#Inspiration

Controller Freak: Native Instruments, Ableton, Akai and Novation

Decisions, decisions. For the bedroom music maker, grid-based controllers can look a little daunting. What do all the buttons actually do? Am I going to be able to play it? Am I actually going to use it? At first glance, we get it, but whether you are producing at home,… Read more

#Inspiration

Marshall: The Amps That Shaped Rock Music

55  years ago, the first Marshall amp left Jim Marshall’s garden shed in West London. Jim was a dancehall drummer and teacher who had a small shop in west London. His shop was frequented by guitarists such as Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore and Peter Townshend from The Who, both of… Read more

#Inspiration

Picking Out An Acoustic Guitar For Less Than S$1,000

Guitarists today can be a discerning and demanding bunch, and we get it! Is it really too much to ask for high-quality sound, good build quality, at a low price? Thankfully, no - guitar builders are bridging the gap between cheap, mass produced guitars and expensive, handmade ones. A step up… Read more

#Inspiration

Stratocaster Or Telecaster?

No two guitars are more synonymous with Fender than the Stratocaster and Telecaster models. They’ve become a worldwide archetype, the could be considered most recognisable guitar shapes in music history - an industry standard for quality. You will hear them on innumerable records from the classics of old, to the… Read more

#Inspiration

Drum Machine Love: From the 808 to Today

They never tire of the same four-bar loop. They never go out of time. They never throw hissy fits over musical difference. They were cast out by many because of their "inhuman perfection"... but they have formed the flawless rhythm and beat section of countless productions since the 80s. The… Read more

#Inspiration

Pedalboard Love: Designing Your Sound For Under $500

Building a pedalboard is a journey - we all have different tonal needs and tastes, and our preferences can change over time. Pedalboards can grow into incredulous creations, almost resembling the dashboard of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Naturally, a board like that will come at an exorbitant cost too. Today,… Read more

#Inspiration

Gretsch: 5 Legendary Players

“The Great Gretsch Sound” they say. The unmistakable snap and twang, or the warm, round but brilliant sound - Gretsch guitars were right at the forefront of the rock ‘n’ roll era in the 50s and has been an essential part of guitar history ever since. Together with the great… Read more

#Inspiration

6 Songs For The Synth Lover

Perhaps the introduction and influence of the synthesizer is most eloquently described by Giorgio Moroder himself on Daft Punk’s homage to the disco master, Giorgio by Moroder. The track starts with an interview with Moroder where he shares a bite-sized history of his life as a musician, and recounting how… Read more

#Inspiration

10 Blistering Drum Solos That Took Centrestage

“Playing drums is my therapy,” confesses a certain Travis Barker. The punk rock stalwart was considered by many as being single-handedly responsible for the genre’s renaissance in the early 90’s just by his need to beat the drums like his life depended on it. While banging out anthems with Blink… Read more

#Inspiration

5 Cajon Covers To Get You Started

For all the times we’ve flipped a box over and created beats by banging on them, we’ve wished for an actual instrument that could take that much of a beating. The cajon (pronounced "CAR-HORN") serves that very purpose, and was born out of poetic necessity that traces back to the 18th… Read more

#Inspiration

5 Groundbreaking Effects That Pushed The Guitar To Its Limits

On the fields of a dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, a mud-soaked crowd of 400,000 witnessed Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of Star Spangled Banner. It was 1969, and the crowd were treated to the squeals and wails of his white Stratocaster. What dominated his sound, was… Read more

#Inspiration

4 Producers We Love That Went Against The Clock

A home studio can mean different things to different people, and there hasn’t been a more exciting time to build your own. Get your foundation up and running with a software on a laptop, and a nice pair of monitor speakers. Once you’ve got that, take your studio anyway you… Read more

#Inspiration

6 Fender Custom Finishes To Drool Over

Ever wondered about Fender’s custom finishes - how they came about, and what they’re meant to represent? Throw it way back to the post-war era in 50s and 60s and you’ll find America’s obsession with the automobile at its peak. Beyond its interiors and functionalities, a car’s paint was really… Read more

#Inspiration

Vinyl and the Art of Digging

Vinyl has seen a massive resurgence in recent years, and aren’t all of us just loving it! We’re thrown back to the days of drool dribbling artwork, the sensation of removing the record from its sleeve for the first time, dropping the needle, and hearing it crackle like admiring your… Read more

#Inspiration

6 Face-melting Solos You Never Knew Were Played On An Ibanez

We've all dreamed of performing a ripping guitar solos on an Ibanez after watching our guitar heroes do it on one track after another. Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani are just some of the Ibanez-playing legends you know... But do you know all of these awesome under-the-radar performances? Steve… Read more

#Inspiration

Celebrating 100 years of Chuck Taylor’s

A full century ago, the Chuck Taylor All Stars made their first appearances on the streets of America. Not just a pair of shoes, Chucks stepped into a special place in pop-culture. From college and professional basketball players, to Kurt Cobain and The Ramones, these iconic shoes were a fashion… Read more

#Inspiration

D’Angelico: The Gem Hiding In Plain Sight

D’Angelico Guitars has come a long way since its humble beginnings in NYC’s Little Italy, where John D’Angelico would only make 35 guitars a year. All lovingly hand-made, the novelty of a D’Angelico became part of its mystique. Whether John knew it or not, he laid the groundwork for the… Read more

#From the Team

Music You Should Know

Nothing inspires like hearing some really great new music. So check out some of the freshest new tunes our friends at BandLab have gathered together for you. Want more music like this? Explore BandLab here. Read more

#Inspiration

The Best Independent Music Right Now

Click, listen, and be moved. Tired of lifeless tunes on the radio? Fatigued by rehashed playlists at your favourite bars? Perhaps it’s time to pop over to a different channel for inspiration. We’ve cherry-picked some of the freshest tracks from the year’s most prolific artists on BandLab. Check out their… Read more

#Inspiration

Tracks That Inspired Us This Month

Here at Swee Lee, we take joy in all new music, and the unique creativity our customers and blog readers have. This month, our good friends at BandLab have curated a selection of tracks designed to inspire! Listen to them all below. Read more

#Inspiration

Brian Eno on Collaboration

“Every collaboration helps you grow. With Bowie, it's different every time. The secret of our success is... My strength is that I know how to create settings, unusual aural environments. That inspires him. He catches something, uses it in a surprising way and changes my own perception of it.” –… Read more