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Ninebuzz Modal Buddy Guitar App

Ninebuzz are a software company that make mobile apps specifically for guitarists. Their latest app is called ‘Modal Buddy’ and as you can probably guess is designed to be a complete tutorial on learning and using the diatonic Modes.

There are two parts to this app labelled ‘Learn’ and ‘Practice’. Learn is divided up into 6 sections, one of those is just a quiz so you can make sure you have fully understood the other sections. The main sections explain and demonstrate how the modes are constructed using box and interval diagrams and with audio examples so that you can hear how each mode sounds which is a very important part of learning about Modes.

The Practice section is a quick and easy way to see each mode in the 5 different fretboard box positions, simply swipe left and right to see them all. Also in the center of the screen is the interval explanation for the mode which looks like RHWWWHWW (R=Root, H=Half Tone, W=Whole Tone), this is Phyrgian for example. Also there is a play button which gives you an instant backing track loop that you can practice the Mode over.

Modes are often a confusing subject, I know when I was doing my music degree the only people that fully understood Modes where the guitar players, the lecturers would just say “Dorian is just the major scale starting on the second note” which made everyone think “huh?! that’s the same scale?”. Never once did I see anyone demonstrate the different distinct sounds and feels that you get from the various Modes. Modal Buddy covers all of the theory you need to start learning and applying modes to your improvising and composition but with plenty of audio references and jam tracks to help you memories how each mode sounds.

For more info or to download Modal Buddy check out the Ninebuzz website.

Ninebuzz are a software company that make mobile apps specifically for guitarists. Their latest app is called ‘Modal Buddy’ and as you can probably guess is designed to be a complete tutorial on learning and using the diatonic Modes.

There …

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Review: Joe Bonamassa – Different Shades of Blue

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I’ve reviewed a lot of Joe Bonamassa albums over the years including his side project bands Black Country Communion and Rock Candy Funk Party but this is the first Joe Bonamassa solo album where he has written every song on the album himself (except for the intro track which is a short version of a Hendrix tune). Among blues guitarists it has become something of a tradition to cover classic blues songs with your own arrangement as a nod to the greats while giving the song a fresh new sound for new audiences to experience. This album, ‘Different Shades of Blue’ sounds like Joe is covering classic blues songs from many different eras and sub-genres, except he isn’t, they are his songs and that makes this album even more of a standout record for me. Now of course there are a few tracks that are classic Bonamassa such as ‘Never Give All Your Heart’ which has great Rock/Blues riffs in the chorus and laid back verses. Also the title track ‘Different Shades of Blue’ “sounds” like a Joe Bonamassa song (with a bit of Eagles influence).

Now can I please ask you first time you hear this album to not just hit shuffle, play the opening instrumental excerpt (just over a minute) from the Hendrix track ‘Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)’, then brace yourself for the 70′s rock riffs of ‘Oh Beautiful!’ which instantly took me back to hearing Black Country Communion for the first time, total Jimmy Page riffs and John Bonham beats, love it (check out 2:48 in the video below). Ok so by track 2 you think you know where this album is heading when along comes track 3 ‘Love Ain’t a Love Song’ which is straight out of a Rock Candy Funk Party setlist, full horn section and funk beats. It just keeps changing pace, changing style, different shades of blue indeed. It reminded me of listening to Eric Clapton’s ‘From The Cradle’ (except they were covers), the fast shuffle of ‘Living on the Moon’, the slow grinding riff of ‘Heartache Follows Wherever I Go’, the slide blues track ‘I Gave Up Everything for You, ‘Cept the Blues’, complete with “doo-wop” backing vocals, honky tonk piano and stabbing horns, definitely one of the album highlights.

I don’t really need to mention guitar tones when I’m talking about a Joe Bonamassa album, just take it from me that Joe gets some of the best recorded tones you will hear from his Les Pauls, Strats and myriad of Vintage amps and effects. You can check out some of those tones in the video below which features a few tracks.

“It’s definitely my favourite Joe Bonamassa record to date,” said producer Kevin Shirley. “It’s an album that deserves to be listened to in its entirety. Luckily Joe’s fan base really seems to appreciate a body of work and not just songs.”

‘A Different Shade of Blue’ will be released in the UK on Monday September 22nd (Mascot / Provogue).

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I’ve reviewed a lot of Joe Bonamassa albums over the years including his side project bands Black Country Communion and Rock Candy Funk Party but this is the first Joe Bonamassa solo album where he has written every song on …

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MONO Introduce the Guitar Sleeve

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MONO make some fantastic tough but lightweight Gig bags, I’m a big fan, in fact I reviewed the MONO M80 back in August 2012. MONO have just announced a new slimline gig bag to their range called the Guitar Sleeve™.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves to create a super minimalist way to carry a guitar, while still providing a level of protection worthy of being called a MONO. So, we created the Guitar Sleeve and the Bass Sleeve” says MONO Founder and CEO, Daniel Kushner. “Nothing protects a guitar like our Vertigo™ hybrid case design, so we started there. We took some of the award-winning design features from the Vertigo and streamlined them to fit inside the Sleeve”.

The Guitar Sleeve and Bass Sleeve feature a slimmer variation of the Headlock™ – MONO’s patented neck suspension system. This slimmer Headlock is molded from solid, shock- absorbing EVA rubber to protect the neck and headstock from impact during falls. When your guitar is zipped-in, its neck is automatically secured inside the Headlock’s contoured groove.

Like the Vertigo, the Sleeves are also Top-Loading™ for quick, stand-up access. At the bottom, the Sleeves feature a super slim EVA insole to keep the body off the ground and protect the strap pin from bottoming-out when the Sleeve is put down too hard.

The Guitar Sleeve and Bass Sleeve are available in Jet Black and Ash color options. For pricing, availability and other information contact Dominant Music.

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MONO make some fantastic tough but lightweight Gig bags, I’m a big fan, in fact I reviewed the MONO M80 back in August 2012. MONO have just announced a new slimline gig bag to their range called the Guitar …

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SuperSwitcher 2: The First Modular Pedal Switcher


Ok this is a pretty amazing looking product from EC Pedals, at first I didn’t really get it and couldn’t work out what exactly was unique about the SuperSwitcher 2 (I don’t use switching systems personally so I’m no expert clearly) but after reading on I realised how awesome this IndieGoGo campaign is. Of course you could just watch the YouTube video above and get all of the information, but basically the main difference is that aside from all of the incredible powerful features of the SuperSwitcher 2 that come as standard, the product has been designed in a way that is modular so that you can customise it, here are some examples of what you could choose:

  • Remove the FX loop module in exchange for 2 additional relay switches
  • Remove the midi module in exchange for 2 additional relay switches (and keeping the FX loop module.
  • Exchange loops 7 and 8 for 2 stereo loops***
  • Exchange tuner out for A\B selectable inputs***
  • Exchange stereo outputs for A\B selectable outputs***

*** those features will be available only if they reach a specific amount of funding, check the campaign page for details.

The unit includes the most advanced features built for a switcher inside a compact design enclosure, allowing the player to have, for the first time ever, a smart programmable device that can be placed in almost any size pedalboard and include all the features players need

Here are a list of features that come as standard, remember this unit costs just $339 ($319 if you get in early):

8 Audio loops for pedals (7 mono and 1 mono send/stereo return loop)
2 relay switches -you can control amp channels, turn on the reverb in your amp and basically use anything that requires a latching switch with just one standard PL stereo cable.

  • Midi in & out – controls presets on your digital pedals and all other midi applications your setup has, Including an expression pedal jack!
  • Switchable audio buffer at the input of the switcher – keep the spark of your guitar signal that you lose with long cables with this high quality buffer.
  • FX Loop module – allows you to break the connection between loops in order to have “in from amp pedals” and “fx loop pedals” setup, When ordering you will have the option to choose where to “break” the connection for you – after 4 loops or after 6 loops. For example – loops 1-6 will include wah , filter and distortion pedals, which will be sent to the amp Input. From the amp’s FX loop of your amp you will send the signal back to the FX loop module of the switcher in order to have delay & reverb pedals at loops 7-8.
  • Internal tuner – that’s right! We have a basic guitar tuner built into the switcher! We also include a tuner out jack, if you want to use your own, more advanced tuner (signal is muted when using the tuner feature so no one in the crowd hears you tune).
  • Stereo outputs L&R
  • 99 Banks with 5 presets on each bank.
  • GND lift switch

If you have a number of pedals and want to be able to easily setup presets, have an effects loop that you can instantly switch in and out, control amp channels and effects via MIDI all in a compact cheap unit that uses the highest quality components, I would encourage you check out the EC Pedals SuperSwitcher 2 IndieGoGo campaign and help fund what looks to be an awesome looking product.


Ok this is a pretty amazing looking product from EC Pedals, at first I didn’t really get it and couldn’t work out what exactly was unique about the SuperSwitcher 2 (I don’t use switching systems personally so I’m no …

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Paul Gilbert demos DiMarzio PAF Master Pickups


The Stone Pushing Uphill Man himself, the living legend Mr Paul Gilbert can be seen and heard in the video above demonstrating Dimarzio’s new PAF Master Humbuckers available in both bridge and neck versions. As you will see if you click on those links you can buy the PAF Master as an uncovered Humbucker I. a number of colours such as Cream, Zebra, Chrome a la Satch or covered in Vintage Nickel, matte black or Gold.

I would like to extend my congratulations to Paul Gilbert and his wife Emi on the birth of their son Marlon Kanzan Gilbert who was born yesterday.

Marlon Kanzan Gilbert

Check out my review of Paul Gilbert’s excellent new album Stone Pushing Uphill Man.


The Stone Pushing Uphill Man himself, the living legend Mr Paul Gilbert can be seen and heard in the video above demonstrating Dimarzio’s new PAF Master Humbuckers available in both bridge and neck versions. As you will see if you …

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Competition: Win a year’s supply of Ernie Ball strings

Guitar Noize is teaming up with Stringsdirect.co.uk to give all of our UK readers the chance to win a year’s supply of Ernie Ball strings and entering is as easy as following the instructions below:

Guitarnoize

As an added bonus, Stringsdirect.co.uk are also offering Guitar Noize readers a discount code that gives you 10% off when spending over £50. The code to use is: GUITARNOIZE

If you order before 3pm on a weekday you will get same day 1st class post despatch. Orders over £10 are postage free in the UK. Good luck!

Guitar Noize is teaming up with Stringsdirect.co.uk to give all of our UK readers the chance to win a year’s supply of Ernie Ball strings and entering is as easy as following the instructions below:

Guitarnoize

As an added bonus, …

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Michael Dolce Funk Fusion Masterclass 2014

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Aussie fusion master Michael Dolce has just completed his third series as guitarist in Thr Voice Australia band which means it’s that time of year again! Time for more Masterclasses for the lucky few who reserve their places ASAP.

The funk fusion masterclass will be held at the Charles Cilia Guitars showroom in Sydney on Wednesday September 24th 2014 at 7pm. Tickets are $80 and you can book your seat via Michael’s website – http://michaeldolcemusic.com/masterclasses-2/.

Michael dolce
Aussie fusion master Michael Dolce has just completed his third series as guitarist in Thr Voice Australia band which means it’s that time of year again! Time for more Masterclasses for the lucky few who reserve their places ASAP.

The …

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Aalberg Audio announces remote controlled effect pedal ‘EKKO’

Albert Audio Ekko & Aero
Now here is an interesting product from Norwegian company Alberg Audio that it is about to become available for pre-order via an Indiegogo campaign. 4 years in the making, Alberg Audio have designed, refined and produced a delay pedal called the EKKO and a wireless controller called the AERO that attaches to your guitar or strap. Now other companies have created wireless controllers but they tend to work by changing parameters in a bit of a haphazard way like using a Korg Chaos pad, with the AERO controller you can quickly and easily switch between the 3 controls on the pedal and then use the rotary control knob to adjust the level, feedback and delay time. You can even tap the knob as a tap tempo control and presets.

AERO

Aalberg Audio says the EKKO EK-1 delay pedal is also just a first step and that it intends to build a full suite of AERO AE-1 compatible effects pedals in the future. I wonder how that will work? Will you be able to switch effects easily from the AERO controller? Pretty interesting.

The AERO is available to order from August 27 direct from the Indiegogo campaign website for (estimated) March 2015 delivery for $249 to the first 100 ‘earliest-birds’ and $299 to the next 150 ‘early birds’. A further 1000 units will then be made available for May 2015 delivery (estimated) for $299 along with 10x 5-pack ‘reseller’ bundles comprising 5x EKKO+AEROs for $1,250 each.

Albert Audio Ekko & Aero
Now here is an interesting product from Norwegian company Alberg Audio that it is about to become available for pre-order via an Indiegogo campaign. 4 years in the making, Alberg Audio have designed, refined and produced a delay pedal called …

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Ernie Ball launches Ernie’s Eagles Rewards Program

Ernie's Eagles
​Leading manufacturer of guitar strings and musical instrument accessories, Ernie Ball, has announced the launch of Ernie’s Eagles Club Loyalty and Rewards program. The program gives you access to limited and one-of-a-kind rewards, before I explain how take a look at what you could claim:

  • Two Ernie Ball Music Man Sterling Basses, one signed by Ozzy Osbourne and his band, the other signed by all the band members of Avenged Sevenfold;
  • An Ultimate Ernie Ball Pack including a Music Man StingRay or a Majesty Guitar, plus a one year supply of Ernie Ball strings, guitar care kit, strap and pics;
  • A John Petrucci Signature by Music Man JP100 6-string guitar;
  • Autographed copies of Slash’s new “World On Fire” CD, signed by the band
    Online discount codes, Ernie Ball gear packs, strings packs, and more.

So how do you get your hands on these cool Ernie Ball rewards? I’d love a Music Man StingRay Bass personally! The first step is to visit http://rewards.ernieball.com and sign-up. The rewards site or should I say Ernie’s Eagles Club is powered by Platform 3, a leading-edge loyalty and rewards platform from Vancouver-based 3 Tier Logic and they make the process super easy. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account you can use those accounts to login and setup your user account.

​To earn points that can been redeemed for rewards, you just go to the Earn Points page and share the content that is provided to you on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. To get rewards, you go to the Redeem Points page, see how many points are required for the prize you want, and then submit the appropriate number of points. Prizes will be shipped or emailed to you. Platform3 keeps track of your points, which you can monitor on the site as well.

All in all this sounds like an easy way to get some very cool swag! There is one condition however, you must be a US or CANADIAN residents and 13 years of age and older.

Ernie's Eagles
​Leading manufacturer of guitar strings and musical instrument accessories, Ernie Ball, has announced the launch of Ernie’s Eagles Club Loyalty and Rewards program. The program gives you access to limited and one-of-a-kind rewards, before I explain how take …

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PRS Announces Archon 50/25 Watt Head & Combo Amp

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The Archon amplifier was introduced by PRS Guitars in 2013 and has had a lot of praise from some very high profile Metal guitarists.

“The 100 watt, high gain amp head offered musicians a new tool that could achieve lush, bone-crushing gain while providing an exceptional clean channel not normally found on amps with so much crunch.”

The new 50 watt version features a half-power switch and is also available in Combo form as well as the head version.

“With 50 watts, switchable to 25 via the amp’s back panel, the Archon 50 breaks up at a lower volume, resulting in a more classically driven tone than its predecessor. The added option of 6L6 or EL34 power tubes allows players to further personalize the tone and feel of the Archon 50/25. 6L6 tubes offer plenty of versatility and warmer, more balanced tone across the full range of frequencies. They will also push with less saturation for a bit of a sweeter, smoother tone. EL34 tubes offer focused, tight, punchy gain. They run a little hotter, distort earlier, and deliver a wider range of overdriven, crunch tones that are great for rock distortion.”

PRS-archon-50-combo

On configurations, Croft offers: “We’ve added a 1X12 combo with a Celestion G12-75T speaker, for players looking for portability and who don’t need to push so much air. With the combo you’ve got a killer amp that you can use at home, in the rehearsal room or the clubs. If you need to move more air, you can run an extension cab off of the combo and it will give you all the bottom end that you need. Overall, the Archon 50 is just a fun amp to play. It’s versatile, sounds great and is inspiring to play.”

For more info including full specifications, visit http://www.prsguitars.com/archon50.

Bryan Ewald explains the differences between all the amps in the Archon series:

PRS-archon-50-head
The Archon amplifier was introduced by PRS Guitars in 2013 and has had a lot of praise from some very high profile Metal guitarists.

“The 100 watt, high gain amp head offered musicians a new tool that could achieve lush, …

Click here to comment

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