It’s easy to test whether a 12-watt amp with an efficient speaker can be louder than a 20-watt amp with an inefficient one. Simply plug in both amps with their respective speakers, plug in your guitar, bang a chord and measure the results with an SPL (sound pressure level) meter. Debate over. The bantamweight wins.
Cigar box guitar festivals are as DIY as the homemade instruments themselves. Builders and performers, eager to gather, jam and share secrets are creating mini “Bonaroos for Boxes” all over the world. They’re a great way to spend an afternoon and are guaranteed to inspire you to create your own gear in the process. If you've never been to one, you're missing out!
Two of the most essential techniques for all aspiring guitarists to master are string bending and vibrato. The electric guitar affords us the opportunity to express musical statements that can evoke and rival the sound and qualities of the human voice, with string-bending and vibrato techniques as the primary elements necessary to achieve vocal-like sounds and phrasing.
This month, I’m going to demonstrate how one can utilize simple triadic shapes and patterns in order to imply more complex and varied chord qualities. I find this to be a very cool and useful improvisational tool, because you can apply it to playing over either a chord progression that you want to outline melodically or over a static pedal tone.