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Amplification Part Two (Guitar Lesson)


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Mark Brennan

Amplification Part Two

In response to member requests, Mark added another amplification lesson to his growing phase 1 series. In this lesson, he compares 3 classes of amps from entry level models all the way to a Mesa Mark V.

Taught by Mark Brennan in Basic Electric Guitar seriesLength: 40:45Difficulty: 0.5 of 5


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Member Comments about this Lesson

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mouser9169mouser9169 replied on June 30th, 2014

Nice comparison. It would have been nice to see a high end solid state amp put into that mix as well. Many people truly can't hear the difference between a good solid state and a tube amp (the main difference is the way they stack harmonics - very oversimplified). If you're playing for yourself and are one of those people, you can save yourself quite a bit until you need the very high end amp or start playing for an audience who will hear the difference. Small quibble: showing how the guitar's tone control worked with the amps would have been good as well. I play through a Fender Blues Deluxe - sort of larger, Tweed, cousin to the Junior. It's very finicky with its input sounds though - go in too high, and the amp just doesn't work with the signal to well. Dial the tone back to about 7 and the amp comes alive. I'm sure different amps have different 'sweet spots' and different effects you can get by using that little knob on your guitar. Quibbles aside - great demo of three good, real-world amps people are likely to play (or at least play something similar) at some point in their career - ok, maybe not the mesa boogie, but we can all dream :)

mouser9169mouser9169 replied on June 30th, 2014

Nice comparison. It would have been nice to see a high end solid state amp put into that mix as well. Many people truly can't hear the difference between a good solid state and a tube amp (the main difference is the way they stack harmonics - very oversimplified). If you're playing for yourself and are one of those people, you can save yourself quite a bit until you need the very high end amp or start playing for an audience who will hear the difference. Small quibble: showing how the guitar's tone control worked with the amps would have been good as well. I play through a Fender Blues Deluxe - sort of larger, Tweed, cousin to the Junior. It's very finicky with its input sounds though - go in too high, and the amp just doesn't work with the signal to well. Dial the tone back to about 7 and the amp comes alive. I'm sure different amps have different 'sweet spots' and different effects you can get by using that little knob on your guitar. Quibbles aside - great demo of three good, real-world amps people are likely to play (or at least play something similar) at some point in their career - ok, maybe not the mesa boogie, but we can all dream :)

JoeyNuckollsJoeyNuckolls replied on April 29th, 2014

I am asom.

stratoplayastratoplaya replied on March 8th, 2012

Can you demo a fender mustang V?

joffajoffa replied on October 7th, 2011

Thanks Mark, very informative. You look like a kid in a candy store playing with that Mesa Boogie.

waltk2007waltk2007 replied on March 12th, 2011

Another very informative lesson Mark, thanks. I'd like to point out that the Fendrr Blues Jr. also offers a foot switch to kick in the "fat" switch and an input for an auxillary speaker. More blues lessons please.

fallenfallen replied on February 12th, 2011

Hi Mark, Just began following your lessons 2 weeks ago and am very much enjoying them and learning quicker than with private lessons I had taken a few months ago. Raw beginner at age 58 so a lot to learn! The amp series is really good. Just picked up a Fender Super Champ XD and learning all of its fine points. Thanks and keep up the good work!!

rockworthyrockworthy replied on January 28th, 2011

Mark, Thanks for putting this series together. It's kinda funny when you buy an electric guitar they don't come with directions on tone. Amps are the same way. I learn allot from you thank you!

gschwartzmangschwartzman replied on January 2nd, 2011

Mark, I'm really enjoying your Phase 1 lessons....learning and relearning a lot. I see that you've done a few lessons in Phase 3 but I no longer see Time and Wish You Were here which you previously mentioned you had done. Do you know where they went and, also, what's next for you on JamPlay? Another lesson set, I hope, maybe in Phase 2. Once I finish your Phase 1 I'm looking forward to more lessons from you.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on January 6th, 2011

Hey Geoff! Unfortunately, some of my Phase 3 lessons had to be taken off the site due to licsensing issues. It doesn't look good for the Floyd stuff to reappear. There will be more Phase 1 lessons coming soon, and I do plan on starting a Phase 2 series sometime in the near future, along with more tunes for Phase 3.....talk to ya soon, Mark

frankbfrankb replied on October 25th, 2010

Thanks Mark, I just purchased the mesa boogie 5. I knew this amp was awesome when I played it at the store. It really looks complex on the surface, but is easy, fun and a mind-blowing state of the art amp. Your lesson put into perspective everything a student needs to know, so they can start to find their own sound on this amp. It was nice to see you were also very impressed with this amp Thanks again.

gibstratgibstrat replied on October 3rd, 2010

thx for everything mark

cyber3fancyber3fan replied on August 26th, 2010

Hey Mark, great lessons. I am a beginner, but progressing. Actually an old beginner, 59. Want to play the blues and play with my 16 year old grandson, he is awesome. Picked up an used Fender Princeton Chorus from a guy at work for a great price, should be ok for a beginner. I watched your band tune-up and house of blues video, fantastic. I live in Ohio is the band still playing? Keep the great lessons coming.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on August 26th, 2010

Hey Robert....that Fender Princeton should work out great for you. Try to come and see the band in Coumbus. We're playing a the Newport Music Hall on Saturday October 2nd. It's on High St on the campus of Ohio State.....talk to ya soon, Mark

crosstourcrosstour replied on August 17th, 2010

Hi Mark. Great lessons, I'm enjoying and learning. Getting a new amp this weekend. I was wondering if this lesson 23 should be viewed last, or can we jump to it whenever we feel the need for more amp education? Thanks.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on August 22nd, 2010

Absolutely....this lesson should be at the front of the series. It was filmed as an addendum to the first amplification lesson. View at will!

crosstourcrosstour replied on August 23rd, 2010

Thanks for the reply. Got to admit I went ahead and viewed it. Innformative and enjoyable; looks like you were having fun, too, especially with the big amp.

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on August 25th, 2010

Wish I had my own Mark V to go along with my Mark IV!

bwatersbwaters replied on June 12th, 2010

Mark what are your thoughts on Vox Amps? I just purchased a AC15. Thank you

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on June 14th, 2010

Though I've never owned one, Vox amps have always had a reputation for great tone. A lot of well known players use them (Brian May for one). I think you made a great choice with the AC15....check out Chris Liepe's article on the Vox Night Train..very nice.

tlofstromtlofstrom replied on May 23rd, 2010

A great video Mark, thanks! Any recommendations for pedals that work especially well with the Blues jr.?

MarkBrennanMarkBrennan replied on May 23rd, 2010

You've got a great bluesy, crunch on the Blues Jr, but an addition distortion pedal for a lead tone would be handy...something that would give you more gain and saturation. The Blues Jr has a great reverb, so your set there. You might want to add a chorus pedal, to add to the Blues Jr.'s great clean sound, and then maybe add an echo pedal for spacial sounds. I would recommend the Roland Boss pedals.

bangor307bangor307 replied on May 10th, 2010

I'll have to admit I FF'd to the Mesa Boogie part, sweet amp! How about one on the Marshall and Peavy comps.

cdawsoncdawson replied on May 10th, 2010

The Mark V is def. a cool amp.. obviously this video doesn't do much justice for the tone since we had to do room mic'ing for all 3 amps, but this has been used for the past few months at our Ohio location, and will be used on just about everything moving forward.

viterviter replied on May 10th, 2010

damn that mark V looks neat :P

mkorsmomkorsmo replied on May 10th, 2010

I agree

kevinkevin replied on May 10th, 2010

It was much better than the last video.(last one was OK too) Thanks a lot Mark!

Basic Electric Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Mark's Phase 1 series will take you through the basics of playing electric guitar.



Lesson 1

Series Intro - Guitar Parts and Tuning

Mark introduces his Phase 1 series and covers some fundamental electric guitar basics.

Length: 30:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Amplification

Mark provides a detailed overview of amplification. This lesson has some great info for any electric player.

Length: 33:55 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Using Tablature and Learning the Fretboard

Before we start rocking, Mark goes over some tools and training necessary to every beginning guitarist.

Length: 12:52 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Right Hand Technique

It's time to get some sound out of your guitar. Mark begins with picking hand technique.

Length: 31:34 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Left Hand Technique

Mark explains proper left hand technique from the ground up.

Length: 10:36 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Natural Notes in the 1st Position

Mark teaches you all of the natural notes played in first position. He uses two classic melodies to supplement this information.

Length: 25:42 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

The C Major Scale - 1st Position

It's time to learn your first scale - the C major scale in first position. Mark also explains how the major scale is constructed.

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Chords in C major - Part 1

Mark covers 7 basic chords in the key of C major.

Length: 35:14 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Chords in C major - Part 2

Mark expands on chords in C major by showing full forms of the chords you learned in Part 1. He also teaches you the chord progression to a familiar tune.

Length: 25:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Power Chord Primer

It's time to start making some noise by using power chords and palm muting. Mark gives you the framework to start rocking with the 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 36:43 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Open Position Minor Pentatonic

Take your knowledge of the notes in the first position and start jamming on a simple pentatonic riff.

Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 1.0 FREE
Lesson 12

Blues Scale Basics with Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, and Vibrato

Let's build on lesson 11 with an extended discussion of the pentatonic scale. For lesson 12, we'll simply add one note to the minor pentatonic scale to give us the famous minor blues scale. We'll also...

Length: 36:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Movable Power Chords

Mark explains how to finger power chords and how they can be moved anywhere on the fretboard. He also shows an exercise that will help you remember the name of each power chord.

Length: 16:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Rhythmic Notation Part 1

Mark Brennan explains rhythmic notation, tempos, time signatures, note values, and more in this lesson.

Length: 32:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

The Key of G Major

Mark explores the key of G major in this lesson. He covers the first position pattern of the scale and explains how it can be harmonized in thirds.

Length: 33:22 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Chords of G Major

Mark teaches the basic chords of G major as well as some other exercises to get you acquainted with this key.

Length: 34:28 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

The Key of D Major

Mark explains the basics of D major.

Length: 25:00 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Chords in D Major

Mark takes you through the chords of D major and explains some new ones that you haven't encountered yet.

Length: 35:00 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

More Movable Power Chords & the Circle of Fifths

Mark continues his discussion of power chords. This time around, he explains the circle of 5ths and demonstrates some power chord progressions that illustrate this concept.

Length: 33:18 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

The Movable Minor Pentatonic Scale

Mark teaches the 1st box of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 32:31 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

The Minor Blues Scale Transposed to A

Mark explains how you can transpose the pentatonic pattern covered in lesson 20 to the key of A minor. He also shows the "lower extension box" and "home plate box."

Length: 26:09 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Blues Boogie Shuffle

Mark teaches the difference between straight eighth notes and the shuffle feel.

Length: 42:33 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Amplification Part Two

In response to member requests, Mark added another amplification lesson to his growing phase 1 series. In this lesson, he compares 3 classes of amps from entry level models all the way to a Mesa Mark V.

Length: 40:45 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

Introduction To Improvisation

In this lesson, Mark teaches some blues licks that can be used when improvising over a 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 24:01 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

The Key of A Minor

Mark covers the key of A minor.

Length: 29:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

Two Movable Major Chord Forms

Mark teaches two movable major chord forms and gives many examples of how to practice playing them.

Length: 26:10 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

I-IV-V Progression Revisited

Mark Brennan shows you how to apply the chord forms learned in lesson 26 to a I-IV-V progression.

Length: 21:52 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

Movable Dominant 7th Chord Forms

Mark Brennan continues his teachings on movable chord forms. In this lesson he shows the dominant 7th chords and how to use them in a 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 19:49 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Movable Minor and Minor 7th Chord Forms

Mark Brennan teaches these minor chord forms and how they are movable up and down the fretboard. He also shows how to use these chords in common progressions.

Length: 21:29 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only

About Mark Brennan View Full Biography Mark Brennan, born August 12th, 1954 in Cleveland, Ohio, began playing guitar at the age of 10. His first influences were from the Ventures and the British Invasion, especially the Beatles and Rolling Stones. Shortly afterwards he was playing in rock bands with his brother on drums, developing his ear by learning songs straight from records. Playing in a band became a passion.

In high school, he grew to love acoustic and classical guitar. He spent time playing acoustic music, influenced by The Eagles, CSN, Dan Folgelberg, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, etc. In the 70's, he headed a very popular Cleveland band, The Brennan-Cosma Band, which played a variety of acoustic and rock music, along with originals. He also took up classicalguitar, and began developing his fingerstyle technique.

Mark is a graduate of Cleveland State University (1980), with a Bachelor of Music in Classical guitar performance. He also studied Music Composition, and took many Music Education classes. After graduation, he began his private teaching career, teaching electric, acoustic, and classical guitar, along with music theory. He taught in various studios and guitar shops throughout his career, and currently has a private practice at his home in Fairview Park, Ohio.

In the 80's Mark took an affection to Progressive rock. With his band Polyphony, he was influenced by the music of Yes, Genesis, Kansas, ELP, Styx, along with a set of prog rock originals.

Currently, Mark is in the regionally successful Pink Floyd tribute band Wish You Were Here. The band performs faithful renderings of the Floyd classics spanning their entire catalog, along with a strong visual stage show. Here, Mark displays his command of the David Gilmour style.

Mark is excited to be part of JamPlay.com's fine roster of teachers. He's looking forward to extending his 35 years of performing and teaching experience to the JamPlay members. His philosophy is about developing a passion for guitar and being the best musician you can be; being true to yourself and developing a personal style, and truly expressing your heart through your music.

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