Saturday, July 7, 2018


Hi Everybody, I recently re-booted my Youtube page. I am doing videos on a myriad of topics mostly related to rock guitar playing. Check Out the channel here: Check out the latest video:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Learning To Tune Up By Ear

I came to a startling realization recently: Some of my students don't know how to tune a guitar by ear. Spending some time to learn this very important skill is very worthwhile. I can easily see why some people never learn the skill. These days, it is super common to just stick a portable tuner on your headstock, and just rely on it for all your tuning needs. Problem is, what do you do if your battery dies? There are times i rely on electronic tuners as well. Mostly in the live performance setting, when a musician is expected to not only be in perfect tune with him/her self but all the other musicians on stage as well. Taking the time to start being able to hear when a string is in tune is crucial if you ever want to develop good relative pitch. Relative Pitch is the ability to identify or re-create a given musical note by comparing it to a reference note. Once you develop this skill, you can start to pick out single note lines, and then chords and even eventually guitar solos. I truly believe that taking the time to pick up the tuning by ear can lead a person directly down that path. There comes to mind another very practical reason one might want to be able to tune by ear. Say you just happen to find your guitar leaning against the wall in your house. The guitar hasn't been played in a while, and its most likely not tuned. You left your tuner at your friends' house. Damn, you think to yourself "I really wish i knew how to tune by ear." Go look up a youtube video and teach yourself this crucial skill today!

Monday, July 31, 2017

String Bending (vibrato)

I saw Queen in Philadelphia last night and it was absolutely fantastic. Over the top sonically, emotionally and visually. I wouldn't expect anything less from them actually. Brian May, did one of his time stopping, gripping guitar hero style solo features. It got me thinking about the vibrato technique. Where did it come from? Who was the first to use it effectively? Why does it exist? Before i go on, i just have to say that Brian May's is amongst the best of all time at this technique. No one knows exactly where it originated, but its clear that it eminated from the blues. You can hear it amongst some of the delta blues players like Robert Johnson and Son House. Later on in the late 1940's and 50's, that sound travelled to Chicago and got amplified. Players like Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, and Otis Rush were all very much using string bending and the vibrato technique by then. What is vibrato? Wikipedia defines it as "a technique produced on a string instrument by cyclic hand movements. Despite the name, normally the entire hand moves, and sometimes the entire upper arm." Think of it as a singing lyrical quality. Picture those fantastic sustained runs towards the end of a song like "Bohemian Rhapsody", and how they just sort of seem to float and linger forever, that's vibrato in action. There are stories that B.B. King was one of the first guitarists to make string bending acceptable to modern blues and rock guitarists. His older cousin, Bukka White, was an accomplished blues guitarist himself. B.B. used to sit and listen to him play slide guitar and was trying to emulate that vibration he heard from the slide moving back and forth quickly over one note. Surely, others came up with string bending on electric guitar around the same time. A well known blues player, Mike Bloomfield was known for his copious amounts of string bending and affinity for blues guitar styles in general. He played on Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone." Before the session Dylan turned to him and said "Just play it staright, i don't want to hear any of that B.B. King shit." I hope this post inspires you to go home and pull out your favorite Blues and Rock albums and go hunting for some more examples of that great technique, "vibrato." -Daniel

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How To Start a Band(Repost)

Rawkers, I'm afraid the first step in starting a band is not actually going out and finding like-minded individuals to start exploring the musical universe with. The first step is you alone in your bedroom, practicing your ass off. I wouldn't even suggest trying to form a band until you have at least six months of experience under your fingers. That having been said, playing an instrument and not taking to the next level by playing with other musicians is a cardinal sin. I would equate it to being in a foreign country, and only going to McDonalds to eat. After you have spent a little while making your fingers hurt, and getting things like basic timing and technique down, i would say you are ready to start asking your friends if they want to jam. This advice applies to young and old. Everyone needs to be coming from the same place:Experience. Being in a band is hard work. You have to be willing to compromise, and above all listen to what other people are saying. Please check all egos at the door, as this will only create a lot of unwanted stress and problems. Bands just starting out suffer a lot from directional problems. What i mean is that people often sit there and wonder "We should be a metal band." or "we need to have a lot of keyboards so we can sound like the killers." If you are just starting out in your first band, just get together and play anything and everything. Play a lot of covers. Even if you eventually want to write and perform your own music. Picking the covers will help shape your taste and give you an idea of the style of music you want to sound like. This is especially important if you want to compose your own music. You have to learn and study other songs and see how they're put together in order to properly do it yourself. My last piece of advice is forget about loyalty. and what i mean by this is that you shouldnt limit yourself to one group. The smart musician plays with multiple groups at once and eventually sticks with the one that is most successful. That might not sound right to you, but that's the way it is. If it was good enough for John Bonham.... Keep Playing and Rawking -Danielelectric

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Hi All, its been quite a while since i've updated things here. look for some changes coming real soon. We're thinking about starting up with the offering exclusive lessons from bands you know and love again. We still have lessons available from Hamilton Jordan of Genghis Tron. We have the songs "Arms", "Board Up The House", and "Things Don't Look Good". You can get all three for $25. Delivery via Dropbox only. Talk to everyone soon!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Great Rock Photo History

Check out this photographer who found orginal locations where famous record covers were shot and superimposed them on what they look like today.