Tutorials

  • All
  • Beginner's Section
  • Gear Tutorials
  • Guitar Tutorials
  • Recording Tutorials
Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri photo with Marshall Amps
Well, Welcome Back!
Welcome back y'all! That's the first thing I (we) want to say. Do you remember when I used to say, "when I'm silent I'm working on something"? Well well.
IMAG0296
Guitar Mantainance: keeping your fretboard clean
Guitars are supposed to be played - that is a given - but it also means that they will suffer quite a bit of wear and tear, no matter how careful or gentle you are. The frets and the board itself are the parts which take most of the beating. Obviously, the frets are under constant friction from the strings. All that grinding can leave the frets in pretty rough shape after a while, especially with a lot of bending and vibrato. You may start feeling like there is sand or something under the strings, making playing very uncomfortable. You can solve that by polishing the frets with a very fine steel wool. It's a good idea to protect the board with tape before starting.
Angus Young’s Guitar Style: It’s PHYSICAL
I remember telling myself (and everyone I talk to about this, been years) how I always though Angus' guitar style was physical. This struck me as an evident truth when I got better at it. It still strikes me when I have to play lead (try to) like his lead solo on "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" posted the other day. If you look at the beginning of the solo, there is a major (in terms of, intense) bend there, done on the D string. I am sure that that is how he did it on the album. It's a freaking tough job and it's completely physical.
Introducing The Art of Vibrato (By SD/JP)
Guitar Vibrato Vibrato: a very difficult yet overlooked skill. You all probably know the importance of this technique while playing lead. A sustained note without vibrato can often sound bland and tasteless. On the other hand, a poorly executed vibrato can sound harsh and sloppy. There are many styles of vibrato, each of them reflecting the personality of the player. Slow, fast, wide, narrow...
The Very “Secrets” of Equalizing a Recorded Guitar
After months and months of time spent with my Sonnox Oxford Equalizer, I just bumped into this terrific, super short write up done by Scott Smith at Legendary Tones. I'm reposting here just the very core of it, worth studying by memory. This means, practically, that everyone one of you, every single one of you recording their guitars - no matter with what and how - should at least read it 10 times and maybe, print it out and stick it on your monitor. I have :D
AC/DC’s “Back in Black”: THE Tutorial (Rhythm)
Back in Black tutorial from SoloDallas on Vimeo. Okay, so the moment has come. One of the reasons I did this blog thing, was for this: tutorials. Let's concentrate from now on and for a good while, on AC/DC (tutorials-wise, I mean), "heroes" of Rock and Roll for many of us here. Will also do some other bands as time goes by. As it was for my very first tutorial I did on YouTube, "Back in Black" was first, and I wanted to replicate this also here.
How To Bias Your Amp Yourself
Do you know what the bias setting on your amp is? If your tubes burned out, would you know how to get the same sound back as you had before? The amps bias makes a critical difference and you really should know all of the bias settings for each amp you own and what the voltage number of the tubes that are in them, especially if you like how your amps sound. You can check the number of the tubes by looking on the tube box (you did save the tube boxes, right?) it will be written on the end.
50s-wiring
The Infamous “50’s Wiring” (D.I.Y Tutorial)
So, I've noticed alot of you have been asking Fil the same question that I had been for a while. " What is the 50's wiring you've been talking about?" Well here I'll not only show you what it is, I'll show you how to do it!!! In my research I found that there are more than one 50's wiring styles. This one, however, is the most common and simple. This will be sort of a two part thing. I'll show, in the simplest fashion, how to switch your existing wiring to the 50's style. For me, this wasn't enough. (I think we've learned I can't leave things "stock" by now :-) ) Next I'll show how to do a complete "vintage" style rewire.
Making Your Amp YOURS (D.I.Y Part 2)
So here is the second part for the Di-It-Yourselfers here. As with the first this will be a basics tutorial. Also, as with the first, I'm trying my best, since alot of my "as I was doing it" pics were destroyed along with the flash drive. :-( The good thing here is the fact that ANYONE can do this to their newly built box or they can replace their existing tolex on a factory box. This allows people to have something other than the "stock" look. You don't need any special skills or tools to do this. Just MAJOR PATIENCE. ;-) Be sure if you're working on a new box to have all of your drilling, sanding, ect... before you begin covering.
Making Your Amp YOURS (D.I.Y. Part 1)
So if some of you out there are anything like me you customize or fix things to make them YOURS. Here I'll attempt to show you how to build your own amp/speaker cabinet.  This will be part 1 of 2. The second part will deal with the covering (tolex) of the box. Keep in mind, also, that this is just my way of doing things. It's not the only way. This will be a to the basics article.
Guitar Player’s “99 Ways To Play (and Sound) Better”
From: Guitar Player If you’re locked away in a basement for eight hours a day with a metronome and a torturous practice book that is equal parts Mel Bay/GuantanAmo Bay, you’re still not assured of transcendent 6-string skills. Sure, you may get stenographer-like dexterity and harmonic book-smarts up the f-hole, but playing soul-shaking music often requires a more diverse skill set.
An Aracom Attenuator and a Few Vintage Marshalls (Complete)
So... been meaning to shoot something like this for some time, here you have it. It's a long journey into what an attenuator can do for you, with powerful, loud tube amps (ONLY tube amps can be attenuated with an attenuator such as the Aracom). Total of 6 videos, all being processed right now, here's the one. Thanks for viewing, yours, Fil :)
The Five Pentatonic Box Shapes

The following are examples of the five pentatonic box shapes. Each scale is both major and minor at the same time, i.e the E major Pentatonic is also the C# minor pentatonic. Refer to 'An Introduction to Music Theory', move a major shape up three frets and it becomes the relative minor.

Learn each scale and then it will become obvious to you that when playing in a different key, the shapes are the same just in a different fretboard position. Each time you pick up the guitar use these as a warm up exercise and within a short while they will be imprinted on your brain. Practice them from the nut to the twelfth until you know them, then start in the middle and work both up and down, see how each shape overlaps the next/previous?

Importantly combine the shapes without getting locked in each i.e think ouside the box!

An Introdution to Music Theory
I am sure you will already be aware that songs are played in a particular key signature and using a given scale within that key. In this article I will try to explain, with examples, just what this means.
Tone Tips And Tricks For The Marshall Super Lead (By David Szabados)
While I have NO idea who in the world David Szabados is, reading this was useful and made sense. Many things I knew already, others I didn't. The more info the better, agreed? Tone Tips And Tricks For The Marshall Super Lead David Szabados The following tips and tricks will enable you to get much more versatility out of the Super Lead. Some of these may even surprise you. One thing to note – NONE of these involve modification to the original Marshall circuit. Those looking for the true “Marshall” sound only need use an original, unmodified Super Lead. Channel Switching and Linking
223__1024x768_img_0623
Some rational facts about String Gauges

The following article was first published on Strung Out? Fret Not! and has been reproduced here by kind permission of the original author.

Tonal Considerations

Subjectively, higher string gauges will result in a “thicker”, “fatter” or “louder” tone, while lighter string gauges will result in a “thinner”, “brittle” or “weak” tone. While there is much truth in those statements, overall there are other, more important factors that affect tone than string gauge alone. Very discerning/experienced guitarists choose different string gauges for different amps and guitars as it is usually the interaction of all components in the set-up that results in their tone.
bibequalizationdd
AC/DC Tone: a continuos search. Part 1, Eleven Rack attempts
UPDATE: I changed a lot on this patch, after listening to it I think it sucked majorly. Lack of higher frequencies and not enough "middle crunch". Here it is to you again with a few changes. The equalization curve is VERY important, even for YOUR setup! Please listen to the clip. Yes I know, all of us are striving to achieve AC/DC tone or for that matter, classic rock tone. Therefore, please give it a listen before you continue reading (soundpatch version 2.0): Angus Tone on Back in Black from SoloDallas - Attempt Since this is an extremely long subject that I intend to treat as in depth as humanly possible (many, many considerations are needed here) I will just narrow the matter here and just talk about my current settings on the Eleven Rack (a piece of hardware built into a rack shape by Digidesign - Avid Digital - that "models" guitar recording) to achieve decent AC/DC (Angus', but it could apply to Malcolm's as well) tone.
GIBSON-SG-BANNER-3
Angus Young Guitars (updated)
By SoloDallas (original article in Italian, translation by Robert Taylor - our own ar2619Rob - : Thank You, Rob!) Similar to the hypnotic effect that AC/DC music had on me when I first heard it (it was the LIVE Album “If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It” and it was, I believe, 1979), as soon as I set eyes on the photos of Angus Young embracing his Gibson SG, it was love at first sight, and certainly “Love at first Feel”. It’s a love that has continued to grow for about thirty years (even considering that I’ve tried far too many brands and models of guitars) the Gibson SG of the late ’60s has never left my mind since then.

Get That Tone! (AC/DC & Sandercoe’s Video Contest Tone Video)
Now, here's a video I shot (trying to be professional) recently. This was an officially sponsored video by AC/DC (yes, I got that close to them in this instance), made to support Justin Sandercoe's AC/DC official guitar contest made by AC/DC to launch the IronMan 2 soundtrack.