April 2019 Update

It has been 10 years since I recorded a video for YouTube. Not coincidentally that’s when my first child, Evan, was born. Aside from the occasional update on this site, my Facebook page, or a reply to a comment on YouTube, I’ve had no online presence. In the 2-3 years after releasing “The Rising” I did start working on a couple of new compositions, but I had difficulty completing the projects due to very limited time and an overall lack of energy and motivation. In the period 2012-2016 I would let months go by without even picking up a guitar. I found that the small chunks of time I could devote to playing guitar were not worthwhile or rewarding for me. Needless to say my playing ability deteriorated significantly. It got to the point that I couldn’t even play my original songs very well, which was extremely discouraging.

Things started to turn around in early 2017 when a coworker invited me to talk about my musical endeavors and give a short performance of my original songs in the office. (See short video clip on facebook ). In order to avoid completely embarrassing myself during this performance, I realized that I needed to put in some serious practice. I made an effort to play almost every day for at least an hour, and after a couple of weeks I had gained back much of what I had lost. (By this time my sons were 6 and 8 and life was a bit less hectic than it had been in the preceding years.)

Following my performance at the office I started making more of an effort to practice, though it was still rather sporadic, and my confidence about making a return wasn’t that high. I wrote many of the riffs to “Inner Balance” during this time, though I struggled to come up with an arrangement that I really liked. One of the things that has given me motivation recently is encouragement from Evan. Though he hasn’t shown much of an interest in learning to play guitar, It turns out he really likes my music and “helping” me with my recording projects! He kept asking me why I wouldn’t just finish “Inner Balance” and release it.

For Christmas 2018 my wife surprised me with a new guitar (read about it in the ‘FAQ - what gear do you use?’ section)! This helped to reignite my passion for playing, and because the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a work holiday for me, I actually had the opportunity to play for hours at a time. This is when I really started to regain some confidence that I could finish a new track and make a return to YouTube.

By the end of January I had finished the arrangement for “Inner Balance”, recorded all of my tracks, and sent the project off to my friend Finn Maxwell (Musicman1066) to work his magic. Finn added a solo of his own and some other guitar elements, wrote and recorded a real bass guitar track, and revamped the drums that I had programmed. He made everything sound incredible--I was really blown away when I heard the finished product. Finn is not only an exceptional musician, but he’s a brilliant producer. I’m excited for everyone to hear it.

After the release of “Inner Balance” I plan to continue working on new original material. I have a few ideas in the works, some of them dating back almost 10 years. Hopefully I can find the inspiration to turn them into cohesive song arrangements. I’ve also tossed around the idea of doing another cover or two; however, I’m hesitant to put too much effort into covers since they may be blocked on YouTube due to copyright claims. (This has happened to Finn recently.) In any case I’m very happy to have made a return to music and YouTube, even if it did take 10 years! Thank you for the words of encouragement that many of you have provided over the years! It means a lot to me and helped make this return possible.


Father of two

Our second son, Will, was born on March 11, 2011. It was a long and difficult journey to bring him into the world. He was born 8 weeks early, but is doing extremely well. Life has returned to "normal", though normal with a 2-year-old and an infant is pretty crazy. I haven't been able to spend any significant amount of time playing or composing music, and I'm not sure when that will change. When I get the time and the inspiration, I plan to continue composing original music. Here are some pics of the new little guy.

Happy New Year 2011!

Wow, it’s hard to believe a year has passed since my last update. To be honest, I haven’t made a whole lot of progress in composing music since then. I’ve dabbled a bit here and there, and I still have a couple song ideas that are evolving, but I’m having trouble finding the time and motivation to work on them. My priorities and interests have changed such that when I do have a bit of free time, picking up the guitar is not the first thing I want to do. I’m not giving up, but I’m not sure when I’ll have another original song completed. Currently my family is going through a difficult situation, but hopefully everything will turn out okay and life will return to "normal". I really do hope to have new material sometime this year. Thanks so much for your continuing support.

Evan - 7 Months
Evan, 18 months old

Evan - 10 Months
Evan, 22 months old

Happy New Year 2010!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Mine was very nice, though I had very little time to work on music since we were traveling and then hosting family from out of town. Unfortunately I was unable to meet my goal of having a new song completed by the end of 2009. I do have a couple of song ideas in the works, but progress is slow since I'm spending much of my free time with my son Evan, who is now just over 10 months old (see pictures below). He is growing up so fast!

Evan - 7 Months
Evan, 7 months old

Evan - 10 Months
Evan, 10 months old

"Arrival" Video Restored (January 5, 2010)!

My DMCA counterclaim for my "Arrival" video was successful, and it was made available again worldwide on January 5, 2010. It's really a shame that people with malicious intentions can take advantage of the system and get videos taken down by filing false claims. I hope YouTube addresses this problem in the future.

Status of my "Arrival" video (December 2009)

As many of you have probably noticed, the video for "Arrival" (my first original song posted to YouTube) has been made unavailable due to a false copyright infringement claim by somebody named "travis williams". I want to make it very clear that "Arrival" is solely my creation. I did not collaborate with anyone during the writing or recording of the song and video. I even used a copyright service to date-register my creation. There is no way anyone can show proof that they created or possessed this song before me.

Unfortunately, YouTube's policy is to immediately remove any video that is subject to a copyright infringement claim, regardless of whether the claim has any merit. YouTube does this to avoid any legal liability. (They are at risk of being sued if they do not remove material that has been flagged for copyright infringement. The sheer volume of claims that they receive is too much to handle on a case-by-case basis, so all videos that get flagged are removed.) My only recourse is to file a counter-claim and wait for the claimant ("travis williams") to either respond with legal action or ignore the counter-claim, in which case the video should be restored by YouTube within a couple of weeks. I am unsure as to how exactly these next steps will play out, but I am cautiously optimistic that the video will be reinstated.

In the mean time, you can listen to "Arrival" streaming on my MySpace page or support me by purchasing the song from iTunes , Amazon Music , and a number of other music stores. Thanks for your support!

Chris

Summer 2009 Update

I haven't had much time for music during the past 6 months since I have been spending most of my free time with my son, and trying to get sleep when I can! However, I have been recording ideas as I get them and I plan to post more original songs in the future. I know many of you are anxiously awaiting a new song from me, and I ask that you have patience. My goal is to have at least one new original song completed before the end of the year. I don't have plans to post any new cover songs for a couple of reaons. First, I'd rather spend the little free time that I do have trying to come up with original material. Second, copyright claims seem to be more and more common on YouTube. I've already had one of my covers (Trivium's "Dying in Your Arms") removed, and it could happen to my other cover videos at any time. Enjoy the last few weeks of Summer!

New Dedicated Hosting!

Lee from Black Star Audio is very generously providing me with free dedicated hosting for my website! In short, the site should be more reliable (less down time due to ISP outages, IP address changes, etc.) and more responsive. I also won't have to worry about keeping bandwidth extremely low. Thanks again Lee!

More Website Content!

In response to popular demand, I've added 5 new pages to the site, including Gear Selection Tips, Recording: Originals, Playing & Writing Tips, Friends, and Interests! These days I have even less time to read and respond to my messages, so I'm hoping that most of your questions will be answered on this website. Some of these pages are not yet complete, so I will add content as I find time. Please let me know via YouTube message if you have any other suggestions for site content. Thanks!

I'm a dad!

As you may have learned while watching my latest video, my wife and I welcomed our son Evan into the world on March 1, 2009 at 11:31 am! It was an incredible experience. Caring for a newborn is proving to be challenging, but very rewarding. It's going to be a struggle to find time to write and record music, as well as respond to messages, so please bear with me!

Evan
Evan

New Original Song: "The Rising"!

My latest original song, entitled "The Rising" has been released. I posted a YouTube video (see below), and the full quality mp3 is available on iTunes and other music stores!

Please rate and leave your comments here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKRUagaWcpQ&fmt=18

This is my second metal composition for YouTube! All of these riffs were written during the past 3 months, and I spent quite a bit of time coming up with an arrangement that worked. It was more challenging than "Arrival", because there are 4 tempo and time signature changes in the song! I had to experiment a bit to make the transitions between these sections smooth, but I'm pretty happy with the finished product. I think it's quite different from my first song ("Arrival"), but hopefully you will like it!

As usual, I recorded all guitar and bass (pitch-shifted guitar) tracks direct using my Line 6 POD X3. Drum tracks were created using Toontrack EZdrummer with the Drumkit from Hell add-on (thanks to RedSGShredder for the suggestion). I used REAPER (DAW software) to record, mix, and master the tracks on my computer. Eventually I'll write a bit about this recording process on my website. Note that in the video I'm simply demonstrating how to play the main guitar parts. The guitar I used in this video and for the recording is a Washburn X50 Pro FE (except for the clean part, for which I used a Yamaha Pacifica 112).

Special thanks goes to PetrucciFever for his valuable feedback and suggestions that helped me to finalize this song! Please download his FREE album . You will LOVE it!

Back to the daily grind...

The two weeks I had off work for the holidays really spoiled me. During the work week I rarely have a significant chunk of time to devote to practicing, writing music, or adding content to the website. I do plan to add a section detailing how I recorded my original song "Arrival", but my recording process has already changed now that I've started recording my second song! I'm now using Toontrack EZdrummer for the drums after several people, including RedSGShredder , recommended it to me. It sounds much better and is more powerful than Beatcraft, but it's also quite a bit more expensive and takes some time to figure out if you've never worked with MIDI before.

As for what you can expect from me on YouTube in the coming months, I hope to have a second original song completed soon. I keep getting a lot of cover requests, but because I have so little free time I do not plan on making any more cover videos in the near future.

"Arrival" (original song) is now available for download from iTunes and other music stores!

I used TuneCore to submit my original song "Arrival" (see below) to iTunes and other music stores. If you like the song, please download the full quality mp3 to help keep this site running!
Download from iTunes
Download from Amazon Music
It will also be available on Rhapsody, Napster, eMusic, GroupieTunes, Lala, Shockhound, and Amie Street very shortly!

New Banner

You may have noticed that the site header has changed. Jrdnxxhero made a sweet banner image for me, so I did my best to incorporate it into the header. I hope you like it.

New banner!

Original Song!

I finally finished recording my first original song in a long time. I created a video and posted it to YouTube! I wrote most of these riffs over a year ago, but I finally pieced together a complete song over the past few months. I think vocals would fit very nicely over this song, but I decided to keep it an instrumental for now. I left it short and sweet to keep your attention. I put a solo in place of the second verse of the song.

Please rate and leave your comments here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDhaegA7UJ0&fmt=18

The recording process was a learning experience for me. This is the first time I used a full-fledged DAW software (REAPER), and I took some tips from RedSGShredder for creating my drum tracks (check him out—he is awesome! http://www.youtube.com/redsgshredder ). I'm not a drummer, so please don't expect anything great on the drum track. PetrucciFever gave me much-needed motivation to get started on some of my original material, so I owe a big thanks to him. He also gave me the idea to use pitch-shifted guitar for the bass line. He is another awesome player, so visit his channel if you havent done so already (http://www.youtube.com/petruccifever ).

Obviously there are multiple guitars layered in this song, so I'm only playing one part at a time for this video. Maybe in the future I'll take some time to learn Adobe Premiere and put together something a bit fancier. I plan to make a complete write-up about how I recorded this song. If youre interested in recording your own stuff, keep an eye out for this. I will probably also post the tabs at some point.

The full quality mp3 file is now available for download from iTunes and other music stores!

Thanks again for watching my video, and please let me know what you think!

Tabulature is now available for this song! Download the Guitar Pro file here. (Note: read the information about TuxGuitar on the tab page if you don't have Guitar Pro). Please note that this song is copyright protected. I don't mind if you want to learn the song for fun, do a YouTube cover, or perform it live with your band--all I ask is that you give me proper credit. Thanks a lot and enjoy!

Merry Christmas 2008!

Hopefully you all had a wonderful Christmas and received some nice new gear from Santa. I asked for and received a couple pieces of new gear: a Line 6 FBV Express foot pedal controller for my POD X3, and a pair of KRK Rokit 5 G2 studio monitor speakers to significantly upgrade my modest home recording setup. I have added pictures and some more description in the Gear section if you're interested.

As for my original compositions, I have just about finished recording my first song in the KillrBuckeye era! I just need to master the final stereo track, record a video of me playing the song, and post it to YouTube! Hopefully it will be posted within the next week or so! I can't wait to hear what you guys think.

New Website!

My old website was created using MS Publisher 2003, which was extremely easy to use. Unfortunately, it also created a mess of code that caused the site to display improperly for some people. So I decided to learn a new skilI and put my creativity to the test, and this is the result! I used Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 to create the site. I hope you like it!

POD X3

I recently purchased a Line 6 POD X3 with some of my birthday cash. I wanted to see how much better it was than the POD 2.0, and it blew me away! Not only were the previous amp models improved, but the X3 comes with a TON of new amp models. Also, the X3 has the capability of processing two completely independent signals, so you can blend tones together (two different amp models, for instance). Basically, you can do a whole lot more with the X3 than you can with the 2.0. (It also costs twice as much!). I used the X3 for my “Frostbite” video, and I have posted the tone file (.l6t) in the POD Settings section. Unfortunately, you need a POD X3 (or TonePort w/ Gearbox plug-in and applicable bundles) to use the tones, as I don’t believe the tones are backward compatible with the XT or 2.0.

New Songs?

Regarding requests, please keep in mind that I have hand-picked most of my covers because they are songs that I feel I can come close to perfecting. I will readily admit that there are many songs from my favorite bands that I simply can’t play at close to 100% accuracy (mainly the solos) because I’m not good enough. So for the most part I do not really consider the requests I get unless they’re songs that I’ve already been thinking about doing. I hope you will understand!

Why did I make this site?

You might be wondering why in the heck I would take the time to make something like this. Well, the short answer is that I think it will save me time in the long run. I never imagined a few months ago when I uploaded my first YouTube guitar video that I would be reaching such a large audience and that there would be so many people interested in learning more about my playing history, equipment, recording methods, tabulature sources, etc. I’ve been trying to answer all of my YouTube messages and most of the questions asked in the video comments, but sometimes it’s hard to keep up. I’m hoping that this site will help to answer the majority of such inquiries so I will have more time to dedicate to practicing, transcribing, and recording new songs! Thanks for visiting, and I hope you find the content of this site useful.