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    Here's a brand-new edition of Betcha Can't Play This featuring Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss, who visited Guitar World HQ last month.

    Last time, she played a Descending Legato Lick. This time, she demonstrates a lick from her solo spotlight section from her shows with Cooper.

    As with the other new-for-2014-and-2015 "Betcha Can't Play This" videos, this is an expanded version of the usually brief "Betcha" videos on

    Also, note that there are no tabs, since Strauss explains key left- and right-hand techniques in the clip.

    For other recent Betcha Can't Play This columns, check out Betcha Can't Play This: Guitarist Ethan Brosh Lays Down the Challenge and Betcha Can't Play This: Diminished Madness with Guitarist Ethan Brosh.

    As always, good luck! We have more on the way!

    Additional Content

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    Like some other rock-star accessories, the Sonic Pipe practice amp looks like something you probably wouldn't be able to take on a plane.

    It turns out it's a unique U.S.-made practice amp for under $50. I had to learn more.

    The E-3.1 is part of Sonic Pipe's Elbow series of practice amps. If you're thinking the design looks strangely familiar, it might be because it is built from a PVC pipe fitting.

    Up top is a 3-inch speaker, and the semi-closed bottom acts as a port. The insides consist of a 3-watt amp, a power/Gain knob, an input jack and a Brightness switch. The amp runs on two 9-volt batteries. Also included is a clear plastic speaker cover to protect the speaker when it's not in use.

    There's really no right or wrong way to use it. On to the clips!

    Clip 1: First things first; as guitarists we have to crank everything up and listen to the fuzz tone.

    Clip 2: With the Brightness switched on and the volume on the amp and my guitar rolled back, things cleaned up well.

    Clip 3: Flipped upside-down, I mic'd up the bottom port of the amp to get a dirty old radio sound.

    Clip 4: By lifting the bottom port on and off a table I got a cool manual phaser/wah-wah tone.

    Price: $40.95

    You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at

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    Metallica will release a two-disc Blu-ray edition of their 2004 documentary, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, November 24.

    This updated version of the film features a new 25-minute bonus feature, Metallica: This Monster Lives, a followup piece filmed at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival during the premiere of Metallica Through the Never.

    It finds the band and Some Kind of Monster co-directors (Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky) looking back at the decade since the release of the original film.

    Some Kind of Monster, which was released July 9, 2004, followed the band through the a rough patch in their career when they battled through addiction, lineup changes, personal turmoil and the near-self-destruction.

    Below, you can check out a gripping three-minute preview of Metallica: This Monster Lives.

    Additional Content

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    Late last week, the gang at Mesa/Boogie posted a video of Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci (and his signature Ernie Ball/Music Man Majesty guitar) testing out a prototype of the company's Mark 5 Twenty-Five guitar amp.

    From the company:

    "Petrucci visited the Mesa factory in April 2014 before his San Francisco show. It was a great day to have John play through an early prototype of the Mark 5 Twenty-Five for the first time.

    "We took the fly-on-the-wall approach to capture the experience and got some epic playing from John, some great tones and a bunch of good times with Mesa founder Randall Smith, "Tone Boy" Doug West and the rest of the Mesa team.

    "John played through all the various modes and many different settings through a Mini Rectifier 1x12, a Rectifier 1x12 and, at the end, a 4x12 Rectifier Standard Slant with Celestion Vintage 30s. He also played with a few different delays (TC Electronics G-Major and Jim Dunlop Carbon Copy Analog Delay) in the loop for singing solo tones.

    "Recorded with the Mark Five: 25, various cabinets (listed above) and a Shure SM57 and a Sennheiser 421."

    For more about the current incarnation of the Mark 5 Twenty-Five amp, head here.

    Check out the video below and tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook!

    Additional Content

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    It's sad but true: Metallica's week-long residency on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson has come to a close.

    However, Friday night, they finished off their week with a bang, performing "Sad But True."

    You can check out a video of their performance below. As always, tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.

    In other news, Metallica have posted a three-minute preview video for Metallica: This Monster Lives. To find out what we're talking about, head here.

    Additional Content

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    Having opened a Pandora's box with their critically acclaimed and commercially successful album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles faced serious competition from a variety of open-minded artists who were expanding rock music's barriers.

    Newcomers like Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and the Doors, and even contemporaries like the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and Bob Dylan were challenging the Beatles' role as innovators. But rather than continue to pursue the psychedelic excesses of the previous year, the Beatles went in the opposite direction.

    The result was a double-album that found the group returning to a more stripped-down rock and roll sound and often eschewing electric guitars for acoustics. Popularly known as the White Album for its stark white sleeve, The Beatles was made during a particularly tumultuous period for the band.

    In the wake of manager Brian Epstein's death in August 1967, Paul McCartney had begun to assume more of a leadership role, creating an imbalance in the group's seemingly democratic power structure. At the same time, John Lennon, newly in love with Yoko Ono, was beginning to lose interest in the Beatles.

    George Harrison had grown tired of having his creativity quashed by Lennon and McCartney and began pushing back against their authority. Starr, meanwhile, was becoming fed up with sitting around in the studio and waiting for the others to finish writing their songs. Ironically, the group's disintegration occurred after a fruitful period of togetherness, when the four Beatles traveled to India in spring 1968 to study transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

    While in India they wrote more than 30 songs, many of which became the basis for the White Album, including "Dear Prudence,""Julia" and "Mother Nature's Son." Upon returning to England, the group convened at Kinfauns, George Harrison's house in Esher, to record four-track demos for the new album. By some accounts, neither Lennon nor McCartney was willing to sacrifice some of his songs to make room for others, and thus The Beatles became a double album.

    According to Harrison, "The rot had already set in."

    But it's also true that the Beatles' creative energy could no longer be confined to a single album—nor a single studio. As a result, when it came time to record the album, the Beatles essentially took over Abbey Road, occupying several studios at once while they recorded their new songs, often working on them individually rather than as a group.

    Anyone who walked down the halls of the facility on a June evening in 1968 probably would have been shocked by the contrast between McCartney recording the wistful "Blackbird" on an acoustic guitar in Studio Two while Lennon was in Studio Three manipulating and mutilating tape loops for "Revolution 9," his and Ono's musique concrete tape experiment.

    After McCartney's dominant role on Sgt. Pepper's, Lennon was eager to assert more control on the White Album. His song "Revolution 1" was the very first tune the group tackled for the record when the sessions began on May 30.

    Though Lennon insisted the Beatles release the track as their next single—the first release on their new Apple label—McCartney convinced him that the tempo was too slow and unlikely to make the song a Number One hit. Lennon relented, but on July 10, he led the group through a faster, rocking version of the tune, called simply "Revolution," which was ultimately selected as the flipside for "Hey Jude," the Beatles' debut Apple single.

    As on Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's, engineer Geoff Emerick was responsible for the song's innovative sound, most notably the heavily fuzzed-out guitar tones. To create them, Emerick plugged Lennon and Harrison's guitars (probably their Epiphone Casino and Gibson SG, respectively) directly into Studio Two's mixing console, overdriving two REDD.4 7 mic preamps to create the warm distorted tones.

    "I had an idea that I wanted to try," Emerick recalled of the session in his 2006 memoir, Here, There and Everywhere, "one that I thought might satisfy John, even though it was equipment abuse of the most severe kind. Because no amount of mic preamp overload had been good enough for him, I decided to try to overload two of them patched together, one into the other. As I knelt down beside the console, turning knobs that I was expressly forbidden from touching because they could literally cause the console to overheat and blow up, I couldn't help but think, If I was the studio manager and saw this going on, I'd fire myself."

    Emerick didn't have to worry about being fired—on July 16, just six days after the "Revolution" session, he quit. The day before, he'd worked on a particularly grueling vocal session for the McCartney track "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," and the tension had simply become too much for him. "I was on the verge of a breakdown during the making of the White Album," Emerick says. "It was because of the emotional stress for me. I was just not into it."

    The conflicts only became worse as the work continued through the summer and into autumn. Ringo Starr was next to leave. Feeling unappreciated by his bandmates, he quit the band in the middle of recording "Back in the U.S.S.R." on August 22. In his absence, McCartney (and possibly Lennon and Harrison as well) handled drum duties on the song, as he did when the threesome recorded "Dear Prudence" on August 28. (As these are the first two songs on The Beatles, Starr isn't heard on the album until "Glass Onion.")

    Starr returned on September 5, but his brief exit demonstrates how strained The Beatles' relations were becoming. Even though the band members spent a considerable amount of time working separately on the album, they recorded most of the backing tracks for its 30 songs live as a group. Typically, the writer of each song would then work on overdubs alone or with another Beatie or two assisting.

    As several tracks were being worked on at once, George Martin was unable to oversee all of the sessions. In his absence, the individual band members or Martin's assistant Chris Thomas took over. Harrison in particular seemed more empowered than he had been on previous albums. In addition to often working on his own songs in a separate studio, he made decisions without consulting anyone else, such as when he brought in Eric Clapton to play lead guitar on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

    Harrison recalled that Clapton's presence made his bandmates "try a bit harder; they were all on their best behavior." Harrison was also becoming less inclined to defer to Martin's authority. Once while Harrison was working on the mix for his song "Savoy Truffle," Martin said he thought it sounded too shrill and trebly. "I like it like that," Harrison said, turning his back on Martin and continuing his work.

    But amid the enmity, the Beatles were, as always, breaking new ground in the studio. By 1968, they had recorded in each of Abbey Road's three studios, but for the taping of "Yer Blues" on August 13, they found a spot that they had not used yet—a small utility closet known as the Studio Two "annexe." The tight quarters gave the recording an especially "live" sound, thanks to microphone leakage and sound-wave reflections off the walls.

    From a technological standpoint, the White Album is significant for marking the Beatles' transition to eight-track recording. In this respect, Ken Scott, who replaced Emerick in the engineer's seat, played an instrumental role. Abbey Road had purchased several 3M eight-track recorders in May 1968, but the machines required numerous modifications before George Martin would approve their use on Beatles sessions. However, during an evening of work on ''While My Guitar Gently Weeps," Scott removed one of the unmodified eight-track machines from storage when he could no longer tolerate being limited to four tracks.

    Although only 10 of the album's songs were recorded entirely on eight-track machines, by the time the album was finished, the Beatles' four-track era reached its end. Despite having more tracks at their disposal, the Beatles kept the album's music surprisingly straightforward and stripped down.

    They made up for the recordings' simplicity by offering listeners an impressively eclectic 90-minute musical journey that included acoustic folk, rock and roll, blues, country, acid rock, music-hall schmaltz, avant-garde experimentalism and smartly crafted electric pop rock. Few artists cover as much stylistic ground in their careers—the Beatles pulled off this monumental feat in a mere four and a half months.

    In the end, even the double-album format was not enough to contain all of their creative ambitions, and several of the songs they wrote during this period were put aside for later release. Some, like Harrison's "Not Guilty" and Lennon's "What's the New Mary Jane," were recorded during the White Album sessions but not issued.

    And while George Martin has always believed that the group should have trimmed the collection down to a single disk, even the most casual Beatles fan would have trouble picking five songs to cut from the White Album, let alone 15.


    Recorded: May 30 to October 13
    Location: Abbey Road One, Two and Three; Trident Studios
    Released: November 2, 1968


    Back In the U.S.S.R
    Dear Prudence
    Glass Onion
    Ob-La-Dt, Ob-La-Da
    Wild Honey Pie
    The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
    While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    Happiness Is a Warm Gun
    Martha My Dear
    I'm So Tired
    Rocky Raccoon
    Don't Pass Me By
    Why Don't We Do It in the Road?
    I Will
    Yer Blues
    Mother Nature's Son
    Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey
    Sexy Sadie
    Helter Skelter
    Long, Long, Long
    Revolution 1
    Honey Pie
    Savoy Truffle
    Cry Baby Cry
    Revolution 9
    Good Night


    • "Hey Jude" / "Revolution," August 30,1968 (Apple)

    THE 3M M23

    Abbey Road's first eight-track, the M23 was rejected by George Martin for various technical issues. The tape deck remained out of use for months while the studio's technicians modified it to his specifications. Fed up with recording on four-track, The Beatles "liberated" the M23 on September 3, 1968, and used it to record 10 tracks on the White Album.

    Photo: The Beatles, 1968—

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    This week, I go over an all-downstroke 16th note strumming pattern.

    By adding a measure of 2/4 at the end, I create a little hiccup or stutter.

    That, in conjunction with adding a fair amount of rests, gives the pattern a punctuated feel.

    This is a simple way to break up your strumming and explore a simple time signature change without getting overly complicated.

    Feel free to make it your own, and of course have fun!

    Watch the video right here:

    Justin Horenstein is a guitar instructor and musician in the Washington, DC metro area who graduated (cum laude) from the Berklee College of Music in 2006. He plays in Black Clouds, a 3-piece atmospheric/experimental band. Their debut album was recorded by J Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines). Justin’s 18 years of musical experience also includes touring the U.S., a record deal under Sony, starting his own teaching business, recording several albums, and playing club shows with national acts including Circa Survive, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Biffy Clyro, United Nations, Caspian, and more.

    More about Justin at and

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    I've found that incorporating the flat 5, major 3rd or 6th into the pentatonic scale can really open up your legato possibilities.

    Obviously, there's a drastic tonal difference between these notes, but as they are being added to the minor pentatonic, tonally you can get away with it, especially when playing at speed.

    It creates a very chaotic, manic-sounding effect, which is right up my alley.

    Players often will combine lots of different modes, etc., to their soloing. I do the same but with a different approach; I base everything around the pentatonic, so instead of playing modes, I simply add the notes to the pentatonic. This way, I always have that rock base behind the sound.

    The Lick:

    The stretches are the main challenge here. If they're too much for you, simply move the idea up the neck into a different key where the pattern is more comfortable. Then you can slowly start to move it back down.

    Once you start to work through the legato pattern, you'll notice the pattern repeats, so the motivation should be that you'll be able to adapt this technique to create your own runs in any position.

    This sound is captured purely from blues-based scales. It is created by combining two patterns of the pentatonic, rather than playing the scale in the traditional two-note-per-string form.

    The great thing is you can adapt this idea into many different genres. You can give it a different feel or use it with a cleaner sound, etc. It doesn’t have to be played at a million mph to sound great; it can be used in many different ways. This is just an example of how far you can take the idea.

    I hope you enjoy this Monster Lick Unleashed! Join me on YouTube right here! Contact me through or my Facebook page.

    Australia's Glenn Proudfoot has played and toured with major signed bands and artists in Europe and Australia, including progressive rockers Prazsky Vyber. Glenn released his first instrumental solo album, Lick Em, in 2010. It's available on iTunes and at His brand-new instrumental album — Ineffable— is out now and is available through and iTunes.

    Monster Licks - Unleashed No 4a

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    In association with Music Masters Camps, shredder—and Guitar World columnist—Metal Mike Chlasciak will host his second Metal Heroes Summer Camp August 24 to 28, 2015, at the Slide Forest House/Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, New York.

    Developed for young metal-heads ages 12 to 19, Metal Heroes Summer Camp is designed to teach, motivate and inspire through intense but fun instruction in heavy metal.

    The highlight of this vacation experience will take place on the last day, when the students will have a chance to perform with Mike in front of their peers, family and friends during a live concert staged at the camp’s playground.

    “I really proud and psyched to welcome you once again to the Metal Heroes Summer Camp," Metal Mike says. "We have had an amazing debut last year with students from as many as 8 states coming in to enjoy special guests, jams, motivational segments and specified instrument clinics. In 2015, one again, all metal band instruments are once again welcome focusing on guitar, bass, drums and vocals. I hope you will join me on this 100 percent full-on metal journey.

    “I've always wanted to share my tour and music experiences with younger metal-heads and I’m really looking forward to open up the metal vault with you on so many levels in order to help you sharpen your skills to metal ninja perfection. I’m committed to the preservation of heavy metal and this is my way of helping to carry metal for the next generations to enjoy.

    "While helping you with individual tasks, we’ll also learn to make amazing progress when rehearsing with a band to talking about any musical challenges that you might face. A look into the working of the music business including endorsements and the DYI career approach will keep you learning while you work on your musical chops. I can guarantee this will be incredibly fun and you will learn a lot, too.

    “We’ll be jamming together, hanging out together, studying what makes a song or a performance great—while everyone will get a chance to ask their questions and get plenty of one-on-one playing tips."

    Tickets for Metal Heroes Summer Camp are on sale now right here.

    All camp packages are $1,399 include lodging, gourmet meals, housekeeping and access to all workshops, seminars, performances and camp activities. Full Moon Resort features an eclectic array of comfortable country-inn accommodations. There is a $595 non-participant spectator package option where you can watch your child’s progress at Metal Heroes Summer Camp while you absorb the beauty of the Catskill Mountains.
    All accommodations are just steps away from daily camp activities. Guests can enjoy the spring-fed swimming pool and explore the splendors of the Catskills. Dedicated to the celebration of nature, music and the arts, this one hundred-acre wonderland of mountains, fields and streams is a world of its own.

    Interested rockers can take advantage of the early-bird price of $1,299 by registering by January 5, 2015. All returning campers receive a free webcam guitar lesson with Mike or Metal Heroes instructor. All Metal Heroes Campers get an additional 15% all webcam lessons with Mike that are currently available from

    For more information, visit and Facebook.

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    In the brand-new video below, guitarist RJ Ronquillo takes Eastwood Guitars' new Link Wray Tribute model for its first test drive.

    Check out Ronquillo's take on Wray's classic rebel-rousing instrumental, "Rumble."

    Only 24 of these babies are available, and they'll ship December 18 on a first-come, first-served basis. The next production is scheduled for April 2015.

    From the company:

    "We are very excited to announce the production of this new Link Wray model. Eastwood has partnered with U.K.'s Vince Ray to create a stunning new professional grade electric guitar. Featuring the artwork of Vince Ray, the guitar includes images and song titles that spans Link's career and rekindles our love of his music.

    "But we did not stop there, we wanted to design a guitar that a professional player can be proud of, with pro-grade tuners, pots, a custom tailpiece and we installed a pair of Airline Vintage Voiced Single Coil Pickups for a that killer Link Wray tone. The guitar includes a custom artwork hardshell case, Airline Black Curly Cord and RUMBLE leather strap. The total package for every Link Wray fan and guitarist alike!"

    For more about this guitar, visit

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    Since the release of their excellent 2012 reunion album, King Animal, Soundgarden have been spending some time revisiting their storied past.

    In 2013 came a remastered reissue of 1990’s Screaming Life/Fopp album, itself a compilation of two late-Eighties EPs. Then, earlier this year, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of 1994’s Superunknown, the band released updated versions of the landmark album, including a five-disc “Super Deluxe” edition that included demos, rehearsals, B-sides and more from the sessions.

    Now, Soundgarden have essentially raided their own vaults for the new Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path, a three-disc release that gathers together rarities under three headings: An “Originals” disc presents Soundgarden compositions that have appeared as B-sides, on soundtracks or other compilations or that have remained unreleased; a “Covers” disc collects their interpretations of other band’s songs from over the years; and “Oddities” includes remixes and other bizarre musical moments from the band’s history.

    Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil has been hinting at a project of this scope for years, and the finished product is a virtual treasure trove of goodies, as well as essential listening for any Soundgarden completest.

    Just prior to the release of Echo of Miles, Thayil sat down with Guitar World to discuss this trip through Soundgarden’s lesser-known past—and also talk about what’s coming up in the near future.

    GUITAR WORLD: Echo of Miles is the Soundgarden compilation album that we’ve been hearing you reference for years. Now it’s finally here.

    Yes. This goes back at least 20 years. Of course, I’ve never referred to it as a compilation…although it is a compilation. [laughs] But I tend to think of a compilation as songs that have appeared on albums, or things that are arranged for other purposes, like greatest hits records, or best of’s. Or, back in the Fifties and Sixties they made “rocking” albums and “candlelight” albums.

    But this is kind of a banding together of a bunch of songs that were non-album tracks, with the exception of a couple songs that were on greatest hits compilations. But the band has never been that thrilled about producing things like B-sides, or material for international releases, or songs on movie soundtracks. You know, we enjoy being on movie soundtracks but we also want these songs to be part of a Soundgarden album.

    You’ve divided the material into three separate discs: Originals, Covers and Oddities.

    Basically it’s three albums. And we contemplated releasing the three albums in a serialized fashion, perhaps over months, or maybe over a longer period of time. But we thought that ultimately we’d release them all at once. But that’s one of the strange things about this [project]. In my liner notes I had a hard time establishing the identity of this kind of an album. It’s a collection, but 20 years ago I perceived “Originals” as being ultimately another Soundgarden studio album.

    Because they were loose ends—a song here, a song there. And these were all songs that we loved, because we went through the whole birthing process of writing them, learning them, recording them, mixing them. If we went through that entire process it’s because we believed in a song. And then to see that song as part of an EP that was released only in Japan was a little disappointing. We would have loved to have put those types of songs on an album here.

    But, of course, back in the day, with Louder Than Love, Badmotorfinger, Ultramega OK, we would orient our recordings toward vinyl and a single disc. So we were limited to only putting 11 or 12 songs on an album. Starting with Superunknown we oriented toward CD. And, if you notice, everything since then on vinyl is a double album—Down on the Upside, Superunknown, King Animal. We decided we were not going to force ourselves to omit material. So that was kind of the impetus for this.

    When you were putting this material together was there anything that jumped out at you or surprised you?

    There’s a lot of material that jumped out. The covers album…I really enjoy the way the covers album is set up, the way the songs flow, and listening to some of the performances. Because when we originally did many of those songs we would self-critically compare them to the original versions that we were covering. And you’d always say, “Well, I’m not playing guitar like this guy…” “Maybe this is sloppier…” “I think Chris [Cornell, vocals] is doing something here the original singer wasn’t doing…” Things like that.

    You’re always evaluating your performance against the original. But given this much time, I can now listen to these covers independently and not have to juxtapose them against the originals and see the flaws. Now I see them standing on their own as being standout performances by Soundgarden. The stuff with Ben [Shepherd, bass] in the band, or some of the early John Peel stuff with Hiro [Yamamoto, original bassist] in the band, it’s all very good.

    And it surprised me and impressed me that I could appreciate these covers on that level. There’s the whole session of recordings that includes [the Rolling Stones’] “Stray Cat Blues,” [Black Sabbath’s] “Into the Void,” the Devo song “Girl U Want,” “Touch Me” by [Seventies British pop group] Fancy—those were all done pretty much in, like, one day. And the guitar styles are so different from each other. We’re doing Devo, and then an hour later Black Sabbath. Then the Rolling Stones. Then Fancy, which, as far as the guitar playing, is reminiscent of Mother Love Bone. And I’m playing all the guitars on all these tracks in one day. It was fun and it was funny to have to do all these different styles and colors. And it’s like, How could we do that so easily when at other times we struggled with our own songs?

    Let’s talk about the song “Storm,” on the “Originals” disc. It’s a new song but also an old song. Can you talk about the history of that one?

    There are individual songs within this collection that have strange stories, and “Storm” is one of them. Chris wrote a demo of it in ‘85 that had some weird vocals and guitar effects. There was no real guitar part but there was a cool bass line. Then he showed it to the band, and Hiro interpreted the bass line into something pretty much like a bass solo, and I wrote those guitar parts with the seventh chords, some ninths in there, some other things.

    And our drummer at the time, Scott Sundquist, interpreted the drums as, like, rolling thunder. And locally, we played that song live all the time. It was a favorite—I know our peers in Green River, Mother Love Bone, Nirvana, Skin Yard, Melvins, all these bands we played with all heard the song because it was always in our set. Then when we got Matt [Cameron, drums] in the band we started writing new material, so a lot of the old material got pushed back. We tried doing “Storm” with Matt and it was a little bit of a different feel, so it kind of went from heavy rotation to medium rotation to low rotation. And that was it. It kind of got shelved.

    So how did it come off the shelf?

    We thought about how we never gave this song a good studio recording. So we decided to try it. We had some spare time, and then in May [producer] Jack Endino was available. He was the one who was so acquainted with our early material, and he loves this song so we thought we’d give him a chance at recording it. So it’s a brand new recording of a song we haven’t played live since ‘86 or ‘87. For all practical purposes it’s a new song, but it’s also something from 30 years ago.

    I know you’re also currently working on a reissue of [1988’s] Ultramega OK. When will we see that? And is there any new material from Soundgarden on the horizon?

    Well, a couple weeks ago Jack Endino and I finished up the remaining songs for Ultramega OK. It sounds way better, bigger and warmer than the original. We’re gonna sit on it for a few months and let everyone else hear it, see how we feel about it. We pulled the record from SST so it belongs to us now. So we’ll have to negotiate a new contract with a label and then we’ll hopefully put it out within a year. As for new material, when Soundgarden gets back from Australia in February and Matt’s Pearl Jam obligations are done, we’ll get together again. We’ll definitely start working on new music in 2015, for sure.

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    What?! It’s that time of year again?

    I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for new ideas for gifts.

    If you have a guitar loving friend you need to give a gift to, or if you’re looking for some ideas for your own wish list, check out our gift guide.

    From the simple but handy to the extravagant, we’ve come up with some cool ideas for every guitarist on your list.

    Book: C.F. Martin & Co. – Images of America

    Yes, you could get a Martin T-Shirt (and you should!), but to go along with it, try this cool book. C.F. Martin & Co. – Images of America is the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series.

    The book by author and Martin employee Dick Boak includes a foreword from C.F. Martin IV and boasts over 200 vintage images, many of which have never been published, and chronicles the evolution of the iconic Martin guitar.

    The images in the book trace the remarkable development of the acoustic guitar in the hands of six generations of Martin family members who have managed the business from 1833 to today.

    Sells for $23.99

    new book_0.png

    Intellitouch PT-10 Clip On Tuner

    Look, every guitarist could use another tuner, even if they already have one.

    Winner of the Acoustic Nation Player’s Pick Award and an all-around handy accessory, the Intellitouch PT-10 Clip On Tuner features a large, easy-to-read backlit display.

    The PT10 tuner ignores background noise — it feels the instrument's vibration instead of using sound.

    It is designed to clip on electric and acoustic guitars, basses, violins, banjos, mandolins and more!

    Retails for $39.95


    Taylor 150e 12-string Acoustic

    Looking for a killer gift for someone special?

    A 12-string guitar is a great addition to any acoustic guitarist's arsenal and this one from Taylor is an incredible value. The 150e has a sleek, ultra-playable neck and fabulous tonal clarity in an affordable package.

    The Dreadnought body’s strong low-end response balances well with the crisp octave shimmer, producing a tone that’s lush and articulate, with lots of dynamic range.

    Features include layered sapele back and sides, a solid Sitka spruce top, 1-7/8-inch neck, matte-finish body, black binding and pickguard, and Taylor’s Expression System acoustic electronics.

    Sells for $699.00

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    Eastman E10P Parlor Acoustic

    You might have heard me mention that I am pretty much in love with small-bodied parlor guitars.

    Here’s a really nice one.

    The E10P is inspired by the popular body style of the late 19th century. Parlors pre-date dreadnoughts as the guitar of choice at the time designed to be played in small rooms (“parlors”).

    With a decidedly tight and focused sound, players and listeners alike are surprised by the volume and tonal quality of Eastman parlor guitars, despite their diminutive size.

    Here’s a guitar most often used by fingerstyle folk and blues slide players, in a variety of tunings. The E10P features mahogany back and sides with an Adirondack spruce top, hardshell case included.

    MSRP: $1,375


    Levy's Guitar Strap

    Here’s something that’s on everyone’s wish list.

    A super cool and gorgeously created guitar strap.

    It can totally change your vibe.

    I like these from Levy’s Leather.

    They make tons of different kinds and I can bet they have one that’s perfect for gift giving (or receiving) in your world.

    This model MG3EP is crafted from 2½" garment leather with printed and embroidered design, suede backing, and decorative piping.

    Retails for $84.92

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    Gretsch Guitars Root Series G9100 Soprano Standard Ukulele Mahogany

    Gretsch is famous for guitars and drums, but were also known as one of the best manufacturers of ukuleles.

    I know, if you're a guitarist you WILL have to learn some new fingerings. But the ukulele is so fun to play, you will pick it up in a jiffy, I promise.

    The Gretsch G9100 Soprano Standard Ukulele marks the return of ukuleles to the Gretsch family.

    It features a laminated mahogany, soprano-sized body and 2-piece mahogany neck for excellent tone.

    The soprano is the smallest and was the original size Ukulele.

    The easy-to-play rosewood fingerboard has 16 frets with dot inlays and Grover tuning pegs to keep notes in tune.

    The G9100 comes complete with a padded gig bag.

    Sells for around $109.00


    Bedell Guitar stand
    Here’s a super cool and portable stand for your Bedell guitar.

    Or, I’m betting you can use it with your other models, too.

    It’s durable and lightweight, and it folds up to a compact size so it fits into your gig bag no problem.

    Plus it's made from wood and will, of course, complement your lovely guitar.

    Sells for $59.99


    Fishman Loudbox Mini Amplifier

    Need to amplify yourself and your guitar with a portable solution?

    Check out the Loudbox Mini. Fishman's lightest and most portable amp yet, the Loudbox Mini delivers the tonal quality that has made the Fishman name the standard for great acoustic sound.

    The Loudbox Mini packs 60 Watts of clean acoustic power, and has two channels featuring Fishman's legendary preamp and tone control designs, plus digital reverb and chorus for the instrument channel and reverb for the microphone channel.

    The Loudbox Mini sports an MP3 input and balanced XLR D.I. output, a must for jamming along and capturing your performances.

    Sells for around $329.95


    Composite Acoustics Cargo Guitar

    Here’s a compact guitar that can withstand just about any natural element out there.

    Rain, snow, heat, you name it.

    The Cargo is comfortable to play anywhere, from the forests of Oregon to the foothills of the Catskill mountains.

    The Cargo easily fits airline overheads or anywhere space is tight. It's a portable guitar with the playability, sound and satisfaction of a full size guitar.

    Sells for $1099


    Martin 000RSGT Road Series Guitar

    Martin's affordable Road Series feature 14-fret neck to body construction with polished gloss Sitka spruce tops.

    There are two models and each features solid sapele back and sides and necks carved from "sipo," a close relative of mahogany.

    These newly evolved models emulate the appearance, integrity and tone of the Martin Style 18 models. Each model also comes equipped with Fishman sonitone electronics with USB.

    The USB port allows for easy plug and play with today’s computer based recording packages.

    List Price: $1,299.00


    Mogami Gold Guitar Cable

    If you’re gonna amplify your acoustic, you’ll want to make sure the tonal clarity isn’t colored by the instrument cable that you use.

    How about a world-class cable with a no-excuses lifetime warranty?

    A high-definition instrument cable, the Mogami Gold Instrument Silent S R has a Silent Plug connection on one end and a 90-degree connection on the other.

    Neutrik Silent Plug gives users the ability to hot-swap instruments without that earsplitting pop.

    This high clarity cable uses quality 1/4" connectors and carbon impregnated PVC to provide an additional shield layer to eliminate any handling noise.

    Comes in a variety of lengths. Get an 18’ cable for around $59.95

    Recording King RP1-16C Torrefied guitar

    Its solid torrefied Adirondack spruce top is the foundation for the RP1-16C, Recording King's 12-fret single 0 cutaway with a dreadnought scale.

    What the heck is that, you might ask! Torrefication is a heating process that helps new wood achieve 'vintage' tonal qualities...without the decades-long wait of course!

    Not only do these guitars benefit from the vintage tone of the torrefied top, but the dreadnought scale gives them additional punch and projection beyond what you'd expect from a traditional 0 guitar.

    The RP1-16C is a great instrument for fingerstyle players thanks to the cutaway and 1-3/4” nut, delivering even, vintage-style tone everywhere on the fretboard.

    Sell for $849.99


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    On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin, and other prominent musicians will honor the memory of their friend and colleague, 15-time Grammy-winning saxophonist Michael Brecker, at "The Nearness of You" benefit concert in New York City.

    Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness are the benefit chairs, and Meredith Viera will serve as master of ceremonies.

    Proceeds from the concert will support cancer research at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) and the work of Azra Raza, MD, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD. Dr. Raza is director of the Myelodisplastic Syndromes (MDS) Center at CUMC.

    Dr. Mukherjee is a physician and researcher at the MDS Center. In 2011, he won a Pulitzer Prize for The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.

    In 2004, Brecker was diagnosed with MDS. In need of a bone marrow transplant, he searched in the International Bone Marrow Registry for a match. He failed to find a matching donor, and in 2007 he died at age 57.

    As a result of the tens of thousands of people worldwide who registered in an effort to save Brecker's life, 54 lives were saved when new registrants were perfect matches for others in need.

    "When I learned that a cure for MDS will likely provide the key to curing leukemia, I realized there was no better way to honor my husband's legacy than by raising important funds for research through this benefit concert," said Brecker's widow, event producer Susan Brecker.

    Partial support of the "The Nearness of You" concert has been provided by Novartis. The concert will be held in The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall. General tickets, starting at $200, may be purchased as of Monday, November 17, at The Jazz at Lincoln Center box office, located on the ground floor of the Time Warner Center (Broadway and 60th Street), by Center Charge phone at 212-721-6500, or online at

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    A new DVD, Metal and Thrash Rhythm Guitar, is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $14.95.

    With Metal and Thrash Rhythm Guitar, you'll learn the secret techniques of metal’s greatest riffmasters, plus:

    • Gallop and reverse-gallop rhythms in the styles of bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer
    • Palm muting and chugging
    • Double and quadruple picking
    • Machine-gun-like bursts punctuated by “holes of silence”
    • Chromatic alternate-picking exercises
    • Chord stabs and jabs
    • Power chord riffs with pedal tones
    • String skipping, raking and fret-hand muting
    • Natural-and pinch-harmonic “squeals”
    • Integrating riffing up and down one string with fret-hand muting
    • Stacked power chords, and much more!

    The DVD features 100 minutes of Instruction!

    Your instructor

    Hailed for his incendiary picking technique, Dave Reffett is a fast-rising star in the world of metal guitar and has worked with such renowned artists as Guthrie Govan, Jeff Loomis, Michael Romeo, Mike Mangini, George Lynch, Michael Angelo Batio, Chris Poland, Glen Drover, Glen Sobel, Derek St. Holmes, Michael Devin, Rusty Cooley, Craig Goldy and Annie Grunwald. He produced the critically acclaimed album The Call of the Flames and also played a big role on Batio's album Intermezzo.

    A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Dave teaches countless students across the globe via live guitar clinics, private lessons and videos and was a recipient of the Berklee World Scholarship Tour award and the Berklee Best award. Dave is an Official artist endorsee for the Dean Guitars, Eminence Speakers, Seymour Duncan Pickups, Mogami Cables, D'Addario Strings and Stone Tone Rock Blocks and has appeared on the covers of Gitar Plus and Heavy Riff Magazines in Asia and Mexico, respectively.

    Please note: This product includes a PDF booklet on the DVD and can be retrieved by opening the DVD on your computer.

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!

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    Earlier this month, Guitar World and Supro Amps got together to launch the Led Zeppelin Guitar Solo Video Challenge.

    Below, you can check out the entries we've received so far! In fact, if you DON'T see your video here, please send it again!

    This also should serve as a reminder to the rest of you: Enter this contest now! The winner will get a new Supro 1624T Dual-Tone guitar amp (MSRP $1,459)!

    The winner also will receive a Fender Classic Series '60s Telecaster, a copy of Guitar World Editor-in-Chief Brad Tolinski's latest book, Light & Shade: Conversations with Jimmy Page (signed by Tolinski), and the Guitar World instructional DVD, How to Play the Best of Led Zeppelin!

    NOTE: This contest is open only to residents of the United States. You must submit your video to Guitar World by December 10, 2014.

    Here's what's involved:

    Film yourself playing your own version of Jimmy Page's iconic "Good Times Bad Times" guitar solo! Use the studio version of the solo as your guide (You can hear it below), but feel free to put your own spin on the solo. You might get special consideration for originality! You can hear both original solos via the YouTube players below.

    Next, upload your video to YouTube and send the link — along with your FULL NAME and COMPLETE U.S. ADDRESS— to Guitar World at Note that you will not be considered an entrant unless you include your name and U.S. address with your video.

    The videos will be viewed by members of the Guitar World staff, plus celebrity judges who will be named later. We'll pick a winner by December 25, 2014!

    Good luck!

    Additional Content

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    In this new video, Guitar World's Paul Riario tries out the new Guitar Lick Master app from Ninebuzz.

    It's a fun and fast way to learn guitar licks on your mobile device.

    From the company:

    Guitar Lick Master is the ultimate way to learn and practice guitar licks on iPhone and iPod Touch. Enjoy 50-plus hand-picked licks and a revolutionary "Smart Tab" engine that deconstructs licks into easy-to-play parts.

    For more information, check out the video below and head here.

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    This is an excerpt from the all-new Holiday 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this interview with St. Vincent, plus our Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin cover story, features on the Kinks' Dave Davies, Mike Stern and Eric Johnson, Primus, Alex Skolnick, Maroon 5 and Machine Head; reviews of new gear from PRS Guitars, Ernie Ball/Music Man, ESP USA, Mesa/Boogie and Vibramate, not to mention columns by Steel Panther's Satchel, Revocation's Dave Davidson, our own Andy Aledort and more, pick up the Holiday 2014 issue of GW at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Alternate Reality: From her gear to her tunings to her diverse musical influences, there is nothing ordinary about Annie Clark or the startlingly complex pop music she makes under the nom de plume St. Vincent.

    The first truly 21st century guitar hero? A post-modern chops monster? Annie Clark, a.k.a. St. Vincent, is an enigmatic artist on many levels. As a player, her influences are all over the map. The niece of new agey jazz guitarist Tuck Andress, Clark had some of her earliest professional experiences as a roadie and, later, opening act for his duet Tuck and Patti.

    But Clark, born in 1982, is also a fully fledged child of the alt Nineties. One of the biggest honors of her career to date was being chosen to perform the Nirvana song “Lithium” at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

    Sporting a funky, thrift-shop Harmony solidbody, she joined surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear for a gig that implicitly positioned her as some kind of new, female incarnation of Kurt Cobain.

    “I can’t possibly put into words how much that meant to me,” she says, “and how grateful I feel to even be part of that history in the smallest of ways. Nirvana changed the world. You can’t say that about many bands. They changed my life. They changed millions and millions of people’s lives.”

    But Clark also has a serious metal side. Growing up in Texas, she delved deeply into the music of bands like Slayer, Metallica and Pantera. Dimebag Darrell is one of her all-time guitar heroes. Then again, she also spent three years at the Berklee School of Music mastering harmonic theory and other learned topics. Despite these antecedents, however, her music is devoid of wanky jazz chords or lengthy bouts of virtuoso shredding. She can do all that in her sleep but prefers to employ her considerable talent to create arty, minimalist pop music, as heard on her fourth and most recent album, St. Vincent.

    “It’s funny that you would categorize it as minimalist,” she says. “In the context of guitar rock, I could see what I do as being minimal. But in the context of pop music, it’s pushing the level of muso—pushing the limits of what people are hearing in pop music.”

    Fair enough. St. Vincent’s robotic, yet oddly vulnerable, post-modern pop songs are packed with subtle complexities, spiky discordant horn charts, polyrhythmic dance grooves and moments of Bowie-esque alien grandeur. In an overtly electronic landscape, she deploys her guitar as a stealth device, a heat-seeking missile. It sneaks up on you, and startles you at times. What seems like a synth line might turn out to be a guitar. What seems like a guitar might just be the sound of your own imagination. Like a ghost in some Orwellian machine, her guitar is very much an extension of her disarmingly dispassionate, yet somehow highly expressive vocal style.

    With impeccable underground and alternative cred, Clark is eminently qualified to do this kind of stuff. Before debuting as a solo artist with her 2007 album, Marry Me, she was a member of the Polyphonic Spree and toured with hipster icon singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens. She’s also performed with one of New York avant-garde composer Glenn Branca’s guitar armies.

    One of her most visible projects to date has been her 2012 album, Love This Giant, with former Talking Head David Byrne. And there’s a clear connection between that band’s subversive Eighties pop and St. Vincent tracks like “Digital Witness,” although Annie insists she was thinking more of Tupac on that one.

    She is, as stated initially, an enigmatic artist. Even her chosen stage name introduces an element of gender confusion—a young woman with the name of a male saint. Officially, the pseudonym St. Vincent is an oblique reference to a song by post-punk songwriter and novelist Nick Cave, not to mention the middle name of Clark’s great-grandmother. But while her nom d’artiste may not arise from any sense of Catholic piety on Clark’s part, St. Vincent’s lyrics are indeed laced with Christian imagery, which coexists uneasily alongside images of brute violence, quiet tenderness and digitized dystopian ambivalence.

    You’ll never figure out St. Vincent on a first listen, or over the space of one interview. But it sure is fun to try.

    GUITAR WORLD (EXCERPT): To my knowledge, you’re one of the few guitarists employing techniques like two-handed tapping in a context other than shred, metal or any of the other genres where you’d expect to hear that kind of thing.

    [laughs] Yeah, that’s just a little bit of a party trick.

    Isn’t that all it ever is?

    It’s a little more like showmanship for me than pure sound. I mean, I like it; I’m into it. It’s not like I’m doing it for laughs. But it does make me smile, because it reminds me of being 13, being in the guitar store and picking up the Dimebag signature guitar and trying to figure out how he gets that crazy sound from “Cowboys from Hell.”

    What is that? I’d watch tutorials on YouTube. So tapping makes me smile a bit because it is that super-athletic zone of guitar playing that I totally love. But sometimes you have to do a delicate dance to put everything together in a way that doesn’t just feel like too many notes just for notes’ sake. That’s a big thing that I’ve learned in life. In order to serve the song, maybe it’s best to strip it back as opposed to adding more.

    Do you always play fingerstyle? Do you never use a pick?

    No, I’m using a pick more and more. In certain songs like “Cruel” [from 2011’s Strange Mercy], there’s a riff that’s kind of “Ali Farka Toure lite” and it needs that sort of African-style double picking. And there are a lot of other songs, like “Bring Me Your Loves” and “Huey Newton” on my new album, that I definitely use a pick for. I mean, I could play these things with fingers, but sonically it doesn’t read as well.

    How concerned are you with getting away from any kind of obvious or clichéd guitar tones?

    Well, I’m not precious about what I write on. I’ve written some of my favorite guitar passages on a computer. Or sung them first as a vocal line and then decided, “Oh, maybe that would be better as a guitar part.” The more you can get out of lizard-brain muscle memory—like the fast-blues idiom we all know as guitar players—the better it is. Because we all learned the same pantheon of rock music, so we all know the same pentatonic scales and riffs. And that’s amazing stuff, but it’s important to get away from it as much as you can. Get away from muscle memory and just let your ear be your guide.

    What were some of your main guitars for your most recent album, St. Vincent?

    I was playing this guitar that [producer] John Congleton had, the Thurston Moore edition of the Fender Jazzmaster. It’s super chopped—just a volume knob. You either like the way it sounds when you play it, or you don’t. I really like that on/off kind of thing. You don’t mess around with a million permutations. So I was using that a lot on the record, but I don’t play it live. For live work, I play the Music Man Albert Lee model a lot. I’m not a very large person, so even though I love the sound of a Seventies Les Paul, there’s no way in hell I could ever play one live unless I wanted to have a chiropractor on tour.

    There’s a lot of functionality in my choice of instruments, especially for playing live. I’m using a Kemper modeling amplifier for live work. Originally I was bringing out vintage ’66 Kalamazoo kind of small amps—the kind of little guy that you could ram a lot of signal through and get a nice breakup and saturation and all of that. But I just stopped.

    Those weirdo custom and vintage amps need a lot of attention on the road, and I didn’t want to make my guitar tech’s life a living hell. So I decided to go with straight-up Kemper. Which really works well, because my entire show is programmed, in terms of effects. I program my pedal board, and my keyboard player uses Ableton to send cues to switch programs, so I don’t have to look down at my pedal board. So both [co-guitarist/keyboardist] Toko [Yasuda] and I use Kemper modeling amplifiers, because they’re consistent.

    How did you discover the Kempers?

    I got turned on to them by my guitar tech, who was on the Nine Inch Nails tour, and that’s what they were using. So I gave them a shot and really liked them. I don’t know if they’d be my go-to amp in the studio, but they’re definitely my go-to live. Hey, if they’re good enough for Trent…

    Okay, so what are some of the army of small vintage amps you use in the studio but could never bring on the road?

    Oh, things like a little Sixties Dan Electro. I use a lot of effects, but there are some amps where I just really love the sound of their distortion. I have a couple of little Kalamazoo amps with the built-in tremolo. I never use the tremolo, but the amp is nice. I have a few custom TRVR amps as well. It’s sort of like a boutique silverface Champ, and another one is kind of like a Sixties Deluxe.

    A lot of effects, you said. Any must-haves?

    The people at Eventide have been really rad to me over the years, and I’ve been using their H9. I have a couple of those going. I have all the Eventide effects at my disposal with those. So I just program those for synth sounds, tremolos, delays, reverbs…

    Photo: Chris Casella

    This is an excerpt from the all-new Holiday 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this interview with St. Vincent, plus our Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin cover story, features on the Kinks' Dave Davies, Mike Stern and Eric Johnson, Primus, Alex Skolnick, Maroon 5 and Machine Head; reviews of new gear from PRS Guitars, Ernie Ball/Music Man, ESP USA, Mesa/Boogie and Vibramate, not to mention columns by Steel Panther's Satchel, Revocation's Dave Davidson, our own Andy Aledort and more, pick up the Holiday 2014 issue of GW at the Guitar World Online Store.

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    A recently circulating video of Andrew Kalleen being arrested for busking in the NYC Subway has caused a lot of concern in the music/busking community.

    You can watch the video here.

    Andrew was armed with the exact citation for the MTA’s rules that permitted him to play, and despite his repeated attempts to get the arresting officer to understand the law, the officer failed to understand, and arrested Andrew after he refused to be ejected from the subway.

    There is a lot of ignorance out there, folks. People who want to tell you “YOU CANT DO THAT!” when in fact you CAN.

    This video is proof that you can be armed with all of the right information, be completely on the side of the law, and STILL be denied your right to play. So, best to be fully informed, and then, wherever you are, carry a copy of relevant law with you.

    Busking, aka street performance, has a long and storied past, enriching our culture since time began (although there were fewer street corners back then). As cities got more crowded, and security measures enhanced, and CERTAINLY after 9/11, more and more regulation of our unbridled expressions of joy and love has been implemented and enforced.

    Unless there are strict anti-busking laws in your area, it's usually OK to just start performing on public property, as long as you're not obstructing people or otherwise creating a nuisance. If you're asked or told to leave, and you don’t know the law, best practice is to just leave.

    On private property, however, (including many open air markets and fairs) you should always get permission first. Always best to check the ordinances of the towns in which you’d like to perform, and then print out whichever rules and regulations protect you. And be forewarned that many many places require permits, and many many of them require auditions to obtain permits. And some only hold auditions once a year.
    • London's Underground? They have a limited number of licenses and require auditions, which are held once each year.
    • New York? Unamplified busking is allowed almost everywhere in the city, except within 50 feet of monuments. Performing on a subway platform is protected by the First Amendment, but not if you step onto a train.
    • Chicago requires a permit for every single public performance, and there are designated hours and “noise” limitations.
    • Boston requires an audition, a criminal background check and liability insurance in order to play in some parts of the city.

    Kudos to AidanKS, and check out his post that has more city-specific information here.

    Got a permit to play on the streets? Great! But not good enough to play in most subway/metro stations. Almost every one of these has its own rules and regulations. If you look online you can find info pertaining to live performances. Here are a few links:
    NY MBTA Subway Performers Program
    San Francisco BART
    DC Metro, section 100.10

    There are organizations popping up all around the world to connect buskers and share information like http://www.the and

    So, remember- KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Be prepared to combat ignorance, and go forth and engage in your chosen “free speech activity.” You make the world a brighter place. Thank you.

    Singer-songwriter Laura Zucker wins audiences over with a hard-won perspective and a positive spin. The powerful imagery of her songs and stories ring so true you might think she’s read your diary – and you’ll find yourself humming her infectious melodies for days to come. She’s a two-time finalist in the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk competition in Texas, 2013 West Coast Songwriters Association Best Song of the Year, and has received numerous accolades and awards from the organizations around the world. She has released four CDs of original songs with the latest, Life Wide Open, released in late 2013. Find tour dates, music and more at

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    Jimmy Herman is the multi-instrumentalist for Carrie Underwood. He is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman. Throughout his career he has found fun and unique ways to combine both passions.

    In this interview, Weber Mandolins shares some insight into this versatile artist's career and plans.

    Where to start…you’re a multi-instrumentalist on tour with Carrie Underwood and an avid hunter but what do people not know about Jimmy Herman?

    Well, here are a few randoms that a lot of people may not know. I grew up near a small town in Western Wisconsin called Pleasantville. I started playing fiddle at age 4. I cut my teeth on polkas and old-time fiddle tunes that I would play in my dad's band. Was President of my FFA chapter. I'm a certified taxidermist and had a full-on shop in Wisconsin that I owned and operated until I moved to Nashville. I believe I am one of the only people in Nashville that actually owns and plays a Hurdy Gurdy.

    You mentioned you started off playing the fiddle, what got you playing all the other instruments?

    I started playing fiddle when I was 4 and we had all sorts of instruments laying around the house and there was a music store back around home that we would visit religiously every week and they had banjos, mandolins, guitars, basses, etc. There were a couple of times I picked up a mandolin or banjo and picked out a few songs in the store and the owner would offer my dad an amazing deal on them and the next thing I knew, I had a banjo and mandolin. My parents bought me an Alan Munde banjo video and that's really how started learning 5-string banjo.

    As far as learning guitar, my dad bought an acoustic guitar on an auction that needed some serious love. He had a Mel Bay chord book and I just sat in my room and learned chords and picked around on it while listening to vinyl records and that's how I learned to play rhythm and lead guitar. The action was so high and I know for a fact he still has that guitar and the action is still crazy high.

    It really helped that I was so young when I learned all those instruments and actually had the discipline to not put them down. I didn't have the distractions we all have as adults. I was also really stubborn and determined - probably more stubborn.

    You have many Weber instruments from a mando to arch top guitar and have a mandocello about to be completed. Do you have a favorite?

    Yes, I cannot tell you how excited I am to get that mandocello in my hands! Every instrument that Bruce completes turns out to be not only an amazing sounding instrument, but an amazing piece of art as well. I really love the old Zeppelin records that incorporate the "not so typical" sounding instruments like the hurdy gurdy, the mandolin, and bouzouki. Even though the octave mandolin, bouzouki, and mandocello are all part of the mandolin family; they all have their own "sound" which brings it's own vibe. When combining some of those instruments together on tracks, those songs become organic. When listening to some tracks with mandocello, bouzouki, and mandolin it's almost like I can picture those instruments rising from the "gravel and moss" as they're finding their place in the track. There is so much earth and vibe in each of those instruments. I get fired up just thinking about it!!

    The Weber that I am most partial to is the "Muley" - The Black Ice Mandolin. It goes all the way back to the very first time I met Bruce in person and after a long conversation (mostly about hunting), Bruce grabbed his notebook and said, "let's design you a mandolin!" The Black Ice finish was just about to be released and I saw the gray color of the flamed back and sides and it reminded me of the grey color of a mule deer. Bruce being a hunter himself, our eyes lit up and the rest of the elements came quickly. I said if we were going to think, "mule deer," it would be cool to have deer hoof prints for fret markers.

    For the binding, I wanted to really make the mandolin different from the typical color scheme and I thought that the brown tortoise binding made me think of the brown antlers of a big mule deer buck. The final piece was the headstock design. I asked Bruce if he had ever put a deer skull in the headstock of an instrument before and he said he hadn't, so I said let's go all out and that's how the Mule Deer skull in the headstock came about. The "Muley" being born has come to be an instrument that embodies everything about my passions and me. I'm excited for everyone to see the new mandocello! It has some very cool customized surprises.

    Here Herman plays with the band Oklahoma:

    You’ve been playing with Carrie Underwood for years. You must get to play some pretty amazing venues and events. Is there one that stands out?

    I have had so many opportunities and amazing experiences! Playing Royal Albert Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Grammys all come to mind, but if I have to pick one I would say that getting to play the Super Bowl Pre Game in Indianapolis with Steven Tyler was probably most memorable. We had a few days of rehearsal with Carrie and Steven and we spent hours and hours running all the classic Aerosmith songs. The moment I heard that infamous scream come thru my earbuds was so surreal. There is a reason Steven Tyler and Aerosmith have been able withstand the test of time. He is a rock n roll icon thru and thru and one of the nicest guys I've ever hung out with. He's a guy that you just want to hang out with - celebrity status aside. The stories of how they recorded, "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk this Way" as we were rehearsing were jaw dropping. I was in awe for days leading up to rehearsals, I was in awe while we played the show, and now writing this, I'm still in awe.

    Carrie was again the host of the CMA’s that just took place – what’s it like playing there year after year?

    It is such an honor to perform at the CMA's. It is such a surreal experience just standing backstage. Seeing artists from other genres that show their respect for country music makes me feel very grateful for being a part of the industry. There definitely is a cool camaraderie between all the artists and bands that you don't see in other genres. It shows just how small the heart of the country music community is yet how very powerful this music is to be able to reach across the globe. I used to record every single CMA Award show on VHS as a kid and I would watch performances over and over and over. I was glued to the screen. Now to be one of the people performing on that very show is surreal when thinking about it. Just in that one thought brings a huge sense of accomplishment.

    What’s next on the horizon for Jimmy Herman?

    Well, while I will still be performing alongside Carrie I have a couple album projects that I have been milling around in my head and have worked out some arrangements for some possible cuts. I don't want to give too much away because they are still in the early stages, but I'm leaning towards getting back to my roots and recording with a more earthy vibe. Don't be surprised to hear some rock n roll riffs here and there, but there will definitely be some heavily acoustic driven tracks as well.

    My brand has really been taking shape over the last couple of years, this past year especially and I have really dived in with both feet in the hunting industry. I have a multitude of relationships with companies and some have turned into full on endorsements, which I am completely blown away by. I will be continuing to write fitness and hunting articles for several magazines and really pursue my passion for hunting along side doing what I love to do with music as well. This is the most at peace I have been with where I am at with my career and I'm really excited to just do the projects that I've always felt in my heart I needed to do, but had felt that Nashville wasn't ready for or may not be accepting of in the music community. I'm just ready to go for it. I want to live what my heart tells me I should. Create music I love to create and go on some wild adventures in extreme territories. Bring it!!

    You can check Jimmy out on tour with Michael Martin Murphey’s Cowboy Christmas Tour starting November 21st. For more on Jimmy visit his website here

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    In 2004, Warp Records signed a UK-based singer-songwriter named Nick Talbot.

    Under the moniker of Gravenhurst, Talbot released two albums with Warp that year: Flashlight Seasons and Black Holes in the Sand.

    On Dec. 2, 2014, in honor of Talbot’s 10-year anniversary of work with the label, Warp is reissuing the two foundational albums, alongside a collection of previously unheard tracks and demos called Offerings: Lost Songs 2000-2004.

    Offerings is the result of an archival search for extra material to accompany the Flashlight Seasons and Black Holes in the Sand reissues as digital downloads. The unexpected discoveries were, however, quickly deemed worthy of an exclusive release.

    Comprised of two early demos that differ from album versions in intriguing ways and eight previously unheard songs, the result is a carefully selected and coherent collection. "The Citizen" contrasts a lyric of urban alienation with an early demonstration of Talbot's mastery of acoustic minimalism, while the strong narrative arc of the title track "Offerings" contains the earliest incarnation of a recurring Gravenhurst theme: the indifference of nature and the folly of the human urge to seek spiritual communion with its destructive power.

    One of four diverse instrumental tracks, "Who Put Bella In The Wych Elm?" provides a hypnotic soundtrack to one of England's most unnerving unsolved crimes. Unable to recall recording some of these tracks, Talbot describes the collection as a musical Mary Celeste; a vessel found captain-less and crew-less, with its cargo fully preserved after many years adrift.

    Check out a video retrospective here:

    Flashlight Seasons (reissue), Black Holes in the Sand (reissue), and Offerings: Lost Songs 2000 - 2004 are out 12/2/14 in the U.S. via Warp Records.

    Find out more at

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