Affordable Practice Amp – Marshall MS-2 Micro Amp Review

The Marshall MS-2 Micro Amplifier is a very good battery powered practice amplifier and will serve you well for quick practices.

Marshall MS-2 Micro Amplifier
Marshall MS-2 Micro Amplifier

   A few years ago I was looking for a cheap battery powered amplifier to take with me on the road so I could practice my electric guitar while travelling. I really just wanted a convenient way to stay in practice for when I gigged with my live band. I came across the Marshall MS-2 Micro Amplifier during my search and I decided to give it a try. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how well this tiny amplifier filled my needs for a portable practice amp.

   The Marshall MS-2 stands a mere 5-3/4″ high and looks like a classic Marshall half-stack. The amplifier is powered by a single 9-volt battery that fits into a slot on the back of the amp and is very easy to change. The MS-2 has the Marshall logo on the front of the amplifier with a gold colored control panel. The amp has a guitar input jack, volume, tone and power/overdrive switch on the front panel. On the side it has a headphone output and a power adapter input plug if you want to use an external power adapter. You can also use the headphone out to run to a larger amplifier if you want to use the MS-2 as a pre-amp distortion box.   Continue reading “Affordable Practice Amp – Marshall MS-2 Micro Amp Review”

Practicing One Hour A Day Will Make You An Elite Musician

Practicing your instrument for one hour a day, seven days a week will make you a truly elite musician.

Joe Satriani Is An Elite Musician
Joe Satriani Is An Elite Musician

   I’ve been playing in a live band since I was 14 years old. I’ve met and played with some incredible, elite musicians over the years. I’ve always had the goal of being the absolute best musician I could possibly be. So I’ve asked a lot of musician’s over the years how they got to be so good. The answer is always the same: Practice. 

   I’ve written several posts about the topic of practicing on Live Musician Central because I’m a huge believer in the power of practice to make you a better musician. I know for a fact that people with very little natural talent are some of the best players around. The reason they’re so good is because of their work ethic when it comes to practicing their instrument. Having a talent for music and talent for playing your instrument is a blessing and will help you to become a good player. But to be a truly great player, you need to work and that means practicing.     Continue reading “Practicing One Hour A Day Will Make You An Elite Musician”

How A Handy Pocket Metronome Can Increase Your Playing Speed And Accuracy

Every musician needs a handy pocket metronome for practicing to increase their accuracy and speed.

Seiko DM70 Pocket Metronome
Seiko DM70 Pocket Metronome

  Playing in a live band can be very challenging rhythmically because the thing that really makes a live band sound great is keeping the rhythm and groove happening. It’s so important to practice to some sort of rhythm when you work on your instrument whether it be keyboards, guitar, bass or drums. I’ve written about practicing to a beat and not a metronome and I still feel that practicing to a beat is the best way to get good at playing rhythmically. Practicing to different types of beats will teach you to play in a musical groove. With that being said, there are times when you want to practice with a plain old metronome.

Continue reading “How A Handy Pocket Metronome Can Increase Your Playing Speed And Accuracy”

Standard Practice, Dress Rehearsal and Live Show Setups

Bill Likes Pepsi At Rehearsal

   I’ve been playing in bands for 27 years now and have been to lots of band practices and rehearsals. Today I’m going to talk a bit about how your band sets up for practice and gigs. I want you to think about how your band sets up during a standard band practice. I’ll bet you that you stand in some kind of circle or oval facing each other with all the amplifiers and speakers pointing at you. That’s really the standard setup for a regular band practice.

   Now think of your setup at your gigs and live shows. I’ll bet your backs are to the drummer and all your speakers and amplifiers are pointing forward. Continue reading “Standard Practice, Dress Rehearsal and Live Show Setups”

Practice With Free Metronome Online

Matrix MR-500 Quartz Metronome
Click Me To Practice!

   If you want to get stronger, faster and more accurate on your instrument then there’s no substitute for practicing with a metronome. Metronome’s are perfect for building up the muscles in your hands. Today I want to turn you on to the free online metronome at www.metronomeonline.com.

Continue reading “Practice With Free Metronome Online”

Learn Songs The Easy Way, Tascam MP-GT1

Tascam MP-GT1 Portable MP3 Guitar Trainer

   When I was first learning how to play songs by ear from the original recordings it was a huge struggle for me. I was trained to read music from a young age and playing by ear was a whole new world for me. I remember sitting on my bed and working on a song for several hours before I finally had it down. The hardest thing of all was learining how to play the guitar solos. The notes flew by so fast that I couldn’t begin to pick them out.

Continue reading “Learn Songs The Easy Way, Tascam MP-GT1”

Practicing to a beat…not a metronome.

One thing that most musicians struggle with is playing accurately in a groove. It’s a huge necessity to be able to play things on the beat especially when you’re playing with other musicians. That rhythmic pulse is what keeps us all on the same page when we’re playing together in groups. I’ve played with bass players and guitar players that have a tough time even playing an eighth-note rhythm consistently. I myself struggle to play extremely fast guitar solos on the beat from time to time and it used to be a real struggle for me until I started practicing with a metronome. The metronome did me well but boy is it boring and irritating after a while.      Continue reading “Practicing to a beat…not a metronome.”