WELCOME TO SKILL SWEETENERS
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.
WHAT A WAY TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY GUITAR – YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO READ MUSIC…MY KIND OF LEARNING TOOL
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: http://www.jackaboutguitars.com/guitar-bug-bit-me-big-time)
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!
BACK TO CAPO 2 FOR MAC
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