Enough About Playing Our Instruments: Do You Know How to Maintain the Damn Things?

Let’s face it: your gear repair, maintenance, tuning, and general tech work chops could probably use a bit of work. Can you bias your own amp? Can you get those bottom resonant tom heads in tune with the top ones? What, you don’t even know what bias is? Alright, let’s strap you down into a chair for some virtual boot camping with two upcoming CreativeLive clinics.


The first of these is with the maker of some of the most badass custom amplifiers currently on the market: Ben Verellen. For a full day he’s going to go over everything you need to know if you want to be your own guitar tech, or maybe someone else’s assuming you manage to absorb enough info. So tune in this coming Monday, March 23rd, for Guitarist’s Tech Workshop.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a Verellen Skyhammer or Meatsmoke before (either the amps or the preamp pedals) but holy shit guys, these amps are no joke. I think that the Meatsmoke was designed for me, specifically: an all tube, 300-watt bass amp with a distortion channel and a beautiful wood finish. It’s like if God came back to Earth in the form of an amp. So if you’re smart you’ll tune into anything that Ben Verellen is broadcasting.

And drummers, we’re not leaving you out in the cold here. Let’s face it, tuning is a subtle art that eludes even the best of you. So, so many amazing drummers have toms that go “booiiiing” when struck. And you’re looking for more of a “thud” or perhaps a “whoomp,” especially when you’re recording. So with that in mind, producer Kris Crummett (along with studio drummer K.J. Sawka) is going to break it all down for you step by step the next day, March 24th, with Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording. There doesn’t seem to be a be a video online promoting this class itself, but CreativeLive has worked with Kris in the past, so check out his vocal clinic instead.

And as always, these classes are free if you watch them live.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.