Free Tech Lesson: How to Restring a Floyd Rose


Owning a Flyod Rose can  daunting, so we’ve made this step by step guide to teach you how to restring and clean your guitar. Presented by Warwick Levey and Chad Browne of the Gryphon Music Academy.

The Process


  • Strings
  • Stanley Blade
  • Toothbrush
  • Paintbrush
  • Silvo
  • Lem Oil
  • Guitar Polish
  • Pegwinder
  • Side Cutters
  • Microfibre Cloth
  • Masking or Painters Tape
  • Allen Key 3mm


Removing old strings

  1. Unlock the locking nut using your 3mm allen key
  2. Loosen the bolts with your fingers and remove the locking pads
  3. Unwind the each machine head until there is no tension on the string
  4. Cut the strings in half
  5. Remove the top half from the headstock by uncoiling it.
  6. Loosen the saddle locks using your 3mm allen key
  7. Pull the string out


(This is the most time consuming element of the restring)

  1. Brush dust from the guitar with a paintbrush
  2. Then using a toothbrush give the bridge a scrub
  3. Use your paintbrush again to remove any dust that the toothbrush dislodged
  4. Tape up the neck of the guitar leaving only the frets exposed
  5. Dip a rag into the silvo, and apply silvo to the frets. No force or pressure is needed
  6. Using a touch of good old fashioned elbow grease, buff the silvo off the frets
  7. Remove the tape from your board
  8. To remove grime from the fret board, as well as any silvo residue, spray a fretboard cleaner on the fretboard and scrub it with your toothbrush
  9. Apply a small amount of lem oil onto the fretboard. Rub the oil into the wood and remove the excess
  10. Spray a fine mist onto the guitar
  11. Using a microfiber cloth, polish your guitar body in a uniform direction to prevent unsightly streaks
  12. Repeat this process for the headstock



    1. Gently uncoil the string
    2. Cut the ballend from the string, directly behind the windings
    3. Inset the string into the saddle and tighten the saddle lock. Be careful to over tighten the block as you can strip the thread if you do. Also, be careful that you don’t under tighten the block as that will cause the string to pop put once you tune to pitch
    4. Thread the string through the eyelet making sure you go over the nut and under the retainer bar
    5. The method we use to ensure that we have enough slack on the string is to:
      • A) Pull the string all the way through
      • B) Lay your index finger on the third fret with your ring and middle finger underneath the string
      • C) In a smooth motion lift your index vertically while your second and third finger maintain tension on the string
    6. A good method to reduce string slipping and therefore add tuning stability is to thread the string through the eyelet of the machinehead, adjust for some slack to create windings and then begin turning the peg anti clockwise to get tension, at the first full rotation tuck the string tail in under the taught section of the string and continue to wind the string up with tail passing under, then at the second full rotation pass the tail of the string over the taught section, this will cause the string to tighten down onto itself and prevent slipping
    7. Before tuning to you should make sure that the fine tuners are sitting at a more or less neutral point, leaving enough room for the pitch to travel when fine tuning. First unscrew the low E fine tuner till it is as far out as possible, then adjust the high E fine tuner until it is as far in as possible and use the two extremes as a level when determining the middle point of the A string fine tuner. Then adjust the other 5 to match the A
    8. Tune your guitar
    9. Snip the tails at the machine head
    10. Replace locking pads


Now that the strings are on, all that is left is for you to go jam.

Review: SY-300


A review of the newest offering from Roland – the SY-300 synth pedal, by Alistair Andrews
The new SY-300 Guitar Synthesizer by Boss is an unbelievable analog-style synth designed to play polyphonic synth sounds with any guitar, bass or other string instruments, using standard pickups. (No need for specialised pickups, just plug in your axe using a standard 1/4-inch cable.)
I used one (on bass) for the first time on Sunday and was knocked out. I did not have to alter my technique and the tracking was simply unbelievable. Never played any guitar synth this playable before
The SY-300 has a powerful polyphonic synthesis engine with sections for wave shapes, filters and amps, and low-frequency oscillators (LFOs). There’s also a step sequencer (with tap tempo control) for creating dynamic melodies and arpeggios just by playing a single note, and a Blender function that lets you mix and match synth settings from other patches to discover new sounds instantly.

The SY-300’s synth engine can also be used to process a normal guitar/bass sound to create an endless supply of unique textures. Four simultaneous effects engines are available, each packing a number of effects types, including overdrives and distortions, Slow Gear, Isolator, Slicer, and many others. Some types can perform two effects at once, such as chorus and delay or delay and reverb.
Other features include:
A graphic LCD display
Three assignable footswitches, and a dedicated on/off footswitch.
Two external footswitches or an expression pedal can also be connected.
There are 70 preset patches, plus 99 user patches for storing custom sounds.
Dual output pairs (Main and Sub) offer assignable signal routing options, while MIDI In and Out/Thru jacks are provided for interfacing with switchers, drum machines and other MIDI gear.

The SY-300 includes a USB audio interface to capture audio tracks directly into music production software on a computer. Via USB, users can also route existing tracks into the SY-300 to “re-synth” sounds using the synth engine and effects to create new sounds for music productions.

The SY-300’s USB connection also enables players to build and organize patches with the dedicated BOSS Tone Studio editor and download new patches from the BOSS Tone Central website.
The SY-300 will definitely add another dimension to your guitar, bass or other stringed electronic and instruments sound pallet.
It does not trigger external sound modules, but I do not see this as a problem as it is what is supposed to be, a stand-alone guitar/bass synthesizer and much more.
Be sure to hear it on my next album. Awesome invention!!!

Free Lesson: Jazz Drumming


AI Jazz Drumming Lesson

Learn the basics of jazz drumming with the free lesson. The lesson consists of 6 Basic Jazz Progressive Patterns. So grab those metronomes and let’s get started!

Learn To Play The Basic Jazz Pattern
In this drum lesson, you will learn the basic jazz drumming pattern that is the foundation for most jazz drum beats. It requires a fair amount of independence, so you will learn it through progressive steps. This will simplify the entire learning process, and get you playing jazz with greater ease.

Watch the video lesson at the bottom of this page to get started. After that, you can read through this page for additional information that will guide you through each of the progressive patterns. Practice each one carefully before moving on to the next.
Basic Jazz – Progressive Patterns
Here, you will simply play the ride cymbal with your right hand, and the hi-hat pedal with your left foot. It’s based on a triplet feel, so be sure you are counting eighth note triplets out loud as you play the exercise.


Exercise two includes everything you learned in the previous exercise, but now you will be adding the left hand on the snare drum for counts two and four. Be sure you keep everything else steady and consistent.


The third exercise includes the bass drum on counts one and three. This is going to start feeling a little more like a rock groove, aside from the ride-pattern and the triplet-feel. Focus on keeping the various limbs synced.


For exercise four, you will play the bass drum on all four counts. This will begin to develop your independence and control. Try transitioning to and from exercise three to mix things up a little.


Exercise five has the same foundation on the hi-hats, ride, and snare. However, we only play the bass drum on the “let” count of one and three. You can check out the lesson on counting eighth note triplets if you are having any trouble understanding these exercises.


The sixth and final exercise includes added snare shots, and a few changes with the bass drum pattern. Read through it carefully, and it should all make sense. You can also watch the video lesson for a demonstration.


This lesson was taken from For more free drum lesson as well as other online resources, be sure to visit the website and sign up for the free video lesson series

Free Ukulele Lesson


In the past few years, the Ukulele has grown in popularity. Have you ever wanted to learn how to play? Here’s a free lesson to get you on your way!


Getting your Uke in tune is an essential first step. I recommend getting a tuner because you will find that most Uke’s go out of tune pretty often! My Maton has a tuner built in, and some other ukes also have this feature, if yours does not then a small clip on tuner like the D’Addario NS Micro Tuner would be a great fit!).

The tuning is: G C E A

I think of the tuning like the thinnest four strings of a guitar with a capo at the 5th fret! This can make chords shapes easier to remember too.


So most people don’t use a strap, they just grip it with their forearm… it can take a while to get used to it, I’d recommend sitting down and letting it rest on your lap when you first start and worry about playing it standing up a little later on.


I’ll do a whole separate lesson on the basic chords but here’s a few of the easiest ones to get you going. I’ll get some proper chord boxes done soon, but I have to remake my guitar template!! So for now this shows you the frets from the top string (String 4, toward the sky) to the bottom string (String 1, nearest the ground).

C: 0 0 0 3
Am: 2 0 0 0
F: 2 0 1 0
G: 0 2 3 2
Comparing them with guitar grips: the C chord could be seen as the thinnest 4 strings of an Open G chord, the F like the top part of an Open C chord and the G looks exactly like an Open D. Guitarists MUST remember that there is a ‘capo’ on though and not get the shapes confused with the guitar shape names.


So strumming is very similar to playing guitar, it is possible to use a pick but most people seem to just use their first finger or thumb – my advice is to have a play about and go with what is comfortable with you when you start and worry about more technical aspects when you have been playing for a bit, if you want my recommended one it would be strumming using your first finger tip. It’s very common to play even 8th notes, just playing regular down and up strums. There are of course more complicated patterns you can use later but as usual, starting simple is the key, just playing 4 down strums per bar on the beat and getting your chord changes smooth is the best thing to aim for when you start out!

This lesson was taken from For the full lesson, and many more, check out the website.

Review: Roland JX-03 Boutique Synth


AI JX-03

The new Roland JX-03 claims to take the sound and control of the popular JX-3P and brings it to a new age in the portable form of the JX-03 Boutique synth. Darren Burgos explores what it can do.
Roland’s new trio of “Boutique” synthesizers are mini replicas of three of their most popular and well-known instruments of the ’80s. I’ll be reviewing their new remake of the JX-3P analog synthesizer from 1983. I owned this instrument (and it’s add-on programmer the PG-200) until only a few years ago, and can tell you right off, that this new digital recreation sounds nearly identical to the original. Analog purists take note!

Because the programmer was sold separately (and it’s built-in presets were notoriously blah) many people dismissed the JX-3P and thought of it as more of a “preset” synth. This made the JX-3P somewhat of a secret weapon to people who actually took the time to program it. In this article I’ll not only be going over most of the features, but I’ll be showing audio examples of how fat, tight, and wonderfully analog this synth can actually be.

What’s changed from the 1983 original?

Several waveform additions to oscillators, cross mod, and the LFO have been added. A wider range of octaves per oscillator, a delay has been added, and best of all; the JX-03—unlike its analog mother—can be edited while receiving MIDI! (the original couldn’t when used with the programmer). You can expand the 4-voice polyphony of the JX-03 by buying another one (or more) and “chaining” them together, and the JX-03 can be powered by battery or by USB.

Digitally Controlled Oscillators

The JX-03’s two oscillators have a wider range of octaves than the original JX-3P. There are now more waveforms to choose from, like sine and triangle. With the tune knob, DCO2 can be tuned up or down by an octave, and there’s also a Fine Tune knob for detuning DCO2 for a thicker sound. The Cross Mod knob with its five different settings, allows you to generate a tighter sound by synching DCO2 to DCO1, or use it to create metallic sounds by modulating DCO1 with DCO2’s waveform shape. “Pulse Width Modulation” is also possible with Cross Mod’s Syn1 setting. When set, simply turn the Tune/Fine Tune knobs in the DCO2 section to taste. Unlike other synths, PWM is not limited to square waves, it works with any oscillator waveform type.

These are limited edition synths and stock is limited. If you want to book a test drive, be sure to contact the Paul Bothner Music store closest to you!

This review was written by Darren Burgos on Ask Audio ( To read the full review by sure to follow the link above

Modern Touring Rock Drummer


Do you have what it takes to be a modern touring drummer? Come through and find out!

Presented by Alex Von Gossler
Where: At Paul Bothner Music, Somerset West
Shop 16, Checkers Centre
c/o Main & Gordons Street
Somerset West
When: 11 am, Saturday 18 June 2016

Currently the drummer of the band “Set For The Sky”, a Cape Town based four piece high-energy Alternative Rock/ Electonicore band founded in 2009. Set For The Sky released their first full-length album with titles such as “The Secret Season” and “Circle of Dreams” early in 2015. The record is best described as “Explosive, Hard-Hitting, Punchy, Dancey and Energy-Packed”.

The guys from Set For the Sky have been touring all over South Africa. Who better to detail what it takes to be a modern touring drummer than the drummer from one of the hottest bands around?

Alex will be discussing tour tips and tricks and taking care of your gear on the road. He will also discuss live essentials & electronic/hybrid drumming

For more FREE DRUM MONTH workshops like this, [click here]

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Metal Drumming Masterclass


The perfect workshop for all Metal drummers who want to improve their drumming chops & techniques

Presented by Josh Haller
Where: Paul Bothner Music Parklands
Shop G32 Sandown Retail Crossing Shopping Centre
Corner of Sandown Road and Wood Drive
West Coas
When: 11 am, Saturday 18 June 2016

Josh Haller is no stranger to the Metal Drumming scene. He is the drummer for Betray the Emissary, and Reverse the Sands. He was a finalist for the South African Fastest drummer competition in 2015 and he was the Winner of the Fast Feet Drummer competition for 2014 and 2015! During this workshop, he will explore the finer details of mastering metal drumming.

Specifics on workshop

  • Drum and cymbal setup
  • Hand and feet practice techniques and warmups
  • Pedal setup for metal
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Effectiveness and efficiency around the kit

He will be joined by the guitarists and bassist from Reverse the Sands for song platythroughs.

For more FREE DRUM MONTH workshops like this, [click here]

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The Modern Sound of Nashville


Love Nashville drumming, but unsure how to achieve that Nashville sound? Come and learn!

Bruce WallacePresented by Bruce Wallace
Where: Jean Village Music
Shop 3 Jean Village Shopping Centre
Corner Jean Avenue & Gerhard Street
When: 11 am, Saturday 18 June 2016

Bruce Wallace will be demonstrating The Modern Sound of Nashville (Drumming) with Guest Artists Jason Bradley and Travis Johnston

The topics that will be covered are

  • Working with a Modern Country Artist
  • The Nashville Sound and Styles
  • Timekeeping and Groove
  • Working with Sub mixes and Loops

For more FREE DRUM MONTH workshops like this, [click here]


Bruce has performed enjoyed a successful career as a “first-call” session drummer for over Three hundred albums, 11 DVD’s, and tours with some of the best known, and awarded Artists in the Country.

He has performed on the best selling Gospel CD in South Africa, the best selling DVD in South African history, and more than 30 Multi Platinum, Platinum or Gold albums.
Some of the big names in the South African music industry he has recorded and/or toured with include, Mean Mr. Mustard, Teuns Jordaan, Bok Van Blerk, Steve Hofmeyer, Mango Groove, Danny K, The Soweto String Quartet, Nianell Eden, Juanita Du Plesis, Leanie May, Bobby Van Jaarsveld, P J Powers, Jan Blom

World Class Producers he has worked with include Mauritz Lotz, Pete”Boxta”Martin(London),MathysMaree, Coleski, and Johan Laas.

In addition to recordings, Bruce has performed corporate events all over the country with The Electric Pops Orchestra, The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and is a member of the official “702 Radio, Solid Gold Band”.

Television performances include, Idols, Strictly Come Dancing, The Jerry Springer Show, and several television tracks for Vodacom, including the well known “Leeu loop” and “Player 23”.

In 2010, Bruce performed in the Africa Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai, for Chinese artist Lilly Feng.

Bruce Wallace was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He showed an interest in playing music at age 4, and took formal tuition in drums and percussion at the age of 8. After Bruce and his family immigrated to the United Kingdom at age 11, he continued his musical education in high school, playing in their Orchestras, Wind Band, “Rock school” competitions, and school plays. By the age of 12 he was performing in the Northern Ireland Junior Symphony Orchestra. By the age of 13 Bruce helped establish a band called Schertzo, which performed corporate events and various gigs in London and around Northern Ireland.

In 1989, Bruce returned to, South Africa, where he completed is secondary education at Pretoria Boys High School. As well as playing for the School Orchestra he played for the then renowned, Dixie Jazz Band, and recorded an album with them.

In 1991, Bruce studied at the Technikon Pretoria, and obtained his National Diploma in Light Music in 1995.

  .   .



The Art of the Drummer


Need to explore more about rudiments and drum fills? Then this is the workshop for you!

Leighton PinetownPresented by Leighton Pinetown
Where: DV Village Music, Kimberly
Shop 54 North Cape Mall
Memorial Road,
When: 11am, Saturday 18 June 2016

During this workshop, Leighton will explore drum fills, rudiments and how to improve your drumming chops.

Leighton Pinetown has been teaching marching percussion from beginner to advanced courses including traditional African drumming since 1986.

He graduated as a teacher in 1991 and has 22 years drumming experience. Under his tutelage the drumming and percussion group won the national championship for five consecutive years in the Field Band Competition.

Leighton has since left teaching, after recognising a need within his community and province. He owns a consulting and training firm, where all popular forms of drumming are taught professionally, and facilitates percussion workshops for government departments, viz. Sports, Arts and Culture, and education.

For more FREE DRUM MONTH workshops like this, [click here]

  .   .



Common Threads and New Clothes


Come and learn how to spice up your playing from one of the legends of SA Drumming

Presented by Kevin Gibson
Where: Paul Bothner Music N1 City
Shop 71, N1 Value Centre
Cape Town
South Africa
When: 11am, 18 June 2016

Kevin Gibson is one of the most respected drummers in South Africa. In this workshop, entitled Common Threads and New Clothes, Kevin will be discussing a few things that every modern drummer should incorporate into their playing. He will be looking at how to identify different drumming genres, and then looking at the similarities between the genres. He will also then give insight into how to listen to what differentiates the styles.

To cap off the session, Kevin will then offer some advice on how to practise things you already know, but in a new way.

For more FREE DRUM MONTH workshops like this, [click here]


Sharing the stage with international and local acts, Kevin Gibson lends his winning drum rolls and kicks to just about every musician on the scene.

Based in Cape Town, but originally from Durban, Gibson’s early life was, surprisingly, spent ducking and diving the limelight.

“I would go by the name Kevin G long before Kenny G,” he chuckles as we chat after his gig at the Mahogany Room. “I also used my middle name, Stewart, in case they found me because I was really supposed to be going to the army. I had to serve; if they found me I would have been arrested.

“During apartheid, it was compulsory for every white boy to go to the army after school. At the time, I was trying to keep a low profile. I was trying to get work, yet I was scared to be seen so it was a Catch-22,” shares Gibson.

Although schooled in music at various institutions, Gibson started out at the Darius Brubreck College in Durban.

[read more]

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