Now, let's start with what everybody gets wrong: the 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor. Even if it would be great to use such an adapter, the large majority of adapters are not capable of staying fixed when you play. The 1/8" input will keep of twisting and shaking in the computer, which is not good for neither. Also, this method does not always transmit signal properly. You will experience a lot of of interruptions and also a constant delay with computers. Unless you have a computer that is really new, you will not be able to use such tools as: Rakkerrack (for Linux), ASIO4ALL (Windows) or any other virtual rig. What would be more of a smart choice would be to change the method of transmitting signal to your computer. Using an USB for the computer will be much stable, but also much more expensive. The adaptors are mostly wired (but there are some great wireless transmitters out there) and also a lot of fake stuff. Let me explain this to you. For a Chinese cable that at an end has a 1/4" jack and at the other has an USB and no signal converter (a noticeable plastic-wrapped black box) there are no chances of working, not matter what the price tag may be. To help you identify the fake adapter better, you will have to look for the big plastic converter. From that point on, you can search for what suits you best and make sure to check that the virtual amplifier you are using is capable of using the adapter you are buying.
Let's say I want to mod my Fender Squier SSS Stratocaster to look better. The first thing that comes into my mind is the paint. In some places my Squier has some paint chips and signs of it getting hit. What you normally would have to do would be to get rid of the old paint using a sprayable epoxy or by just sanding it down (you can help yourself with a heat gun). Make sure to remove everything from the body before you do anything about the paint. You can further sand the body wood down with a not-so-rigid sandpaper after which you can fill the gaps in the body with wood dedicated polyester resin and its catalytic. Next you would have to let it dry and put it in a wood sealer afterwards. Then, use a sealer to softly move across the surface of the body a number of times. After the fifth coat of sealer, let the instrument body dry out for 3-4 days. After sanding down the sealer, you can use the polyester, polyurethane or nitrocellulose (which is more eco-friendly) to paint your wood. A coat of paint on the front and another on the back should do, but apply more if you have enough paint left. For 2-3 days you should let the body dry and get the rest of the parts cleaned. Spray laque on the instrument and let it dry for 2-3 weeks. Then polish it and mount everything back on.
With picks, there are 3 main types: soft (for strumming), medium (for stuumming and solo-ing) and hard (mostly soloing). Now, what should you choose for your instrument? It is known that the string type matters more than anything else when choosing the picks that you should use. There are main 2 types of strings: plain (steel, nylon or gut) and wound (which are made up of more than a material). What matters most is the stiffness of the material, meaning that you should not hit soft strings with hard, butsoft picks. For traditional instruments you should use the specific plectrums (another name for picks) and for the not-so-traditional you should take time to see which can help you play best. For country music, where you strum more than solo you have a medium pick, as you most likely play an acoustic. If you solo on a Spanish classical, you can use the same, but make sure that you do not push the strings too much when picking. For heavy metal, the harder the better especially when it comes to the bass, where you can use triangular picks. For the banjo, you can use thumb picks made out of metal, but you had better not use them anywhere else. What is also a really good thing to have on a pick is a really rigid grip, so that the pick does not fall out of your hand. For such things you can attach the pick to your wrist with a soft cord that goes through the pick (check out the Swiss Pick [http://swisspicks.com/] for just 5.99$). The best reviewed all-in-one pick is the hand crafted Plexstrum pick [https://www.plexstrum.com/]. My personal opinin is that you can use a tringular medium pick on anything, as long as you make sure not to ruin nylon strings.
Even if it may seem like tuning a stringed instrument is a really easy process, in some cases it is more complicated than just turning the tuning pegs. What you want to accomplish by tuning your instrument is to make it sound right and to make it stay in tune for a long time. The better the instrument, the better the tuning pegs and therefore the more you stay in tune (but it is not just that). Even if locking tuner for examples help a lot in staying in tune, there are other factors like: the connection between the neck and the body (if it is not tight enough the strings will be easy to bend by pushing the neck forward), the action (the lower the action, the more force the string exercits on the tuner), the strings in the back (for electric instruments that use such springs, make sure that you find the right angle for each instrument to keep the metal claw at), the bridge (make sure that the springs there are tight and that the nuts are as powerful as possible), the nut (make sure it is treated with graphite) and really every place the strings go through (would be an idea to spray it all with graphite). The order in which I reccomand tuning is from the bridge to the neck and to the tuners. Going from the hardest to the easiest part will surely help you undo the tuning mistakes much more easily.
There are a lot of straps out there and knowing how to choose can proove difficult. First, what makes a really good strap? It has: to be though, to fit all of my insruments, to be waterproof, to be long enough to adjust to different playing positions, to stay in place for as long as possible, to be easy on my shirts and to not let the instrument move too much. The fender cheap strap that I have presented in my previous posts [http://single-coil.weebly.com/home/the-fender-pick-n-strap-price-7], was not the best, as the holes in it got loose and I couldn't use it without a Dunlop strap lock . If you do not want this to happen to you to, you should use a leather strap. Even if they are expensive, they do last a lot and therefore do not end up all that loose. Or do they? From what I know in general leather does mold, but you do not necessary have to have leather where the strap meets the instrument. Now, what was good about my strap was that it had a pick pocket. If I could choose a strap regardless of the budget it would be the MONO Betty [https://monocreators.com/products/the-betty-black-short], as it is really a professional. With something cheaper in mind, I would go for the Fender Ball Glove Leather strap which is 44$ at Thomann [https://www.thomann.de/gb/fender_leather_straps.html?oa=pra].
Intonation is really a vital step for making the instrument sound its best. Tuning is only a part of it and as your strings are each tuned to the right pitch, what happens is that the chord at a whole does not sound right. If you notice this on your instrument, then it is time to intonate. What you will need in the first place will be a tuner (connected to the instrument if possible). A standard chromatic tuner will do and you will also have to have something to adjust the bridge with (for my squier strat a simple small screwdriver will do). You can start with any string you like and the first step is playing a harmonic note on the 12th fret. Measuring with the tuner will tell us if any work has to be done at the tuners. You should check thet the actual pressed-down note and the narmonic sound on the same pitch. While testing make sure to use the screwdriver adjust the saddles (slowly and test a lot) to the position where the string sounds the same played normally and as a harmonic, both of which should be an octave up from the open note. After you have finished all the strings check and fix as many chords as you like and you are done.
While you may or may have not stringed an instrument till this point, this is a technical step by step list for stringing. Firstly, stretch the strings so that they do not stretch themselves while you are playing (will go out of tune fast and a lot of times until it stretches itself properly) Secondly you have to get the string through the tuning pegs. What I would recommend if you are going for a full restringing is that you start from the thinnest to the thickest (if you have a Fender Stratocaster-like neck) and from the thickest to the thinnest for the acoustics. The main idea is that you start from the top of the headstock, so as to make sure that the strings that you have put on at a certain point do not bug you afterwards (this may differ for leftty instruments). After you have done this, aim the end of the string in the direction of the headstock, so as to not get stinged by it, and bend. Then fold the end of the string over the rest, making sure to have something resembling a knot. Then, slowly start turning the peg and make sure to use a tuner when the tension adds up. After getting it in tune, you can cut the excess string.
The Hip-Hop Drum Pads 24 app is a free Android app for making hip-hop music. It has a 3x4 grid for all the pads and a lot of other functions. You can pitch bend the sound, hold (sustain) the pad and also record with the external microphone. There are 10 hip-hop presets for this app and they all are free. You can see your recordings listed in the side panel of the app, as well as look out for tutorials and other apps. There are categories for the presets, where you can see all the presets, downloaded presets and your favorite that can be set. The app is made very well, runs smoothly and does not crash and it is almost as good on a phone as it is on a tablet. You will have to use a new Android version to run it and a good processor can only help. This app requires only microphone permission and works just well. The Hip-Hop Drum Pads 24 is a really up-to-date app that can deliver great songs, but would be better off used with an amplifier and a separate microphone, so that you do not get all that much touchscreen sound.
The Harmony app is a free circle of fifths app for Android phones and tablets. It first displays a menu with the circle of fifths with a selector. You can use the classical circle of fifths or the open key version. There also is a classical open key setting, but it only changes the G# into A b and the D# into E b. The main distinctive feature of this app is that it has a configurable setting you can use to make your own circle of fifths. The user interface is great and the app is easy to use. The version of the circle you can modify is the open key classical circle, but there is a problem here. You can write anything here, as there is no processing going on about that. Apart from that the app also has a power off button that quits the app even if it leaves it processing, it does not close it totally. The app is great if you have the time to configure you custom setting all by yourself, but even if you do not, you can make use of the standard pre-settings for the classical circle of fifths.