Blog

Teaching myself music theory.

My boss went away for a holiday to Florida for three weeks so I picked up a few extra shifts at work which helped me pay off my lay-bys but I’ve missed some time to myself. Naturally musicians who work in music shops get tempted easily by the constant flow of new gear coming into the store. I am no exception. At least my studio is getting better equipped for these free days…

Today I have been tending to my household obligations and what-not, listening to some Jungle mixes from Echo Chamber label owner, LQ (continued from a Jungle rinse out yesterday at work) and also adding some new stuff to my ‘music theory folder’ at the local library.

I’ve bought a few guitar-focused music theory books (from Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace) and have compiled some diagrams into a folder as an easy reference when practicing scales (in standard tuning). I am enjoying this process very much after fumbling my way around a guitar for many years.

Two books I have bought which I recommend so far are:
‘Music Theory’ by Tom Kolb (Hal Leonard)
‘Chord Tone Soloing’ by Barrett Tagliarino (Hal Leonard)

Today I also had a ‘Big Mud’ by Tym Guitars arrive in the mail thanks to Patrick from Key Out (from Sydney) who I am helping with pre-production for his/their new album. The muff-style fuzz is a welcomed addition to my arsenal of effects and I used it to practice some arpeggios this afternoon. So far I have enjoyed Patrick’s guitar playing and I look forward to hearing the band’s progress.

If you are interested in having me help you with your music project as a collaborator, mentor or consultant please get in touch as this is stuff that I enjoy to do.

My ‘music theory folder’ and some pedals.



Building a modest mic-kit.

It’s been almost two years back in Melbourne and I’ve collected guitars, an amp and effects pedals. Slowly building up a studio again, kinda from scratch. The next logical step was to find a way to record myself.

I already have an OK firewire sound-card and Logic Pro X plus plenty of great audio plugins. I did some research about cab simulation technology (by the likes of Two Notes) and amp modelling (Fractal Audio, Line 6, Kemper, etc) but that is a very expensive way to get some audio onto my laptop.

Something felt right about choosing an analog route and it’s been a much cheaper way to document my guitar playing. I bought an sE 2200a IIC from a mate first of all, plus a mic stand for recording vocals. Then I found a secondhand Shure SM57 in great condition at Music Swop Shop and bought a small boom stand for it so I could record my amp.

I decided that I also wanted to try my hand at recording acoustic guitar so I did some Googling and found some articles on recording acoustic guitar in stereo. At first I used both the mics I owned (with an addition small boom stand) but today I picked up a new sE7 from Manny’s which I got on sale for a great price. I’ve just done a quick test with my guitarlele to see how it sounds and I have a long way to go to getting a decent sound with it, but it’s fun to have a go.

Rick Beato has a good combo amp micing video that I watched last night and I am keen to experiment with that. Rick sparked my interest in getting a Sennheiser MD421 which is now on my shopping list. I really enjoy the videos on his YouTube channel.

I think it will be super nice to have a small mic-kit in my home/bedroom studio. It seems that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have some useful mics around to play with.

sE7 and sE2200a II C with Anuenue Guitarlele