Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Complete Vocal Workout: A Step-by Step Guide to Tough Vocals Review

While there are many books for rock and metal singing, none are more insightful, uplifting, and informative as The Complete Vocal Workout: A Step-by Step Guide to Tough Vocals by Roger Kain. Kain shows anyone who is aspiring to sing rock or metal music that you can always expand your range and that with the proper exercises you too can hit those high notes. He mentions that just because you are not naturally a tenor or a soprano does not mean that you too can not hit high notes or improve. There is also a section in the back for diagnosing problems with your voice (such as not being able to hit the high notes or have the power). This section is very helpful because it explains what you need to do to get the results you want.

Even though I took vocal lessons and I still use the warm ups I was taught, I have used this as a supplement to work on my higher register. It has worked wonders. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to expand their vocal range.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Max Payne 3 coming out in March 2012!

I can't wait!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Writing with the Band

Things are going pretty well here writing tracks with the band. I am satisfied with how everything is coming along. It is a metal band, but it's new type of metal. Now we just need to find a drummer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Slavic Deficiency in Metal, Rock and Punk

As I was going over the list of the ethnicities that dominate rock, metal, and punk music, I found that there were very few people of eastern european decent (except the Polish). I don't know if it's because the culture doesn't value music, or if there aren't that many people with that ethnic background that is the cause for this. And this is mostly for well-known people in the mentioned genres.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Metal spilling into punk music

Over the course of rock music history metal has influenced punk and vice versa. For instance, it was metal and hard rock music that first began to use minor keys heavily and dissonant scales. Soon punk took up the minor keys and the dissonant sounds via hardcore punk and crust punk. Many crust punk bands are labeled thrash also, because of similar chord progressions.

Back when Soundgarden came out they mixed black sabbath riffs with the asethetics of punk. By the time they had come out metal had moved on past the black sabbath sound (except doom metal, sludge metal, and stoner metal) and had become faster and more technical. The music itself had changed along with the sound of punk. Punk was taking ideas from other music combining it with the Do it yourself attitude.

A recent development in punk taking influence from metal music is this year's Warped Tour. As mentioned in, there are now so-called metal bands on the Warped Tour. However, if you talk to a die-hard metalhead they would say all of those bands on the Warped Tour aren't real metal and that they are emo, or something else.

This article shows another example of punk taking ideas from metal. Most of these bands on the warped tour that are being referred to as metal are really metal core, or hardcore that is influenced by metal. This style tends to be less technical and have more emphasis on the feeling. By the time these bands had come out, metal had changed again, becoming more technical and more demanding. Just take a listen to Revocation or Abysmal Dawn. They are two modern day metal bands who are very technical. In addition, the breakdowns which are common with these metalcore bands tend to be frowned on by a lot of metalheads. However, the metalcore bands are considered metal because they are heavy and aggressive.

One of the quoted from the article relates to what was mentioned above. For example, "August Burns Red was more direct, but just as impressive. Like an old school thrash band, ABR has the ability to deliver a memorable choruses without diminishing the power of their music." August Burns Red suposedly sounds like an old school thrash band. However, the thrash sound can also be punkish, as evidenced by crust bands who are considered thrash also.

So even though the Warped Tour bands might be heavy they might not neccessarily be metal, they are more likely metal-influenced.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gibson SG Melody Maker Review

Recently I found myself in Guitar Center browsing Gibson guitars when I saw the Sg Melody Maker. I'm a huge fan of the SG body shape and I knew I had to try out an SG such as the Melody Maker model which only had a volume control knob and a single humbucker pickup in the bridge position.

I brought one down from its display stand and plugged it into a Peavey 6505+ and turned on the Lead Channel. I turned the volume knob on the guitar all the way up and I commenced to play some very distorted power chords. The sound coming out of the amp surprised me. Even though it didn't have a tone control it had a very great sound for rhythm playing. The chords were fat, but also had a great crunch and the neck was thick which allowed for more sustain and made playing chords satisfying.

I played some basic power chord progressions for a little while and then I proceeded to play some lead guitar. Bends were easy to execute because of the thicker neck and even with the different bridge setup it was easy to bend and keep the guitar and tune.

I dialed in a scooped tone for metal and aggressive punk and it handled the tone very well.

In all it's great instrument for anyone who is looking for a great rhythm guitar axe, someone who doesn't care about tone, or wants to have a guitar where they don't have to switch pickups. However, regardless of if you prefer to play lead, it's better suited to be a rhythm axe.

Final Verdict:
Great if:
you want to play rhythm guitar
Don't like tone knobs on guitars
if you hate guitars with lots of controls

Bad if:
You want a 24 fret guitar
Want to switch or use two pickups for soloing

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Met Eddie Trunk and an issue for the future of metal

On Saturday I went to Chuck Levins, to meet Eddie Trunk, the writer of "Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal."

Prior to recieving his autograph and buying his book there was a question and answer session. I took this time to ask for his opinion one of the burning questions I have had about the present and future of heavy metal and is subgenres. Specifically, whether or not the trend will continue for there to be more left wing metal and less libertarian metal. He said he does not have a ball and cannot see the future.

Personally I think that this is going to be an issue in the future for metal. A lot of the old metal was very libertarian in it's messages, because it was advocating freedom to drink, smoke, and do whatever, but a lot of the metal heads weren not for giving to the poor or those in need. Also satanism is advocating dominating others at your expense and absolute freedom. This is not a message of equality or help those in need (left-wing) or order (right wing). These old messages in metal of freedom are in between equality and order on a spectrum. Libertarians believe in extreme freedom. So one can see why this message is prevelant in a lot of metal.

This is something that is going to need to get dealt with, because often times satanism and similar imagery is used to espouse freedom. However, some metalheads are saying they are liberal, which in itself is broad (in fact classical liberalism in the united states is another name for libertarianism).

I believe this issue about which direction metal is going to take is something that needs to be discussed and dealt with, because it can have profound consequences for how metal is written, performed, and discussed.