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Playing Guitar - Need Some Advice on Playing, Recording, and Getting Back into the Game

GoodKingJayIIIGoodKingJayIII Registered User regular
I played guitar for twelve straight years of my life, but after college I played less and less as time and life kind of got in the way. Now at 31, as I look for both a creative outlet and to hold onto my wayward youth, I want to get back into the game, but I need some help.

- I have an old Fender tube amp I haven't used in years, but I loved that thing. What is the likelihood that it still works and, assuming worst case scenario, would it be worth repairing?

- If it's not worth repairing, can a decent amplifier be had for ~$200?

- I'm looking to do some recording onto my PC and would like to do so via microphone. I've seen a lot of recommendations for the Shure SM57. Are there any others in this price range I should be aware of?

- Best recording software for someone just getting started? GarageBand? Reaper? Something else? I've done a little research, but sometimes it's hard to know where to get started.

Thanks all,

Battletag: Threeve#1501
PSN: Threeve703

Posts

  • JeedanJeedan Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    >- I have an old Fender tube amp I haven't used in years, but I loved that thing. What is the likelihood that it still works and, assuming worst case scenario, would it be worth repairing?

    Very good and yes hang on to that shit. A good tube amp is built to last for decades, (albeit potentially replacing parts like the ship of theseus if you have to.)

    - If it's not worth repairing, can a decent amplifier be had for ~$200?

    Not really, that 200 would be better served paying a tech to fix it if it doesent work (depending on the model)

    - I'm looking to do some recording onto my PC and would like to do so via microphone. I've seen a lot of recommendations for the Shure SM57. Are there any others in this price range I should be aware of?

    Shure sm57 is pretty much the standard

    - Best recording software for someone just getting started? GarageBand? Reaper? Something else? I've done a little research, but sometimes it's hard to know where to get started.


    Garageband if you're on mac because you already have it and its pretty much a cut down version of Logic. Reaper if you're on PC because its cheap.

    You also need an audio interface to plug between mic and computer

    Jeedan on
    mcdermott
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    I'm a Samson fanboy, but Shure mics are perfectly fine. Make sure you get an XLR to USB interface, a good one, to connect to your computer. You absolutely do not want an 1/8" audio connection, as your computer's motherboard has a horrible digital audio converter (DAC), nor do you want a cheap XLR to USB converter. No point in getting a good mic, if you end up using a cheap DAC.

    iTNdmYl.png
    mcdermott
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited July 2014
    The SM57 and SM58 are basically civlization.

    Khavall on
    T-bolt
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    Pro tips for playing, not for recording.

    METRONOME PRACTICE.
    This has done more for my technique and playing solidly and professionally than anything else I have ever done. Simply playing with a metronome will eliminate many bad habits.

    GET THE GUITAR GRIMOIRE!!! This book is useful for any style of music you wish to play. Particularly useful for the versatile guitarist. The scales in this book will not only improve your technique (played with a metronome as often as you can) but it will also increase your chord vocabulary (if you understand basic music theory which I can explain simply if you'd like). This is good for jazzers, blues guys, rockers, sing strummers, and shredders alike. But with all that knowledge under your fingers will make you a very marketable musician who can adapt on the fly.

    LEARN TO SIGHT READ.
    After playing with a metronome this is probably the second most important thing that has helped immensely not only in my skill, but also marketability. I bought "The Art of Solo Guitar" and without having ever sight read, learned to read music in less than 2 weeks (at about 12 years of playing myself) got invited to a prestigious music program as a result. But it also allows you to play on site at any gig with any style of music. Again marketability, but also helps with technique as well, especially if you focus on learning violin pieces by bach, stravinsky, bartok etc. If you just focus on rock stuff, song books etc, it will help immensely too, your time in learning pieces will accelerate from using tabs.

    Secondary not on sight reading: FRET BOARD KNOWLEDGE. Get to know your fretboard away from the guitar. You should (on a 13 fret guitar) know where all 5 (or 6 in the case of E) octaves of each note is on each string in each position. Sight reading will give you that knowledge second hand, without having to study or write anything out.

    VARY YOUR TECHNIQUE!!!
    Watch videos. Guthrie Govan on youtube is probably the most informative bunch of video's I've ever watched on how to learn the instrument. He is a shredder turned blues, turned jazz, and he can do it all, and flawlessly every time The Petrucci "Rock Discipline" DVD (which can be found in full streaming on youtube) any clinic on youtube from Tosin Abasi, even bass technique from the likes of Victor Wooten or Evan Brewer. Not only will your skill and technique improve for rock, but these disciplines will improve any genre that you choose to play. And the ideas and approaches to playing the guitar that these musicians have are so radically different that it will inspire you in any genre as well. Tosin himself has adapted many different techniques such as finger style, bass slapping, "thumping" and tapping in ways that simply have not existed before, and evan brewer plays a bass like no other stringed instrument that I've ever seen. He has a SOLO BASS album, and the techniques he uses are wildly different from any sound I've ever heard.

    which again increases your versatility and makes you more marketable as a musician.


    here are some examples of videos I'd recommend.
    what you can do with tapping that isn't metal


    thumping with a great explanation


    thumping on the first song of the album so you can really hear what sort of sonic qualities you can get from it


    Interesting melodic ideas that you can do with fingerstyle


    guthrie govan is probably the most knowlegable individual about how to LEARN the guitar that I've ever found.


    For recording, I have a very simple setup, works for basic stuff, nothing too technical. I use a line 6 tone port 2, ported into Pro Tools 6, and for drums I use reason 5. Decent sounding digital drum program.

    My ideal set up for guitar recording though, check out AXE-FX ULTRA. It is a digital amp modeller that is used by Satriani, Vai, Petrucci, Santana, and a hundred other incredibly skilled and famous musicians, on actual studio recordings, and they claim (and I have whitnessed) that it sounds just like an analogue tube amplifier, and is as simple to record with as a USB port straight into your computer. Full albums have been recorded with this amplifier, and at the push of a button you can go from the sound of a closed straight cab celestion 4x12 mesa mark 5 sound to a Peavey 5150 through a slanted open cab 4x12, to an orange dc 30 through a 2x10 country sound. You also have every effect known to man, and each can be modified in any way imaginable. (i.e. for delay, tempo, depth, resonance, tone, slap, etc)

    It is also a rack mountable amp head that you can use for live performances. Simply run it through a pre amp into your cabinet of choice, and it will still emulate the cabinet of your preference. Not only that but it has frequent software and firmware updates to boot, with free software for finer tuning of your different presets if you prefer.

    All I have for now, but if you have more specific questions regarding what I've said, I'd be happy to help.

    edit: one thing I forgot to mention, The AXE FX also has the ability to mimic mic placement, in different kinds of rooms, with different kinds of mics. It mimics straight on mics, at angles, distance and different style mics. So it is as close to analogue as you can get without needing to spend thousands of dollars on different mics, cabs, heads, and messing with all the settings that go along with that. All at the push of a button and a turn of a knob.

    ninjai on
    Mice scratching at the walls inside of your head.
    This is a warning that my sig was too tall.
    You could have sent me a PM or something.
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Just for going forward, we discuss gear and music theory quite a but in the Rocksmith thread over in the game section. Might be a good thread to drop by for some motivation.

    What is this I don't even.
  • T-boltT-bolt Registered User regular
    edited July 2014
    I wish I could record from a mic'd amp, but alas I live in an apartment so I use amp-modelling plugins. Plugins have the advantage of being able to tweak the settings after you've recorded a take, good when coming up with rough demos. A SM57 is a totally solid choice for an instrument mic though.

    Garageband is good for a beginner if you have a Mac, and I've used Reaper and it's fairly intuitive. My favourite however is Ableton Live, but I use a lot of synths in my recordings so I like it's automation flexibility and performance options. It's grid view is great for working on ideas and looping various parts.

    T-bolt on
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