Videos Guitartutorleeds Eddie de Hamer on Youtube

I had some students asking for videos, and I also had some people who could not find any of the videos.
So in this blog all the videos which have been made so far. For regular readers most of them are old, apart from the ones which were uploaded yesterday. More videos are on the way.
See you soon,
Eddie

Easy Guitar Lesson: “Stand By Me” chords and basslines

 

 

Hello all of you, here is the next guitartutorial brought to you by guitartutorleeds.com. Today a classic, it is “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King. One of those songs anyone knows.

Now watch the video where I demonstrate how you can play this song on the guitar on your own:

We will play the song by using basslines and chords, just as what you hear in the original song. Once you get the feel for playing in this style it will give your playing a feel of accomplishment.

Here are the Chords and the Bassline for the Song:

                         C                   C                       Am                Am
                         /                    /                         /                    / 

     A  —2—-3—–   —2—-3—–   –3—-2—0—-   ——-0—–  

     E  -3————   -3————-   —————–   -0-3——— 
Count 1 and  23 4

                      F                   G                     C                    C
                      /                   /                      /                     /

  A  -0————   —————   —2—-3——-   —2—3——

  E  —-3—-1—-   -1—2—3—-   -3————–  -3————-

N.B: Observe just one strum for the chords, and they are all on beat 4. I would suggest playing the F and G chord as barrechords:

        F            G
 
E  —1———-3——–

B  —1———-3——–

G  —2———-4——–

D  —3———-5——–

A  —3———-5——–

E  —1———-3——–

Playing the chords as suggested is easier as your first finger is already
playing the bassnote of the chord in the bassline.
Pay attention to the counting, the small 3 above the 2 means you hold the beat.
It is my own indication of how to hold beats and not play them. If you have been
using the blog for some time you will be used to my style of notation rhythms, if you are new to this site please pay attention to my additinal indication and explanations about how to play pieces.

I have written out the piece in the key of C major as this seems to be the most obvious key for beginners. If you plan on playing this song for your reportoire just check the key with your voice. This song is an easy one to transpose to different keys. I have played this song in almost any possible key for different occassions.

See if you can make the song flow without any gaps as this will seriously improve your playing. It is better to play a few songs really good instead of knowing a whole lot of songs you can only play so so. It seems to be a guitarist’s attitude just to play riffs or bits of the song. Singing will also improve your playing as you need to pay attention to your rhythm and making it all work with your voice. Hey did I not tell you before: This Music Thingy is a job for life, you will never get bored and there is always more to be done.

Enjoy for now, and stay tuned for some more well-known songs with basslines.
Eddie

Overdrive for Beginners: Boss OD-3—Consistent Sound On Any Amp ??!!—

For this article a short brief about the Boss OD-3 overdrive pedal. My main goal for this article is the question: “How well the OD-3 performs using various amps?” Will the pedal sound the same when played through a small amp compared to using a bigger amp? What about using different speakers, any difference there or will OD-3 still perform the same?

The sound of an amp is defined by the kind of valve, speaker and the pre/and poweramp.
Most beginners will have a simple set-up like one guitar and,usually, a smallish amp. Often the clean sound on these small amps is fine. Nothing too great, but we are talking small, cheap practise amp, so you would not expect amazing, complex sounds, just something which will work for now. The distortion/overdrive often is not too good: lacks controls to vary the sound ect. Often the sound is boxy and thin.
The average beginner does not have any experience with different kind of sound, logical as they only know the sound of the amp they have.
The sound of that boxy overdrive can often be improved with the help of a small pedal. Often this pedal can get a much bigger sound out of the amp with the result the amp becoming a inspiring bit of kit which will keep you playing your guitar for much longer than you normally would.

Now we have our goals in place let us look at the character of the OD-3’s overdrive. The Boss OD-3 is a overdrive pedal which is based roughly on the sound of a Marshall JCM 900, an amp which came out late 80s early 90s. Why did Boss duplicate the sound of the Marshall JCM 900? Because that particular sound is versatile and can be used in many, many musical situations. The earlier Boss overdrives, like the OD-1 and OD-2, were also based on the Marshall sound, but more on the sound of a JMP 70s style amp, which sounds darker.
Marshall keeps changing their ampsounds according to the needs of musicians and musical trends, logical for Boss to copy the sound of a JCM 900.

The sounds of OD-3 are more of overdriven blues and rock kind. Nothing too radical. The actual JCM 900 amp can go much further soundwise!. The OD-3 does only give you a general hint of the sounds the amp contains.

The guitars I used for the tests were Les Paul style guitars equipped with Humbuckers and Single coil Strat style guitars. Most of you will have a guitar which comes close soundwise. These guitars tend to be the most used ones with pick-ups being not too hot and not too weak.

One of my first tests was to play the OD-3 through an actual Marshall JCM 900 connected to a Celestion 12 inch speakercabinet. With the amp on clean setting and the OD-3 in boost mode –drive all the way down– and using a Les Paul, the amp still distorts a bit. Basically, the OD-3 will not clean up with Humbucking pick-ups! Logical, but I whish the pedal could. Single coils do better with this, but I still hear some kind of artifical sound here which I do not like.
Using same setting on amp, but now using mild overdrive on OD-3, the amp starts to sound a lof fuller, just like when you were to push the volume on the actual amp itself. With both Les Paul and Strat you can get that Marshall sound: Play powerchords on the bottom E and A and the strings actually sound creamy, just as what you would expect when you push a Marshall. But remember, I am still playing through a Marshall, but only on low volume setting while the OD-3 is set-up for overdrive sounds at higher volume.
As with many pedals you get a better sound if the volume of pedal is just above unity level of the amp. You can alter this to obtain more radical sounds, but more on this later when I get to the small amps.
Switching pedal of, and pushing the Marshall into overdrive, how does this sound compare to the pedal its sound? Much better! More detail in the highs and lows, more complex sound. I do prefer the sound of the amp without the pedal but the OD-3 is cetainly good at coming very close! 

Next amp: The Twin as you can see above in the image. Using the Twin on a mild, clean setting —these amps only give you clean, or mild broken up sounds— and using the booster mode on the OD-3: Similar results as with the Marshall: No cleans on the Les Paul with Humbucks, you get a bright, trebly sound which does not sound too good. Strat is a bit better, but still, there is a artifical sound underneath the overal sound.
Pushing the pedal into overdrive and you get Marshall-ish sounds from the Twin. Good if you want this, if you would like to augment the sound of the amp with a little bit of push the OD-3 is not your ticket here!
The Twin I used does have stock speakers, which have more treble than the Celestion speakers, something to bear in mind.

Next amp: The small red Marshall you see in the image above. This amp is 12 watts, but does have a 40 watts 10 inch speaker instead of its original 25 watts. This means it needs to be pushed harder to get overdriven-and distorted sounds. Also means the amp does have more headroom and does sound less trebly compared to using the amp with its original speaker (I do have several of these amps, and some of the others still have their original speaker, so I can compare their sound)
The booster trick is similar: No cleans with the Les Paul and the artifical sound still being there when a Strat was used: Very consistent!!
On clean setting while pushing OD-3, I get overdriven sounds at much lower levels. Pushing the amp into overdrive without using the OD-3 creates better distorted tones. The OD-3 is able to augment the distorted sound of the amp: add a bit more body and treble, it can also create a more radical distorted sound if that is what you want.

Last amp: The smallest of them all, a small, no name practise amp with a tiny speaker.
This amp does not really give me any pleasing sound when I use the same scenario as above: Clean amp and pushing the OD-3: I do get the Marshall sounds, but the overal sound remains tinny and boxy.
The overdrive/distortion on this amp is kind of fuzz. Maybe Boss HM-2/MT-3 kind of sound?.
Using this overdrive on a mild setting and pushing the amp with the OD-3 gives me a much better sound: Ratty with much better sustain. With the help of the OD-3 I can create totally different distorted sounds compared to the sounds which were originally in the amp. The level of the  OD-3 was well above the level of the amp to get even better, fuller sounding sound. 
Maybe this is the way to go?: Alter the distortion of you practise amp with the sound of an overdrive pedal to ceate new tones.
Pushing small amps to the limit with overdrives is nothing new, and for those of you who only have small amps, this may be to way to keep your inspirational fire burning.

            Conclusion:

I am impressed with how well the OD-3 performs over various amps: It does keep putting out a consistent sound. I am not pleased with the boosting capabilities of this pedal: Whatever guitar I tried, I did not hear the natural amp sound in a boosted form.
Most of the time I do prefer the hear the overdriven sound of the amp on its own, all depending on quality of the amp. A pedal like the OD-3 is best used for augmenting the natural overdriven tones of the amp: Adding more treble, or body to the overal sound at lower volumes.
The OD-3 excells at pushing the distortion of very small amps to their limits to create new sounds. Most of these sounds will be brutal and radical, nothing like mild, creamy and bluesy sounds.

For those of you who do like the sound of the OD-3 I would suggest to check out any Marshall, as most amps will give you the sound of the OD-3 plus a lot more. Pedals do have their place, but when it comes to it, their is nothing better than the sound of an amp on its own without the use of any distortion-or overdrive pedals.
The sounds you get are usually more complex and detailed compared to the sound of a pedal.
There are pedals which are neutral and just augment your amp, no matter what you do. The trick is to find such pedals, they are the real winners here.

Keep on playing and hope to catch you soon again!
Eddie

Happy 2013 to all you readers: Future articles about Boss Pedals–OD1, OD3, VB2, XT2 and PW2 !!

Happy 2013 to all you readers, sorry that I have kept you waiting so long without any new articles.
I will create some articles about Boss pedals, they will be not so much like a review more about insights and application.
Over the past few weeks I have had a change to test out most of the Boss overdrive/distortion pedals and there are a few things I would like to share with you about what I have noticed. I will go into detail about the OD-3 and how its performs through various amp-and speaker configuration.
Furthermore there will be some insights in the VB-2 and some of the other, more common, pitchshifters such as the PS-2, PS-3 and PS-5.
First of these articles should be up within a few days.
Hope to catch you soon again,
Eddie

Use Jamming as a Method to Improve Your Musicianship and Guitar Playing

Jamming is the opposite of playing composed songs, jamming reflects a guitarplayer’s character, jamming can be done at any level and with any technique, jamming will make you play freer.

Just some statements about jamming, and all of these statements are true.
Let me concentrate  for this article on the beginning musician/guitarplayer who has been playing for maybe three to four years or so. Maybe your experience is getting some tabs from the net, from books (or otherwise) to help you to play your favourite songs. Well these tabs certainly will help you along the way to get the sound of that particular song. What the tabs cannot do is to make you a freer musician/guitarplayer who understands his/her instrument better. Logical, because the path to get better is a long and never ending process: You can always get better and it takes time and experience, however, there are things you can do to speed up your progress and learning how to jam is one of them.

   Jamming All Alone:

How can you jam on your own you may wonder? Does it not take a few players who create the sound of a band? Yes that is true, but you create that bandsound on your own by playing each instrument at a time:
  ~ You can play a handful of chords and record what your are playing. Play the recording back and start playing basslines along with your recording. Do not know how to create proper basslines? Do not worry, just play anything which makes you feel it sounds like a bassline. Yes you can learn how to create basslines, learn about harmony ect. but for now, have fun and just play. Document for yourself the moments when it starts to sound right, these are the moments which will boost your musical skills. You can record these moments on another recorder (or write them down in tab, or any kind of method which will help you to recall what you played before)
Do the same for your riffs and solos: Just play along with these chords your recorded before to see how well they fitt into the sequence. If you like singing, do the same with your vocals, just sing over those chords while you listen and create vocal melodies in this way.

Not able to record? Do not worry, play your chordsequence on the guitar and sing over these chords whatever comes to you to see what sounds good. Having some recordingtools will help you to document what you do, but for now you can just play. Maybe get some simple recording tools at later stage (later more about equipment)
   

    Jamming Together:

  ~ Invite some of your musical friends around and start to play together. Avoid proper songs and suggest to play  whatever comes into your head. At first it may sound like a mess, at some point it may sound pleasing. Run a recorder along with your playingsession to document what you play. Listen back to see if it sounded any good. Changes are that the music sounded better when you were playing, you may also feel you did not play that long, but it reality that jam may have lasted 20 minutes just hanging on to three chords. All fine, do not worry. All in all, you will learn a lot from this. Just analyse it, write down what you liked, remember the fun and how you did it and move on to the next sonic adventure.

   Jamming Will Only Let You Play What You Know:

True, if you only playing experience is jamming you may get stuck. You need to push yourself to learn new ideas, techniques ect. You can do this during your practise time on your own. You may want to jam with others to get these new ideas into your system. Playing an instrument reflects your personality, and there are many, many different ways to play, and jamming is only one mode of playing.

   Jamming Will Let You Play At Your Own Level:

True, because you can only play what you know. I have pupils who have had only a handful a lessons, and they already jam with some of the ideas I have given them. They hear sounds in their head and try to use whatever they have learned so far and try to use that for what they hear to make music.
If you are a beginner and you jam with experienced players you may want to check the emotional field: Jamming should not be a intimidating process of showing off musical ideas. Discussing musicial ideas before you play may help to open up the atmosphere and create a friendly environment.

   Jamming and Sound:

Jamming is a great tool to get you going with your effects: One guitar player may use an acoustic guitar while another player uses a heavily distored electric guitar. Jamming is a great way to explore how those two (seemingly) opposite instruments may blend very well together if played in the right way.
Jamming can also be used as an opportunity to check out particular sounds from a certain effect, and how well those sounds will sit in the mix of other instruments.

    Jamming Tools:

It is impossible for me to mention all the brands of various loopstations, delaypedals with hold fuctions, recordingdevices ect.
Anything you can record yourself on will do for now. It may be a phone, cassetterecorder, Ipod, whatever. Once you get deeper into jamming you can look into whatever particular tool is good for your purpose.
I use a lot of different tools. For spontenous sessions I like tools which take minimal effort and give me maximum results so I can get on with making music.
Loop pedals are great for this kind of playing, but there are a lot of them and all of them have their own issues. Just check out what you like.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article and may see you soon back in the near future,
Eddie

Fender Bassman 135 and Marshall JCM 900 Hi Gain Dual Reverb: A Comparison

For this article a few practical points about both these amps, some of their features and how both amps can sound similar on clean settings. N.B: My comments about the Marshall are only for the Hi Gain Dual Reverb series, as there are other models in the JCM 900 series and their sound and  their design is somewhat different! The amp is set-up according to original specs and equipped with the 5881 valves

When you are reading this article you are probably well aware that Jim Marshall based his early designs for the Marshall amp on the Fender Bassman. Both the Fender Bassman and the Marshall amps have changed throughout the years, but some of their basic features remained the same for quite some time.

The early Fender Bassman came originally as a combo: Speaker and amp all in one box, later versions of the Bassman came as a head with a seperate speaker cabinet. The early version (and the reissue!) came with one channel but did have various inputs for normal- and bright use. Later Bassman versions did have this feature combined in two channels: A basschannel, which creates a more grainy sound, and a normal channel for a brighter guitarsound.

As with both Fender and Marshall, most of their amps carry the same sound. The different models tend to vary in some features. The normal channel on the Bassman 135 can give you a very similar sound as the Twin Reverb. Of course the Bassman lacks reverb and vibrato, but as for its basic sound, it is very identical.

The Bassman 135,  similar as earlier versions of this amp, does have two inputs for each channel: A high impedance and a low impedance. Basically these inputs can be used to bring down your guitarvolume: When playing in a small room you can use input two, when you are doing gigs at larger venues, input one may be the one your prefer.
The Bassman 135 was not designed to give you distortion, it is a clean sounding amp, even when hard pushed, especially  when using the original 6L6 valves.

The Marshall JCM 900 dual reverb came both as a head and a combo version. The headversion of this amp uses only one input. At the back there is a switch for Hi/Low sound. This switch does act in a simalar way as both the hi and low input on the Bassman 135: Set it to low and it will reduce your volume.
The Marshall does have a proper distortion and clean channel, but both channels are very flexible. Channel A will be in most cases used for clean sounds. To get distortion from this channel you will need to put the preamp at higher values (especially when using single coil guitars!) while channel B will create distorted sounds  at much lower preamp values.
To get clean from both channels: Set the preamp values at a low setting and work with the master volume. When you use the amp in this fashion you will find that Channel A can sound somewhat similar as the normal channel on the Bassman 135 (Brigh and trebly), use Channel B on the Marshall for a clean setting, and you will get the more grainy sound from the basschannel from the Fender Bassman.
The distortion the Marshall can create goes from dark, think  60s Plexi, to more trebly modern sound of the 90s.
The Bassman will not give you any of those distorted tones, you will need to use pedals to get similar sounds.

Although the JCM 900 series were around at the late 80s early 90s, the basic sound of the earlier Bassmans could still be found on these amps.

When reading this you may become interested in reissues of certain Marshall and Fender Models, you may even become interested in the various versions both Marshall and Fender made throughout the years, of their basic ampmodels.
What you will find is that both companies produced one basic sound, and they made some variations with this sound. The better you are aware of that basic sound (through recordings of different artists using any of those basic amp designs) the better you are to judge for yourself the differences between the various models and the newer reissues. Be aware that later amps used features requested by  guitar players, features such as reverb, channel switching, master volumes, switches to bring down volume level etc. Sometimes these features are considered as a flaw against the basic design. Maybe you can look at these features as guitarplayers modding their own amps for their own specific needs.
These days we have enough tools to get around some of those issues without modding the amp: You can turn a one channel amp into a two channel amp by using various pedals which will give you different kind of volume- and brightness levels without altering the basic sound of the amp.

Doing reseach on a particular ampmodel is a journey in itself and it can be a eyeopener and a lot of fun too.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article. 
Happy playing and hope to see you soon again,
Eddie

Silverface Fender Twin Reverb amp with Push/Pull Master Volume and Celestion Speakers, Read On!!

For this article a short brief about the Silverface Fender Twin Reverb.

Anyone reading this article will know the common remark made about these amps: Leave the Push/Pull knob alone when it comes to increasing power (read distortion) on these amps. The results usually are not too pleasing: Harsh in sound and very trebly.

I have been using the amp for some time now with the stock speakers. Not sure which kind of speakers they are, as the label is gone. They look like an Oxford and another one. Yes two different speakers in one amp! Anyone aware of the habits in the Fender company will know that they used up all parts they had lying around at the time. Both speakers do carry same serial number, this number has been added by Fender, although both speakers are of a different make.
The speakers sound fine, do not want to go into much detail about them here as this article is about the Celestion speakers and the Twin Reverb.

As experiment I tried a speaker cab which carries two 12 inch Celestions: One is a G12H and the other one a G12 vintage 30. Using this cab and guitar being plugged into vibrato channel, while volume is set at about 8, and the master at about 2 while the push/pull is engaged. The result is warm, fuzzy distortion. Nothing like what I heard with the stock speakers. Disengage push/pull, and distortion is still there, but not as full on.
This was a welcome suprise, especially when most people in the know seem to mention do not use the push/pull.
I guess using Celestions on a Silverface Twin Reverb is not quite common, most people do not have a desire to make their Fender amp sound like somekind of Marshall. Well, the sound is not quite Marshall, the Fender characteristics are still there, but the amp does sound different with the Celestions being used.

The good thing about Twin Reverb is that the amp does have a speaker input socket, which means you can use any outside cabinet with whatever speakerset they have. Simply disengage the speakerjack of the internal speakers and plug the speakerlead from your external cab. into the amp’s speaker input socket and hey presto, your speakermodification is done!.
I feel the stock speakers are fine for most sounds, but if you want that fuzzy Californian sound you may want to give the amp a try with any Celestion speaker you have.

   Does it make much difference which Celestion you will use?

No not really, the difference will be that any of them will break up at a different point, and the details of the sound will be different, but all of them will give you that warm fuzzy sound I mentioned before.

  Will any JBL or Jensen speaker give similar results?

This is what I do not know, as I have not heard any of them, and my feeling is no, because of the common advise to leave the Push/Pull alone.

If you too feel you could improve on the sound of your broken up Silverface Twin, try experimenting with different speakers to see how they behave soundwise.

   What kind of Valves?

Again one of those questions which is hard to answer. I use Groove Tubes for various reasons, but they are mainly my amp tech’s reasons rahter than mine. I would like to experiment with various kind of valves, but you will need a few sets of different brands of valves to get a good idea of what each kind of brand can offer soundwise.
Overal the sound of the amp is good, not too bright (That is when I use the older, stock speakers) not too dull.
My opinion is: The tone controls of the Twin are quite active: If your speakers are too dull you can always brighten them up with a different setting from your amp. If your speakers are bright by nature you will end up with a overly bright Twin, which may not be what you always want!

Whatever modification you make to the amp soundwise, there is always a payback. An external speakercabinet is therefore an ideal solution, as you can change the sound on the spot without altering any sounds you already have.

For next article some more insights into the Marshall JCM 900 dual reverb and the Silverface Bassman 135, and how close those two amps can come soundwise.

Enjoy experimenting with your ampsetup and hope to see you here soon again.
Eddie

What Makes a Good BassPlayer?

Someone who plays their notes with strength and power. Notes which sound full and round. This is not about having a loud amp, it is about digging into your notes to get your notes out of the bass with strength and confidence. This not only applies to bassplayers, guitarplayers should also dig into their strings to create a better sound.

Someone who is able to outline the structure of a song (playing the chordnotes) without the support of any rhythm instrument such as guitar or keyboards.

Someone who can create variations in feel of the song without altering or upsetting the tempo of the song.

Someone who can play the same feel, but vary their choice of notes, this to keep the song fresh.

Someone who can play supportive. Bassplaying is all about the support and feel of the music, it is not about being flashy. This does not mean bassplaying is boring and repetitive, no you can be as inventive when you play the bass as when you are when playing the guitar.

This list is by no means complete, the facts I mentioned here are only  some of the main characteristics which make up a great bassplayer.

Eddie