My mate loves The Saw Doctors, a top Irish band and they seem to tour the UK every year.  They're not my cup of tea but he insists on dragging me to see them every year. 

The truth is they are a pretty good band to watch live, a real "feel good band" and I always leave the gig with a big cheesy grin!

Foo Fighters before that at Milton Keynes Bowl, now thats my cup of tea!!


(0 replies, posted in My local band and me)

Hiya guys,

My band The Coalition have been together a year although our current singer joined us Christmas time.  I've only been been playing guitar 3 years and 3 months so it's been a pretty steep learning curve for me.

I'd be greatful if some of you could visit our page on a UK based band/venue site and have a look at some of the the videos and give me some general feedback (links to the vids are on the left hand side).  Also any general band feedback would be good to (Im lead guitar and the one with the long hair that doesn't sing).

We're turning out to be pretty popular and we're getting plenty repeat bookings and play most weekends sometimes even two times.

Anyway, have a look with a cuppa and let me know what you think, I'd be greatful.



(15 replies, posted in Electric)

Dont forget Kurt played a lot with his guitar detuned half a semitone to D# so if your guitar is tuned to E and your playing along to a version in D# it will sound wrong.  Off the top of my head the single version is played with normal tuning but the album version may be D#, I know pretty much all the live stuff is D#.

Lastly, most of Nirvana's catalogue sounds easy to play but he was a very good guitarist and even some of the easiest songs are difficult to get right!

Good luck.


(12 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

I enjoy the odd tweet, can't decide which is better tho, Facebook or twitter?


(2 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Hiya bensonp,
Its going great thanks, gigging every weekend, twice some weeks and the cash is a welcome bonus.
I've just started to get a little more time since Christmas as I don't have to rehearse as much.
I'll have to spend an hour later catching up.

I haven't posted for a while as the last 12 months have been pretty hectic sorting out my new band.  I occasionally pop in for a read and there are usually only a few unread threads.  It's a been a few months since I dropped in and can't believe how many unread posts are here, there must have been a massive upturn in members??

Awesome!  The only downside is there are way to many to read..


(14 replies, posted in Song requests)

All Together Know by The Farm


(17 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Thanks Guys, I've started gathering info and practicing scales (major and minor pentatonic seems a good place to start). Already I've had a few eureka moments and I can't wait to get really stuck in.
I've always used Justin Guitar and donated and it is a brilliant place to go to but I do find there is so much info on there it can be difficult to find a progression?

Cheers Jerome,  I have written a few but I'm sure they could be enhanced with a little knowledge of scales.


(17 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Guys, I'm far from gifted or even good, I just about manage to hold my own when playingin the band.  I'm proud that it's putting in the hours and shear hard work as made me progress to the situation I'm in now.   I would advise any person whatever their level who aspires to play in a band to join one or find other musicians to jam with, the progress you make by doing this is uncomparible to practicing on your own!  And believe me you will never feel ready to take the plunge.

Cheers tubatooter1940, your exactly right, I'm not doubting my progress I'm I'm far from dissatisfied.  I'm just at that fork in the road and I don't know where I want to go let alone which direction to take.  You have made me think tho and I've always been drawn to good old blues, I like old stuff by Hendrix and Clapton and newer bands like The Black Keys and The White Stripes.  I've always been facinated by slower players who can make one note sound like ten.  I guess that's an obvious road to take and I guess it's mastering scales is the starting point.

Cheers I owe you all a beer!


(17 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Hiya guys, it’s been a while since my last post but I’ve been popping in occasionally for a read.

I’m after a little advice and as the title suggests I’m stuck in a bit of a rut and don’t know how to get myself out of it.  It’s not all bad, I’ve been playing for coming up to three years, 6 months ago I went for an audition as a lead guitarist in a covers band.  My playing was shocking but I guess they liked my attitude and saw some potential so I got the job.  I practiced my butt off for 4 months learning a set of 20 covers and we started gigging in August.  We now have nearly 30 covers, mainly rock and pop with some old UK punk in there.  We’re slowly building a reputation and gigging most weekends, I’m in charge of bookings and I’m even turning gigs down because we’re booked. We’re also earning quite a bit of extra cash with is most welcome!

The problem is that I’ve never really had a practice routine I’ve always learned songs, I have the 30 songs in my set down pretty well but having watched guitarists in other bands recently I’m aware my playing is a little forced and less fluid than theirs, they seem able to improvise at will where I’m stuck to my script!  I’m sure this is because I’ve sort of taken a short cut and landed a position in a band pretty quickly and basically know nothing about scales or music theory etc.

I’m not really sure what I’m asking because I don’t really know what the problem is?

Any advice?


(16 replies, posted in Electric)

Well we’ve had a few rehearsals and everything is coming together nicely, we were joined by our new drummer last night for the first time and he seems hugely keen and we’re gonna sort out a debut gig for August.  Surprisingly we were pretty tight considering it was the first time we had played together as a unit.
I’ve just been told by the guys to keep it simple and fill when and where I can, we play a bit of older uk punk and a bit of newer US punk so approximately half the set is high gain power chords, so not much I can really enhance there. The rest is old and new rock so I’ve been trying to come up with a style for these and because we only have one guitar I’ve gone for a “stabby†, staccato style, probably a bit like Malcolm Young from ACDC.  I find this works well for us because the covers are not filled with rhythm it’s not so obvious when I stop playing rhythm to go to the breaks and leads. 

I did think about using my looper but I’m so busy playing guitar I don’t think I could handle the extra work.  Saying that I don’t think it’ll be long before I get up to speed so I make keep that on the backburner.   

Cheers guys

Not that I care, but I think it's more a case of cultures, neighboring countries will always vote for each other because of language, culture and musical tastes are similar... plus they all hate the UK!

normtheguitar wrote:

....For instance, the UK throws a lot of money at cycling, to develop the very best bike. Why not have a standard bike that everyone has to use - then we would actually see who is the best cyclist...

Norm, I raced for 15 years to a pretty good level competing in a few national champs, British Cycling invests the vast majority of funds into rider development.  The UCI pretty much have a strangle hold on bike development so at the very top level bikes are almost identical anyway, the bike would contribute to a fraction of a percent.  Sorry to go off topic ;?)


(11 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Don't forget, when you play rhythm your often not playing the actual melody of the song.  If you play this style you often need to be accompanied by another instrument or singer to follow the melody.

There are loads of popular songs that if you heard just the rhythm guitar you wouldn't know what the song was.


(16 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

I have no favourite, take two contrasting songs off the same album, Nirvana's Nevermind.

Something in the Way - A beautiful, moving, quiet, touch your soul type song played on acoustic with wispering vocals, I get goosebumps everytime I here it.

Smells Like Teen Spirit - An aggressive, in your face, obnoxious song that oozes overdrive and power, it also touches my soul and gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it.


(35 replies, posted in Electric)

I have a Fender Strat Blacktop which is MIM and I love it, I haven't played an american Strat to compare to tho.

Build quality and playability are fantastic.


(2 replies, posted in Electric)

jaygordon75 wrote:

You've already got the overdrive and reverb...perhaps a delay and chorus pedal could "enrich" your sound a bit! A compressor can help  "tighten up" things a bit...   That's a area where everyone has an opinion and my suggestion would be to see if you can go to a large music store and try out a few pedals.

I'm amazed at how many variations of sound one can get by simply playing around with the different settings and knobs with a stock amplifier and Guitar volume at max with the sound level set at amp...amp volume at max with sound level controlled by guitar volume knob...etc

Thanks Jay, great stuff!

I have chorus effect on my Vox practice amp but it sounds a little too digital and muddies things a little but perhaps it's just a bad chorus effect rather than a general dislike.  It could also help with me being the only guitarist too.

I've tried messing about with the volume on amp and guitar and your right but my worry on stage would be that I mess up the mix?


(2 replies, posted in Electric)

2 weeks ago I got my hands on a used Blackstar HT 40w all tube amp, great price and it looks brand spanking new.  The tone I get is breathtaking on virtually any setting.  On the clean channel you can get the full range of sparkling like cleans to an ACDC crunch and on the overdrive channel it just gets better and better. 

I'm only able to use it for a few hours on a Saturday morning because it's basically too loud to use in the evenings or on a Sunday and I take it to band rehearsal and it easily copes with drums with way less than half volume.

Anyway there is a footswitch for swapping between the two channels and also a reverb on/off switch so there's a little bit of flexibility there.  I also have a Stratocaster Blacktop so I can flick between humbuckers and single coil which also adds a little variation to my sound.  I mostly set the clean channel to a nice crunch and the OD channel for a boost during leads or for some of the punk stuff we do.  I haven't gigged yet and the band have more or less left all the guitar elements to me (I'm the only guitarist).   I'm a total effect novice and pretty much have not got a clue what I could eventually want when I start to gigging which should be Summer or Autumn.  I don’t want any sort of distortion or anything that will take away the natural tone of the amp but I’m thinking I may need some delay and/or perhaps something to sharpen or soften the sound depending when I play more bassy powerchords or higher lead work (would chorus do that?). Also possibly a boost for the leads when already in the overdrive channel.

I don’t want to get a pedal for sake of getting one but would be grateful of some advice.


(16 replies, posted in Electric)

..well really there's 4 with the singer but just one guitar.

Anyway, when covering a band with 2 guitars what takes priority, lead or rhythm?

Obviously it depends on the songs but just as an example say Dakota by the Stereophonics. I've been listening to the track and obviously the lead in the intro and chorus can't be left out as it forms part of the fabric of the song but the lead throughout the verse isn't as obvious but still important.

So if I play all lead the song lacks a solid base and drive and if I play rhythm in parts it lacks molody??



(12 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Well it was absolutely amazing, I was clearly punching well above my weight with regards to the standards of the other musicians and I was petrified.  What made it a little more difficult was the fact they played mostly originals but I soon got the hang of it. I kept good time and once I found the groove it seemed like I was taken away somewhere else !  I learned more in 2 hours that I have in the last 6 months!   

Even though I’m pretty green they seemed happy with everything and I got the place.  Can’t wait for next week although I think I’m gonna need to show consistent, significant improvement especially towards the lead side of things but I’m more than happy with the pressure, it’s the direction that really seemed to be lacking in my playing!

Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated!


(12 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Can't really believe I've actually done it but I've been invited along to jam with a band as they are looking for a 2nd guitarist. I'm petrified and excited! Any advice on what to do.. and what not to do?


(8 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

I'm not a big fan but yes I do like them, very retro sounding and the tone Dan Auerbach gets from his guitar and amp is as good as it gets.


(76 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Taxman! I'll get my coat..


(21 replies, posted in Acoustic)

Everyone is different but my approach to Am shape barre chords is to concentrate on the middle finger and nothing else.  When the chord is approaching look at the point on the guitar where your middle finger is go and then plant the middle finger.  After a while the rest of your fingers will fall into place without thinking about it due to muscle memory.

Whatever method you use, and whatever chord your learning it can seem like ages where you'll see little or no progress but one morning you'll get up and it'll be there.  Don't get put off by lack of progress, sometimes it'll just happen, just keep working and trust me.


(7 replies, posted in Chordie's Chat Corner)

Hiya guys,

I haven’t posted for while but I’ve been keeping an occasional eye on things here, I hope everyone is well.

I’ve made a few promises to myself for 2011, a few things not relating to guitar but I have to admit, most of them are guitar orientated.  I’m approaching 2 years of playing and I have to say the last 2 months have been great, I’ve just become totally consumed and driven by the guitar doing everything I can to improve both on the electric and acoustic and I really have seen a big improvement over the last few months.

One of my main goals this year is play out more often, I already play at parties and BBQ’s but I’m gonna try and take it to another level (become less of an introverted player and more extroverted one, if that makes sense?).  So I’m keen to get a playlist together and under my belt but how many songs should I be looking at playing from memory?  I know this has been touched on before but regarding the acoustic, I have a folder of approximately 300 songs which I happen to like, I can play reasonably well while reading from my folder, I’ll always take this to parties as to be honest when I play after a few beers to close friends and family they don’t care whether I read from notes or not, they’re too busy singing.

So last week I went through my folder and picked only the ones I really love to play and whittled it down to 30.  I can already play 4 or 5 songs from memory but is an additional 30 doable, I have to admit I think it’s a little much for my aging brain cells.

Anyway any comments, thoughts or advice welcome.



(2 replies, posted in Electric)

Cheers Gundecker!

Looks like you were right, the switch does look shoddy, all sorted now tho!

I also adjusted the p/u height and it sound great!