Friday, January 25, 2008

Learning ALL the notes on the fretboard!!!

I read a great article about learning the notes on the fretboard tonight. Basically you go through all the notes from A go G# (A / A# / B / C / C# / D , etc), by starting one night with the A and find all the A's on the fretboard and play them for a while until you got it down. The next day you take A# and find all of them (next to the A obviously), and you quiz yourself by going to various A's and A#'s. Next day the B, then quiz yourself for A, A#, B, etc. In two weeks you should be good to go.

Let's see if it works, and see if I can stick to it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Theory?!? I don't need no stinkin' theory!

Haha. NOT. I've been trying to get into music theory so I can learn more about the reasoning behind scales, chords, keys, modes, sheet music, etc.

I bought this really helpful book two weeks ago: The Everything Music Theory Book by Mark Schonbrun . It takes a simple approach to explaining music theory.

I have also started to learn scales, which will help with finger coordination. I had been practicing the pentatonic scales because a lot of folks say it's a good starting point. I've since been learning more about blues scales, major scales, and minor scales. Another advantage is that I'm starting to learn the notes on the fretboard. Now I know that if you play a C on the low E string, if you move down 2 strings and two frets forward you'll have a C also, but one octave higher.
I never noticed how the guitar was tuned before:
E ( F, G )
A ( B, C )
D ( E, F )
G ( A )
B ( C, D)
Wild and wacky stuff. I'm even starting to learn notes on sheet music.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Pimp My Axe: Part III

I finally settled on some pickups for my project guitar. I decided to go with the pair of Zakk Wylde EMG active pickups (EMG 81 and EMG 85):

First Step was to make adjustements to the body of the guitar because the hole from the input jack to the other wiring was too small so I had to drill a bigger hole to pass the 9volt battery connector. I also had to drill, saw, sand the body for the neck pickup becase the hole was too small. Lots of saw dust when I was done with that:

Then it was time to start soldering the different parts of the volume and tone pots. I had never soldered before so I had to practice a bit. It turned out pretty good. Not the prettiest joints but it worked. The wiring instructions from EMG were pretty good. It provides for different scenarios. I chose to wire my strat copy like a Les Paul, since my existing Gibson Les Paul came with Active EMG pickups.

I also had to drill a hole in the body to pass the 9volt connector to the back cavity of the guitar. I ordered a battery box to install later. The second photo shows the back of the guitar without the cover. The battery box will be screwed into the back cover once I cut a hole for the battery box.

This is what it looks like so far. I had to make a temporary humbucker ring for the bridge pickup until my new double humbucker pickguard comes in. I had to do this because I cut out the bridge pickup hole too big. I also had to cut a larger hole in the neck pickup slot because it previously held a single coil pickup.

I placed an order today for a new pickguard, screws, a battery box, knobs, 2 humbucker rings, and a new tremolo arm.
It was a pretty fun part of the project to undertake. I got to learn about guitar electronics and learn about the inner workings of guitars while researching it. I was completely shocked when I plugged her in and it actually worked. I would not hesitate to install new pickups on a guitar. The second time around would be much quicker.
Previous Pimp My Axe Posts:

Pimp My Axe 1 (Nov 17, 2007)

Pimp My Axe 2 (Dec 8, 2007)