Dec 28, 2017

Hybrid Tube Amp Idea

A silly but not-too-silly idea and a sloppy Photoshop job came together, and this is what you got.  

Of course there are modeling amps that can cover infinitely many types of amps, but that's not quite the same idea here.  First off, there's that reassuring manual feel, and as charming as the interface gets on simulators such as BIAS FX or Amplitube, they're never going to be as nice as turning an actual knob.  Then there's that tube mysticism, which may or may not be so magical as to be completely inimitable by anything invented after 1969.

The biggest real difference here is that unlike modelers that switch between amps, this could have a separate valve amp controlling each speaker at different volumes that could be blended together.  The closest I've gotten to this is BIAS, which allows a maximum of two amps at once (many famous guitarists such as Eric Johnson are known to use two amps at once).  I'd imagine four different valve amps blended could create some mind-blowing-ly rich tones.  But that's just speculation, without a couple thousand dollars to sink into building a test... at least not yet!

Dec 22, 2017

Building a simple wood guitar pedalboard

After finishing up this lovely guitar rack over the summer, I was faced with a dilemma; a decent-sized board of nice wood and no obvious projects to use it on.  At some point my mind went back to the drawer of scarcely-used pedals and the disorganized tangle of cords that kept me from ever using them.  Since pedalboards are ridiculously overpriced to buy, building one would be the perfect DIY solution to all of these "problems" at once.

Nov 12, 2017

Spray painting an enamel burst finish guitar (the right way)

The guitar business is one deeply entrenched in a sort of mysticism surrounding the "right" paints for the "right" sounds, and what's "right" is inevitably old lacquer or some even more cancerous alternative.

But if you're reading this, you probably already knew that - my SEO isn't terribly great so you'd have to be looking long and hard for someone so charming and modest, or at least devoid of snooty preconceptions about guitar paint.  On to the helpful part!

Oct 23, 2017

"Get Schwifty" Obey Logo

Get Schwifty Rick and Morty Obey Logo

          Sometimes, the world asks you to create something insightful, something useful or interesting that in some small way makes the world a better place.  This was not one of those times, but you might enjoy this Shepard Fairey-inspired Rick and Morty logo all the same.

Oct 17, 2017

List of English words - Nouns, Verbs, Adjectives, adverbs - 10,892 total

I've recently gotten into computer programming and was looking to create a wild "Mad Libs" type of word generator.  Maybe you're looking to do something similar, maybe you're training word generators, or maybe you have some other higher calling necessitating some large unformatted lists of words - I ain't going to judge.

However, I didn't find it as easy as hoped to get some convenient lists of words sorted by type, so after assembling a few collections of my own, I figured I might as well share them and save you the trouble!

Aug 6, 2017

Tender Surrender by Steve Vai Guitar Tab

Pretty self-explanatory - here are the tabs for Steve Vai's "Tender Surrender", reformatted and optimized for printing.

Aug 3, 2017

Spray Painting a Guitar With the "Dish Soap" Trick

It's surprisingly easy to get this squeaky-clean guitar finish.  All it takes is spray paint, dish soap, a water bottle, and a guitar body you don't mind possibly messing up, just a little bit.

Jul 29, 2017

A bit of jazz improv / Lightswitch Strat demo

Some mediocre (but perhaps slowly improving?) jazz improv, focusing on the tension of flatted fifths and major sevenths, and demo-ing the sights and sounds of the fabulous Sparky.

Jul 22, 2017

Making a simple wood guitar rack

A fun little weekend project recently was building a guitar rack out of a plywood board and a dowel rod.  It's not difficult, saves money, and the end product is something that you can customize and be proud of building yourself.

Jul 20, 2017

How to roll guitar fretboard edges

The difference in feel between a $200 guitar and a $2,000 guitar is largely the sum of small tweaks that just take the feel to the next level.  Rolling the fretboard edges is one such tweak that can take the comfort and playability of any guitar one notch higher.

Jul 18, 2017

What Kind of Guitar Pick to Use?

If you're a beginning guitarist, or if you just always gave more thought to which riff you were going to learn next than to what you were going to play it with, you might not know much about picking your plectrum.  

No problem, it's far from complicated, I'm just here to offer some tips that might help you along the way.

Jul 16, 2017

Different color wires exist for reasons

         At the end of the Lightswitch Strat build, I described the unusual wiring schematic and the incessant ground hum problem it faced - a noisy ground that became unbearably noisy when you make contact with any of the metal parts.  Why could it be so bad?

Jul 13, 2017

Stedman "Pro" Flying V Review (Spoiler - it's pretty rubbish)

What kind of guitar can you get on Craigslist for $10, an old airsoft scope, and some magic beans?  Well... quite possibly the worst guitar I've ever seen, and I build instruments out of garbage like it's an extreme sport.

Jul 12, 2017

Best Picks for Bass Guitar?

"Best?" I hear you ask with a raised eyebrow, lifting a finger to prepare an objection. 

"Well, I mean, I haven't really tried all that many different picks and I'm not even a great bass player to begin with, plus I'm restricting the search to affordable picks because paying $20 for a hand-shaped glass pick that I'll lose in five minutes just doesn't strike me as sensible, but these heavy Clayton acetyl picks work pretty well compared to the couple of other things I've tried in my day."

Your raised finger lowers, signaling that you've decided a counter-argument isn't really worth the effort of raising after all, and accept the lukewarm, unsolicited product recommendation with a small pile of salt.

Jul 10, 2017


          When you combine two niche hobbies, the odds of anyone else understanding exponentially decrease.

Jul 8, 2017

Jul 4, 2017

Moonlight Sonata Cover

My cover from a couple months back of Dr. Viossy's cover of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.  A little sloppy, but it ain't an easy song.

Jun 26, 2017

Incredibly Cheap String Instrument Challenge (ICSIC???)

           Okay, I just made up the part about it being a challenge, but it seems like you can just throw "challenge" after any noun and have it become an internet phenomenon, so who knows? :P

           The challenge, such as it was, was to make an electrified string instrument surpassing all previous records of cheapness.  Cost: $0.  Maximum cost if the parts were bought new? $5 (ish).  Mission accomplished!

Jun 1, 2017

Lightswitch Strat build

          If not mojo, it's certainly got... well, something.  A Home Depot light switch for one, a $30 neck and a scrap body for two more.  I really enjoy these builds where there design is fluid and the only goal is to make it sound alright and play nice for cheap, and this certainly fit the bill.

Apr 5, 2017

Spectacular Sememes

          Feeling enervated by the dearth of opulent prose in your prosaic routine, ensnared by the treadmill of drab vernacular?

          Me too.  Thus begins our quest to find the most swank words in the English language, entirely without foresight, substantiated background sources, a five year plan, any observation of any other lists that may exist, or caffeine (commitment to one of these stipulations is dubious).

Feb 19, 2017

Rogue RA-100D Acoustic Guitar Review

          At under $100, the Rogue RA-100D is a step up from the lowest tier offerings of this very affordable brand, and one of the cheapest playable entries into the acoustic guitar market.

          Initially I was put off by it's plastic smell and feel, but after giving it a setup, some care, and a few months, it's grown on me.  It would be too generous to compare it to ageing like a fine wine , but could be likened to a cheap wine which, after a few months, matured into something you wouldn't mind having around the campfire with some friends (to stretch the analogy a bit).

Pics, mods, and full review after the break:

Jan 30, 2017

'92 Squier Korean P-Bass Review and Mods

A few months ago after messing around with an 8-string guitar, I decided that I might as well stop muddling about in-between guitars and basses and go all the way into bass territory.  A trade yielded this old Korean Squier P-bass, and after a little work it's been a fun, very usable bass to play around on.

Jan 26, 2017

Constitutional Amendments Study Guide List

U.S. Constitution Amendments list study guide

A little study guide I put together for a Civil Rights and Liberties course I'm taking.  I didn't find any online already that I was happy with, so I put together a concise, printable version myself - hopefully this might help a few fellow students a bit :)

Jan 24, 2017

Balalaika Sheet Music archive

Once in a while, you find a resource so useful it'd be a disservice to humanity to not share it.  This 497-page-long archive of balalaika ensemble sheet music might not have a large audience, but it's a huge resource for those who are interested.

Jan 22, 2017

Gibson Overrated Photoshop

A little Photoshop job I did for fun, figured I'd share here since a lot of people got a kick out of this in a few different guitar groups.

Jan 18, 2017

Vox Pathfinder 10 Instruction Manual

In case you lost yours and don't know how the thing works.  Of course, it's simple enough that that shouldn't be a problem, but it's one of the more entertaining instruction manuals for guitar gear so why not?

Jan 3, 2017

Used Guitar Resale Value Regression Analysis

The used guitar market isn't particularly difficult to understand, but is rife with opaqueness and rumors, and a little light on actual data and studies.  While this isn't a comprehensive or conclusive analysis, it's a step towards a database that can help us draw real conclusions in the future.

Not excited yet?  I'll try my best :p