New website!

I wanted an overhaul, but it wouldn’t let me transfer domains so I just did a new one!

Please head over to:

Www.philhepworth.co.uk

To see my new website!

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Time Signature Madness!

Please head over to:

Www.philhepworth.co.uk

To see my new website!

A few months ago I asked my friends on the wonderful world of Facebook for their favourite or most interesting songs with alternative time signatures or something interesting about their rhythms/feel. Here is the list we came up with.

When I say alternative time signatures, I mean ones that aren’t just in 4/4 3/4 or 6/8, although some of these may well be with something else quirky about them.

I’m not gonna put links to videos – lazy.

tardis-coffee

5/4

Take Five – Dave Brubeck

Seven Days – Sting

Mission Impossible – Lalo Schifrin

Everything in it’s Right Place – Radiohead – or 10/4

From Eden – Hozier

7/4

Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel

Times Like These – The Foo Fighters – in 4 and 7 later on

7/8

March of the Pigs – Nine Inch Nails – 7/8 for three bars 8/8 for one

Money – Pink Floyd – other than the guitar solo in 4

Them Bones – Alice in Chains

The Sounds of Muzak – Porcupine Tree (count it as 3+3+3+3+2 to make 14, it’s easier)

9/8

Blue Rondo à la Turk – Dave Brubeck

I Hung My Head – Sting

Umm…

Postman Pat Theme -Bryan Daly – 3/4 bar within 4/4

Kashmir – Led Zeppelin – 4/4 (drums) vs 34 (everything else) + random bar of 9/8

Black Dog – Drums in 44 guitar and bass in 5/4 – 5 over 4

Golden Brown – The Stranglers – 13/8 – or three bars of 3/4 then one of 4

Heart of Glass Blondie – carefully placed bars of 3/4 within 4/4

Hey Ya – Outkast – sneaky bar of 2/4

Paranoid Android – Radiohead – 4/4 7/8 8/8

Commemorative T-shirt – Oceansize – 9/8 and 11/8

Why Do You Hate Me – Marmozets – 9/8 4/4 3/4 11/8 2/4 – in different orders within the first 15 seconds of the song. Ouch.

The Riverboat Song – Ocean Colour Scene – 6/4

Tubular Bells – Mike Oldfield – 9/8 7/8

Turn it on Again – Genesis – 6/4 and 7/4 (13/4) for some parts.  4/4 5/4 (9/4) in others.

2+2=5 – 7/4 8/4 4/4

The Pyramid Song – Radiohead – See below:

The Terminator Theme – Brad Fiedel – http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/02/the_time_signature_of_the_terminator_score_is_a_mystery_for_the_ages.html

Random others that are interesting:

Six Ate – Camel

45 – Bearskin

Subdivisions – Rush

It’s Indian Tobacco My Friend – Cornershop

To the End – Blur

Dave’s Gone skiing – Toto

All Radiohead time signatures in almost mundane detail:

http://pastebin.com/Hf04Q6Ym

Here’s a Spotify link to them all: (there are probably a few missing)

This post is more detailed than mine:

http://theeviljam.co.uk/2014/07/31/famous-songs-in-slightly-odd-time-signatures-a-guide-to-rhythms/

Enjoy.

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What electric guitar shall I buy my child?

(If you) “Buy Cheap, you’ll buy twice”

So I get asked this a lot. Horrible when a student comes to lessons after Christmas with a guitar that would be better used to bash out a fire to be re-lit as another fire than plugged into an amp.

This is my exact reply to the last one. I’m not up for editing it or removing the links. Mostly it’s down to preference and opinion I guess.

Just buy a HSS Yamaha Pacifica and be done with it….Ideally one that’s already been set up.

 

I was fortunate enough to get this Strat as my first proper electric guitar after playing my dad’s old rusty relic guitar for years. I still play and love it to this day so worth every penny!

IMG_0001

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Email to parent:

Eek…

A lot of the starter kits tend to be quite terrible. It is quite easy to buy an electric guitar which is practically unplayable these days (one of my pupils has done this recently and I can’t express how bad it is!) so I’m glad you asked!

I always recommend Yamaha Pacificas as they are very good for a small relatively small amount of money. Though they are a little more than what you’ve been looking at. Fender squires are ok as well but the quality can vary from guitar to guitar.

The Epiphone Les Paul Express guitar are surprisingly good for such a small amount of cash (but not half as good as their full sized brothers):

http://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/Epiphone-Les-Paul-Express-Electric-Guitar-Vintage-Sunburst/XGZ

The Fender Squire minis are probably better than the epiphone though:

http://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/Squier-By-Fender-Mini-Stratocaster-3-4-Size-Electric-Guitar-Black/5G

The school has one of these actually.

Electric guitars are smaller than acoustic/classical guitars anyway and I think “child’s name” would be fine with a full sized guitar. The advantage of a full sized guitar is that the string tension is higher and therefore the intonation is (usually) better.

If the member of shop staff can tune it up and play a few chords that sound good then it should be ok. If they can’t do this don’t buy it essentially. Another problem that makes cheaper guitar unplayable in when the strings are too far away from the neck so it’s very hard to push the strings down onto the frets.

I hope this helps, sorry for rambling. Buying cheap guitars in a total minefield!

It’s hard to tell how good a guitar is without playing and they vary even if they are the exact same make and model.

 

Followed by another quick mention:

http://www.dawsons.co.uk/epiphone-les-paul-special-ve-electric-guitar?prod=110106&gclid=Cj0KEQiA6_TBBRDInaPjhcelt5oBEiQApPeTF7dm8XQj6pOxLlBVrNdJ6-Zh-TLx4b3UIaDj87xnc4oaAps58P8HAQ

 

However this is much better than the Epiphone Express and you can get them from Dawsons in Leeds City Centre I think…

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I’d be interested if anybody had any other opinions?

 

 

 

Phil

 

 

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Soundwave 2016

Figured I should post this before I forget…

Soundwave 2016:

Another belting year at Soundwave Croatia including a longer road trip (stopping by Oxfordshire, Nijmegen, Berlin, Prague, Graz, Villach and Strasbourg), a slightly shorter and less sunny stay at Tisno, accidentally having dinner with Craig Charles, dancing to Gentleman’s Dub Club and thunder storms!

I played at my old guitar teacher’s wedding the night before being picked up from Witney in Oxfordshire to start the long journey to Croatia. We set off about 10/11ish and easily made our ferry across to Calais with no sea sickness to speak of and started to make our way to our first destination in Nijmegen. We spent two nights in Berlin and had a rehearsal in Noisy Rooms which is an awesome rehearsal space with great equipment.

We then proceeded to Prague via a music shop to buy some new gear as we had some laptop problems. The gig in Prague was…interesting and eventually turned into a blues and folk jam after playing some acoustic arrangements of Rogan songs. Leaving Prague early in the morning after some of us spent the night clubbing and some got an early night, we set off on our last leg of our trip to Tisno via Graz to pick up Josh’s brother.

We arrived quite late at the festival site and were swiftly pounced on by plain clothes police officers who decided we needed a full search. After seeing the amount of gear piled up in the back, they swiftly changed their minds and skulked off into the night leaving us to unload all our stuff, collect our festival and AAA passes and find our apartments. Aside from a few accommodation issues and the occasional power cut, the rest of the festival went off without a hitch and both gigs were great and we had photographers and videographers to boot! The sound was as great as it was last year thanks to the amazing sound team (especially Kim!)

The next day we went out for a celebratory meal to Teresa (mostly because we were knackered) where we accidentally sat next to Craig Charles, who is hilarious and a truly lovely man, along with his family.

The trip back was long, hot and tiring but we managed the whole thing without trying to kill each other and even included a lovely night and dinner on the outskirts of Strasbourg. After the ferry we went via Witney again to Manchester and finally tumbled into Leeds about two in the morning with about 3500 miles on the clock.

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New Equipment Blog

Right, well I thought I ought to put up some information about all the new stuff I have purchased over the last couple of months because I am very happy with all of it!! I may direct people here if they ever want my full feedback on something I have recently purchased. The new equipment I have bought ranges from computers to acoustic guitar pickups, but are predominantly music based! They are all listed as follows:-

1. Ashdown 4/10 Bass Cab Review

2. Tanglewood Canyon III Bass Guitar Review

3. Markbass Little Mark Tube Bass Amp Head Review

4. Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar Review

5. Seymour Duncan XL Big Woody Acoustic Guitar Pickup Review

6. Apple Mac Book Review

7. BOSS DD6 Delay Pedal Review

8. Mbox 1 Review

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If you want to know any more detail or information about the items below feel free to send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Ashdown 4/10 Bass Cab Review

Pros – This Ashdown Cab is very loud without breaking up and sounds really nice without any muddyness or lack of clarity. Handles on either side make it easier to carry considering its weight. Well built and won’t break in a hurry.

Cons – Biggest con is it it really heavy. It could do with some castors.

The ashdown 4 by 10 is a great sounding bass cab, especially considering new they aren’t very expensive, and second hand, MUCH less. No unpleasant highs or too muddy lows. I power it through my new MarkBass Little Tube Bass Head which sounds gorgeous with a lot of variation. This ashdown cab is a very loud, nice sounding speaker, however, it comes with the drawback of being exceptionally large and heavy. It won’t even fit in the boot of some cars and is a pain to squeeze into a back seat even with two people battling with it. It looks the part with its four 10″ speakers and tweeter, covered with a carpet feel casing and metal grill on the front.

The Ashdown 4/10 bass cab is definitely an amp I’d recommend to someone who needs the power and has the ability to transport it. Otherwise I’d suggest getting two 2/10 Cabs which gives you the option of using just one for smaller gigs or both for larger gigs with the option to aim the speakers in different directions (towards the drummer for example).

Tanglewood Canyon III Electric Bass Guitar in Spalted Maple Review

Advantages – Light, affordable, easy to play, varied and easily adjustable tone. Looks awesome.

Disadvantages – Not a whole lot of sustain, tone not amazing but still very good for price. Hard to find one. Awkward to play when sitting down.

I spent months looking for a suitable bass guitar primarily for use in my function band ‘The Beat Collective’ as well as many other ventures such as recording and depping. I was originally aiming for a 5 string yamaha bass but I struggled to find a suitable instrument anywhere without resorting to importing one from the states. But then, by sheer fluke, I was browsing through Gumtree Leeds and decided to take a quick look at the Manchester Gumtree when I quickly found this beautiful looking, naturally finished, thru-neck 4 string bass. The Tanglewood Canyon III!

The Tanglewood Canyon 3 is the top end of the Tanglewood bass guitar range, it’s very nice to play and does all I need it to for a player in my situation. It is a long scale active bass with 24 frets and East River pickups which sound great for Rock and Soul and even slap and pop can sound good with the right settings. The Canyon 3′s four controls for volume, bass, middle and treble are nicely set into the body in small circular recesses and the three tone controls are all centre indented which is handy for reliable on stage adjustment. I considered replacing the pick-ups when I first got it, but after putting it through a decent amp, (Markbass Little Mark Tube) I decided to leave them be. The high end of the tone is quite woody and the low end has a nice kick to it which is easily adjusted using the tone controls. When I got the guitar I was surprised to see flat wound strings (essentially fretless bass strings) on it which were nice to play on a first, but I quickly got tired of their dull, characterless tone. I got these replaced with Rotosound strings along with a set up to lower the actions slightly, and it came back to life, especially in the slap and pop department.

All in all the Tanglewood Canyon III is a nice sounding, easy to play, light and affordable bass guitar that looks fantastic. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a bass guitar for under £800.

MarkBass Little Mark Tube Bass Head Review

As far as I am concerned, I can’t see myself having to buy another bass amp head ever again! Just maybe different bass cab shapes and sizes. The Markbass Little Mark tube head is extremely powerful for such a small, light (6.31 lbs), and elegant looking unit. It is a valve amp head with produces 800 watts into 4 Ohms, it has a 4-band EQ, variable pre-shape filter and a vintage loudspeaker emulator. It also has two input channels (one with XLR input as well as 1/4” jack), a variable XLR line out and a handy mute switch if you pull the master volume out slightly. On top of this, there is a control that can blend between the warm sounds of the tube preamp with the clean attack of the solid state preamp (The black control next to the Markbass logo.) On the back of the unit there is also a ground lift switch, a pre/post EQ switch, a line out for a tuner, and the main outputs are a speak-on out and class 2 wiring as well for 1/4” jack connections.

Sound-wise, the MarkBass Little Mark is amazingly versatile, awesomely loud and generally mind blowing. It handle the lows without muddy blur for your rock or metal which can be enhanced with the VLE control, and on the other hand you can push the VPS filter up above 12 o’clock and out come the higher end tones which is perfect for a funky slap sound, all without touching the EQ! At all settings from lows to highs on the EQ to different levels of the VLE and the VPS filter, this amp produces a clear tone that can sit nicely under your band or, with minor adjustment, can cut through without being offensively loud or harsh sounding.

Out of all bass amps I’ve played including Ampeg, GK, Trace elliot, Ashdown, Hartke, among others, this amp is definitely a winner for me. It seems to be able to easily handle all sorts of different sounds brilliantly which I’ve never found with other amps. The Little Mark’s great sound and power along with its light, small transportability, are among the many reasons I would recommend this it to anybody who can afford it, and why I never intend to trade it in for anything else. I have never reliably heard anything bad about the MarkBass Little Mark Tube, or the MarkBass brand in general. From what I have heard MarkBass have great customer service should you have a problem (which I have also heard is very unlikely due to their reliability!)

Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar Review

I have a habit of stumbling over instruments in shops, giving them a quick play, then falling in love with them and not being able to put them down. This is exactly what happened in Manchester with my Taylor Big Baby. Going to Forsyths in Manchester just to accompany someone to look at violin bows and I came away with this beauty. I do not regret it for a second! I previously had a Baby Taylor but sold it because I rarely used it and had a Yamaha CPX5 but sold this as well. This guitar does what the other two could do and more (with a little help from my Seymour Duncan XL Woody pickup).

The action is nice and low and the neck isn’t too thick the whole way up to the 14 th fret making it very easy to play. The sound is sparkly and bright especially with finger picking making it great for folky, acoustic finger style. It is a very loud guitar without sounding too boxy, and soloing is quite effective on it also. It holds its tuning very well and works very well with alternate tunings and capos. It isn’t great for slide because of the low action but it can be achieved if you are gentle!

The matt finish make the guitar look gorgeous and not to flashy. The simple headstock adds to the simple professional look with the Taylor logo at the top. I find few things on an acoustic more irritating than there only being one strap lock (why do people think one is enough?) but fortunately the Big Baby has one on the bottom of the guitar and one just behind the 14th fret on the other side of the body.

Seymour Duncan XL Big Woody Acoustic Guitar Pickup Review

I’ve only used this pickup a few times for gigging and only once for recording so I think I’ll keep testing it for a bit before I do a full blown review on it. So far it has performed very well and sounds beautiful recorded as well. The only problem I have had with it so far is that I had to significantly reduce the height of the pickup poles for the little E and B as they were much louder than the others. The cable can be a little irritating  but if it can be fixed in place then it will not be as issue. The XL Big Woody produces almost no hum what so ever even at high volumes and it looks awesome and natural especially when next to my natural finish Taylor acoustic guitar and winds up perfectly into its bag in the front pocket of my guitar case!

Full review to follow.

Apple Macbook Review

My Macbook has RAM expansion, Leopard OS and has Logic and ILife installed. Long review to follow about how much easier to use, faster, more reliable, user friendly, and better to look at Macs are than any PC I have ever used. Love it.

BOSS DD6 Delay Pedal Review

Having only bought this pedal very recently and only gigged with it once, I will leave it a while before a review it fully. So far it has worked pretty much as expected and I particularly appreciate the warp function and the tap-tempo function.

Mbox1 Review

This particular bit of kit is my most recent acquisition and I think I will need to play with it a lot and understand it a bit more before I can give a reliable opinion on it. It is no longer commercially available as the two companies that produced it parted ways. However, the Mbox 2 is available.

1. Ashdown 4/10 Bass Cab Review

2. Tanglewood Canyon III Bass Guitar Review

3. Markbass Little Mark Tube Bass Amp Head Review

4. Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar Review

5. Seymour Duncan XL Big Woody Acoustic Guitar Pickup Review

6. Apple Mac Book Review

7. BOSS DD6 Delay Pedal Review

8. Mbox 1 Review

If you want to know any more detail or information about the items below feel free to send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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New website, new Blog?

I never really new what a blog was? I still don’t think I do haha. hmm…. we shall see.

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