - I wanted to show my current progress with legato technique, and seek some advice, particularly where silencing the other strings is concerned. Here's the vid:



I've been working on legato for a few weeks now (and yes, I'm practicing my trills most every night). I realized it was particularly noisy, so I did some googling to see how people deal with this. The best suggestion (so I thought) was to use the first finger as a sort of barre, damping the strings higher than the one currently being played, and damping the adjacent lower string with the tip. Any strings lower still (eg the sixth when playing on the fourth) are to be damped with the right-hand palm.

I've been practicing this for a couple of weeks (slowly) and it seems to help, though it's far from second nature. Anyone got any thoughts on this technique or others?

A couple of nights ago I noticed a got more noise than usual when doing descending pull-offs - both descending on a single string and across strings. I realized that my first finger was coming into position too late to provide the damping immediately. So as if Thursday I started practicing descending by moving my entire hand into position before sounding the first note with my pinky. Previously I'd been sort of spider walking my fingers, so the pinky would move into position and sound the note while the other fingers moved into place. I've tried to illustrate both techniques on the video. Moving the entire hand is way less smooth-sounding, but I'm not sure if this would improve with more practice. Any thoughts on which is the correct approach?

Finally, at the end of the video there's a little bit of sweep picking I've been working on occasionally. This is still pretty noisy, but I feel more confident here in knowing how to improve it - it's just a question of more practice.

Love to hear your thoughts on any of this.

Thanks!
Cliff

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#2

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:04 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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I have some things to say that I guarantee you will make your playing sound better, that will make it look elegant instead of unkept like mr Slash's technique and BEST OF ALL, will make playing guitar take way less effort than I guarantee you are needing to exhert now....

1.) the right hand middle ring and pinky are not tucked in...I guarantee that you most of the time having them do that without being aware of its happening...this is because when you dont have that crutch to lean on, your picking hand doesnt know where it is...tuck them bad boys in like Pebber.

2.) Even when hammering and pulling stuff like 3 N.P.S. You must still be maintaining nice even classical curvature in your distill joints...only exceptoin is rolling to adjacent frets.

3.) There is no legado being used in this video...legado means that it sounds fluid, has eveness of tone between all the notes (even when only some are being picked) Only guitarist that can actually play legato is Holdsworth...look him up and copy as much about his technique as you have the attention span to notice when you observe him playing.

Hope this helps (-:


Last edited Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:05 pm | Scroll up

#3

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:12 pm
by Cliff • 344 Posts

Hey Nick,

Thanks for taking the trouble to listen and reply. Man, I hate to sound like someone who can't take criticism, but there are some things you said that I don't agree with.

First: Slash. I'm not a big fan of Slash, so I've never taken the trouble to watch him closely to analyze his technique. However, I do think he sounds pretty damn good. Technique is just a means to an end, and if I thought I could play half as well as Slash does, I'd be happy with an 'unkempt' technique.

1) I'm well aware of this happening - it's a conscious choice. I find this way it's much easier to damp with my right-hand palm on the bridge and still pick close to the bridge. There are a lot of Pebber's videos out there, but in the one I recall on this particular point, he mentions that he used to play with these fingers splayed (as did Jimi Paige) and then consciously brought them in. The notion is that, due to the law of conservation of angular momentum, this will allow the wrist to move more quickly. True enough, but I find I can pick as quickly as I want to (on a good day, anyway), with my fingers like this.

2) I thought I *was* doing this - with the exception of the first finger, as explained in the original post. Can you tell me at what point in the vid I'm going wrong here?

3) Well, maybe I should have said 'extended hammer-ons and pull-offs' instead of legato (why'd you translate it into Spanish? It's an Italian word). But the terms seem to synonymous in most guitar literature I've read. Fair enough - my attempt isn't very good, so it doesn't qualify, but surely you understand what I was aiming for? And the notion that only one guitarist can do this is... ridiculous? Here's someone covering a relatively obscure EVH solo. Listen to the second half:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1uI_t444ig


I'm very happy to discuss any of these points further, but I would (naturally) still be interested on advice about controlling string noise as mentioned above.


Last edited Sat Jun 15, 2013 11:13 pm | Scroll up

#4

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:31 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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I personally have found in my own playing that even though it is way easier to ho/po thru 3 N.P.S. scales (picking first note on each string of course) with that barrish pointer than it is to do it with pure classical curvature (this means pointer to!) I really have become convinced that in long it was a bad habit that for me was funtioning as a left hand anchor...So I forced myself to repent and never sin in that way again...yeah it took some application of willpower/concious attention to for a few weeks to fix...but after I got rid of it a funny thing happened...my left hand had become noticably more efficient...sudenly my running up and down scales could incorporate Gliss technique (which incidently I think is one of the most important aspects of producing a liquid legado sounding scales) without the hinderance of having to drag around a flatened pointer finger.

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#5

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:40 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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One other thought, have you done much with not just using pick strokes but rather the three other fingers that you have hanging around out there... if not, then the fleshy pads of them puppies are effectively dead capital that could serve you as one more arrow in you quiver of scale playing technique...the tone of using the finger produces a subtle variation in tone and since what we are looking at here is essentially an issue of dynamics, I figured it worth mentioning.

and one other thing actually to...I cannot tell with 100% certitude from your video but it sounds to me like you are playing through bridge pick-ups. I have found that when I play little sweep arpegio diddys and most especially when I am playing up in the higher register...that it inevitably sounds most fluid and clean through the neck pickups.


Last edited Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:45 am | Scroll up

#6

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:38 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

Hey Cliff,

I probably have not yet mastered string noise with a super high gain level like you're using to properly explain how I control it, but the fretting index finger and the picking palm are the way to go to control it.

Have you watched this one yet? Even if you have, give it another go. Perhaps you'll detect something that you didn't notice the first X times. You can also compare your finger curvature to Pebber's. You can also rewatch Ursin's tapping exercises and check out his finger curvature.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWIDPq8eZ1A

Here were some of the things that I latched onto:

Don't use ultra-high gain levels to begin with. Listen to Pebber's tone in this one. Not crystal clean, but not too distorted either. Enough to let the amp help ring the notes, not enough to totally hide the dynamics. You don't want to hide the dynamics when you're practicing legato because you need to be able to really hear when you f'ed a note. (Hopefully obvious, never practice legato with a compressor. Your tone sounds like a solid state amp with a patch that has a heavy compressor on. Not dissing the amp or the patch at all, just saying to pick a cleaner one for practicing.) I write this because if you retaped the contents of your video without much gain at all, I'm guessing you will be able to see for yourself what sounded good vs what didn't.

Anyway, I picked out three goals from this and many other scale practice videos from Pebber. Your legato is good when a) the listener can't tell whether the notes are being picked or not, b) each note is approximately the same volume and the picked notes are definitely NOT always louder than the others, and c) you are remaining in time.

Oh, and searching youtube with " legato lesson" reveals tons of results.

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#7

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:40 am
by deltadiscos • 310 Posts

Cliff you mentioned a lot of noise with pulloffs
Also i heard Holdsworth mentioned
I think i'm right in that Holdsworth doesn't Always use pull offs when descending but rather Hammers from nowhere its another technique to look out, sounds much cleaner, no bending notes as descending although a harder tequnique
its how he gets that lovely flowing sound
give it a try who knows


You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K

Last edited Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:41 am | Scroll up

#8

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:25 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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I dont like baring (with just a couple of exceptions)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM3sFgUsdfM&feature=youtu.be

It iritates me how there are still a few instances where I can regress into that finger splaying with the fingers of picking hand
where I am not aware as it happens...matter of fact I caught myself redhanded towards the tail end of the vid...I will retract my dis-approval of such finger splaying (so long as one is aware of it when doing it) for one occasion, and that is when one is doing some kind of directional picking or some kinda of pick rake...and the only reason I am comfortable with it happening then is because I saw Frank Gambale doing exactly that while he was sweeping.


Last edited Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:26 am | Scroll up

#9

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:09 pm
by Cliff • 344 Posts

Guys - thanks all for the suggestions.

Damon - I hadn't seen that Pebber vid before (there are a lot out there!), but I'll definitely be watching it a few times through. Plenty to absorb there. Funny what you say about my tone - it's actually a Mesa Boogie Mk V, no compressor or other effects. Solid state amp indeed! Maybe I need to look at my settings.... ;)

Delta - I'd heard that Holdsworth does that - certainly worth a try, but for now I want to master it in the 80s hair metals style :).

Nick - yep, I'm playing on the bridge pup. I agree the neck pup can be more forgiving, softer sounding, but I want to a) sound like a hair metal guitarist and b) hear my mistakes more easily. Thanks for taking the trouble to make a vid. You make some interesting and valid points, but I feel you may have missed my motivation for using the index finger as a barre - to suppress noise. Maybe my terminology is off here - it's not so much a full-blooded barre, rather the finger lies softly over the other strings to stop them vibrating. I've actually been practicing with my index finger bent for some time now, but only recently tried barring it again to solve this particular problem. If there are other ways to do it, I'm all ears.

Here's another vid. This first shows the hammer-ons/pull-offs on a relatively clean channel. As per Damon's advice, I can immediately hear that the pinky-third combo is weak. I also haven't being paying enough attention to keeping the volume equal between the picked and the other notes. Finally, I think I can hear some of the plink that Pebber mentions when picking too hard with low action.

Following that is the same exercise, but with distortion again (hand-built in Petaluma, CA distortion). I've tried different damping techniques here (including none at all) to try and illustrate more directly what I'm trying to solve:

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#10

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:40 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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Man Do you understand what distortion is??? If your are trying to use it as a tool to help you "hear anything about your playing" All you are accomplishing by saturating yourself with it is having your amp bombard your ears with buttloads of harmonics that will not only completely frustrate your goal trying of hearing what is in reality being created by your interactions with your strings but because all those harmonics that your ears arent even aware that they are hearing, afterwards these endevours will leave you with the parting gift of an completely false and innacurate tonal memory.


Last edited Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:41 pm | Scroll up

#11

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:48 pm
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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Muting on guitar is not a good thing, it is not an asset to those who posses it; it is a crutch they need to be leaning on just in order to not sound terrible. It comes at the cost of the rediculous constraints it places on how much those people will be able to get out of their technique. The solution to the problem of hearing unwanted noise in your guitar playing is not to mute the problem that is causing those noises...but to stop your self from whatever you are doing that is causing them to occur to begin with. Your guitar is not posssesed by beizebub, it cannot talk for itself or on its own, Its your interactions with it that empower you to make the decision as to what sounds its going to make...muting is anti-thetical to this whole sense of purpose between you and your guitar


Last edited Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:54 pm | Scroll up

#12

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:11 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

^^^ Just ridiculous, in my opinion.

Cliff, I searched the tube a bit and came across this video. No clue who he is, but it sure sounds clean to me. He shows how he uses both hands. I think I do this at times, but I could stand to really work on this myself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW6piLc4xK0

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#13

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:51 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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please explain to me whats rediculous about choosing to simply end a pattern of behavior that is causing an undesirable effect rather that anchoring more and more parts on ones body to simply cover it up...Please elaborate on how this is rediculous

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#14

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:01 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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^^^Unless more sound counter logic is offered I assert that in addition to Anchoring in order to mask symptoms of a problem, that all Assertions of redeculousness in this thread that shirk in the face of logic yet refuse to offer any logicical counter-explanations are themselves at least 2x as rediculous as muting.


Last edited Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:08 am | Scroll up

#15

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:20 am
by BlackStarVII • 10 Posts

Well, if the genre you're after is hair metal then with distortion on you'd need to have a good muting technique because strings naturally will ring with the distortion necessary to play the genre the distortion would mean that if you're not muting the string directly below or above then you'll hear the natural vibration happening.

Muting technique isn't a waste of time, especially not when you get into the sweep arpeggio stuff where it's an absolute requirement.

I've seen Pebber mute strings with his sarod technique and don't believe it caused him to slow down although I don't want to speak for Pebber but it's just from what I've observed of his playing.

Also: While I do agree that practicing with distortion on all of the time isn't a good idea because you can't hear accenting or the real notes that you're playing as easily, it can be beneficial when practicing for unwanted string noise... If you can't handle distortion in the practice room then you can't handle distortion on stage or at band rehersals etc.


Last edited Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:27 am | Scroll up

#16

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:47 am
by dlraben • 278 Posts

^^^ Wise, in my opinion.

Muting is a technique. ALL techniques are good to learn and practice. ALL techniques have a time and place in which they are beneficial to use. This seems so fundamental to me that I'm surprised that it isn't agreed upon by all.

Could over use of one technique hinder the development of another? Sure. So what?

PS - we shouldn't be arguing here and telling each other "there's no use for X, Y, Z." We should be helping each others learn to get past self-diagnosed areas of difficulty. We should also help detect areas of difficulty when people ask for that. Most importantly, we should probably only help each other in areas that we ourselves have developed. Or like a few of us, caveat the sh!t out of the words we type with "wait for the experts..." acknowledgments that we still massively SUCK.


Last edited Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:50 am | Scroll up

#17

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:58 am
by NicholasJacquet (deleted)
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I am washing my hands of this thread and my memory of it.

I thought the very nature of the way the freting fingers are being released from the fret one at a time following the note having being picked was what caused the notes to stop from ringing together and being a chord rather than a sweep...but I guess you guys know better...I wash my hands of this thread.

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#18

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:07 am
by BlackStarVII • 10 Posts

That's fair, I'm just expressing an opinion and wasn't arguing with you the purpous of what I said was trying to be helpful to Cliff with his muting issues because he's obviously had alot of conflicting opinions to deal with.

Everyone has their own ways of doing things, you're right about the fretting finger being released but it doesn't solve the issue of the natural string vibration that is inaudible without distortion from occuring and I do agree with your point about anchoring slowing you down but every technique has its uses, if you've ever had an issue with a feedbacking speaker and you don't have any concept of muting technique then I'd imagine you'd really have to think on your feet... I don't understand how you'd cope with that.

I do appologise if it seemed as if I was trying to discredit what you're saying in any way, I do see your points and I do feel like they were made with the best intentions however there are other sides to the coin that Cliff might want to take into consideration also the fact that hair metal contains many riffs with muting in the first place in my opinion it'd be a bad idea for him to be switching his technique up that often during a song...

Once again just my thoughts, thanks for your input guys.

Also: On the sweep picking front I don't think you understood what I was saying, I'm not saying to hold the shape down and then sweep it but it's once again going back to the natural vibration that happens when playing with distortion, if you just release the note with no muting even if you do it to slowly dampen the string (which is what I believe you were saying) you'd need to have good muting technique to stop the notes from ringing especially when doing it in an area with harmonic nodes such as the 12th fret, it's important for 3+ string sweeps especially, I'm no master at it yet but it's what everyone seems to do and say for the technique.


Last edited Mon Jun 17, 2013 8:15 am | Scroll up

#19

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:24 am
by deltadiscos • 310 Posts

great idea having separate threads for each technique, so this is now the legato thread awesome stuff..


You think you practice enough.......YOU DON'T!............PRACTICE MORE! Darryn U.K
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#20

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:53 pm
by pebberbrown • 878 Posts

I have to mute the strings constantly when I play to prevent unwanted ringing from the other strings. This is not an Al Di Meola or metal type of mute but more like a string damper like a piano. The muting sound of playing popularized by Al Di Meola was even used by Holdsworth on Road Games and Atavachron. Its just another sound effect to add to your arsenal of techniques. If you play electric guitar at even a medium volume - everything is magnified through the amp so you will get a lot of unwanted string noise unless you find some way (with both hands) to mute the ringing. The even have a name for it - USN or unwanted string noise. That type of muting is necessary for legato but the other type as used in metal is just a more percussive timbre than regular so its not necessarily a BAD thing at all just another timbre.

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#21

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:54 pm
by uderoche (deleted)
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You have to do the trills and all the permutations of the different trilling and left hand exercises. I'm just assuming that everyone is doing that daily.


Twitter @ursinderoche
Facebook www.facebook.com/UrsinDeRoche
YouTube www.youtube.com/ursinderoche
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#22

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:31 pm
by dlraben • 278 Posts

Well fuck. After seeing that I'm done talking. Gotta practice. See everybody in 10 years unless my fingers have fallen off.

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#23

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:03 pm
by pebberbrown • 878 Posts

I dont play legato all the time really - sort of mix it up...
Heres an examople of my soloing with legato mixed in.....
at 3:02 it starts.

Go to 3:02



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sx7sJeWJCu8


Last edited Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:05 pm | Scroll up

#24

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:48 pm
by Cliff • 344 Posts

Guys! It's turning into a great thread - thanks so much for the advice and suggestions (not to mention the understanding that this is a useful/valid technique to master). I was originally hesitating between naming this thread 'legato' or 'noise control' but it looks like it's turning into a true legato thread, which is cool.

Ursin and Pebber - awesome to hear once again how great you are. Both an inspiration and a humbling experience.

Ursin - yep, your vid helps *a lot*. That's what I'm talking about! That's exactly the technique I'd heard about and was trying to practice. And the way you play is exactly the style I'd like to learn - I had a huge grin watching it. Thanks!

Yep, I'm practicing trills with all variations. I'm not sure if it was you or FRaKh who suggested placing the unused fingers on other strings, but I'm trying that at the moment - makes it way more difficult. I thought the third finger was relatively strong, but with the 2nd and 4th fingers placed on the board, I realize how much of that strength came from the wrist rather than the finger itself.

Damon - I need to check out the vid you posted too. Thanks, man - much appreciated.

Nick - I've got to say, your attitude here has been a little immature. That vid you posted had an unpleasant undercurrent (the suggestion I came away with was that anyone who didn't do it your way was either lazy or stupid - I'd like to double-check to be sure, but it seems I can no longer view it). And your responses from there just get worse, until the point where you decide to quit the thread because others disagree with you. I'm hoping you'll be mature enough to come back here and admit you were wrong, but I suspect you won't. Not too long ago you were claiming you could play faster than Paul Gilbert and that your picking made Slash's look like that of a caveman. You ignored those of us who said it wasn't as fast as you thought, until Ursin finally gave his verdict, at which point, like a child who has been denied something by one parent and instead turns to the other, you started asking for the advice of FRaKh.

Last week I attended my eldest daughter's high school graduation. Among the commencement speeches, some advice I remember was to not set one's beliefs into stone until one had had a good chance to look around and learn (it was expressed much more eloquently than that). I think you're in danger of forming opinions (and attempting to lecture) without sufficient experience and ability to back them up. Frankly, I'd also recommend you get some headphones so you can hear what you're playing, as well as a means of getting the output of your amp cleanly into the computer so your videos are properly audible. It strikes me as particularly ironic that, while arguing that damping is incorrect, you post a couple of videos where the uncontrolled noise dominates what you're playing. I suspect you're a much better guitarist in your head than the one I hear when I listen.

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#25

RE: Legato thread

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:14 am
by uderoche (deleted)
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A couple of other things I wanted to touch on.

The Holdsworth style legato (where you don't pull off but HAMMER everything) is incredibly difficult and I have not seen many people who can do it. Only Holdsworth and a few of his clone players on youtube. Still, only a handful. I saw Guthrie Govan mention it once and that it wasn't something he could do. Or, maybe he could but not well enough to demonstrate. But, feel free to dig into that if you wish to get that sound. The basic legato technique as used by Vai, Satriani, Yngwie, Shawn Lane, Buckethead etc (the rock guys who were into Holdsworth) uses hammers and pulls.

Also, we live in this age of digital modeling amps and home recording. However, THE sound of rock guitar is POWER TUBES (the big fat tubes) pushed beyond their intended use. This is hard to control in a live band situation so muting and learning how to work your VOLUME knob and switch it on and off quickly is key.


Twitter @ursinderoche
Facebook www.facebook.com/UrsinDeRoche
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Last edited Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:17 am | Scroll up

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