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8 Yaş İçin Elektro Gitar

Bir aile dostumuzun 8 yaşındaki oğlu, elektro gitara başlamak istiyormuş. Kısa bir piyasa araştırması sonucu, şu anda piyasada bulunan gitarlardan uygun olduğunu düşündüklerimi çıkardım.

Genel Bilgiler

Seçilen mağazaya gitmeden önce arayıp stok sormakta fayda var; bakmak istenen gitar ellerinde olmasa bile 1-2 güne getirtiyorlar deneyebilmek için.

Aşağıda hem küçültülmüş, hem de yetişkin boyda gitarlar seçtim. Çok büyük gelmezse, yetişkin ile başlayıp ona alışmasını öneririm. Ama büyük gelirse; hakim olamazsa veya taşıması zor olacaksa, küçültülmüş gitar tercih edilebilir.

Elektro gitarın yanında bir de amfi gerekecek, onu da önerilere dahil ettim.

İkinci el gitar / amfi de düşünülebilirdi; ancak ilk enstrümanı mağaza garantisi kapsamında almakta fayda var. Değişiklik, tamir veya bakım gerektiğinde karşınızda muhatap bulabilmek iyi bir fikir.

Do-Re Müzik

Bulvar 216’da var.

Epiphone Les Paul Express: Küçültülmüş boyutlarda, hafif, Short-Scale ve hesaplı bir elektro gitar. Epiphone, Gibson’un alt markasıdır. Bir denemek lazım ama 8 yaş için umut vaadeden bir gitar. Fiyat: ~1.250₺
Sunburst: https://www.do-re.com.tr/epiphone-les-paul-express-mini-elektro-gitar
Siyah: https://www.do-re.com.tr/epiphone-les-paul-express-mini-elektro-gitar-1

Blackstar LT-Echo 10: Küçük, hafif, kafa şişirmeyecek bir amfidir. Hem Clean hem de Distortion kanalı olduğundan, elektro gitarla ihtiyaç duyulacak iki temel tonun ikisi de alınabiliyor. Fiyat: ~567₺
https://www.do-re.com.tr/blackstar-lt-echo-10-kombo-elektro-gitar-amfisi

Zuhal Müzik

Akasya AVM’de var.

Squier Affinity Set (10): Hem gitar, hem de amfi, hem de gerekli tüm aksesuarları barındıran başlangıca uygun bir set. Squier, Fender’in alt markasıdır; hesaplı gitarları Squier markasıyla üretiyorlar yani. Fiyat: ~2.500₺
https://shop.zuhalmuzik.com/Stop-Dreaming-Start-Playing-Set-Affinity-Strat-Fender-Frontman-10G-Amp-Black_78298.html#0

Squier Affinity Set (15): Yukarıdakinin neredeyse aynısı; sadece amfisi biraz daha güçlü ve gitardaki manyetiklerden biri Humbucker. Fiyat: ~2.900₺. Ben ikisi arasında, biraz daha hacimli amfiyi tercih ederdim (yani bu set).
Kırmızı: https://shop.zuhalmuzik.com/Stop-Dreaming-Start-Playing-Set-Affinity-Strat-HSS-Fender-Frontman-15G-Amp-Candy-Apple-Red_78300.html#0
Sunburst: https://shop.zuhalmuzik.com/Stop-Dreaming-Start-Playing-Set-Affinity-Strat-HSS-Fender-Frontman-15G-Amp-Brown-Sunburst_78301.html#0

Senkop Müzik

Tünel’de var. Zuhal’de de bulunan Squier Affinity’ler burada da satılıyor. Fiyatları aynı gibi.

Squier Affinity Set (10 siyah): https://www.senkop.com.tr/Squier-Affinity-Series-Strat-Frontman-10G-Amp-BLK,PR-64443.html

Squier Affinity Set (10 Sunburst): https://www.senkop.com.tr/Squier-Affinity-Series-Strat-Frontman-10G-Amp-SB,PR-64442.html

Squier Affinity Set (15 Sunburst): https://www.senkop.com.tr/Squier-Affinity-Set-Strat-HSS-BSB-Frontman-15G-Elektro-Gitar,PR-57627.html

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Jazz Modes Guitar Cheat Sheet

Here is my quick, dirty and shameless cheat sheet for jazz modes; which can be applied to guitar and bass.

mod cheat

Guide for minor oriented modes:

  • Find the root note on the top string. Example: A.
  • Move two frets up (reaching G), and play the major scale (G major). Those notes build up the A Dorian scale.
  • Move two more frets up (reaching F), and play the major scale (F major). Those notes build up the A Phrygian scale.

Guide for major oriented modes:

  • Jump one string below (reaching D), and play the major scale (D major). Those notes build up the A Mixolydian scale.
  • Move one fret down (reaching D#), and play the 7 scale (D#7). Those notes build up the tritone substitude for A7. That’s not really a jazz mode, but is still useful.
  • Move one more fret down (reaching E), and play the major scale (E major). Those notes build up the A Lydian scale.

 

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Single Coil Hum

Although I love my Jazz Bass, one of its typical problems was buzzing me off every now and then. Yes, I’m talking about the single coil hum, which is also known as the 60-cycle hum. In plain English; most jazz basses will produce a hum when you emphasize / solo one of the pickups. But when you turn the pickup volumes full simultaneously, the hum disappears.

Why Do Pickups Hum?

This happens due to the complex nature of magnets and electricity. In basic words; one of the pickups is wired clockwise, and the other one is wired counterclockwise. When you solo the bridge pickup, it exposes a polarity of +100 and produces a hum. When you solo the neck pickup, it exposes a polarity of -100 and produces a hum. When you turn them both on, +100 – 100 = 0, so they balance each other out and the hum disappears.

This is not the exact physical model of what happens, but rather a mathematical analogy to help you understand.

Precision basses don’t have this problem, because they have a split coil design. It has the single coil pickup split in two, and guess what? One of them is wired clockwise, while the other is wired counterclockwise. Therefore; in terms of hum, a precision bass is dead quiet because +100 – 100 = 0.

Solutions

You can install noiseless pickups, but those will be stack-coil or split-coil magnets, which sound different than vintage single coils. Not necessarily bad, though; it is a taste thing.

There are ways to hide the single coil hum; though.

Some basses have phantom coils installed to balance out the hum of the single coil pickup.

If you use a noise gate pedal, it will mute the signal less than a certain dB. When you set up the threshold correctly, your hum will be muted when you stop playing.

EHX Hum Debugger is another pedal to cut the hum, which has a different approach: It completely mutes the frequency where the hum occurs. That modifies your tone too. Some people notice / mind that, some don’t.

Finally, you can turn down your guitar or balance your pickups until the song starts. The hum is audible during silence, but not as much in the mix.

Other Sources of Noise

Pedalboards can produce a lot of noise too. Check my corresponding article How To Get Rid of Pedalboard Noise .

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Effect Pedal Purchase Guide

Many musicians (including me) buy & sell & trade pedals more than they would like to admit. I occasionally get questions about how & why to choose a pedal.

To make things easier, I would like to follow the Two Factor Theory approach and categorize the pedals into two main categories.

Hygiene Pedals

Those are the pedals you pick to solve a certain audio problem. Questions leading to a hygiene pedal are:

  • What exactly is my audio problem?
  • Can I solve it without a pedal?
  • (If not) Which pedal(s) can help me solve it?

If your guitar has a hum problem, you might get a noise gate or Hum Debugger.

If you need to even out the signal, you might get a compressor.

If you slap too hard, you might get a limiter.

If you need to fill a larger sonic space, you might get an octaver.

You get the idea. Such pedals would get you from the point of dissatisfaction to the point of “no dissatisfaction”.

Motivator Pedals

Those are the pedals you pick to get a certain sound. Questions leading to a motivator pedal are:

  • What is the emotion I want to project?
  • Which sound would project that emotion?
  • Can I get it without a pedal?
  • (If not) Which pedal(s) can help me produce it?

If you want to project ambient emotions, you might get a reverb / delay.

If you want to effectuate the 80’s era, you might get a synth simulator.

If you want to awaken adrenaline, you might get a high gain pedal.

If you want to be funky, you might get an envelope filter.

You get the idea. Such pedals would get you from the point of “no dissatisfaction” to the point of “satisfaction”.

Mind you that not all emotions can be labeled as I did above. The trick is to “feel it” first (not label it), and then to “hear it” in your head first (before reaching for a pedal).

The Rest

In my humble opinion, pedals falling outside those categories are mostly garbage or toys. But hey, one man’s garbage can be another man’s treasure; and toys can be fun!

Just be mindful of where each pedal belongs to. Unnecessary pedals cost unnecessary money, space; and are potential sources of audio problems.

Some Tips

Finally, here are some general tips.

How a pedal sounds on your home amp might be very different from how it sounds on a real PA and within the mix. Be ready to tweak your pedals during the sound check, and too many pedals might make a complete tweak nearly impossible in some gigs due to time limitations.

This leads us to the conclusion that simpler is better. In fact, many pro players get by without any pedals at all, and they sound just fine for their respective genre.

Be mindful of analog vs digital pedals. Analog pedals produce more organic sounds, while digital pedals usually give you more control over the sound. However, digital pedals rely on audio-to-digital converters, which might ruin your tone if the converter is not high quality.

Single pedals dedicated to a certain effect usually sound much better than multi-effect pedals; with some exceptions here and there.

Some pedals might add noise to your audio, but that problem can (sometimes) be solved.

Conclusion

Playing around with your sound is part of the fun, and it is a never ending process. Your technique, style and musical taste will change over time, and you will probably be looking for new ways to express yourself. Pedals can help you with that, but getting a pedal without a purpose is really a waste of resources.

Don’t let the gear companies make you feel inferior to sell you unnecessary pedals.

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Do You Need An Expensive Guitar?

I have recently purchased a supposedly entry-level humble bass guitar; but it’s quality and sound blew my mind. This motivated me towards sharing my opinion on cheap and expensive instruments.

My personal opinion is; you don’t need anything beyond gear which doesn’t dissatisfy you.

Skills over Gear

First things first: Skill is much more important than gear.

My master class instructor Selçuk Karaman (Selka) can pick any random bass & amp and make them sound great. Cheap, expensive, humble, flashy; no matter. No pedals, no effects, nothing. And he sounds like himself every time.

Kerem Türkaydın, Kerim Çaplı, Ozan Musluoğlu and Tanju Eren are some other people I played with & witnessed sounding great through humble gear.

Those people don’t cast secret spells to magically alter the signal coming out of the guitar.

The instrument itself is only one variable in a large equation.

Many factors regarding your own technique determines what kind of a sound will come out of the guitar; such as:

  • Right-hand positioning
  • Plucking style
  • Finger contact area
  • Clean string-to-string transition
  • etc…

Get them right, and you’ll sound good on any instrument. Is it completely unnecessary to buy an expensive instrument, then?

Two Factor Theory

Two factor theory distinguishes hygiene factors from motivators.

Hygiene factors are material elements; such as your guitar, amp, pedals, etc. If you significantly lack something in this area (such as inconsistent tuners or a wrapped neck), you’ll be dissatisfied. However, improving those factors can only get you to the point of no dissatisfaction.

Motivators are intangible factors; such as your enjoyment of your own playing, the reaction of the crowd, appreciation of other musicians, the bliss of making the music you love, etc. Those are the factors that would bring you satisfaction.

According to this theory; if your gear gets you to the point of no dissatisfaction, your gear is good enough. Real satisfaction starts there, which depends on intangible factors.

Musical Frustration

Many players get confused trying to pinpoint the source of their musical frustration.

In many cases, the frustration is really rooted down to lack of motivators. Improving your skills can possibly bring the excitement back. You can;

  • Learn new scales
  • Memorize new licks
  • Work on new songs
  • Study theory further & apply somewhere
  • Improve your dexterity
  • Improve your fingerboard memorization
  • Discover new musical styles
  • Release a new song
  • Join a challenging band
  • etc…

In some other cases, the frustration can really be rooted down to the lack of hygiene factors; such as:

  • A noisy rig
  • Strings getting out of tune
  • An undesired base tone
  • Instrument weight

That’s an important differentiation to make. Buying a better computer won’t make you a better programmer, right?

Buying a “better” guitar won’t make you a better musician. Improving your skills towards the premium level will.

Why do we see very expensive guitars in the hands of some famous artists, then?

Diminishing Returns

To answer this question, we need do understand the idea of diminishing returns.

Is the $100 → $500 jean quality surplus 5 times more than $20 → $100 jean quality surplus? Not really, right?

After a certain price point, what you get per $ decreases dramatically.

The quality difference between $200 – $1.000 basses would be tremendous; while the quality difference between $1.000 – $5.000 basses would be relatively small.

If an artist plays a $5.000 instrument, he/she probably found some minor improvements over a $1.000 instrument, and didn’t mind paying the surplus.

Such minor improvements skyrocket the price due to the manual labour & time investment involved; they are usually not crucial to have in a good instrument.

The artist you admire would probably sound great with your current gear too.

Besides; countless artists using standard instruments have successful careers. You definitely don’t need to spend money after reaching the point of no dissatisfaction with your hygiene factors. Work on your skills, and save your money.

Endorsements & PR

One should also remember that some artists get their gear for free anyway – due to their endorsement agreements. Who pays for their gear, do you think?

You!

When you purchase an artist endorsement guitar, mind you that a percentage of the cost of his/her free guitars are included in your price tag.

A portion of any big-brand instruments price includes such PR-related costs. So you are paying for the name hanging down your neck, not quality.

If the name is important for you and makes you feel synchronized with your favorite artists, then fine – this can be one of your motivators.

One needs to ask though: Is it worth the extra money?

Make-Up Psychology

Why would you pay $500 for a pair of jeans when you can get a very good one for $100? Is there a significant quality difference? Is it necessary to pay $400 more because some actor/actress is “known” for wearing them?

If you feel inferior, you might be willing to cover it with flashy hygiene factors; such as clothing, cellphones, cars, etc. Generally, the excessive hygiene factors that people surround themselves with, reflect what they feel like they are lacking.

The same approach can be applied to musical gear.

If you lack confidence and enjoyment in your music, you may want to cover it with gear.

This doesn’t mean that everyone playing an expensive instrument is in this trap. But if you are in this trap, you know at this very moment that I’m talking about you.

It’s better if you work on your technique instead. Better for your psychology, emotions, wallet, and listeners.

It’s obvious too, you know? When we see a mediocre player with a $5.000 guitar, we know why he/she spent a fortune on it. Unfortunately; some people even look down on others with “lesser gear”; allegedly making up their musical deficiency (motivator) with gear surplus (hygiene).

The instrument in your hand can only make a brief first impression. If you play & sound bad, no one will accept you because of your gear. If you play & sound good, no one will dismiss you because of your gear.

Fair Upgrade Reasons

The urge to upgrade your guitar even has a name: GAS . However, there can also be fair reasons for that.


  • Your musical orientation may have changed, and you need something your current guitar can’t provide; which could be…
    • …different pickup types and/or positions
    • …a different wood combination
    • …more / less strings
    • …more / less frets
    • …a tremolo bar
    • …an onboard EQ
    • …a long/short scale neck

  • Playing may have become uncomfortable, and you need…
    • …a lighter guitar because your back hurts
    • …a different neck profile to suit your hand better
    • …better craftsmanship in details; such as sharp fret edges

  • You may need to upgrade an immutable feature; which puts you in the market for…
    • …a better resonating wood
    • …more sustain

You can think of more reasons, but you get the idea. If your reasons really make sense, there is no reason why you shouldn’t upgrade your guitar – possibly to a more expensive one.

Be careful not to buy a commodity which is too expensive for you, though.

What Is Too Expensive?

My criteria for being too expensive is one simple question:

Can I loan it to someone else comfortably?

If this question triggers a financial anxiety, then the instrument in question is probably too expensive for my budget.

Technology has improved, and it is possible to produce high-quality instruments with low costs. Do your homework, and you’ll find the corresponding brand / models. A good instrument doesn’t need to be expensive.

You can probably get 85% of a “premium” guitar at  50% of its cost.

At the end of the day; it’s just wood and electronics. The humble production guitar you find in a shop may even have the exact specs you might want a luthier to build for you.

In a blind-test, would you be able to tell them apart? Or, if you were tricked that the production bass was built by a famous luthier, would your perception be positively affected?

Conclusion

I have owned more basses than I would like to admit – including custom shops and even a Fodera. Was the Fodera really worth it? The answer is arguable, but my personal opinion is;

You don’t need anything beyond gear which doesn’t dissatisfy you.

Beyond the point of no dissatisfaction; what matters is the music in you, and the technique in your hands.

For further ideas; I recommend checking the video “Does Gear Matter“.

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How To Get Rid of Pedalboard Noise

In this post, I will provide some solutions to common problems causing pedalboard noises.

Problem: Single Coil Hum

Although this is not a pedalboard problem, it can easily be mistaken for it.

Single coil guitar pickups typically hum when favored or soloed. That’s part of their mojo. If you have that issue, you should hear it even when you connect your guitar to the amp directly (without any pedals in between).

To solve this “problem”, check my article Single Coil Hum .

Problem: Power Source

How you power your pedals is important because they can easily become sources of noises. If you put batteries into each pedal and don’t connect them to any power source, you probably won’t get that much of noise – a good approach when recording.

However; that’s not practical for live situations, so most of us use power supplies supporting multiple pedals. But sharing a single power source can produce a lot of hum.

The least you can do is to get a power supply with isolated power outputs and ensure that each pedal is getting the mA they need. Most pedals run on 9V power, but some need 120 mA while others need 500 mA. If your power supply can’t feed enough power into one of your pedals, you can consider using a distinct appropriate power adapter for that one.

To determine the problematic pedal, I once removed each and every pedal from my pedalboard, and plugged my guitar in directly. No noise / hum at all. Good.

Afterwards, I started adding pedals one by one. Eventually, I discovered that 3 EHX pedals were the source of the hum: Pitch Fork, SuperEgo and Freeze.

When I power any of those pedals individually via my Joyo Power Supply 2, they add up a little hum. Powering all of them end up producing a powerful hum.

I figured out that there was nothing wrong with the pedals. The only problem was; the power supply didn’t agree with the power demands of the pedals.

I disconnected those pedals from the power supply completely, and powered them through their original individual power adapters.

Wham! The hum disappeared. My rig went dead silent.

I figured that I needed a larger multi outlet for my pedalboard now; but it is a small price to pay for rig silence.

Problem: Ground Loop

Here is a good definition of ground loops:

“When two or more devices are connected to a common ground through different paths, ground path noise, or a ground loop can occur. Thus, a system grounded at two different points, with a potential difference between the two grounds can cause unwanted noise voltage in the circuit paths.” (source)

If you have this problem, check your amp or DI box. Most of them have a “Ground Lift” switch, which interrupts the potential ground loop and may silence the rig nicely.

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Diminishing Returns on Bass Prices

I talk about diminishing returns on multiple posts about bass prices. I would like to explain what it means. Basically; “diminishing marginal return” means that the difference you get per $ decreases dramatically after a certain price point.

I would expect the quality difference between a 500$ bass and a 2.000$ bass to be much greater than the quality difference between a 2.000$ bass and a 6.000$ bass.

In other words; I would expect a 2.000$ bass to have a much higher quality than a 500$ bass. However; a 6.000$ bass wouldn’t differ that much from a 2.000$ bass.

After a certain point, we can’t even speak about a “better” bass, but we can speak about a “different” bass which is not necessarily better or worse than the cheaper one.

Here is a chart demonstrating the idea.

main-qimg-5fc8d0d7ce6fe7246cddfb6d73d908ec

Makes sense, right?

My Fodera vs Fender Custom Shop comparison provides a “case in point” demonstration of diminishing returns. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but none can be considered absolutely “better” than the other.

Now, let’s ask this question: Do You Need An Expensive Guitar?

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