DIY Acoustic Panels

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It has been a while since I last uploaded a blog post, so I thought I would write about a project that I recently completed. I had been thinking about building a pair of acoustic panels for my studio for a while and finally decided to plan and build them.

Why Build Acoustic Panels?

When I first put together my studio for recording and teaching, sound was an important consideration. Initially, I purchased an Auralex Roominator Kit. The kit consisted of acoustic foam tiles and bass traps to stick to the walls in strategic positions, along with the correct adhesive to complete the task.

The Auralex kit has worked well and there is a great deal of helpful information throughout the Auralex website for anybody wanting to learn more about acoustics and how to achieve better results when recording.

Even though I spent a great deal of time researching the best positions for all of the acoustic foam in my studio, it was not until fairly recently that I realised the lower part of my studio did not sound good. One microphone was set quite low down and when I listened to the recording, the results were not as I expected. It is for this reason that I decided to build a pair of acoustic panels so that they could be freely moved around to suit whatever I am recording at the time.

Building The Acoustic Panels

As I built the panels, I took photos with my phone and I have uploaded a video summary to YouTube. Hopefully the video will be helpful to anybody wishing to build their own acoustic panels.

Extra Information

I tried to take photos of product labels, measurements and anything that would be helpful in learning how to construct the acoustic panels, although a few extra pieces of information will be helpful.

Here is where I purchased the Rockwool:

When it came to choosing fabric to cover the acoustic panels, I spent quite a while searching for a suitable product. According to my research, a basic test for a fabric’s suitability is whether I could blow through the fabric. If fabric is used that is not suitable, it could result in high frequency reflections which would limit the performance of the acoustic panels.

I visited a few fabric shops and (when nobody was looking) attempted to blow through various products. I did find quite a few potential candidates, but I decided on a more professional product. I eventually purchased a roll of ‘Cara’ fabric from Camira Fabrics, which is a company that specialises in acoustically transparent fabric.

To purchase a roll of fabric, an account is required. Fabric samples can be requested which is very helpful when it comes to deciding on texture and colour.

Light!

The main purpose for building the acoustic panels was to control sound, although there was one other important consideration. My Auralex Roominator Kit consists of dark coloured foam – charcoal grey and dark purple. As there are no windows in my studio, these dark colours stuck to my walls absorb a great deal of light.

I have recorded quite a few YouTube videos in my studio and I plan to make many more. Lack of light has always been a problem when filming in my studio. My new acoustic panels are white, so even though they absorb sound, they reflect light and they will be of great help when filming.

Additional Benefits

As my new acoustic panels are portable, they should be of great help in sound separation when recording with other musicians. At the time of writing, I have yet to test this benefit, although I am looking forward to recording duo performances with (hopefully) better separation between the recorded parts allowing easier mixing.

As previously mentioned, foam bass traps have already been installed in my studio. Storing the new acoustic panels at strategic points away from the walls should help with bass frequency problems that the existing bass traps have not totally resolved.

The Results…

DIY acoustic panels

I enjoy building things, although my extremely busy career does not give me time to indulge in anything other than music. Building the acoustic panels was a great excuse to combine a bit of construction with results that would help me with recording.

I am very pleased with the results and the acoustic panels have been very successful in overcoming the problems for which they were designed.

If you are reading this because you are thinking about building your own acoustic panels, please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. The video and extra information presented here should give a clear outline of how to build your own acoustic panels, but I’m sure there are many points I have not covered.

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Happy New Year!

Paul Hill News

A Busy December

I hope you had a great Christmas. It has been a busy time in the run up to the big day for me, with a variety of Christmas gigs.

From a three and a half hour solo acoustic gig, playing nothing but Christmas songs, to playing in the band of a Christmas spectacular show, I played more Christmas music than ever in 2017. It has been great fun playing all the Christmas parties at the Mecure Hotel with the Claire Barker Band throughout December and on New Year’s Eve to see in 2018. Claire and I have also played many duo gigs ranging from a sub-zero Sunday morning gig outside, to a festive mulled wine sing-a-long evening. 

The Claire Barker Band

The Claire Barker Band

It’s Good To Have A Break

I usually stick to my usual December routine of a diary full of gigs in the lead up to Christmas, then not touching a guitar until my New Year’s Eve gig. I find that having a break gives my mind a chance to rest and fills me with inspiration when I get back to playing. This year has been no exception and I have already developed many new ideas that can be incorporated into my playing.

The other time of year at which I have a break from playing the guitar is in the Summer. Getting away from the usual constant head full of music is very helpful to my playing, although I wouldn’t want to do this more than twice a year!

Site Repair

As December is such a busy month, I had fallen behind with behind the scenes web site updates. Whilst easing myself back into playing, I thought I would apply updates to all my websites and to my horror, I encountered major problems with this site after applying the latest updates.

What should have been a simple task that did not take up too much time resulted in all the videos on this site disappearing! After a few hours of manually recoding behind the scenes, all videos have now returned to full functionality. 

I apologize to any users who were logged in when this disaster struck. The situation made me realise just how many videos have been uploaded. 

New Year’s Resolutions?

So have you made any New Year’s resolutions for 2018? If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to take your guitar playing to the next level and you are reading this post, you may not realise that this site offers a 24 hour free trial on all subscription packages.

I firmly believe that this site can help anybody wanting to improve their knowledge of the guitar fingerboard and because of this, I decided to give a 24 hour free trial so that you can see for yourself what is in the member’s area, risk free. If you decide not to sign up, you will not be charged. There really is nothing to lose!

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All Problems Now Resolved!

Paul Hill News

Major Site Problems

I hope you had a great Summer. My Summer has been amazing as this year, my family and I spent two weeks having fun in Disney, Orlando. What an amazing two weeks! It was even better than I could have possibly imagined. I would certainly love to return one day.

A few days after my return, I decided to get back into adding content to this site as I have many ideas for new content. To my horror, Most pages did not work! I presume that my site must have been hacked as I faced major problems the closer I looked into what had happened.

Facing the horror of having to try and resurrect my site which I could see was going to take a great deal of time (that I did not have!), I decided to contact my hosting company. Once again, the service from my hosting company has been exceptional and they restored my site to full working condition. The hosting company is called Tsohost and whenever I have faced problems, they have always dealt with anything I throw at them. Their customer support is truly amazing.

My previous hosting company was not good, with terrible support and lack of functionality for what I wanted to achieve. After much research, I decided to try Tsohost and was so glad that I did! Easy site migration (they do all the work!), daily site backups, all the tools I need, an easy to use interface and as mentioned, phenomenal customer service are just a few of the benefits of using Tsohost.

New – Modules

There is a vast amount of content available in the member’s area of this site, which mainly consists of chapters from the Paul Hill Guitar Theory And Technique Book, videos and notation. The new modules section will be very helpful as it focuses and expands upon individual ideas. This will really help to incorporate the available content into your playing and help you to come up with your own ideas. Individual topics such as the new sight reading module will also be included in this section of the site.

To start things off, the first module focuses on the dominant pentatonic scale. If you are not familiar with this sound, you will certainly enjoy the new flavour that this easy to use sound has to offer. As always, links to the book are included so that you can learn to easily visualise this new scale in all keys, everywhere on your fingerboard.


That’s all the news for now. I mainly wanted to send out apologies for the temporary disruption in service. Hopefully that won’t be happening again soon!

See you in the member’s area!

Paul

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Summer Developments

Paul Hill News

A New Look

It has been a busy few months behind the scenes at guitartheoryandtechnique.com. You may have noticed that the home page and other areas have a different look. Many improvements have been made ‘under the hood’ and might not be immediately obvious but as the site grows, changes have to be made to cope with the ever growing content in the member’s area.

Sight Reading

There is already a vast amount of material to learn in the member’s area and I always try to think of new content that will be helpful to guitarists.

One big addition that is currently in development is a section dedicated to sight reading. As a guitarist, do you need to be able to sight read? Many great guitarists are not able to sight read and this has not held them back, however being able to sight read – even if only at a basic level – is a valuable skill that opens up more levels of understanding.

The guitar is a difficult instrument on which to sight read. One big hurdle to overcome in learning to sight read is understanding how the guitar fingerboard is laid out. This is where the concepts taught on this site and in my book can really help. Learning to sight read at the same time as learning to play the guitar can really slow down progress in both these areas. Using the fingerboard visualisation concepts taught on this site can really help to speed up the process of learning to sight read.

If you would like to be notified when this new section will be added to the member’s area, please sign up to my newsletter and you will receive email notification as soon as the content goes live.


Support

There has always been a feedback form in the member’s area. I have now added a support page which is easier to find if you need help with anything. Along with help if you are unsure of specific concepts, it is also helpful to have feedback on what areas of the site you enjoy most, suggestions for videos, any mistakes that I might have missed or anything that you think could improve the site for yourself and other users.

Become An Affiliate

Do you want to earn commission by promoting this site?

If you are enjoying the content and would like to spread the knowledge, why not become an affiliate? All you need to do is register an affiliate account and use your affiliate referral link to promote this site via a website or any social media platform (including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more). You will then earn commission for any member that purchases a subscription package.

Activate Affiliate Account

Telecaster Fun!

I recently purchased a 2017 Fender American Elite Telecaster and had some fun experimenting with ideas over a backing track from Coffee Break Grooves. I used a Marshall profile on my Kemper Profiler and was pleased with the tone achieved by my new toy!

That’s all for this blog post. Have a great Summer!

Paul

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24 Hour Free Trial Now Available!

Paul Hill News

Access The Member’s Area For Free!

If you have been considering purchasing one of the subscription packages, the great news is that there is now a 24 hour, free trial period built into each subscription level. I have wanted to add this functionality for a while although it has not been possible until now.

Having a 24 hour free trial period gives you the chance to try the site risk free, so you have nothing to lose if you are unsure about whether to subscribe or not.

How Does The Trial Period Work?

If you sign up to any of the three subscription packages, payment will not be taken until 24 hours after you have registered.  Whether you choose credit/debit card or Paypal as a payment method, both methods have a 24 hour cooling off period. If you decide that the site is not for you (which I am sure you won’t!), you can cancel your subscription within the first 24 hours and no payment will be taken. If you do not cancel your subscription within 24 hours, payment will be taken and you can enjoy using all the tools available in the member’s area to improve your guitar playing for the duration of the chosen subscription package.

Register To Access The Book And Videos

I have put a great deal of work into this website and will continue to do so as I strongly believe that the systems presented in my book will help you to understand your guitar fingerboard and will help you to greatly improve your guitar playing. The addition of videos to support the concepts in the book and to provide a vast amount of extra, useable content will give you so many new ideas that you can use in your guitar playing, no matter what style of music you like to play.

If you have already purchased the Paul Hill Guitar Theory and Technique Book from the iTunes store, enter the last chord named in the Chord Substitution chapter as your discount code to receive £10 discount on the yearly membership.

Register New Account

Choose your membership level

Choose Your Payment Method


I am very excited by finally being able to offer the 24 hour free trial period. It is always good to have a ‘try before you buy’ option, so I feel that this is a much needed addition to this site.

Hopefully see you in the member’s area soon!

Paul

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New Videos, Improvisation Track And Other News

Paul Hill News

Back To Work

After a difficult 2016, I am now able to fully concentrate on guitar playing. 2017 is off to a great start and my creative juices are flowing once again. So much new material has emerged over the past month, both for my own guitar playing, and for uploading to this site. New videos uploaded so far have included:

  • Pentatonic scale phrasing ideas
  • String bending
  • Diatonic chord inversions
  • Chord substitution
  • Finger Tapping
  • Melodic sequences
  • Open string ideas
  • Pedal tones

As you can see, there is a wide range of ideas to get your fingers and brain working on and as always, I try to link everything back to the core principals presented in my book. This gives a more cohesive system of learning and in understating what you are doing, any ideas learnt can be used in other playing situations.

Backing Track Improvisation

At the end of one recent video recording session, I decided to finish by recording an improvisation over a backing track, incorporating some of the ideas I had just recorded for the video lessons. I was happy with the light, delicate tone that my Strat and Kemper produced so uploaded the video to YouTube.

YouTube Video:

More videos will be added to my YouTube channel soon so if you enjoyed this video, please subscribe!

New Video Backdrop

If you have signed up to one of the paid subscription packages, you will have noticed that some of the recent videos now use a white backdrop. I am constantly evolving my video set up and recently installed a backdrop system that allows for a much quicker setup. I prefer the white background to the black background so future videos will be either white or another colour choice. Being able to set up my equipment quickly makes life much easier!

Exciting News!

If you are thinking about signing up to one of the great value, paid subscription packages, I should have some exciting news in the next blog post. So that you don’t miss out on the exciting news, why not sign up to my mailing list? Your details will not be passed on to anybody else, you will not be bombarded with spam and you can easily unsubscribe at any point.


Keep practising and I’ll hopefully see you in the member’s area!

Paul

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Looking Forward to 2017

Paul Hill News

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to a successful 2017. I have managed to have a break and enjoy time with my family. Putting the guitar down for a while is a great way of finding inspiration and this year has been no exception. Picking up my guitar after a week of not playing resulted in many new ideas pouring out so I am now looking forward to getting back to it.

It’s Been A Difficult Year

2016 seems to have been a difficult year for most people. Not only has there been news of many talented, famous people leaving us this year, so many of my friends have suffered loss or have been dealing with difficult situations. There have been too many unexpected deaths in my family over the past two years, the most hurtful being my dad, Bryan Hill. My dad was such a big part of my life and his unexpected and sudden death from a stroke has been devastating.

I have no siblings and was single handedly been left with the task of emptying my parents’ house. The deadline was December and the months leading up to the date have been unbelievably difficult for many reasons. Due to the fact that I had to prioritise in getting this task completed by the deadline on top of my heavy workload, many other projects have needed to be put on hold, including video uploads to this site.

Extended Subscriptions

As I have been unable to upload videos to the site for the past couple of months, I have extended subscriptions for site members. I thought this would be the best solution to my lack of time rather than trying to half heartedly upload content just for the sake of it. Even though there has been no uploaded content for a while, I have still been working on material for future uploads and have a great deal of material and ideas for future uploads.

The difficult task of emptying my parents’ house is now complete and I am very excited about getting back to working on new videos and material for the site. I have so many ideas for material that will utilise the core concepts of my book to help guitarists.


That’s all for this blog post. I hope you enjoy the new content that I will be uploading and that it helps you even more with your guitar playing.

Happy New Year!

Paul

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Easier Payment Method and Other News

Paul Hill News

New Payment Option

This week, I have added the option to purchase a membership package or upgrade an existing package by making payment directly from the site. By clicking on the drop down box in any of the payment areas, a choice of “Credit / Debit Card” or “Paypal” can be chosen as the payment method.

Credit card payments

Secure Payments

Not only is an easier payment method now available, I have also added additional security by implementing SSL certification. SSL is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

You can be assured of safe payments as the website address is now https://guitartheoryandtechniquebook.com (https rather than http). The padlock symbol is also present in the address bar to demonstrate the security of the site.

Padlock site address

Summer Practice!

Summer is here and what better way to make the most of your holiday time with some intense practice? If you are a teacher or student and are enjoying the Summer break, now is a great time to boost your guitar playing skills.

There are three packages available on this site. The best value package is the yearly membership, however the three month package is a great option for making the most of any Summer practice time. There is a massive amount of content in the member’s area that will keep your brain and fingers busy and improve your guitar playing.

The Latest Content

I am constantly adding content to the member’s area. Last week’s videos included many ideas including:

  • Open string cascades
  • Economy picked lines
  • Diatonic pentatonic scale units
  • Diad ideas
  • Blues licks
  • Harmonic minor 6ths
  • Chord ideas
  • Diatonic arpeggio ideas

The following example is taken from last week’s uploads added to my Youtube channel. If you want to be notified of any videos that are uploaded to YouTube, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Notation for this lick can be found on my Free Content page.


That is about all for this blog post apart from me wishing you a great Summer. If you are off on holiday, I hope you have a great time!

See you at a gig soon!

Paul

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Site Navigation and New Content

Paul Hill News

Welcome!

Firstly, I would like to welcome the new Guitar Theory and Technique subscribers. I hope you enjoy your stay and learn a great deal while you are here.

Navigating the Content

As the amount of content in the member’s area grows, navigating through the vast amount of material is a challenge. This week, I have added a page of links to the notation and videos, which will be a great help in finding the relevant information as required. I have also added a great deal of supplementary material consisting mainly of single note ideas to further explore the many theoretical concepts and techniques demonstrated in the videos and chapters in the Paul Hill Guitar Theory and Technique Book.

Whilst trying to find the most efficient methods of navigating through the content in the member’s area of this Guitar Theory and Technique site, I am always trying to keep in mind one of my main objectives which is to cross reference as much material as possible, so that all the different areas of study support each other. I feel that the ‘holistic’ approach of basing everything on the core principles presented in the book and always being able to understand whatever is being learnt results in a much better understanding of the instrument.

Latest Videos

Videos added this week include a sample solo over a Blues in Bb with theoretical breakdown and notation. This solo contains a challenging ecomomy picked, diminished scale idea that will give your fingers a workout. I have also added a video showing how to play over chord changes ranging from simple two or three chord songs up to more advanced chord progressions. Working through this guitar lesson will help your solos sound much more melodic as it demonstrates a method of how to think about the chord changes when improvising.


That is all for this post. See you in the member’s area!

Paul

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Free Guitar Content And Information About The Member’s Area

Paul Hill News

Free Guitar Licks

Last week, I added some sample videos and notation with tablature to the homepage and uploaded the videos to YouTube. I hope you enjoyed the ideas and have incorporated them into your repertoire. I will be adding more free content soon so stay posted!

Last Week’s Free Videos

The Member’s Area

If you have not yet registered and are thinking about subscribing to one of the packages, I thought it would be a good idea to explain more about what is on offer in the member’s area.

The videos are divided into categories including ‘The Basics’, ‘Generating Scale Patterns’, ‘Generating Chord Shapes’, ‘Licks and Ideas’, etc. The underlying concept of this entire site and of my book is to have a cohesive system to learning the guitar. All videos and and other content are cross referenced so that if, for example, you are watching a video in the ‘Licks and Ideas’ section, there will be links to other related videos, relevant chapters in the book and any notation that will be helpful. In this way, you will not simply be learning new material with no structure.

Member’s Area Screenshots

As you can see from the screenshots, the related content links are under the videos. These links open up the related content in new windows and help to give a ‘holistic’ approach to learning.

Any musical idea will relate to the core principals meaning that not only will the idea be understood and useable in other musical situations, the fundamental concepts will also become more solidly learnt, leading to a greater understanding.

Don’t Waste Your Practice Time!

Learning scales can be a waste of time if done in the wrong way. The point of playing any instrument is to create music and not to spend years learning unusable music theory.

The Paul Hill Guitar Theory and Technique Book teaches you how to think about the guitar fingerboard and doesn’t rely on ineffective parrot fashioned learning. This means that even if you don’t use a specific scale or chord type regularly, you will be able to work out how it is played when required. Traditional methods of trying to learn vast amounts of shapes will usually result in the less used shapes being forgotten.

Always Aim To Make Music

If you are learning a new scale type, chord, arpeggio, or any other theoretical idea, always remember that you are trying to make music. Try to resist from mindlessly running up and down scales as this is of no use when it comes to making music. If you concentrate on how the scale is played (tone production, clear sounding notes, dynamics, rhythm, etc) it will be learnt more efficiently and will become a musical tool rather than a pointless exercise.

I hope this post gives a clearer picture of what is available at guitartheoryandtechniquebook.com. If you decide to sign up or just want to enjoy the free guitar videos that will be coming up, I wish you all the best in your guitar playing.

Maybe see you at a gig soon!

Paul

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