Twitch and YouTube and stuff

Hey so …I kinda hate being on camera, but it’s time I knuckled down and did this, yeah?

Once upon a time, people bookmarked the blogs they liked, or they followed them in an RSS reader, and a blogger could write an article and count on it reaching their audience. But that’s just not how people consume content any more; they tend to wait for it to drift through their social media feed. And they tend to watch reviews rather than read them now. Which frankly I think is a good thing because it lets you hear the gear being reviewed, even though I think the best approach is ‘in-depth text review plus video demo.’

But my crushing anxiety about appearing on camera has always gotten in the way of me being a YouTube guy. And I think I just need to get over it. So I’ve started streaming stuff on Twitch (which I’m also publishing on my YouTube channel) and I’ll be doing more YouTube reviews.

So if you’ve followed this site for the 10+ years I’ve been doing it, I hope you’ll give me a chance to get used to this whole ‘being on camera’ thing. I’m a shy guy and most of what I have to say comes out of my fingers either into a guitar or into an article. But the changing media landscape is what it is and I gotta change with it, just as I did when I started I Heart Guitar.

So with that in mind, here are a couple of the live videos I’ve broadcast on Twitch the last couple of days. These are just me noodling and jamming for fun, because guitar is fun, dammit! I would really appreciate it if you subscribe to my Twitch or YouTube channels so you can keep up with this stuff. And you never know when I might live-stream a little noodle-session with a piece of gear I’m reviewing for a magazine.

Am I Jealous Of Steve Vai?

steve-vai-to-tour-australia-in-july-1-300x225Last week the magnificent Steve Vai played here in Melbourne (read my recent interview with Steve here). I was lucky enough to be offered some free tickets so I invited my old school buddy and his friend, as well as a guy I know who’s had a bit of a hard time recently and who I thought might enjoy the chance to take him mind off it with a gig. Like all Vai gigs it was a wildly diverse experience: blinding virtuosity, humour, melody, showmanship, and all-round good vibes. And I got to meet quite a few I Heart Guitar readers before and after the show, which was really cool. But something my buddy said afterwards really jarred me. Nodding back towards the venue, he asked, in an almost protective tone: Read More …

NEWS: New DiMarzio Billy Sheehan videos

Here are a couple of great new DiMarzio videos featuring Billy Sheehan.

In this one he talks about discovering hammer-ons from under the shadow of Billy Gibbons’ cowboy hat.

And here he shares a secret trick about his unusual picking technique.This one’s pretty freaking amazing.

CLICK HERE to buy Billy’s new CD, Holy Cow, from

VIDEO: A bit of mindless shred

Here’s something I whipped up a few months ago just fer laffs.

In the video I’m using an Ibanez RG550MXX 20th Anniversary reissue in roadflare red (#1083 out of 1987), a Marshall DSL50 head, AxeTrak isolated speaker cabinet, MXR/CAE Boost/Overdrive, and MXR Carbon Copy Delay.

NEWS: YouTube blocks all music videos in Britain?

Just saw this on an Australian news site, but no doubt it’s already big news out there.

The story reads, in part:

YOUTUBE will block all music videos from being viewed by users in Britain after it was unable to reach a deal with a royalty collection group.

The world’s largest video sharing website said PRS for Music, a British collection society that collects royalties on behalf of nearly 50,000 composers, was asking it to pay “many, many times” more than the previous licensing agreement that expired.

“The costs are simply prohibitive for us – under PRS’s proposed terms, we would lose significant amounts of money with every playback,” the company said.

The move is the latest sign of the tension between YouTube and the music industry.
It also indicates that YouTube is resolving to keep operating costs under control as it strives to generate profits for owner Google.

YouTube said PRS was unclear about which songs would be included in the renewed license.

“We’ve been talking to them for a long time and we’re still talking to them,” said Patrick Walker, YouTube director of video partnerships for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the story.

So what does it all mean? Is it a contract negotiation ploy? Will this be applied across the entire music category? Will it affect unsigned bands? Both parties, YouTube and PRS for Music, stand to lose a lot if they can’t reach an agreement. What are your thoughts on this one?

Personally I’m kinda amazed that YouTube hasn’t officially aligned with a retailer, or even set up their own, to link to high-quality paid downloads of an artist’s discography and videos. Kinda seems like a logical step, no?