Friday, October 9, 2009

The Art of Shredding

it's simple: get one of these:

and play something slow and gradually build it up until you can shred to the click. the note variations are fucking insane, especially going in triplets. sounds fucking sick as shit when you're just jamming some metal as fuck riffs that go down, down, up picking wise. i don't know how i lived without this. they're $50 ($80RRP) at billy hydes at the moment so get on it!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

small technical errors in my guitar playing that held me back...

...from playing cleaner/faster/in time.

been recently recording myself playing guitar and upping the ante when it comes to speed and technique and i've been struggling getting the feel right and keeping up the pace. fortunately due to being persistent and allowing myself to take in advice from anyone (even non-guitarist such as a singer) i've found these flaws in my playing that i hope help other guitarists solve some problems:

- because i have a fast downpick, i play slower strum riffs better in mostly downstrokes, or else the riff gets too messy and inconsistent time-wise.
- until TODAY sham points out that i hit my strings too hard and it's held me back from playing faster, cleaner and enduring downpicking easier.
- i hold my bends out of time so i've been doing licks involving bends along with a metronome or tapping my foot.
- this is ridiculous but i never used to tap my foot while i played without a beat. this is probably one of the most vital things about playing in time and playing any instrument in general and i totally ignored it for years.
- i spent too much time smothering my guitar in distortion instead of playing clean. i now only practice on an acoustic and my rhythm in particular is much cleaner.
- ditching my jackson for a gibson explorer regarding being anti-hi-gain. gibson's real tone comes from their heavy as shit bodies meaning there's more stress on playing the right notes, but fuck is it worth it!

keep rockin'.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Crater Face - "More Thrash For Ya Gash!"

these guys are playing @ the arty this saturday. buy this album, lord it, then come down and stage dive. no jokes, these guys rule!

The Art Of Speed Picking

Just started this easy-as-hell workout to improve my speed picking - whether it be alternate or downstrokes - and IT WORKS! speed picking while playing intricate riffs for long periods can cause strain in the hands and cramping, but if you just simply pick as fast as you can on an open E with palm muting, the burn will occur in your upper arm. this means that you're adjusting your picking to not only use your wrist, but your whole arm to increase the speed of your playing. i've been doing this for a week and i'm finding tempos at 180/190bpm a bit too easy compared to before! the routine for nearly everyday was alternate picking as fast as i could until i felt a nice burn in my arm (NOT my wrist. if you are getting wrist pains, then you need to change your picking technique altogether.), then i'd shake it off and go to downstrokes which would cause a burn lower down my picking arm after a short while. i'd once again shake it off and then would leave my guitar for an hour and then repeat the process at every hour for maybe 5 hours a day. the reason why i leave the guitar for an hour is not only because you can cause serious strain to your arm/wrist, but also because all the muscles are connected your brain, which means if you keep practices consistent and near-perfect, your brain will remember to assert your muscles to the task the same way as one or two hours earlier. guitarists call this 'muscle memory' and definitely comes in handy when you want to learn fast licks and riffs.

you'll definitely be hearing the party vibez guitarists upping the ante on speed soon enough!

Monday, August 10, 2009

my top 5 favourite bars in melbourne

1. sister bellas

sure it's small, but it's dimmed lights and pre-loved decor make this place extremely cosy to drink in. there's also some great meals that are quite affordable ranging from pastas to focaccias to even pizzas. colourful staff and friendly patrons make this place suitable for either a drink with friends or even a quiet drink alone after a shopping spree in the city.

22 drewery place, city

2. carlton club

it's red velvety walls and large taxidermy animals make the atmosphere feel quite warm, and even warmer when it's full of it's mixed variety of patrons. the booths are great if you want to keep yourself closed off from distractions whether it be on a date or having a meeting with collegues. there's a great range of liquor to choose from and the dining menu is really well thought out and is even better when it's half priced dinner on monday nights!

193 bourke street, city

3. the croft institute

the croft is well known for its science lab theme downstairs and gymnasium theme upstairs, but the best thing about this place is the massive know-how of the bar staff. the downstairs bar features some very knowledgeable bartenders, who make a large array of exotic drinks with great attention-to-detail. the liquor range again, is quite varied and the bar manager has made the very smart decision of ridding the place of anything of poor taste (i.e. jim beam, CUB beers, midori etc.) which challenges patrons to try something new and gain an understanding of what good quality liquor is all about.

21 croft alley, city

4. the night cat, fitzroy

the night cat in fitzroy is probably one of the most consistently crowded bar/nightclubs in melbourne. the reason is simple: great live music free of charge. sure, you have to pay for water and the cheapest alcoholic drink is $6, but it's the price to pay to enjoy some of the best live music in melbourne - that you can dance to! you can enjoy the live music in 360 degrees, as the stage is set right in the middle of the club!

141 johnston street, fitzroy

5. rooftop bar (summer only)

this bar is the king of summer, hands down. it's a complete open space with fold out chairs, banana lounges and even bean bags laid out on a large square of synthetic grass. the place is full of people littered on the floor and around tables and the chatter fills the air, giving the place a really exciting atmosphere. mostly definitely enjoyed more with friends. and make sure you're dressed for the heat. black jeans are worn at patron's own risk!

level 7, curtin house, 252 swanston street, city

10 things i endorse/highly recommend

1. Gibson guitars
2. Jameson Irish Whiskey
3. Welch's Grape Soda
4. Coopers Pale Ale
5. Peter Stuyvesant Cigarettes
6. Apple Computers
7. Coca-Cola
8. Vans Shoes
9. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
10. Lee Stovepipe Jeans

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

this album fucking RULES!!!

I'd be pretty stoked if every hardcore album sounded this good. the perfect balance between hardcore and metal without sounding too cheesy or false.