Acoustic Guitar Amplification – Part One: Pickups

Acoustic Guitar

Photo by: Jessica Melling

It’s inevitable that any performing acoustic guitarist will have to consider amplification, but the glut of options can make it hard to find the right setup for your situation. This is the first in a series posts I’ll be doing that aim to shed some light on various aspects of acoustic amplification.. This particular article will cover the differences between the common pickup types and their strengths and weaknesses. Continue reading

The SlingCatcher

Earlier this week, while perusing my local electronics store, I ran across Sling Media’s SlingCatcher, a set-top box that works with the company’s Slingbox. The two work together to stream your home cable and DVR content over a network or the web to be viewed on another TV in your house or across the world. But the SlingCatcher has a few other notable features.

I’ve be seriously considering the Roku Box as an alternative to cable tv, but I want something that will give me Hulu and Youtube on my LCD TV, as well as Netflix.

This is, essentially, what the SlingCatcher does. But, instead of getting the stream straight from Youtube, it gets it as a redirect from your PC.
Continue reading

Gateway Festival & more…

Well, it’s been a few days without wifi, but now I’m Louisville, Kentucky (pronounced: LOOL-vel).
To recap, the Thursday gig in Dayton wasn’t great. The order was completely the reverse of logic. There was almost no one there for our hour-long set, which was right after a full rock band. After us was a solo guitarist with a loop-station (digital-delay).
Afterwards, we went to an open mic just down the street that we’d been invited to by someone we met earlier in the week. The list was full, so we sat and watched some drunken bar goers harass the players, while a guy who signed up too late on the list demanded that the open mic host let him play even thought the bar was about to close… Ugh.
Anyway, Friday was a much better day for us. We went down to the National Air Force Museum and had a great time though we only got to stay for about an hour. We then headed over to The Columbus Bar in Columbus, Indiana which turned out to be an awesome show.
Admittedly, I wasn’t feeling to well during our set, but I did enjoy myself once I got to cool down and have a bite to eat. We met a whole lot of great people and are really looking forward to coming back through sometime.
Saturday found us in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky for the Gateway Festival, where we camped for the night. Sadly, this was a show with a lot of great potential that was very under-attended. The estimates of 20,000+ patrons we far off the mark with the biggest shows only drawing about 250, tops.
But again, we met some great people in other bands. One of which, called Weber is based in Louisville and put us up for the night. We play the Church on the Rocks open mic last night at the Hideaway Saloon, which is hosted by The Troubadours of Divine Bliss, who we finally got to meet. Both bands are great, and are just further proof of how kind and giving the Musical Community can be.
So that brings me to today, which has in been mostly time to catch up on email and such while we wait to head to another open mic tonight before we return to Columbus.


As a musician, one tends to be most active in the evenings. That’s when the shows are, naturally, because most everyone is at work or school during the day. So that leaves the daytime for non-performance activities.
So, this is my third day in a row at an internet cafe. One can get ones morning coffee, have lunch, catch up on correspondence, and attend to various other online activities for hours on end.
I end up getting quite ansty after about three hours, but, all in all, its quite pleasant. But I’m always very glad for the onset of evening, the removal of my butt from a vinyl chair and the promise of a gig…

Peach’s Grill

After, an unintentional, twenty minute detour, we found our way to the Tuesday open mic at Peach’s Grill in Yellow Springs, Ohio just outside of Dayton, which is, seemingly, a very hip college town.
Peach’s Grill has a very nice sound system, with a dedicated sound man for the evening (which is rare for an open mic). We were also in the company of some great players as well.
But most importantly, they have an obscene number of beers on tap (something like 25) and pretty good food from what I hear. If your in the Dayton area and your looking for some thing to do, this is definately a place to look in to.

A week in Dayton…

So, we’re hanging in Dayton for the week. Our initial plan was to be in Columbus, IN by now, but the venue we were supposed to play here on Saturday was went out of business. We did manage to get an other show scheduled for Thursday, but that means we have no chance to hit open mics in Columbus before our show on Friday. We could go up and back, but that would mean a additional four hour round trip.
So, instead, we’re trying find open mics in Dayton. We went to one in last night at a bar call Chapter II which led to us finding a place to go tonight. Which is great ’cause, we were getting a little worried that we’d not find anything. But hey, that’s just the way it works sometimes.

The road to Loveland, OH

Getting a very slow start this morning… Thankfully, the next show isn’t very far away; Loveland, OH, only about an hour-and-a-half drive from here.
Must have coffee soon… I’ve really been letting my caffeine drop rather low…