How I use Guitar Pro

I’ve had a few people ask me how I create the tabs that you see in my lessons, like my monthly instructional column Unleash Your Inner Rock God in Mixdown, or the occasional lessons I do for or stuff like this for Guitar World. The answer is simply: Guitar Pro 6 by Arobas. But I use it for more than that, and since it’s such a useful program I thought I’d tell you a bit about it. Plus I’m a huge gear nerd and I just like talking about stuff like this. A lot of people use Guitar Pro to display tablature to learn, and there are plenty of unofficial, fan-created tabs out there that can be very handy when they’re made by someone who really knows what they’re doing, but believe it or not, that’s not how I use it.

First of all, I use Guitar Pro to create the tabs for my lesson columns, and it’s really handy to be able to play the scales/chords/riffs/melodies back to make sure I’ve transcribed them correctly. Occasionally like in this article about 7-string guitars, I also use Guitar Pro to make chord boxes. This is super-handy because sometimes it’s just easier to conceptualise a chord if you see it this way rather than as a bunch of numbers.

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COOL GEAR ALERT: Ibanez BB9 Bottom Booster

Have you seen the latest issue of Mixdown yet? it’s a huge pedal mini-review special (seriously, I reviewed like 60 pedals for this issue). Not everything could fit, and while I reviewed a few Ibanez pedals (the Jet Driver and TS9B Bass Tube Screamer), the BB9 review had to be cut. But never fear: you can read it here!

The BB9 Bottom Booster seems to occupy its own little niche. Not quite tone shaper, not quite overdrive or booster pedal, it works best when either giving some extra oomph to a tube preamp, or beefing up the output of a distortion pedal. Controls include Gain, Tone and Level, but it’s not quite as clear-cut as that simple control array might indicate. The Bottom Booster can really fatten up a tone (whether you’re looking for loads of bottom end or just more overall thickness), giving heft and wallop to single coils or extra darkness and weight to humbuckers. It can give more gain – a LOT more gain – to your overdrive, or more fullness to your clean tone. Whatever it does and however you use it, it feels like it’s a true part of your rig rather than a pedal sitting on top of it. It could almost be seen as a secret weapon to push a not-quite-there amp over the threshold to tonal nirvana, whether that means additional gain or just ‘more’ tone.

[geo-out country=”Australia” note=””]CLICK HERE to buy theIbanez 9 Series BB9 Bottom Booster from Musician’s Friend.[/geo-out]