Friday, December 31, 2010

FREE Guitar Lessons to Kick Off 2011!

Barry Peterson at Russo's
If you are an adult and would like to finally have the chance to take guitar lessons, we have GREAT NEWS! Monmouth County Library, 125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan, NJ is offering FREE beginner classes for adults starting in February 2011! These classes have been offered at other branches in 2010 but they are now coming to the Library Headquarters!

Students must be available to attend all 4 sessions which will be held on Wednesdays - February 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd 2011. You also have your choice of two time slots:

The first class is 6 pm to 7 pm and the second is 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Your instructor is Justin Miller. This four-part workshop will teach you a lot of the basics: guitar tuning, restringing, tuning keys and note structure. Students are requested to bring in a song that they would like to learn to play. This workshop is for the TRUE beginner with no formal guitar instruction. Bring an acoustic or electric guitar as either can be accommodated in the practice room.
Registration is limited and ends on Friday, January 28th, 2011. Please call the Reference Desk to register: 732-431-7222. If you've ever wanted to have real guitar lessons but just couldn't, 2011 is YOUR year! I can't tell you how much joy playing an instrument has brought me. It can do the same for you so come on, sign up! You can also see what other FREE programs, activities and concerts the Monmouth County Library branches have to offer by checking out the: MCL Online Events Schedule.

Want some more FREE guitar stuff from Planet Waves & C.F. Martin Guitar? Don't forget to enter Eclectic Sound's UPDATED 2010 Holiday Guitar Gear Give-Away! Deadline for entry is MIDNIGHT December 14th 2010 so hurry!

Need to brush up on your guitar playing skills? Hal Leonard publishes music and instruction books for every level of player. Check out some of their excellent titles and be the star of your holiday celebrations!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

NEW Sanyo Pedal Juice Review

The NEW SANYO PEDAL JUICE can power a whole pedalboard worth of effects without an AC connection. Here it is firing up a Planet Waves Tru Strobe Pedal Tuner with ease but it can handle a whole chain of boxes. A rechargeable, clean 9 Volt power source for your effects pedals. Freedom!

One of problems most musicians have when they tour is too many cords and cables to and from the effects board. While many larger, professional venues have AC outlets on stage, others such as coffee houses, civic centers or churches often have you fending for yourself. If you are doing an outdoor concert, you'll find many of them rely on gasoline powered generators.

Now while most effect pedals can accommodate batteries, you're always worried if the Duracells are going to be enough to get you through your set. Also, if you use something like a drum & bass machine, (I use a BOSS DR-3 on the road and the DR-880 in the studio), well those are going to suck even MORE juice than your stompboxes. Believe me there's nothing worse than having an important piece of gear like that die on you during a performance. Even with something as substantial as my Voodoo Lab Pedal Power II, I'm still reliant on a nearby AC outlet to pull it off.

I've probably spent a small fortune on batteries for my effects only to have them fail at some critical point. There are also several noteworthy low wattage "lunch box" amps that run on batteries such as the Roland Mobile Cube Battery - Powered Stereo Guitar Combo Amp. At only 5 watts, it needs a 9 volt power source so the Sanyo Pedal Juice can power that too. Also Ernie Ball has just come out with a Marshall Gig Bag Amp. This portable Gig Bag amp also uses 9 volts via batteries or an adapter. Imagine being able to take your rig anywhere and plug into a mini amp in the park, jam session or guitar class all with no worries about an AC outlet?

The Sanyo Pedal Juice can power two separate effects as shown here with the TC Helicon Voicetone Create XT and the BOSS DR-3 drum & bass machine. My T.C. Helicon Create XT and Harmony G pedals don't have an on & off switch. The KBC-9V3U includes an ON/OFF power switch which allows me to easily to turn the power of all connected music effects devices ON or OFF with the press of a single button. This is convenient since many effects devices do not include their own ON/OFF switch and must be manually unplugged from AC power.

The power levels are even and consistent with the Sanyo Pedal Juice with no drops or fluctuations. This unit will drive your pedalboard for up to 50 hours depending on the devices you have plugged in. The Sanyo Pedal Juice also holds a charge extremely well. We charged it up to full power and after a week, plugged it in. It was still at 100% capacity. The color coded lights tell you when the power is at its peak or getting low, something batteries don't do. The MSRP for the Pedal Juice is $199.99 and the Street Price is $149.99. Here are additional specs on the Sanyo Pedal Juice KBC - 9V3U:

  • Power Multiple Effects Pedals - all at the same time
  • 9V Lithium-Ion battery featuring SANYO eneloop technology
  • Up to 50 hours of continuous, quiet, clean, stable power – from the first note to the last
  • Eliminates AC ground loops - so your tone comes through loud and clear
  • Two 9V DC outputs - power multiple devices; pedals, multi-effect units, and portable recorders
  • 3-stage LED indicator – provides power level status
  • Single on/off button – no need to unplug pedals
  • Rechargeable hundreds of times – saves money and the environment
  • Water and shock resistant - JIS IPX3 compliant water resistant enclosure
  • Fully recharges in only 3.5 hours - via AC adaptor (included)
  • Same footprint as standard effects pedal (2.5” W x 4.7”D x 1.7”H)
  • Easy setup

The Wrap

The best thing about the Sanyo Pedal Juice is its impact on the environment. We dispose of billions of batteries each year when they should be recycled. This can't be good for the earth and if we are going to be responsible stewards, this is a great place to start! Now for the musician, you will find a new freedom in the studio and on the road as you no longer have to place your pedals in close proximity to an outlet. I've been able to place my effects where I want them on stage and in the recording studio. This makes a big difference in my playing comfort and accessibility to the pedals. Another perk is that since you are not plugged in to an AC outlet, you avoid those annoying ground loops. Your sound comes through pure and clear. Just the thing you want on your recording or live performance! Look for the Sanyo Pedal Juice and other jaw dropping stuff to be featured on Eclectic Sound TV's Best Guitar Gear for 2011 Video! The Sanyo Pedal Juice KBC - 9V3U is available online from Musician's Friend, Sam Ash or at your local Guitar Center.

Don't forget! Enter the 2010 Holiday Guitar Gear Give-Away before Midnight December 14th 2010 to win fabulous guitar accessories from Planet Waves & C.F. Martin Guitar!

One U.S. winner will receive a set of KISS Collections Leather Guitar Strap with matching Picks, a Planet Waves Custom Pro Guitar Cable & Adapter and a set of C.F. Martin Acoustic Phosphor Bronze Guitar Strings in Light & Medium!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Studio Side: Audio Technica's AT4081 Ribbon Mic

Audio Technica's 4081 Ribbon Mic brings a new dimension in clarity and airiness to recording studio tracks. Amazingly versatile on instrumental as well as vocal tracks!

AT- 4081 Bidirectional Phantom Powered Ribbon Microphone, MSRP $895.00

We were looking for an all around, workhorse of a ribbon microphone for the studio. The problem is, ribbon mics are notoriously fragile, however the AT 4081 is showing itself to be rugged AND one of the best recording mics we've tested. One reason is the super fine mesh which protects the dual ribbon within. This innovation makes for increased sensitivity and response of the mic.

The bidirectional build of this microphone makes it easy to position in small spaces. You can use it to mic an acoustic guitar using a boom mic stand or as a vocal mic by adding a pop filter. Either way, this mic allows vocal warmth & open, airy sounds of your instrument to shine on recordings.

TC Helicon Voice Tone Create-XT

The AT-4081 is a phantom powered ribbon mic meaning you will need to power it from either a 48V connection from your amp or from a pedal preamp like the Create-XT. The Create-XT is an upgrade from the previous Create pedal. It will support any phantom powered mic but where it shines is in the recording studio quality vocal FX's and effects.

It has 100 to choose from but for all practical purposes, you only have ready access to the first 10, (twenty if you include the A-B selections). We also use the Harmony G in concert as it offers similar vocal effects PLUS vocal harmonies created by your guitar chords. Still, if you want extra polish or edgy effects on your vocals, the Create XT is IT!

T.C. Helicon's Voice Tone Create XT in the Studio using the "hardtune" effect.

Hercules Tilt Base Mic Stands have been especially useful in tight corners as the footprint is a bit smaller than the tripod versions. Adjustment is also easier with the Hercules Stands due to their EZ Grip Quick Release System. The adapters that come with the stands accommodate either a mic clamp as shown here below with the AT-4081 or a mic clip which is more like a flexible sleeve that come with AT hand held mics.
Used on both the stage and in pro recording studios, the Hercules Tilt Base Mic Stand is the best mic stand we own! Very easy to gig with as well while offering an adjustable, substantial base that avoids tipping.

We really can't say enough about the Hercules Line of Stands but especially their Tilt Base models. In fact we've replaced all of our studio's guitar, music and mic stands with Hercules!

The Hercules EZ Grip feature makes adjusting the height a snap without much disturbance to a "hot" studio mic. The adjustable footprint and tilt base components allow the stands to fit in where needed without interfering with instruments. You are able to get much closer to the mic for vocal and guitar pickup with these versatile stands. Quick to transport and set up, these stands make the grade in the studio & on the road.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eclectic Sound's 2010 Music Video Highlights !

WOW another year of concerts, touring and events PLUS our new Eclectic Sound TV Channel on YouTube! Really this was our BEST year EVAR! Looking forward to blowing it up again in 2011. Congrats to Jack R. of Indiana, winner of our 2010 Holiday Guitar Gear Giveaway! Thanks everybody & God Bless!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Guitar Gifts for Under $150

Waiting until the last minute to get the MOST bang for your Christmas buck? These are low-cost gifts nearly every guitarist or vocalist would LOVE! The majority are much less than $150.00 so you're in for some pleasant surprises. Make the most out of your Christmas money gifts! Order online and save yourself the holiday hassle!

Don't Forget to enter our UPDATED Guitar Gear Give-Away before MIDNIGHT December 14th 2010! We've added the Planet Waves Capo-Tuner to haul!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Parties + LIVE Music!

You can be the life of the party by adding your guitar, keyboard or vocal skills to the mix! The Holidays are much more memorable when you bring the LIVE music. Hal Leonard's Real Christmas Book in B Flat gives you some very cool jazz infused arrangements of holiday favorites. Their Christmas Songs for Beginning Guitar provides easy, uncluttered notation in first position. Perfect for singing along with! Lots of old favorites and a few surprises. Check them both out and order now in the banner ad section to your left or the links here!

(PHOTO: Hal Leonard's Top 100 Modern Worship Songs and Christmas Songs for Beginning Guitar. Hercules Music Stand, Super Gig Light, Aria Pro III Fullerton guitar)

Be sure to check out our video preview of 2011's BEST Guitar Gear plus a look at Martin's Performing Artist Series Acoustic Electric OMC with American Idol finalist, Tyler Grady and Travis Hobbie!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

2010 Holiday Guitar Gear Gift Guide & Giveaway Winner

Cozy Comforts are part of our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide! C.F. Martin and Audio- Technica Sweatshirt Hoodies and Thermal Tee Shirts, Cotton Rich and Made in the USA. Brown Suede Moccasins by Minnetonka. Weather Meter by Kestrel.

Check out the C.F. Martin 1833 Shop for the BEST
Holiday Gifts for the Guitarist in your life.

C.F. Martin Logo Hoodies shown here and in the video come in Small through 3X so snuggle up baby!

Eclectic Sound's 2010 Christmas Holiday Guitar Gear Gi
ve-Away is CLOSED! Thank you to all who submitted entries. Congratulations to Jack R. of Indiana, USA who won:

  • Kiss Collections Leather Guitar Strap from Planet Waves

  • Kiss Collections Matching Guitar Pick Set (x10) from Planet Waves

  • Two Sets of Martin Acoustic SP Strings, (Light & Medium Gauge)

  • Planet Waves Custom Pro -10 ft Guitar Cable

  • D'Addario Signal 1/4 Male Stereo to XLR Female Adapter

  • PLUS The NEWLY Released Planet Waves Dual Action Capo - Tuner! This Capo -Tuner won BEST IN SHOW at the 2010 Summer NAMM!

Enter by telling us "What is your favorite style of music and why?" Simply post your entry in the COMMENTS section of this article. This contest is open to U.S. Residents ONLY. You need to provide a valid email and U.S. shipping address to be eligible. Sorry, Fender Guitar is NOT part of the Give-Away. One WINNER will be chosen on December 15th, 2010, (just in time to place under your tree)! Deadline for entries is MIDNIGHT December 14th, 2010.