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Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler
Settings Cookbook

LATEST ARTICLE

Line 6 DL4 Delay Settings Cookbook

March 20th | 2015
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From the Blog

3.27.2015

How to Play "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons: Radioactive Guitar Chords and Detailed Tabs

Radioactive Guitar Chords and Detailed Tabs

We're learning how to play the guitar track for one of Image Dragons' most popular songs, "Radioactive."

Released in late 2012 "Radioactive" was a popular feature in several TV and movie trailers as well as a number of major media outlets including the NFL, MLB, History Channel and a slew of  popular video game titles.

Assassin's Creed was likely the most notable.

Ubisoft seems to have a knack for putting great music in their games.

But I digress.

Though overshadowed by the thick layers of electronic and dubstep sounds, guitarist Wayne Sermon lays out accenting arpeggios and chord progressions that boost the apocalyptic lyrics and feel of the song.

His playing is, in my humble opinion, underrated as it concerns this track.
In this lesson, we'll look to uncover the chords as well as reveal the details of the guitar tab that seems to be shrouded in thick drum beats and synthesizers.

This lesson will be broken into two different parts.

First the chord sheet, then the tabs.

Let's get to work.


Radioactive Guitar Chords and Detailed Tabs

RADIOACTIVE

Imagine Dragons

Guitar Tab and Chord Sheet: From the 2012 release NIGHT VISIONS


Guitar Player

Wayne Sermon: WIKIPEDIA / GEAR / GUITARS

Sermon's guitar playing on this song, though at times difficult to discern, is relatively simple. While we know that he primarily plays Gibson guitars and Stratocasters, we'll take a "best guess" approach to replicating his tone.

Since he's the band's only guitarist, there's no need to attempt to account for a second guitar.

Most (if not all) of the song can be played through a single guitar with a clean tone while, at times, adding a delay and some modulation.

That makes amp settings fairly easy.

In other words, if we can get a little gleam and glisten out of our signal, we'll be good to go.

Amp Settings and Pedals

What Sermon was able to create in a sophisticated recording studio will have to be replicated with far less equipment at our disposal.

Though it can be done, even if we have to keep things simple.

In addition to your amp, having access to the following effects is ideal:

  • Chorus

  • Delay

  • Reverb

If your reverb is coming from your amp, that will work fine as well.

The accommodating pedals on my board are the Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble and the Line 6 DL4 delay modeler.

Check out our Line 6 DL4 Cookbook for some preset ideas.

Even if you have a different chorus and delay, you should be able to replicate a similar sound.

For amp settings, we'll work with a basic three-band EQ and a gain knob.

In this case I'd advise going with what I like to call the 5-6-7, in the order of bass, mid and treble. Gain should be set very low or off and reverb can hover around three, just to give off a slight ambient effect.

Graphic Courtesy of PositiveGrid

Radioactive Guitar Chords and Detailed Tabs

1 5 6 7 ?

Bass: 5 | Mid: 6 | Treble: 7 | Gain: 1 | Reverb: 3

Chords and Lyrics: The Simple Version

As I previously stated, we'll begin by providing a chart complete with lyrics and basic chords.

That way you can play along with the entire track before trying to tackle the specifics of the tab sheet.

If you know the chords and want the specifics, feel free to skip ahead.

The chords for this song are simple and easy to memorize. We've provided chord charts at the end of this sheet that include both capo and non-capo versions of the progression.

Note that Sermon plays this song with a capo on the second fret.


Capo Version (How Wayne plays it...)


Tuning: E A D G B E (capo 2)

VERSE

Am            C            G
I'm waking up, to ash and dust
           D                   Am  
I wipe my brow, and I sweat my rust
              C                G
I'm breathing in, the chemicals
Am            C          G               D
I'm breaking in, shaping up and checking out of the prison bus
Am        C             G
This is it, the apocalypse
G
Whoa

CHORUS

              Am           C

I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
G                 D                           

Enough to make my systems grow

Am             C    

Welcome to the new age, to the new age

G              D    
Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Am    C     G            D     
Whoa, whoa, radioactive, radioactive [2x]

VERSE II
 
Am            C            G
I raise my flag, don my clothes
                            D               Am  
It's a revolution, I suppose
                                C                G 
We're painted red, to fit right in
G
Whoa
Am            C          G               D
I'm breaking in, shaping up and checking out of the prison bus
Am        C             G
This is it, the apocalypse
G
Whoa

CHORUS II

              Am           C
I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
G                 D                           

Enough to make my systems grow

Am             C    

Welcome to the new age, to the new age

G              D    
Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Am    C     G            D     
Whoa, whoa, radioactive, radioactive [2x]

BRIDGE

D                            Bb       A   
All systems go, the sun hasn't died
D                                   A    C     
Deep in my bones, straight from inside

CHORUS III

              Am           C
I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
G                 D                           

Enough to make my systems grow

Am             C    

Welcome to the new age, to the new age

G              D    
Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Am    C     G            D     
Whoa, whoa, radioactive, radioactive [2x]


Non-Capo Version

Tuning: E A D G B E

VERSE

Bm            D            A
I'm waking up, to ash and dust
           E                   Bm  
I wipe my brow, and I sweat my rust
              D                A
I'm breathing in, the chemicals
Bm            D          A               E
I'm breaking in, shaping up and checking out of the prison bus
Bm        D             A
This is it, the apocalypse
A
Whoa

CHORUS

              Bm           D

I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
A                 E                           

Enough to make my systems grow

Bm             D    

Welcome to the new age, to the new age

A              E    
Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Bm    D     A            E     
Whoa, whoa, radioactive, radioactive [2x]

VERSE II
 
Bm            D            A
I raise my flag, don my clothes
                            E               Bm  
It's a revolution, I suppose
                                D                A 
We're painted red, to fit right in
A
Whoa
Bm            D          A               E
I'm breaking in, shaping up and checking out of the prison bus
Bm        D             A
This is it, the apocalypse
A
Whoa

CHORUS II

              Bm           D
I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
A                 E                           

Enough to make my systems grow

Bm             D    

Welcome to the new age, to the new age

A              E    
Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Bm    D     A            E     
Whoa, whoa, radioactive, radioactive [2x]

BRIDGE

Bm           D       A          E   
All systems go, the sun hasn't died
Bm           D        A          E    
Deep in my bones, straight from inside

CHORUS III

              Bm           D
I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
A                 E                           

Enough to make my systems grow

Bm             D    

Welcome to the new age, to the new age

A              E    
Welcome to the new age, to the new age

Bm    D     A            E     
Whoa, whoa, radioactive, radioactive [2x]


Chord Sheets

Tuning: E A D G B E (open)

With Capo Two



No Capo



When you boil everything down to chord progressions, a guitar track that is difficult to discern suddenly becomes incredibly simple.

In fact, the entire song is (more or less) the same four-chord pattern.

But we know that Sermon doesn't simply strum these four chords for the entire song.

You can do that around a campfire, but if you really want to get the song right, you need to dig into the tabs and figure out where the electric guitar is filling in around all the dubstep effects. After the intro segment, which is just acoustic guitar and lead fills, it can get a little tricky.

But the "Radioactive" guitar tab need not be overcomplicated.

We'll take it one piece at a time.

Full Tabs

Tabs are handled in segments, with one tab for the verse, chorus and bridge.

Once you learn each segment, you can just follow the song structure and repeat the segments accordingly. This limits the tab lines and makes the music easier to read.

This song is almost entirely comprised of short, triadic arpeggios that loosely follow the trajectory of the bass line and chord progression. You can either stay faithful to the tab or intersperse the tab with what you've already covered in the chord sheet.

I would advise a few dry runs before adding the actual track.

Tuning: E A D G B E

INTRO

Lead guitar over top of an acoustic chord progression.

E|------------------------------------------------------------
B|--12----------15------------17------------19--------17------
G|------14----------------14--------14--------------------14--
D|----------16--------16----------------16--------16----------
A|------------------------------------------------------------
E|------------------------------------------------------------


E|----------------------------------------------------------
B|--12----------15------------17------------19----------16--
G|------14----------------14--------14----------------------
D|----------16--------16----------------16--------16--------
A|----------------------------------------------------------
E|----------------------------------------------------------[3x]


VERSE

Lead guitar pattern with slight modulation effect.

E|----------------------------------
B|----------------------------------
G|--16------16------14------16------
D|------16------16------16------16--
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|--19--------------17------19------
G|------16------16------16------16--
D|----------16----------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|--14--------------12------14------
G|------14------14------14------14--
D|----------14----------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|--12------12----------------------
G|------13------13------13----------
D|------------------14------14------
A|------------------------------17--
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|----------------------------------
G|--16------16------14------16------
D|------16------16------16------16--
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|--19--------------17------19------
G|------16------16------16------16--
D|----------16----------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|--14--------------12------14------
G|------14------14------14------14--
D|----------14----------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|------
B|--11--
G|--12--
D|------
A|------
E|------


CHORUS


Lead guitar pattern with slight modulation effect.

E|----------------------------------
B|--15------15------14------15------
G|------16------16------16------16--
D|----------------------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|--19--------------17------19------
G|------16------16------16------16--
D|----------16----------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|--19--------------17------19------
G|------18------18------18------18--
D|----------19----------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|--21--------------21--------------
G|------21------21------21------21--
D|----------21--------------21------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------[repeat 3x]


E|----------------------------------
B|--15------15------14------15------
G|------16------16------16------16--
D|----------------------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|----------------------------------
B|--19--------------17------19------
G|------16------16------16------16--
D|----------16----------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------


E|------
B|--19--
G|------
D|------
A|------
E|------


BRIDGE


Hold note with slight modulation effect.

E|------
B|--19--
G|------
D|------
A|------
E|------

Videos

The official music video presents an odd, yet engaging story line, which isn't ideal for playing along or avoiding distraction, but we'll link to it here and let you make the call.



There are some helpful and inspiring covers on YouTube and a number of notable live performances as well.

You'll gather quickly from the covers that there are a lot of different directions you could take this song.

Some people jam the melody line while others try to replicate Sermon's track more accurately. Regardless of what you want to do, it's helpful to check out other people who have already gone through the labor of learning the song.

In fact, it might be more helpful than the live performances, since so much of the track is electronic.

Live at the Joint | YouTube
Live at Rock AM Ring 2013 | YouTube
Fingerstyle Acoustic Cover | YouTube
Acoustc/Electric Cover | YouTube
Rock-Style Cover | YouTube

Chime In

Have thoughts, corrections, additions or suggestions to share?

Make it happen over on our Facebook page or hit us up on Twitter. As you can tell, we're not much for blog comments (thanks spammers).

Besides, social media is a better place for conversation.

See you there.

Want to learn more songs?

Learning songs is an incredible amount of fun.

Especially if you have good instruction.

But all too often we're left with incomplete, incorrect and generally unhelpful material when it comes to actually learning songs on the guitar.

But there is a great method for learning songs the right way.

We'd recommend giving Guitar Tricks 14-day free trial a test run, since they have a massive library of songs where professional instructors take you through each segment step-by-step. There's more material available then you could ever possibly get through.

So you'll learn a lot and get access to a number of other resources that all guitarists can benefit from.

Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of sidestagecollective & LouLG


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About Robert Kittleberger
Bobby is the founder and editor of Guitar Chalk and Guitar Bargain. You can get in
touch with him here, or via Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.







3.20.2015

The Line 6 DL4 Delay Settings Cookbook: 9 Detailed Presets

The Line 6 DL4 Settings Cookbook: 9 Detailed Presets

"It's time to cook."

And  to take a page out of Breaking Bad's highly entertaining playbook.

Yes, it's a fictional TV show that has nothing to do with playing guitar, but we can still learn something from the underachieving high school chemistry teacher, turned legendary drug manufacturer. 

Walter White knew his field well enough to fine tune his product.

Dare I say, he perfected it.

Guitar players have a product too - our tone - and as we're able to purify it, it'll become significantly more appealing to others. That will be true both as it relates to other musicians and those who might simply be listening to our music.

Because it doesn't really matter what we play if our tone is garbage.

For people to hear and appreciate our music, we need to provide them with a pure tone, as close to perfection as possible.

And we do so by using the tools we have - broadly, our entire rig - specifically, one incredibly versatile echo modeler.

Download the PDF Cookbook with just the settings.

Weapon of Choice: The Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler

The Line 6 DL4 delay pedal is our subject and our goal will be to establish some go-to settings that we can bank and reuse.

I'll start by listing basic resources that will serve as helpful references.
The DL4 is one of the most popular and widely used delay modeler's in existence, featuring 15 delay modes, a loop sampler and a tap tempo.

I'll assume that you own one and already know most of the general ins and outs involved with using it.

We'll take things a step further, learning to use it more effectively. In other words, we'll figure out how to really get our money's worth out of a delay pedal that, if we face facts, is a little on the expensive side at $250 retail.

So how do we get $250 worth of tone out of this pedal?

How do we craft the perfect recipe for our blue sky?

Any good cook knows his ingredients, so let's start with a review of what the knobs on the DL4 actually do and what we have to work with.

Reviewing the Knobs on the Line 6 DL4

There are six knobs in total. The first one is simply the model selector that lets you choose between the 15 delay modes.

We aren't worried about that one because it's fairly self-explanatory.

Our focus is on the other five. Here's what they do:

  1. DELAY TIME: This controls the amount of time that the digital processor records your input. before repeating it. In other words, it's the length of the echo.

  2. REPEATS: Predictably, the higher this knob goes, the more your delay segment will repeat. It either increases or decreases the number of echoes.

  3. TWEAK & TWEEZ: These two knobs have varying responsibilities that depend on which delay model you're using. We'll explain those responsibilities as-needed.

  4. MIX: This knob sets the balance between the dry or "unprocessed" signal and the "processed" signal. Turning the knob clockwise gives you more processed signal.

Of the four buttons on your DL4, the right-most is the tap tempo, while the other three serve as presets for models and settings that you want to bank.

Settings can be banked by holding one of those buttons down for five seconds.

Note that we can only bank three at a time.

When the loop sampler is selected, those buttons all serve different functions, which are outside the scope of this article. Refer to the user manual for instructions on how to use the loop sampler.

Now that we know our ingredients and what we have to work with, we can get started.

Preset #1: The Garden Variety Digital Delay

The title I used for this setting could be broadly interpreted.

Even within the DL4 itself, there are several models that might strike you as "garden variety" or generic.

So feel free to experiment with different models. However, in this case, I'm starting with the Digital Delay mode and looking to optimize that sound. Digital delay is often cleaner and more sterile than its analog counterpart.

It's a good starting spot.

First, use the model selector to choose Digital Delay (at 12 o'clock).

Then move down the line with the following presets:

Line 6 DL4 Settings
MODEL: Digital Delay / DELAY TIME: 4 / REPEATS: 5 / TWEAK: 6 / TWEEZ: 4 / MIX: 7

When using the Digital Delay model on the DL4, the TWEAK knob controls bass, while the TWEEZ controls treble. They basically give you just a little more EQ to work with outside of your amp.

In this instance, I pushed the TWEAK knob up a bit more to get a thicker tone.
The Digital Delay Gold Standard
With the MIX knob at five or under, I found that the processed signal, though audible, was just too subtle. You can adjust this to taste, but I'd recommend six or higher if you're having trouble hearing the repeats and getting definition in your echoes.

Once you've set everything, kick in the tap tempo to stay on beat.

All delays are somewhat time-sensitive, but I would still call this a generic, run-of-the-mill digital delay and not quite heavy enough to require a rhythmic handling. Still, it's good to get into the habit of always using the tap tempo.

Preset #2: Replicating Delay from The Edge and U2

The Edge's delay is actually quite complicated and beyond the scope of this article.

But you can come close by using the dotted eighth note setting on the DL4 which can be dialed in by using the Rhythmic Delay model and setting the DELAY TIME to the dotted eighth position, which can be identified via the user's manual or the graphic below.

Line 6 DL4 Dotted Eighth Notes
Once you've got your model and DELAY TIME set, we'll push the REPEATS up to give us a more sustained and lengthy echo. We can then use TWEAK and TWEEZ to add some modulation and help us mimic Edge's chime-like tone quality.

When using the Rhythmic Delay model, TWEAK controls modulation speed, while TWEEZ controls modulation depth.

Line 6 DL4 Settings
MODEL: Rhythmic Delay / DELAY TIME: 7 / REPEATS: 7 / TWEAK: 4 / TWEEZ: 8 / MIX: 7

The MIX knob is what can cause (or prevent) a lot of chaos. You might need to experiment with it some to get the processed signal thick enough, as I found that anything less than six was just too dry.

Also note that getting the tap tempo right is crucial when you're using the RHYTHMIC DELAY model.

Set the tap tempo with something specific in mind, either while playing along with a track or to match whatever beat is in your head.

Preset #3: Thicken Up the Tape Delay

Tape delay is what got it all started.

Those old boxes would just record your signal and then play it back without any kind of alteration or digital processing. And the DL4's tape delay model can sound really good and vintage, yet out of the box, I found it to be a bit thin and weak.

With a little tweaking, here's how I was able to thicken it up.

Line 6 DL4 Settings
MODEL: Tape Echo / DELAY TIME: 6 / REPEATS: 5 / TWEAK: 7 / TWEEZ: 6.5 / MIX: 6

Once again, TWEAK and TWEEZ handle bass and treble respectively. Hiking the TWEAK knob helped to add a little bit of thickness, though it's keeping the MIX on the wet side that really seemed to do the trick.

Also, be careful that you don't push the REPEATS too high.

If you do, your notes start to run into too many old notes, meaning you might be hearing four or five at the same time.

That's going to crowd your sound pretty quickly.

Ideally, you should be aiming for a note trail that allows you to hear two or three behind, at any given moment.

Preset #4: Arpeggio-Friendly Analog Delay with Some Added Modulation

I should mention that the DL4 is not an analog delay and that the analog setting is meant to mimic the sound produced by real analog delay pedals via a digital signal.

That said, it's a fairly accurate imitation.

Analog delays are thicker and more primitive then what you get from a digital delay (similar to our above tape delay example). Digital effects are sterile, clean and without any kind of noticeable inconsistencies (unless of course they're programmed in).

Since the original delay pedals were designed with analog circuitry, the analog sound is thought to be a bit more authentic.

On the DL4, despite the digital shortcut, I find it particularly ideal for arpeggiated chords and progressions, given the right settings.

Those settings took some time, but here's what I came up with.

Line 6 DL4 Settings
MODEL: Analog with Mod / DELAY TIME: 6.5 / REPEATS: 3 / TWEAK: 5 / TWEEZ: 7 / MIX: 6

The model I used was Analog w/ Mod, which is meant to mimic the sound produced by the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man. The Memory Man is essentially the gold standard when it comes to analog delay, and even has its own built-in modulation.
Our Review of the EHX Memory Man
So the DL4 version is a good copy. Not the real thing, but still a great sound and replica of what has become a legendary pedal.

To make it work with arpeggios, there were a couple things that needed to be addressed.

1. The REPEATS knob had to be cut back.

I started with the REPEATS knob a bit higher, perhaps around six or seven.

The echo was just too long and ended up blurring out the chord changes. A delay can work with chords and arpeggios, but the repeats have to be low enough that you can still hear the chord changes when (or shortly after) you make them.

It has to be reasonably distinct

Cutting the REPEATS knob back to four preserved the chord changes and allowed them to be more defined and easily identified.

2. Timing was annoyingly important.

Take some additional time to work with the tap tempo on this one and really get your timing down.

Go with something fast, as a slow echo with these settings will drag too much.

It's similar to the Rhythmic Delay model, at least in that regard. Because you could almost be strumming through the chords and still get a nice, choppy delay sound, provided you've been shrewd enough to get the right tempo tapped in.

So take care of your timing before saving the preset.

Preset #5: The Perfect Volume Swell

In this case, the delay model itself does a lot of the work for you.

That model is called the Auto-Volume Echo and is the right-most selectable effect.

This is essentially the same effect you get when you cut the volume on your guitar down and then swell into a note after you've already picked that note.

In this case, you don't need to worry about working the volume knob on your guitar or some kind of volume pedal. The DL4 simply takes care of the swell for you on every note that you pick, even if you're playing full chords.

Adding delay to this effect is a rather brilliant move by Line 6 as it gives you some nice customization options.

You can also add tape-style flutter modulation with the TWEAK knob and adjust the ramp time for the volume swell with the TWEEZ knob.

I'll also add that this one sounds pretty good right out of the box.

To optimize and really hone this effect, here's what I would recommend.

Line 6 DL4 Settings
MODEL: Auto-Volume Echo / DELAY TIME: 8 / REPEATS: 5 / TWEAK: 8 / TWEEZ: 8 / MIX: 5.5

The TWEEZ gets pushed higher so that the swell comes in a little slower, while I also used the TWEAK knob to add some thickening modulation.

With a higher DELAY TIME you'll get a faint echo in the background which adds to the mystique of the effect.

If you're feeling ambitious, you can combine this with third-party modulation.

The Danelectro Chorus is what I used, which melded nicely.

Here's a quick shot of the settings:

Danelectro Chorus Settings

Preset #6: Modern Rock Verse Filler

Modern rock verse filler is really quite simple.

It's a short, four or five note arpeggio or melody line that's commonly heard in the verses of most rock songs released after 1993. Think the "Black Hole Sun" riff by Soundgarden or nearly all of Marcos Curiel's verse licks.

It's a distinct sound that usually combines a subtle delay with some form of modulation.

So in addition to my DL4, I'm employing the use of two other pedals:

  1. Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble

  2. Boss PS-5 Super Shifter

We'll get a slight de-tuning and harmonizing effect from the PS-5 and a deep fluttering chorus from the CE-5

Note that a lot of guitarists will use a phaser pedal here as well.

Let's dial in our settings for the DL4.

http://amzn.to/1Bb09Qf
 MODEL: Lo Res Delay / DELAY TIME: 3 / REPEATS: 4.5 / TWEAK: 4 / TWEEZ: 6 / MIX: 6

Since the TWEAK knob acts as a tone control, we move that back a bit to help soften our signal, since this is intended to be used as a more subtle verse filler.

DELAY TIME and REPEATS stay low so that our delay isn't too lengthy, while a higher MIX gives you a nice, wet tone.
For free, here are the settings I used with the PS-5 and the CE-5:

Boss CE-5 Settings
The Super Shifter is set to a detune mode which creates a nice harmony over the notes being played. Our CE-5 has the rate and level knob hiked all the way up in order to create that thick fluttering effect, similar to the "Black Hole Sun" riff.

Turning up the rate on any chorus pedal should have a similar effect.

Preset #7: Incubus-Style Reverse

I wouldn't say that Incubus "owns the rights" to this sound, but it is oddly reminiscent of Mike Einziger's guitar playing.

When we dial in the right settings, it gives us a smooth, modern tone with a wide range application.

Here's where your settings should fall.

Line 6 DL4 Settings
MODEL: Reverse / DELAY TIME: 2.5 / REPEATS: 2 / TWEAK: 5 / TWEEZ: 5 / MIX: 7

We're setting the DELAY MODEL to Reverse and then pushing the MIX knob up so that most of what we hear is the processed or reversed signal. Also note that we've dialed in a little bit of echo with the repeat knob, providing a filling delay trail.

A fairly common technique employed by Einziger is to add light distortion to heavy modulation. You can hear this distinctly in "Pardon Me" and "Warning."

To come up with a similar tone, I added a Boss DS-1 distortion with the following presets:

Boss DS-1 Distortion Settings
Note that our DIST knob is nearly all the way down.

Level is also low to avoid unnecessarily amplifying the signal or increasing our volume. We're going for thickness without a significant increase in gain.

The TONE knob is a matter of taste and preference.

I found that having the tone knob lower preserved the smoothness and definition of the Reverse effect coming out of the DL4 which, by the way, sits behind the DS-1 in my effects chain for this preset.

Preset #8: The Strummer's Delay

Once again we're going back to the Rhythmic model on the DL4 to get a delay that's ideal for strumming and could even work with acoustic guitars.

Before you start, I would like to point out that the tap tempo is where this battle is won.

Depending on how fast you're strumming or what song you're playing, you must follow up these settings by clicking in the beat. Otherwise, it's going to throw the timing off and probably sound really bizarre.

Let's start with the settings on the DL4.

Line 6 DL4 Settings
MODEL: Rhythmic / DELAY TIME: 9 / REPEATS: 6 / TWEAK: 6 / TWEEZ: 5 / MIX: 7

Remember, the Rhythmic Delay mode is the one with the DELAY TIME setting that we used to dial in the dotted eighth note rhythm.

If you cut the DELAY TIME knob all the way to the right, you get quarter note triplets.

That's what we need for a our strumming delay.

The REPEATS knob goes up to six, while MIX gets pushed to seven so we can hear the delay above the continuous strumming.

Preset #9: Ideal for Distortion

There are many sounds the DL4 could produce that would work well with distortion.

In this case, I have two specific qualities in mind:

  1. Thicker Tone

  2. Gain Producing

Since the Tube Echo model on the DL4 actually adds a tube-style drive (via the TWEEZ knob) to the signal, we can start there.

It's also subtle enough that we can add a distortion pedal and avoid muddying our signal.

The DL4 comes first in the chain (after the amp), so let's start with those settings.

Line 6 DL4 Settings
MODEL: Tube Echo / DELAY TIME: 3 / REPEATS: 6 / TWEAK: 3 / TWEEZ: 5 / MIX: 8

The TWEEZ knob adjusts the drive from the tube emulator and, at five, gives us just enough boost from the DL4 itself. We push MIX higher to get a thicker delay signal, while everything else stays fairly conventional.

I tried two different distortion pedals with this effect:

  1. Boss DS-1 Distortion

  2. Boss MD-2 Mega Distortion

With an exterior source of gain it's important to control those gain levels since you're introducing a lot of extra noise into your signal.

For both pedals I kept the gain fairly low and avoided scooping the mids too high.

Boss DS-1 Distortion Settings
The settings we showed you earlier for the DS-1 work fine here. For the MD-2, you can see we've cut the GAIN BOOST back pretty far, thereby avoiding excessive noise and feedback.

Depending on your pedal, you'll need to adjust for a similar, low-saturation setting.

Be advised, it might take a little trial and error if you have different distortion pedals.

Settings Deserve Your Time

It's really easy to take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to all the knobs and switches on your gear.

Because if we're honest, it's really nice to just be able to turn on our amps and play.

But if we're going to own all these fancy digital pedals and gear, isn't it better to put them to good use, and not just fly by the seat of our pants, assuming that they'll do all the work for us?

Of course.

Because pedal's don't create great tone anymore than hammers build beautiful porches. No one looks at a shinny new back deck and asks, "What hammer was used to build that? I've got to get one so I have can a nice porch too."

No, they ask who built the deck. And then in all likelihood, they hire that person.

Because it's the mind of the builder that people pay money for and it's likewise the mind of the artist that creates great tone and great music, who people want to hear.

So settings deserve your time because they are of little value without your brain.

In fact, they're completely worthless without a creative thinker dialing in, and eventually playing, something that sounds amazing.

The Line 6 DL4 is certainly a fantastic tool, but not helpful if we don't learn to use it properly.

It's the proper, perhaps optimal, union of a great pedal and musical mind that we're looking for.

Settings Provide Additional Creative Opportunities

Further, effects and systems that allow you to tweak your tone offer the ability to be creative outside of the fretboard.

In a lot of cases this gets criticized and labeled as "hiding behind effects."

Now, that can happen, but is it really hiding behind the DL4 if you're simply learning how to properly utilize it?

No, of course not.

It's taking advantage of an opportunity to shape your sound.

It's using a tool to build something that's unique to you.

Begin Building Your Sound Right Now

Now you've got a foundation to work with.

Learn the Line 6 DL4 settings backwards and forwards and to start building your sound today.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that your gear will do the work for you. You must do the heavy lifting. So take the time to build your tone, shape it and come up with something truly inspiring and unique.

It'll be the best way to get your money's worth out of the DL4

And while you may not be given control of a state-of-the-art laboratory and a $1 million a month salary from the owner of a poultry-based fast food franchise, you'll be a more valuable and hireable guitar player with a bright musical future ahead.

If you want to chat about settings and getting closer to the perfect presets, get in touch with me over on our Facebook page.

Could you use more gear help?

Producing "great tone" is a worthy pursuit, but not always an obvious one.

We all own a unique collection of gear that seems to sound different all the time. That's normal, but still something we need to learn to deal with.

We need to learn our gear.

If you want to access some resources that will help dealing with a specific tonal pursuit, piece of gear or other questions related to your rig, I'd recommend giving Guitar Tricks 14-day free trial a test run - there's no obligations and you've got nothing to lose - except two free weeks of one of the most comprehensive and thorough guitar education websites in existence.

You'll learn a lot and get access to a number of other resources that all guitarists can benefit from.

Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of criatvt

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About Robert Kittleberger

Bobby is the founder and editor of Guitar Chalk. You can get in touch with him here, or via Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.







3.13.2015

90 of the Best Guitar Websites and Resources in Existence: The Crucial List (2015 Edition)

Guitar Websites and Resources

If there's one thing about the internet that has been under-utilized by society, it's the capacity it provides for learning.

I love that about the internet.

We can all git edgumacated fir free.

Because today you can learn anything. You don't need a professor, a tutor or a degree from some over-priced university. Not to say that formal education can't be a good thing, but particularly for trades like learning the guitar, the internet is where you get it done.

To be perfectly honest, you don't need to pay for guitar lessons. Even if you did want to throw some money at learning guitar, the internet is still the best place to do that.

Though a Google search isn't always the easiest way to find the real education.

You know, the material that actually helps you learn and doesn't just pander to you.

Google is good at providing information, yes; but it's also good at a lot of other things.

Just to name a few:

  • Distracting you.

  • Tracking your history.

  • Pushing banner adds.

  • Sharing your information all over the known universe.

I'm not here to bust on Google. They're doing great things for the world of technology and I don't begrudge that at all.

But what I think can be more helpful is the human curation of educational websites and resources.

Curation is simply the collecting of content that's already known to be helpful, relevant and possessing some inherent value to a particular group of people. For example, Pinterest boards are all curated content, or if you want a non-internet example, the Smithsonian museum is also a form of curation.

And that's what this list is meant to be, a curated list of great guitar resources and websites.

Beyond Guitar Google Searches

I wrote a post a few years ago called 40 Helpful Links for Guitar Players.

In that post I listed Cesar Huesca's YouTube channel as one such helpful link.

Cesar Huesca is a fantastic guitar player, who we could all learn a lot from, even if we just watch some of his covers and original material.

But there are precious few search terms that will turn up his content.

That's why I like to go beyond keyword queries and find guitar-related, online resources that are truly diamonds in the rough. Because they're out there, they're just hard to find in some cases and not always common knowledge.

So this post will highlight some of those resources.

Large and small, obscure and obvious, we'll list them all so that there need not be any guesswork as to what the internet offers us in the way of great guitar websites.

If It Doesn't Apply 

Now, perhaps not all of this will apply to you, and that's alright.

Pour through it and figure out what does, then grab your guitar and go back through one item at a time. This list is meant to be read and considered slowly and is not a fast track to more riffs. Although, I do hope that more riffs are an eventual result.

I'd advise you to take your time and consider what would be the most helpful and relevant to you in your particular situation.

My guess is that there's something here for everybody.

JUMP TO: YOUTUBE CHANNELS / INFOGRAPHICS / FREE EDUCATION / GEAR / SOFTWARE / ARTICLES

90 Guitar WEBSITES, RESOURCES, LINKS...

...whatever you want to call them.


YOUTUBE CHANNELS


1. Ben Eller | CHANNEL HOME / VIDEOS / WEBSITE

Ben Eller's channel has enough instructional material to keep you busy for quite some time. Ideal for the speedster or heavy rock, lead guitar player, Eller's content is largely delivered in the form of workshops and technique demonstration. The "This is Why You Suck" series seems to be the most popular.

2. Chris Zoupa | CHANNEL HOME / VIDEOS / WEBSITE

Known to me for his YouTube tutorials, many of which show you how to accurately play complex solos, Chris Zoupa also plays guitar for the band Bellusira. They're big enough for Zoupa to be one of PRS's featured artists.

3. Karl Golden | CHANNEL HOME / VIDEOS / WEBSITE

Karl Golden's channel is more of a showcase then actual instruction, but he's one of the best in that regard with a fascinating and inspiring collection of work.

4. Cobus Potgieter | CHANNEL HOME / VIDEOS / WEBSITE

Yes, Cobus Potgieter is a drummer, not a guitar player. However, I still recommend his YouTube channel to any and all musicians, because he's simply a great player and an all-around inspiring person.

5. Licklibrary | CHANNEL HOME / VIDEOS / WEBSITE

I can't really vouch for their other products since I've no experience with them at all. But the YouTube channel they keep is robust, with lots of great instructional content and lick demos.

6. Guitar World | CHANNEL HOME / VIDEOS / WEBSITE

One of the planet's most popular guitar magazines is no slouch when it comes to their YouTube offerings. Interviews, lessons, gear demos, covers. Guitar World does it all.

7. Cesar Huesca | CHANNEL HOME / VIDEOS / WEBSITE

As I've previously mentioned, great guitar player and great channel with lots of awe-inspiring covers.

8. Premier Guitar | CHANNEL HOME / VIDEOS / WEBSITE

The main reason I like the Premier Guitar channel is because of their Rig Rundown videos. Somehow they seem to get to nearly every notable guitarist's rig and get an in-person rundown of what gear they're using. Sometimes it's done by a guitar tech, but often the guitarist themselves will walk through all their gear.

9. LicknRiff | CHANNEL / VIDEOS / WEBSITE

This guy doesn't have any kind of notoriety, but he covers some really in-depth topics with tabs to accompany.



INFOGRAPHICS


10. Understanding Guitar Chords | LINK / IMAGE

This lengthy graphic explains the theory behind chords, how to understand major chords and even how to build other types of chords. The reality is that it's all somewhat more involved, but the graphic is a good start.

11. Guitar Chords for Beginners | LINK / IMAGE

This one from Guitar Chalk highlights tabs for all of the most commonly used guitar chords.

12. Ten Easy Guitar Songs for Beginners | LINK / IMAGE

Though it panders a bit with a "summer" theme, these songs are all easy enough to have their chords laid out within the infographic itself. None are more than four chords and many are only three.

13. It's More Than a Pick | LINK / IMAGE

Jim Dunlop produced this graphic to highlight the types of guitar picks they produce and sell. It's amazing how much information there is relating to picks.

14. Guitars of Legend | LINK / IMAGE

Though it's not as "educational" as it is fun, this is a nice synopsis of some of history's more famous guitars and their corresponding rigs.

15. Practice and Progress | LINK / IMAGE

One of Guitar Chalk's first infographics outlines the trajectory of basic beginner topics and how they connect with one another.

16. 5 Skills of a Marketable Musician | LINK / IMAGE

Another one from Guitar Chalk, addressing some of the intangible qualities that help you make money as a musician.

17. All Your Scales in Two Minutes | LINK / IMAGE

This one is just some scale-related music theory from Melody College.



FREE EDUCATION


18. Guitar Tricks 14-Day Free Trial

Guitar Tricks is hands down one of the best guitar lesson pay-sites in existence. Their 14-day free trial is easy to signup for (via the above link) and gives you access to everything in the site, which includes hundreds of song instruction videos and thousands of lessons.

You can learn a lot in two weeks, even if you don't decide to buy afterwards.

19. Guitar World Blog

We know Guitar World for their magazine, but their blog (which costs you nothing to read) is chock full of good stuff as well.

Everything from lessons, reviews interviews and tutorials can be found on any given day.

20. JustinGuitar.com

Justin Sandercoe may have been one of the first people to establish a free online guitar-learning resource.

Not only that, but he's an excellent teacher, who didn't just get lucky by being one of the first people on the scene. Every lesson is accompanied with a video that's intuitive and well-filmed, while the content is relevant, detailed and aptly explained.

He's one of the originals and still one of the best.

21. SongNotes.cc

Though it's a relatively young site, SongNotes is devoted to high-quality guitar tabs, meant to be a more palatable alternative to the user-submitted stuff that is so common everywhere else.

It's nothing short of refreshing to spend time looking up tabs on this site, despite the fact that its inventory is far lower than most tab sites.

22. 8Notes.com/guitar

With lots of sheet music and a robust theory section, 8notes is a great place to go if you want to quickly answer a theory question or learn a new song. It addresses other instruments as well and maintains a lot of content on a variety of musical topics, all with a formal education flavor.

23. HubGuitar.com

Hub Guitar offers remarkably high-quality videos completely free. How exactly they do that eludes me, but that doesn't really matter when you can have access to professional-looking instructional videos without having to give up more than an email address.

24. JamPlay Free Trial

Like Guitar Tricks, JamPlay offers a limited free trial that lets you browse and access their premium content.

25. TrueFire Student Enrollment

TrueFire is a guitar education site that allows you to enroll for free and then provides access to a ton of resources, including 20,000+ streaming video lessons. They'll give you 30 days to browse before you buy, so there's nothing to lose if you just want to check them out.

26. GuitarLessons.com

Nate Savage is another veteran of online guitar lessons who lucked out with perhaps the most coveted guitar lesson URL in existence.

Yep, guitarlessons.com.

That said, he's a solid teacher with lots of great content on both his website and YouTube channel.

27. MusicTheory.net

It's exactly what it sounds like.

A bare bones website dedicated to teaching music theory. No videos or anything, but just a lot of explaining about something we could all use more of.

There's no cost, whatsoever.

28. The Music Portion of Khanacademy

Khanacademy does have a music section that's somewhat hidden under the arts and humanities category. It's not guitar specific, but you'll get some good information on music theory and formal education topics that can be helpful for any musician.

29. YouTube

Yes, we've already highlighted several YouTube channels, but YouTube as a whole is truly a fantastic resource for learning guitar. Even if you don't find what you need within a specific channel, a couple searches should turn up somebody who has taken the time to demonstrate the answer to your question.



GEAR WEBSITES


30. Guitar Geek

One of my favorite gear sites is also one of the simplest.

Guitar Geek, through what seems to be a painstaking amount of time and effort, draws up graphics and diagrams that showcase every detail of the rigs of popular guitar players.

Having been around since 1993, they've got tons of content on their site. While in recent years they've been quieter and less consistent about updating, Guitar Geek is still one of the best guitar gear resources in existence.

Want to know what Godsmack's Tony Rombola uses? How about James Shaffer of Korn?

It's all there.

31. Guitar Center

Guitar Center is arguably the most popular retailer of guitar gear on the planet. They're also one of the only retailers that have actual stores, instead of just warehouses like Musician's Friend.

I like them because they have a huge selection of used gear and that they're also willing to buy and/or accept trade-ins from customers. They're the big name right now and will likely keep their spot for a long time to come.

My only complaint?

Their stores are noisy.

32. Reverb

Reverb is kind of like a mini version of Guitar Center that specializes in the more rare and unique pieces of guitar gear.

Their inventory is smaller, but that's mostly due to a focus on vintage gear.

Another difference between Reverb and Guitar Center is that Reverb doesn't actually buy gear from you. Instead, they provide a platform where you can sell your own gear (pending their approval) and then they keep 3.5% of the total purchase price, if the product sells.

33. The Guitar Pedals Reddit Page

It's hard to know exactly what's going to show up on Reddit's guitar pedal page, but in addition to having relevant content curated for you (what Reddit does best) you can also post questions and will almost certainly get some answers from the Reddit community.

With nearly 14,000 subscribers on this page, you're bound to get plenty of help.

Be careful though. The Reddit world is not for the faint of heart, as the community is quite vocal and opinionated.

In other words, if you ask a stupid question, they will make you feel as terrible as is humanly possible.

34. Effects Bay Blog

There are other effects pedal blogs out there, but Effects Bay has established itself as one of the most active and authoritative in existence.

Frequent posts include pedalboard showcasing, product reviews and more conventional "pedal talk" blog posts.

An active following adds a nice communal vibe to the entire site.

35. BossUS Homepage

Since Boss guitar pedals are some of the most popular in existence, their homepage is actually quite useful.

Intuitive and well-designed product showcases make it a great place to get familiar with their new (and old) products. They also maintain a helpful blog along with a page for all their community resources.

In the products section, all of Boss's most current stompboxes are beautifully showcased.

36. Ultimate-Guitar Gear Forum

At the time of writing this, it's a bit curious why Ultimate-Guitar, which is one of the longest-running guitar websites in existence, hasn't ever updated their interface.

I mean, it has been a long time.

But I suppose the old cliche would apply, "If it isn't broke, don't fix (or update) it."

The UG forum is likely the single most active guitar forum on the web and they provide a section specific to gear, with plenty of ongoing discussion.

Once again, I should warn that it's not all friendly.

Useful? Sure.

Cordial?

Not so much.

37. Ultimate-Guitar Reviews

What I've pointed out regarding the gear forum would apply here.

Gear reviews are consistently published and get plenty of community feedback, some of which is useful, and some of which is not.

Be aware that the gear reviews share this space with album and music reviews as well.

38. Amplitube

Amplitube is a mobile (iPad, iPhone, Android) amp modeling app that allows you to download different effects, amp models and sounds that you can then run your guitar through, either into your own amp or into another PA system.

Their home page showcases a number of different products and resources.

It's a useful location for the guitarist who prefers digital or "virtual" tone modeling.

39. Guitar Chalk Reviews

Our reviews section focuses on long-form and detailed product showcases with an easy-to-read summary and scorecard. We also like to find newer and more unique products that don't get as much press in the mainstream.

So you can spend time reading all the details or you can just skip to the end and look at our summary and scorecard.

It's loosely modeled after PC Gamer Magazine's method of reviewing.

40. Craigslist

It's a curious addition at first glance, but Craiglist is a fantastic place to find used gear, and the reasoning behind that statement should be obvious.

The free market is in full effect with Craigslist, allowing you to seek out local buyers or sellers and make a transaction without any kind of third-party seller. No government involvement, no private sector business, no taxes or any outside input.

That's a wonderful way to buy and sell gear.

Sure, it can be hit or miss. But it's always smart to at least try Craigslist before you default to retail.

Speaking of retail...

41. Amazon

In the event that Craigslist fails you and you can't find what you want or sell the item you're looking to get rid of, Amazon should be your next stop.

The reason is that Amazon not only has nearly every piece of guitar gear you could imaging, but they also have a used section composed of third party sellers with prices that can (and often do) fall way below the retail value of the product.

For example, it's not unusual to see the Line 6 DL4 delay pedal, which retails for $250 to go at or below $170 from a third-party Amazon seller or the Amazon warehouse.

In my opinion, it's a vastly underrated resource when it comes to buying guitar gear.

42. Steve Vai's Guitars

My goodness, this dude has a lot of guitars.

It's hard to tell if these are all the guitars he's ever owned or if it's his "current" rig. I'd imagine it's a chronological collection, but still.

It's a remarkable group nonetheless.

43. Musician's Friend

What many might consider the "de facto" music retail music company deserves a mention based on that reputation alone.

Musician's Friend is your "garden-variety" online music retailer, having started out as a catalog with no physical store locations.

Prices are good and in the past several years they've built up a larger inventory of used and refurbished items.

It's the quintessential "safe bet."

44. Taylor Guitars Community Page

The world's most beloved-acoustic guitar brand (I do realize that statement is a bit subjective) has their blog, artist bios and other community-related content all in one section of their website.

It's obviously more relevant to the Taylor owner, but any acoustic enthusiast could appreciate.

45. Guitar World Gear Page

Setup in the same format as their blog, the Guitar World gear page highlights different pieces of guitar gear on a regular basis, usually with a short 300-500 word writeup, photo and a demo video.

46. Distorted Branch Custom Guitars

Based in Mexico City, Mexico, Distorted Branch is one of the custom guitar world's best kept secrets.

Their designs are unique, aesthetically appealing and well-made. They're the ones responsible for creating Cesar Huesca's signature guitar.

Retail is also decent (usually between $1000 and $2000), especially with a good exchange rate.

47. The Gear Page Forum

Having its genesis in 2002, the Gear Page is nothing more than a forum for people to talk about guitar gear.

While there are others like it, this one seems to be particularly popular and active, with nearly 140,000 members and over 10 million posts.

If you want to talk guitar gear without any distraction, this is the place to make it happen.

48. Harmony Central Expert Reviews

Harmony Central's review page is similar to what Guitar World offers. Though they aren't quite as consistent about posting content, HC's reviews are generally longer and more in-depth, which is a preferable alternative.

They also have a user reviews section that's worth checking out if you want a more "organic" opinion about a certain piece of gear.

49. ShootOut.fm

ShootOut is a fairly new site that allows you to easily compare the sounds of different guitar pedals via a slick-looking web app and user interface.

It's intuitive, easy-to-use and without any major glitches.

You can choose between either a Stratocaster or Les Paul and then choose from a select number of riffs.

Then, just drag and drop the pedals you want into the effects line at the bottom of the screen.

Adam Ben-Amitai from Tel-Aviv is the creator.

Good stuff Adam.

50. The Chicago Music Exchange

The Chicago Music Exchange is a 25-plus year old music store that has developed a strong online presence. Not only do they offer retail and used gear, but also provide repairs, vintage certifications, appraisals and of course, willingness to buy your gear or accept trade-ins.

51. Carvin Custom Guitars

Carvin Guitars got its start in 1946, which has given them ample time to corner the market on custom guitars.

Build-your-own kits, parts and pre-made designs are all available online, or through their catalog which you can still get through the mail.



SOFTWARE & APPS


52. Audacity Recording Software

Audacity is open source recording software that makes it easy for you to record the stream of your computer's sound card or the stream from an external USB device like the PreSonus Audiobox.

53. Guitar Tab Creator

The Guitar Tab Creator is an incredibly simple web app, and in a case where you need an easy way to make your own tabs quickly, simple is good.

54. Tab and Play

This is another web app that takes tabs as input and actually plays them on a virtual guitar. It's nice for when you're stuck somewhere without a guitar and want to hear what a particular tab or riff might sound like.

55. Online Drum Machine

Yet another web app that isn't complex or necessarily powerful, but gets the job done quickly and efficiently. Use it when you need a quick drum beat in the background but don't want to mess with more complex applications like GarageBand.

56. Online Metronome

Long gone are the days where you actually had to have a physical wooden metronome in your house. They're more collectible than anything at this point. If you just want to keep time, this online metronome app works great.

57. Spotify

Spotify is quickly becoming the most popular and easiest way to listen to the music you like. It's intensely helpful and practical if you're trying to learn a song or wanting to browse for inspiration.

58. Rhythm Pad Free (iOS)

There's a paid version of the app for, I believe both, the iPhone and iPad. Features aren't over-the-top, but they aren't terribly stripped down either, as you can create most basic drum beats and styles without paying any money.

59. GarageBand (Mac, iOS)

If you own a Mac, you can download GarageBand for free. In terms of raw power, there aren't a lot of free application that can even come close to matching its capabilities. If you're ambitious enough, you can record and program entire songs using nothing but the app itself. Outside instrumental input is strictly optional.

60. Guitar Pro 6

The demo version of Guitar Pro 6 isn't limited in any way. The only catch is that you can't print, save or export any of your projects. However, the full version is only $60 and is by far the most powerful and comprehensive guitar notation software in existence.

61. Noteflight

This multi-platform application allows you to create, listen to and store music while making it accessible on most devices. An upgraded version of the award-winning notation software will cost you $50 per year. Formal music teachers and students might find this app especially useful.

62. Guitar Tuna (iOS)

The iTunes app store has quite a few guitar tuners floating around, but this one is (in my humble opinion) one of the better ones. Even if it's just because of a smoother and more intriguing interface, the Guitar Tuna seems easier to use and more accurate. It's free with in-app purchases.

63. JamUp (iOS)

Like most iOS apps there's a free or "light" version and then you can pay for the full version. The JamUp app from Positive Grid is setup this way, allowing you to access a number of different amp models and sounds before asking you to pay for others. It's essentially a guitar multi-effects pedal that you can play through with an iPad, into an amp or PA system.

64. Amplitube (iOS - free and paid versions)

We mentioned Amplitube in the website column because of all the resources you can find there that are additional to the app. Once again, the iOS software is free, though in this case it's particularly limited. If you really want to get into using Amplitube, I'd recommend paying for it.

65. MusicNotes Sheet Music Viewer (iOS)

This sheet music viewer is surprisingly stage functional and supports a number of notable features, including folder systems, importing your own PDF files and highlight tools for note-taking.

66. Lick of the Day

The Lick of the Day app is exactly what it sounds like, while Guitar World is the brain behind the operation. You get a new tab or "lick" every day, kind of a like a word-of-the-day calendar for your guitar.

67. Jellynote - Tabs & Chords - Sheet Music for Guitar & Piano (iOS)

This one is similar to MusicNotes but is geared towards guitar players with support for tabs, chord diagrams and the ability to create your own songbooks.



ARTICLES


68. Martian Love Secrets from Vai.com | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER LINK

A seven-part series of lessons from the mind of the Berklee-educated guitar mastermind.

69. Tempo Mental from Vai.com (article written for guitar magazine but never published) | DIRECT LINK/ PUBLISHER LINK

Steve Vai wrote this piece way back in 1983 for a music magazine and for whatever reason, never had it published. The piece is lengthy and informative.

70: Mini Lessons '84 from Vai.com | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER LINK

Vai divulges a number of his secrets and techniques in this collection of articles that were also penned in the mid '80s.

71: Tom Hess's List of Articles | DIRECT ARTICLE / PUBLISHER LINK

There's enough material here to keep you busy for a very long time.

72: Guitar Player Issue Vault (past issues) | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

It is my guitar magazine of choice, for what it's worth, and you can access past issues at your leisure without having to pay a dime.

73. Kurt Cobain's Final Guitar World Interview | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

The final interview that Kurt Cobain granted to Guitar World Magazine is still published on the site.

74. Joe Satriani's Vault | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

The man who taught Vai has his own vault full of goodies and interesting reads.

75. Alternate Tunings Guide (96 Page PDF) | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

How in the world do you come up with 96 pages worth of material on alternate tunings? I guess it's a more complicated topic than we might have previously thought.

76. Music Business Journal: Berklee College of Music | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

For those of you looking to make a career of it, an article from Berklee College is a good place to start nosing around.

77. Five Essentials of Music Career Success: Berklee College of Music | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

We apply the sound reasoning for number 76 once again.

78. Berklee's Free Guitar Handbook | DIRECT LINK

If you give them your email address, Berklee will send you their free guitar handbook.

79. Melodic Rhythms for Guitar by William Leavitt | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

This write up has a lot of material, much of which appears to be hand-written by William Leavitt. Be advised there are no tabs, which means you'll need to get your sheet music on.

80. Gibson Learn and Master Handbook | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

There is a ton of information in this PDF, perfect for the beginner or someone just looking for a good overview of basic guitar. Though there's enough information to keep you busy well past the "basic" stage; 109 pages worth.

81. Playing Guide: A Beginner's Guide | DIRECT LINKPUBLISHER HOME

This guide is similar to the Gibson handbook, but much shorter (only 41 pages) and more keenly limited to beginner topics.

82. Electric Guitar Instructional Booklet by Ben Gowell | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

Ben Gowell is the guitar player for Paul Baloche (a successful, Christian songwriter and musician). This booklet was designed by Gowell to help electric guitar players, while focusing on contemporary Christian music styles.

83. Beginner Guitar Chords | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

Most of the chords you could think of are in this PDF.

84. Complete Guitar Chord Poster | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

Somehow this can be printed into a poster. Even if you don't do that, there's plenty of information here to digest.

85. An Essential List of Beginner Guitar Topics | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

Here you'll find a chronological list of concepts for beginners, ideal for teachers or tutors who are trying to put together a lesson plan.

86. Dotted Eighth Note Rhythms with your Delay Pedals Explained | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

This is a detailed explanation of the theory behind dotted eighth note rhythms and how to implement them on your delay pedal.

87. The 50-Part Guitar Improvement Journal | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

Essentially a highlight reel from Guitar Chalk's years past.

88. The Complete Guide to Actually Understanding Seventh Chords: DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

A detailed walk-through showing you how to understand the construction and creation of seventh chords on the guitar.

89. What's the best way to learn guitar? | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

We do our best to answer this question in full by looking at the differences, advantages and disadvantages of various guitar education topics.

90. Decreasing Writs Stress in your Left Hand | DIRECT LINK / PUBLISHER HOME

This is all about functionality and promoting good left hand posture while playing the guitar.

A Message from the Editor (a disclaimer, of sorts)

I understand that there are other websites, software, YouTube channels and articles out there that might be worthy of this list.

And if you want to let me know about them, please feel free to shoot me an email and I'll make a quick edit to include whatever you send, if in fact, I do agree with your assessment of its worthiness.

In that regard, please be aware that this is a list of things that have helped me and that should certainly be understood as somewhat subjective.

Thus my hope is that the things that have helped me, will also help you.

Once again, that's the nice thing about the internet.

We can share experiences and make learning the guitar easier for one another. That's the hopeful goal of this post.

A Caution About This List

What I've found in the past when I've read lists like this (on a number of topics) is that I get stuck trying to engage with everything that it has to offer.

Don't do that here.

This list won't help you if you keep getting distracted by the next thing.

Instead, skim through and pick out a few resources that you know will be helpful to you, then pour some time and energy into those things without worrying that you're missing out on something else.

This post isn't going anywhere, so you can always come back and look for new material.

There's enough here to stay busy for a long time.

Is there such thing as guitar-information overload?

Yes, there is.

Which is why I recommend that you take this slowly and give yourself enough time to process and absorb what you're learning and reading.

What is helpful about the internet, might also be part of what can make it frustrating and, at times, unproductive.

Because you don't just always need new information or raw facts.

Sometimes you need to figure out what to do with what you already know, something I hope Guitar Chalk can help you do. Because when I started writing "guitar content" I did what most everybody does; I wrote about chords, scales and information related to guitar.

But I quickly started to realize that raw information isn't enough.

You need to do something with all that information.

So that's what I set out to do with this site. To add application and direction to topical information.

All that to say, you should be careful with simply absorbing a bunch of facts about your instrument. Knowing and experiencing something are two entirely different things, so make sure you're doing both.

My intent is that this list, and the websites contained thereof, will help the cause.

Your Feedback

We don't support comments here mostly because when we did, it was a lot of time-consuming spam.

Where we do like to connect is over on Facebook and Twitter.

So hit us up over there and let us know what links you think should be included here for fellow guitar players to enjoy.

See you there.

Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of Kmeron

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About Robert Kittleberger

Bobby is the founder and editor of Guitar Chalk. You can get in touch with him here, or via Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.