Five Must Have Electro Harmonix pedals

Electro Harmonix pedals (EHX) are some of the oldest and most respected effects for guitar and bass.  Founder Mike Matthews is crazy in all the right ways and having come from a keyboard background he has a unique perspective on sound and music that normal guitarists might not think of.

Since EHX made their first release with the LPB-1 in 1969, they have continued to release distinct pedals with signature sounds.

So what’s the catch?  EHX releases a LOT of pedals, and sometimes multiple versions with slight changes. I’ve done to work to sort through all that.

Below is my list of the MUST HAVE Electro Harmonix pedals.

These are my top “get ’em while their hot” pedals.  This would make a killer pedal board too. Best of all, everything is designed and assembled in New York City.  Amazingly, EHX pedals have some of the lowest prices for guitar effects making them an amazing deal.

1: Micro POG (check prices)

EHX rewrote the rules when the Micro POG was released. This is the smaller and simplified version of the larger POG2 and the huge HOG, both a crazy pair of powerful guitar synths, the Micro POG creates beautiful glitch free octave down and octave up versions of your guitar tone. This allows you to expand your sound in a way that was previously not attainable. From church organs and celestial choirs to dark metal riffs that burn a hole in your amp, the Micro POG does it all. Users include everyone from Jack White to Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age.

EHX also makes the Nano POG, an even smaller and less expensive version.

This technology has also been used in the recent series of EHX pedals designed to make your guitar sound like dedicated organ or keyboard such as the:

  1. B9 – Classic (Hammond) organ sounds
  2. C9 – Clavinet sounding tones
  3. KEY9 – All those electronic keyboard sounds we love.
  4. MEL9 – Mellotron tape style keyboard sounds (Think “Strawberry Fields Forever”)

2: Soul Food (check prices)

Have you heard of the Klon Centaur?  If not, the Klon was/is a guitar overdrive pedal that Bill Finnegan developed and hand built between 1990 and 1994. The Centaur is characterized as a “transparent” overdrive, meaning it adds gain without significantly altering the tone of the guitar.  Oh… And they sell on E-Bay for THOUSANDS of dollars.

Hundreds of third party manufactures have tried to clone the original. You often see these “Klones” running $200-$300.

In Classic Mike Mathews fashion, EHX released there own version of this pedal and priced it less that $100.

Oh… and people LOVE it.  Enough said.  Done.  Get one.  Enjoy.

And to make things even more fun, Continue reading

Some Awesome Stuff I Like

People have been asking what I want for the holidays so here is a bunch of cool stuff that’s on my list this year.

  1. GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X Bundle – Flexible Tripod & Ballhead for Professional Camera Rigs with Large Zoom Lenses $129
  2. Dunlop CBM95 Cry Baby Mini Wah $99
  3. MXR Phase 95 $99
  4. Kenko 1.4X PRO 300 Teleconverter DGX for Canon EOS $149
  5. Catalinbread Octapussy Modern Octave Fuzz Guitar Pedal $152
  6. Fulltone OCD guitar overdrive pedal $118
  7. Penny board, Red/White/Cyan $68
  8. Roxy the Movie [Blu-ray] $20
  9. Jimi Hendrix Experience: Electric Church [Blu-ray] $19
  10. Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir $28
  11. Bismillah Khan: The Maestro from Bernaras $27
  12. Gretsch Guitars G9520 Jim Dandy Flat Top Acoustic Guitar $169
  13. Ibanez src6 Bass $699
  14. PRS SE 277 Semi-Hollow Soapbar Baritone – Vintage Sunburst $749
  15. Eastwood Delta 6 Baritone 2016 Antique Burst [used] $499

Sitar Gamak Riyaz Craziness

I sort of lost my mind practicing this Taan that uses Gamak. I had been practicing it for hours. Sorry if I’m a bit too silly.

Gamak is a new technique for me and something I am really trying to get better at.

I think this is finally starting to improve especially by the end, but I would love to read your comments and feedback.

Check out the video teaching how I tape my fingers

I am working to build up speed as my teacher wants me to play at 250 beats per minute (BPM). Tonight I kept things slow so I could focus on the basics.

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Is this the best sitar music?

Is this the best sitar music?

Does this sound familiar?

I got bored and figured the internet would like having Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” on sitar. Enjoy it inter-webs. Now you can Rick Roll in a whole new way.

I tried to play “Never Gonna Give You Up” so that it sounded like indian music instead of being a straight copy of the original chorus heard in the song. Hopefully I did okay.  I’ve been taking sitar lessons since 2012. I still have a lot left to learn. This was fun!

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New Tough Sitar Taans

Hi, I’m Jeff Starr, a sitar student and filmmaker. Last week my sitar teacher revised one of my existing taans to expand it further.

It’s not super complicated, but he wants me to build up my speed so that I can play my sitar taans at 250 beats per minute (bpm). And, this one started getting really hard at at 175 bpm.

I give all my my Taans nicknames and I call this one “3P.”

Let’s see how fast I can get today!

I took my first sitar lesson on January 27th, 2012.

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Debut sitar performance in NYC

My teacher said that he booked me for a sitar performance in NYC this December!

I am stressing out!  Back in November 2015 I had my first public performance. I was background music for an event at the Pakistan Mission to The United Nations. It was an honor to be invited to play there, but I was REALLY nervous about it.

In tonight’s video I reflect on that performance, where I am now with my training and I show a super old clip from 2012, after I had taken my third sitar lesson.  I’ve come a long way since then!

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Short Robots are Screaming: Crazy MF Flange Sounds

This video is an outtake from my series of improvised guitar solos.

The loop I recorded is way too loud but I still liked a small section of the solo and I wanted to share it regardless.  So, here is that outtake.

The super metallic sound of the loop is created by the MF Flange.

I also ran the flange under a lot of the solo giving it extra bite.  This one is a bit rough on the ears!

This song is called: Short Robots are Screaming

Gear Used (click links for prices):
Moog MF Flange:
Boss Blues Driver:
Buddy Guy Wah:
Line 6 FM4
Boss RC-2 looper:

PedalTrain Pedal Board:
Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus Power Supply:

Fender Stratocaster:
Guitar Amp: Fender Mustang 3 I love the ease of the USB interface for recording.

Recorded in LogicX. EQ and Delay added in post.

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The Five Best Guitar Effects Pedals for New and Pro Players

If you or someone you know is looking to build a collection of the best guitar effects pedals then let me start by saying, “Welcome to the best club ever.”

I love guitar gear.  It’s an obsession for me.  I spend so much of my free time researching gear that it only seemed logical that I should start putting some of this passion into a website. So, if you want information, I have already done the research.

Why trust me?  I have been playing guitar for over 20 years and I have experimented with tons of pedals. During my lunch breaks, I sneak off to Guitar Center and New York City’s boutique guitar shops to try out all the new (and vintage) toys.  I have the product lines practically memorized for all of the major guitar companies.  My brother is also a gear head and it’s all we talk about.  Did I say that I love gear?

Now is perhaps the best time to buy guitar effects pedals because there are tons of options, quality is at an all time high and prices are cheap.

Below is my list of the five perfect pedals to start with. I tried to keep prices in the $100 range with one pedals as low as $49. (Click on the links to check the prices on Amazon.)

I have strived to suggest pedals that are easy to use, sound amazing (duh) and have stood the test of time.

Anything you pick from the list below will be cool today and something you will still use years later.  Many of these pedals appear on the boards of touring rock stars.

I’ll list these in the order I think you should buy them and then I’ll list the order you should connect them once you hook them all up together.  Here we go!

1: Tube Screamer – Classic or Mini (click links to see prices):

This is the most famous overdrive pedal and with good reason. The Tube Screamer has managed to remain in constant use by professional guitarists for decades.  Everyone from your weekend warrior to Stevie Ray Vaughn have used a Tube Screamer to define their sound.

The Tube Screamer is now available in a less expensive “mini” option, making it easily fit onto a pedal board.  Please note that if you buy the Mini you will need an external power supply.

If size isn’t a concern, I would suggest getting the full size Tube Screamer because you can run it off of a battery.   You can see the size difference in the video above.

Why start with this as your first pedal?

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