How Electric Guitars Make Sound

Electric guitars are found in most modern music today. But may seem like a bit of a mystery. After all, they dont exactly make much sound. And why do they sound the way they do? Its a good question, and one that I would like to try to answer as best as I possibly can in this post.


The chain of sound in an electric guitar generally goes something like this: strings, pickup, amp, speaker. There are other little things along the way, such as effects peddles and stomp boxes, but in general thats what you will find.

Strings and Pickups

I suppose this is very basic but, at the start of the whole process, the guitarist plays a note. Now, you may think that there are microphones on a electric guitar but this is not the case. An electric guitar actually uses magnets to generate a signal that is sent to the amplifier. The pickups is actually a magnet (or in some cases multiple magnets) wrapped in a thin wire up to 7,000 times. When a string vibrates, it disrupts the magnetic field generated by the pickups. The disruption cause a weak single to be sent through the wire and to the amplifier. Most guitars will have multiple pickups at different spots on the guitar which generate different sounds.


Because most electric guitars are passive (i.e. consume no electricity) the signal coming out of the pickups is incredibly weak. It needs to be boosted to be loud enough to drive a speaker, this is where the amp comes in. A typical amp consists of a pre-amp and a power amp.

The role of the pre-amp is simply to boost the signal enough that it can be used by the power amp. During the pre-amp stage, effects such as reverb, delay, and distortion are also added to the signal to make the guitar sound the way that the musician wants it to.

Once I was playing my electric guitar for a few dozen people. During the time I was there, I had a young kid ask me why my guitar sounded weird. He said that he thought electric guitars sounded like this (and here he did a pretty classic electric guitar imitation). I had to explain to him that that is not actually what electric guitars sound like, but what many musicians made them sound like. In fact, an electric guitar actually sounds almost nothing like what comes out of the speaker. Its all about what you make of it in this pre-amp stage.

After the pre-amp stage the signal is sent to the power amplifier, where it is given its major sound boost before it is sent to the speaker and, in time, to you ears.

I hope this helped un-mystify the mystery around electric guitars. If you  have other questions, feel free to leave a comment bellow and I will do my best to answer it.

That Thing You Do: What Makes a 1-hit Wonder

Many of you may have seen the 1996 film, That Thing You Do! Directed by (and, not surprisingly, starring) Tom Hanks, it follows the tale of a fictional 60s band called the Oneders (pronounced wonders). In the film the band becomes immensely popular with a song called That Thing You Do. Soon after this, the band falls apart, leaving everyone to wonder what happened.


This is a classic (although somewhat stereotyped) example of a one-hit wonder. The idea is that a band or artists records a song which comes immensely popular, but never manages to write anything all that great ever again. Sometimes the band might even break up soon after their immense success, although most of the time this is not the case.

Defining One-Hit Wonder

What really makes a one-hit wonder is something that is still debated by many. For example, the book The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders by Wayne Janciks defines it as

an act that has won a position on Billboards national, pop, Top 40 just once.

This is seen as a little to inclusive by many (including me). Many artists who would not be considered one-hit wonders would fall under this definition. A good example would be Jimmi Hendrix, who only had one song ever in the top 40, but is considered by many to be the greatest electric guitarist of all time. Although this is the technical definition generally used by the industry, it is not always considered the best.

So, if this definition doesnt work, how about another one?  A one hit wonder is often defined as any artist that reaches the Top 100 just once, regardless of where it peaks. This would mean that anyone who got on that list once would be considered a Wonder. Maybe this doesnt work either.

So I suppose a one-hit wonder would probably be a subjective term. Perhaps it varies from occasion to occasion. I would define a one-hit wonder as an artist who has one song that is known very well, but the rest of his songs are not known almost at all.

One-hit Wonders and the Internet

Before the advent of the Internet, all music had to be distributed on CDs, tapes, or records. Now, with Internet music distribution, it is much easier for an artist to get out there. A good example of this is Rebecca Black, who would not have become famous (infamous?) without YouTube. Myspace is another good example of a service that could cause someone to go viral very fast.

One hit wonders may be difficult to define, but we can still see that they do exist in the wild.Who knows, you may be the next one

Question: Who is your favorite one-hit wonder?

The iTunes Conspiracy

iTunes is currently the top dog in the music business. Apple sells millions of songs every day to millions of customers. This is far more then any online and most likely any physical store in the world. But the question becomes, is all that trickling down to the artists in the way it should? Well, according to a recent piece from the Huffington Post, its probably not.

As you probably know, when an artist signs with a record label, the also sign away a lot of the rights to the profits. In return though, they get distribution and professional help.  Now, in general, there are two types of ways that distribution can happen

  • Selling copies: Selling actual physical CDs to a store somewhere, this typically earns an artist 10-15%.
  • Selling a license: This is when a record company sells a store or another company the license to reproduce music and sell. An artist typically earns around 50 percent.

Now the problem comes when you try to figure out what sales from iTunes and other online retailers count as. If an artist signed their contract in the last 10 years or so, chances are online music sales are specifically provided for in that contract. However, for contracts older then that, there is nothing about internet music sellers. Internet music sellers didnt exist then!

There where two court rulings (you can see more in the article), one in 1998 and one in 2003. They decided that online sales in those contracts that had no provisions for such sales should count as licenses. The nice guy over at Huffington did some calculations. He calculated that the amount of unpaid royalties from just iTunes sales could be up to 2.15 billion dollars. Thats a lot of money.

And look at it this way. If this happens, new artists will likely demand it for their contracts as well. This could shake up the entire music industry as we know it.

I think it would be great to see musicians making more money. I think that an industry where the creator of the content only receives 15 percent in some cases is not a very good industry. People need to be rewarded for their efforts.

I highly suggest you read the article from Huffington Post. It goes much more in depth then I do here.

How iTunes Has Changed Music

Back in the day you had to go to a store to buy music. Now, with the advent of the internet, alternative options have become readily available. Most prominent amongst these is iTunes, Apples digital music store and management system. Since it first debut in 2001, iTunes has radically changed music.

The first thing you should know is that iTunes did not start out as a music store.  The very first iTunes was, quite simply, a music managing device. It allowed you to manage all your music, rip CDs, and create playlists all from one program. And, compared to the other music managing programs, it was downright sexy. Steve Jobs said as much at the unveiling of iTunes in 2001 (using different words though). And he was right. The music managing programs of the day were, in general, ugly and complicated.

Bellow you can see how iTunes has morphed over the years. It all started out with iTunes 1. You may notice that Steve Jobs was right, the interface was nice and simple. With iTunes 4 the music store was released. This is the main thing that revolutionized the music industry. And now we have iTunes 10, which, I might add, is a player I use extensively.

iTunes version 5

The most recent version of iTunes, iTunes 10

In 2004, when the music store was released, someone looking to get music off the internet had limited options. Napster existed but, as you may well know, it was distributing content illegally. Rhapsody existed. But it was a streaming service. You had to pay a fee on top of your subscription to download the music and listen to it offline.

Thats why Apple decided to make this store. But it wasnt that simple. They had to get the approval of the record companies. They enlisted the help of The Big Five labels (Sony, EMI, BMG, Warner Music, and Universal). They managed to negotiate deals with all of these companies.

Now the iTunes music store is much bigger then it was them. It has close to 15,000,000 songs. Someone recently bought the 1o billionth song, and millions more are being bought every day.

This has changed the world. That cannot be debated. I really like iTunes and the iTunes store. What better way to get my music then instantly.

But the biggest change that iTunes has brought to music is what I call the getting it out there factor. Back in the day, you couldnt really get major distribution for your music unless you were licensed by a big record company. Now, anyone can get on iTunes, including all of the little record companies that couldnt get good distribution before. This has been great for smaller companies. Although, I will say, a lot of people are still waiting for AC/DC.

iTunes has fundamentaly changed the way we get and use our music. I think many people are thankful for it. I know I am. How about you?


Blacks Friday

In a Justin Bieber-filled pop world, we guys are ALWAYS looking for someone new to criticize. And it seems we have found someone in the form of Rebecca Black. And theres even a bonus. Girls can criticize her just as easily! This may be, quite possibly, old news to you, but I think that I will share it anyway.

13 year-old Rebbecca Black exploded crashed onto the pop scene recently with her hit (actually there is still debate on whether it is a hit or not) song Friday. Watch the music video bellow if you dare.

This music video has been viewed over 44,000,000 times. Thats a lot of views. The music video was produced by a small indie record label called ARK Music Factory. They focus on discovering young (normally teenage) musicians and writing music for or with them, that they then record. There videos have a lot of views, but none has gathered as much attention as this one.

The song starts off just like almost any pop song. In fact, it sound distinctly Justin Bieberish. One thing I noticed right off the back is that the word ARK is included in that very beginning bit. Its not terribly easy to hear, but its there. In looking at there other videos, I soon discovered that it is in every song, as well as the name of the singer at some point. Which bugs me, if people like the music enough, they will find out who it is.

But in terms of the actual song. I will say this, the lyrics are terrible. Not that its her fault, she didnt write it. But, by perusing the other songs, I discovered that most of the other all the other lyrics are fairly bad. Now, most arent as bad , in fast some of them are OK. But I get the sense that the people at ARK think that they are good at something that they are really not terribly god at: Writing lyrics. The music is good. Which is why I cant get it out of my head. In fact, I would go as far to say that I liked it. And really, the lyrics are fine, expect for the verses, the rap verse, the bridge, and the end of the chorus

Shes got an interesting voice though. Should she sign with a decent record label, she could be good. But, in my opinion, as long as she sticks with ARK, she wont be going anywhere. She needs someone who actually knows how to write lyrics.

This is a classic example of an internet phenomenon. I wish everyone who had as much talent as her (I cant say its that much) could be that famous. I know quite a few people who would be very, very, very famous. Unfortunately, only a few of us can be that lucky. I am not one of them.

Oh, and it seems to me that the message of this video is to play hooky at school so you can go joy ride with your friends (none of which are 16) without wearing a seat belt. Thats great.

Oh, and by the way, I might add that Rebecca Black has been trending on twitter longer then #prayforjapan did.


What I Learned From Going Without Blogging for 1 Month, 8 Days, 19 Hours, 49 Minutes, and 51 Seconds

Yes, it really has been that long since I last posted. And yes, as unlikely as it may seem. I have returned.

Life is full of roadblocks. Although I cant give you exact details. I hit one in September. It fundamentally changed my day-to-day life. Blogging got pushed out.

But now I am back. Here are a few things I have learned in the past month or so that will hopefully help my blogging career.

I really, really enjoy blogging

After going a while without blogging, I began to realize that I really missed it. Every single day I wanted to go back to the good ol blog and publish some more posts. But I didnt. I had the time, but I chose to use it for other things. I think it was a big mistake. And I hope to rectify it.

I have a lot more to say

Who knows whats down the road!

Since I published my first post back in March of 2011, I have written quite a few words. 50,000 of them in fact (just enough for a Nanowrimo novel!). Some of my writing even got me on a relatively popular podcast (which was pretty awesome). However all that is in the past. The future is what is before me. I have plenty more to say. 50,00 words isnt enough. Im aiming for 500,000.

I do have the time

When I first stopped, I rationalized it away by saying I didnt  have the time. But as I continued through my life, I began to realize that time was not the problem. I really had no excuse for not bloggin. If I want to I can make it happen.

So Whats Next?

Lots more writing. In fact, after this post, I want to continue on as if nothing had happened. Unfortunately (and naturally enough) my traffic has taken a big hit. But I can rebuild it. My google rankings have remained relatively intact, which is awesome. So thats a big bonus. But it will take a while to rebuild.

Look for a post in the next day or so!

Is The Edge of Glory Lady Gagas Masterpiece?

The short and simple answer is no. The Edge of Glory is not Lady Gagas true masterpiece. Neither is Bad Romance, Poker Face, or any other of the numerous songs that she has recorded over her six years as a pop artist.

At least not yet.

If there is one thing people tend to forget about a musician or band it is that the music of an artist evolves dramatically over the course of the years and albums.

One band I really enjoy is Switchfoot, a rock band from San Diego. The started out rather mellow, but they have grown incredibly and changed in a dramatic way.

Lady Gaga has not finished her career. I would guess that she will probably have a hit song every record from here on out. However some people would argue that Lady Gaga cant have a masterpiece. They would probably even venture to say that she is a bad person and what not, and that we shouldnt listen to her music because of it.

Wait, we shouldnt listen to her music because she is a bad person?

I would also venture to say that many of the people who would say these kind of things are Christian and conservative (not that this is a bad thing, I am definitely right-wing myself, and a Christian for that matter). However we have to make a distinction between the music and the musician. Think Lady Gaga is a bad person? Are you saying this badness is somehow transmitted through the music into the ears of the listener?

Perhaps, but, if you are like me, you dont pay attention to the lyrics so much as the music itself. Remember, you can have music without lyrics. But if you have lyrics without tune or backing track, then its not music (although some might disagree with me). This is why the music itself is the most important part.

Do you think that her videos have strong sexual overtones (as many of them do)? Well  then just dont watch the videos.

This is a good rule of thumb if you are Christian, atheist, or anything else under the sun: Hate the sin, not the sinner.

How Sound Systems Work Part 2

In part 1 we examined home audio. Now, in part two, I would like to take a look at two big parts of speaker systems. How the speakers themselves work, and how systems are put together when focusing on live sound.

Live Sound

There are 3 basic parts to any sound system

  • Soundboard
  • Microphones
  • Speakers

These three are all it takes to get stage music going. In theory, nothing more is required. However, there are subcategories, and a few other things that you can use to make it better.


Many people think that to play live music you just plug your instrument into the speakers and thats the end of it, however that is not the case.

Soundboards (known to the professional as a mixer) are a rather simple idea: Bring in all the data from the instruments and microphones and send them to the appropriate speakers. However it is much more complicated in practice.

A soundboard is essentially made up of channels. Each channel corresponds to one input (can be instrument, mic, our anything else that can output sound). each channel has its own set of controls for volume and various other effects. The larger and more expensive the board, the more options you have on the soundboard.

A standard mixer

Most boards have a few effects that they the are capable of achieving. The most important, the pan effect. Allows a particular instrument to be sent to only one half of the speakers. There are also various reverb and delay effects. However these are most often applied by the instrumentalist himself before the signal even gets to the soundboard.

Microphones & Other Inputs

Different microphones are made for different tasks.  A condenser microphone, for example, is perfect for use in studios. It provides pristine sound quality and frequency response (in other words, it can record very high and very low sounds). The only problem with condenser microphones is that they are very sensitive to loud noises (which abound in concerts). Condenser microphones are also quite expensive, and unable to stand up to the abuse they might receive in a lively concert. Condenser microphones also require their own source of power (48 volt phantom power). For these reasons, condenser microphones are generally not used in concert.

Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, make a lot more sense in a concert situation. They are considerably cheaper then condenser microphones, but are much more rugged. Chances are that dynamic microphone that looks like its been to hell and back will still sound as good as the day it came out of the box.

The difference between these two types of microphones lies in the technology behind them, which I will discuss in a later post.

The Shure SM58 dynamic microphone. This microphone is considered a standard for all performances.

Microphones, of course, are not the only things that supply input to the soundboard. In fact, a large percentage of the inputs in, say, a rock concert, are not microphone generated. Some will come from an electric guitar. Others will come from keyboards, or any of the numerous non-acoustic instruments. These take input from the musician and convert them into an electrical signal which can then be sent to the soundboard to be processed. In the average rock lineup, the only true microphones are for the drums and the vocals. However many other instruments, such as acoustic guitars, may require microphones.


This is the part that everyone understands at least on a rudimentary level. The speakers are what make the sound, simple as that, however there is a set of speakers that many people dont even realize are there, in fact, they arent even meant for the audience.

The are called monitors. It can be hard to hear yourself when all the speakers are pointed away from you and towards the audience. In general, it is nice to be able to hear what you are doing. This is what monitors are for. In larger concerts, they generally will take the form of an earbud or some such thing. But in smaller or low budget performances, they will most often take the form of speakers pointing towards the performers instead of the audience.

Different kinds of speakers are, naturally, used for different purposes. In a large performance there may be dozens of speakers working together to make the sound. Everything is huge. Loudspeakers can push out incredibly high amounts of sound.

Although I am not particularly knowledgeable in this area I can tell you this. Speakers like this are big, loud, heavy, expensive, hard to manage, and take a long time to set up properly. However, the results can be rather rewarding.

Although there are many intricacies in a sound system (amplifiers, effects modules, etc.) these are no doubt the most important. In fact, I get buy using just these three (and an instrument of course) when I play for certain groups.

How Speakers Work

I have touch briefly in the past about some of the basics of sound, however now might be a good time for a little refresher. Sound travels through the air in the forms of vibrations. When those vibrations reach your ears, a signal is sent to your brain in the form of electrical impulses, which is then interpreted by the brain as sound.

A speaker microphone systems uses this same principle. When sound enters a microphone it vibrates a diaphragm which converts the vibrations into an electrical signal and sends it through its chord to the soundboard, much like the human ear. The electrical signal is then sent to the correct speaker, which then is able to reproduce the vibrations exactly, kind of like the reverse of the microphone. But how is this done?

Like microphones, speakers also have a diaphragm. The diaphragm is a flexible cone generally made of paper, plastic, or metal. The large end of the cone is the end that points outwards. On the small end, however, is where the magic happens.

Attached to the back of the diaphragm is an electromagnet called a voice coil. A speaker actually has two inputs. When an electrical current is sent one way, it causes the poles of the electromagnet to point a certain way. When the electrical current is reversed, so are the poles. In every speaker there is a static magnet. This magnet interacts with the electromagnet just like it would any other magnet. When the poles of the electromagnet are facing one way, the two magnets attract and move closer together, when they face the other way, the magnets repulse and move farther apart. This happens many times a second, creating the vibrations needed to produce sound.

I hope you liked this in-depth (if rather long-winded) explanation of in concert sound systems and speakers. Although there is tons more to learn, I think this is a good start.

How Sound Systems Work Part 1

We love our music, and chances are we want it to sound as great as possible. But great music requires a great sound system. But how exactly does it work? And why do some sound better then the others.

Any sound system (beyond, say, just a couple of computer speakers, has two basic parts. The subwoofer, and the satellite speakers. Each server their purpose. Although this blog is geared particularly towards music, it can be easily applied to home theater systems as well. Please note, I am not offering buying suggestions on anything. However I will give you a few companies that have good systems for you to look at.

The Subwoofer

We believe you hear music in the highs, but feel it in the lows.
Kevin Lee CEO of SOL Repulic

The Subwoofer is the heart of any sound system. It is what sets apart the boys from the men. Its what shakes the house and makes you feel the music in every pore of your body. It hits those low notes that only the largest of speakers can hit.

Subwoofers come in many different shapes and sizes. Some, like mine, come in box shapes with a large speaker on the bottom to drive sound into the surface of whatever it is sitting on.. Others (particularly for home theaters) are more compact and come in strips that can easily hide under or behind something.

Some of the notes that these subwoofers manage to create are lower then the human ear is capable of hearing. However we dont have to hear it, we feel it. It is a whole other dynamic of the track that we never knew existed before we heard it on the subwoofer. However the subwoofer has other uses. One of its biggest ones is augment the bass capabilities of the smaller, satellite speakers. Satellite speaker do have some natural bass capability, but not much. With subwoofer, they dont really even have to worry about it too much. This allows them to be smaller and more out of the way.

The best part of a subwoofer is that it doesnt really matter where in an enclosed room it is placed (in a non-enclosed area, this is another matter). The brain has trouble locating sounds of very low frequencies in closed spaces, so you can fit it wherever there is room, and no one will know the difference. Even better, because of the low frequencies, you dont even really have to worry about things getting in its way, the sound just punches right through.

The Satellite Speakers

Music is a safe kind of high.
Jimmi Hendrix

OK, so maybe I faked this quote a little bit, but I couldnt find a good one pertaining to highs notes of music without reusing the previous one.

Although music does not require a subwoofer to be interesting, it does require something that can create the higher notes (the majority of the music) or there would be nothing to hear.

Satellite speakers typically are small. Unlike the subwoofer, they need to be out in the open to transmit sound effectively. However, the subwoofers allow these speakers to be small, allowing them to be put in corners. Frequently you will see them in high corners. Some houses even have them built into the roof. Satellite speakers, unlike subwoofers must be distributed relatively evenly amongst a room to get the feeling of being surrounded by the music. But dont forget that much music is recorded in stereo, that you should keep all the left speakers to one side, and all the right speakers to the other.

How Its All Controlled

For the most part, the sound system is connected to a central controller. This can be almost anything that has a stereo headphone jack. Many people connect their system to the computer and play it through iTunes or some other program. In my house, we have an Apple Airport Express that we can plug our speakers into and stream music to. This is just one solution, but there are plenty of others.

In theory, you could even plug a CD player into it, but for the most part this doesnt happen any more.

One thing I like to do is use the Remote app on my iPod touch to control the music. It connects to my iTunes library and controls playback. The music streams to the Airport Express and through that into the speakers. All controlled from my iPod.

In the next post, I look how live music systems work, and a little bit about how speakers work as well.

If you are looking for a good pair of speakers, there are a few good companies that have options ranging from less expensive starter kits to top of the line fully-fledged music systems

  • Bose

A Comparison of 3 Music Streaming Services

Up until the advent of the internet, the only way to hear a song was to either get it on CD (or record or tape, depending on your era), find it on the radio, or go to a concert. You had no other options. This was really the only way to distribute media. Then, with the advent of the internet, music streaming took off.

Here I present a few options for you. There are plenty more, but these are three of the biggest.

1. Rhapsody
The Good:

  • Unlimited listening
  • No commercials
  • Good Desktop client
  • Mobile devices supported w/offline playing

The Bad:

  • Only one mobile device aloud per account (unless you pay extra)
  • More expensive then other services
  • Only available in the U.S.

This is my current solution for music streaming. The arrival of Spotify, however, is really, if you will let me use this cliche, stealing Rhapsodys thunder. I Rhapsody definitely has its drawbacks. Most notably that you have to pay to start listening

Rhapsody premium ($9.99) gives you unlimited listening, as well as offline listening on a mobile device. You get access to all 12 million + songs in the database, as well as internet radio stations and community built playlists. For $15.99 a month, you can upgrade your account to let you download songs to up to three mobile devices instead of just one.

Rhapsody works. But its limited availability and slightly higher prices, I dont prefer it.

2. Spotify

The Good:

  • Cheap (free, $5/month and $10/month options)
  • Unlimited listening to what you want to listen to
  • Large song library (15 Million +)

The Bad:

  • Ad supported (free version)
  • Only available in some countries ( Sweden, Spain, Norway, Finland, France, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States)
  • Not available on mobile devices unless you pay

Rise up and sing people of America, Spotify has landed. It was not until recently that this music streaming service was available in the states because of copyright issues. Spotify comes with three plans. Free, unlimited, and premium.

The free version allows for unlimited listening in the USA (this will change soon), or 10 hours a month elsewhere of whatever you want to listen to. It will even keep track of your local files (and synch them to your mobile device) for you. The only downside of this is that it is ad supported, and you cant stream music using Spotify on you portable device (you can, however, listen to those local files that it synced).

The unlimited version ($4.99 USD/month or £4.99/month) removes the ads from the service and allows for unlimted listening (not a problem right now in the US). There is still no mobile device streaming however.

The premium version ($9.99/month or £9.99/month) gives a few additional features. Most notably is the ability to use Spotify on mobile devices. With Spotify Premium you can stream music to your phone, or you can download them to your mobile devices (or compupter) for offline listening. Note, downloaded tracks can only be played and used by the Spotify application. You can use these mobile features on up to three devices.

Overall, Spotify is an excellent service, and one that I will hopefully be switching to in the near future. I recommend it for anyone.

3. Pandora

The Good

  • Free (with paid options)
  • Can help you discover new music
  • Runs on almost all platforms (mobile included)

The Bad

  • You cant select your own songs (it is internet radio)
  • Listening limited to 40 hours per month (can pay for more)
  • Ad supported (for the free version)
  • Only available in the U.S.

Pandora is no doubt the leading name in internet radio. Backed by the Music Genome Project, Pandora does an incredible job at selecting songs that you will like. The service is free for 40 hours of listening a month, which is plenty for most people. There are ads, but there are relatively few and they are all less then 30 seconds. If you run out of your 40 hours never fear! For 99 cents you can extend your listening time to unlimited for the rest of the month.

For $36 a year you can upgrade to Pandora One, which gives you unlimited listening and no ads, as well as a desktop application.

All in all, Pandora is another good service. However, if you live somewhere besides the U.S. you will need to search for other options.

Obviously there are a ton of other music streaming options out there. These include services like Grooveshark, Last.FM and Slacker. But these are the three leaders in the market.

What about you? Do you use any of these services? If so do you pay for them, or use the free version? Id love to hear from you, leave me a comment below!