How I practice guitar at home

My stage rig only gets used at practices these days. I’m in my home office so often it’s just easier to practice my guitar on my MacBook. This quick post goes into the tools and software I use.

My main guitar for my punk band is a 2009 Silverburst Epiphone Les Paul Custom. I’ve replaced the bridge pickup with a Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pickup that I love. I also have an after market set of guitar knobs with skulls on them. Because we play a lot of Social Distortion, the guitar is tuned down to Eb and usually has a capo on the 2nd fret. So, essentially it’s a half-step sharp from standard tuning.

When I practice at home my guitar goes into an Apogee Jam and then into IK Multimedia’s Amplitube 3. I’ve found Amplitube the most flexible of amp sims. It has licensed amps from Carvin, Marshall, Orange and lots more. I have a few presets for heavy metal, blues, and punk. They’re pretty much just different amps.

When I practice at home I’m not usually too worried about extra effects like delays and flangers. I’m usually just playing to iTunes and I’m more worried I’m getting the song down correctly than worrying if I have the right amount of delay. Speaking of iTunes, I have a playlist with all the songs my band is working on. Sometime I’ll get unlazy and rearrange in our set list but that’s a chore for another day.

This set up works well and eliminates most excuses to practice. There is usually a guitar within arm’s reach at the house. With this setup I can just plug in and play.


Author: Mark Crump

A long-time Mac user, Mark has been writing about technology in some form for over ten years. Mark enjoys his Kool-Aid shaken, not stirred. He also believes the "it just works" slogan from the ads should have an asterisk: except when it refuses to. You can follow him on Twitter at His personal site is

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