The Joseph R. Ellis “Encouragers Club” is now accepting new members!


Not all of us are rock stars.  Heck, I don’t even want to be a rock star (especially at my age).  But I do need your encouragement.  Knowing that somebody is out there enjoying the songs I created would be a big incentive for me to create more music.  All I have to go by are play counters and comments left via social media (I don’t play live).  But here’s a new way for you to offer support and encouragement – Join the Joseph R. Ellis “Encouragers Club” over on bandcamp.  Here’s what you get:

  • My complete back catalog of music on bandcamp
  • Exclusive access to the Joseph R. Ellis fan community.
  • All the new music I make, streaming instantly on your mobile device via the free Bandcamp app, and also available as a high-quality download.
  • Exclusive access to “members-only” content (new song demos, previously unreleased tracks, etc.).
  • The satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting me in a sustainable way.

You get all this for $15 / year!

Hop on over to and see what it’s all about!

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement!



Can a new gadget or piece of gear increase creativity?

Answer: In the short term? Yes. Long term? Probably not.

I base my answers on my own recent experiences with new gear and gadgets, the lastest of which is the “BeatBuddy” pedal drum machine. The BeatBuddy is a drum machine in stomp box form. It is ideal for guitarists, since we are already used to using our feet to control many aspects of our playing (just look at the typical guitarist’s pedal board). The BeatBuddy comes with lots of different drum sets and “songs” based on a myriad of genres. If you haven’t already seen the many videos demonstrating this device, just Google it and you’ll find plenty.

Beat Buddy Pedal Drum Machine

Beat Buddy Pedal Drum Machine

So, I finally got my hands on one of these units and have been having a blast with it. I’m not really a gigging musician, these days. I mainly bought the BeatBuddy to create quality drum tracks for my recordings. Plus, the device is proving to be a big help in creativity by letting me jam along with lots of different drum rhythms that I would not normally be using for creating songs. My creative output has indeed increased since I received the BeatBuddy. At the time of this writing, the first 4 songs in my ReverbNation playlist were created with BeatBuddy drum tracks. I haven’t had this kind of creative boost since I bought a looper pedal!

Ditto Looper

Ditto Looper

So why are gadgets only a short-term creative boost? Well, the newness wears off. But I think the BeatBuddy will become an integrated part of my creative process – much like the looper pedal. So the temporary boost in creativity may wear off, but the other benefits will remain. Namely, an overall improvement in the quality of my music.



Which guitar is calling me?

2012 Martin DC Aura Custom2011 Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster2000 Gibson Gary Moore signature Les Paul

I haven’t touched a guitar in a week. Seems longer than that, but I know I just recorded a song a week ago (look for “Year’s End” on my RN profile, if you want to hear it). So I’m feeling the urge to play some more. I’ve been on a Strat kick, lately. And I don’t think I’ve touched my Les Paul in months. But it is my Martin acoustic that is calling me back. The Les Paul can wait. I need to re-string it, anyway. But for now, it is time for some acoustic strumming. Maybe I’ll record a new song. Maybe not. I can’t predict when creativity will strike. All I can do is keep a digital recorder handy for when it does.