New Roadie Automatic Guitar Tuner May Be The Future

Roadie-Tuner

Check out my full write up on The Roadie Tuner on Guitar-Muse.com

I’m a tech geek as well as a guitar nerd. So when I saw this new little gadget called Roadie that connects to a smart-phone or tablet via bluetooth and tunes your guitar automatically, I got excited. Not even because it’s something I think I need. I mean, I can tune my guitar just fine using my good old Boss TU-2 or my Planet Waves clip on tuner. But a handheld, automatic guitar tuner? That’s just plain cool! And it could very well be the future of guitar tuning.

We’ve seen inventions before that could tune up a guitar automatically. When Gibson launched their first series of Robot Les Pauls and SGs, it was the first time a guitar that could tune itself was widely available. The guitars got everyone’s attention and I don’t think there was a guitarist on the planet that didn’t want one. The only problem was that the technology was built in to a very expensive guitar, making it more of a luxury novelty than anything else.

Shortly after the advent of the Gibson Robot Guitars, we saw Tronical, makers of the auto-tune technology, release the Min-ETune System as a stand alone device. This system could be retro-fitted to most guitars and was more affordable than buying a Gibson Robot Guitar. However, this was not a practical solution for most beginners who would have to do some serious modding to their probably pretty cheap instrument.

I think Roadie does a better job of solving the automatic tuning problem by 1) being a hand-held device thereby eliminating any need to modify the guitar itself and 2) using smart-phone and tablet technology that’s already ubiquitous to do the digital processing.

At a eventual street price of $99, will Roadie make it into the hands of people who need it the most: beginners who have yet to develop any skills or an ear for pitch? Well, probably not so much for kids, who’s guitars may only cost $100. My guess is the early adopters of Roadie will be adult beginners who have the expendable income, guitar techs who have to tune a lot of guitars on a regular basis, and technology geeks who also happen to play guitar, like myself.

Roadie is the first device of its kind to make it out of the proto-type stage and clearly, plenty of people are excited about it with the Kickstarter Campaign skyrocketing well past its required goal. But Roadie is just the first iteration of what may be a new generation of guitar tuners. If the idea proves to be popular then inevitably, competitors will come along and the technology  and manufacturing process will become cheaper. The future of guitar tuners may be “automatic.” They’ll cost only about $20 or $30 and they’ll use our smart-phones which are only getting smarter and faster. But I suppose only time will really tell.

 

My Performance With Ayah Marar Of “Beg Borrow Steal”

beg borrow steal

A little while ago I sat down with U.K. drum and bass artist, Ayah Marar, to perform 3 songs for the pop music website Idolator.com . One of the songs we did was Calvin Harris’s “Thinking About You,” on which Ayah is the featured vocalist. I posted about that performance back in August (check it out here). But ever since then Idolator had been sitting on the two other performances we had done. That is, until now.

Ayah’s newest single “Beg Borrow Steal” released a few weeks ago, so it was obviously a perfect opportunity for Idolator.com to post up our exclusive acoustic performance of the song. You can check out the short article and the video of the performance on the Idolator website. Or just watch the video below.

There is one other video still in the back pocket. I’m not sure if Idolator plans to post it or not, but as soon as they do I’ll be sure to share.

In the meantime, enjoy this acoustic performance of “Beg Borrow Steal” with Ayah Marar, featuring yours truly on guitar.

Review: Electro-Harmonix 45000 Multi Track Looping Recorder

ehx-45000-looper

The Electro-Harmonix 45000 Multi Track Looping Recorder is one of the most powerful looping units out there on the market today. This newest model from EHX boasts 4 separately recordable tracks, continuos over-dubbing, quantize, octave shift, punch-in and reverse recording modes, stereo recording, 34 stock drum loops and much more! Storage is kept on a removable SD drive, supported up to 2 GB for tons of recording time and the unit has a USB connection to allow editing of files on a computer.

Check out my full review of the 45000 on Guitar-Muse.com:
Electro-Harmonix 45000 Multi-Track Looping Recorder Review And Video Demo

And in this demo video, I show you a little bit of what the 45000 is capable of.

Check Out My Interview With Maragold

maragold-band-picture-300x225

I’ve been a fan of guitarist Greg Howe for a while now. So it was quite exciting when Guitar-Muse asked me if I wanted to be the one to interview Greg Howe’s new band Maragold. I had done a review of the band’s debut album for Guitar-Muse back in April, so I guess I was the perfect candidate to run the interview.

It was a great experience because I got to talk to the entire band over the phone. For just my second phone interview ever, I think it turned out pretty well. You can check out the entire interview on the Guitar-Muse website at the following link.

Interview With Greg Howe’s Maragold

My Acoustic Performance Of “Thinking About You” With Ayah Marar

Dave Willard with Ayah Marar.

So I recently had a very unique opportunity to play guitar for an upcoming UK pop-star. For those of you who don’t know, during the day when I’m not teaching guitar or performing, I work at a small record label called Radikal Records. One of the new artists on that label is a very talented vocalist and drum and bass artist named Ayah Marar.

Aside from having her  own solo album, “The Real,” Ayah also happens to be the featured artist on Calvin Harris’ latest single “Thinking About You,” from his platinum selling record “18 Months.”

Two weeks ago, Ayah was scheduled to be in New York doing some promotional interviews. The label set her up for an on camera interview and acoustic performance with the pop music website Idolator.com. The only catch was Ayah needed a guitar player.

Conversation at work quickly came around to the suggestion of me taking on the task. So I happily took on the challenge of  coming up with some creative acoustic guitar arrangements of a few EDM songs.

Ayah and I performed 3 songs at the Idolator studio: two of her originals and of course “Thinking About You.” So far they’ve only posted the Calvin Harris song, which I think came out pretty good! Check out the video below or you can go see the original post here.

Interview With Guthrie Govan And Bryan Beller Of The Aristocrats

The Aristocrats

I recently got the opportunity to interview one of my very favorite guitar players, Guthrie Govan and the amazing bassist Bryan Beller about the new Aristocrats album “Culture Clash.” Well, full disclosure, it was an email interview. These two guys are super busy and often not even in the same time zone at the same time. Still, I’m thrilled to have been able to ask these guys a bunch of questions! And actually, interviewing two guys over email, not as easy as it sounds.

Nevertheless, I think my questions got some pretty good responses from Bryan and Guthrie. The most insightful part being that they both go in depth about the gear they used on the album and the recording process. I though that was really cool.

CHECK OUT THE FULL INTERVIEW ON GUITAR-MUSE.COM

“Culture Clash” comes out on July 16th. I was among the privileged few (or so I’d like to think) to get an advanced copy. Let me tell you, this album is killer! A little different than the last record. I’d say more experimental on the part of the band and more artistic. Definitely check it out!

The Aristocrats - Culture Clash Art

The Aristocrats – Culture Clash Art

Check Out My Feature On Thumbtack.com

Thumbtack Feature: Dave Willard Guitar Lessons

I’ve been using the website, Thumbtack.com, for a few years now. They’re a great website that connects service professionals with customers. If you search for guitar teachers in the Morristown or Morris County, NJ area, you’ll see me as one of the higher rated teachers in the area. Thumbtack has been a helpful tool for me to find new students.

Just recently, the website contacted me about doing a brief interview and featuring my guitar teaching business on the website. I was honored of course. The feature just went live early this week. You can see it at the following link, on the right hand side. You’ll just have to scroll down a bit.

http://www.thumbtack.com/nj/east-orange/music-theory-lessons/

I’m really not sure why I’m so prominently featured in East Orange NJ. They tell me it’s something to do with the website’s algorithms.

In any case I’m thankful to have been chosen for the spot light. My thanks go out to the Thumbtack team and Ashley their social media specialist for giving me this opportunity!

Thumbtack Feature: Dave Willard Guitar Lessons

Thumbtack Feature: Dave Willard Guitar Lessons

The EHX Epitome Mulit-Effects Pedal – Review & Demo

Electro-Harmonix Epitome Guitar Effects Pedal

One of the little perks of being a blog writer is that I get to review some pretty cool gagets. Lately I’ve been getting a lot of guitar effects pedals from Electro-Harmonix to review for Guitar Muse, and they’ve been quite a bit of fun to play with. The latest toy sent my way was the EHX Epitome – a multi-effects pedal that combines EHX’s Micro POG (octave generator), Stereo Electric Mistress (chorus/flanger) and Holy Grail Plus (reverb).

The Epitome is a great sounding pedal. Each effect section holds its own and doesn’t skimp on quality compared to their stand alone versions. The fact that you get three effects in one pretty much makes the Epitome worth it, but the real value in this pedal comes from the shear mess of crazy tones you can achieve by combining the effects.

Some of the sounds coming out of this thing don’t even sound like a guitar! You’ll have to hear it yourself to really know what I’m talking about. Luckily, I did a video demo, which you can check out along with my full review over at guitar-muse.com.

Check out my full review of the Epitome on Guitar Muse.

Interview With Jamie Simpson Of Booya! Amplifiers

Booya! Amps

I call Jamie Simpson of Booya! Amplifiers the Burger King of amp builders because you get to have it your way. I first met Jamie at a friendly jam; he actually lugged an old Hammond organ and a huge leslie cabinet out for the jam. It was totally overkill but man, did it sound great! And the jam was a lot of fun. Later I came to find out that we had a lot of mutual friends and acquaintances and he had his own custom guitar amp company, Booya!

Fast forward a few months and I finally got the chance to come into his shop and play a few of the Booyas! His amps have some seriously great tone! I was really loving what I heard. So I took the opportunity to interview Jamie about amp building for an article with Guitar Muse. I mean it’s not everyday you meet a great custom amp builder.

Check out the full article here on Guitar Muse: http://www.guitar-muse.com/interview-with-jamie-simpson-of-booya-amplifiers-6597

And you can find out more about Booya! on Facebook

Review On The EHX Talking Pedal – With Video Demo

Talking Pedal

This article was originally written for Guitar-Muse 

The Talking Pedal by EHX – A Review

Ever want to create those awesome talk box tones with your guitar without having to shove a plastic tube in your face-hole? Well, now you can. Introducing the Talking Pedal from Electro-Harmonix.

If you remember, a while back I reviewed the Crying Tone pedal also from EHX, which is the first wah pedal of its kind to use absolutely no moving parts. The Talking Pedal uses the same innovative design which means there are no potentiometers and no switches that could possibly wear out over time.

It’s unique filter circuit passes the guitar signal through not one, but two bandpass filters which produces a wide variety of vocal-like vowel sounds. The Talking Pedal’s circuitry is completed with the addition of a fuzz-distortion effect that can be dialed in on the side of the pedal from a scale of 1-10.

The Talking Pedal can get its power either from a 9-volt battery or a or a standard 9-volt DC adapter and can be calibrated for use on slanted surfaces.

[CONTINUE READING ON GUITAR-MUSE.COM]