Pro/File: Guitars on the March – DAN SINDEL’S UNIQUE TAKE ON SOUSA

30 06 2008

Pro/File: Guitars on the March

By Emile Menasche


It’s not every day that you can say “electric guitar” and “John Philip Sousa” in the same breath, but the music of the March King has helped pave the way to national recognition for L.A. guitarist Dan Sindel. What started out as an exercise in learning how to use Digidesign Pro Tools led Sindel to create unique multitrack, electric guitar orchestrations of Sousa’s tunes (see Web Clips 1 and 2) on his new EP Marching In (DSS Unlimited, 2008). The disc also features Sindel’s “symphonic guitar” take on three excerpts from Handel’s Messiah. The guitarist plans to release a full-CD version of Marching In later this year.

“When you first turn on Pro Tools, it can be intimidating,” recalls Sindel, who runs a Digi 002 control surface with Pro Tools LE software on a Windows XP-equipped AMD Athlon 6000+ dual-core CPU. To get comfortable with the software, he pulled out some classical guitar books and began tracking 3- and 4-part baroque pieces. “I was amazed,” he says. “It started sounding like Brian May with three or four parts in harmony.”

At that point, Sindel was recording direct through the line out of a Line 6 Flextone III amp. “I was testing out all the different sounds because the amp was new to me, too,” he says. “One project led to the next, so I decided to try some more-challenging scores. I found Web sites like and, which collect public-domain scores. I started downloading those and multitracking things like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Handel’s Messiah.”

As Sindel studied the software — he later took a Pro Tools HD Operator certification course at AudioGraph International in Santa Monica, California — he started to let his imagination run wild. “I would call it an exercise in self-indulgence,” he says. “In my mind, I pictured an orchestra where you have six people sitting in the first violin chair, six in the second, and so on to build up to a 60- or 100-piece orchestra, so I asked myself, ‘Do I need to record each individual part?’”

At first, he did just that. “I ended up with 500 individual guitar parts in a 15-minute mini epic!” he says with a laugh. “I dumped 500 tracks on engineer Phil Moore and asked if he could make music out of it. He deserves the Purple Heart! It was a big learning experience for me.”

Sindel soon realized that too many tracks actually made the guitar sound smaller, and he used a more manageable approach on the Sousa material, which still features 45 to 50 guitar tracks per song. For sonic variation, Sindel calls on an array of guitars, amps, and preamps — sometimes miking them, sometimes going direct. The key, he says, is to understand the pitch range, tone, and attack of each instrument you’re trying to emulate with the guitar; for example, using a mellower tone and a more legato, sliding approach for trombone parts than for trumpet parts. “Tuning is also important,” he says. “My Peterson StroboFlip [tuner] really saved me because it’s so accurate.”

Although he records at home, Sindel emphasizes the benefit of taking the tracks out to professional engineers and producers. (An article in EM’s August 2007 issue inspired him to contact Carmen Rizzo, who ended up mixing some of the Sousa material.) “I did the best preproduction I possibly could, knowing I would be passing the torch to professional engineers,” he says. “There comes a time when you can’t do it all yourself.”


Home base: Los Angeles

Sequencer of choice: Digidesign Pro Tools LE

Lifesaver: Peterson StroboFlip tuner

Web site:


Web Clips: Hear audio examples of Dan Sindel’s music on Sousa.

<< read full story at online

DAN SINDEL - ElectronicMusician


Dan Sindel featured in Electronic Musician -July 2008

26 06 2008

Dan Sindel featured in Electronic Musician -July 2008
For Press Release: 06/26/08

Yet another exciting day as Dan Sindel’s Symphonic Guitars earn a full page Pro-File in the media giant “Electronic Musician” magazines July 2008 issue.

The article covers quite alot of ground as writer Emile Menasché eloquently summed up Dan’s “Symphonic Guitar” approach to multi tracking layer upon layer of guitar tracks to create a huge wall of sound and also talks about his debut release of “Marching In: A Tribute to the March King John Philip Sousa”.

Dan states: “I have been reading Electronic Musician Magazine for a very long time and it is an absolute honor and a privilege to have been featured within EM’s revered pages, it truly is a thrill and I certainly hope to inspire many a guitar player to try their hand at raising the bar regarding their methods of recording”.


Visions – A personal tribute to jazz guitarist Lenny Breau

20 06 2008
**If you are into jazz guitar and have not ever heard of Lenny Breau you are probably living underneath a rock, If you are aware of Lenny Breau’s musical genius than we here at this blog highly recommend this book..!

Lenny Breau


A personal tribute to jazz guitarist

Lenny Breau

Stephen D. Anderson
Ronald Cid

The book is divided into 5 chapters ( ‘Comping chords’, ‘Harmonics’, ‘Quartal harmony’, ‘Three Against Two’ and a special chapter called ‘Dig This….’
123 pages of examples, pictures, special insights, information,
and also a terrific resource for any fingerstyle jazz player.
Each chapter reveals techniques
in such depth and insight, the clear and
precise explanations of harmony, technique, comping chords,
all add up to an inspired and creative new approach to
learning the Lenny Breau technique
For further information please e-mail
Ronald Cid
also visit:
Montreal Jazz Guitar – The music of Lenny Breau


Acoustic Guitar magazine | August:

Visions: A Personal Tribute to Lenny Breau
Guitarist Stephen D. Anderson was a close personal musical friend of late jazz fingerstyle guitarist Lenny Breau, and his insight into Breau’s style is the result of firsthand exposure to his music. Virtually every aspect of Breau’s playing is analyzed and and well-presented in this book: two-note comping, harmonics, quartal harmony, three-against-two rhythms, and more. The examples that illustrate these techniques are challenging but at the same time concise and practical. The book also includes an informative and moving interview with Anderson by Ron Cid. Intermediate/advanced guitarists with a basic grasp of jazz theory will benefit most from this in-depth exploration of Breau’s singular musical vision.
-Ron Forbes-Roberts