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22 Nov Review – Vox AC30 “amPlug”

This is my first gear review here at SoloDallas. Some of you have shown interest in practice amps and/or amps on a budget, so I thought a review of the Vox AC30 "amplug" that I own would be useful, including a couple of pictures and a sound test to give you an idea of how this thing works in practice. A bit of background. The Vox AC30 amplug is a portable, battery-powered solid-state amp that plugs in directly to your guitar and provides a headphone output. It's a convenient little portable amp. This is the first amp I owned - I purchased it last year right after I purchased my guitar. Since then, the line of these Vox amplugs has grown - they now have classic rock, lead, metal variants - but I have not tried any of them. My review will focus on the AC30 model. What is great about this amp is that it's portable, very easy to carry around. You can pretty much leave it plugged in to your guitar; if you often practice unplugged because you don't want to be loud, or are not near an amp, it is quite convenient. For me, in the beginning it's been very useful because I didn't want to subject wife and kids to bad playing amplified - accoustic is suffering enough. For you, it might be useful in the same case. Or, if you are visiting your in-laws... or if you want to go out on Halloween trick-or-treating as Angus - strap on a portable speaker and let yourself go playing on the streets.
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21 Nov 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!

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