The next step in staying where you are

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It’s a good thing to keep moving forward. To take the next step. But there are times when we need to remain where we are. Finishing the job at hand could be your next step.

Be faithful, loyal and committed to the here and now. Take responsibility. Take ownership. Be available. Enjoy this season.

Change of seasons take time. Sudden changes in weather conditions are considered meteorological disasters. So don’t move too fast (and break things).

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DIY GoPro Guitar Mount - Making your own GoPro guitar mount

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I own a GoPro for a few weeks now and it’s a super fun camera to play with. The main reason I bought it was to shoot underwater footage for our Red Sea vacation trip. GoPro does an excellent job at shooting underwater video (and photo).

So last weekend I experimented using my GoPro on stage. GoPro sells it’s own mount to attach your GoPro to a guitar or various other objects. It’s called the Jaws: Flex Clamp and it sells for about $50.

Last week I had this idea to make my own guitar-mount because I didn’t want to spend $50 on something I would probably use only a few times. I wanted to see if I could make something similar with stuff lying around. So if you like to try this out yourself, here’s what I did.

What you need

  • GoPro camera (of course)
  • GoPro Housing
  • Vertical Quick Release Buckle (included w/ Silver + Black edition)
  • GoPro Thumb Screw
  • Gaffer Tape
  • Guitar Capo (I used the Dunlop Trigger Capo)

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Instructions

  1. Align the release buckle on your capo. Make sure it faces the right direction and that it’s centered on the capo. The GoPro logo on the buckle should face the open side of the capo.
  2. Take a piece of gaffer tape and fasten the buckle to the capo. About 15cm of tape will do just fine. Make sure to attach it as tight as possible.
  3. Place your camera in the housing. (You cannot attach the camera without the housing)
  4. Attach the the GoPro to the mount using the thumbscrew.
  5. Adjust the angle so you get a good camera view of both the guitar and everything else.
    Tip: download the free GoPro App. Use the live preview within the App to check the camera view.
  6. Happy recording!

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Now you are able to shoot some awesome GoPro footage yourself. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them. You can contact me on Twitter. Feel free to share this article with others!

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Happy

Do what makes you happy.

Do what makes other people happy.

If making other people happy makes you happy, it’s a win-win.

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The spaces between posts

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Social media is censored. Wait, I’m not talking about evil governments. No, it’s us. We do the censoring. Our social media lives and profiles are all but reality. We add our own filters. We want people to see us in a certain way. It’s the beauty and ugliness of social media. We do the selection. We are the publishers. We live in a Twitter culture that says “Show your best, hide the rest.”

But what happens between the updates? What were you doing? How were you feeling? Take a look at your social media streams and feeds. Can you spot a pattern? What was left out of the picture?

"Social media is basically social comparison on steroids."
- Ramani Durvasula


We sometimes forget the spaces between the posts. Especially when we look at others. We measure our lives with their lives. The amount of followers, likes, re-tweets, you name it. Social media is a bad tool for comparing yourself with others. Don’t get fooled by what is published.
How often do we hear of famous Hollywood stars and artists committing suicide because of depression? And the world never saw it coming. They looked so happy. Living the dream. Are we sure they posted with #nofilter? 


Create space

Here’s a little challenge for you. Next time you are standing on that mountain-top with that amazing view, leave your smart-phone in your pocket. Enjoy that moment. Choosing not to take a photo. Don’t tweet it. Respect and experience that moment. Capture it with your memory. Post it on your memory wall. Because your memory doesn’t need hashtags.

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When work becomes a place

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Here’s something I have been noticing since I heard some people say it a few times:

I’m at work

When did ‘work’ become a place? Work is something you do, not a location. Your office, factory or classroom (if you are a teacher) is a location. Being in the office doesn’t mean you are working. Like holding a book doesn’t mean you are reading.

The Information Age

We live in the Information age right now. We call ourself information workers or knowledge workers. This means we consume (input) information, process and output information. Often, these are digital products like text, e-mails, documents, code and graphics. We exchange information in meetings, gather information on the web and publish information in all kinds of media. But it also means we store these products, information, in our heads.

Let’s say my job is customer support at a phone carrier company. If a customer calls for help, his or her question is my task. My answer is the product. ‘Making’ the product happens inside my head. Like a little brain-factory.
With this in mind, I can be at home in bed working. Or even taking a swim and still be working. Every time I’m letting my brain process questions and answers, I’m working. Work has become invisible.

A place

Now for those who still think work is place. When you don’t like your work, not only the things you do will become unpleasant. Also the place you are at becomes the place you don’t want to be.
On Friday afternoon (TGIF!), people call their friends or family and say “I’m free from work” while fast-walking out of the office. Reminds me of the bell ringing in high school and the whole class jumping up and heading towards the exit. I’m free!

So are they saying work is like prison? What a horrible thing to have. Let’s enjoy freedom in our work. If you are reading this, there’s a 99.9% chance you are working out of free will. Not out of slavery.

Your Choice

It’s perfectly OK to discuss work-related issues or challenges you are facing in the workplace. Don’t get me wrong.
But please don’t say you HAVE to go to work. You chose to work there. If you don’t like it, leave. Change your mindset. Your working place should be your playground. Everything you’re good at and love to do should be done in the workplace. If I asked you “Do you love working?”, what would you answer? I hope it’s a big YES! If not, maybe it’s time to start moving. You are in control.

Recommended reading: REMOTE: Office not required

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Another review! This time a full page article in Musicmaker magazine.

Another review! This time a full page article in Musicmaker magazine.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Effects reviewed in this month’s Gitarist Magazine

A Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Effects reviewed in this month’s Gitarist Magazine

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What it’s like to be number 1 in iTunes

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On September 15, my book ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Effects' was released in iTunes. Between then and now, a lot has happened. The book went to be the number 1 in top paid books. I hear you think: 'Really? How much did you sell, must be over a million copies'? Yes. And no. But let me explain a bit more.

First of all, it’s great to see people appreciate something you created. Because starting is always hard. You start with this idea in your head and a passion in your heart. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. You’re not sure if you can pull this off. You think you will fail. I have never written a book before, let alone published one. But I’m happy I did.

I have worked a lot of hours to make this happen. Seeing it listed number 1 in both the Music category and Arts & Entertainment category felt really great as a reward. Seeing you own name above Demi Lovato, Coldplay, Queen and The Rolling Stones is really weird. At its top, the book even made it to number 5 on the overall book list. Well-known authors that lead this list are Dan Brown, Karin Slaughter, E.L. James and Nicci French to name a few.

It took me almost a year to finish the book and publish it (a lot of people have asked me this). I had to do it in my spare time. I’m a dad of 2, husband of 1 and have a full-time job. But you know how the saying goes: if you want something done, ask someone who is busy.

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                                 A Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Effects on 1


So let me explain how these iTunes lists work. The iBookstore (like the App Store) has categories. There are 3 levels. My book was put in the category All books > Arts & Entertainment > Music. And then there’s the difference between paid books and free books. Mine was paid.

How iTunes does its ranking is completely unknown to me. I have checked the list several times a day and saw it changing every time I checked it. I’m guessing Apple checks the number of books per title sold that day and ranks it accordingly. (As I’m typing this, my book went down from 5 to 7 on the overall list. But still on number one in both categories.)
But the iBookstore is still not as popular as the iTunes Music Store or the App Store. I’m not surprised if only 1-3% of the iTunes users uses the iBookstore. 

When I started, I could have never imagined my book would be a success. Several websites and blogs also picked it up and posted a review or news article. Next month, it’s expected to be featured in two magazines. All of this is beyond my expectations.

I really hope you feel inspired to start something yourself. I wanted to share this story and journey with you. In Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon inspired me with the following quote: ‘Write the book you want to read’. So I did. I started writing.

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* note: This article only addresses the Dutch iTunes store. iTunes has 51 stores worldwide. It’s impossible to check all the different stores and keep track.

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Here it is! A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GUITAR EFFECTS will be available on sept 15 in the Apple iBookstore globally. It’s the first interactive iBook on guitar effects to hit the iBookstore. I’m really excited about this release which will hopefully help starting guitarists discover the great world of guitar effects. If you want to show support, reblog this and RT to your friends. Thank you!
(USA) iBookstore link: http://bit.ly/guitarfx

Here it is! A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO GUITAR EFFECTS will be available on sept 15 in the Apple iBookstore globally. It’s the first interactive iBook on guitar effects to hit the iBookstore. I’m really excited about this release which will hopefully help starting guitarists discover the great world of guitar effects. If you want to show support, reblog this and RT to your friends. Thank you!

(USA) iBookstore link: http://bit.ly/guitarfx

Good to have my Nova back from the mod shop. External preset + tap with TRS connection. Two additional synched tap outputs.

Good to have my Nova back from the mod shop. External preset + tap with TRS connection. Two additional synched tap outputs.

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