Chronicles of the Guitar


The Black Mages playing J-E-N-E-N-O-V-A from Final Fantasy 7


These new Epiphone Royale's look rather tasty

Epiphone Royale Collection


Still practicing away... going back to basics on a number of techniques like alternative picking and sweep picking. My little pinky is getting stronger which is good, just have to keep it up... I know it will make me a better player in the long run!


Finally found the perfect way to record from my guitar, result of months worth of tinkering with various devices and cables.


Learning to play the guitar sometimes feel like you are travelling down an endless road. But it's only when you turn around and see how far you have already travelled... do you feel a sense of pride and achievement!


I know there is a lot debate about people who play strats not liking the neck of a Les Paul - particularly since the frets are closer together, making it in some ways more difficult to play. Some argue this makes it easier, especially the speed from moving from note to note. Can't say what camp I sit in since I play both types of guitar. I periodically switch between the two, dependent on the type of music I'm playing and I love playing one as much as the other.


It's amazing how many people don't know that Prince is a top guitarist! Take a look at this clip and see the man once touted as the next Hendrix when he burst onto the music scene. Here is another video of his guitar skills!


Bought a new Chromatic tuner/metronome. Grey/silver Korg one.... seems to be doing the trick so far. Got a whole load of stuff to help me practice better - so hopefully over christmas can get some serious work done in the guitar department!


I created a Myspace account so I can hopefully get some guitar stuff recorded and posted. Will help me to learn to play songs from start to finish, instead of just learning only solos and the exciting parts etc etc.


I really think that my next guitar is going to be a semi-acoustic.... namely the Epiphone Sheraton II.

Epiphone Sheraton II


Need to practice sweep picking... gotten pretty crap at it. On a positive note, not long until Download festival and some AC~DC rockiness!!! Just hope they're aren;t any crazy folk roaming around - fingers crossed!


If you haven't heard this slash track from his new album, and you are into guitar music... what planet have you been on?


Just found out this week, that Slash is playing at download... w00t!!!


Had quite an eventful few weeks, one of my guitars met with an unfortunate accident, which resulted in my Les Paul being decapitated. Damage was unrepairable, so had to get a new one. On the plus side the new one is in perfect condition in regards to paintwork. The accident was a massive reality check and a reminder of how fragile guitars are - so if you have a hardcase, use it! After all, even visitors can accidentally knock a guitar over.


Got my 5-day ticket bought for the Download 2010 Festival, which celebrates it's 30th anniversary this year at Donington Park.


Had a quick idea of looking for youtube vids of people playing it... really helps to actually see someone playing it.


Got a guitar tab for Endless Rain by X Japan. Had a initial bash at it (which didn't go too well) - still trying to figure out the best way to play some of the more complicated fingerings. Guess I have to start of somewhere, will be ace once I learn to play it.


Nothing better than coming home from a hard days work and chilling with an acoustic guitar - today the song of choice was Robin Hood by Ocean Colour Scene :)


Here's a list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of all time as voted by readers of Guitar World magazine. Quite an interesting read, particularly in regard to details of what guitar was used and its setup - in terms of types of pedals used etc.


I'm really looking forward to the Christmas break... an ideal opportunity to get in some good guitar practice.


In case you haven't seen it this is the new Gibson Dusk tiger. Limited to only 1000 units - Here's the promotional video. I'm not really that impressed by it to be honest, I prefer classic looking guitars

Gibson Dusk Tiger


I'm rebuilding my guitar website, since it looks dated and could do with a bit more coolness added to it hehe.... rock on!


I'm really starting to notice the difference when I practice on weeknights, to when I practice on the weekend. My fingers are just too tired and I can barely play for an hour - weekends on the otherhand I can play pretty much for 4 hours.


I really want to get a ukulele, might get a one with a nice finish - or maybe a nice little electric strat type one. Would be pretty cool to take with you on holiday and stuff.


Went to play my Fender Strat and the sound started to cut out. So I was thinking, what? So checked the guitar cable connector to see if was loose (the usual unscrew the two screws etc etc). It was fine, so then I thought hmm. Maybe my amp had gone? So after sitting down and feeling rather sad, I thought I would try another guitar. Same problem, no sound. Then I thought, might as well tune both guitars, but the tuner didn't seem to be pickung up the strings I was plucking. So thought, outside interference perhaps from my nearby laptop or perhaps the stereo. So swithed those off and yet still the same problem. Then I thought to myself.... hang on a second, the lead must be gone. Duh! Tried a different lead (although somewhat shorter) and my guitars and amp were fine. Moral of the story: check the little things, before assuming the big more expensive things are broken!


Have been learning some AC~DC stuff (can't stop playing the opening riff from Hell's Bells lol). Lots to learn, just have to learn to be patient - putting in the hours now will pay dividends later. Have also started reading some theory too, struggling to remember stuff I learnt a while ago. Need to improve my technique too, so am getting out some exercises I used to previously do.


Checkout the lego guitar ^_^.


I've been tabbed hunting, finding it difficult finding tabs of the Manics album. Especially the Journal for Plague Lovers track, as it has a killer riff that I want to be able to play. The biggest collection of tabs seem to be on an independent Manics forum.


Still managing to find time to practice. Have a mammoth practice session on Saturday/Sunday morning and 30mins to an hour every other day. Although still need a lot more practice if I am to ever play live. Have been focusing on timing, since that's what separates the pros from the pretenders. After all if you have bad timing, you won't even be able to play rhythm guitar let alone try to pull off amazing solos. I find recording myself very useful. You always think you are in time, but when you listen back to yourself, you find that your chord changes were slightly off. Plus it's fun to do and adds a bit of pressure. It's almost like you are performing to an audience.


Been learning to play 'Underdog' by Kasabian (off their new album), got all of it learnt apart from the solo, just need to get the timing right. 'Underdog is probably my favourite track off the album as it seems like it has been taken straight off their self-title first album. The more I listen to 'Fire', the more weird that umpalumpa sounding tune gets. Reminds me of a tune people hum when they have had a few too many down the pub.


I managed to find a way to record from my guitar to my computer, so have been recording myself a lot in the past few days. It's amazing how knowing that you are recording yourself can affect the way you play - you feel like the pressure is on. It's a good way to simulate to some extent the pressure you feel when playing in front of others. Another added benefit is that you can listen back to yourself to see if your timing is off (mine was slightly off), not to mention to hear what other people hear when you play.

The truth about learning to play the guitar, is that you need to be passionate about learning and geting better. There's lots to do in terms of learning and a lot of refinement. Probably take me another year or two before I'll be ready to play live. Practice practice practice!


It's funny how sometimes you look at a tab and you try your hardest to see the timing of say a solo. But no matter how much you listen to the part of the song ytou are trying to play, it just doesn't click. But then you can return to the same tab and then wolla! It clicks, in terms of timing and everything. Leaving you with a smug grin has you pick away!


It's when I see photos of beautiful guitars such as this, I realise why I desperately wanted to learn to play.

ES-355 P-90 Ebony - w/Bigsby


Waiting impatiently for someone to tab some of the best songs off the new Manics album (taps fingers). Could try and work them out myself, but takes a while to figure out how to play them and sometimes it may not be the most efficient way to play the songs.


Have been getting in quite a lot of practice recently. At one point, I was doing at least 30mins practice week days and sometimes going up to an hour. With a longer session on the weekends. Just hope I can keep it up?


Some of my favourite guitar solos:

  • Gary Moore: Still go the blues for you
  • Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo child (Slight return)
  • Pink Floyd: Comfortably Numb
  • Guns n' Roses: Sweet Child of Mine
  • Led Zeppelin: Since I've been loving you
  • Led Zeppelin: Archilles Last Stand
  • Manic Street Preachers: Valley Boy
  • L'Arc~en~Ciel: Coming Closer
  • Van Halen: Eruption


My first 2009 guitar related post. I'm still chugging along! Was constantly picking up my Les Paul and neglecting my Strat, until a string went. So was finally forced to pick up my Strat, and somehow I had forgotten what a joy they are to play :). Have been learning to play Archilles Last stand (Led Zeppelin), just learning all the different riffs and stuff, and taking a pop at the solo. Well trying to learn the solo... it is very long ^ ^.


I really need to practice more regularly, instead of having the odd monster guitar practice session. Ideally I should really practice at least 30mins everyday if i want to get better ^ ^. Need to come up with a bullet proof practice routine too, so I cover most things in each practice session.


Checkout this relly cool and useful widget if you play the guitar. You simply just click on the chord or note fingering(s), click play and then it tells you the note or chord. Added bonus is that you get to hear what it should sound like to ^ ^.


So how goes my escapades with the guitar. Well, pretty well as a matter of fact. Although I seem to be better at playing acoustically - especially with finger-picking - than I am with an electric guitar. Hence my decision to buy another electric guitar ^__^. I've come a long way, since I started learning to play... still not there yet, but I'll keep on practicing till I am.


To expand my guitar experience - which I am enjoying by the way - I went out and bought myself a nice Fender Stratocaster.

My Fender


Checkout this radical design for a guitar

Customised guitar


Checkout my new guitar w00t!!!

Customised guitar


Check out these really cool customised guitars. The first is a modified Folk Legend and was created by Pete McGuilton. The second is a guitar called 'Eden' also by the same artist. To see more click here.

Customised guitar Customised guitar

Guitar images ©, Eden guitar © Gibson


I haven't written anything in this section of my website in ages. So how goes my guitar playing, I here you say?! Well, I can play all the major open chords, I can play power chords and play a few songs. But, as with all things... practice, practice, practice. I'm concentrating on getting my basic techniques up to scratch e.g. hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, string bends and finger picking. After all, no point in trying to drive a drag race using a push bike! When I don't practice for a while it takes me a few minutes to get back to where I was. Not to mention the catastrophic effect of having tension in your arms, especially in relation to the quality of your playing. Ah! Shake those arms lose.


K.K. Slider. Cool guitar dog from Animal Crossing

k.k. slider: Animal Crossing


Here's a rubbish flash movie I made: My flash movie


I am attempting to unravel the mysteries of the guitar. Not for a career or anything but just as something to do. So far I have managed to learn a few open chords, all the modes of the major scale and can play a few songs. Not bad for only a couple of months. But as with all things, you still need the mileage. Well I've got a whole lifetime!