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    In this lesson, I’m going to demonstrate some basic string-skipping patterns.

    These patterns are easy to link up with your pentatonic scales, and I think you’ll find them very useful for adding some flash into your riffs and solos.

    I’m going to play them separately at first, and then at the end of the lesson, I’ll string them all together into a chord progression.

    First let’s take a look at EXAMPLE 1. This is a C#m7 arpeggio in the 9th position starting with the root note on the low E string. Notice that this pattern is in the same position as your typical C# minor pentatonic scale. I tend to play string skipping arpeggios with hammer-ons and pull offs — only picking when I change strings or change direction.

    Try to learn all of the patterns with this method before you attempt alternate picking every note. You’ll find they’re initially easier to work up to speed.

    For EXAMPLE 2, I’m going to take the shape from EXAMPLE 1 and move it up a string so that the root of the arpeggio is on the ninth fret on the A string. This changes the chord to an F#m7 arpeggio. Be sure to use the same picking and fingering patterns as the first example, this will help you work up speed and keep your technique consistent.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.33.04 AM.png

    NOTE: All 7th chord string-skipping patterns that have the root note on the low E string can be moved to the A string to get another arpeggio a 4th higher

    Moving on to EXAMPLE 3, we’re going to stay in the 9th position and play an F#dim7 arpeggio with the root on the A string. This is another common string skipping pattern that I like because the fingering on the G and E strings is exactly the same. Once again, be sure to keep your picking consistent with EXAMPLES 1 and 2.

    NOTE: Once you have EXAMPLE 3 down in the 9th position, try sliding it up three frets to the 12th position. This is the same arpeggio but in the first inversion. You can do this with all diminished string skipping patterns. This pattern can also be moved to the E string for different diminished arpeggios.

    Finally, for EXAMPLE 4, I’m going to combine EXAMPLES 1, 2, and 3 into a progression in C# minor. The progression is C#m7 – F#m7 – F#dim7. Focus on making the transitions between the arpeggios seamless.

    Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 11.33.25 AM.png

    Once you have these patterns down, try throwing them into your leads. They’re in the same position as the C# minor and C# minor pentatonic scale, so they’re easy to find all over the neck in many different keys. Cheers!

    Sammy Boller is the guitarist for the Detroit rock band Citizen Zero. They’re touring and recording their first full-length album with Al Sutton and Marlon Young (Kid Rock, Bob Seger, Uncle Kracker). In 2012, Boller was selected by Joe Satriani as a winner of Guitar Center’s Master Satriani competition. He studied music at the University of Michigan. For more about Boller, or to ask him a question, write to him at info@sammyboller.com or follow him on Twitter.


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    It's time for our annual Back-to-School Sale at the Guitar World Online Store!

    Through 11:59 p.m. September 28, 2014, take $5 off each purchase made at the store!

    Just be sure to use code BACK2SCHOOL14 at checkout.

    Once again, that's BACK2SCHOOL14!

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!


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    We don't know about you, but around here, September brings to mind tours and massive live shows — probably because it's the only month where summer and fall, the two biggest rock touring seasons, collide.

    So, as our thoughts turn to the gigs we've reported on, witnessed and celebrated this year, we thought we'd get our readers — as in, you guys! — involved as we attempt to pinpoint rock's greatest live band or artist!

    Welcome to Guitar World's official readers poll for September (It's the first readers poll we've conducted since November 2013, all you poll haters out there), the Battle of the Greatest Live Bands. It kicked off Wednesday, September 3.

    Although we (obviously) had thousands of artists and/or bands to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 32 names, which is perfect for a month's worth of intense — and fun (it's supposed to be fun, people!) matchups. All the artists were carefully selected by Guitar World's entire editorial staff.

    Most importantly, note that this poll involves ONLY still-existing bands, so you won't get to watch the Doors duke it out with Led Zeppelin! Pantera will not go head to head with Cream. The Jimi Hendrix Experience will not compete with ... you get the idea.

    Here are our 32 artists, in alphabetical order, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.

    AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Dillinger Escape Plan, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Jack White, Kiss, Korn, Metallica, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Phish, Queen, Radiohead, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Slayer, Slipknot, Soundgarden, Tool, U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top.

    Today's Matchup: Vote Now!

    Today, AC/DC, who have a new studio album coming out soon, are going head to head with IRON MAIDEN. We don't need to tell you anything about these two legendary bands. We'll let the recently shot videos below do the talking. Start voting now! You can vote once per device, and you have a full day to do so.

    Let's Go to the Videos!

    Yesterday's Winner

    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND (54.84 percent) edged out RAMMSTEIN (45.16 percent). Thanks for voting!. Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far. Tell your friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far!

    Behold the Latest Bracket!

    Henry

    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    Here's how the bracket was — very unscientifically — compiled.

    We drew the artists' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a smelly Quebec Nordiques baseball cap) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of bands are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out!

    Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which artist has (or has had) the most to offer within his/their genre, perhaps which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other live acts, etc.

    As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting match-ups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!

    Additional Content

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    Teaser Content: 

    Legendary rock photographer Gene Kirkland, who has photographed the biggest names in rock and metal throughout the Eighties and Nineties, has opened up his archives for the first time in history!

    Legendary rock photographer Gene Kirkland, who has photographed the biggest names in rock and metal throughout the Eighties and Nineties, has opened up his archives for the first time in history!

    Twelve months ago, Kirkland teamed up with Black Lightning Gallery to unearth a generous stash of shots that had remained hidden and locked away since those glory days — many spanning back nearly 20 years!

    Now Guitar World and Black Lighting Gallery are joining forces to give away this rare print of Slash in action!

    This amazing image captures Slash filming Guns N' Roses'"Estranged" video while playing his iconic guitar solo. The band had most of the Sunset Strip closed down overnight for the filming. In order to achieve this shot, Slash rode in ski boots attached to a track that rolled from the front of the Rainbow Bar & Grill and on past The Roxy.

    NOTE: The actual photo will not be watermarked like the sample shown here. Also, the photo will be signed by Kirkland!

    As a special bonus to Guitar World readers, Black Lighting Gallery will offer free shipping with the code "guitarworld" to be entered in the shopping cart for all print purchases. Kirkland's prints can be purchased through Black Lightning Gallery.

    Good luck!

    All entries must be submitted by October 15, 2014.<p><a href="/official_contest_rules">Official Rules and Regulations</a>
    Please send me the free Guitar World newsletter, with information about our family of magazines and websites, and musical instrument manufacturers.
    Please send me more information from our partners.

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    Even though the Empty Hearts feature members of Blondie, the Cars, the Chesterfield Kings and the Romantics — and even though their name was chosen from Little Steven Van Zandt's super-secret list of unused band names — this is no cynically constructed supergroup.

    Featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Clem Burke, guitarist Elliot Easton, bassist Andy Babiuk and lead singer/rhythm guitarist Wally Palmar, the Empty Hearts have parlayed a combined lifetime of rock into their self-titled debut. Their new album is a raucous collection of tunes shaped by Fifties American roots rock, Sixties British Invasion and Seventies garage-punk.

    I recently spoke to Easton about the Empty Hearts, his signature Gibson Tikibird and the 30th anniversary of the Cars’ Heartbeat City.

    GUITAR WORLD: When did the idea for the Empty Hearts begin?

    The germ of the idea started with Andy [Babiuk]. The Chesterfield Kings weren’t doing anything and Andy called me up and said, “What do you think about doing a band with me, you, Clem Burke and Wally Palmer from the Romantics?”

    I wasn’t doing much at the time so I told him that if he could get it together, I was in. Andy is such a great organizer and motivator and put everything together. We found that we liked each other’s vibe and enjoyed each other’s company. Everything about it really felt good.

    How would you describe the album?

    It’s a reflection and celebration of all of our influences that went into making us the musicians we are. Recalling those early days of innocence when you played music for the sheer joy of it. We really wanted to make a record that reminded us of why we got into music in the first place. You hear some Who, Beatles and our garage rock influences. It’s all stuff we loved as kids starting out.

    What was the recording process like?

    Most of this record was made with the four of us interacting with each other on the studio floor. I think when you have four people playing together all at once, it adds a fifth element. When you have overtones of guitar chords mixing in with the cymbals, it generates a live-vibe kind of atmosphere.

    Will the Empty Heart be touring to support the new album?

    Yes. One of our main goals is to be a touring band. We’ll be going to Japan in October and warming up with a few shows on the East Coast. Even though everyone in the group comes from a known band, we’re still new and have to establish ourselves. This first bunch of gigs is to get over that first hump and have people understand what we’re all about.

    What can you tell me about your new signature Gibson Tikibird?

    My relationship with Gibson goes back to 1979 when I had a Signature SG from the Gibson Custom Shop. This time around, I worked with Gibson USA to do a signature model that was a little more affordable. It packs a lot of bang for the buck. It’s a reverse Firebird with ’57 classics instead of the mini-humbuckers. It also has four switches: a coil cut for the neck pickup; coil splitter for the treble pickup; an in phase/out phase when both pickups are on. The fourth switch is a blower switch, which bypasses all of the wiring on the guitar and just sends the bridge pickup to the jack full-on.

    I specified a cool custom Firebird color from the Sixties called Gold Poly Mist. The last personal touch was a little Tiki instead of the Firebird stamp on the pickguard.

    The Cars'Heartbeat City album turns 30 this year. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think about that album?

    The first thing that comes to mind when I think about that album was working with Mutt Lange and how meticulous he was as a producer and how honored it was to make it with him. I remember we were in London for the better part of a year making that record and can honestly say I did more tuning then I did playing [laughs]. He would have me re-tune after every pass and every take.

    Can you tell me more about your experience working with Mutt?

    He just had endless energy and was there for us 100 percent. That’s the thing I marveled at. He wasn’t just meticulous with me, though. One morning I was relaxing and watching TV in the living room of the house we had rented. Ben [Orr] was getting ready to go into the studio to work on some bass, and I remember wishing him luck as he left.

    As the day went by, I did a few things and later that night I found myself stretched back out on the couch watching TV. That was when Ben finally came home. I said, “Hey man! How’d it go today?” Ben said, “Well, we're starting to get a sound” [laughs]. I learned a lot from making the record with Mutt. It made me an even tighter, better player in the studio. I put that album up there with our best work.

    What excites you the most about the Empty Hearts?

    I’m really looking forward to getting the music out in front of people, writing more songs and albums and watching this band become even tighter. I really like being in this band. There’s no drama. Just a lot of joking and laughing and having a good time. It reminds me of why I got into the music in the first place and how much fun those garage bands were.

    Rehearsing in a friend’s basement and playing just for the sheer love of it. We don’t feel like we have to prove anything anymore. We just want to have a great time playing music that’s been encoded into our DNA.

    The Empty Hearts 2014 Tour Dates:

    10/16 Londonderry, NH Tupelo Music Hall
    10/17 Ardmore, PA Ardmore Music Hall
    10/18 Brooklyn, NY The Knitting Factory
    10/19 Cranston, RI RICPA - Park Theatre
    10/22 Tokyo, Japan Billboard Live (2 shows)
    10/23 Tokyo, Japan Billboard Live (2 shows)

    For more about the Empty Hearts, visit theemptyhearts.com.

    James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.


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    Fans of progressive rock had reason to rejoice this past summer when Robert Fripp, the guitarist and bandleader of the legendary progressive rock band King Crimson, dramatically announced he was coming out of retirement and the group was “returning to active service.”

    True to his word, after a six-year hiatus, the U.K. band returned to the U.S. in September for a sold-out tour featuring a new lineup.

    At seven members, it is the largest configuration of the group ever assembled, featuring three drummers, along with veteran bassist Tony Levin, saxophonist Mel Collins, new vocalist/guitarist Jakko Jakszyk and, of course, Fripp.

    Last week in New York City, the unit played an intense and swinging set featuring songs from several different eras of the band’s 40-year history, including knockout versions of “Starless,” “Larks’ Tongue In Aspic, Parts One & Two” and “21st Century Schizoid Man.”

    Guitar World recently caught up with Jakszyk to discuss his role the reconstituted group. A veteran prog rocker, who at one time played in the King Crimson cover band called the 21st Century Schizoid Band, is obviously thrilled to play in the real deal. So much so, he commissioned a special guitar made by Paul Reed Smith to commemorate the event…but more on that later.

    GUITAR WORLD: Fans of the band were a little surprised when it was announced that King Crimson was touring. We were under the impression Robert Fripp had retired.

    The band was also surprised when we got the call! I think it might’ve had to do with a record he and I worked on together called A Scarcity of Miracles back in 2011. It wasn’t a Crimson album, but Robert referred to it as a "Crimson ProjeKct." Five of the current seven members are on that album, and I think he enjoyed it. Also, I think he had to just resolve an ongoing litigation with Universal Music, which went on for ages and used to trouble him on a daily basis. I can’t speak for him, but those are my observations.

    Why have three drummers in the band?

    Why, indeed! I have to admit, when Robert first started talking about using a drum trio, I thought he was mad. I couldn’t see how it was going to work. Then he explained he wanted the drums to be in front and the band on risers behind them! That made me even more concerned. I had all kinds of worries about how we would monitor the sound. But when we set up for the first time, and we saw how cool it looked, we all got excited. It took a little time, but eventually we figured out how to monitor the band using in-ear headphones.

    Isn’t it odd for the singer to be behind the drummers?

    Exactly! But there is something very egalitarian about the arrangement. Usually the singer is the frontman—he’s the guy that’s the focus of attention. By putting him and featured soloists in the back, suddenly the audience’s attention shifts to the music and all of the musicians rather than one guy. In a way, the current version of Crimson feels more like an orchestra. It’s a real group.

    How were you able to coordinate the drum parts?

    A lot of credit has to go to Gavin Harrison, who really worked hard on arranging and writing out the parts. But all three have done a great job. They actually spent a lot of time rehearsing separately from the band.

    So Fripp wasn’t so crazy after all.

    He sees things in a way no one else can.

    Tell us about your cool In The Court of the Crimson King PRS guitar.

    When I was asked to join Crimson, I really wanted to make a statement of intent. So, I asked the guys at PRS if they were up for making me a guitar that looked as special as it played. Together, we took the iconic artwork of Crimson’s first album and created a version that would fit on the PRS shape. The photos don’t do the guitar justice—the finish looks like porcelain.

    What amp are you using? It’s clear that under this unique stage setup, a 100-watt 4x12 amp would be overpowering and pretty impractical.

    I use a Kemper Profiling Amp. One of the editors at Guitarist magazine in the U.K. turned me on to them. They're really flexible, easy to use and they allow me model the variety of sounds I need to compliment all the different eras of Crimson.

    But I have to tell you this funny story that happened while we were first putting the show together. I’m required to perform some of the parts Robert played on the original albums, so I need to mimic his sound. One day while we were rehearsing, we were playing a song and Robert stopped me and complimented my sound. He asked me what I was using and I told him it was a preset on the Kemper—it was called “Early Fripp”!

    Brad Tolinski is the editor-in-chief at Guitar World.


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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Heard on numerous classic recordings by players like Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Robin Trower, the Uni-Vibe is essentially a four-stage phase shifter.

    However, without going into a full-blown technical explanation, the components and circuit have certain quirks that distinguish it from a run-of-the-mill phase shifter.

    For decades, the only viable choices for guitarists seeking authentic classic Uni-Vibe effects were to hunt for an original vintage unit or buy a boutique version, but both options were expensive.

    The new MXR M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato solves this dilemma once and for all by providing genuine Uni-Vibe effects with thick, rich swirling textures in a pedal that costs less than half of the price of most acclaimed boutique versions.


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    He’s played with jazz legends from the past and jam heroes of today; he’s burrowed into the roots of bebop and blazed new territory in the world of funk; he’s a fearless soloist as well as a cool cat to have on your team.

    His name is John Scofield— and for all he’s accomplished in his career, he’s simply a nice guy to talk music with.

    Scofield’s latest project is a reunion with buddies John Medeski, Billy Martin and Chris Wood, the avant-garde jazzbos he first worked with on 1998’s A Go Go. Their 10-track studio release, Juice, is a mix of originals and covers, infused with the unique global funk jams the MSMW collaborative have come to be known for.

    Here are some thoughts from Scofield on gear, going out and — most importantly — how to get back.

    GUITAR WORLD: Well, John, 30-plus years down the road and you’re still coaxing new sounds out of that ’81 Ibanez AS-200. I’d almost say that one’s a keeper.

    Yeah! [laughs] Hey, I feel like a traitor to my country because I’m supporting a foreign-made guitar … but what the hell? [laughter] It’s a beautiful guitar, man. I like semi-acoustics. I had a Gibson 335 before that, which I still have. I just really dug that Ibanez when it was given to me in 1981.

    Who gave it to you?

    Ibanez. I was on tour in Japan and at that point, both Ibanez and Yamaha were being really aggressive about getting all the American artists they could get to play their instruments. I had my 335 with me, and it had really gone through some changes; it was playing really weirdly. Back then, I didn't know how to do neck adjustments … I wouldn't trust myself to do it, you know?

    That’s when Ibanez brought me this brand-new AS-200 to try, and I said, “Man, this plays great and feels great … it feels a lot like my 335.” I began playing it on that tour. When I got home, I had the Gibson adjusted, but I’d been playing the Ibanez for a month and was used to it … and I’ve been playing it ever since.

    Sometimes I’ll play the Gibson, which I really like, too. They're just different animals; there’s something about that Ibanez that I’ve just grown accustomed to. I can really get something out of it, you know?

    Have you experimented with pickups over the years, or is she still pretty much stock?

    I actually have two Ibanez AS-200s, two old ones. I changed the pickups on one of them and put some Voodoo Humbuckers on. But the main one I play still has the original pickups, which are, like, the loudest pickups known to man.

    Is there a warning label on them?

    There should be! [laughs] I’ve never played a louder pickup … it’ll blow up amps, you know? [laughter]

    Speaking of amps, what was your go-to for the Juice sessions?

    I used one amp for the whole record: my Vox AC-30. It’s a reissue from the late Nineties that I modded out a little bit. I changed one of the speakers so they’re mismatched, which is what Matchless does. I have a Matchless amp I really like, too.

    What did you put in for the second speaker?

    Another Celestion, but a different wattage. One’s a 30-watt and the other’s a 15. It’s exactly the same setup as the two speakers in the Matchless 2x12 combo.

    You usually have a pretty impressive array of pedals by your toes, but even when you tap into them, you really have a light touch. I mean, every now and then you go a little bit apeshit — in the nicest of ways.

    [laughs] Thanks!

    But you don't rely on a lot of effects, which is something I appreciate.

    You know, I started off just playing … and that’s still the main thing I do. It’s really nice to have — especially in the jazz/funk area like on Juice— some of the effects to get different things happening.

    It’s kind of like, if you’re going to play an hour of music, after a while you’re looking for something else besides the regular guitar tones. It’s fun now and then … but yeah: the main stuff I do is my guitar.

    When the four of you get together, are there any ground rules as to who’s going to play traffic cop?

    You know, there are certain tunes that definitely have arrangements … and then there songs that have an arrangement, but we’ll start with some free stuff.

    Sometimes we’ll say, “Let's start completely free and just see where it goes — and then we’ll start segueing into this tune.” It's not like we're totally playing “anything goes” in that we have a game plan. It seems to help that we have both structure and no structure — it helps to keep it from being boring.

    Even in the free stuff, I notice that John, Billy and Chris are all really good at shifting gears quickly. Right when you think, “This needs to go somewhere else,” they’ll dramatically go there as a group. They have an ESP-type ability, which is pretty cool.

    What are some key elements of your playing that you think have changed over the years?

    Oh, man … [laughs] You know, when I listen to stuff I recorded when I first started playing, it’s things like … like the way you get out of a phrase that I didn’t know how to do. I didn't know how to get the note to stop ringing; how you let the last note you hit fade out; how you come off of it.

    To take a breath — like a horn player.

    Exactly. You need to let the space happen … and when you come back in, you need to get back in the groove and really be part of the rhythm section. Put yourself into the rhythm section, you know? Don't play over it — put yourself in there.

    A former offshore lobsterman, Brian Robbins had to wait a good four decades or so to write about the stuff he wanted to when he was 15. Today he’s a freelance scribe, cartoonist, photographer and musician. His home on the worldwide inner tube is at brian-robbins.com (And there’s that Facebook thing too.)


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    We don't know about you, but around here, September brings to mind tours and massive live shows — probably because it's the only month where summer and fall, the two biggest rock touring seasons, collide.

    So, as our thoughts turn to the gigs we've reported on, witnessed and celebrated this year, we thought we'd get our readers — as in, you guys! — involved as we attempt to pinpoint rock's greatest live band or artist!

    Welcome to Guitar World's official readers poll for September (It's the first readers poll we've conducted since November 2013, all you poll haters out there), the Battle of the Greatest Live Bands. It kicked off Wednesday, September 3.

    Although we (obviously) had thousands of artists and/or bands to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 32 names, which is perfect for a month's worth of intense — and fun (it's supposed to be fun, people!) matchups. All the artists were carefully selected by Guitar World's entire editorial staff.

    Most importantly, note that this poll involves ONLY still-existing bands, so you won't get to watch the Doors duke it out with Led Zeppelin! Pantera will not go head to head with Cream. The Jimi Hendrix Experience will not compete with ... you get the idea.

    Here are our 32 artists, in alphabetical order, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.

    AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Dillinger Escape Plan, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Jack White, Kiss, Korn, Metallica, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Phish, Queen, Radiohead, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Slayer, Slipknot, Soundgarden, Tool, U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top.

    Today's Matchup: Vote Now!

    Today, VAN HALEN are going head to head with QUEEN. We don't need to tell you anything about these two legendary bands. We'll let the recently shot videos below do the talking. Start voting now! You can vote once per device, and you have a full day to do so.

    Let's Go to the Videos!

    Yesterday's Winner

    AC/DC (58.61 percent) defeated IRON MAIDEN (41.39 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far. Tell your friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far!

    Behold the Latest Bracket!

    Henry

    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    Here's how the bracket was — very unscientifically — compiled.

    We drew the artists' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a smelly Quebec Nordiques baseball cap) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of bands are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out!

    Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which artist has (or has had) the most to offer within his/their genre, perhaps which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other live acts, etc.

    As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting match-ups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!

    Additional Content

    0 0

    We don't know about you, but around here, September brings to mind tours and massive live shows — probably because it's the only month where summer and fall, the two biggest rock touring seasons, collide.

    So, as our thoughts turn to the gigs we've reported on, witnessed and celebrated this year, we thought we'd get our readers — as in, you guys! — involved as we attempt to pinpoint rock's greatest live band or artist!

    Welcome to Guitar World's official readers poll for September (It's the first readers poll we've conducted since November 2013, all you poll haters out there), the Battle of the Greatest Live Bands. It kicked off Wednesday, September 3.

    Although we (obviously) had thousands of artists and/or bands to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 32 names, which is perfect for a month's worth of intense — and fun (it's supposed to be fun, people!) matchups. All the artists were carefully selected by Guitar World's entire editorial staff.

    Most importantly, note that this poll involves ONLY still-existing bands, so you won't get to watch the Doors duke it out with Led Zeppelin! Pantera will not go head to head with Cream. The Jimi Hendrix Experience will not compete with ... you get the idea.

    Here are our 32 artists, in alphabetical order, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.

    AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Dillinger Escape Plan, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Jack White, Kiss, Korn, Metallica, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Phish, Queen, Radiohead, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Slayer, Slipknot, Soundgarden, Tool, U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top.

    Today's Matchup: Vote Now!

    THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND are going head to head against AC/DC. We don't need to tell you about these legendary bands. We'll let the recently shot videos below do the talking! Start voting now. You can vote once per device. See you tomorrow!

    Let's Go to the Videos!

    Yesterday's Winner

    QUEEN (53.51 percent) just barely edged out RUSH (46.49 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far. Tell your friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far!

    Behold the Latest Bracket!

    Shoprite Bracket

    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    Here's how the bracket was — very unscientifically — compiled.

    We drew the artists' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a smelly Quebec Nordiques baseball cap) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of bands are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out!

    Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which artist has (or has had) the most to offer within his/their genre, perhaps which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other live acts, etc.

    As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting match-ups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!

    Additional Content

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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the worldwide premiere of a new recording and performance video by the Commander-In-Chief, a seven-string guitarist from Norway who now lives in England, and classical guitarist Craig Ogden.

    The uber-talented duo have collaborated on Caprice No. 24 by Niccolo Paganini, the 18th- and 19th-century Italian composer whose music has influenced scores of guitarists, including Yngwie Malmsteen.

    It's the final caprice of Paganini's 24 Caprices, and a work that's usually associated with solo violin. It's considered one of the most difficult pieces ever written for solo violin.

    It requires several advanced techniques such as parallel octaves and rapid shifting covering many intervals, extremely fast scales and arpeggios including minor scales in thirds and 10ths, left-hand pizzicato and quick string crossing.

    "We chose Caprice 24 since it is the most challenging of all of Paganini's pieces, and I really love it," the Commander-In-Chief told us earlier today.

    "It was very challenging to play, especially the pizzicata part, variation 9; it took a long time to get that one right. It starts at 3:50 [in the video]. It wasn't easy playing that on electric guitar."

    Speaking of which, the Commander is playing an Ibanez S5527. The video was filmed at Kjeller Airfield in Norway.

    The song is from 2 Guitars: The Classical Crossover Album, the new album by the duo. For more info on the release (and to pre-order), visit pledgemusic.com.

    You might remember the Commander-In-Chief from her last "guitar duel" video, a version of Pablo de Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen Op. 20 she recorded with classical guitarist Thomas Valeur in 2013. It was one of GuitarWorld.com's most popular videos of the year. You can watch it here.

    This time, the Commander has teamed up with Ogden, who recently was featured as one of the top 20 classical guitarists of all time by ClassicFM. He's also the principal lecturer on guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and the visiting lecturer at London's Royal College of Music.

    For more about the Commander-In-Chief, visit thecommanderinchief.net and follow her on Facebook. For more about Ogden, visit craigogden.com and his Facebook page.

    You also can read an interview with the Commander-In-Chief right here.


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    Black Sabbath apparently have at least one more studio album — and one more tour — left in the tank.

    The trio (no word on if they will become a quartet again) will start working on a new studio album in 2015; that album will be followed by a final tour.

    "The whole Sabbath experience this time around was great," Ozzy Osbourne told Metal Hammer. "We all made friends, we didn't fuck around, we all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it. It was a lot of fun. So we're going to do one more album and a final tour.

    "Once the dust settled after the last tour, we started discussing the idea, because we were getting asked about it all the time. I said to [wife/manager] Sharon, 'What's going on? Because if there's no more Sabbath, I want to get on with my own thing again,' and she came back and said, 'Let me look into it.'

    "Three weeks later, I asked her about it again, and she said, 'Oh, I still have to talk to so and so...' and I said 'Sharon, I ain't fucking 21 anymore. If we're going to do it, I want to do it before I'm 70!' Time isn't on our side! So she made the call and came back and said, 'Yeah, the record company wants another album.' I believe [producer] Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again."

    No new material has yet been written for the album, which will be the band's 14th, but Osbourne says sessions will begin early next year.

    "It'll be sooner rather than later," he added. "Obviously a lot of it is coming down to Tony [Iommi]'s health, he's obviously got his cancer treatment, but we'll get onto it next year. I don't know if we'll be writing in England or L.A., but I'll fly to the fucking moon for it if I have to!"

    Butler recently said the trio have a head start on a new record.

    "We've still got four tracks left over from [13]. So maybe we'll fill in the other four or five tracks and put out another album — if it's right. We wouldn't do it just for the sake of it, or the money or whatever. But yeah, maybe."

    13, the first Black Sabbath album since 1978 to feature Osbourne, Iommi and Butler, reached No. 1 in the U.S., the U.K. and several other countries. Drummer Bill Ward was on board for the reunion when it was announced in November 2011, but he backed out soon after due to contractual issues. We await word on whether or not Ward will be part of the festivities in 2015.

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    When someone says “guitar lessons," what kind of image does that conjure?

    I think of the dingy back room of a music store, with one amp and two folding metal chairs—and not quite enough space to disperse the body odor of the two people in there.

    And I think about the moment, 10 years later, when I had my own thriving lessons business. One amp, two folding chairs, a little more breathing room. And some air freshener.

    Teaching isn't for everyone. It's exhausting to focus all of your attention on another person for 30 minutes. But if you aren’t sure yet, or if you haven’t begun to teach, you might be surprised to find out teaching can help make you a better guitar player.

    I'm not ashamed to say I'm still new at learning the guitar, even after 10 years of trying pretty damn hard. I’m not afraid to admit I still have a long way to go. And I am happy to give credit to my students for the times when they've turned the tables around and taught me a thing or two.

    Clear evidence of what drives success

    Through my students, I saw clear relationships between certain habits and positive guitar progress outcomes.

    For example, my best students were notetakers. They kept a journal for their lessons and practice. Taking notes gives you a bird’s eye view of your guitar progress. It can help you avoid getting in a rut, so you can spend more time pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Without notes, you are more likely to play the stuff you know or tackle challenges you’re not ready for. If you’re organized, you have a better chance of pushing yourself up to the edge of your abilities—and staying there as long as possible.

    Looking in the mirror: Am I following my own advice?

    I always told my students to memorize the music and rehearse regularly. I even made something I called the Carousel Method, a way to review the tunes you’ve memorized, especially as the list expands and you can’t play it all in a single session.

    Then I asked: How is my memorization? It wasn’t so great. I had an accident and there were a few months where I didn’t practice much. Suddenly, I couldn’t play a single tune by heart. In just a few minutes a day, I could have preserved a long list of tunes. This was a heavy blow to someone who’s devoted the last 10 years to the guitar. When I noticed I wasn’t following my own advice, I decided to make a change.

    Looking at how far I’ve travelled—but not falling behind

    When you teach guitar, some students stay for years, but others don’t last a week. Most are total beginners, although some have 20 or more years of playing.

    I realized how far I’ve traveled as a guitar player. I always had something to offer my students, even those who had played for decades. Of course, I met some who knew techniques I hadn’t learned. But being able to rise to the challenge of teaching anybody who came through the door made me realize I must have come a pretty long way. And the fact that there were some advanced players coming to me for help gave me a nudge that helped me see the areas in my own playing that needed improvement.

    Realizing how little my insecurity matters, and letting it go

    The confidence my students put in me made me realize that, from their point of view, I have nothing to be insecure about. Things look a lot differently when you’re on the outside looking in.

    I realized that insecurity is an obstacle and that a vague fixation on “being good” at everything is a poorly defined goal.

    I’m not the best at everything. There are some auditions I would nail and others I would fail. And that’s fine. I’m not trying to be the best at everything. That objective is just as boring as it is impossible.

    Understanding that there’s still lots of time

    I’m probably not the only player who ever wondered if he or she has already passed through his or her best guitar-learning years. As I get older, will I continue to improve, or have I reached the limit? Is my potential to get better starting to slow down?

    After seeing people twice my age bravely pick up the axe and start sharpening it, I realized these questions are for neuroscientists, not musicians. I’m still able to see improvements in my playing every day, and that’s all that matters. The science seems to confirm that adults enjoy tremendous capacity to learn throughout their whole lives. And if that’s not good enough, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. People of all ages can learn this instrument.

    Grey is the founder of Hub Guitar, which employs guitar teachers across the U.S. and publishes guitar lessons for players of all levels. He has years of experience playing guitar, teaching guitar and building online guitar lessons. You can see more of what he has written at Hub Guitar: Articles.


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    What do you get when you combine two bona-fide guitar heroes in their respective genres — and then have them go toe-to-toe with each other? You get Eclectic, a new album by blues/jazz/rocker Eric Johnson and jazz master Mike Stern.

    Recorded at Johnson’s studio in Austin, Texas, Eclectic— which will be released October 27 — is a tasty collection of songs highlighting the strengths of both guitarists. It features an infectious rhythm section consisting of drummer Anton Fig (The Late Show with David Letterman) and Johnson’s regular bassist, Chris Maresh.

    Stern’s body of guitar goodness spans more than four decades. His career includes partnerships with such artists as Blood, Sweat & Tears, Billy Cobham, Miles Davis and Jaco Pastorius.

    Johnson’s playing has often been compared to that of Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck. His six-string wizardry earned him a Grammy award in 1992 for his instrumental hit, “Cliffs of Dover,” which came in at Number 17 on Guitar World’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitar solos of all time.

    Johnson and Stern will support Eclectic with an Eastern U.S. tour beginning in November. You can check out all the dates below.

    I recently spoke with both guitarists about their new album. Johnson also gives a bit of advice for properly playing “Cliffs of Dover.”

    GUITAR WORLD: How did this collaboration begin?

    STERN: I've known Eric for years and always dug his playing. Every time I saw him, I’d tell him that it would be great for us to do something together. Finally, I was doing this record called Big Neighborhood and had the idea of doing something with him.

    JOHNSON: We had so much fun working on that record that one day the Blue Note Club in New York called and asked us if we’d like to do a joint gig together. So we put together a band, rehearsed and learned music. We ended up doing a two-week tour out of that and got offered to do a record and a few other tours that are now slated to happen.

    How would you describe Eclectic?

    JOHNSON: It’s a pretty honest record. We cut most of the record live and pretty much set everything up in one room.

    STERN: The thing I like about Eric’s playing and the thing I always try to do is to play from the heart. That's the most important thing about music, and there’s certainly a lot of heart and soul on this record.

    Let’s discuss a few tracks from Eclectic. "Benny Man’s Blues" (which you can hear below).

    JOHNSON: Mike was saying we should have an up-tempo blues piece for the record, which I thought was a cool idea. While I was figuring out what to do, I started thinking about some of those old Benny Goodman records where there’s just a couple of chord changes, but it still has that blues vibe.

    STERN: That's a really cool track with a Texas-swing feel to it. I originally didn't know how Eric wanted to do it, but once Anton started playing the back beat, I immediately got where he was coming from.

    "Hulabaloo."

    JOHNSON: It has a crazy rock/swinging Sixties vibe to it. It started off with a “show review”-type of riff and then evolved from there.

    "Tidal."

    JOHNSON: That song is an homage to Wes [Montgomery]. I actually wrote that song earlier and put it on iTunes. I brought it into our rehearsals and we started re-arranging it. I actually like it a lot better the way it is now. It’s a pretty cool thing.

    "Wherever You Go."

    STERN: I had a ballad kind of feeling when I wrote that song. The vibe is usually what starts it and gives it inspiration. Eric got it right away and what he plays on it is so beautiful.

    Eric, I have to ask you about “Cliffs of Dover." When you think about that song, what comes to mind?

    JOHNSON: In a way, I think that song was kind of a gift. It’s one of those songs that just came to me really quickly. I don’t know why, but one day I just sat down and had the whole song finished in five minutes.

    Do you have a bit of advice for someone attempting play it?

    JOHNSON: There are a lot of different ways to approach it. Just to actually play it is not really that hard, but to play it in its best way is a bit of a challenge. It favors certain string positions to sound clean and they’re not the easiest, most readily accessible ways to go to.

    What’s your current setup like?

    STERN: I keep it simple. I've got a Signature Yamaha Tele. I usually run it through two amps set in stereo. I also use a Yamaha SPX-90 to fatten the sound up a little bit more and give it more air. My pedals include a BOSS DD3 and a Super Overdrive that Robert Keely modified to help warm it up.

    JOHNSON: I play Strats mostly, through some manner of Fender amps for a stereo chorus sound. I also use a little 18-watt amp that Bill Webb built. For effects, I use a TC Electronic stereo chorus, fuzz phase and a Belle Epoch echo pedal by Catalinbread. I also use a TunnelWorm flanger by Mr. Black.

    What are you most looking forward to about the release of Eclectic and this new collaboration?

    STERN: There were some new things I did on this record like singing and writing words to my songs and some of the ideas were really spontaneous. Now we get to go play it live and are very excited about it. We’re both so lucky to be able to do what we do.

    JOHNSON: I’m turning my attention to creating more spontaneous, live music and being able to paint a picture with my performance. If you want to go back and overdub to fix a note or two, that’s fine. Just be sure to keep it to a minimum and continue to paint that big picture. That’s where all the vibe is.

    For more about Johnson, visit ericjohnson.com. For more about Stern, visit mikestern.org.

    2014 Eric Johnson/Mike Stern Tour Dates

    06-Nov-14 Birchmere Alexandria VA
    07-Nov-14 Westhampton Beach P.A.C Westhampton Beach NY
    08-Nov-14 Keswick Theatre Glenside PA
    09-Nov-14 Webster Hall New York NY
    11-Nov-14 Wilbur Theatre Boston MA
    12-Nov-14 Boulton Center Bay Shore NY
    13-Nov-14 Infinity Hall Hartford CT
    14-Nov-14 Tupelo Music Hall Londonderry NH
    15-Nov-14 Tupelo Music Hall Londonderry NH
    16-Nov-14 Infinity Hall Norfolk CT
    18-Nov-14 Narrows Center for the Arts Fall River MA
    19-Nov-14 Rams Head On Stage Annapolis MD
    20-Nov-14 Newton Theatre Newton NJ
    21-Nov-14 Beacon Theatre Hopewell VA
    22-Nov-14 Harvester Performance Center Rocky Mount VA
    23-Nov-14 Carolina Theatre Durham NC

    James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.

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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents an exclusive demo video of Seymour Duncan's recently introduced Pickup Booster pedal.

    The video, which you can check out below, features the music and six-string mastery of Steve Booke, who writes the What in the World lessons (with tab and video) for GuitarWorld.com and demos tons of gear for Seymour Duncan and other manufacturers.

    From the company:

    Many guitarists want to be able to boost their signal without adding noise or altering their tone. With its class A, low-noise circuit design, the Pickup Booster can do just that and is exceptional at emphasizing a guitar's natural sound while adding some muscle and fatness.

    It's extremely transparent, adds clarity and has several new improvements that build even further on the original's design. The Gain control can now be turned down to unity (0dB). We also added a discrete push-pull output stage that gives you increased drive capability. So even with the Gain knob down at 0dB and a long cable length, your signal chain will sound cleaner.

    One of the most exciting features is the Resonance Switch which makes the pedal interact directly with your pickups, allowing those with single-coils to flip a switch for a vintage humbucker sound that's perfect for classic rock or blues. With another flip of the switch you can get a high-output humbucker tone for rip roaring solos or for blasting gain out of a tube amp.

    Specifications

    Gain range: 0 to 25 dB

    Pickup Resonance Switch: Makes a single coil sound like a vintage humbucker ("1") or high output humbucker ("2").
    "1" - Resonance shifts down by 2-3kHz
    "0" - Resonance is not affected
    "2" - Resonance shifts down by 3-5kHz

    Bypass: True bypass

    Noise: -120 dBV (referred to input with gain set at 25dB)

    Type of circuitry: Fully discrete, class A, push-pull output stage

    Distortion: < 0.1%

    Power: DC 9 V battery, or regulated 9-18V DC adapter

    Current consumption: 4.27mA @ 9V (when LED is "on"), 2.80mA @ 9V (when LED is "off")

    Input impedance: 500K (when effect is "on"), Open (when effect is "off")

    Output impedance: 150 Ohms

    Dimensions: 2.61" x 4.90" x 1.40" (W x L x H) (6.63cm x 12.45cm x 3.56cm)

    Weight: 0.8 lb. without battery, 0.9 lb. with battery

    For more information, visit SeymourDuncan.com.




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    If you're about to be stranded on a desert island and you can only take your guitar and one songbook with you, make sure it's The Guitar Tab White Pages!

    This incredible second edition contains 150 note-for-note transcriptions straight from the original recordings: more than 1,000 pages of guitar tab! The primo songlist covers some of the best guitar songs ever from all styles of music.

    Songs include:

    • All Day and All of the Night
    • American Woman
    • Change the World
    • Cliffs of Dover
    • Couldn't Stand the Weather
    • Dani California
    • Don't Fear the Reaper
    • Dust in the Wind
    • Free Ride
    • Gloria
    • Heartache Tonight
    • Hey Joe
    • Layla
    • Longer
    • Moonlight in Vermont
    • Mr. Jones
    • Owner of a Lonely Heart
    • Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
    • Piece of My Heart
    • Rhiannon
    • Satin Doll
    • Sir Duke
    • The Space Between
    • Sunday Bloody Sunday
    • Sweet Child O' Mine
    • Time for Me to Fly
    • What I Like About You
    • You Give Love a Bad Name
    • You Were Meant for Me

    ... and more!

    The largest collection ever of authentic guitar transcriptions is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $29.99.


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    Kinks lead guitarist Dave Davies will release a new solo album, Rippin’ Up Time, October 28 via Red River Entertainment.

    The album, which was produced by Davies and David Nolte, features 10 new original tracks written in the classic Kinks style.

    According to Davies, Rippin’ Up Time is about “a man's reflections of the past, his fears, anxieties and optimism about the present and hopeful expectations about the future.

    "I had a lot of ideas in my head thinking about the past and how we started and the Kinks and my own life and the present and what's happening with my life now and concerns and worries, anxieties about the future," he says.

    "I suddenly had an image of all the times overlapping as if they're all in one place in my mind. I thought I'd just write it from the point of view of a dream. It's a mixture of emotions that I was going through as I was writing the songs, some would be happy or reflective or sad.”

    Several songs, including “Johnny Adams,"“Nosey Neighbours” and the title track, feature some classic Davies riffs and his distinctive singing style. Other tracks, such as “Semblance of Sanity” and “Mindwash,” take the listener to otherworldly, inner-landscapes. Davies' son, musician/producer Russ Davies, can be heard on “In the Old Days” and “Through my Window."

    Rippin’ Up Time is available now for pre-order via Amazon. You can check out the complete track list below. Davies also will embark on a 13-date American solo tour beginning November 11. You can see all the current dates below.

    For more about Davies, visit davedavies.com. And be sure to look out for an interview with Davies in an upcoming issue of Guitar World. I should know, because I wrote it.

    And since we're on the topic of the Kinks ... On October 14, Legacy Recordings will celebrate 50 years of Kinkdom with the release of The Essential Kinks, the band's first-ever career-spanning retrospective anthology.

    Also, on November 10, Legacy will release an expanded CD/DVD deluxe edition of Muswell Hillbillies, the Kinks' 1971 masterpiece of working class social observation. Newly remastered from the original analog tapes, Muswell Hillbillies includes the original album plus nine bonus tracks (seven of them previously unavailable in North America) and a DVD of rare 1972 TV appearances (never released in North America).

    Rippin’ Up Time Track Listing:

    01. Ripping Up Time
    02. Semblance of Sanity
    03. King of Karaoke
    04. Front Room
    05. Johnny Adams
    06. Nosey Neighbours
    07. Mindwash
    08. Between the Towers
    09. In The Old Days
    10. Through My Window

    2014 Dave Davies tour dates:

    11th Nov, 2014-Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
    12th Nov, 2014-City Winery Chicago. Chicago, IL
    13th Nov, 2014-City Winery Chicago. Chicago, IL
    14th Nov, 2014-The Magic Bag, Ferndale, MI
    18th Nov, 2014-Pullo Center, York, PA.
    19th Nov, 2014-The Center for Arts in Natick, Natick, MA
    20th Nov, 2014-Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT
    21st Nov, 2014-Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT
    22nd Nov, 2014-Musikfest Café, ArtsQuest Center, Bethlehem, PA
    24th Nov, 2014-City Winery, New York, NY
    25th Nov, 2014-City Winery, New York, NY
    26th Nov, 2014-The Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, MA
    28th Nov, 2014-BergenPAC, Englewood, NJ


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    Below, check out this recently posted (September 23, 2014) video of Michelle Kwan covering Metallica's "One" on a guzheng through an Orange guitar amp.

    What's a guzheng, you ask? Well, according to Wikipedia's guzheng page (which I visit way too often), it's a plucked Chinese zither that has 18 or more strings and movable bridges.

    And I quote:

    "The guzheng is the ancestor of several Asian zither instruments, such as the Japanese koto, the Mongolian yatga, the Korean gayageum and the Vietnamese đàn tranh. The guzheng should not be confused with the guqin (another ancient Chinese zither without bridges)."

    Please avoid getting those things confused.

    For more of this sort of thing, check out this GuitarWorld.com video that shows Kwan performing Guns N' Roses'"Sweet Child O' Mine" on a guzheng.

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    We don't know about you, but around here, September brings to mind tours and massive live shows — probably because it's the only month where summer and fall, the two biggest rock touring seasons, collide.

    So, as our thoughts turn to the gigs we've reported on, witnessed and celebrated this year, we thought we'd get our readers — as in, you guys! — involved as we attempt to pinpoint rock's greatest live band or artist!

    Welcome to Guitar World's official readers poll for September (It's the first readers poll we've conducted since November 2013, all you poll haters out there), the Battle of the Greatest Live Bands. It kicked off Wednesday, September 3.

    Although we (obviously) had thousands of artists and/or bands to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 32 names, which is perfect for a month's worth of intense — and fun (it's supposed to be fun, people!) matchups. All the artists were carefully selected by Guitar World's entire editorial staff.

    Most importantly, note that this poll involves ONLY still-existing bands, so you won't get to watch the Doors duke it out with Led Zeppelin! Pantera will not go head to head with Cream. The Jimi Hendrix Experience will not compete with ... you get the idea.

    Here are our 32 artists, in alphabetical order, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.

    AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Dillinger Escape Plan, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Jack White, Kiss, Korn, Metallica, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Phish, Queen, Radiohead, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Slayer, Slipknot, Soundgarden, Tool, U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top.

    Today's Matchup: Vote Now!

    This is it! It's the final showdown! It's all come down to this! This is the one you've been waiting for! (Insert your own "This is our last matchup, folks" sayings right here.) AC/DC are going head to head against QUEEN!

    As always, it seems the bands' active fan clubs have propelled their beloved artists into this prized spot (for good or for bad). We don't need to tell you guys about AC/DC or Queen. We'll let the recently shot live videos below do the talking!

    Start voting now! You can vote once per computer/device. See you tomorrow (October 1), when we'll announce the winner! Sorry for all the exclamation points!

    Let's Go to the Videos!

    Yesterday's Winner

    AC/DC (73.34 percent) completely obliterated THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND (26.66 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far. Tell your friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far! Surely your friends will thank you for it!

    Behold the Latest Bracket!

    PeruvianBurrito Bracket

    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    Here's how the bracket was — very unscientifically — compiled.

    We drew the artists' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a smelly Quebec Nordiques baseball cap) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of bands are "ranked" or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out!

    Remember that, as with any poll, genre might clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which artist has (or has had) the most to offer within their genre, perhaps which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other live acts, etc.

    As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting matchups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning! Once again, we're sorry for all the exclamation points!

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    We are thrilled to launch Acoustic Nation Players’ Pick–– a new poll series designed to let YOU decide what gear is deserving of our award.

    For our first poll, it’s all about clip-on tuners.

    Of all the gear necessary for today’s guitarist, the tuner might be the most important.

    After all, if you’re not in tune, you’re definitely not going to win over a crowd.

    Clip-on tuners offer convenience and functionality that have made them wildly popular today. With that said, we’ve all had our good and bad days with these things.

    For example, it can be a bummer when you’re playing outside on a sunny day and can’t see the readout. Or how about that time your tuner fell off your headstock mid-performance?

    All-in-all, these handy little critters are indispensable, and a number of manufacturers offer well-designed and affordable models. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes with few or many features. Here are some of the most popular clip-on tuners available.

    Pick your favorite of the bunch from the list below and help us honor them with an Acoustic Nation Players' Pick award!


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