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Learning to play drums can help you become a better drum programmer

Trenton Blizzard - Rick Stojak Drums
It was about 3 A.M., many moons ago, when an old college roommate started banging away on his old Pearl kit. It was so loud that it woke me up, all of our neighbors up and the local police as well. At that time, all I wanted to do was go back to sleep. But, when it was all over, I remember saying to myself "I wish I could play drums that well".

Trenton Blizzard - Rick Stojak Drums

Even though I am not technically a drummer, back in the day people asked me "who played drums on your songs?". Little did they know that I programmed all the drum tracks on a HR-16 drum machine.

Today, the drum samples are so good that I don't worry about getting great sounds from a live kit.  I just need to make sure all of the drum parts are either played or programmed properly so I can use drum samples. But, how does a guitar player learn to be a drummer?

Drum Lessons

Trenton Blizzard - Rick Stojak Drums

It's actually pretty easy to learn how to play drums if you have a great instructor. My son and I have been taking drum lessons with Rick Stojak for a while now. What I like about Rick is the natural positive energy he has as a drum instructor. Rick is a very talented player and I am always bouncing ideas off him for different drum fills and parts for my songs.

Trenton Blizzard - Rick Stojak Drums
Rick has also helped me learn to read and write drum notation. Growing up I never learned how to read or write music. And, lacking that skill has made it difficult to communicate with musicians in the studio. Thankfully, Rick has a style that makes learning drums and notation fun and practical. 

If you are interested in learning to play drums, in the San Diego area, I highly recommend you call Rick Stojak to discuss how he can help you achieve your goals.

Rick Stojak
Tel: (619) 985-8242

Thanks for reading,



San Diego Studios

There are quite a few recording studios to choose from in the San Diego area such as:
Signature Sound, Studio West , Capricorn Studios, and Big Fish in Encinitas. Some are strictly
for recording, but others also cater to band rehearsals such as Iacon Sound Studios.

Iacon Sound Studio - San Diego

My go to recording place is Iacon Sound Studios in San Diego. What I like about the place is Frank W. Torres's approach to recording. His energy and creativity matches mine and we work very well together. This is important when you are searching for a studio. Find one that "fits your personality" as well as your budget.

Where Are They?

Iacon is "located" at 2469 Broadway just off the 25th st. exit on 94W. Please note: they are actually located behind the restaurant that is located at 2469 Broadway. You go around the back to get in!
Trenton Blizzard - Tracking Vocals at Iacon Sound Studio - San Diego

 Real Wold Testing

Not only do I track and arrange some of my songs at Iacon, but I also use the studio time as an opportunity to prove-out out my own designs while recording. Nothing beats real world testing of prototype pro audio gear.
renton Blizzard - Testing prototype 500 Series microphone preamplifier

Find Out More

If you would like to find out more about how Iacon can help your recording process you can contact them at:

Iacon Sound Studio
Contact: Frank W. Torres
2469 Broadway (Golden Hill neighborhood of San Diego)
San Diego, CA, 92102

Phone: (619) 955-8295

Thanks for reading,



Paper-in-oil capacitors are surrounded by mystery within the guitar playing community. You read about how they transform your sound into a oasis of tonal zen and then you hear talk about how magical they are. I don't know about you, but, that sounds interesting to me! 

I was lucky enough to score a couple .022uF samples of Electrocube's "AM" series of paper-in-oil capacitors following a quick facility visit not too long ago. It's really cool to watch people making capacitors right in front of you.  Of course, they didn't show us any of their secrets! 

There are many brands of paper-in-oil capacitors on the market such as: Emerson, Angela, Ampohm and Jensen with prices ranging from $13.00 ea. to over $30.00 ea.

So, if you are going to be experimenting with different values make sure you do a little homework beforehand so you don't break the bank just buying capacitors.

Thanks for reading,


Thousand Year Old Guitar Picks?


I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about this one. But, my fascination for unique materials
got the best of me and I ordered a Mammoth Tusk pick from Tusk Buffer.


I was excited to try it out. But, I really didn't think it would be that different from all of my other picks.      I was wrong.....


1. Requires less tension to hold during use despite being rigid and polished
2. Doesn't slip even though it's .4mm thicker than my favorite plastic pick
3. Glides across the strings without as many edgy overtones as my favorite plastic pick
4. I actually hear more string attack rather than pick attack



These are not cheap picks. But, considering they are made from extinct mammoth tusk, that's at least a thousand years old, I don't feel too bad about the price.

I ordered their "standard shape" in 1mm thickness which cost about $30 including shipping.
Payment was super easy through PayPal and it was shipped in a standard mailing envelope.


If you happen to have a fascination for unique materials or you just want to say you own a pick made from extinct animal teeth (yes teeth), then you may want to try one out. You just may be as surprised as I was.

Thanks for reading,