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Guitar Musician e-zine     11/09/05

In This Issue:

  "Guitarists should be able to pick up the guitar and play music on it for an hour, without a rhythm section or anything."

                                                            - Joe Pass / Jazz Guitar

Some Humor

  A little girl was sitting on her grandfather's lap as he read her a bedtime story.

From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stroking her own cheek, then his again.

Finally she spoke up, "Grandpa, did God make you?"

"Yes, sweetheart," he answered, "God made me a long time ago."

"Oh," she paused, "Grandpa, did God make me too?"

"Yes, indeed, honey," he said, "God made you just a little while ago."

Feeling their respective faces again, she observed, "God's getting better at it, isn't he?"

A Lesson For The Learning

Interested in guitar lessons? - Be sure and check out the guitar lessons offered by Andrew Koblick at Amazing Guitar

Click here for all products by DigiTech.

DigiTech GNX3000 Guitar Workstation

Every guitarist's new best friend

By Ralph Franklin DigiTech GNX3000 Guitar Workstation

With so many guitar products out there these days, it's easy to find yourself with a number of different effects pedals, processors, or even a MIDI controller in your setup-and that's just for playing live! Lately I've noticed a lot of guitarists in my town sporting DigiTech Guitar Workstations. It appears that these guitarists are on to something, so I was thrilled when I was chosen to review the newest member of the family, the GNX3000.

At the Gig

The GNX3000 is packed with features and functionality--both for live gigs and studio or home recording. Let's take a look first at how powerful it can be in a performance setting.

The obvious places to start are the amp, cab, and pickup models and the outstanding set of 57 effects. From vintage classics to modern heroes, the GNX3000's 46 amp and cabinet models run the gamut of fine tone. Whether it's based on a '65 Fender� Blackface Deluxe Reverb� or a '99 Carvin� Legacy VL-100, DigiTech's new Component-Based Modeling� delivers superb reproduction. Pairing one with any of the 32 cabinet models gives you even more tonal options. I spent some time honing my own ideal sound and was amazed how easy it was and how great it sounded. In addition, two pickup models let you easily slide between the clear, ringing tone of a single coil and the warm, raw sound of a humbucker.

Your gear bag is sure to get a lot lighter once you discover the brilliance of the GNX3000's 57 effects, including 11 popular stompbox emulations. Forget lugging multiple pedals around--the GNX3000 is packed with outstanding effects that can conjure up any tone you can imagine. The stompbox models are based on classics like the Ibanez� TS-9 Tube Screamer�, the Boss� DS-1�, Roger Mayer Octavia, and the DigiTech Grunge�.

ToneWorks AX3000G

The built-in effects encompass the standards (reverbs, chorus, tremolo) as well as two killer acoustic guitar simulators, Univibe, analog and ping-pong delays, phasers, and even a pitch-shifter! Create to your imagination's end using up to 11 effects at a time and save your settings easily in any of the 65 user presets. You can also use the included X-Edit software for both PC and Mac to devise your own patches on your computer and transfer them to the GNX3000. If you're not too much of an experimentalist, the 130 factory presets will help you get started building your sound.

The GNX3000 has other nice touches that make it a joy to use in a live setting. Separate 1/4" and XLR outputs, each with its own level control, allow you to run the signal to both your amp and the PA. This came in handy for me when switching between my acoustic-electric, which I like to run directly through the PA, and my Les Paul that goes to my tube amp. The amp and cabinet models sound so authentic that I even did a few songs without my amp at all and they sounded great!

Digitech GNX3000

Recording Time

A simple USB audio/MIDI connection is the GNX3000's portal to laying down tracks on your computer with ease. Included with the unit is Pro Tracks Plus� multitrack recording software for PC, developed with the same folks who created the industry-leading Cakewalk�. With Pro Tracks Plus and the GNX3000, there's no need for a mixer.

The GNX3000 has a built-in drum machine with over 80 patterns, balanced 1/4" line inputs, and a dbx� mic preamp with phantom power. It handles up to six tracks of 24-bit audio (four tracks recording, two tracks playback). I was putting tunes together in no time at all--complete with drums and vocals--and I especially dug the handsfree aspect of it all. Pro Tracks Plus also has editing and mixing functions, as well as the awesome Lexicon� Pantheon� reverb plug-in, that make it a snap to take your recordings to a polished, professional finished product with ease.

Pure Power

The GNX3000's potential truly amazes me. As a performance tool, it essentially eliminates the need for different guitars (there are even two acoustic guitar models!), effects pedals, amps, and cabinets. Heck, you don't even need an amp with this thing! Being able to access and layer so many different effects opens up limitless tonal possibilities.

DigiTech GNX3000 Guitar Workstation

There are also great practice tools like Learn-A-Lick� and Jam-A-Long�. Learn-A-Lick� lets you sample a phrase (up to nine seconds long) from a CD or other source and slow it down to 1/4 of its original speed without any change in pitch--perfect for learning those blazing licks by your favorite guitarist. With Jam-A-Long, your source material is channeled through the GNX3000's headphone output, letting you play along with your favorite songs. Both are extremely effective practice tools for any guitarist that wants to learn from the pros.

Guitarists of every level will benefit from having a GNX3000 in their rig. For the gigging player, the effects, amp, and cab models and I/O make it the ideal tool for playing live and eliminating the clutter that multiple pedals, cabinets, etc., create. In the studio or for home recording, features like the included software, built-in drum machine, line inputs, and dbx mic preamp make it indispensable. The Learn-A-Lick and Jam-A-Long functions are sure to benefit your playing. Truly a tool for all occasions!

Features & Specs:

  • 46 amp models
  • 32 cabinet models
  • Component-Based Modeling�
  • Single-coil and humbucking pickup models
  • 57 programmable effects, 11 at one time
  • 130 factory, 65 user presets
  • USB audio/MIDI interface with Hands-Free� recording
  • XLR and 1/4" direct stereo outs
  • Balanced 1/4" line inputs
  • Pro Tracks Plus� recording software
  • 6 channels of 24-bit audio (Record 4/Playback 2)
  • X-Edit � Editor/Librarian for PC/Mac
  • Drum machine with over 80 patterns
  • Chromatic tuner
  • Learn-A-Lick�
  • Jam-A-Long�
  • 7 wide-spaced footswitches
  • Rugged metal chassis and treadle
  • dbx� mic preamp with phantom power
  • 3 assignable expression pedal functions at one time


    What is a 1-4-5 Progression?

    Noah Goldstein; Scarsdale, NY

    Q: I am an intermediate guitarist and I have gone through your learn Rock Guitar Beginner and Intermediate DVD's they truly are the best on the market, I own about 60 others and none of them touch yours!

    Here is my question; What is a 1 -4 -5 progression? I hear many musicians talking about this and I know it has something to do with song structure but can you clear this up for me? Thanks.

    A: Thanks for the props!! We try hard and love to hear the feedback.

    A 1-4-5 progression is the most popular chord progression in music. The numbers refer to the scale degrees that the chords are built from.

    Let's say you wanted to make a 1-4-5 progression in the key of "C" Major. The "C" Major scale goes C-D-E-F-G-A-B so the first note is "C" the 1, from this note we make a "C" Major chord, the fourth note is "F" or the 4 and we make an "F" Major chord from this note. And finally "G" is the 5 and we make a "G" Major chord from this note.

    So a "C" Major 1-4-5 progression is formed by playing "C", "F", &"G" Major chords.

    You can use this theory with any Major scale to form the 1-4-5 progression. As you get more familiar with the sound this creates you'll start to notice how many great songs were written using this progression. It's also the foundation for the famous 12 bar blues progression. Have some fun!!!

    Hope this helps!

    Yours in Music
    John McCarthy
    Rock House


    Part 2

    spacerspacerspacerAerosmith's Brad Whitford:

    Not Yet Jaded

    Part 2: Easier in the Old Days? / Label Heads / Steve Vai

    Q: Right. A lot of times I think that in the time period that you started, there were fewer people chasing after that dream. I could be completely wrong Brad - but it seems that there were fewer people chasing after the dream of rock stardom and that, therefore, the ones who were pretty serious were more obvious or found each other easier. Am I wrong about that?

    Whitford: No, no I think that's true. It just wasn't as big then. It's grown so much. Now, everybody and their brother has got a guitar. You see everybody from football players to baseball players to racecar drivers - they all have their little bands. Everybody wants to play rock 'n' roll. I think back then it just wasn't as proliferated or whatever. It was still a handful. It wasn't a majority. It seems like everybody can at least play an A chord or something.

    Q: To me that seems to hurt people's chances. For one because it's harder to find the truly serious people, but also because there are just so many bands out there. Also as far as the way the record companies handle things - it almost seems that the whole one-hit wonder thing is rampant right now and I sometimes wonder if it's not because it's in their financial best interest to keep it that way.

    Whitford: Well, certainly there's some validity to that. They need to have their successes and losses. And I think it's certainly not in the best interest of some of these groups that sign record contracts. It's kind of like a death warrant. It's like guaranteed that you're gonna go into debt 'cause so few people make it. But you go make an album, and they have you make a couple of videos, and the next thing you know they're handing you a bill. And you might collect 10 years down the road, after they've sold however many records.

    Q: But you also may not still be a band, at that point.

    Whitford: Exactly. You'll be working in some shoe store.

    Q: Also in those days that we discussed - the '60s, the '70s - a lot of the people that were running labels were musicians or songwriters. It just isn't that way anymore. And I think it has really affected music overall, in a negative sense. I wonder how you feel about that.

    Whitford: Oh, definitely, yeah, it used to be fans. I think the majority of them now are not even owned by Americans. I was just reading an article about Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton. I went to see them play in Japan and they were saying what a treat it was to sign with Steve Vai's label, and talk to a president of a label who knew what you were talking about and understood what you wanted to do. And that's the way the big companies used to be. [Editor's Note: Find out more about Steve Vai and his label Favored Nations on ]

    Q: And their decision-makers and the people who were looking for talent,

    Whitford: Yeah. They were players.

    Q: We're actually working pretty closely with Steve and his label. We're doing a lot of promotions with a lot of those people. In fact, I just interviewed a Favored Nations guitarist named Johnny A., from the Boston area, are you familiar with him?

    Whitford: Oh, sure. Yeah, he's a good friend of mine.

    Q: Yeah.

    Whitford: Terrific album.

    Q: Yeah, it is. It's really cool stuff.

    Whitford: Really cool album.

    Q: Is that kind of similar to what you were talking about maybe wanting to do someday?

    Whitford: Yeah. I love his album, you know. I like that kind of thing. Yeah, stuff like that. You know I don't know if I'll ever get to do it, but you know, maybe.

    Q: Do you have your own studio at home?

    Whitford: No, not really. I don't. I mean I have some little stuff I play with, but like most of us live within about 10 miles of each other and almost all the other guys have Pro Tools setups, so... And then we have a separate one that we have, a travel studio, so I have access to it if I want to use it. I didn't see the point in throwing another studio in, with two literally within a mile of my house.

    Q: Do you get over there often, when you're not on the road?

    Whitford: It depends on what we're doing or how long we've been off the road and all that.

    Q: Right. Which in the last few years hasn't been that much.

    Whitford: No.

    Q: Obviously, you're very comfortable with Pro Tools. What do you think about the whole digital recording revolution?

    Whitford: Well, I don't know shit about it, but I certainly like the results. I don't know a thing about operating it. It's very impressive. It's certainly fun to work with because you can keep up with your train of thought, really. The machinery will stay there with you. You don't have to say, 'OK wait, we've gotta stop and tape this together, and do this, and do that.' I mean you can just kind of go, 'All right, let's do it.' I think that part of it is great. The spontaneity of it is really helpful.

    Q: Yeah. So are you saying that everybody else in the band has a Pro Tools studio?

    Whitford: I think everybody else does, yeah.

    Q: So why are you the one guy that doesn't? For obvious reasons - they've all got one you don't need one - but I mean is there something more than that? Is it because you're having fun with your go-cart track? [Editor's Note: Whitford is a part owner of a seriously cool indoor go-cart racetrack in Boston, Massachuesetts. Check it out at ]

    Whitford: Well, I like my home to be my home. I don't really want to bring the music business too much into where I live. In the past few years I just don't do that much recording at home.

    Interview provided by

    Recommended Listening - A Must For Your Collection!

    Earl Klugh, Naked Guitar
    By Ron Forbes-Roberts
    Earl Klugh enjoys some intimate one-on-one with his instrument on this provocatively titled CD comprising 14 solo guitar arrangements of jazz and pop standards, as well as one of his best known originals, �Angelina.� Naked Guitar reprises the approach and format of Klugh�s classic 1991 release, Solo Guitar, but there are definite differences between the two albums. On the new CD, Klugh imbues much of the material�including �The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,� �In the Moonlight,� and a surprising version of the Lennon/McCartney song �I Want to Hold Your Hand��with a Latin feel that was far less prevalent on the earlier, swing-oriented album. He also stretches out considerably more on Naked Guitar. His improvisations on pieces like �Who Can I Turn To� and �All the Things You Are� illustrate his adeptness at spontaneously creating melodic lines over complex harmonic progressions, often bringing to mind the pianistic musings of Bill Evans. He shifts gears with a wry version of �Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead,� an homage to Chet Atkins, one of his most important influences. Throughout this excellent CD, Klugh�s playing is relaxed, emotive, and eminently absorbing. (Koch,

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