Powerful Gear for Guitarists

Hello and welcome to Magick Month!  For the entire month of October The Guitar Witch will be posting a new tip or challenge to help your creativity flourish and pulse with all the energy and life it deserves! You can find previous days here. Today I talk about a few pieces of powerful gear for guitarists. 

Invoke the Power of Tools

Musicians, at the barest, can get by with their instrument, a pad of paper, and the Voice Memo app on their phone. There are people like Annette Kruisbrink making music that would blow your mind using just her hands and a classical guitar. 

Gear-heads may be more interested in the gadget side of things than the actual playing, which is all well and good for some, but I feel a portion of these people may be overcompensating.  Some for lack of talent, lack of confidence, or lack of creativity.  However, there is a happy medium, where technology can be used as another extension of creative force.

We can invoke the power of tools to enhance your creative work.

You can even add a little metaphysical spice to your gear by using the methods I outline in Magick Month Day 1 – Making Your Tools into Servitors.

Powerful Gear for Guitarists

Here are a few of the things I love as a guitarist and recording musician.

Axe Fx

Pricey, most definitely, but definitely my most amazing asset as a recording guitarist.   But – I’ve had my Mark II since 2012 and it’s still going strong. There is an absolute infinite array of tones that can be conjured out of this thing, and it can be used in conjunction with an amp.  If you invest in one of these, prepare for a deep rabbit hole.  The newer ones are much better and much faster as well, but I’m still super happy with mine at this point.   

Any high-quality interface

 I’ve used a few over the years, including M-Audio ProFire, Presonus Firepod, and today, the Roland OctaCapture.  I would recommend buying a new interface versus a used one, as the technology seems to improve every year.  Buy one that is high quality, low latency, and matches your needs for inputs and outputs.

Guitar Pro

The industry standard for playing and writing tabs.  When I was developing all of the parts for Cat the Adversary, I would use this is as my preferred compositional program and then export the MIDI information to my DAW.  The newer versions have made programming drums slightly more difficult however, but there are other ways to do drums now that are simpler, such as using Logic Pro X’s Drummer tracks or loops (at least to give you a baseline).  You can check it out here.

Waves

Powerful plug-ins for sculpting and mixing the sounds of your recordings.  These improved the quality of my recordings so much, and also made the process of mixing a creatively engaging one.  However, they are fairly expensive – but do have an interest-free split payment option, which was a lifesaver.  Also, there is a discount code here

Ok, but how do I afford it?

Where there is will, there is way.  Especially with Youtube and Kijiji.  Second-hand gear is usually half-price (or less) and while there is no warranty, most things can be fixed if they break. 

As far as getting some extra money, Kijiji is great for finding part time and one-off gigs as well.  With sites like Simbi as well, you can trade services, get new clients, and find talents that people are looking for.  I teach music and used to offer cleaning through there, and ended up getting many paid clients as well.  There is a referral code here, check me out and it gives you enough credits that you can get some pretty great services for free. 

Unfortunately for me, when I was younger (and frankly dumber), I bought a lot of my gear using student loans.  I worked throughout University and put money borrowed into the essentials for my studio.  An arguably dumb move as my student debt is still pretty gross to this day, but I do have a functional studio, and I was able to pay my rent and eat well.  I don’t necessarily recommend this, but I use this example as a point to illustrate that, especially in a wealthy country, there is always a way! 

The Power of Tools

In the video below, I show you how the Axe Fx II can turn a couple simple chords into a soundscape.  This can be done with a daisy chain of pedals as well, but the Axe Fx is easier and more convenient. 

I’ll be using this piece as a background for one of my meditations on Insight Timer.

I make a simple Em7 barre chord and slide it into a Dm7. 

With the right tools, this simple transition becomes a fractal spectacle of intervals, echos and octaves. 

 

In conclusion:

Having the right tools can give you seemingly magic powers – giving you the power to express yourself in a unique and intricate way that you couldn’t without them.  However, be careful not to let that distract you from the instrument itself. 

Your creativity is between you and the gods.  All you really need is to open yourself to inspiration and put in the work, and it shall be there.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to comment below.

Thanks for reading!

~ Blessed Be and Happy Creating ~

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