Who doesn’t enjoy the chance to sweeten one’s skills?  No matter what you’re into, what you enjoy working, or playing at, what you do for a living, whatever.  Whenever one has the opportunity to sweeten his or her skills in that endeavor, it’s usually a pretty cool happening thing to do.  It’s always been a fun thing to have a little bit of an edge going with something that you like to pride yourself on.


This section of Jackaboutguitars is the place to find information that is aimed at helping take YOU to the next level, regardless of where you presently are with your guitar related skills.  In other words, the opportunity to have your Skills Sweetened will hopefully be found right here for you.  Whether you’re a beginner, an all around player, or even the guy who’s been around the block so many times that he’s dizzy and miles ahead of everyone else, resources will be provided here that should hopefully help stir up the BEAST WITHIN by showing some of the cool things out there that are available to YOU.




Chris Liscio has come up with a great software program that is just PURE GENIUS. No, it’s not brand new as it’s been out for a little while, but I’ve got the latest version, Capo 2 for Mac, and have heard more than just a few times how cool it really is. Capo can actually help musicians to learn how to play by ear. Without a doubt, I believe CAPO could be called a guitarist’s best friend.


This is so cool that I had to borrow this from the CAPO website: “Along the way, we’ve received many accolades, including two Apple Design Awards for our products Capo and FuzzMeasure. Our software is recognized as some of the best in the industry, and we strive to maintain that reputation.” That says plenty.


Most players, even if they have never played with a physical capo, pretty much know how one works. The idea is that one can raise the key of a song by simply moving the capo up the neck.


For those who are just starting out and don’t know what a physical capo does, it’s kind of like this: playing a song in the key of G is a pretty basic kind of deal. If one wants to play that same song in the key of A without going through all of the hassle of transposing the chords to make the song work in the key of A, it’s as simple as putting the capo on at the second fret, and playing the song the same way as if one were playing in the key of G. However, the song is now in the key of A as the capo has done all of the work for you and made everything that much easier.


With CAPO from SUPER ULTRA MEGA GROOVY, Chris Liscio has in a sense, managed to do the same type of thing with software, but it really kind of isn’t the same thing at all, and, oh yeah, and did I mention it’s only about a thousand times better! This program is unbelievable. Before I get into the meat of it, (or even better, certified organic, non GMO, Vegan great stuff – much healthier for you than the meat with what they feed the animals these days – unless your talking free range, but that’s another story altogether) about CAPO, I’m going to run you back a few decades when I was coming up on guitar to help put things a little more in perspective for people who may be coming from a different place & time, like I did. You see, not everyone who is a guitar player came up with the internet.

1964 was a different time than today to be learning to play the guitar. The Beatles were what was happening and just about every young kid or teenager saw what these young guitar playing guys could do to the ladies. Consequently, every guy I knew wanted a guitar(aka girl magnet) and wanted to learn how to play it (the guitar).


Some younger players probably can’t even imagine a time when the Internet didn’t exist. It was a bit tougher years ago as access to a lot of things was a bit more difficult. The only chord book that I had was a little booklet I got which came with my 1/2 size fully tunable plastic guitar. So you can imagine the chords in this booklet were pretty basic ones.


Mom & Dad were wise. They really did know what they were doing. A fine example is the fact that they bought me this 1/2 size fully tunable plastic guitar with the little chord booklet and a few songs in it to make sure that I really wanted to learn how to play. I did learn to play well enough that my rendition of “Home On The Range” was quite recognizable and this allowed me the opportunity to graduate to that 3/4 size expensive wooden guitar I had been eyeing every time that we went to Sears, Roebuck, and Company. (For a bit more information see:



We also had our brand new state of the art 1965 High Fidelity Silvertone Stereo Record Player. Mom & Dad were oh so good to us. With this unit ‘we was bad!’


One thing that was difficult in those days was the fact that the standard A440 might not have been fully implemented yet in all recording studios. Now whether or not this was the reason, maybe tape speed fluctuation, or even instruments being tuned just a bit off from one song to the next, it always seemed that tuning might be only good for one or two songs on an album at best before the whole guitar had to be re tuned again.


If that wasn’t enough, there was also the constant lifting of the tone arm stylus to play a certain section of the song again and again to get the right chords. Sometimes one might miss by as much as 30 or more seconds of getting the stylus in the right place, or only to miss the intended part by seconds only to totally miss it by the time one fumbled with his guitar to get his fingers properly in place on the fingerboard. It was always hit and miss.

Dealing with lead parts was even worse. I don’t remember how long it took me to nail “Walk, Don’t Run” by The Ventures. Fast forward a couple of years later when I was getting better and more daring. The Doors were hot at the time and their first album had a great song with a cool guitar solo in it. Learning the solo to “Light My Fire” really took some doing for a 14 year old kid with an album that wasn’t his and the turntable method described above.


(Sorry about the album Al. I hope I didn’t scratch it too much.) I guess I should also mention that a guitar my other older brother was using that belonged to a friend came into play during earlier years was truly enjoyed by that same kid that wasn’t supposed to touch it – ever, kinda like the albums. (Sorry Ger. By the way, I loved Dave’s Capitol Beatles’ Second Album.) But I did have the best of both worlds, borrowed albums and guitars that shouldn’t have been touched by me. Oh, the grass was so much greener and this kid loved mowing it!




CAPO has certainly changed what players had to endure when I was coming up on the guitar. It is EXTREMELY easy to use. All one has to do nowadays is simply drop an MP3 onto CAPO. Any MP3! The speed can be adjusted 1.5x, 1x, 3/4x, 1/2x, and 1/4x. The totally amazing thing about this is that this can be done without changing the pitch. That’s right. The pitch is not affected in the least! Imagine being able to slow a lead guitar part down to 1/4 speed and maintain the pitch so that you are in tune with the song. This is truly fantastic.


Here’s something just as amazingly cool as the pitch not changing when slowing the speed down. You also do have the ability to change the pitch with CAPO for whatever reason that you desire.


CAPO allows you the freedom to learn your music from any song that you have in your library, or anybody else’s for that matter. It displays the name of the song and includes the album artwork. How cool is that?


CAPO also has an effects portion built right in which gives you the ability to apply vocal reduction to better allow you to isolate the parts of the song that you want to learn. You can also use the 10 band equalizer to sweeten things up as well as having control to modify the panning.


Once your music is adjusted with Capo, you can also export the files to your iPod to take with you! Imagine being able to learn parts and practice them with your modified CAPO files just about anywhere you’d like with your iPod.


CAPO even has a series of tutorials ranging from “Basic Training For Your Ears” to “Learning Solos”.




CAPO has a built in super advanced chord detection system that will help you to figure out easily just what chords you may have been guessing at.


You can even tab out your songs by tracing atop the spectrogram which will cause CAPO to automatically generate tablature for you.


CAPO also puts the use of markers at your finger tips to allow

ease in marking verses, choruses, bridges, sections of solos, whatever. You can use the markers as you wish.


Something way extra cool here: CAPO even allows you to do looping which is really great for figuring out the baddest parts of the toughest solos. This is one place where the speed slow down control really shines and you can use it to the utmost.


CAPO really brings to light an old saying, combined with a few new words, which in turn creates this statement for the newb guitarists of today that don’t have CAPO: “If I had CAPO, I could have been somebody.”


Don’t let this happen to you. Save your coffee money and “Be Somebody.” CAPO will allow you to do just that. CAPO 2 For MAC is well worth many times the price you will pay for it. It’s truly affordable for what you get. Well worth the small investment for a wealth of learning. The cost is only $49.99 for your Mac and if you have an iPhone, that app is only $19.99. At any price it’s a definite steal. You’ll be so glad you bought this little gem and sorry that you hadn’t purchased it sooner!


Many thanks to Chris Liscio and CAPO 2 For MAC as this great program has already helped me to move up to that next plateau. Chris & CAPO 2 For MAC are AWESOME. – Jack






Have YOU ever wanted to take guitar lessons that didn’t break the bank and were available to YOU at ANY time of the day or night, whenever YOU felt like playing or learning something new?


iPerform3D makes that dream come true right in YOUR own home.  IMAGINE that…


Anytime that YOU are ready.  Not on someone elses’ schedule.  Not at some hourly rate that makes YOUR eye twitch because someone has to charge YOU that much because he or she has to eat too.


iPerform3D gives YOU the FREEDOM to call the shots when YOU want to learn.  The farther along I get on this treadmill I call life, I seem to appreciate anything & everything that allows ME the FREEDOM to call the SHOTS on MY TERMS.  iPerform3D is the guitar instructor that YOU control and at a very affordable price.  How cool is that?  YOU are in CHARGE.


iPerform3D came about as the result of the coming together of a professional guitarist, a computer programmer, and a person knowledgeable in finance and venture capital, who got to talking about guitar playing, guitars, and the process of learning how to play guitar better.  Rumor has it that beer may have been involved (heh,heh).  (It’s just a rumor).


The small company is made up of musicians and people who know technology.  In fact, a video gamer in the group is the  one responsible for suggesting the revolutionary approach to capturing the guitar lessons using the same type of technology that is used in video games and even in some movies.  iPerform3D has become one of the fastest growing guitar teaching systems available online today!


Steve Trovato is quite the guitar guy.  Along with being a multi talented player and performer, he’s responsible for creating all kinds of instructional material over the past 20 years and is also a professor at USC who even makes time to teach privately.


Steve is the man responsible for creating all of the lessons at iPerform3D.  He wants to be sure that iPerform3D delivers the best lessons that can be had anywhere.  Steve has taught for almost 20 years at the Musician’s Institute of Technology and is also a faculty member of the Studio Jazz Department at USC.  If all of this wasn’t enough to keep one man busy, Steve also finds time for recording gigs, teaching, and concert tours.  Oh yes, and I just realized I didn’t mention that besides authoring 21 books on guitar, he has also written numerous articles for Guitar One, Guitar Player, and Axe and Guitar Club.


Here’s what Steve has to say about iPerform3D, “iPerform3D was created to provide affordable, accessible guitar instruction, allowing for a personal experience without the time and financial hurdles that often stop musicians mid-effort. With iPerform’s patented technology, it’s the ultimate resource for musicians wanting on-demand instruction in an easy-to-follow format.”


Steve directs call curriculum development and iPerform3D’s note worthy instructors include some of the finest professionals in the industry.  Here’s a list and some of the accomplishments of your instructors at iPerform3D:

ANDY ABAD  –  STUDIO AND TOURING EXPERIENCE: Clay Aiken, Marc Anthony, Backstreet Boys, Bonnie Raitt, Rick Martin, and the American Idol 2 Arena.


BARBARA LEONI – STUDIO AND TOURING EXPERIENCE: The California Girls, playing for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and sharing the stage with The Beach Boys.

EMILIO CUETO – STUDIO AND TOURING EXPERIENCE: Freelance and session guitarist, Shelia E, La India (Sony Intl.), Obie Bermudez (EMI Latin), Bate que Bate & Julio Iglesias Jr.Freelance and session guitarist, Shelia E, La India (Sony Intl.), Obie Bermudez (EMI Latin), Bate que Bate & Julio Iglesias Jr.

GARY MELVIN – STUDIO AND TOURING EXPERIENCE: Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Tom Scott, Dan Haerle, Buddy Childers and Paris Escovedo.

HOWIE SIMON – STUDIO AND TOURING EXPERIENCE: Alcatrazz feat. Graham Bonnet, Jeff Scott Soto (Trans Siberian Orchestra, ex-Journey/ Yngwie Malmsteen), Nelson (and Scrap Metal), Talisman.

JACO CARACO – STUDIO AND TOURING EXPERIENCE: Tyler Hilton, Aly and Aj, Bethany Joy Lenz, various TV/Film recordings and TV shows including Jay Leno, Tony Danza, & MTV’s TRL.

MICHAEL TURNER – STUDIO AND TOURING EXPERIENCE: Solo artist, The Breed, Battery, Gary Valenciano, and Side A. Best Rock Guitarist at NU107 Rock Awards in 2000.

TARIQ AKONI – STUDIO AND TOURING EXPERIENCE: Josh Groban and Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston (Musical Director), Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Huey Lewis and The News, Leann Rimes, Rob Thomas, and Joss Stone.




iPerform3D is a revolutionary 21st century method of online guitar instruction that uses MoCap360™  Technology.  MoCap360™ is the method of digitizing that is used in video games.   That’s the same type of technology used in movies like Avatar and Beowulf.


Each iPerform3D lesson starts with a real instructor who leads off the first part of the lesson in a video introduction.  Shortly after, the digital avatar takes over.  In the animated portion of the lesson, you can move the angle of view to almost anywhere that you like.  You can zoom, rotate, slow down, and even loop any portion of the lesson once you are in the animated mode.


There is even tablature available for most of the lessons and a backing track is also included so that you can play what you have learned in the lesson along with the backing track.  This program is great for mastering different techniques in strumming and hammering on,  as well as learning hundreds of different rhythms, riffs and solos.


Here’s a simple, brief explanation of how the digital avatars are created: The guitar instructors put on special skinsuits that are covered with hundreds of detectable dots.  Their hands alone were covered with over 100 of these special dots to record the intricacies of finger movements in great detail.



Each instructor was filmed inside a cage surrounded by some 50 motion capture cameras, including many that were placed at various angles overhead.

New guitars were cut up with saws and routers so that the dots could be put in places where the cameras could actually record movements in areas where one would normally not be able to view from and also even underneath the hands of the instructors.  This allows the view to be seen from right above, right next to, and my favorite, from BEHIND the neck looking through a clear neck with frets, strings, and fingers visible.


This part of the program put it over the top for me.  It is very cool.  The view can be placed just about anywhere, even at the point of actually seeing where the fingers are moving from the instructor’s point of view.  The speed can also be slowed down without affecting the pitch or tempo.  No instructor alive would be comfortable with a student getting in this close to see just what’s going on, let alone even allow it.


Here are some videos to help give you a better idea of what iPerform3D is all about.









Paul Conn, who’s my contact at iPerform3D and the iPerform3D Support Team Contact has this to say,

“And it gets better – you’ll receive other free lessons, jam tracks, tools, etc. right in your email inbox…just for signing up.

I hear from customers all the time who report they’ve learned more from iPerform3D in their first few weeks than they did with any other method in the prior year.  So check out your free 3D lesson today and start taking your chops to the next killer level faster and easier than ever before.

Hope that helps and we’ll talk soon…”
Paul Conn


As I’ve been playing guitar for some time now, I know that there’s always room for improvement in whatever style I enjoy playing.  I have found iPerform3D to be a great tool for accomplishing just that.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is wanting to take your playing to the next level, regardless of where you might be with your skill level.  It’s a must.


Here’s the link that will take you right to iPerform3D  where you can get 4 free iPerform3D lessons.  It’s really worth your time to go there and check it out.   I hope that you enjoy it at least half as much as I have.  Here’s to YOUR future.  And Paul, my thanks to you and all of the wonderful people at iPerform3D for putting out such a killer product.         –  Jack



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