Beat The iTunes Price Increase and Download MP3’s From Amazon.com

Beat the iTunes price increase by downloading high quality MP3’s from Amazon.com.

Download High Quality MP3's From Amazon.com
Download High Quality MP3's From Amazon.com

   As a live musician, one of the most essential tools of our trade is having a good collection of current and “greatest of all time” music. With the advent of the Internet, downloading great music has become as easy as picking a song and clicking on the download button. What’s really great for musicians playing in live bands is the ease of getting everyone in your band to download the same song. It makes things a lot easier when your band is learning songs to be able to send out a download link for the songs you’re learning. As you know, iTunes is currently the largest retailer of music in the United States. CD sales continue to slide as sales of music in downloadable digital form continue to increase.

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Fender Cyber-Twin SE and Jeff Beck Stratocaster Featured On Shufflin’ Noah Album

Listen to the Fender Cyber-Twin SE and Jeff Beck Stratocaster on the Shufflin’ Noah – “Fudgie The Dog” album.

Download "Fudgie The Dog" (a concept album)
Download "Fudgie The Dog" (a concept album)

   I get a lot of traffic on Live Musician Central for both the Fender Cyber-Twin SE Amplifier and the Fender Stratocaster. I talk about both those pieces of Fender equipment a lot because that’s what I use myself. The Cyber-Twin SE and my Fender American Deluxe Ash Stratocaster comprise the core of my current live guitar rig. I also have a home studio where I record my own original music as well as my bands Shufflin’ Noah and In Stereo’s original music. Needless to say, my Cyber-Twin SE and Stratocasters are on a lot of my recordings. I also get a lot of traffic on my Fender Cyber-Twin SE custom patch-preset download page from Cyber-Twin SE users looking for quality sound patches for their amplifiers. I have short sound clips of my custom Cyber-Twin SE sound patches on the download page but I haven’t posted up a lot of complete songs that highlight the way these preset patches sound within the confines of a band. Today I’m going to point you to an album I recorded with my band Shufflin’ Noah that features the Fender Cyber-Twin SE amplifer and my ’98 Fender Jeff Beck Signature Stratocaster using my custom programmed preset patches exclusively for every guitar sound on the album.

   The album by Shufflin’ Noah is called “Fudgie The Dog” and it’s a concept album detailing the life and misadventures of a German Shorthair dog named Fudgie. The entire album came out of a 2-hour jam session where we simply recorded everything we played. The only discussion or planning that went into creating the album were short 5 to 10 minute discussions about what Fudgie would do next. Then we’d create the next song complete with music, melody and lyrics right there on the spot. Sometimes the playing is loose and sometimes the songs are just okay, but there are times when we catch that special musical magic that comes from four musicians being completely in synch with one another. If you haven’t downloaded the album yet, you can go to the main download page to download it. Just follow this link ->Fudgie The Dog Download Page.

   Once you have a copy of the album you can hear for yourself how great the Fender Cyber-Twin SE and Jeff Beck Stratocaster sound on the recording without any overdubs or added studio effects. Below is a track-by-track breakdown of the custom preset sound patches that I programmed for the Cyber-Twin SE and used on each track. The preset patch is noted in italics for each track.  If I have already posted the sound on Live Musician Central, you can click the name to go to that sound patches download page. You can hear sound clips of every track by checking out the Shufflin’ Noah Releases “Fudgie The Dog” On Live Musician Central page.

    “Shufflin’ Noah – Fudgie The Dog” – Cyber-Twin SE Track-by-Track Sound Patch Breakdown

  • Track 1 – Fudgie The Dog  (Intro) I used the “LMC Twang” patch which has not been posted.
  • Track 2 – Fudgie Goes Home LMC Stack Chorus
  • Track 3 – Discipline LMC Roar
  • Track 4 – Chasin’ A Bitch LMC Roar
  • Track 5 – Discipline Part II “LMC Super ’66” patch which has not been posted.
  • Track 6 – You Are My Buttercup LMC Warm Triple
  • Track 7 – Freedom LMC Hi-Gain ’66
  • Track 8 – Prison LMC Matt’s Noise
  • Track 9 – Comin’ Home For Christmas LMC Warm Rain

   And there you have it, a listing of all the sound preset patches used on the Fudgie The Dog album. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed creating the album. -Matt-

Live Musicians In New York City

There are some great places to play and make a living as a musician in New York City.

The Ebony Hillbillies at NYC Subway
The Ebony Hillbillies at NYC Subway

  I took a 3-day trip to New York City last week just to hang out, take in the sights and get a feel for how live musicians worked in the Big Apple. It was a great trip and I had a lot of fun seeing the usual tourist attractions like the Statue Of Liberty, Empire State Building and, of course, the Hard Rock Cafe. I also took in a couple of Broadway shows seeing “Wicked” as well as “Phantom Of The Opera”, both were truly excellent. As I made my way around the city I took particular notice of all the live musicians everywhere I went. There really seem to be a lot of places to play music in New York City so today I’m going to talk about a couple.

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Tips For Buying Used Musical Instruments On eBay

You can find incredible deals on musical instruments on eBay. Use these tips and tricks to find that perfect deal.

Buy That American Stratocaster On eBay
Buy The Fender American Stratocaster On eBay

   This week on Live Musician Central I’ve been doing several posts on the recent Fender price increase. In case you weren’t aware, Fender musical instruments increased prices by as much as 30% at the beginning of March, 2009. This will have a big effect on all live performing musicians who use Fender products. I wrote a post earlier this week about how the Fender price increase affects working musicians. These instruments are the tools of our trade and I personally like using good tools but I don’t want to spend every penny of my earnings on them.  That’s why I’ve been putting up posts this week with links for buying Fender guitars and Fender amplifiers on eBay. Buying used instruments on eBay is a great way to pick up some excellent instruments for decent prices. I’ve bought and sold a lot of equipment on eBay over the years and I’ve learned some tips and tricks for getting decent deals from good sellers on eBay. Today we’re going to discuss some tips and guidelines for buying used instruments on eBay.

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Fender Price Increase And How It Affects Working Musicians

Matt discusses the effect of the Fender 25% price increase on the average working musician.

Matt Plays His Gibson Les Paul Custom
Matt Plays His Gibson Les Paul Custom

   Yes fellow musicians it’s true, Fender musical instruments has raised prices on their professional level instruments by approximately 25%. That means the American Deluxe Stratocaster you’ve been saving up to buy for $1249.00 is now going to cost you $1599.00. That’s quite a painful price increase when you’re saving up your hard earned gig money to buy a professional level Stratocaster. Is it fair for Fender to do this? Of course it is, this is America and you can charge whatever the market is willing to bear. As always, it’s the choice of the musician’s to buy or not to buy and it’s going to be very interesting to see how this is going to affect buying choices.

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Oscar Awards Show 2009 Review

The 2009 Oscar Awards Show had some funny moments, some sad moments and very little live musical performances.

Kate Winslet, Sean Penn, Penelope Cruz
Kate Winslet, Sean Penn, Penelope Cruz

   So why am I reviewing the Oscar Awards Show on Live Musician Central? For the live musical performances of course! That and the fact that many musicians have great careers in the movie-making industry. This years awards had quite a few musical numbers in it. In fact the show started off with Hugh Jackman singing a full musical number doing a spoof of all the years movies that was really funny. Hugh has a surprisingly good voice and it looked like he was carrying it live. As you know, I just can’t stand to watch lip syncing. Anne Hathaway got up there with him and did quite a good job singing as well. Hugh was the real surprise though and I liked his finishing line of the opening number, “I’m Wolverine!” that was classic.

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2009 Grammy Award Show Review

Review of the 2009 Grammy Awards show.

  

Katy Perry - Where's she hiding that banana?
Katy Perry - Where's she hiding that banana?

   In recent years I had given up on watching the Grammy awards so I was determined to watch this years show. The one thing that I’ve always enjoyed about the Grammy awards is the live performances by the nominees. As a live musician myself I enjoy seeing who can pull it off and who can’t. I always find it interesting that the weakest performances of the night come from the current years pop sensation. This year the weak performance award has to go to Katy Perry. She’s sort of cute but she has to hate the fact that her big hit is about a faux lesbian encounter. She looked quite uninspired although I did laugh out loud when she came riding down to the stage in a gigantic banana! Ha ha! Phallic symbol alert for Katy. I’m sure it was intentional.

   Another performance that had me scratching my head and saying “What the hell?” was the pairing of the Jonas Brothers with music legend Stevie Wonder. I’m sure glad Stevie is blind because watching the Jonas Brothers pretend to be rock gods was stomach turning. I felt so sorry for the poor Les Paul Custom guitar that Jonas boy was beating on and pretending to be playing. It was sad really. Miley Cyrus was also quite irritating although Taylor Swift sounded quite good. There’s something about Miley’s voice that’s grating to me.

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Should I Get Guitar Lessons?

Matt Plays Guitar Like A Keyboard

   I get asked this question all the time “Should I get guitar lessons?” and it’s a question that’s quite tricky to answer. As soon as people find out that I’m a performing live musician they ask if I had music lessons. The reason these questions are tricky is because I did take music lessons in general but I’ve only taken about 4 formal guitar lessons in my life and that was because it was required in my college music studies. I’m a self taught guitarist, it’s my best instrument and I play guitar professionally in two bands. So when I tell people, yes they should get guitar lessons, it’s hard to justify formal guitar lessons from my personal experience since I never really had them. I’m going to answer the, should I get guitar lessons, question today on the blog.

   The answer is different for everyone and it depends on what other musical training you’ve had. Let’s start off easy, if you’ve never had any musical training on any other instrument then yes, you should definitely get guitar lessons right now and hang in there taking the lessons until you have a good command of the guitar and a really good grasp of guitar theory and music theory. Continue reading “Should I Get Guitar Lessons?”

I’m Thankful For Music

   Thanksgiving week is upon us and I was just thinking about how thankful I am to be a musician and for all the incredible music that we have available to us. It’s really a great time to be a Live Musician with all the fantastic technology available to use in the creation of new music. The digital age has given us the ability to build affordable and extremely powerful digital audio workstations. Computer and audio interface hardware is very affordable and there are some fantastic software packages that give us unprecedented control over our music. It really is a great time to be a musician so here are some things I’m thankful for to celebrate this Thanksgiving.

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In Memoriam – Mitch Mitchell Of The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Mitch Mitchell was essential to creating the sound that Jimi Hendrix was after. Todays post on Live Musician Central is in tribute to him.

John "Mitch" Mitchell, July 9, 1947 – November 12, 2008

   The world lost another legendary live musician and rock pioneer on November 12, 2008 when Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell was found deceased in his room at the Benson Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon. He was 62 years old which still seems far too young to die. It’s a sad day indeed as Mitchell was an integral part of the music behind the great Jimi Hendrix.

   Mitch Mitchell was one third of the great rock trio that made up the Jimi Hendrix Experience. His drumming style was a great example of jazz/rock fusion. He would switch between a traditional jazz drum grip and a matched rock style grip when he played. His playing was very active and he had a great feel for filling the space around Jimi’s lead guitar and vocal work. When Jimi would take a guitar solo Mitch would have a very active interplay with the guitar on the drums. It’s really a pleasure to listen to Mitch and Jimi play music together.     Continue reading “In Memoriam – Mitch Mitchell Of The Jimi Hendrix Experience”