Saturday, 26 February 2011


I haven't posted for a while but this is mainly because I have been getting on with uni work, playing xbox and practicing guitar :P Today I finally managed to play through 'The Sound of Truth' at 100% speed all the way through without making mistakes however, not gonna make a cover video of Sound of truth tonight and possibly not tomorrow, the things I have rushed before have never gone so well. Learnt so much from that song though, it took me a good week or so to learn, but it was worth it! Roll on 'The Air that I Breathe - All That Remains :)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Relentless Storm

So I have nothing much to say tonight, so I thought I would post the first song that I made when I started recording my own stuff.

It is called Relentless Storm, fully instrumental (feel free to add lyrics if you like) and it is the second song of my first album by the name 'Seven Forms of Sky'.


Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Inspiration of Satisfaction

A few days ago, for a joke, i posted on this facebook event wall saying that three of the bands have names that sounded like they were named by a 'Warhammer 40k player's overpriced plastic model'. Harsh? maybe....but i did also mention that they were great bands and that i meant no offence to them.

I then got this wall post from a guy that I know who is playing with the bands at this event:

 I see where he was coming from and that was my response to it :/
Funny thing was that, when he said that they are 'better than I will ever be', it really made me psyched to practice and learn as much as I can, do well and get my satisfaction (as the title suggests), which probably isn't the nicest way to think, but I can't lie to my fellow bloggers.
So what do you think guys? was i being too harsh, or is there truth in what I say?

The Waiting One (Acoustic Cover)

So recently I started geting back into listening to All That Remains hence why I am learning one of their songs. But seeing as the songs I am learning will take me a fair bit of time, I decided to do something acoustic and seeing as 'The Waiting One' was a fairly acoustic song anyway and is full of emotion, I thought I would cover that.

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Practice Update 15/02/2011

So, I started learning 'Sound of Truth' and 'The Air I Breathe' yesterday on guitar. Today I have done more work on them and I have definitely improved with them.

I'd say that I have learnt about a third of 'Sound of Truth'. I started learning it about a year ago, but I never attempted to learn it properly because it seemed "too hard". In the end, nothing on guitar is too hard if you put enough time in playing slowly and accurately. I have the main riffs almost up to speed and I have started learning the solo which is going well too.

The other song 'The Air I Breathe' is going alright, but as usual, I tend to concentrate more on one song than the other and I have only learnt the first couple of riffs......It's a start!

After these practice sessions, I had a jamming session just to have some fun and I quickly managed to make a pretty decent and different sounding rhythm section for a possible song. Guess it just reinforces what I said yesterday.

Anyway, it is late and my fingers have blisters, Goodnight!

Guitar Hero RIP

So, news has surfaced of the company behind Guitar Hero shutting down. The reason for this is that they don't see anymore money in the brand anymore and realising a new game would be a waste of money.
I completely agree, they have made a smart decision here. Where there are some of you that bought every single game and would buy the others that come out, I personally thought that they went a bit over the top with it.

Saying that, I really enjoyed Guitar Hero 2 + 3 and it was a change from the usual FPS/RPG (for me). It was/is the kinda game that you could play for ages and get amazing at it which just made me think that the time and effort people put in to learning to play a song on 'Expert Mode' they could have used to learn a song on a real guitar. But I am sure you have all heard 'that' argument before.

So, what were your best memories with Guitar Hero? and did you prefer it to Rock Band?

Monday, 14 February 2011


After making my last three songs, the usual lack of inspiration ensued leaving me to follow my routine of leaving my guitar alone for a week or so while doing other things. I have always found that not playing the guitar is a great way to improve your creativeness when you return to it. When you play for a long time, you get stuck in the habit of playing the exact same way each time you pick up the guitar. If you leave it alone for a while, you will find that you take a fresher approach to playing.

This works a lot of the time, but after not playing for the last week or two and returning to it today, I realise that I will have to do the longer approach at finding inspiration. This involves covering songs that others have already written. It has been a while since I have covered a song (the last one being  'Like a Callisto to a Star in Heaven' - 'Trivium'), but I have an idea which styles of bands to learn from. I am going to cover As I Lay Dying's 'Sound of Truth' as well as All That Remains's 'Air That I Breathe' and possibly another song on the same style. These songs will challenge me, but it is exactly what I need, and I should be able to write anew after they have been learnt.

Friday, 11 February 2011

'Tombstones' Lyrics

I recieved a comment asking about heartfelt lyrics and whether I could provide an example of some lyrics. These lyrics have been put onto acoustic song I made, which is going on my next album (free of charge ;).

You were the best friend there could be
We walked this road for so very long
If I could have one memory
A time when you were not gone

and so I'm kneeling here by your tombstone
wondering where
all this despair came from
did you think we wouldn't care

so many times you came to me
problems in life you could not see
i helped you out when things got tough
and paths in life came very rough

and so I'm kneeling here by your tombstone
wondering where
all this despair came from
did you think we wouldn't care

I would have helped if I had known
your fears and worries were never shown
why oh why did you not see
you'd still be here if you spoke to me

and so I'm kneeling here by your tombstone
wondering where
all this despair came from
did you think we wouldn't care

and so I'm kneeling here by your tombstone
wondering why
you couldn't cope with the strife
and why you had to take your life.

This is the song that was a result of this. Take note that this is the unmixed version, i couldn't be bothered to re-upload the video after I mixed it.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Making the most of emotion

You know those moments! You are too upset about something to do anything useful with your time except mooch about on facebook or similar. Usually the last thing that you have on your mind would be to play guitar however, that is where you are wrong.

Emotionally stressful times are perfect for your creative side. You are more aware of what makes an emotional song when you are in this state. I remember a time when I have been upset and was just messing around on my guitar and I suddenly stumpled upon the perfect chord sequence which just made my eyes well up with tears. It is the same with constructing scale runs as well.

In times of emotion, as well as guitar playing, try practicing your lyrical skills. Usually the best way to do this is to just write whatever comes into your head onto a piece of paper. Forget about rhyming words! Rhyming is great for songs meant to be catchy however, if you want words that will connect emotionally with the listener, then write something from the heart, something human that everyone can relate to.
Sometimes, the simpler lyrics are the most effective, so dont worry about writing lyrics that you dont think sound 'professional'.

I hope these thoughts will help improve your playing and writing.

Download my first album free!

I don't believe in music for money, so I let people have my music for free.

Seven Forms of Sky is the name of my first album and it's basically just a collection of bad quality tracks that I made whenever I learnt something new.


Easy Scale Shredding Patterns

I have been searching around recently to find different patterns for playing scales and I found this simply AMAZING tool.

I can never usually be bothered to work out which note to play next in a given scale and I often find that I can't be creative when I have a scale chart in front of me. I pretty much just play the scale up and down.

But anyways, this tool I found is meant to be a guitar practice generator but it is so much more. You basically pick what you want out of 5 different options.
The first option is which key you would like the scale to be in, which is invaluable if you have no idea of music theory and need an idea for a solo.
The second option is which scales you want to include (major, minor, chromatic e.t.c.) which will define the emotion of the pattern
Third is the modes you would like. If you don't know what modes are, then they are just different flavours of a scale. Some modes are classed as happy and some as dark.
The fourth option is which string you would like the beginning note to be. This isn't necessary but it is useful for when your guitar is in a drop tuning.
The final option is the difficulty of the excercise, which is self-explanatory.

This generator teaches you valuable ways to play/phrase all the different scales and works as a solowriting tool. It is completely free of charge and can be found here:

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Speed Picking

Ever since I decided to start improving my rhythm guitar, my picking seems to improved and i have been able to play some awesome picking patterns pretty fast.

Still, I know that I can get myself to go even faster. It is probably common sense, but when playing I notice that I seem to tense my arm a lot. Tensing my arm gives me the impression that i am and can play faster, but in reality it is actually having the opposite effect! I tested this out by playing the same thing while tensing and not-tensing my arm and I play at the same speed if not faster when it is un-tensed.

I think i am gonna make a conscious effort from now on to make sure that i am not playing like this, and hopefully it will become natural.......however, i guess it is not a necessity as John Petrucci (Dream Theater) tenses his arm and can still play ridiculously fast. Each to their own I suppose.

Monday, 7 February 2011

How to stop sibilance when recording vocals

As some people will already know, when you sing and you say the 'esss' sound, you are blowing a concentrated amount of air into the microphone causing the sound to distort.

The best way to get rid of this is by using a plugin for your DAW by the name of 'SPITFISH', it is by far the best plugin i have used. Search for it on Google, download it and install it onto your DAW.

When you have it installed and have added to the track you wanted to use it on, all you need to do is make sure that the knobs are are both at the 12 o clock position. Also, if you have recorded the vocals in stereo, you will have to make sure that the 'stereo' option has been ticked.


Hope this has helped those suffering with this problem

Recording Equipment

I thought i'd better make a post about this before people keep asking what recording equipment I have.

Firstly, there is my good old guitar. I use my Washburn X-50PROFE which is now a discontinued brand, I think I bought the second to last one new one on Ebay.

This guitar is connected up to my guitar pedal. I use a Boss GT-10, which can pretty much make any sound you want it to, though it takes a long time to discover how to work it and how to get the sound you are looking for. A similar model to this is the Line 6 Pod X3 Live, which works just as well. One of the main advantages of these pedals is the ability to connect to your computer and record raw sound via USB cable, making it sound much cleaner than using a microphone.

On your computer, you will need some kind of Digital Audio Workstation software to be able to record the sound coming from the pedal. There are free DAW's floating about the web, namely 'Audacity'. But I have found the best to be a program called 'REAPER'. It has so much more than Audacity and it only costs around £40. REAPER has a nice user interface and it becomes really easy to record music with it. Of course, no DAW is complete without a multitude of plugins to mix your tracks, and REAPER has a good amount for all the basics: reverb, delay, compression e.t.c.

For those of you without a drumkit handy, or those that have a drumkit, but no expensive recording equipment for it, then i would recommend buying a program called EZDrummer. This is a program where you can build a drum beat using prerecorded drums and add them to your music. It comes with a variety of different expansions depending on the music that you play and normally costs around £20.

For the vocals, I basically do exactly the same as my guitar by just plugging it into the pedal and messing around until I get a suitable setting.

Hope this has helped, I will be glad to answer any questions or queries :)



Music has been a big part of my life. I first picked up a recorder when i was about 5 and it was the most amazing thing in the world to me, as time went by, i wanted to play something that i considered much more grown up. I desperately wanted to play the Saxophone, but I was advised to start with the Clarinet. Eventually I picked up the Saxophone as well as the Clarinet and became part of one of the most popular Jazz bands in the UK (Helston School Jazz Orchestra).
As much as i loved the music, i could not cope with the pressure. I was being made to play in 4 different bands at school and also forced into practicing every night by my parents. This drove me to dis-obey my parents and the school by not turning up to lessons or band practices. In the end, they let me quit.

For the past three years, I have been playing the electric guitar, playing on my terms, learning what I want, when I want. It has worked wonders, I can't go a day without practicing, not because i have to, but because i want to. Many people who start playing can never seem to get past that intial learning curve because they are so impatient.
Recently, after breaking up from my band Black Rose Stigmata, i have decided to make my own songs and record it using the equipment available to me.

This blog is about how the things that I learn whilst playing guitar, whether it be different patterns for scales, the best way to change the eq while recording vocals into your computer e.t.c.

I hope you continue to read and discover with me! :)