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How To Think Like A Guitar Player

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Playing the guitar (and music in general) means learning to think in new ways and, sometimes, work against human nature. I’d like to give you some great mental tricks to help you learn guitar concepts and become a better guitarist.

This is not a music theory article. Instead I’m going to show you how to get past some of the all-too-human blockages that keep you from playing better. And some of it may sound New-Agey, but don’t let that scare you off. There’s nothing hear that I haven’t used myself and taught to private students to great effect. I give you these ideas as someone who has taught hundreds of students and played thousands of shows.

1. A bad note never killed anyone. Have you ever seen an audience member fall over dead because the musician on stage made a mistake? Me neither. Chances are nobody even heard the mistake. Music is one of the safest activities in the world. Much safer than say, amateur brain surgery.

And yet we have a very human fear of mistakes. We don’t want them to happen and when they do we want to go back and fix them. But when you’re playing with and for other people, you can’t do that. Most likely, nobody heard the mistake and the band won’t know what you’re doing and will keep going without you.

Here’s how I want you to practice this. Grab your guitar and play a song you don’t have down perfect yet. Play through the whole song and do not stop for mistakes. Stay on the beat, get back on the horse, and finish the song. It’ll be an uphill battle with your brain if you’re not used to doing it. It’s waaaay more important to keep the groove than to play every note perfect.

If the best guitarists in the world look they like play their instrument fearlessly, it’s because they do. And you can too.

Now, I don’t want to sound irresponsible here. It is important to learn to play correctly as well. After you’ve played the song, you’ll want to go in and work on the details that you missed, one at a time. That’s a different process and one that should be taken just as seriously.

But when you’re playing through a whole song, ignore the mistakes. Or embrace them. That’s fun too. One of my tricks is to play the part wrong the same way the next time it comes up in the song. Then they think you meant it that way!

2. You must have focus, Grasshopper. Being able to focus and concentrate on playing a piece of music for 3-6 minutes is no easy task. If you find your focus wandering (and mistakes being made) in the short 2 or 3 line pieces your teacher gives you, this is something you can work on.

You’re obviously focused on playing guitar, but it’s easy to let other thoughts slip in that can ruin your performance. A friend of mine was just telling me about a show she did recently. Her ex-boyfriend was in the audience and during her whole performance she kept running over their relationship in her head. As a result she made mistakes and was unhappy with the performance.

You need to clear your mind (let’s get all Jedi here!) and focus solely on the song. Meditation can help with this. Choose a simple word, something innocuous, like “chair”. Now, set a subtle alarm of some sort for 3 minutes. Maybe a vibrating cell phone so it doesn’t jar you too much. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Repeat your word over and over in your head or aloud. Whenever some other thought starts to creep in, push it out and go back to your word. It will take practice, but your focus will improve drastically if you do this often. When you can focus well for 3 minutes, try 4 then 5.

3. Boobs are distracting. Picture yourself the rock star you want to be. You’re on stage in a huge arena in front of 50,000 people. It’s blazing hot under the lights. People are screaming their fool heads off every time you hit a chord. Cacophony everywhere. And yes, chicks are flashing you and throwing panties on the stage.

You think some of this might be distracting while you play? Not only do you need to be able to focus in your quiet practice time, you also need to be able to play through any distraction thrown at you. Even if you’re playing a tiny coffee shop gig, some moron will order an espresso while you’re playing and that hissssss of the steamed milk can seriously jack up your groove.

I encourage you to practice playing with distractions. Try to play a song while the TV is on. Or for an even bigger challenge, try playing while a different song is playing on the radio. Do some finger exercises while you’re talking to someone on the phone. Working through these ideas will help your fingers do their job even if your brain is thrown off for a second.

If you work at these three ideas, you’ll become a better guitarist, enjoy the experience more, and arrive at that fearless musical Nirvana you’re looking for.

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MapleStory Guide – Anego

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Anego (aka Female Boss) is a popular boss in Showa. It spawns in the third map of the Showa mansion, surrounded by its vastly weaker minions. It is a formidable foe, with very high attack power, defence and speed.

So let’s have a look at what Anego’s capable of. Anego has two main attacks plus a rather high touch damage of about 10,000-11,000, a fairly long range gun attack dealing around 5,200 and lastly, a short range slap dealing roughly 18,000. If you’re melee without a ridiculous amount of hp washing, then I know what you’re thinking. Some other things about Anego, it has very high defence and moves extremely quick.

So with such high damage how does anyone kill it? Luckily Anego suffers a “glitch” so to speak, which will be explained in detail below.

HP: 75,000,000

Minimum HP: 19,000 (Melee) Any (Ranged)

Now to talk about that “glitch”, if you attack Anego and run back to the portal, you’ll notice Anego is unable to follow all the way to the left. This is due to a pathing issue in the maps layout, near the edge of the bar stool is an invisible barrier for Anego, which it is unable to pass. Obviously that makes the entire left side a perfect sniping spot! Basically every single ranged class can make use of this and this is also the basis for party kills of Anego. The spot where you’ll want to stand is directly in front of the couch near the portal, if you edge past this you may be hit by Anego’s gun attack, but the slap will miss you by miles.

For melee it’s not so easy, the only viable way to fight Anego as a melee character is to corner it and tank it, burning potions while pounding away. Obviously you need 19,000hp before even considering this.

As a side note, it is possible to berserk Anego as a Dark Knight, but is difficult to do effectively. Lure Anego to the bar stools, and attack while jumping. If timed right you will not be hit by the slaps while still hitting Anego.

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WoW Bot – InnerSpace Guide

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First off, I’d like to explain some terms. Innerspace is an operating system, not a bot. Many people will be peeved if you say that. Openbot is a program/plugin/whatever that runs on innerspace. Openbot is a bot. Get these down and you’ll save the openbot vets some hair.

Innespace is NOT free. And I did’t find a crack yet. Yes you will need to pay for it if you’d like to use it. It will cost you $10 for a 3-month subscription. This is cheaper than glider elite. If you’d like to subscribe to use this bot Lavishsoft.com register an account, and subscribe from there.

Once you have an account subscribed, you can start this guide.

-Setting up Software-

1. Download and install the latest version of Innerspace.

2. Download the latest version of ISXWoW and ISXWarden. Always keep these up to date!

Install ISXWoW by running the installer if you downloaded that, or if you downloaded the zip, extract ISXWoW.dll into the Extentions folder and the other files into your Interface folder.

Install ISXWarden by simply extracting the .dll to the Extensions directory of your Innerspace installation.

3. Launch innerspace, right click on the little crosshairs icon, and click configuration.

4. Click on the “Game Configuration” tab and select World of Warcraft from the dropdown menu. Click Startup.

-Ingame Openbot Setup-

1. Once Innerspace is loaded with WoW and you’ve checked ISXWarden to be okay, log ingame and bring down console again.

2. Type into console:

run openbot/openbot

This should load the ingame interface.

Going into the rest of the steps for Openbot Configuration takes a lot of detailed explanation. By way of a quick search, you would find that the full steps are available at most sites offering WoW Bot and other gaming tools.

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Whistler Via Ferrata – Terror And Elation While Climbing The Iron Way

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“Okay, we’ll stop here and pull out our ice axes and crampons,” announces Jeff, our guide for the afternoon. He slides off his backpack and dumps it in the snow at his feet. I shrug my pack off and marvel at how I can be so warm while standing at the foot of Whistler mountain’s high alpine glacier. True, back at the Adventure Hut I had added a few layers of clothing after noticing the wisps of snowflakes drifting from the sky.

But now, an hour later and a brisk hike among the white-laced rocks, I was sweating. I ask my best-friend Amy if she’d like a swig of water. She nods and I dig the bottle out of our pack. I also pull out a couple energy bars to quell the rumbling in my stomach. I must have anticipated it would be a few hours and a few hundred feet until the next meal.

You can’t find this quiet anywhere near civilization.

Amy and I munch loudly in the natural stillness. It’s the silence that allows you to finally hear what every other animal must hear, every insect, as they go about their business in the absence of human activity. It feels as old as the earth and indifferent as the mountain itself.

Jeff instructs us on fitting our crampons; basically spiked metal shoes that are essential for glacier-walking. I’d never heard of them before this moment – before we’d decided to attempt Via Ferrata, “The Iron Way” – a tour offered by Whistler Alpine Guides Bureau. First developed by Italian soldiers during World War I, the activity consists of rock climbing via an engineered vertical pathway, utilizing permanently fixed cables and metal rungs for movement. (Or that’s how it works in theory anyway).

All three of us tie each other together with elastic rope. “In the fresh snow, it’s difficult to spot the crevasses in the glacier,” says Jeff. I envision a moment of plunging into an icy abyss and make sure my the rope is tightly clamped to my waist before we head out. Our crampons dig into the ice with assuring crunches. Like a blind man with a cane, Jeff pokes his ice axe in the snow to detect any cracks.

Soon we are standing at the foot of the climbing path.

A lone ladder is tied to the rock, stretching upwards to the first ledge, followed by metal rungs continuing upwards as if staples left by a giant. We remove our crampons and secure our ice axes to our backpacks. Jeff graciously goes first, gliding up with ladder with only the barest use of hands. Amy goes next, a little slower. I wait at the bottom of the ladder, peering at the surrounding boulders for any glimpse of the hoary marmot, (for which Whistler Mountain was named), known for its distinctive high-pitched whistle.

The ladder quivers. I look up and Amy is perched at the top, one hand outstretched to the first metal rung. She’s hesitating. “You okay?” I call up to her. “I’m not sure about this,” she answers flatly. “I don’t think I can do it.”

Jeff is a few feet higher, hanging from the rock like a confident gibbon. “It’s cool, just take your time,” he says. I wonder how many times he is confronted with this exact predicament. “My heart is pounding…” Amy answers, her voice cracking. Jeff is reassuring. “It’s quite safe, really. You’d be surprised at what you can do.”

There’s a defining moment in the air.

Amy must choose whether to attempt the shaky descent down the ladder, shrink from the pounding of her heart, and feel like she’s ruining the experience. She’s skimming over in her head how she’ll walk back down the glacier in stinging defeat, head to the Adventure Lodge and wait for us to complete the climb.

Jeff and I will arrive, tired and elated, and we’ll talk about how incredible it was to scale the peak, to feel the hard stone beneath our fingers, marvel at the tiny plants that make a home on these eternal stone. I’ll tell her how the vast view of the surrounding mountains was enough to silence any internal debate about the existence of an intelligent hand guiding the universe, or if not intelligent, than the incredible luck to emerge on a small beautiful ball drifting in a beautiful universe.

But Amy doesn’t choose such a fate for herself. She quells her beating chest, strengthens her resolve. She firmly grips the first metal rung, that giant’s staple lodged in the rock, and pulls herself over the lip, her feet dangling for a second before gaining a toehold. Fear and gravity are thwarted. She looks back down at me and smiles.

I climb the ladder and feel a bubble of adrenaline rise in my throat. But whether I’m aware of the true danger, or I possess a certain flare for attempting the unordinary (which happens less often then I’d like), I have little difficulty in crossing the threshold. All three of us begin our climb. The basics: always keep your belt ropes clamped on the safety line running parallel to the metal rungs, and only one person per increment of safety line. This prevents falls for more than 6 feet at once. A comforting thought.

Unhook, reach, lift, hook. Unhook, reach, lift, hook.

The steady rhythm takes on a momentum of its own, almost like meditation. I immediately understand why frequent climbers talk about being “in the moment” while scaling a sheer rocky face. There is little to think about when the mind must navigate an ever changing vertical terrain, constantly readjusting weight here, balancing a foothold there, like deciphering a rubix cube. The minutes drift away and the glacier below grows ever smaller.

Eventually, we arrive at the summit. The clouds part and the sun greets us warmly. We wander among the snow drifts as if emerging into another land, as if explorers entering the gates of Shangri-la. Only there are no gold tapestries, chests of jewels, or eternal youth here, only the satisfaction of conquering a thumbnail of earth on one Saturday morning in September.

~ Via Ferrata is offered in Whistler daily from June 24 through October. This thrilling activity is suitable for guests of all abilities and does not require any special skills or prior experience. All technical equipment is included. Your guide will give detailed instructions on use of equipment and technique for climbing.

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