Category Archives: Episodes

Wampler Pedals (with Brian Wampler) Ep072



Brian Wampler is the founder and CEO of Wampler Pedals. Brian joins Aaron Sefchick, Joe McMurray, and Miles Harshman to discuss the world’s largest pedalboard, his favorite guitar effects pedals, how he spends his work-days and approaches design, and guitar amplifiers.
Recently, Brian participated in breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest guitar pedalboard (with Rob Scallon and several other effects pedals companies). He tells the guys about his experience and about meeting Alex Lifeson (the guitarist of Rush).
Brian tells the guys about his favorite pedals from Wampler Pedals. The guys want to know how he spends his workdays: from breadboarding to building plug-ins to creating content for social media.
Brian gives insight into the guitar amps that he uses to test his effects pedals during the design stage. The guys also talk about the merits of running a pedal through a clean amp vs. a naturally dirty/overdriven amp.  They also talk about the virtues of amp simulators.  Brian tells the guys about his own Wampler Bravado amplifier.

Jazz Guitar and Online Success Part 2 of 2 (with Jens Larsen) Ep071



Jens Larsen is a Danish jazz guitarist who has become an internet celebrity for his YouTube lessons.  Aside from his incredible jazz guitar chops, he has posted over 700 YouTube videos, has acquired almost 150,000 YouTube subscribers, and recently released two books.  Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick sit down with Jens to talk about his journey, how to approach jazz as a player and as a teacher, musical gear, online success, practicing, composition, and recording.
 
Jens has become famous through his YouTube lessons on how to play jazz guitar.  In Part 2/2, he says that he originally started posting transcriptions of jazz solos, then began writing blogs for UltimateGuitar.com, and finally started posting videos on YouTube.  Recently he released two books, Modern Jazz Guitar Concepts and Advanced Jazz Guitar Concepts.
 
Aaron asks Jens how he approaches his practice sessions, and Jens provides an in-depth look into his practice routine.  He warms up by playing chromatically across the guitar neck in all 12 keys, he practices 7th arpeggio patterns, triads, and open-voiced triads over the entire neck, and he creates simple melodies by ear and transposes them to all 12 keys.  Then he practices his triad ideas over the chord changes of jazz tunes.  Jens practices with his metronome set on beats 2 and 4, but also experiments playing with the metronome set on unusual beats to spur rhythmic creativity.
 
Jens tells of some of his most meaningful performances as well as his dream show.  He talks about his band (Traeben), how he/they compose songs, and the differences among his three albums.
 
Finally, Jens gives us a few inside looks at his other hobbies and interests outside of music!

Jazz Guitar and Online Success Part 1 of 2 (with Jens Larsen) Ep070



Jens Larsen is a Danish jazz guitarist who has become an internet celebrity for his YouTube lessons.  Aside from his incredible jazz guitar chops, he has posted over 700 YouTube videos, has acquired almost 150,000 YouTube subscribers, and recently released two books.  Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick sit down with Jens to talk about his journey, how to approach jazz as a player and as a teacher, musical gear, online success, practicing, composition, and recording.
In Part 1 of 2, Jens tells of his years playing on the streets of Copenhagen, followed by his studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (in the Netherlands).  The guys discuss how to learn, review, and perform new jazz tunes.  Then they discuss the merits of preserving traditional musical styles vs. pursuing progressive musical styles.  Jens tells Joe and Aaron how he would approach teaching a new jazz guitar student, providing some very useful information for both teachers and players!
Next the guys move on to a look at guitar gear.  Jens talks about his guitars (notably an Ibanez AS2630), amps, and effects.

Songwriting and Composition Part 2 of 2 (with Paul Barsom) Ep069



In this episode, Aaron sits down with composer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Barsom of The Weed Garden to discuss his project’s latest release, Boy Interrupted.

Paul’s career as a composer and teacher of musical composition spans over 30 years and has influenced numbers of composition students and musical educators, including Fret Buzz The Podcast alumnus Tony Scaltz.

As a result, Tony makes a guest return to the show to join Aaron and Paul on the mic and discuss the genesis and recording of Boy Interrupted and the various styles and musical idioms the album invokes. In addition, the guys explore how composers approach creativity, musical invention, various career paths, adaptation to digital audio environments, and so much more.

Be on the lookout for Tony’s new line of skin care products, Prodigal Sun, which hits beaches across the country next summer.

Find more about Paul here:

http://paulbarsom.com/


Songwriting and Composition Part 1 of 2 (with Paul Barsom) Ep068



In this episode, Aaron sits down with composer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Barsom of The Weed Garden to discuss his project’s latest release, Boy Interrupted.

Paul’s career as a composer and teacher of musical composition spans over 30 years and has influenced numbers of composition students and musical educators, including Fret Buzz The Podcast alumnus Tony Scaltz.

As a result, Tony makes a guest return to the show to join Aaron and Paul on the mic and discuss the genesis and recording of Boy Interrupted and the various styles and musical idioms the album invokes. In addition, the guys explore how composers approach creativity, musical invention, various career paths, adaptation to digital audio environments, and so much more.

Be on the lookout for Tony’s new line of skin care products, Prodigal Sun, which hits beaches across the country next summer.

Find more about Paul here:

http://paulbarsom.com/


Amp Modeling (with Ryan Brown) Ep067



Ryan Brown of “The Great Noise” joins Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray to talk about amp modeling (the Line 6 Helix), improving live shows with technology, and social media marketing.
Ryan and his band decided to make the jump from tube amps and analogue effects pedals to all digital equipment run direct into the PA system.  He uses the Line 6 Helix Guitar Multi-effects Floor Processor, which gives him nearly infinite tonal options in one unit.  Ryan explains how the Helix uses impulse response to simulate the sound of a guitar amp, speaker, and microphone.  He also mentions some other useful tips for getting genuine sounds and feel/response from the Helix.
Aaron, Joe, and Ryan discuss studio experiences and the need to interact with the recording engineer.  Joe talks about how he uses the Digitech TRIO+ for both practice and live performance.  The guys talk about improving live shows with lighting and Ableton.
Finally, Ryan talks about social media marketing and branding.  They examine color schemes for branding, the failed Fyre Festival, short-term goals, the curation of content to show people your personality and your authenticity, and following your analytics.
Find out more about Ryan’s band, The Great Noise, at https://thegreatnoise.space/ or https://www.instagram.com/thegreatnoise/ or check out their music on iTunes.

Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar part 2 of 2 (with Don Ross) Ep066



Canadian guitarist Don Ross is a legend in the acoustic fingerstyle world.  With decades of experience, he employs modern techniques, altered tunings, and a strong melodic sense to write memorable songs.  Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray have a fun and informative conversation with Don about a wide range of topics including his musical journey, his guitars, acoustic guitar pickups, traveling with guitars, songwriting, recording, his most memorable shows (good and bad), and much more.
Part 2 of 2 begins with a discussion about Don’s approaches to songwriting.  He expands on how he uses altered tunings to solve compositional problems and expand the range of the guitar.  He talks about following song structures, thematic development, and different grooves.
Don talks about his experiences as a recording engineer, working with ProTools, and his favorite microphones and pre-amps for recording acoustic guitars.  He tells the guys about recording his wife’s (Brooke Miller’s) album at his home studio and having that album mixed by world-renowned music producer and engineer, Frank Filipetti.
Joe and Aaron ask Don about his most memorable shows.  Then Don offers some advice about making money as a musician, songwriting, and originality.  He specifically gives praise to Petteri Sariola, a young fingerstyle guitarist from Finland.  Finally Don talks about his guitar camp that he is hosting at his home in Nova Scotia from October 11-14 (http://donrossguitarweekend.com/).
Find out more about Don Ross at https://donrossonline.com/ or check out his music on any music platform.

Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar part 1 of 2 (with Don Ross) Ep065



Canadian guitarist Don Ross is a legend in the acoustic fingerstyle world.  With decades of experience, he employs modern techniques, altered tunings, and a strong melodic sense to write memorable songs.  Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray have a fun and informative conversation with Don about a wide range of topics including his musical journey, his guitars, acoustic guitar pickups, traveling with guitars, songwriting, recording, his most memorable shows (good and bad), and much more.
In part 1 of 2, Don tells Aaron and Joe about his musical upbringing in Canada and his early influences.  He talks about how his love of R&B music led him to write some songs around strong bass lines.  He also talks about how altered tunings can be used to solve compositional problems and expand the range of the guitar.
Don talks about his Beneteau guitars, and how he maintains them on tour.  Check out Fret Buzz’s interview with Marc Beneteau (Episodes 47 and 48)! Don sheds light on several different pickup systems for acoustic guitar amplification, including products from K&K and LR Baggs.  Joe asks Don how he safely travels with his guitars.
Find out more about Don Ross at https://donrossonline.com/ or check out his music on any music platform.

Jazz Vocals, Music School, Vocal Technique Part 2 of 2 (with Darden Purcell) Ep064



Dr. Darden Purcell is a jazz vocalist and the Director of Jazz Studies at George Mason University.  Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick have a wonderful time talking with Darden about her musical journey, her duties as a “Director of Jazz Studies,” how to transition to singing jazz music, and specifics on vocal technique and practice.
Part 2 of 2 is packed with useful information and tips regarding vocal technique and practice (applicable to all styles of music!).  Darden tells the guys about vocal habits such as speaking and singing on vocal fry, scooping into pitches, and falling off at the ends of words.  There is a discussion about the short careers of some singers resulting from poor vocal health.  Darden talks about how certain food and beverages affect your singing voice, and she emphasizes the importance of sleep leading up to a performance.  It is important to understand that your vocal range changes depending on the time of day and how far into a performance you are.  This is incredibly useful when choosing the keys of your songs and planning your setlist.
Darden tells Joe and Aaron about her favorite gigs, ranging from performances with symphonies to jazz gigs with great audiences.
Finally, Darden gives a ton if information regarding vocal practice.  She stresses the importance of singing with the piano and a metronome, critically analyzing the music you are singing, and keeping a practice log.  She addresses proper breathing for singing, singing long tones, singing with lip trills, and a couple other exercises to master pitch control.
 
Find out more about Darden at http://www.dardenpurcell.com/.  Find out more about George Mason’s music programs at https://music.gmu.edu/.

Jazz Vocals, Music School, Vocal Technique Part 1 of 2 (with Darden Purcell) Ep063



Dr. Darden Purcell is a jazz vocalist and the Director of Jazz Studies at George Mason University.  Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick have a wonderful time talking with Darden about her musical journey, her duties as a “Director of Jazz Studies,” how to transition to singing jazz music, and specifics on vocal technique and practice.
In part 1 of 1, Darden tells the guys about how she started singing jazz music, her experiences singing in the U.S. Air Force Band, her time working and performing in Nashville, and her experience in graduate school at the University of Illinois.  They discuss the music scenes in New Orleans, New York, and Chicago.
Darden explains her duties as the Director of Jazz Studies at George Mason.  They discuss trends in the incoming pools of students and how they are related to trends in society.  They also talk about Darden’s students and some of her teaching approaches.
Darden has released two albums, and she gives insight into her studio experiences, her influences while producing these albums, and the unintentional consequences of releasing an album with complicated arrangements (it’s hard to gig!).
 
Find out more about Darden at http://www.dardenpurcell.com/.  Find out more about George Mason’s music programs at https://music.gmu.edu/.