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Vacancy: Junior Web and Systems Developer

Wednesday 14th April 2021 News

junir web dev

We are looking for new talent!

JTC is searching for a UK based Junior Web and Systems Developer. You’d be joining a fast growing online guitar-based education, production and digital download company.

JTC's stack is primarily built on PHP (proprietary framework), HTML, Javascript, MariaDB and hosted in a linux environment. The successful candidate will be able to show proficiency with OOP, PHP, Javascript, HTML5 and SASS/CSS and be able to demonstrate aptitude with Linux and it’s methodologies, including SSH, Apache/NGINX and basic admin.

In the position you will be involved in the development of software applications, working across the full development lifecycle. The role will involve task ownership and development in accordance with JTC's best practices. Working from home, you will be reporting directly to the lead developer.

You will need to be a self motivator, keen to learn and develop as well as take ownership of this hugely important role within the company. You will have excellent problem solving skills, a dedication to writing quality code, as well as good communications skills.

Required Skills:

  • PHP
  • OOP
  • HTML5
  • Javascript
  • Jquery
  • Apache / NGINX
  • SASS / CSS
  • SSH

Ideal Additional Skills:

  • AWS/S3/EC2/ Cloudflare
  • API Dev
  • IOS/Android Dev
  • Gulp
  • GIT/Github

There are superb prospects for the right candidate and the chance to join a dynamic, supportive and flexible company.

Starting salary: TBD

For immediate consideration please email your CV to jonny@jtcguitar.com

Get to Know: James Norbert Ivanyi

Monday 15th March 2021 News

Photo: Melissa Prieskorn

”The technique, masses of expression on his legato cool Opeth-style chunky riffs.” Straight from the mouth of one of directors and all about Mr James Norbert Ivanyi, one of the latest breed of new artists adding their own flavour to JTC.

James’ debut has proven to be a huge hit with tons of players digging into his signature phrases.

So what’s he all about?

You have such a strong “prog” sound, where did this come from?

I think it came from having a lot of classic rock, progressive music and instrumental jazz playing in my home for as long as I can remember. My father was an artist and musician, and was really into obscure music, so I think that had a lasting impression and normalized the soundscape for me which I naturally wanted to explore myself.

What was the inspiration behind this release?

I wanted to give people the chance to see and learn something directly from me, that is exactly like the kind of music I make - which is something I get asked about all the time. Not just the heavier stuff, but also the slower and fusion side to my playing, which I think is a little less known. There’s a wide variety of phrases in the release that hopefully showcase what I’m all about, and people can get right into it, in the context I do with the original backing tracks.

Biggest takeaway from your JTC debut?

I learned so much about the overall presentation and of how my course would be viewed from the students perspective, and made a lot of calculated choices and revisions to ensure it was versatile, but also accessible to intermediate players. From the get-go I knew I’d have to be careful not to make it too difficult, at least not for the debut.

This release is unique as it has so many different backings, how long did it take to put them together?

I actually started the JTC recording sessions immediately after completing my new record, so I was still very much in the headspace and inspired to keep creating. I think I spent about a week on the bones of each one, then another few weeks on each getting the details and instrumentation right.

Who would you say is your favourite artist from the JTC roster?

I would have to say Guthrie Govan, as I actually mostly discovered him through JTC. He’s had a profound impact on me as a player and I admire his playing and philosophy on subject matter greatly. Of course there are too many great players on the roster to mention.

What other topics would you like to explore?

Of course if the interest is there, I’d like to explore more in the songwriting domain, and demonstrate my linear approach to production and guitar playing, which is something I get asked about often. I’d also like to demonstrate a more advanced phrases collection, and do something similar to ‘signature progressive phrases’ but focused on riffs, instead of phrases.

Before you go...

Check out James’ debut release below!

Behind the Pack: Professional Basics

Thursday 4th March 2021 News

It’s a rare sunny day in the UK, and one of the JTC team starts chatting to Michael Wagner on Messenger about what’s in the works. “I have an idea for a Masterclass on the basics of being a pro” Michael writes. And so a release is born!

We like packs that solve a problem for players, and that is exactly what this one does. Michael has found a way to get the root of an issue, and solve it.

So here’s an inside look.

What was the inspiration behind this release?

There’s no shortage of JTC packages about lead playing. Picking, bending, sweeps, phrasing, scales…you name it, there’s a Masterclass. What I found out when teaching however is that a lot of people lack the basics – even when they have advanced knowledge about lead techniques. They could do the craziest licks but if you’d ask them to play a simple groove on a click, they’d have a hard time. This is the gap I wanted to fill with Professional Basics.

Because in the real world, simple stuff is what matters most. When you’re recording with a producer, you need to play consistently on any metronome or drum track, otherwise you won’t get called again. Same goes for playing with a good band. You also need to be fast finding the right voicings for a guitar part, so your chord and fretboard knowledge needs to be spot on. That’s why I focused on these three aspects in this release. There’s also lessons about lead playing, but always in the context of a more holistic picture of the guitar.

What is the major takeaway for the release?

Simple things can be the hardest. For example, recording on a metronome when you’re not used to it usually is a very humbling experience. Some of the click exercises in Professional Basics took me months to master. Originally I had to practice it for university exams, but it paid off in ways I couldn’t imagine. Since I’ve worked my way through this stuff, I never had problems working with any producer or band. Today, especially during the pandemic, a big part of my income is recording guitars from home. Without the skills I teach in Professional Basics, I wouldn’t be able to do that.

Is it a topic you could build on?

It took a lockdown and the total absence of a social life to find the time to record these lessons, so probably not! But seriously, I think I got the basics covered with this package. Of course there’s a lot more skills any professional musician needs; knowing your gear, knowing your DAW, being reliable, building a network…but I feel there’s enough material out there about those topics. All about the playing aspects that I really felt had to be in a Masterclass, I put into Professional Basics. And I’m very happy about that!

Major Issues is such a tune! Any plans for an album? 

Thank you! As far as the instrumental tunes go, not yet. So far, I’m happy to release all of those one by one on JTC. If I’d work on an album, it would probably be one with vocals and a complete band! But hey – never say never.

A lot is made about your tone, in a nutshell, what’s your set up? 

One of the blessings of the lockdowns was to have the time to dig into the gear part. In spring of 2020, I was lucky to find an affordable Divided by 13 FTR37 amp and the months after, I spent a lot of time working my way through different pedals. Finding the right overdrive almost drove me nuts! But after months of purchasing and sending back drive pedals, I finally found my perfect match on Ebay. It’s an older version of the Diablo drive from the German company OKKO. It turned out to be the ideal complement to the sound of the FTR37. The last piece of the puzzle was a monstrous sounding 2017 Gibson 58 Reissue Les Paul in Darkburst, for which I traded in my older Les Paul that you see in “Electric Mud”.

So all in all, the signal chain looks like this: Les Paul –> OKKO –> TS9 Tubescreamer (turned on for the second half of the tune) —> FTR37 –> UAD OX Box with a 4x12 cab –> Logic. There I use the Soundtoys Sie-Q and Echoboy plugins to sprinkle some sugar on the tone, and that’s it!

But I’m planning to do a detailed Youtube video on how exactly I used the gear for “Major Issues” in the near future. Because the secret of a good tone is not to buy tons of expensive stuff and throw it all together, but knowing how to use what you have!

And what’s next for you at JTC?

Professional Basics was a lot of work and for now, I feel like I’ve run out of Masterclass topics. So probably I just write a nice new tune and pack it up in a 20 Licks or Learn to Play package. After the gruesome exercises in Professional Basics, it’s time to go back to the fun stuff! ;-)

Before you go... 

Check out Michael’s latest release below!

Get to Know: Rohan Stevenson

Tuesday 2nd February 2021 News

ro stevenson

2021 has a lot of JTC debuts lined up. The second of which was our first ever Australian artist, Ro “I Built The Sky” Stevenson.

Learn to Play: The Fire Inside has proven to be an incredible debut filled with modern rffs, big melodies and even a guest spot from fellow JTC artist, Olly Steele.

But what’s it all about?

What is The Fire Inside about?

Andy wrote all the lyrics and later told me it was written about his experience with the tour bus we shared after there were a lot of issues in his bunk and being insufferably hot most of the time. Bit of tongue in cheek but a source of inspiration all the same.

You’re known for being an instrumental artist, so what made you want to get Andy and vocals involved?

It all started after meeting the Monuments lads on a tour early 2020, and us really hitting it off as friends along the way. Since I am an instrumental artist I always get people curious to see what would happen with a vocalist and love to tell/ask me about it in my comments... so I decided that I’d try it out and who better to have sing than Andy? He nailed it beyond nailing it in my opinion.

What was it like working with Olly Steele for the solo?

That is the absolute THE LAST TIME I’m working with that lad, that’s for sure!!!

For real, Olly is a one of a kind artist and his skills are phenomenal, he was able to get the solo happening with ease. I really admire his focus to detail that makes his sound what it is. We had discussions during the process and I could tell how deliberate every note is, I think this is the type of attitude that elevates an artist. Inspiring guy that’s for sure.

And how hard was it to learn that solo?

Oh yeh, this was a challenge, many phrasing ideas that are far from comfortable to my playing so I took a bit of time familiarising myself with the tricky licks. For me, I tend to use the drill approach and just drill and drill a lick until it starts to represent the sound I need. I didn’t count the time it took. But I’m glad there’s likely gonna be a lot of time before I need to perform it.

This is your JTC debut, so what do you want people to get out of it?

I’m most passionate about composition, so I hope people get inspired to create and incorporate some of my ideas in their compositions. Especially things like layering and stacking chords to create a sound like I did with octaves and chords. I also hope they get new chord shapes and sounds to play around with too, I really love experimenting with new shapes and sounds. Sometimes one nice chord can inspire a whole section of music.

Do you have a favourite JTC artist?

I love this question. I remember finding Guthrie Govan through JTC with his song ‘Fives’ which just made my jaw drop to the floor, I still watch that video because of how incredible it is and how musical as a composition it is too, I think a lot of players are next level at guitar, but it takes even more dedication to bring those skills into a great composition in its own right. Guthrie has this in spades. Hope to meet him one day.

What have you got planned for the rest of 2021?

So since touring is out of the question I’m planning to spend most of my time writing and recording new music. I have 3 new releases planned including an acoustic album, a collab EP with Jake Howsam Lowe and my own follow up to my last album The Zenith Rise. I’m definitely inspired to be prolific and get more music out there and try and continue to grow my music out in the world.

Any idea for future JTC releases?

Absolutely, I think in the next one I do (lord willing I am invited back 🙏)

Likely an instrumental one where the focus is on the instruments 100% I love creating interesting and tricky riffs with some sort of twist to it and I think that’s something that people may get a lot out of in future.

Before you go...

Check out Ro in action with his playthrough of the track.

Get to Know: Lew Thomas

Wednesday 20th January 2021 News

lew thomas

There’s nothing better than finding a hidden gem, but when Lew Thomas got in touch, that gem found us. The first new artist of 2021, Lew has brought his super-clean country twang to JTC and we’re already looking forward to future packs.

But while we bask in the glory of Clean Country Soloing , we wondered why a lad from Derby in the UK has such a talent for the most USA of musical genres.

So to tell you more, here’s the man himself.

The Midlands isn’t exactly a hotbed for country, so how did you get into the style?

While studying for my degree I stumbled across Brad Paisley. Hearing those super-twangy, fast-paced, ear-bending country shreds opened up a whole new world of guitar, and led onto Brent Mason, Albert Lee, Johnny Hiland etc. and I’ve never looked back since! Definitely a far stretch for a Midlands lad!

How would you describe your playing?

I like to think of it as straight up 90’s country style guitar - with a hint of British Blues! I studied blues piano before guitar, and don’t think I’ve ever really shook it off!

What is the main takeaway from this release?

I’m hoping that this course inspires players to find that clean twangy tone that we don’t hear as much these days. From a technique perspective, there’s a lot of country-specific techniques, such as double-stops and bends that players will be able to steal and incorporate into their own playing.

Who are your main influences?

Most definitely Brent Mason and Brad Paisley, however I grew up listening to rock and southern rock, so guys like Jimmy Page, Allen Collins and Steve Gaines had a big influence on my overall musicianship growing up. There’s a few young pickers like Billy Strings and Daniel Donato that keep me inspired every day too!

Do you have a favourite JTC artist?

All the JTC artists blow my mind, but I’ve gotta say Andy Wood. Not just because of his country guitar, but because he’s an all-round monster of a musician! Have you heard that guy’s mandolin playing?! Jeez!

What other topics would you like to explore at JTC?

Southern rock would definitely be my go-to secondary topic. I think it’s a great style for rock guitarists looking to develop their country chops, and vice-versa for country guitarists looking to crank the gain!

Before you go...

Find out more about Lew’s JTC debut below!

JTC JOTM Dec 20 Rules and Recap

Thursday 26th November 2020 News

2020 has been a challenge. Fires in Australia, floods in Indonesia, the passing of a guitar icon, and of course, Covid-19. But if you’re looking for a silver lining, the 2020 edition of JTC Jam of the Month is as good as they get.

Thousands of people, coming together under the banner of musical exploration and in the process creating a community that is vibrant, supportive and constantly growing.

But the time has come to crown a “champion” of that community and to find out who will win the fabled Ibanez AZ Prestige. So to explain how it’s all going to work, here’s a breakdown. But first...

A quick recap!

Since April, Ibanez have sponsored the JTC Jam of the Month, and have offered an AZ Prestige as a grand prize. So each month, we have given away a free backing, and each month our guest judge has chosen their favourite solo. Now, each monthly winner from April to November will battle it out to see who gets the guitar!

How will the final winner be chosen?

The winner will be selected through a combination of public vote and via our judging panel. For December, the guest judges are some of our most elite JTC pros and all Ibanez endorsees: Luca Mantovanelli, Nili Brosh, Brian Maillard, Ruben Wan and Igor Paspalj.

This is how the December final will work...

  • Each of the eight winners between April and November will be given until December the 18th to submit their solo directly to the team at JTC Guitar.
  • There are five backings to choose from, but they can only submit one solo. Once submitted this cannot be changed.
  • JTC will then release each solo one by one into the JTC Jam of the Month group, on the 23rd of December. Contestants will be free to post their solo to their own social channels only after this point.
  • Once all solos have been shared, we will open a poll within the group for people to vote on their favourite, between 24th and 29th December. The position in the poll denotes how many points that person gets. Example - Joe Blogs wins the public vote so gets 7 points. Joanna Blogs comes eight, they get 1 point.
  • Each judge will be asked to put the solos in order with the same point system in place.
  • The person with the most points wins an Ibanez AZ Prestige, and is crowned JTC Jam of the Month 2020 Champion!
  • The winner will be announced in early January 2021.

Is there a monthly prize for non finalists?

The JTC community is a beautiful thing. It’s ever growing and passionate, and we wouldn't be here without it. So as a special thanks, for December we are also offering all non finalists the chance to win a six month Premium Membership to JTC Guitar. If you are already a member, we will simply extend your membership for free! The monthly winner will also get JTC x Ibanez Picks.

How will the monthly winner be chosen?

To keep things simple, we will ask the judges to directly pick the best solo for December, with a simple majority needed to crown the winner.

How do I enter the monthly contest?

  • Download this month’s FREE pack featuring five highly jammable tracks.
  • Film yourself jamming over it.
  • Share your video on the JTC Jam of the Month Facebook Group.
  • Or use #JTCJamOfTheMonth and tag @jtc_guitar on Instagram
  • You can pick any backing you like, and enter with all them if you like! You can submit as many solos as you like too.
  • The deadline for entries is midnight (GMT/BST) on the last day of the month.

Who are the finalists?

A huge thanks goes out to the judges who have given their time to make this what it is! Without them we wouldn’t have our finalists. Here’s the full line up, with links to their winning solo.

And finally...

A massive thanks to all those that have shared a solo, watched a solo, or just downloaded the freebies to help them practice. We are so grateful for your support and from everyone at JTC, thank you.

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