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    At the end of 1964, Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds, a band still searching for their first hit [Note: Some sources say Clapton officially left the band in the spring of 1965].

    His replacement was a player of very different capabilities, a technical and sonic pioneer who helped propel the group from their former status as a blues covers act to become one of the most innovative and daring musical collectives working in the U.K.

    A new film, A Man for All Seasons, traces Jeff Beck's music and career throughout the 1960s, including his formative influences and early groups, his work with the Yardbirds, his brief, bizarre reinvention by producer Mickie Most as a solo pop star, and the first, radical incarnation of the Jeff Beck Group, during which he played alongside vocalist Rod Stewart and second guitarist Ron Wood.

    Featuring a plethora of rare performance and studio footage, exclusive interviews, contributions from those who worked with and alongside Beck during this period and a host of other features, all of which combine to make this documentary—the first yet to singularly focus on Beck's career—a legitimate tribute and enthralling history of this often underrated musician, writer and performer.

    The film includes new interviews with the Yardbirds first manager, Giorgio Gomelsky; the man who took over from Gomelsky, colorful music biz impresario, Simon Napier Bell; Beck's fellow Yardbirds, Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja; musical conspirators from the early Seventies, Tim Bogert and Max Middleton; the ever-shocking Pamela Des Barres (aka Miss Pamela of the GTOs); legendary music press scribes, Charles Shaar Murray and Chris Welch; Beck's official biographer Martin Power and Uncut magazine editor, Nigel Williamson.

    The film is available for pre-order here. You also can check out a five-minute trailer below.

    Additional Content

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

    The song, "Let It Go," is a bonus track from 2 Guitars: The Classical Crossover Album, the new album by the duo. It's also the album's only original song.

    The Commander-In-Chief wrote it for one of her brothers several years ago when he was going through a tough time. She didn't tell him—or anyone else—about the song until years later because she thought it was too personal to share with anyone.

    "Let It Go" is the third 2 Guitars song to be premiered on, and the first that doesn't feature the Commander on guitar. You also can check out "Por una Cabeza" and their version of Caprice No. 24 by Niccolo Paganini.

    For more information on the album (and to pre-order the album), visit

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    Richie Kotzen has released two new songs, “You” and “Cannibals,” both of which are available on iTunes. You also can check out the music videos for both songs below.

    “You” was co-written by Kotzen’s daughter, August, who also appears in the bottom video below.

    “It must have been four years ago and my daughter, who is now 17, was constantly playing this piece of music on the piano," Kotzen said.

    "I finally asked her what it was and she said she just made it up. I set up the microphones and recorded her playing for about seven minutes. Years later, I found this on my hard drive and decided to write lyrics to it over this past summer. The end result is what you see and hear in the video. It is one of my favorite things I’ve done and I’m happy to have been able to collaborate on music with my daughter.”

    “Cannibals” made its debut during his recent three-month solo tour, which started in Europe, taking Kotzen through Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and Chile and concluding with a month-long trek of the U.S.

    “I did something I’ve never done before on this tour,” Kotzen said, “which is performing an original composition that has yet to be released. The only place you could hear the song ‘Cannibals’ was at the show, and it went over quite well with the fans. Rather than wait to release the song as part of the new album next year, I figured it would be cool to share the studio version now while it’s fresh in the people’s minds who attended my shows. I was able to collect live footage that was shot during the tour and compile a live video to go along with the song.”

    Kotzen has been touring in support of The Essential Richie Kotzen, which was released September 2 on Loud & Proud Records. It’s a two-CD and DVD career retrospective set that encompasses this iconic talent’s entire career of his most essential work: classic material; acoustic performances; bootleg material; and two new songs (“War Paint” and “Walk With Me”). The DVD features music videos, acoustic performances and bootleg material.

    Stay tuned for new Kotzen album news in the coming weeks.

    For more information, visit

    Additional Content

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    Guitar World exclusive!

    Check out Dimebag Darrell’s “Whiskey Road,” an unreleased home demo from 2001 featuring the Pantera guitarist on all the instruments.

    See below for a 30-second preview clip of the track, and stay tuned for the complete song as well as a guitar transcription in the February 2015 issue of Guitar World.

    Single-copy purchases made through our online store will include a special 7-inch vinyl flex-disc of “Whiskey Road”!


    Additional Content

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    Today, Ubisoft has announced that Rocksmith 2014 Edition for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system is now available.

    More than three million people have learned to play guitar and bass through the award-winning Rocksmith method, the fastest way to learn guitar*.

    Rocksmith 2014 Edition comes with more than 50 tracks to learn from, and as of this month, the total library of songs to choose from across games, including downloadable tracks stands at 500 songs, with new tracks added regularly.

    This December, Jimi Hendrix will make his Rocksmith debut with 12 tracks available free for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 system owners through January 31. The Jimi Hendrix track list, which will be available for purchase after the free limited time offer expires, includes:

    • Bold As Love
    • Castles Made Of Sand
    • Fire
    • Foxey Lady
    • Freedom
    • If 6 Was 9
    • Little Wing
    • Manic Depression
    • Purple Haze
    • Red House
    • The Wind Cries Mary
    • Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

    Players making the jump to the latest consoles can import previously acquired DLC tracks across systems from the same manufacturer, from Xbox 360 to Xbox One and PlayStation 3 system to PlayStation 4 system without having to repurchase content or pay additional licensing costs. As of this week, Rocksmith 2014 Edition boasts a song library of 500 playable tracks, spanning multiple decades and musical genres.

    New to Rocksmith 2014 Edition on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 system is the integrated streaming and capture feature players can use to record and share their best performances as well as show off their favorite custom tones from Tone Designer. Now with 1080p HD graphics for greater clarity and visual quality, Rocksmith 2014 Edition is better than ever.

    On PlayStation 4 system, Rocksmith 2014 Edition will support Remote Play through PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system where players can view songs at a locked mastery level without any scoring or input required; this is perfect for players looking to review a song in its entirety without feedback, study specific sections of songs or practice in another room.

    Two versions of the game are now available. The standard edition includes the Rocksmith Real Tone Cable, a unique 1/4" to USB cable developed exclusively for Rocksmith, for $79.99 and a digital version is available for $59.99. The Real Tone Cable included with previous Rocksmith versions is also compatible with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 system.

    For more information about Rocksmith 2014 Edition, visit and for information about the free Jimi Hendrix songs offer, visit

    For the latest on all of Ubisoft’s games, visit

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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!

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    John Vesely, better known as Secondhand Serenade, has partnered up with Vevo to exclusively premiere his video for hit single "Shake If Off.”

    Although the song was recorded in 2012 and released on iTunes in early 2013, it appears on Secondhand Serenade's recently release album, Undefeated.

    Filmed in Nashville by Jon King, this is Secondhand Serenade's first official video since "Something More" in 2010. "For the 'Shake It Off' video I just wanted to have some fun and get it on film. We had a basic concept, got a bunch of friends together and let it happen." Vesely tells us.

    Having fun is what they did sprinkling throughout the video intentionally similar scenes to the video with the same named track by international rock star, Taylor Swift, as well as featuring co-producer of the song, Brandon Metcalf's, wake boarding skills. For more information, please visit:

    Following years of constant worldwide touring, grueling promotion, and living out of a suitcase, Vesely took a break to enjoy the one thing he took for The overwhelming success of his breakout single "Fall For You" - which resulted in multi-platinum sales, a slew of television appearances and performances, headlining shows and festivals across the globe - shot Vesely clear into the spotlight. Before he followed the trend of rushing out more music before being ready, Vesely took a conscious approach of experiencing every day life to pull inspiration for his next body of work, with the end result being his latest offering titled Undefeated.

    Moving out of LA, Vesely was determined to start working on a new album in San Francisco. However, at some point he realized that working completely on his own was not the best way to shape his new sound. "Having grown up in Northern California, I thought the comfort of home might help the creative process. But in reality, so much had changed since I lived there before, that the comfort didn't really exist," Vesely tells us.

    It was at this point that the singer/songwriter decided to pack up and head to Nashville for what was intended to be a two to three week trip, just to finish up the album. John hit the studio with producer Brandon Metcalf and ended up falling in love with not just the material the two were creating, but also the environment in which he now found himself. With Nashville as his new home Vesely states, "Nashville just has this vibe about it that I can't really explain. Everyone is so nice and it seems like the music community is so vibrant and encouraging. People here actually want to help you, and want you to succeed. It's almost like one big family where everyone is pulling for each other. It's a really inspiring city,"

    The new surroundings helped form the sound of Secondhand Serenade's 4th original studio album, Undefeated. With hints of country, rock and of course his signature pop, Undefeated is a collection of 12 new songs co-produced by Vesely and Metcalf, and mixed by multi-Grammy award winning Nashville legend, F. Reid Shippen (Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum). With topics ranging from letting go of your problems on "Shake It Off", revisiting the good times of the past with "Back To The Old Days" and overcoming the odds in order to follow your dreams in the title track, there is consciously more substance than just love and heartbreak tracks -- which of course also exist.

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    Today is Day 6 of our third annual 12 Days of Holiday Deals Sale at the Guitar World Online Store!

    You can expect a great new deal every day, including today's deal:

    Get Guitar Aficionado magazine's The Collections book for $25!

    The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World

    In this spectacular full-color deluxe volume, Guitar Aficionado— today's preeminent luxury guitar publication — presents the world's most epic guitars and the people who own them. All the instruments are photographed in meticulous detail and accompanied by descriptions and recollections in the artists' own words. These magnificent photos and stories are presented in a large coffee table style book, measuring 14"x10.5".

    You'll discover the iconic, historic, and often priceless instruments of:

    • Jimmy Page
    • Eddie Van Halen
    • Stevie Ray Vaughan
    • Rick Nielsen
    • Billy Gibbons
    • Jeff Beck
    • Joe Bonamassa
    • Duane Allman
    • Carlos Santana
    • John Lennon
    • Lindsey Buckingham

    ... and many more!

    Guitar Aficionado: The Collections also features special chapters devoted to the iconic, historic, and often priceless instruments employed by the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Billy Gibbons, Tony Iommi, Ace Frehley, Peter Frampton, John Lennon — and many other artists who changed not only the face of music, but of popular culture itself. With gorgeous color photography and rare and exclusive images throughout, this book is a must-have for any fan!

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!

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    When you first learn the three-note-per-string and/or single position seven-note scale, you learn the patterns starting on the low E string and work your way up to the high E and back.

    You do this for each of the seven patterns up the neck, practicing and perfecting your scales.

    This is great! The only problem is, this is how you are training your hands and brain to approach them.

    Rather than viewing the scales as the available notes you have to choose from in a given key/mode, the order of the notes sometimes becomes how you rely on playing them in an improvising and/or composing situation.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this; it has worked fine and beautifully for hundreds of years. The melody for “Joy to the World” is simply a descending major scale. Learning to approach your scales in a different way will shake things up and hopefully change your habits of approaching scales in only an A-to-Z fashion.

    String skipping is mostly associated with being a shred technique, covering a lot of ground quickly on the guitar by skipping over adjacent strings. The approach I am presenting is not so much a shred thing, but more of a way to know the scale on only two strings at a time, rather than all six, as most people generally learn them. If anything, this will force you to know the notes of the scale better, rather than relying on muscle memory to get through them. Remember the most important thing when playing music is to consciously create, rather than go through the motions of learned patterns that are embedded in our brains from constant repetition.

    For the examples, I have written the scales out in the key of F. Once the concept is learned, it should be applied to all keys/modes. As you play through these, you will notice different shapes that repeat across each set of two strings according to the degree of the scale you start on. Eventually you will see that if, for instance, you start a pattern on the third degree of the scale, you will be playing one shape; if you start on the root of the scale, you will be playing a different one, etc.

    String set 1, High E and G strings:


    String set 2, B and D strings:


    String set 3, G and A strings:


    String set 4, D and low E strings:


    To further learn and integrate this approach to your playing, try improvising with this technique using only one string set at a time. Move up and down one string and then hop over to the other string in the set, keeping in mind to be as melodic as possible at all times, rather than trying to shred through the scale.

    Being limited to only two strings at a time will force you to approach the instrument in a way that you may not have possibly explored before.

    Steve Booke is a composer for film and TV from the New York area. His compositions range from orchestral to metal to world styles from every corner of the planet. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Steve has played guitar for more than 28 years. He has recorded 10 albums of his own and has played on countless others. He plays gigs in the NY area and tours the East Coast with a variety of bands. He has performed with Ben E. King and members of Mahavishnu Orchestra. He endorses D'Addario/Planet Waves, Larrivee Guitars, Levy's Leathers, Peavey, Stylus Pick, Finale PrintMusic, Pigtronix, Tech 21, Toontrack, Graph Tech, Seymour Duncan, Waves, Studio Devil and L.R. Baggs. His music is available on iTunes and Amazon. Steve is now offering Skype lessons and can be contacted at Visit and

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    Last year, I gave you a 30-minute guitar workout designed for guitarists with limited practice time.

    The goal of the workout was to give you an intense 30 minutes of practice. The positive response to this workout inspired me make a new version for 2014. As with my previous workout the goal is the same: 30 minutes of intense practice.

    My original workout was based around taking a diatonic scale playing different sequences, intervals and arpeggios derived from that scale. This workout focuses on using symmetrical scales to create similar sequences. "Symmetrical Scales" is not a musical term, but I've used it to describe the three scales this workout is based around.

    To begin, I've written the three symmetrical scales, all in the key of A for you to see how each scale is constructed. These are all scales you've seen before, starting with the chromatic scale. The chromatic scale uses all semitone (one-fret) intervals to create a 12-note scale.

    The second scale is the whole tone scale, which uses all whole tone (two-fret) intervals to create a six-note scale. The third scale is technically a diminished 7th arpeggio, which uses all minor third (three-fret) intervals; this also is commonly known as the diminished scale. As you can see from the TAB, each scale has a unique arrangement on the fretboard, which makes the sequences we derive from the scales more challenging.




    For a detailed explanation on how the following exercises should be practiced, see my original workout. You should begin each exercise at a slow speed of around 80 bpm. Every time you succesfully play the vivien203, increase the tempo by 10 bpm. Keep increasing the tempo until you reach the target bpm for each exercise.

    Part 1: Chromatic Warm Up (Target Speed: 160 bpm)


    The first exercise combines a linear chromatic sequence with string skipping. This exercise is basically a warm up to get your alternate picking and fretting fingers sync'd up. This should be very easy to build speed up to the target tempo of 160 bpm. Every string has 4 notes which is makes alternate picking very simple.

    Part 2: Whole Tone Scale Intervals (Target Speed: 120 bpm)



    After warming up, we now move to the whole tone scale, which we will play as interval sequences. As this is a symmetrical scale, every interval is the same for every note of the scale. We start by playing the scale in thirds, which in this case is major thirds.

    Due to the more complicated picking pattern, I set a target speed of 120 bpm for this exercise. After thirds we play the scale in 4th's which in the whole tone scale is augmented 4th's. This exercise is great for developing an "outside picking" technique. Each pair of 4th's is played across two adjacent strings, and using strict alternate picking means you pick outside each string.

    Part 3: Diminished Scale Sequences (Target Speed: 160 bpm)



    To finish, we will play diminished scale sequences in triplets and 16th notes. Because this scale has much wider intervals than regular diatonic scales these sequences can be very challenging to play at higher speeds. As each string only has two notes and the scale moves in a diagonal direction across the fretboard you will find your picking and fretting hand working much harder than with diatonic sequences.

    Hopefully you'll find this workout useful and use it as an alternative for my previous workout. I usually use these as a warm up for more intense/lengthy practice sessions but alone they provide you with a good technical practice which should keep your chops in shape, cheers!

    Will Wallner is a guitarist from England who now lives in Los Angeles. He recently signed a solo deal with Polish record label Metal Mind Productions for the release of his debut album, which features influential musicians from hard rock and heavy metal. He also is the lead guitarist for White Wizzard (Earache Records) and toured Japan, the US and Canada in 2012. Follow Will on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Duane Allman had three primary Les Pauls during his time with the Allman Brothers Band.

    The 1957 goldtop he played on the band’s first two albums as well as most of the Derek and the Dominos Layla sessions has been on display at the Big House Museum in Macon, Georgia.

    The other two Les Pauls, a 1959 cherry burst and a 1958 or 1959 dark burst, are owned by Duane’s daughter Galadrielle and have long been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She made sure that both guitars made it to the Beacon, along with Duane’s goldtop, for the Allman Brothers Band’s final performances this past October.

    “I’ve always wanted to see them play the guitars, knowing that it would be amazing for everyone,” Galadrielle says. “It’s a daunting thing to try to imagine these fragile and valuable things out in the world, and it had to be the right time and place.”

    The guitars’ histories are long and varied. In September 1970, Duane traded the goldtop for the cherry burst after swapping the pickups between the instruments. The cherry burst became his primary guitar, heard on At Fillmore East. In June 1971, guitar dealer Kurt Linhof sold Duane the dark burst, which became his main guitar until his death on October 29, 1971.

    According to Galadrielle’s moving memoir, Please Be with Me: A Song for My Father, Duane Allman, her mother Donna took the cherryburst from Duane’s apartment after his death and soon lent it to a musician friend—who had introduced Duane and Donna. She asked him to return it when her daughter was 21.

    [[ For more about the Allman Brothers' six-night run at New York City's Beacon Theatre, pick up the January 2015 issue of Guitar World! ]]

    Gregg had the darkburst, but the band’s road manager Twiggs Lyndon was worried about its fate. A classic car aficionado, Lyndon traded Gregg a 1939 Ford Opera coupe for the guitar, determined to hold it for Galadrielle until she was “old enough not to give it to the first guitar player she dated.” He took the guitar on tour with the Dixie Dregs, and it was on the road with him and band when Lyndon died in a skydiving accident in 1979.

    Dregs guitarist Steve Morse safeguarded the guitar for over a decade, recording several tracks with it. On April 2, 1990, Twiggs’ brother Skoots Lyndon met Donna Allman at Duane’s Macon grave and presented her with the guitar for her daughter.

    Fittingly, it was Skoots who traveled to Cleveland to transport the guitars to New York, guarding them with the expected vigilance. After decades behind glass, both guitars were not in playable shape. Lyndon, who is on the Deep Purple crew, asked Morse guitar tech Tommy Alderson to prep the guitars. He began working on them at 10:30 at night on an ironing boarding in room 805 of the Millburn Hotel, pronouncing them done at about three in the morning.

    “I kept it really simple because they are very fragile,” Alderson says. “I cleaned the pots real good and got the intonation as right on as you can get with flattened frets. I flattened the necks with the truss rod so I could measure and set the bridge so it didn’t buzz or fret out.”

    Alderson was struck in particular by the pickup setup on the cherry burst. “They are set different than anything I’ve ever encountered,” he says, “dropped down a fair amount below the pickup ring. The pickup pole adjustments had the screws turned up so they would pick up the signal. Also unusual, the bridge pickup is a lot weaker than the neck pickup. I plugged it in and put it in the middle, and it was the ‘One Way Out’ sound. It was just crazy to hear.”

    The guitars’ unique sounds were apparent the moment Haynes and Trucks played them.

    “You plug them in and the sound of Duane is unmistakable,” Haynes says.

    “The sound is so distinct and powerful,” adds Derek Trucks. “There was definitely some extra spirit in the room. At one point, [his uncle, drummer] Butch looked down, saw I was playing Duane’s goldtop and was really struck.”

    “It was during ‘Dreams,’ ” Butch recalls. “And seeing and hearing Derek play the solo on the guitar Duane used was very emotional.”

    Alan Paul is the author of One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band.

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    In this video, Guitar World's Jimmy Brown shows you how to play "Silent Night"— just in time for Christmas.

    Brown goes over several different arrangements of the song, from basic to more involved. Then he covers the melody line. Then you see him play the melody over the chords.

    This video lesson of "Silent Night" is from the How to Play Christmas Songs on the Guitar DVD, which is available now at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Other songs on the DVD include "Oh Come All Ye Faithful,""Deck the Hall,""Jingle Bells,""The First Noel,""Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,""Jingle Bell Rock" and "Auld Lang Syne," plus a Christmas medley for electric guitar featuring "Little Drummer Boy,""Silent Night" and "Auld Lang Syne."

    There are more than 80 minutes of lessons. For more information or to order, head to the Guitar World Online Store.

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    It’s time once again to take part in Guitar World magazine's annual readers poll!

    Should Ace Frehley take the MVP crown — and not Angus Young?

    Was Judas Priest the year’s best live act? Or was it Jack White? Will Marty Friedman reign over Gus G in the Best Shredder category? What about this year's best blues guitarist and rock album?

    It’s up to you to determine the winners of these matchups and more (There are 16 questions in all), so get voting now and help us determine the best of 2014!

    As always, the results will appear in a future issue of Guitar World magazine. Thanks for another great year!

    You can access our 2014 poll RIGHT HERE.

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    There has always been a good deal of mystery surrounding the pinch harmonic, or, as hip players like to call it, “pick squeal.”

    A pick squeal is simply an artificial harmonic, or high-pitched sound, produced by choking up on the pick and allowing the thumb or thumbnail to catch the string in just as it is picked.

    The result, of course, resembles a squeal. Or a squawk. Or a scream. (It could take several tries before you get the desired s word.)

    Anyhow, what was once the domain of blues-rock string benders is now a staple for most metal guitarists.

    Here be the dudes who made it so.

    10. Greg Howe

    Sure, he’s moved on to smoother and faster fusion pastures, but early on in his rock career, velocity merchant Greg Howe used the pinch harmonic like it was going out of style. Listen to Howe II to hear him bend notes into frequencies perceptible only by canines. Sure, it went out of style. But it came back.

    09. John Sykes

    A speed freak of the scalar variety, Sykes really showed his know-how for the squeal upon joining Thin Lizzy for their 1983 swan song Thunder and Lightning.

    The repeated, howling fills in “Cold Sweat” were the precursor of the exaggerated squeals that became rampant in metal guitar playing during the decade. Later, Sykes would Top 40-fy the technique on Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night.”

    08. Shadows Fall

    Jonathan Donais and Matthew Bachand haven’t merely led the return of melodic thrash to the America. No.

    They’ve punctuated their intricate leads with pinch harmonics, helping to bring the technique back into prominence in extremely heavy music. It’s like havin’ Zakk Wylde and John Sykes in one band!

    07. Skid Row

    A Skid Row song without a scream or 300 from the guitar just wasn’t complete. In fact, the band’s self-titled debut may have more pick squeals than Van Halen had David Lee Roth squeals. And speaking of frontmen, the pinch harmonics of guitarists Scotti Hill and Snake Sabo were the antidote Sebastian Bach Eighties-metal wailing.

    06. Eddie Van Halen

    Look no further than Van Halen’s landmark debut. With his aggressive pick attack, Ed sounds almost as if he’s using some weird wah-wah effect when he pinches the strings in the hyperboogie riffs of “I’m the One” and “Jamie’s Crying.”

    And how about the opening riff of “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love”? Rock guitar changed at this point.

    05. Dimebag Darrell

    By the time Pantera made the transformation to Metallica-inspired power metal, the Dime had moved from inserting EVH squeals in his solos to writing riffs around pinch harmonics, as in “Cemetary Gates.”

    When that song came out, death-metal bands immediately started taking their cues from Mr. Abbott.

    04. Steve Vai

    The Big V has been making weird guitar noises since his infancy—when Frank Zappa’s wolf pack adopted and raised him.

    But it all came together, pinchwise, on Flexable’s chromatic tour de force“Attitude Song.”

    Later, Vai merged commercial success, whammy bar, and pick squeals on David Lee Roth’s version of “Tobacco Road,” and the technique all but dominated the boogie tune “Juice,” from Alien Love Secrets.

    03. Roy Buchanan

    The late and lamented Buchanan gets credit for inventing the technique, back in the Sixties. The way he laid into his strings made it so that virtually every bend had a harmonic overtone of some sort.

    Yep, he was chicken pickin’, and the notes they were squawkin’. Some of his most over-the-top pinch harmonics—produced without the aid of ridiculous distortion—can be found on the album Live Stock.

    02. Zakk Wylde

    A 19-year-old feller rejuvenates Ozzy’s band by twisting steroid-enhanced riffs into “Miracle Man” and interspersing pick squeals in just about any gap that opens up.

    Wylde realized he was onto something; the technique is now integral to his rowdy playing style. Indeed, when he touches off his A squeal, it sounds as though the string is screaming for help.

    01. Billy Gibbons

    The fact that The Beard sustained a large portion of his “La Grange” solo with harmonic squeals puts him in the books as a master of the technique. The fact that song is a tribute to a house of ill repute makes the sound effects—the squeals—ever more appropriate.

    According to lore, Gibbons attains his signature squeals by picking with an old coin. The thicker the pick, the louder the squeal louder, or so they say.

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    Singer-songwriter Taylor Berrett will be releasing his debut album, Great Falls, on March 10, 2015, via Warner Bros. Records.

    The album embodies songwriting at its finest, with great artists like Paul Simon and Billy Joel as inspiration and Taylor's uniquely fun, uplifting, and poignant style at the heart.

    He's already garnered heavy-hitting comparisons to John Mayer and Jason Mraz from Seventeen Magazine, and has MTV Buzzworthy saying, "His vocals are so heartfelt, you can't help but be sucked in."

    As a taste to carry you over into the holidays, here's the track "Those Days."

    The 22 year old from Virginia has always loved songs, and realized at an early age that he was desperate to follow in the footsteps of songwriters such as Stevie Wonder, the Elton John/Bernie Taupin team, and Chris Martin.

    As a teenager, Taylor was signed to the production company of SRP with Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers (best known for signing and developing Rihanna). From there, he further developed his craft and was led to iconic songwriter Kara Dioguardi. Kara signed Taylor to her publishing company and brought him to Warner Bros. Records, bringing it full circle at the home of many classic artists, including Taylor's favorite, Paul Simon.

    Signed to WBR after just one showcase, Taylor started work on Great Falls. The album - recorded in London and produced by Jake Gosling, the UK-based multi-platinum producer and songwriter most known for his work with Ed Sheeran, Christina Perri and One Direction - is a collection of fun and unique songs, with lyrics timeless and wise beyond Taylor's years.

    Taylor is out on the road supporting Alex Clare for the remainder of 2014, with stops still to come in Dallas, Atlanta, Philly, DC, Boston, and New York.

    Tour Dates with Alex Clare:
    12/10 Emos - Austin, TX
    12/11 House of Blues - Houston, TX
    12/13 White Rabbit - San Antonio, TX
    12/14 House of Blues - New Orleans, LA
    12/15 Center Stage - Atlanta, GA
    12/17 TLA - Philadelphia, PA
    12/18 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
    12/20 House of Blues - Cleveland, OH
    12/21 Stone Pony - Asbury Park, NJ
    12/22 Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
    12/23 Irving Plaza - New York, NY

    Find out more at

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    Joanna Connor might be the best—or most original—blues-based slide guitar player you're likely to come across today. Or tomorrow.

    Check out this action-packed video of Connor, shown performing a wicked slide solo at the 2014 North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland, Maine.

    Besides Connor on guitar, the video features Lance Lewis on bass, Tony Palmer on guitar and James Carter on drums. A quick shout out to Sodafixer, who shot and posted the video to YouTube.

    For more about the Joanna Connor Band, visit

    As always, enjoy! It won't be difficult. Connor is quite freaking good.

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    If you ask some people in these parts, 2014 wasn't a great year for music.

    I disagree. I think it kicked 2013's ass.

    Mind you, my tastes have veered way over toward the rootsy-rock, rockabilly, non-horrible-retro-leaning-country zone. Luckily, Whitey Morgan and The 78's, Sturgill Simpson and Reverend Horton Heat provided me with plenty to listen to. Cracker (yes, Cracker) also came along with a late-year stunner, and let's not forget those most-messed-up Old 97's.

    While I'm on the topic, I predict I'll be writing much more about Laur Joamets, Sturgill Simpson's Estonian guitarist, in 2015. Keep an eye out for this guy.

    On that note, here are my top 10 albums of 2014. See you next year!

    P.S.: I should mention that my math isn't too good; ergo, there are 12 albums here. Also, these albums are in no particular order. I repeat, these albums are in no particular order. Remember you can click on the photos to take a closer look. Enjoy!

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    Today is Day 7 of our third annual 12 Days of Holiday Deals Sale at the Guitar World Online Store!

    You can expect a great new deal every day, including today's deal:

    Get our Lick Pack lesson DVDs for only $5 each!

    The Lick Pack DVDs include:

    • 20 Essential Metal Licks
    • 20 Essential Classical Licks
    • 20 Essential Jazz Licks
    • 20 Essential Acoustic Rock Licks
    • 20 Essential Rhythm Guitar Styles
    • 20 Essential Beginner Blues Licks
    • 20 Essential Bluegrass Licks
    • 30 Hot Country Licks
    • 50 Essential Expert Licks

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!

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    SHEL recently invited us to a studio in Nashville to capture them performing one of their infectious folk tunes.

    Below, the band plays “Like Minded Fool,” showcasing their hypnotic vocal arrangements and serious songwriting talent.

    Comprised of four sisters, SHEL is an acronym for their names; Sarah on violin, Hannah on keyboards, Eva on mandolin, and Liza on drums, djembe and beatboxing.

    Hailing from Fort Collins, CO, the sisters are classically trained musicians known for their impressive harmonized vocals, infections rhythms and captivating shows.

    Since the 2012 release of the band’s self-titled debut, they have toured across the US and Europe mesmerizing audiences with their ethereal vocal arrangements and energetic performances.

    In more recent news, SHEL’s “Hold On” with Gareth Dunlop is featured in Nicholas Sparks’ film, The Best of Me.

    Check out “Like Minded Fool” below and find out more at

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    This is an excerpt from the all-new January 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus features on the Allman Brothers, Smashing Pumpkins and At The Gates, not to mention gear reviews, lessons and tabs, pick up the January 2015 issue of Guitar World.

    Forever Young: Sidelined by illness, Malcolm Young was the heart and soul of AC/DC. But his bandmates rock on with nephew Stevie Young and a brand-new album, Rock or Bust.

    “It was pretty hard,” Angus Young says about making the band’s new album, Rock or Bust. “I was doing a lot on my own.”

    Speaking from the Netherlands, where his wife’s family lives, AC/DC’s lead guitarist and eternal schoolboy sounds a bit more grave than usual, just a shade or two less whimsical.

    Throughout AC/DC’s 41-year history, Angus always wrote and recorded the band’s albums in close collaboration with his elder brother, Malcolm, whose monumentally solid rhythm guitar playing and gift for playfully dirty lyrical innuendo has been the band’s backbone. But when Malcolm fell victim to a debilitating condition that was recently diagnosed as dementia, Angus found himself alone at the helm of a band that has become a much revered rock and roll legend.

    “Especially for guitars, Mal was always my best critic,” Angus says. “No matter what producer we worked with, I always looked to Mal at the end if I played a guitar solo or a little break here and there. And he was always the one to say ‘yea’ or ‘nay.’ ”

    Rock or Bust hits as hard and burns as nasty as any other record in AC/DC’s deep catalog of thunderous rock anthems—and that is a testimony to Angus’ perseverance and AC/DC’s deathless determination to tear the roof off any studio or stadium they happen to inhabit, come hell or high water. After all this is a band that not only survived the demise of its original lead singer, Bon Scott—who boozed himself to death in 1980—but also achieved even greater glory with salacious squealer Brian Johnson as its frontman.

    Much credit for Rock or Bust’s authentic crunch and swagger is due to the band’s new rhythm guitar man, Stevie Young, nephew to Angus and Malcolm. Stevie locks up seamlessly with Angus, marshaling massive slabs of power-chord muscle that support Angus’ stinging leads and skittering counter-rhythms like the rock-hard foundation of some towering skyscraper.

    “Mal’s are some big shoes to fill,” Angus says. “But Stevie was always the obvious choice to take on the role. Mal and I had a kind of psychic connection going on from playing together all these years. With Stevie, we had to work things out a bit more. But he understands the way Mal would do it. And he’s got some suggestions of his own.”

    Understanding “the way Mal would do it” was an essential factor in keeping AC/DC’s rock-and-roll train rolling on the right track. “Malcolm’s always been a strong presence in the band,” Angus says. “He formed the band. It was his brainwaves that put it all together. He kind of guided us from the beginning. So it is a big thing to try and keep going. And for as long as he could make his voice felt, Malcolm always said, ‘Well, you lot carry on.’ ”

    Dementia is extremely rare in people under the age of 65; Malcolm is just 61. The disease severely and permanently impairs a person’s ability to think clearly, to where even routine tasks become difficult.

    “I noticed the signs for a number of years,” Angus says in retrospect. “Mal got a little disconnected when we were making our previous album, Black Ice. The tour after that was difficult. And in hindsight, I realize I was noticing things even before then. But it was hard to figure out what it was, strange as that seems. It was very hard to get a diagnosis—what he actually had. He’s not an old person.”

    The diagnosis, when it did come, was challenging on a personal level for the Young family. “With the condition itself, you know it’s not him,” Angus says of his brother’s affliction. “I know his wife kind of feels that way. It’s like she’s lost her husband.”

    And on a professional level, the situation was also extremely difficult. Official communications regarding Malcolm’s condition were evasive at first, coupled with a plea to respect his and the family’s privacy. AC/DC’s 40th anniversary, in 2013, slipped by more or less uncelebrated. Plans for a follow-up album to 2008’s Black Ice were relegated to the back burner. “We were kind of hoping that Malcolm would get better,” Angus says. “We kind of delayed on that, not knowing.”

    For a period of several years, AC/DC’s future seemed uncertain at best. “Typically at the end of every tour, we go our separate ways and decompress,” says Cliff Williams, the band’s longtime bassist, speaking from his home in Florida. “But it was on my mind certainly—the possibility that we wouldn’t do it anymore. So I was really glad when Ang called and said he was ready to do something. I was really happy about that. All of us in the band got the call to see if we were up for it, and we were. Stevie was the obvious choice to replace Malcolm. He fits in really well.”

    In a sense, the game plan for a Malcolm-less AC/DC was already in place. Back in 1988, Stevie took his uncle’s place on tour with AC/DC, while Malcolm dealt with alcohol problems. “It was Mal, actually, who brought Stevie in at that time,” Angus recalls. “He said, ‘I’ll get Stevie to fill in.’ So Stevie has got a good feel for who we are playing live, which helps.”

    Photo: Christie Goodwin/Redferns/Getty Images

    For the rest of this story, plus features on the Allman Brothers, Smashing Pumpkins and At The Gates, not to mention gear reviews, lessons and tabs, pick up the January 2015 issue of Guitar World.

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