Archive for Guitar

“Morning Sunshine”

Posted in Guitar riffs with tags , on August 17, 2010 by stevenreedkelly

Felt like posting the latest thing that I’ve “finished” – although you’ll notice that there isn’t a bass on this track – and the drums are programmed poorly (as per the norm).

This was a track that I started writing two years ago – finally took the time to give it an ending.


It’s been quite a while since I’ve recorded anything new

Posted in Guitar riffs with tags , on April 8, 2010 by stevenreedkelly

I’ve been pretty lazy when it comes to recording things lately.  Not that I’ve been cranking out ideas left and right either.  But it is springtime and with that always seems to come a sense of inspiration or a need to get back in a band.

Still workin’ on that “forming a band” thing.  Kinda miss playing shows.

Regardless – This is something I came up with a couple weeks ago.  Still not entirely finished yet, but it’s more fully-baked than a lot of other things I’ve come up with.

East Coast – an old favorite

Posted in Guitar riffs with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2010 by stevenreedkelly

I wrote this jam back in ’07 or ’08 when I was playing bass in Charlie Scott and Mike Saffert’s band, the Farm League, for a stint.  One day, we were sitting around the practice space and I came up with the chorus chord progression – I took it home later and kinda flushed it out a little bit.  I believe this was one of the songs where I used the Fender Mustang quite a bit.  Unfortunately, I lost the garageband files when my old mac bit the dust, but thankfully this song is a ton of fun to play so I memorized all of the parts.

I know it needs words badly… but it’s one of my favorites.  Hope you dig it!

Gear reviews: Catalinbread Heliotrope

Posted in Gear, Guitar riffs, Recommendations with tags , , on February 26, 2010 by stevenreedkelly

Everyone has their vice.  Some people buy crack cocaine, others spend all their money playing online poker.  My mother enjoys exploiting deals on coupons at grocery stores and hoarding cans of tuna fish and corn in her upstairs closet (true story).  I have a bad habit of impulsively acquiring gear for my guitar setup.

One of the toys I bought last year was Catalinbread Heliotrope – which they market as a “harmonic pixelator” or a bit crusher/ring modulator effect.  Garageband actually has a bit crusher effect that I’ve used a few times while recording and it made me want to find a pedal that would allow me to utilize the effect in a live setting.  I settled on the Heliotrope because it was relatively cheap ($160) and although it’s not a true bit crusher (which takes the original signal and lowers the sample rate, effectively making the sample intervals larger – which alters the original signal by making it sound like one constant, flat tone instead of a complex analog signal),  the demo videos sounded pretty rad.

In my first trials, I placed the pedal in my chain somewhere before the amp and not in the effects loop.  Maybe one of the first things I noticed was that I could constantly hear a high-pitched squeal coming from the pedal.  I emailed the company to see if I had purchased a defective unit and they informed me that this was the carrier frequency, and part of the design of the pedal.  Who wants a pedal that emits an ear splitting noise whenever it’s engaged?

I felt a little disappointed.

I went back to the drawing board though and I placed the Heliotrope in my effects loop, after the pre-amp but before the speaker (I’m using a Mesa Boogie Lone Star 1×12 combo).  Much to my surprise, this seemed to mask the carrier frequency, allowing me to fully enjoy the sound of my guitar and the pedal.

There are four knobs on the Heliotrope and they get a little tricky to maneuver.  I’ll describe them like this:

Volume – Easy enough.  You should be able to figure that one out.  I’ll say this – without the 18volt power adaptor, when the pedal is engaged, it’ll dramatically decrease your signal volume.  I have a standard 9V adaptor and it doesn’t really cut the mustard.

Gain – Again, this is pretty self explanatory – it kinda controls the amount of dirt you’re cranking into your signal.

Sample Rate – Okay, this is where you need to pay attention…  This knob actually controls your carrier frequency.  If it doesn’t sync up with the key you’re playing in, everything will sound completely dissonant.  It’s almost beneficial to play a note and then adjust the knob to get a clear idea of where you want to be (sounds confusing – but it’s almost like tuning a guitar by ear.)

Resolution – Catalinbread describes this knob as similar to focusing a camera lens – and I really like that analogy.  Once your Sample Rate is set, this knob allows you to deconstruct the signal as much as you want.  Using the Sample Rate and Resolution knobs in conjunction is essential to getting a great sound out of this pedal.

I recorded a little demo using the Catalinbread Heliotrope.  This pedal requires a lot of attentions in order to achieve the desired effect, but I really like it… It’s not going anywhere.  For the first 18 seconds, I’m just playing through my amplifier and then I engage the pedal and things get pretty 8-bit.  I’m a fan.

This would’ve been a good Valentine’s Day post

Posted in Guitar riffs with tags , , , on February 17, 2010 by stevenreedkelly

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any of my own music on here – which was one of the main reasons I wanted to start a blog in the first place.

…I guess this is as good a time as any to mention that I finally got around to registering the domain – so you can now reach this blog at!

Anyways, this is a song that I wrote for my girlfriend this past year after I lost a game of Scrabble.  It takes a lot for me to actually finish songs… I tend to just write a couple riffs and then abandon a project – so it was nice to have the motivation to complete this one for once.  It’s in 3/4 timing, which is kind of unusual for me – I really like that about it.  Maybe someday, it’ll get lyrics.


Multi-Colored Christmas Lights

Posted in Guitar riffs with tags , , , on December 3, 2009 by stevenreedkelly

Nothing puts me in the holiday spirit like PBR and scarves... and hi-fives.

I love Christmas songs.  I fall into the category of people who start to listen to holiday music shortly after Labor Day – I know its annoying.

A couple years ago, I set out to write a Christmas song.  For the longest time I had like 90% of it done, I could just never settle on an ending.  I lost all motivation after the holiday season of 2007.  Then yesterday, I remembered that I still had the Garageband file on my computer and I decided to finish the jam.

So… Here’s a holiday tune that I call “Multi-Colored Chistmas Lights”.

Feeling Jazzy

Posted in Guitar riffs with tags , , on November 23, 2009 by stevenreedkelly

I’ve spent the last couple days listening to the new Person L album – which I’m convinced is pretty decent. There’s a ton of strange sounding chords and it kind of inspired me.

Just something I threw together in garageband tonight for the hell of it!