Dec 24, 2014

Instrumental Christmas Album

Also on YouTube here:

Jingle Bell Rock, Jazz the Halls, and Carol of the Bells.

Instrumental Christmas songs to amp up your holiday season!

- Jingle Bell Rock -
Christmas classic turned into a relaxing instrumental piece.

- Jazz the Halls -
Instrumental jazz improv rendition of "Deck the Halls" and a few other Christmas standards mixed in.

Credit to for the backing track.

- Carol of the Bells -
Intense heavy metal ballad inspired in part by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

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Please check out my YouTube channel and blog for videos, reviews, songs, and more original content!

Like and subscribe if you enjoyed this video! :)

Dec 14, 2014


My cover of Lagrima, a beautiful classical guitar song from the 1800's by Francisco Tarrega.  Enjoy!

Dec 8, 2014

Carol of the Bells

So I decided to arrange and cover Carol of the Bells mixed with a little "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "We Three Kings".  Never did I expect it would take so long though!

Anyway, enjoy what is unofficially the most super-badass Christmas song of all time :P

Dec 6, 2014

Jingle Bell Rock

Guitars 1, 2, 3, and 4 all played by me.  And the bass part.  And I synced up the drum machine, for what it's worth :)

Dec 5, 2014

Jingle Bell Rock Chords/Tabs

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, here's a sheet I made up of the chords to "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms.  It doesn't include the intro or solo, but tabs for the intro at least are easy enough to find elsewhere.  There are some repeats not written in as well, but it should be easy enough to figure out :)

Nov 22, 2014

Fade to Black by Metallica

Short excerpt from Fade to Black by Metallica.  I thought I played pretty well considering I had bandages on both index fingers :P

Nov 17, 2014

Pillars of Creation by Keith Merrow

Abridged cover of "Pillars of Creation" by Keith Merrow.  Not quite up to my usual standards of clean playing, but it's a hard song  :)

Nov 12, 2014

Another video - "Battery" by Metallica

Me playing all four parts to an excerpt from Metallica's "Battery".  It took forever to sync up, so you all better appreciate it! ;)

Videos made with Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Expression Encoder, and Audacity.

Nov 11, 2014

First recording attempts

          Practice makes perfect, huh?   Well, I'm getting my practice making "music videos" now, and they turned out half decent, so here it is folks:

Oct 18, 2014

Crate GT212 pawn shop find

Side by side with a Fender Mustang I
          Pawn shops are pretty hit-and-miss with guitar stuff.  It seems like usually the people selling the guitars have no idea what they are really worth, and then proceed to sell heavily used guitars at full price to people who don't know better.

          Today was a lucky find though - a Crate GT212 solid-state amp.  On its own it isn't really special; it's a pretty good 2 x 12" amp combo with three channels and an open back.

Oct 7, 2014

Rogue Rocketeer Review

          When I saw the Rocketeer by Rogue on sale as the "Stupid Deal of the Day" at Musician's Friend, I knew I just had to have it.  Seriously, a full size electric guitar for $60.  It couldn't be that bad, right?

Aug 29, 2014

Aroma AMT-530 Tuner/Metronome Review

          Staying in tune is important to sounding good - fortunately, there are a plethora of tuners out there to help with that.  One of these is by Aroma and additionally has a metronome to keep time.

          Build quality - overall pretty good.  It's almost entirely plastic, but sturdy and the rubber grip is good quality.  For 10 bucks its plenty good durability wise.

          Usability - This is one area the Aroma AMT-530 doesn't do so hot in.  Mainly, it tries to do too much in too small a package and is pretty damn complicated.  Usually you can guess well enough to get it to what you want, and just using it as a chromatic tuner is simple enough for me.

          Other - Battery life is surprisingly good, as my brother takes it from time to time and it hasn't shown any signs of running down after around 2 years of running.  Tuning accuracy seems good too, as it's within a few cents of the tuner built into my Mustang amp and does the job well.

Overall I give it a 4 out of 5 stars because it's good for the price, if a bit difficult to use.

Aug 28, 2014

Printable Graphing Paper Sheet

So maybe it's not about guitars.  Not even a little.  But someone will find this on Google Images and it will help their life, so it's going up.  Because I do what I want.

Printable Graphing Paper Sheet

The lines (from top to bottom) label:

Dependent Variable
Independent Variable

Basically everything you need in a ~high school level graph.  Made extra nice looking for bonus points!

Aug 8, 2014

Jul 29, 2014

Science Experiment idea - Tonewoods

This is a (long) comment I left on YouTube discussing a good idea I had regarding the everlasting debate about tonewoods on electric guitars.

Jul 23, 2014

Guitar Tuning Trick

     Here's a little tip I picked up along the way for how to keep your guitar in tune a little better, especially if it's a cheap one.

     Here we have the type of guitar tuner that this trick will work for (not all types work).  See the little screw at the top?  Most Fender or Schaller style tuners will have one of these.  If one of your tuners feels a little loose or wobbly, try tightening this screw.  It fixed the problem instantly on a few cheap tuners.

     In addition, tightening compresses the bushing just a little, causing friction.  This is not good when you are restringing and want it to turn smooth and quickly.  But when you want the tuner to hold a note, even with strains of bending and vibrato, the extra friction will help it hold it in tune.  "The more you know."

Jul 22, 2014

More Blank Tab Sheets

For some reason my blank guitar tab sheets are my most popular post.  Due to apparent popular demand, I released sequels!

Free blank bass guitar and violin/mandolin tabs for your tabbing convenience!


Violin and mandolin after the break.

Jul 21, 2014

List of FUSE Presets

Here's my arrangement of preset tones on my Fender Mustang amp.  Even if you don't have a Mustang amp you can still see the types of tones I have to cover pretty much any type of music.

Red: (Red presets are occasionally used, mostly one trick presets)

# Church Organ - Octaver and delay and stuff.
G Paradise Wah - Paradise City intro, or Dream Theater.
F Ambient Bliss - Tremolo and way too much reverb.
E 12 String - Octaver on a Twin Reverb to sound like a 12 string.
D Studio Rock - Similar to Classic Metal, more of a alt rock sound.
C Shredder's Delight - Metal lead tone.
B Eric Johnson - The master of tone himself.
A Hendrix Wah - Wah with some dirt kicked in.

Green: (Green presets are sometimes used, more specialized)

# Funky Wah - Mostly clean with serious touch wah.
G FX Metal - Great 80's metal/hard rock lead tone.
F Out There - Sparkly clean with delay and echo filter.
E Empty - Nothin.  No effects.
D Fuzz - Pretty much what you would expect.
C Super Super Sonic - Serious flanging action.
B Aussie Rock - You would be shocked if you knew who this was referring to.
A Synth of Legends - The one, the only.  Such 80s.

Orange: (Mostly commonly used presets)

# Clean - A 57 Reverb with some verb.
G FX Clean - Similar to Clean, also some chorus and delay
F Mild Overdrive - Good for blues or oldies.
E FX Rock - Basically Slash tone.
D Rock - Plain.  Ol.  Rock.
C Classic Metal - EvH, Randy Rhoads, so on.
B Metal - Mostly Metallica based.
A Metal Solo - Definitely Metallica based.

So that's it folks!  Most of these I uploaded to the FUSE community and can be found there, links are in some other places on this site.  Thank you, come again :)

Jul 19, 2014

Ultimate Guitar Design

    Now this is a little unusual for me, but I'm going to write a little something just to explain how great the designs of Schecter's guitars, specifically the Omen-6, are.  This isn't some fan's rave though; I'm going to go through, piece by piece, and analyze what parts are good, what are bad, and why that is so.

     This doesn't just apply to Schecter either - it encompasses Fenders, Gibsons, Jacksons, First Acts...

Jul 16, 2014

Free Guitar Backing Tracks

You can find a whole lot of seriously great material for free on Youtube, and nothing hones your musicality better than a nice backing track to improvise along to.  So here's links to a bunch of my favorite backing tracks that I like to play along to.  Enjoy!

More after the break.

Jul 14, 2014

Updated Links to FUSE Tones

Here I go again with my Fender FUSE tones for the Mustang series of amps.  But it's the best amp I've got, so I have plenty of time to get the sound just right, which is really convenient for everyone else who can now get awesome sounds without spending hours working on it.

Get ready:

FX Metal - Great for finger tapping and general 80's metal solos and stuff.

Clean - Yep.  A fine tuned '65 Twin Reverb.

FX Clean - With some chorus / flanging stuff for more fun.

Overdrive - Vintagey overdrive.

Rock - Need I say more?

Hard Rock - Van Halen through Iron Maiden.

Metal - Metallic.  If ya know what I mean.

Metal 2 - I can only assume that this one is better.  A few months more tuning anyway.  You decide.

Metal Solo - Same dealio.

Metal Solo 2 - Back and better than ever.

EvH Brown Tone - Pretty close to Hard Rock.  An attempt in changing marketing strategies.

Synth of Legends - You didn't ask for it.  But it's in your face whether you like it or not.

Enjoy!  Leave feedback if you get the chance to try some out please :)

Jul 12, 2014

Adventures of a Strat part 3

A picture is supposedly worth a thousand words so I shouldn't have to say very much. 

Unfortunately I couldn't get a better pickguard and pickup, so I used what it had before, the stock pickups wired in series. 

Surprisingly though,  the combined output of all three checks in at 11k ohm, while just one of my Schecter Omen's humbuckers has near 15k ohms.

It's not all bad though.  The reason I couldn't get replacement parts is actually because I found a much better deal.  Musician's Friend is having a "July Shredfest", so I bagged a Rogue Rocketeer electric guitar  at just $60.  

The total for that with some picks, strings and cables was still no morethan I would have spent upgrading the pickguard, pickups, nut, saddles, string trees and what have you on this guitar.

Perhaps soon you will see a new series - the adventures of an even cheaper guitar, highlighting my efforts to make a professionalish guitar for under 100 bucks :)

Jul 2, 2014

Update on Strat build


     My project Squier Strat has now progressed from a pile of pieces back into an almost complete guitar again.  Sounds sweet no?  Here are a few other modifications I made to it:

  • The obvious one - put a block of wood in the neck pickup cavity.  Why?  Hopefully it'll help increase sustain.  Maybe it will help shield something.  Maybe it will keep bugs from living in the empty hole where there isn't a pickup.  Who knows!  There are no rules to guitar building!
  • Also added a solid steel tube I found.  Why?  It fit perfectly.  Also see above.
  • Blocked tremolo.  A really common mod and hopefully a very useful one.  I only used two of the rear springs, mostly to keep it all grounded, and also because the wood was so tightly fit that there was no way springs were necessary.  This should dramatically help the two biggest problems I found this guitar to have - sustain and tuning.
  • Some other little stuff too.  Mostly making everything fit perfectly flush, a little sanding here and there, a touch of glue in some of the screw holes.  Also overtightened the input jack by removing one of the nuts and cranking it tight, since it kept coming unscrewed.
     The only thing left is getting a good pickguard and pickup, maybe a little bit of wiring, and intonation setup and it'll be all set to go!

Jun 30, 2014

How to paint a Squier Strat

     I decided to give my Squier Strat a new paintjob, since it was mostly collecting dust anyway and I wanted to see how I could make it look.  It's not 100% finished at the moment, but lookin' good anyway.

     Since it turned out so well, I decided to make a tutorial of sorts for those of you interested in doing something like it.

   Writeup and lots of pretty pictures after the break.

May 13, 2014

Rogue RM-100A Mandolin Review

          For anyone even mildly interested in learning the craft of the mandolin, the RM-100A by Rogue is a great introductory instrument for an outstanding price.

Mar 16, 2014

Altoids Headphone Amp

          Here we have another simple LM-386 amp I made, this one made in the style of all the Altoids tin amps out there, though I used an aluminum gift card case instead of an actual Altoids tin.  I really like this one because it is so simple, sturdy and portable.

          I didn't draw out a schematic but it is pretty much another Smokey amp.  The differences are that it has no switches, power is turned on and off by the input jack, it has a 220 uF cap on the output, has a cluster of resistors on the output to reduce volume, and uses headphones instead of a speaker.

Feb 22, 2014

Synth of Legends

          This one is for any of you with Fender Mustangs - I spent a long time tweaking this preset for maximum over-processed electronic 80's style synthesizer sounds complete with a touch of envelope filter, tape delay, and way too much flanging and chorus.  Like it or not, here it is.  Synth of Legends on FUSE

          If you don't already have a Mustang, get one.  ;)

Feb 7, 2014

Greatest Guitar Riffs List

          Many different lists have been compiled of the "best guitar songs" to learn, but I thought I'd put in my 2 cents on this everlasting debate by putting out my personal list of best guitar riffs.

Note - The second edition list is now up!

Awesomeness after the break.

Jan 19, 2014

Works in Progress

          I am in the middle of quite a few different projects right now and I would like to let you all know about some of the projects I am currently working on.  These include a completely passive pedal, an amp made of vintage speakers, adding phase switching and clipping to my Strat, and an all new amp design, pictured above.

Jan 18, 2014

Schecter Omen 6 Review

          Schecter Guitar Research makes this beauty available for just $300.  Too good to be true?  It doesn't seem that way.

More after the break.

Jan 10, 2014

Science Fair Experimental LM386 Amp

          You may have seen my "Souped-Up" amp already - my first shot at DIY amp building, cloned from the Smokey amp.  I did mention how these projects are addictive, and now here we are with my science fair project.

          In case you have no idea what you're looking at (it is a pretty weird little amp) it is the son of a Noisy Cricket and a cigar box amp.  Put together one LM386, one 4" speaker, six potentiometers and a wooden craft box and this is what you get.

Lots more after the break.