Please post your ideas and feelings about guitarists, gear, and techniques relating to the world of modern and experimental guitar, as well as people topics, software and hardware you would like to see covered. Also feel free to offer ideas for the site: structure, sections, navigation.

There are many magazines and sites devoted to classic guitar styles, so please try to restrict this discussion to the more adventurous areas. And…

Keep it civil: don’t make me come over there 😉


53 thoughts on “Community

  1. HI Michael,

    I am not sure how, where, or even if this fits in with your zine, but it is certainly adventurous, and it is certainly guitar-related, so I figured I would give it a try.

    I have invented a Pedal Steel Keytar that uses a standard MIDI keyboard to emulate a pedal steel guitar. The MIDI keyboard I use is a $200 Casio CTK-6200, and the video clip I am including here is a screen recording from my PedalSteelKeytar app (which is still in beta), embellished with a backing track.

    The screen keys you see being pressed are the actual keys being pressed on my Casio. Notice that the left hand fingers are framing guitar barre chords, the left hand thumb is triggering vibrato at a rate and depth determined by the key press, and the right hand is plucking strings with forces also determined by the key presses, very similar to the fretting and plucking of guitar strings. The only thing you have to know about the keyboard is the note on which to place your index finger (i.e., the fret at which to barre the strings).

    You can view the video clip by clicking on the Pedal Steel Keytar (Electric) video at:

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


      • Interestingly, that is the same comment I recently received from a prominent pedal steel player.

        The sound has come a long way since my first attempt, thanks to all the feedback I have received. I will continue to improve it, but I think the limiting factor is now that I am using a $200 Casio.

        If anyone on this site would like to try out my app on their own keyboard, I would be happy to post a link to my test site from which a free beta version of the app can be downloaded.

        All I ask is that they post the results, good or bad.

  2. I love this site! Thank you so much. The articles are awesome, and the Mike Baggetta interview is what brought me in. Excellent. I’m wondering when you will interview Ichirou Agata. You really should.
    Thanks again.

  3. Hey Michael,

    I found a great article you did about the KMI Softstep 2 and was really impressed with the clarity in which you expressed how to execute functions with the advanced editor… something that is pretty daunting for a noob like me. I was wondering if you could help me out with my scenario – I’m trying to create a toggle switch for the ‘speaker on’ button in Ableton. When I’m looping I’d like to hit a button once on my soft step and have the track become muted, and then hit it again and have it come back on! It doesn’t seem like that would be too difficult to figure out but it seems next to impossible. Anyways, I followed your advice from the Emusician article step by step and I think I’m close… As it currently stands, when I press the button, I need to hold it down in order for it to turn the switch off, and the moment I release it, the channel comes back on. The only way I figured out how to get it to stay off is to open the midi assignment tab in Ableton and change the values to Min-0 Max-127. This then creates a “one shot” where I will hit the button and it turns off, but then that’s the end of the line. Hit the button again and it won’t come back on and no further actions work! I’m hoping you can help me out, and I figured I would go to an obvious pro like you!

    I really love your site and think it’s freaking awesome!! Keep up the great work!

    A new fan,


    • Thanks JP – I am afraid I haven’t been using the SoftStep in a while so I am rusty. Off the top of my head I think the unit offers options for toggle and momentary, but Ableton can be finicky as well – like when you want to operate the Looper. I will be getting back into it soon for some projects and will see if I can come up with something, but in the meantime KMI’s support is pretty good – I would contact them – best Michael

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  5. Wonderful site – Keep up the good work! You might consider checking this company out – Fellow making some pretty interesting hex pickkups….

  6. Great site. I’d love to see a feature on David Soler Pina. He produced a beautiful cd last year – ‘Botanicas.’ Currently playing with Adam Levy.

  7. Love the site! Found it via a review that Michael Ross did.( an amp or something). I’ve done a lot of fingerstyle and classical guitar but I love the experimental side of music. Experimental doesn’t have to equal weird.

  8. Hey, just found this website and so far have been very impressed. Normally guitar-centric zines don’t hold too much interest for me. Keep it up!

    If anyone has time check out some videos I recorded about a month ago of me doing some live guitar looping improvisations using guitar, keyboard, lots of effects and my laptop running Ableton Live 9.

    These were just a test of concept and hope to be doing more in the future. Keep up the good work on the website! I know I’ll be checking back often!

  9. Hey Michael, just got another look at this website, interesting stuff…

    Got a question: What is considered “experimental” guitar? Could you provide a few examples, and I apologize if I am in the wrong place for asking this question.


    • Hi Coleen
      I think the best way to understand is to check out the videos on the site. You will see that the playing does not fit into the usual style that you hear in traditional rock or jazz.

      • When I attended the jazz festival in montreal many years ago, I was so dissapointed,. I could not follow, with my ears, where the musicians were going… specifically Branden Marsallis (sp). Anyway, I will scout around and hear what I can and let you know. Thank you!

        • For me, it’s a case of familiarity. New sounds/practices do often seem strange, but if you keep listening and thinking, often it begins to make sense. That’s certainly what I’ve found with my forays into free improv (as a listener & now fan). The excitement for me comes in identifying the often oblique ways that musicians interact with each other, pick up (or ignore!) each other’s ideas.

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