Tag Archives: guitar effects

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.

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.

Guitar Gear (with Blake Wyland of The Tone Mob) Ep049

What is your guitar-gear nirvana?  Is it a trip to your local guitar shop, a trip to NAMM, or perusing the internet for video demonstrations?  Maybe for your gear curiosities you should also be looking to podcasts, as there are a few that do a great job of exploring this ever-growing industry.  On episode 49 of Fret Buzz the Podcast, Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray bring in Blake Wyland, the host of the Tone Mob podcast and a co-host of the Chasing Tone podcast (alongside Brian Wampler of Wampler Pedals).
Blake tells Aaron and Joe about his background and how he got into the inner workings of guitars, amps, pedals, etc.
The guys have an interesting discussion about how a new guitarist should get started finding the proper gear to achieve their desired tone(s).  Blake recommends starting with an amp simulator/amp-in-the-box to find the “base” amp sound(s) that you like.  There is a big difference between the sounds of amps made by Fender, Marshall, Vox, etc.  Blake then recommends getting a dirt pedal (overdrive or distortion) followed by a reverb pedal and a delay pedal.
This leads to talk about preferences for using a clean amp and getting your overdrive/distortion from pedals versus driving your amp (turning it up enough for it to naturally compress and overdrive) and using pedals to shape or refine that natural distortion.  This obviously leads the guys into the subject of hearing protection!
Blake talks about the music industry and how pedal builders tend to share a comradery and a mutual geekiness.
Blake tells the guys about his top episodes of the Tone Mob, including interviews with Robert Keeley, Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem, Joel Korte of Chase Bliss Audio, and Richard Hoover of Santa Cruz Guitars.
Next, Blake tells Aaron and Joe about his pedalboard (which is always changing).  He talks about his go-to pedals including the Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive, the Emma Electronic PisdiYAUWot, the TomKat Green Muffer Fuzz, the Dr. Scientist Atmosphere, and the SolidGoldFX Electroman Delay.
Blake also talks about amps, from the Chris Benson (a local Portland builder) “Vincent” to the Sunn Beta “Lead” to the Fender “Deluxe Reverb” and “Vibrolux.”
The conversation turns to building your own pedals and the large amount of labor (soldering!) it takes to build pedals, which is why they cost so much.  There is talk of Gibson’s bankruptcy, low-end Gibson versus high-end Epiphone guitars, and profiling amps/amp modeling.  The episode ends with a dazzling tour of Blake’s studio, filled with many beautiful guitars and amps, and an obscene number of effects pedals!
Be sure to check out the Fret Buzz The Podcast YouTube channel to see the video.
Check out the Tone Mob at www.tonemob.com or wherever you get your podcasts.

Seattle, Lead Guitar, Writing and Recording an Album Part 2 of 2 (with Brent Lyons of Solving Sounds) Ep043

In Part 2 of 2, Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick continue their conversation with Brent Lyons of the “Solving Sounds” podcast. They talk about the process of writing and recording an album, the popular music scene, and the way that society consumes music.

Brent tells us about his approach to writing and recording an album from start to finish. He writes songs in batches, with a focus on the overall sequencing and journey of the album (think Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”). The guys discuss the virtues of creating music for art versus promotion. Brent talks about how he writes individual songs – using different instruments to create the main hooks. The guys hash out creativity in the studio, including working with engineers who have songwriting/arranging input, using different equipment for different tones, and using Ableton and MIDI to spur creativity.

Finally, Brent, Aaron, and Joe talk about the state of the overall music scene and how it is influenced by the ways that the general public consumes music. With the lack of new band cultivation by major record labels, the legendary bands of the past have been elevated to even higher statuses, and reunion tours and tribute bands have gained momentum.

Check out Solving Sounds on your favorite podcasting app or at:

Seattle, Lead Guitar, Writing and Recording an Album Part 1 of 2 (with Brent Lyons of Solving Sounds) Ep042

In Part 1 of 2, Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick are joined by Brent Lyons of the “Solving Sounds” podcast to discuss his podcast, the Seattle music scene, approaches to lead guitar and music theory, and guitar effects.
Brent tells the guys about the different sub-scenes in Seattle, from indie rock to heavy sludge rock to folk and acoustic.  He also talks about the transforming landscapes within the scene, including old venues closing down due to gentrification, and the challenge of “pay-to-play” gigs.
The guys talk about Brent’s Solving Sounds podcast, its release schedule, and some of its memorable moments.
The episode ends with an in-depth discussion on approaches to playing lead guitar, learning music theory, and Brent’s favorite guitar effects pedals.
Check out Solving Sounds on your favorite podcasting app or at:

Mods for Guitar, Amps, Pedals and Gear Part 2 of 2 (with Guest Host, Miles Harshman) Ep031

In part 2 of our discussion with Miles Harshman, Miles continues telling us about being a student at Berklee College of Music: his famous roommate, the ensembles available to students, etc.

Then we really dig into the details of modding guitars, amps, and pedals. Modding is a way to get new sounds out of the equipment that you already have by changing physical components of that equipment. Miles shares a wealth of information on how to change/improve your gear by changing out capacitors, rectifier tubes, pre-amp tubes, and power-amp tubes, speakers, etc. Did you know that changing out a rectifier tube in your amp can cause it to naturally break up sooner (for more natural overdrive at more reasonable volumes) or later (for more clean headroom).

Miles also helps to clear up the mystery revolving around biasing tube amps. Please keep in mind that any work involving the internal components of a tube amp can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing, even if the amp is off and unplugged.

The more you learn about your equipment, the more you can get the most out of it. Even things as simple as knowing when your amp’s tubes are going bad can make a huge difference to your sound on stage or in the practice room.