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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the January 2015 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.

    Last month, we investigated the great advantages of using drop-D tuning in the development of metal-style riffs and licks. This month, I’d like to continue with this topic and show you some additional advantages that this tuning offers.

    Drop-D tuning is achieved by tuning the guitar’s low E string down a whole step, to D, resulting in a tuning of, low to high, D A D G B E. As I stated, in this tuning, the bottom two strings are now a fifth apart—D to A—instead of the normal fourth apart—E to A.

    As the higher D string is tuned a fourth above the A string, sounding the bottom three strings open, or fretting across all three strings at any given fret, will yield a three-note root-fifth-root power chord. This makes it very easy to slide and shift this fat-sounding voicing, as a single finger can be barred across the strings to fret the power chord shape.

    Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell makes very effective use of this technique in songs like “Dam That River,” “We Die Young” and “Them Bones.” Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell was also a big fan of using drop-D tuning to perform heavy riffs in songs like “Walk” and “A New Level,” and Metallica relied on drop-D for “The Thing That Should Not Be.”

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the January 2015 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.

    Over the last two issues, I’ve devoted this column to the incredible playing of John Dawson Winter III, known to most of us as Johnny Winter.

    Johnny was a blues-rock guitar legend of the highest order and is regarded worldwide as one of the genre’s greatest and most influential players ever. He was also a wonderfully warm person, and I feel very privileged to have had the chance to get to know him.

    Johnny’s initial burst onto the worldwide stage occurred in 1969 with the release of his Columbia debut, Johnny Winter, and, following the release of his critically acclaimed 1971 live album, Live Johnny Winter And, the guitarist briefly retreated from the public eye to deal with heroin addiction.

    He returned in 1973 with the stunning Still Alive and Well album, which opens with a positively burning rendition of the B.B. King classic, “Rock Me Baby.” Just as Jimi Hendrix had done at the Monterey Pop Festival with the same song, Johnny took “Rock Me Baby” and completely reworked it into a tour de force of ferocious blues-rock virtuosity.

    Additional Content

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the January 2015 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.

    It must have been a Herculean task for Jake E. Lee to take over the guitar-playing slot in Ozzy Osbourne’s band after the singer’s beloved rising star guitarist, Randy Rhoads, perished in a plane crash back in 1982.

    But that’s exactly what Lee did. With blazing riffs and ripping solos in songs like “Bark at the Moon” and “Rock N’ Roll Rebel,” Jake E. Lee became an overnight guitar hero for many aspiring guitarists who wanted to copy every nuance of his wicked vibrato and incendiary technique.

    To perform those and other songs, he relied on heavily modified mid-Seventies Fender Stratocaster that many assumed was a Charvel guitar.

    Affectionately dubbed “Whitey,” the guitar originally had a tobacco sunburst finish until Lee’s roommate, who worked as a painter at Charvel, shaved down the headstock and painted it white. The guitar’s most noticeable modification was to the middle and neck single-coil pickups, which were slanted in reverse, a Hendrix-inspired configuration that made it distinctively cool and which makes it all the more surprising that Charvel never seized an opportunity to offer the guitar as a signature model or a variation thereof, despite the company changing hands.

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    PRS Guitars’ new P245 is a vintage-inspired single-cutaway guitar with the added versatility of the LR Baggs/PRS piezo system.

    Perfect for players who prefer short-scale guitars, the P245 provides players with both electric and authentic acoustic tones in one instrument. With two output jacks, the P245 can be plugged directly into an amplifier or plugged into a soundboard’s direct input.

    By utilizing the separate blend control, the tone of the P245’s 58/15 pickups can be combined with acoustic sounds through a single output. The P245 is one of the first models to feature the new 58/15 treble and bass pickups, which were personally designed by Paul Reed Smith. 58/15’s are a vintage style pickup with exceptional clarity and focused midrange.

    These pickups paired with a shorter 24.5” scale length and 22 frets, give the P245 a truly classic voice that is imminently recordable and gig-ready.

    “Simply put, this guitar has it all… vintage appeal with a modern twist, the feel and reliability needed for live performances with the versatility and breadth of sounds needed for the most demanding studio sessions,” says Jim Cullen, PRS Guitars' national sales manager.

    Additional features include a figured maple top and mahogany back with binding, mahogany neck, rosewood fretboard with bird inlays, nickel hardware, volume, tone and three-way toggle switch. Players can upgrade to a P245 Artist Package that features enhanced specifications, including an Artist Grade flame maple top, Artist grade neck and fingerboard woods, and the choice of gold, hybrid or nickel hardware.

    Colors: Antique White, Azul, Black, Black Cherry, Black Gold Burst, Blood Orange, Charcoal Burst, Faded Vintage Yellow, Faded Whale Blue, Gold Top, Gray Black, Honey, Jade, Royal Blue, Scarlet Red, Tortoise Shell, Vintage Sunburst and Violet.

    The P245 will begin shipping to select authorized PRS dealers and distributers in the first quarter of 2015. The P245 will be on display for the first time at the winter NAMM show in Anaheim January 23 to 25 in rooms 210A/B.

    For more about this model, visit prsguitars.com.

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    This morning we stumbled upon an old forum (from a random website) with the headline "White Knuckles" vs. "Eruption."

    We know which guitar performance we'd pick, but — just in case some of you aren't all that familiar with the late Gary Moore's solo-guitar shred showpiece, we thought we'd let the two ancient tunes duke it out in the space below.

    Just leave your comments and/or votes on Facebook!

    P.S.: "White Knuckles/Rockin' and Rollin'" is from Moore's 1980 album, G-Force, as you can tell from the lovely photo to our left.

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    If you've followed my column, you will have noticed that I regard Gary Moore very highly and have often cited his playing as inspiration for many of my lessons.

    For that reason, I wanted to pay tribute by recording a cover of one of my favorite Gary Moore songs, "The Loner."

    "The Loner," which was written by Max Middleton, originally appeared on a Cozy Powell album called Over the Top. It was then recorded by Moore, who made several changes and was credited and co-writer on his version, which appeared on his 1987 album, Wild Frontier.

    The main inspiration for my version came after hearing several live bootlegs, some of which were about 30 minutes long! This gave me the idea to have an improvised intro and outro section with the main song/theme in the middle. Stylistically I wanted it to be more of a natural blues sounding arrangement as opposed to the large amounts of synths featured on the Moore version.

    For my version, I felt it was important to feature musicians who had played with Moore. I asked bassist Neil Murray (ex-Whitesnake, Black Sabbath), who played on some of Moore's early solo albums such as Corridors of Power and Victims of the Future.

    For the keys, I thought Don Airey (Deep Purple) would be the perfect fit; not only am I a huge fan of Don's work, but he also played with Moore on many of my favorite recordings. The original Moore version used a drum machine, so I asked Vinny Appice (ex-Black Sabbath, Dio) to record the drums. I thought Vinny's style would fit the song perfectly as I wanted a slow blues feel with tasteful fills.

    For my guitar track, I used a '78 Les Paul custom through a Marshall 2204. I spent a lot of time experimenting with guitar tones but decided to keep it simple. I used my guitar's volume and tone controls to get more dynamics. For example, in the intro I used the volume control to clean up the tone and also played sections with my fingers instead of a pick. The main theme is played with the tone control of the bridge pickup rolled all the way down. The intro and outro were improvised using mostly minor scales and minor pentatonics, which was easy considering my backing was played by world-class musicians.

    Overall I'm pleased with how the cover came out, and it fits the style I was going for. So here's my tribute to Gary Moore featuring Neil Murray, Don Airey and Vinny Appice!

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    It’s December! Which means the holidays are a few short weeks away.

    If you are one of those last minute shoppers, you most likely still have plenty of friends on your gifting list to cross off.

    So we at Martin Guitar thought we’d give you a hand.

    The Martin book guide is perfect for the guitar enthusiast or history buff. Our stocking stuffers are great for Martin lovers of all ages!

    Our holiday gift bags are perfect for the guitar aficionado or the Martin Owners Club Member on your list. Includes items such as: a guitar strap, keychain, hat, and more.

    To ensure delivery by December 24th, please place your 1833 Shop order by December 11th.

    To view all our holiday gift guides, click here.

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    Below, you can check out some fan-filmed video footage of Zakk Wylde, bassist Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie) and drummer Vinny Appice (Heaven & Hell, Black Sabbath, Dio) performing Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" November 22 at the Metal All Stars concert in São Paulo, Brazil.

    Regarding the possibility of Wylde and Osbourne recording new music together, both men are open to it. "[Current Ozzy guitarist] Gus [G.] is a slamming guitar player, and it's his gig," Wylde told Guitar World. "But Ozzy knows I'm just a phone call away. If he needed anything, I'd always be there for him."


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    If there’s one thing that I believe we guitarists can really work on, it’s rhythm.

    As guitarists we sometimes think in terms of shapes — chord shapes, scale shapes, etc. Many times we learn with fretboard diagrams and tablature, neither of which focuses on rhythm.

    And yet our main job as guitarists is to play rhythm. Sure, there might be the occasional opportunity to melt some faces with a solo. But most of the time we’re just chugging away on rhythm.

    On top of all that, good rhythm is one of the most important skills to have as a professional musician. Other musicians don’t care what scales or chord shapes you know. They just know if they can groove with you or not. And really, the same goes for your audience.

    So let’s check out a few exercises for working on rhythm. In this post, we’ll just focus on strumming.

    Strumming the Eighth

    The most important thing to remember when strumming is to keep your arm swinging with the beat. In general, you can swing your arm with the quarter-note beat or eighth-note beat, but just keep it swinging, whether you’re hitting the strings or not.

    In the examples we’ll look at, the strumming arm should swing down with the eighth note.

    Exploring the Possibilities

    A good place to start developing strumming rhythm is to take a look at the possible rhythms you might run into. If you think of all the different rhythms you could play in a quarter-note beat, there really aren’t that many options.

    Leaving out dotted rhythms for now, we end up with these possibilities (using an Em chord):

    Timing 1.png

    So that’s five different rhythmic options. Notice the letters “D” and “U” indicating down-strumming and up-strumming respectively.

    For practice, first try repeating each measure until it feels comfortable. Once each measure feels good, try mixing and matching. Pick a measure and repeat it four times. Then move on to another measure and repeat it four times. Then another. The idea here is to be able to move to any measure at random, repeating each four times without missing a beat.

    When four repetitions becomes comfortable, try bumping it down to three. Then two. And finally just play each measure one time before moving on to another at random, while keeping the metronome going the whole time.

    Dotted Rhythms

    Just a couple more rhythmic options to toss into the mix, both of which use dotted eighth notes.

    Timing 2.png

    For the first rhythm, strum down for the dotted eighth, swing down again without hitting the strings, and then strum up for the last sixteenth note. For the second rhythm, strum down-up, and then swing down again without hitting the strings.

    Practice these rhythms along with the five we looked at before, until you can strum any of these seven possible rhythms at random along with a metronome.

    There's more to come, so stay tuned!

    Ben Rainey works as a guitar teacher and freelance guitarist in the Pittsburgh area. He's also in charge of music content at Tunessence.com.

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    In the world of heavy metal, hot guitarists are a dime a dozen.

    Yet only a precious few stand the test of time and become enduring guitar gods.

    Randy Rhoads was one such player. Joining forces with singer Ozzy Osbourne in 1979, Rhoads burst onto the metal scene like a bolt from the blue.

    He was blessed with dazzling chops and an innate comprehension of music theory, and his style had a perfect blend of flash and melodic structure.

    Flowing legato sections segued to impossibly fast, palm-muted picking passages; incendiary trills and daring chromatic maneuvers coexisted with classically influenced melodies—all of which were derived from a seemingly inexhaustible supply of scales and arpeggios and laid out across an ever-shifting rhythmic landscape.

    What's more, Rhoads was so precise that he could seamlessly double-track anything he played, for maximum sonic density.

    Sadly, only three recordings—Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman, and Tribute—captured Rhoads' genius before a tragic airplane crash, in 1982, cut his life short. But the musicianship that lies within those grooves is as stunning and inspirational today as it was then.

    Sequences and Scales

    Rhoads would often sprinkle a solo with a flurry of pentatonic pull-offs such as those in Fig.1. Built from the A minor pentatonic scale (A-C-D-E-G), this lick is inspired both by the opening moments of the first solo in "Mr. Crowley" and by the fill just before the last verse of "I Don't Know." It's interesting to note that while Rhoads possessed the facility to rip through lines such as these using alternate picking, he often chose a legato approach for a smoother, more flowing outcome.

    Fig. 2 features a three-notes-per-string legato scale run inspired by the solos in "Crazy Train,""Suicide Solution," and "Mr. Crowley." This line zips up the A natural minor scale (A-B-C-D-E-F-G) in a blinding flash of hammer-ons. Make sure you hammer firmly onto every second and third note, striving for equal volume of the pick attacks.

    Blues Licks and Mixed Scales

    Rhoads was fond of the blues scale (1-f3-4- f5-5-f7), and often milked its flatted 5th for all it was worth. For example, notice the emphasis on the Bf in Fig. 3A, an E blues (E-G-A-Bf- B-D) lick inspired by the opening phrases of the "I Don't Know" solo. Rhoads often mixed blues-scale licks with diatonic scales, and modes such as Aeolian (natural minor), Phrygian (1-f2-f3-4-5-f6-f7), and harmonic minor (1-2-f3-4-5-f6-7).

    Reminiscent of the "Crazy Train" solo, Fig. 3B offers a composite of F# Aeolian (F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E) and F# blues (F#-A-B-C-C#-E).


    Chromaticism is another hallmark of Rhoads's soloing style. His chromatic techniques ran the gamut from the simple use of tension tones (notes that lie outside of pentatonic and diatonic scales) all the way to full-blown chromatically modulating passages such as the ones found in Figs. 4A-B.

    Fig. 4A is similar to a move Rhoads used in "S.A.T.O.," where a minor-3rd hammer- on is moved down in half steps. Notice that the lick starts on two solid chord tones (G and E, the f3rd and root), then chromatically targets two resolving tones (D and B, the f7th and 5th). Fig. 4B features one of Rhoads's pet motifs: a descending fournote slice of a scale pattern—in this case, F-E-D-C of the D minor scale (D-E-F-G- A-Bf-C). Ascending chromatically, the palm-muted quadruplets hit sonic fruition with an Af-G-F sequence over the Fm chord.

    Fig. 5 features another of the guitarist's favorite chromatic ploys, this one involving major and minor triads, along with partial 7th-chord arpeggios, moving along the top two strings.

    In this example, an A minor triad (A-C-E) moves up in half steps, then segues to the upper portion of an Am7 arpeggio (A-C-E-G), which also ascends chromatically. Fig. 6 breaks the bounds of chromaticism with a pick-tapped trill that ascends in pitch via a gradual bend executed with the fret hand's 4th finger. Notice that, again, the example begins and ends on solid chord tones (G# and B [3rd and 5th], and B and D [5th and f7th]).

    Tapping and Trills

    Unlike many of his peers in the early Eighties, Rhoads avoided jumping on Eddie Van Halen's tapping bandwagon. When he did choose to tap, though, the results were stunning, as the sequence in Fig.7 reveals. In the style of the breathtaking climax of the "Flying High Again" solo, the example follows a double-tap/pull-off/hammer-on sequence constructed from triads that outline the changes. Some of the most dazzling Randy Rhoads moments are often mistaken for tapped excursions.

    One such passage is the open string- pull-off extravaganza that occurs midway though his solo in the live version of "Suicide Solution," where he dispatches a sizzling array of triads and partials along the 1st [Fig. 8] and 2nd strings.

    Rhoads also had a penchant for classically influenced trills (two notes played in rapid alternation). He would use them to outline the chord tones of specific changes, as seen in Fig. 9, where the notes of an Ff7 arpeggio (F-Af-Cf-D) are alternated with notes a half step below.

    The Solo

    The solo [Fig.10] is a 15-bar rocker in the style of songs like "I Don't Know,""Flying High Again," and "Crazy Train." The first half (measures 1-8) sits firmly in the key of F# minor, riding a i-fVI-fVII-i-fIII-iv-Vsus-V progression (F#m-D-E-F#m-A-Bm-C#7sus4-C#). Measures 9-12 serve as a bridge, with modulating I-vi cadences (D-Bm and E-C#m) in the temporary keys of D and E major. Measure 13 signals a march back up (fVI- fVII-v-i; D-E-C#m-F#m) to the resolving i-fVII-i (F#m-E-F#m) chordal riff.

    The solo opens, in typical Rhoadsian fashion, with a head-turning pinch-harmonic bend. To execute this two-octave harmonic, attack the G string aggressively with the side of your pick, simultaneously brushing the string with the side of your pick hand's thumb; the ideal position for this contact is right above the rear edge of the neck pickup.

    Next comes a pull-off flurry made up of F# blues and F# Aeolian scales, followed by a tremolo- picked E major pentatonic (E-F#-G#- B-C#) climb. (Tremolo picking, in which notes are picked as rapidly and continuously as possible, was another Rhoads staple). An F# minor pentatonic (F#-A-B-C#-E) wrapup (measure 4) mirrors the opening lick.

    In measure 5, a short melodic passage capped with a quick trill nods to "Crazy Train," then segues to a brief Rhoads motif (see Fig. 4B). Instead of moving chromatically, as expected, the motif spills into a t h ree-notes-per- s t r ing B Dor ian (B-C#-D-E-F#-G-F#) run (see Fig. 2). C# Phrygian dominant (C#-D-E#-F#-G#-A-B; fifth mode of F# harmonic minor) provides the melodic framework for the chromatically enhanced legato phrasing of bars 7-8.

    The fireworks in measures 9-10 are inspired by the open-string pull-off concepts described in Fig. 8. Accenting the first and fourth note in each sextuplet should give you the propulsion needed for this rapid passage. A six-note pattern—down five scale steps, then up one—lies at the heart of the E major pentatonic phrase in measure 11. Visualize the pattern before putting the entire phrase together. In measure 12 a C#m7 arpeggio is laid out almost entirely on the G string; keep your eye on the 9th fret in order to hit it precisely.

    The trills come fast and furious in the next measure. Targeting the notes of a D major triad (D-F#-A) will guide you through this quarter-note-triplet passage. Finally, a relatively simple run up the E major pentatonic scale and a pair of dyads (F#/C# and E/B) provide a logical and musical conclusion to the solo. Now that we've gone through the solo bit by bit, look back over it and take note of its the rhythmic diversity—yet another characteristic of Rhoads's brilliant soloing work.

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    Esoterik Guitars has released the third guitar of its new 2015 mid-level series, the DR3.

    From the company:

    The Esoterik DR3 features amazing tone, response, control and sustain. It combines a five-piece walnut/figured maple neck secured between a lightweight alder body, 24 easily accessible jumbo stainless steel frets on an ebony fretboard, 25.5-inch scale length, bass side pearl dots and glow-in-the-dark side dots on a 16-inch radius board.

    This model also features a conveniently located spoke nut truss rod and a natural/clear satin finish to protect and beautify the wood. This guitar comes loaded with Seymour Duncan Blackouts, a Kahler tremolo, a GraphTech nut (placed before the lock for optimum tone) and Gotoh 510 mini tuners.

    It comes with a separate bridge volume and neck volume knob, one master tone knob and a three way toggle. The wood matched electronics cavity cover plate also features a laser engraving with the Esoterik Sun logo. The DR3 headstock is topped with a rosewood overlay with a mother-of-pearl inlaid logo. All new Esoterik Guitars include a hard-shell case.

    Temporary/Direct Wholesale Price: $1,376


    • Alder Body
    • Neck Through Design
    • 5 Piece Walnut and Figured Maple Neck
    • 24 easily accessible Jumbo Stainless Steel Frets
    • 25.5” Scale Length
    • Glow In The Dark (Luminlay) Side Dots
    • Spoke Nut Truss Rod
    • Seymour Duncan Blackout Pickups
    • Kahler Bridge
    • GraphTech Nut
    • Gotoh 510 Tuners
    • Amazing Body Contours - Carved Top/Concave Back
    • Laser Engraved Cover Plate
    • Natural/Clear Finish

    All Esoterik guitars are designed and set up in San Luis Obispo, California, before being shipped to the customer. All 2015 models can be purchased direct at temporary wholesale prices at esoterikguitars.com.

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    Kemper Amps has released its free Ace of Skunk Anansie signature Rig Pack featuring all the glorious amp tones known from Ace—from the very beginning to today.

    The two-day profiling session took place during the summer of 2014 at SX Studios north of London. All of Ace's amps were profiled with their original sound settings and numerous variations with two cabinets utilizing Delta Sontronics, Shure SM 57 and Royer 121 microphones.

    The team paid extra attention to the refining process to make sure every nuance was captured to definitely match the sound, the dynamics and playing of the original amps.

    The rig pack features 26 studio profiles as well as four direct profiles for the use of the Profiler with standard guitar cabinets.

    The Ace of Sunk Anansie Rig Pack is available at kemper-amps.com free of charge.

    In the video below, Ace talks about the process and what it means to him to have now all his own amps as profiles available with the Kemper Profiler.

    The Kemper Profiling Amplifier represents a radical new approach to guitar sound. For decades, the electric guitarist has effectively been shackled to the tube amplifier as the only solution for getting “that sound”. This combination may indeed be glorious, but it is far from ideal; achieving consistent results between practice, studio, and touring situations continues to challenge the guitarist, just as it has since the early 1930's. With the advent of the Kemper Profiling Amplifier, everything has changed. For the first time in history, guitar players are free to create the most unique and individual tones that reflect the very essence of the individual player, and then capture these exact sounds into the digital domain with Kemper's unique technology.

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    Troy Grady, creator of the highly detailed "Cracking the Code" lesson videos we've shared on GuitarWorld.com, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a cool new product called the Magnet.

    "It's the smartphone camera mount we use in 'Cracking the Code' to film guitar playing in slow motion," Grady says.

    "It's the result of two years of design and prototyping, and the result of 10 years of slow-motion analysis of guitar technique. The original slow-motion rig I built to interview Michael Angelo Batio, Steve Morse, Frank Gambale, Rusty Cooley and other elite players was a giant contraption that used a $3,000 scientific slow-motion camera, weighed a ton and took up the whole fretboard.

    "We've replaced all that with just the Magnet and a phone. A phone! Rusty Cooley played a prototype earlier this year, and the results were unbelievable. Now the new iPhone 6 does 240 frames per second, for a ridiculous 8x slow-down — in HD.

    "To put this in perspective, there's more digital camera slow-motion power in your pocket now than there was in sports broadcasting 10 years ago. It's pretty amazing."

    For more about the Magnet, visit its Kickstarter campaign and watch the videos below.

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the January 2015 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.

    Caparison guitars have been amassing a cult following in the United States ever since the Japanese high-end boutique builder made its debut in 1995.

    Caparison fans were dismayed when its parent company declared bankruptcy in May 2011, but the guitarmaker bounced back quickly under new ownership, retaining lead designer and visionary Itaru Kanno and resuming production that September.

    While Caparison guitars have always been a notch above the competition, today they’re even better than ever. The latest version of their popular Dellinger model—the Dellinger II FX-WM—attests to the company’s meticulous attention to detail and innovative vision.

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the January 2015 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.

    To help folks get into the holiday spirit this year, Guitar World presents my rock guitar ensemble arrangement of the classic Christmas/holiday song “Deck the Halls,” which begins on Page 111 in the January 2015 issue of GW.

    It’s set for three electric guitars, all played with distortion and a bright, hard-rock/metal tone (bridge pickup), and electric bass, preferably played with a pick, punk style. The arrangement also works well with just two guitars, or one guitar and bass.

    Below, you can watch a video of Guitar World's Paul Riario and me performing the entire song.

    For the complete transcription, plus plenty of performance notes by me, check out the new issue of Guitar World, which is available now at the Guitar World Online Store!

    Additional Content

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    Fingerpicking Christmas: 20 Carols Arranged for Solo Guitar in Notes & Tablature is available for $8.95 at the Guitar World Online Store.

    It features 20 classic carols carefully written for the intermediate-level guitarist.

    Each solo combines melody and harmony in one superb fingerpicking arrangement.

    Includes: Away in a Manger • Deck the Halls • The First Noel • Good King Wenceslas • I Saw Three Ships • It Came Upon the Midnight Clear • Jingle Bells • O Come, All Ye Faithful • Silent Night • We Wish You a Merry Christmas • What Child Is This? • and more!

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!

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    Guitar virtuoso Julian Lage makes his solo debut with World’s Fair on February 3, 2015.

    Co-produced by Matt Munisteri and engineered by Armand Hirsh, World’s Fair was inspired by the orchestral approach to the guitar of the great Andres Segovia and by the music of the early 20th Century, of “jazz before be-bop.”

    “I always had a fantasy about doing a solo guitar project,“ says Lage, known for his musical collaborations most recently on Avalon (10/2014) with Punch Brothers’ Chris “Critter” Eldridge and Room (11/2014) with Nels Cline.

    He further explains, “When I started recording, I discovered what a rare opportunity this was for me to recalibrate my senses to one instrument and within that recalibration learn to savor the vast world of intimacy and nuance, both qualities so inherent to the guitar.”

    World’s Fair is so spontaneous and intimate in feel it’s as if this prodigious guitarist had just arrived in your living room, picked up his vintage Martin, and simply started to play.

    Watch Lage perform below with Chris "Critter" Eldridge below. How about that solo at 0:46?!

    Says Lage, “Here are twelve songs that represent this opening into my world, a musical and personal aesthetic I haven’t yet had the opportunity to express in full on record. This music, these explorations, this overarching narrative -- taken together, they represent one of my long times dreams, to create music for one guitar, played by one person, for you.”

    World’s Fair will be released February 3, 2015 and is available by pre-order on January 6, 2015. News and tour updates available at: www.julianlage.com.

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    Periphery have premiered another new song.

    Check out "The Bad Thing" below and let us know what you think in the comments or on Facebook!

    The band will release their dual album, Juggernaut, January 27 via Sumerian Records.

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    Just in time for the holidays, Joe Perry has released his recordings of four Christmas classics. Joe Perry’s Merry Christmas features “White Christmas,” “Silent Night,” “Santa Claus Is Back in Town” and “Run Run Rudolph” with Johnny Depp on rhythm guitar.

    The EP is available now at Unison and on iTunes.

    The release follows on the heels of Perry’s autobiography, Rocks: My Life In and Out of Aerosmith, published this past October.

    “I have wanted to do a Christmas CD with Aerosmith for years, but it seems we never have the time to record one,” Perry says. “When my Rocks book tour ended, the timing was right—we were in L.A. with access to a studio with some really talented friends, and it all fell together. I was finally able to record some Christmas classics for the fans.”

    Two of the songs—”Silent Night” and “White Christmas”—are treated as instrumentals, while the others feature vocals.

    “The two instrumentals are among the 10 most popular Christmas songs,” Perry explains. “Almost everyone knows the lyrics to ‘Silent Night’ and ‘White Christmas,’ so we treated them as songs that people could sing along to, while staying close to the classic versions everyone knows. The two vocal songs, ‘Santa’s Back in Town’ and ‘Run Run Rudolph,’ are rockers made famous by Elvis and Chuck Berry. They are probably less well known, so you would have to hear the lyrics to know they are Christmas songs. They are two of my favorite holiday songs.”

    Though Aerosmith’s rock and roll adventures tend to make for better press, Perry says one of his favorite times with the band occurred around the 1984 holidays, shortly after the band’s reunion. “There was a time after Aerosmith got back together when we were doing almost yearly New Year’s Eve shows,” he says. “One of my favorite ones was at the Orpheum right before the New Year rang in—we dragged living room furniture onto the stage and brought our wives out and celebrated with our fans.”

    This isn’t the first time Perry’s made a foray into holiday tunes. He previously contributed a cover of “Blue Christmas” to the 1996 album Merry Axemas: A Guitar Christmas. Here’s a listen to help you get into the holiday spirit.

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