Boss Digital Delay Pedals: Guide~ How To Hear Their Difference in Sound?~

For this article a short guide how to check for the differences in sound among the various Boss Delay pedals.

Boss produced the DD-2 as one of their first digital delay pedals, in the early 1980s. Since that time there have been several updates for the same pedal. Each new model does come with new features such Tap-Tempo, Reverse Delay, Warp Sound and more Stereo Delay options. However, the basic sound of the delay has not changed, but each different model does have its own variation of that basic sound.
The variations in sound are easy to notice once one knows what to listen out for.
The differences in sound are due to different chips being used for each new model, and some slight design variations.

The most noticeable differences are:
The Colour of the Delay Sound:
Is the sound light, airy and glassy or is it dark and full?
The Trial-Off of the Repeats:
Are they relatively short or longer?
Strength of Output Signal:
Is it light and lower in volume?, or is the output stronger and louder in volume?

Colour of the Sound:
To compare the colour of the sound use relative long delay time setting of 800mS. for all the different pedals you want to compare. Use the time control to vary the pitch while listening to the differences in sound. Some models will hold the note well and it will remain full in sound, while some other models will loose the note and the overall sound will become weaker when you do this test.

Trail-Off Repeats:
To compare the trail-off of the repeats set the pedals to 800mS. Put the feedback control to where the pedal nearly oscillates. Listen to your different pedals. Make sure you use same settings for each pedal to produce a similar sound in terms of repeats, delay time and output level.

Strength:
To check for this characteristic use 800mS for all the pedals. Get all your different pedals to sound the same in terms of delay time, repeats and output level. This is not as easy as it sounds. Use your ears and own judgement to check. Any variations in delay time will make true comparisons impossible!

Observations:
~~N.B for the DD-3 I used the current model, all my observations are based on this model. If you have any other DD-3 version your findings may vary!~~

DD-2: Glassy sound, weaker output, repeats trail-off are relatively short.
DD-3: Darker sound, more output, repeat trail-off much longer and very natural!
DD-5: Almost as DD-3, less output, pitch play for this model sound very digital due to design issue about direct/effect signal. For overall performance this will not hinder the pedal!
DD-6: Trail-off repeats not as natural as DD-3 and DD-5, Output level much higher as DD-5
DD-7: Better compared to DD-6, not as natural as DD-3

Which of all of those models is the best you may wonder? I cannot tell, I like all of them, they all have their different sound and they are all useful for various musical applications.

There will be two videos which will illustrate what I described above: One will be about a comparison between the DD-2 and DD-3, the other video will be about the DD-2, DD-5, DD-6 and DD-7 and how their different sound can be used musically.

Hope you found the information in this article useful.
Eddie

Improvisation and Loops: 3 Methods to Improve Your Sound

This little amp is inside the amp mentioned in video

For this article a short guide how to improve your sound whilst improvising using loops. I will explain three short, practical tips how to improve the sound of your guitar when you improvise and use loop pedals.

Using Two Amps
One of the first thing to do is to use two amps: One amp is for your loop, the other one is for your improvisation. These two amps will keep your sound clear and uncluttered since each amp does have its own, individual speaker to keep the sound nice and clear.

Using Pedals
Secondly, to diversify your sound use guitar pedals. The pedals of choice are up to you: You may want to alter the level of the sound by using dist/overdrive pedals, or you may want to use Delay pedals. The main goal for using pedals is to create a different sound for the signal of your improvisation compared to the guitar sound of your loop. Combined with two different amps, this approach will give you a huge, wide open and clear guitar sound.

Playing Over One String
(Experienced improvisers may want to ignore this section!)
The third idea is related to keeping your ideas simple and short: Playing over one string at a time gives you the ability to see where you are going on the fretboard. You can actually see the notes you are playing compared to feeling your way around on the fretboard! Once you know what you are after musically you can start playing across the strings and play more in position as opposed to playing along the fretboard.

Here is a simple scale idea for E major Ioanian scale as used in the video, all notes are being played on the B string :
5—7—9—10—12—14—16—17—

The important notes in this scale are the G# (fret 9) and the D# (fret 16):
The G# is the major 3rd, change this note to a G (fret 8) and you are playing a minor 3rd, which creates a different sound within the scale.
The D# is the leading tone to the keynote, in this case the key of E major. Both the Leading Note and the Major 3rd are characteristic for the sound of the Ionian scale.

Check out video which demos the whole process as described before:

Check out image at top of this article, this is the amp build into the enclosure of Fender Frontman amp




Correction Video:
I mentioned E Dorian, it should have been the F# Dorian since it is the 2nd degree of the E Ionian scale.

Hope you enjoyed reading the article and hope you will be able to use some of these ideas for your own style of playing.
See you soon again for more,
Eddie

Adapted Nashville Tuning

For this article a short brief about adapted Nashville tuning. I use the term “adapted” since this string gauge is based on regular Nashville tuning.

Nashville Tuning
Regular Nashville tuning uses the same string pitch as you already use: Standard tuning, but you change your strings to the melody strings of a regular 12-string set. A example of a typical Nashville tuning string set is: (low to high) 0.26, 0.20 (plain), 0.12, 0.09, 0.12, 0.09
Looking at the string gauges you will notice there is only one wound string: The low E, and this string is a lot lower than what you would normally use.

Where is Nashville Tuning Used For?
Why would you use this idea? The sound of your strings is a lot brighter and twangy. Nashville tuning can be used to beef up the sound of guitars on recordings or any ensemble playing. It will add more twang to your chords. Most of your low end has disappeared and your guitar will sound a little like a Mandolin.

Adapted Nashville tuning uses regular string gauge set, the only difference is for your low E and the D string. You can use the same gauges for these strings as what was mentioned above for Nashville tuning: 0.26 and a 0.20 (plain)

No New Tunings or Fingerings are Needed!
You can tune your strings to regular pitch or use altered or any open open tuning you like. All work well for this string alteration.

Unison Tunings
Adapted Nashville is great for unison tunings: Any tuning where you use a set of 2 strings and tune them to the same pitch. Since we have 6 strings you will end up by having 3 sets of a similar pitch. You could simply tune to a triad or any other chord you may like.

When you use the unison tuning you will find you will have a melody- and bass string available for your playing, which is similar as when you would play a regular 12-string guitar.

Adapted Nashville tuning is great for chords, any type of rhythm playing or improvising: Simply use your low E, D or G string as drone note whilst you improvise over the given drone tone.

Try the adapted Nashville tuning for yourself to see if it inspires you to play any new styles of music compared to the styles you are already familiar with.

Check out video underneath for more ideas related to Nashville Tuning


Hope you have found this article useful and hope to see you back for more soon.
Eddie

Use StringBending for your GuitarPlaying: How to do it? How to Apply it?

For this article a brief explanation what stringbending is all about and how you can apply its sound to your own guitarplaying.

On the guitar you can play chords or single strings. You can play open strings or fretted notes. Fretted notes are being played by fingering a fret on the fretboard with a finger of your left hand. The fretted string will respond directly by making the note heard. When you bend a string the sound is different, less direct, compared to playing a fretted note: The pitch of the fretted note is altered by pushing up the string. The pitch can be bend up one fret, two frets or even half a fret, all depending on on how far you bend the string! Stringbending can give you the idea you are playing with a slide without actually using one!

Which Fingers To Use?
A common technique to bend a string on the guitar is using your ringfinger of your fretting hand. The ringfinger is doing the actual stringpushing while your index-and middle finger support your ringfinger: The actual technique works as follows: Place your ringfinger on a fret somewhere on, for example, the B string. Place index-and middle finger directly behind ringfinger on the same string.
Using this stringbending method you will notice it will give your ringfinger more strenth, power and stability to push the string to create the correct pitch.

Correct Your Pitch
Anyone new to stringbending will experience difficulty bending the string up to the right pitch. A simple way to check your pitch is to bend one fret up from your fingered, fretted, note. After you bend the string, play the actual bended note. This will result in the actual note being played twice: First you will hear your bended version, then the fretted version of the note. If your fretted note is lower compared to the bended note, you know you will need to bend the string a little further to get the correct pitch.

Where on Fretboard?
Stringbending will be easier in higher positions on the fretboard. The fifth position seems to be a common position for most guitar players. The fifth position gives also easy access to the key of A minor, a common key for most Blues and Rock songs. It may be a good place to start when you are new to stringbending.
It is possible to bend on any string of the guitar, anywhere on the fretboard. All you need to do is to work on the strength of your ring finger to bend the strings in various positions. Experiment to see where you like its sound the best.

Which String?
Any string can be bend! Plain strings have more resonance because of their nature: They are thinner and sound brighter compared to wound strings.
Beginners may find stringbending easier on plain strings because they are thinner and have less resistance, but wound strings can certainly be bend too! They will sound different and will take a little more effort, just try it!

Application
Now you know how to bend a string it is time to apply your new technique.
A common way to use stringbending is play a phrase and bend into a particular note of that phrase, instead of fretting this note. This method is used by a lot of Blues guitarplayers. Listening to various players who use stringbending will give you a good idea what is possible.
Is stringbending only used in Blues? No, altering the pitch of your strings can be used in any style of music. It is a technique which is also often used in Eastern styles of music such as Indian music. Basically the technique of stringbending will offer the guitarist a different sound. This sound can be used in any form of guitarplaying, all depending on your own style and taste.

p.s: for the video underneath I use standard D tuning which is (from low to high): D, G, C, F, A and D

Music Lessons For Guitar, Bass, Ukulele and Keyboards Are Back!!

I am open for music lessons for any of the above mentioned instruments plus songwriting.
During these difficult time some of you may not feel sure with the start up of learning a musical instrument, something which is understandable.
On the other hand, this may be the time to make a start with learning a new skill such as playing the guitar. Music is a friend for life and it can comfort you in difficult situations such as the times we are having right now.

My lessons are flexible in terms of days and times. You can visit me at my house or I can come to yours, depending on what you want. During the lessons we do keep a distance and make sure we work according the guidelines as set out by the government. If people are interested in On-line lessons, that can be arrange too, just let me know.

Most of the lessons are for one hour, but they can be longer or shorter, all depending on what you would want.
If you are not sure yet about what to do, you can have a introductory lesson. This will give you an idea of what it takes to learn to play a musical instrument.
It is best to bring your own musical instrument along, if you do not have one we can make a arrangement for you in order to use one.


Some of you may have thought about taking up a musical instrument, but are not sure about what to buy at the moment. Feel free to contact me. I can give you advise and pointers as in what to look for and what to buy.

Over the next few weeks I hope to put out more videos, some of those will be just music, some of them will be tutorial videos with ideas and suggestions for particular playing techniques.

For all of you interested in music and learning to play a musical instrument, keep checking out this site for any more updates.

Hope to catch you soon again.
Eddie

Banjo Lesson: Combine Melodic Style with Forward, Reverse and Alternating Roll


This lesson does contain two basic, different ideas .
The first idea is made up of a G and G7 chord over two bars which are being repeated. Both bars consist of the forward- and reverse roll combined with the Pinch and a Melodic idea:



D ———–0——————-3——- ————0———–3—2—-0——–
B ——0——————–0———— ——–0——0———————0—-
G –0——0——-0———-0——- —0——-0———-0——————-
D —————————————– ———————————————
G —————————————– ———————————————–


N,B: Notice Pinch contains melody and melodic run-down at end.



The second idea contains 4 bars made up of the alternating roll, which is played by alternating G (5th) string with the D (4th) string while sticking the G (3rd) string in between . The Melodic ideas are all played on the D (4th) string:




D ————————————————– ———————————————
B ————————————————– ———————————————
G ————0————0——–0—–0——- ——–0——–0———————-0–
D ——————–0—————–0———– ————-0—————3—2–0—–
G —0————————-0——————— —0—————————————-



D —————————————————- ———————————————
B —————————————————- ———————————————-
G ————0———–0——–0——0——– ——–0——0—————————-
D ——————0——————-0———– ————-0—————-3——-5—-
G —0————————-0——————– —-0—————————————-


N.B: Observe all 4 bars are made up of similar alternating roll which changes towards end of 2nd and 4th bar.


Check out video at bottom of this article where I play these two basic ideas combined with more melodic, improvised ideas.

Hope you like this simple Banjo lesson, there will be more articles related to the Banjo in the near future, just keep checking the blog from time to time..

Thanks and hope to see you again soon!
Eddie


Eddie de Hamer Now Available for Banjo Lessons in Leeds

I can offer Banjo lessons to a high standard of playing.
Anyone who wants to learn to play the Banjo is welcome, I can help you with the styles of Blue Grass, Old Time or you may simply want to learn the Banjo for your own playing style. Is is all possible, simply get in touch through the contact page on this site to let me know about your interests and we can take it from there.

Banjos come in a variety of instruments. The most common one you will find today is the 5-string Banjo, but there is also a 4-string Banjo, called the Tenor. Then there is the Long-Scale Banjo, which was popularised by Pete Seeger in the 1960s.
Whatever Banjo you want to learn, I can help you to improve your playing style. just get in touch!

Guitar Players who want to give the Banjo a try may find it relatively straight forward, since the Banjo tuning is not too different from the Guitar Tuning: High E is tuned down to a D. The B, G and D string remain the same! The low A is tuned down to a G.
The tuning you end up with is a G chord: The Banjo is tuned to a open G!

The string configuration is a bit different to a guitar: The first four strings go up in gauge, the 5th string, which on the guitar would be just below your low E, is of a similar gauge as the 1st string. It is often used as a drone string, although this may depend on what you actually play!

Thinking about the playing technique: The Banjo is often picked. The picking patterns are called “Rolls”: They are basically a set way of picking the string in a particular order. There are a handful of popular Rolls which are used regularly. Any guitar player who does use Finger Picking Style will be able to get the hang of these rolls quickly!

The Banjo is not often strummed, but you can strum it, just like a guitar. The instrument does not sound as loud as when it is being picked.

As far as the tuning: The D,B,G,D,G (high to low) goes, this is the regular five string Banjo tuning, but other tunings will work as well. It is just a case of experimenting with what you like.

Here is a brief video where I use a variety of techniques to get a very short piece across:

I will create more videos where I will demo particular Banjo techniques.
There will also be more articles here about Banjos and their playing style.
Thanks and hope to see you soon again,
Eddie

A Introduction to Loop-and Delay Pedals with Hold Function

For this article a brief outline about loop pedals. It will include what they do, the various functions you can find on them and their history.

What are Loop Pedals?:
A loop pedal is a simple device which lets you record and playback a musical idea.

What Can Loop Pedals Do?
A basic loop pedal will let you record your guitar. You can then play back this recording and add other parts to augment your previous made recording. There may be a control to balance the overall sound of your loop.

More advanced looper pedals will offer you more functions: You may find a start/stop function which will let you bring in your loop any time you want it. You may only want to have your loop in one part of a song you play. The loop may work as a extra part. All you need to do is start your loop at the time you want it to come in, and stop it where you want to end it.

There may be a function which will let you set the rhythm of your loop.

Some loop pedals come with a Automatic Start function, this function will let you start recording a soon as you start playing a note.

Your loop pedal may have a Save function, which will let you preserve the loop you have just created for any future moment when you want to use it.

There are loop pedals which come with pre sets for either/or rhythm tracks of drums or backing tracks of various musical styles. This may be ideal for guitarists who like to work with generic pre recorded musical ideas instead of creating their own, individual musical ideas.

You may come across loop pedals which do have a dedicated XLR input for a microphone. In this case you will be able to use your voice alongside your guitar signal.

History:
The earliest, and most basic form of loop pedals are delay pedals with a hold function. The first pedals of this kind started to emerge in the early 1980s.
The hold function on most of these pedals is very short. They may contain just enough time for you to hold one chord, certainly not enough time for looping a whole sequence of chords. Overdub functions did not exist: You simply record over your previous recorded sound. This recording technique is called “Sound-on-Sound”: Each time your record over your original recording, the quality of original will get weaker. As one can imagine, there is a limit to how many times you can record over your original idea, since the original recording will disappear as too many parts are recorded over it. Sound-on Sound is a valid and useful technique but requires some planning and a little experience as to how many parts you can record over your original idea.
As the 1980s progressed delay pedals started to have longer delay-and hold times. Some of them did have a hold time for a full two seconds, which is good enough for 1.5 bar of music in 4/4
The overdub function was still often Sound-on-Sound with the result of loss in quality for your loop once you started overdubbing.
Towards the end of the late 1990s and early 2000 we see the emergence of dedicated loop pedals. Newer, better digital technology meant longer loop times and overdubbing without the loss of any quality for your original recording.
Today you can find any kind of looper pedal you may want. All have their own dedicated purpose and function.
When you are new to looping you may want to start your journey into looping with a basic delay pedal with a hold function: It will teach you the technique how to set up your basic loop. True, a basic pedal will be more primitive compared to a more advanced, dedicated loop station pedal, but it is also more fun. You will learn quickly how to set up creative loops. In the meantime you will see its strengths and weaknesses. Once you upgrade to a better loop station your learning curve will be short since you already have mastered your basic loop skills. You will enjoy your time with your new looper straight away instead of being frustrated over not being able to create smooth loops for your music.

Here two videos I have made for loop pedals: One is with the Boss Delay DD7, this pedal is a delay pedal with a hold function for 40 seconds, no save or stop/start functions. The loop will repeat itself as soon as you finished recording. In the video I do mute the sound of the loop by turning down its volume with a volume pedal. The DD7 will allow you to turn down the volume of your loop by using the level control. The volume will be turned down, but this will not stop the loop. The loop will keep playing until you erase its content!

The next video here where I used to Boss RC-2, which is a dedicated loop station which contains 16 minutes of recording time for creating loops. It also contains various drum guides which you can use along side your loop. You can hear me using a drum guide on the actual loop. The RC-2 does also come with a Save and Stop/Start function. Most dedicated Loop Station pedals will have these functions.

The PDS series from Digitech are one of those pedals which use” Sound-on-Sound” for their Looping-and Sample Function. On this particular model you can stop your loop, but you cannot save it.

Hope you found this article useful and enjoyable.
Looking forward to see you again here in the future.
Thanks,
Eddie

Chorus Effects: A Brief Guide

This article is a brief guide to chorus effects. It explains what Chorus is. What In-and Out Puts they have? What are the typical controls and applications of a Chorus effect? What variations are there among the various Chorus effects?
The article is not a guide to the various Chorus pedals which exist. Any brands mentioned in this article only serves as a example for a particular sound.

Chorus is a form of Delay optimized for a specific function. A typical guitar signal will sound fuller and more animated once processed through a Chorus effect compared to the signal being without any form of processing.

Delay times of 10 to 25 mS will start to produce Chorus sounds. Some Chorus brands may even give you a shorter delay range to alter the colour and sound of the particular unit.
A delay range of 25 mS and anywhere above will give you Slapback Echo and other forms of Echo and Spacial effects.

The first Chorus effects for Musical Instruments started to appear in the mid-to late 1970s. Most of them used the “Bucket-Brigade Device” (BBD) technology. Later on, in the 1980s, as digital technology became more available and less expansive, more Chorus units started to use the newer, digital technology. In general, digital Chorus effects tend to be brighter and less noisy compared to the earlier BBD examples.

In-and Out Puts:
Most Chorus effects will have one Input and one-or two Outputs: One for a Mono output, this output combines the straight signal with the Chorused sound. The second Output may contain the straight signal or a out-of phase ( inverted) sound. The inverted Output will make your sound a little duller or brighter. Using both outputs will make the Chorus sound fuller and Spacial.

Typical Controls:
Speed (or Rate): This control will let you vary the speed of the modulation. It will give you the sense of your sound speeding up or slowing down.

Depth (or Width): This control will let you vary the depth of the modulation. Increasing the depth will make the Chorus appear fuller in sound.

Effect Level: This control will let you dial in more-or less of the given Chorus effect.

Delay Time: This control will let you fine-tune the range of the Delay for the Chorus.

EQ: This control will let you choose the band range from low to high frequency range. Basically it will make your Chorus sound duller or brighter depending on the setting of this control.

Input: This control will allow you to set the input level of the overall volume level. Turn it all the way down and you will have no sound! Open up the control fully and you may get unwanted distortion.
Input controls often come with a combined overload Led. It is a handy way to tell you what your optimum input signal should be.

Some Chorus units may come with a switch which lets you toggle between Vibrato and Chorus, or Vibrato and Flange. There may even be controls to vary the Delay, Speed and Depth of the Vibrato.

Typical Applications:

Vibrato: Increase depth and delay time to create a extreme sound. Doing the opposite will give you a gentler and less extreme Vibrato sound.

Rotating Speaker Simulation (Leslie Effect): Increase the speed and depth. Use two Chorus effects to fully exploit this sound:
Set up one unit for a slow speed while the other one is set up for a faster speed. Connect both units to a A/B box, toggle between the two units to experience your sound slowing down and speeding up again, just as you would when using a Leslie Cabinet.

Gentle Chorus: Speed and depth are both half way up to create a less dry guitar sound.

Variations in Chorus Sound:

The Boss family came out of the CE-1 with its fine and sophisticated sound. This sound has become very popular over time. It is also a sound which has been copied by many different type of brands.

Electro Harmonix produced some Chorus pedals which contain a rougher, more primitive and therefore unique sound sound. Examples of this are the Clone Theory and later version of the Memory Man.
Between those two opposites lie many subtle variations. My examples of the Boss-and Electro-Harmonix type of sound only serve as a guide for your ears. As you research the various Chorus types around also check out some of the sounds as found on Pitch Shifters. Some of these can give you Chorus sounds which you cannot obtain using standard, basic Chorus units.

There are no good and bad Chorus sounds: some you may find more inspiring compared to others. One particular unit may be better for a certain application compared to another one. Being aware of some of those aspects will help with your choose what kind of Chorus is good for you.

I will create more articles about Delays and Flangers in the near future.

Hope to see you soon again,
Eddie

Guitar Talk with Creative Guitarist Eddie de Hamer : Tips on How to Become a Better Slide Guitar Player

The use of a Slide can add a complete new dimension to your Guitar Playing. It is a amazing experience to listen to melodies coming to your ears from a Guitar played by using a Slide. If you have never used a Slide before you simply will not know what the experience is like.
In this article I will explore the various roles Slide playing can play for your music.

Never used a Slide before in your life? Do not know what “Slide” stands for? No sure what kind of Slide to get? Do not worry, the next video will answer all these questions as it will explain in detail how to get started with Slide Guitar. Watch the video in its full length. It will explain about how to use-and hold your fingers, what kind of Slide to use, how to Set-Up your Guitar, your String Gauge and how to actually play the guitar whilst using a Slide.

Okay so now we know how to get started with a Slide, let us now make some music by using a Slide.
The next video shows mainly Singe Note Slide playing. The sound of the Slide is very natural and does not contain any sound processing whatsoever. The focus is not so much on the Slide, the Slide only forms part of the music which develops throughout the course of the video. I used a Slide mainly to get a difference in sound. The sound difference creates a contrast between the sound of the delays and the loops. This variety in sound may be one of the reasons why you may want to use a Slide for yourself since the sound of a Slide is unique. You can use the Slide in any way you want really, no reason you should not want to try using one!

The next video demos the role of the Slide in a more prominent role: The sound of the Slide is much fuller compared to previous video: The sound is more traditional and was treated with the use a OverDrive pedal. Using a Overdrive pedal makes the sound of the Slide stand out more. It sits better in the context of the rest of the music soundwise. The music is fairly traditional compared to the music of the previous video hence my choice for a more traditional sound of the Slide as well.
In terms of playing I use the Slide to enhance the notes of the riff and solo. I also use the Slide to play harmonically for the use of those “A” shape chord types. Even the Loop pedal is used in combination with the Slide. Every Tool used in this video serves the purpose of the sound of the Music!

Both last videos show how you can use a Slide in a very different and unique way. The first video is good for a general overview of what is on offer sonically by using a Slide.
There are other ways how one can use a Slide, I will write about those others ways of playing with a Slide for future blogs.
Hope you will have find this helpful for your own Guitar Playing and Music Making and hope to see you soon again for more.

Thanks and Enjoy!
Eddie