Thursday, 14 April 2016

Rick Belluso: 7 Boutique Distortion Pedals For a Tone That Stands Out

Rick Belluso

7 Boutique Distortion Pedals For a Tone That Stands Out
By Rick Belluso

Gut-punching distortion is the foundation of any shredder’s story.

But let's be real. It's hard to craft a full-bodied and aggressive tone that actually sounds original these days. High-quality gear has never been more affordable, and the “secret” tricks to masterfully configure it all can be had with a simple search of the old Google (sometimes).

So how do you manage to craft a tone that kicks ass and is all your own? Use gear that nobody else has!

In terms of boutique distortion pedals, there are many options out there for you to choose from. It’s actually an incredible time to be a gear-head.

Call it Shark Tank nation. Call it the Etsy revolution. I call it the American way. Passionate musician craftsmen the world over have unprecedented access to design, build, test, market and ship their software and hardware creations, and compete on a much larger scale than ever before. You can have the most rare and exquisitely designed gear shipped to your door in a matter of days, in a lovingly wrapped gift box, with a handwritten note from the builder. And at a reasonable price!

Here are 7 boutique distortion pedals I think deserve a little amplification.

Producer: ZVEX
Hand Wired: Yes
Cost: $219

The Box of Metal (BOM) offers a massive distortion sound, and at only $219 it’s an incredible value from a company that is so committed to quality and individuality they hand paint their pedals. The BOM has an incredibly effective noise gate that can be adjusted to allow feedback and hum to ring through. Hand wired in the USA, the BOM comes with a lifetime warranty and is made to last.

Producer: Death by Audio
Hand Wired: Yes
Cost: $270

If you’re not afraid to get weird with your sound, you need to check this pedal out. Not restricted to just distortion, it’s an analog, multi-effect chimera with immense customization for sounds that include: octave-shifting; tone bending; ring modulation; and of course, gritty, driving distortion. While some of the tones seem a bit impractical, as a whole the pedal offers a lot of diversity and quality sound.

Producer: Joe Gore (via Vintage King)
Hand Wired: Yes
Cost: $179

A deceivingly simple overdrive / heavy fuzz box with tons of variation. Take a listen to the demo on You turn the knob to make it louder - yes, “duh”, but the art is in the nuance. Slight adjustments will delight you as you move through the dynamic range. Fat, chunky lows, an airy mid-section and sparkling highs make this retro fuzz really special. Plus, it just looks cool. Check it out.

Producer: ScreaminFX
Hand Wired: Yes
Cost: $199

ScreaminFX is a one-man show out of Austin, Texas, producing all analog, high end pedals. While their distribution is currently limited to only Texas, the pedals can be purchased by emailing the owner. The Betrayer is a massively versatile pedal with a range of distortion and EQ options that allow a range from high-gain metal tones to bluesy classic rock. With such minimal production, you can be assured you’ll rarely—if ever—meet another guitarist with the same sound.  

Producer: Red Witch
Hand Wired: Yes
Cost: $99

At only $99, the Ivy Distortion from Red Witch pedals is an amazing value. It’s as simple as a distortion pedal comes: just a gain and volume knob, but the Ivy offers a punchy array of hand-wired, metal tones. It’s also rechargeable. Plug it into a standard 9V power supply for four hours, and you have 220 hours of use.

Producer: Barber
Hand Wired: Yes
Cost: $139.95

The Dirty Bomb is one of the more versatile of this list. From deep thumpy rhythm tones to screaming leads it offers every style of shredder distortion that you could ask for. It’s versatility and quality outweigh the BOSS DS-2, and it’s at a comparable price to any mainstream metal stompbox.

Producer: Gerhat
Hand Wired: Yes
Cost: $136

Made with a musician’s budget in mind, the Gerhat Super Metal is an E.U. produced pedal that offers a wide array of distortion tone. Capable of screaming very high-gain distortion, the Super Metal’s tone is likely the most generic of this list but is still a great alternative to the major producers in Guitar Center.


Lot of great choices out there. If you have the luxury of attending a NAMM conference any time soon, I encourage you to do so. You’ll see and experience tons of amazing boutique gear packed with personality and power. Internet videos don’t really do them justice - head to the conference or take a chance and order one of these cool pedals today! Rock on.

Rick Belluso is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ninebuzz, a boutique music software company based in Rhode Island, USA. They make the metronome app Drum Beats+ (Top 50 — App Store/Music), Guitar Jam Tracks - Scale Trainer (Top 25 — Guitar World Magazine) and several other lead practice guitar apps.

Tom Hess: Why General Guitar Teaching Methods Are Useless And How To Transform Your Students Into Very Good Players

Why General Guitar Teaching Methods Are Useless And How To Transform Your Students Into Very Good Players
By Tom Hess
A ton of guitar teachers are using generic guitar learning courses or methods to attempt to teach their students. Unless you only teach beginner guitar students, you will struggle with the following problems when working together with them:

1. You will not be able to help your students make fast progress in their guitar playing. The majority of popular guitar teaching approaches were made only to teach musical topics, NOT to help your guitar students achieve specific goals. (Almost no great guitarists became great using these kinds of books.)

2. Your students become very unmotivated once they see that what you are teaching them is no in line with their personal guitar playing goals.

3. When you notice the problems of points 1 and 2 in your guitar teaching, you are in danger of not being able to stop guitar students from quitting lessons.

4. You will have a tough time finding and attracting new guitar students because you have nothing unique to offer that any other local guitar teacher is already offering. This gives potential students no good reason to select you over anybody else.
Best Guitar Method Materials
This will all cause great complications for your ability to make good money from teaching guitar.
To contrast all of this, here is how successful guitar teachers teach hundreds of students (and avoid all of the problems I just mentioned):

Step 1: Use a different mindset. Rather than trying to cram information down your students’ throats, focus instead on getting them to achieve the goals you set out for them. This will bring far better results. Remember, you aren’t simply trying to “teach guitar”...  it is your job to figure out and solve guitar playing problems, then get rid of any frustrations your students are facing. This is what you must do to truly transform your student’s musical lives.

Step 2: Learn how to spot the subtle and not-so-subtle errors in your student’s playing that hold them back from achieving what they want on guitar. Once you can do this, put together strategy that will help that student achieve his or her unique goals. See how this is done with the best guitar teacher success coaching.

Step 3: Create guitar lesson materials that will get your students to achieve their musical goals as effectively as possible. These types of materials can also be re-used for other students who need to learn similar skills (I discuss more on this concept below).

Step 4: Give classes that focus on helping students improve very specific skills that make up part of a bigger musical goal. Have your guitar students join the correct classes that line up best with the things they want to accomplish in their playing.

Common question: “Isn’t this all going to be a ton of work?” “Do I need to use a lot of my spare time making custom lessons for all the students in my teaching schedule?”

Answer: No in both cases. Don’t confuse guitar teaching materials with guitar teaching strategy. You can utilize the same materials with all students who need to learn a similar skill, but the STRATEGY (meaning: the order and combination of materials used) must be entirely different for each individual.
While teaching group classes, you are in a situation where you are teaching many students who want to improve the same skills. You can easily get results for everyone in the class, even if they all are at different playing levels. I know this is a fact, because I’ve taught countless of guitar teachers how to do this effectively.

By having your students join multiple classes, they will simultaneously reach their goals while you teach less overall hours. Using this approach, you will end up teaching FAR LESS hours than any ordinary guitar teacher who only uses the one on one teaching model.
When you use these guitar teaching strategies in your teaching business, your business will quickly grow in these ways:

1. You will now be able to keep your guitar students for extensive periods of time since you have solved the problems that usually cause students to leave lessons. Check out this free online guide to learn more about how to stop guitar students from quitting lessons.

2. Your new guitar teaching system will help your students reach their goals more effectively, and they will become awesome players MUCH faster.

3. You will gain an excellent reputation as the best local guitar teacher because all your students are quickly becoming awesome guitar players.

4. Your newfound reputation as a great guitar teacher will help you attract tons of new students.

5. You will make a great living teaching guitar and have hundreds of students, since you provide the greatest results.

Read this free online guide to learn how to stop guitar students from quitting lessons.

About The Author:
Tom Hess is a highly successful guitar teacher, recording artist and the guitar player. He helps people from all over the world learn how to teach guitar. Visit his website to get free guitar teacher resources and to read more guitar teaching articles.

Leonardo Guzman: JTC Jam of the month April 2016 - tasty noodle

Leonardo Guzman with his .strandberg* jamming for JTC Jam track of the month April 2016

JTC Jam of the month (April) - Leonardo Guzman

Daisuke Kunita: Natural Flow and Fred - The Trio live at the Silver Elephant 2015 - top notch JFusion

"Natural Flow" composed by Daisuke Kunita

Live@Kichijoji Silver Elephant 2015/2/8

Daisuke Kunita(國田大輔)-Guitar
Jiro Okada(岡田治郎)-Bass
Satoshi Bandoh(坂東慧)- Drums

New Album "In My Life" is NOW ON SALE!!!


【Abstract logix】

Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Berklee graduate Daisuke Kunita is
one of the very promising guitar players from Japan.
He studied extensively with Wayne Krantz, Mick Goodrick among others.
He won the special Jury award in Gibson Jazz Guitar Contest in 2005 and
made some noise with the release of his album, Fuzzy Logic.

On this record, Daisuke collaborates with Hiromi, Alex Machacek, Steve Hunt
among others to deliver one of the best sounding Jazz-Rock Record of 2014.
Check this out !!
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All rights reserved by Daisuke Kunita

Daisuke Kunita Trio- Natural Flow

"Fred" composed by Allan Holdsworth

Daisuke Kunita(國田大輔) -Guitar
Satoshi Otani(大谷訓史) -Bass
Yu Murakami(村上友) -Drums

Daisuke Kunita Trio- Fred (Allan Holdsworth cover)

Alfred Potter: Red Shift - progressive rock/metal in the style of Vinnie Moore/Tony MacAlpine

More of my progressive rock/metal in the style of Vinnie Moore/Tony MacAlpine. I put a lot of focus on melody for this track. Plus, of course, a spacey breakdown ( my fav so far, with a bit of a reprise from another track on my album ;) ) and a couple of my token sweep-tapping solos + my most intense mixolydian solo to date.

Alfred Potter - Red Shift

Josh Ligaya: Auras crushing demo showing off BIAS FX tight heavy tone

Josh Ligaya from AURAS​ created this crushing demo showing off BIAS FX tight heavy tone when playing with low tunings.Find Josh's tone on the ToneCloud by searching "AURAS Adverse RHTM". Download BIAS FX:

Auras' Josh Ligaya - BIAS FX demo

Beau Diakowicz: Things 14 - compilation of guitar noodling

Messing Around / Cyn / Lianne La Havas / TC Electronic / Yvette Young / Infamous / Any Riwer / Pigarette - Lessons available here -

Things 14

Pat Heath: 'String Theory' album teaser #1

A preview of the album 'String Theory' available here:

This is a Jazz / Rock Fusion record that began life as promotional tracks for product demonstrations, and grew into a full length album featuring a soundscape of many different styles of music fused together to create a groundbreaking and hopefully, totally original guitar record!

There are 9 tracks of music, are all guitar based instrumental performances, with Ex Tears for Fears / Adam F drummer – Michael R Bowes on drums. The 9 compositions are composed entirely by Pat and featured orgininally as demos the and websites.

Taking a deep interest in music and science, Pat decided to combine the two and write a experimental record concepts titles around molecular and astro physics concepts, with titles such as; Escape Velocity, Nuclear Fusion, Electromagnetism, and the title track – String Theory. Subsequently, this album should appeal to musicians and music fans who appreciate experimentation!

10% goes to RNLI Lifeboat charity and pledgers will receive exclusive behind the scenes video footage and an additional track in advance of release.

Pat Heath | 'String Theory' album teaser #1

John 5: beat it - Michael Jackson

Is an American guitarist. His stage name was bestowed on him in 1998 when he left David Lee Roth and joined the industrial metal group Marilyn Manson as their guitarist, taking over from Zim Zum. Still going by the name "John 5", Lowery has since become the guitarist for Rob Zombie.

He is also a solo artist having recorded seven guitar albums: Vertigo (2004), Songs for Sanity (2005), The Devil Knows My Name (2007), Requiem (2008), The Art of Malice (2010) and God Told Me To (2012), Careful with that Axe (2014), as well as a remix album, Remixploitation (2009). He also works as a staff writer for Chrysalis Records, working with artists such as Matt Ball, Avril Lavigne, Rob Halford, k.d. lang, Garbage, Meat Loaf, Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, FeFe Dobson and has written and recorded with southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

In the original song of Michael Jackson "beat it" emphasizes the participation of guitarists Steve Lukather and Eddie Van Halen in the recording of the song. Lukather playing the guitar riff also, and the low-, while Van Halen guitar solo.

JOHN 5 - beat it (Michael Jackson cover)

Scott Gailor: Floyd Rose Tricks! T.J.C.

A fun Floyd Rose trick demo from Scott Gailor and the Tone Junkie Chronicles.

Gear Used
Mesa Boogie MK5 head (stock)
Recto 212 cab with V30's

Guitars (All tuned to Eb with 10-46 Von York Strings)
100 year old pine T-Body (Bend Over and Lik it Customs)
OFR with a StoneTone 37mm RockBlock

Sure SM57
Sennheiser 421

Recorded at Signal To Noize Studio Fla

Scott Gailor - Floyd Rose Tricks! T.J.C.

Richard Daudé: C Major Shred - Guitar Lick Lesson

Check out this awesome lick lesson from Richard Daude.

Richard will be releasing his first full course with Licklibrary later this month and for those that know Richards guitar lessons from our members lessons you know how good he is.

For those that don't check out this Killer C Major Shred lick and remember if you like what you see make sure you subscribe to our channel.

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Richard Daude | Guitar Lick Lesson | C Major Shred

Nick Johnston: Ultra force from Clinic Tour Tortona


"Ultra force" music by Nick Johnston


Ron Thal, Mattias IA Eklundh: Mr Gul's Bumblefoot live at Freak Guitar Camp 2005... time flies!

Ron Thal, Mattias IA Eklundh: Mr Gul's Bumblefoot live at Freak Guitar Camp 2005... time flies!

Bumblefoot live at Freak Guitar Camp 2005

Dan Patlansky: chats with Liz Aiken at Bluesdoodles

Dan Patlansky chats with Liz Aiken at Bluesdoodles about his new album INTROVERTIGO, his May UK tour with King King and his UK shows in June. Read the interview: Photo: Antonia Steyn Photography

King King - May 2016 UK Tour
With special guest Dan Patlansky

24 HOUR BOX OFFICE – 0844 478 0898

Manchester Academy
Tickets: 20 / Box Office: 0161 275 2930
Book Online:
Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9PR

Sage Gateshead (SOLD OUT)
Tickets: £20 / Box Office: 0191 443 4661
Book Online:
St Mary's Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead, NE8 2JR /

O2 ABC Glasgow
Tickets: £20 / Box Office: 0844 477 2000, 0844 478 0898,
300 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3JA /

Sheffield City Hall
Tickets: £20 / Box Office: 01142 789 789
Sheffield City Hall, Barkers Pool, Sheffield, S1 2JA /

Gloucester Guildhall
Tickets: £20 / Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Book Online:
23 Eastgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1NS

Tickets: £20 / Box Office: 01293 553 636
Book Online:
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, RH10 6YZ /

City Hall Salisbury
Tickets: £20 / Box Office: 01722 434 434
Book Online:
Salisbury City Hall, Malthouse Lane, Salisbury, SP2 7TU /

Birmingham Town Hall
Tickets: £20 / Box Office: 0121 345 0600
Book Online:
Birmingham Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B3 3DQ /

24 HR BOX OFFICE: 0844 478 0898

POOLE, Mr Kyps Live Music Venue
Tickets: £10 / Venue Box Office: 01202 748 945
Book Online:
8a Parr Street, Poole, Dorset, BH14 0JY /

SHOREHAM Ropetackle Arts Centre
Tickets: £17.50 / Box Office: 01273 464440
Book Online:,
Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5EG /

The Globe Cardiff
Tickets: £17.50 / Venue Box Office: 07590 471888
Book Online:
Book Online:…/…/the-globe/940679
125 Albany Road, Cardiff, CF24 3NS /

London The Jazz Cafe
Tickets £20 / Box Office: 0844 847 2514
Book Online:
5 Parkway, Camden Town, NW1 7PG

Tickets: £17.50 / Box Office:
Book Online:
Book Online:
Market Place, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 6AD /

Tickets: £17.50 / Venue Box Office: 01246 277 702
Book Online:
Book Online:
13 Marsden Street, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S40 1JY /

CHESTER The Live Rooms
Tickets: £17.50 Adv. / Door: £20
Venue Box Office: 0871 220 0260
Book Online:
Book Online:
Homer House, 1 Station Rd, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 3DR /

Mike Campese: Vibe - Geoff Tate: Operation Mindcrime

Mike Campese and his band, supporting Geoff Tate of Queensryche, Operation Mindcrime show in NY. They are playing Mike's tune. "Vibe" from his album, "Vibe". For more info visit,

If you would like to order the Cd, you can visit

to order on iTunes go to:
Mike Campese - Vibe - Geoff Tate: Operation Mindcrime

Kirill Konyaev: Working on solo album

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Working on solo album

Yiannis Papadopoulos: Shred ON Guitar Clinic's Opening Act with George Constantine Kratsas of Manhattan Project!

Here's the the Yiannis Papadopoulos Guitar Clinic's Opening Act with George Constantine Kratsas of Manhattan Project!
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Shred ON - Yiannis Papadopoulos (Scott Stapp) - Guitar Clinic!