Articles on this Page
- 12/15/14--07:57: _Djent Version of Su...
- 12/15/14--08:12: _Guitarist Sarah Mic...
- 12/15/14--08:36: _Judas Priest and St...
- 12/15/14--10:23: _From the Archive: T...
- 12/15/14--10:56: _Review: Blue Mo-Fi ...
- 12/15/14--11:27: _Guitar World's 10 B...
- 12/15/14--13:32: _Zakk Wylde's Instag...
- 12/15/14--13:50: _Great Musical Momen...
- 12/16/14--07:34: _AC/DC Play at an Au...
- 12/16/14--07:54: _Periphery Premiere ...
- 12/16/14--08:31: _Stevie Ray Vaughan,...
- 12/16/14--09:29: _Guitar World's 50 B...
- 12/16/14--11:52: _Guitar World Staff ...
- 12/16/14--12:26: _Led Zeppelin "Good ...
- 12/16/14--13:24: _Guitarist Laura Kli...
- 12/16/14--13:46: _Jackson Releases Ph...
- 12/16/14--14:35: _Paul Gilbert Jams w...
- 12/16/14--15:11: _‘Only to Rise’: Geo...
- 12/17/14--08:01: _Final Day of Massiv...
- 12/17/14--08:41: _Jason Kertson Plays...
- 12/15/14--10:23: From the Archive: The Definitive Kurt Cobain Gear Guide
- 12/15/14--10:56: Review: Blue Mo-Fi Powered High-Fidelity Headphones
- 12/15/14--11:27: Guitar World's 10 Best Box Sets of 2014
- 12/15/14--13:50: Great Musical Moments and Mistakes Made Magnificent in Headphones
- 12/16/14--07:34: AC/DC Play at an Australian High School in 1976 — Video
- 12/16/14--07:54: Periphery Premiere New Song, "22 Faces"
- 12/16/14--09:29: Guitar World's 50 Best Albums of 2014
- 12/16/14--11:52: Guitar World Staff Picks: Damian Fanelli's Top 15 Albums of 2014
- 12/16/14--13:46: Jackson Releases Phil Demmel Demmelition Pro Guitar
- 12/16/14--14:35: Paul Gilbert Jams with Ukulele Player Jake Shimabukuro — Video
Earlier this year, guitarist (and YouTube personality) Steve Terreberry has recorded and posted his own djent/metal cover of the Super Mario Bros. theme, and we thought we'd pass it along!
The track was recorded and mastered by Carmen Sorge.
For more about Terreberry, follow him on Facebook.
If you enjoy this video, be sure to check out Terreberry's YouTube channel. You'll find some cool stuff, including "How to play guitar like Lil Wayne" and "If Deathcore Sounded Happy!" which was posted last week.
In fact, we've decided to include "If Deathcore Sounded Happy!" below (bottom video).
Earlier today, the gang at Seymour Duncan posted this shot-in-2012 video to its Facebook page.
In the clip, a guitarist named Sarah Michelle tries out Seymour Duncan's Yngwie Malmsteen YJM Fury STK-S10 pickups, which live in her Fender Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Strat.
"I've always been a fan of Yngwie's gnarly strat tone," Sarah says in the information posted along with the video on YouTube. "[I'm] playing some Yngwie licks for most of the video but jamming some other riffs toward the end. These pickups are perfect for rock!"
What do you think?
For more about these pickups, visit seymourduncan.com.
For the hell of it, we've also included a video (bottom) of Sarah Michelle covering Malmsteen's "Far Beyond the Sun." Enjoy!
Sorry for the late post on this! It's a performance of "Living After Midnight" by Judas Priest and Steel Panther from November 22.
The performance took place in Tacoma, Washington, during the bands' joint tour.
Check out the fan-filmed footage below and tell us what you think!
This classic article from the August 1997 issue of Guitar World serves as the definitive guide to Kurt Cobain's grungy assortment of pawn shop prizes, turbo-charged stomp boxes and blown woofers.
Kurt Cobain must have been amused when magazines like Guitar World and Guitar Player requested interviews and when Fender approached him to design a guitar. But here's where another irony exists — although Cobain often said he didn't care very much about equipment, he certainly possessed more than a passing interest in the tools of his trade.
Cobain may not have collected vintage Gibsons, Martins, D'Angelicos and what-not, but he owned an eccentric cache of budget models, low-end imports and pawn shop prizes — most pursued with the same passion as a Gibson collector seeking a mint '59 Les Paul. Even when he could afford the best, Cobain's taste in instruments never changed. "Junk is always best," Cobain stated matter-of-factly to Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 Guitar World interview. "I use whatever I can find at junk shops."
Over the years, rumors about Cobain using special processors and studio trickery to obtain his sound have proliferated, so we figured the time had come to get to the real bottom of the truth about Cobain's equipment to be revealed. To do so, we contacted the most reliable sources available — the dealers who sold him his equipment, the engineers and producers who worked with him in the studio and the technicians who looked after his gear on the road.
A couple of well-researched websites, Chris Lawrence's site and Brian Haberman's site [2013 Editor's Note: These websites no longer exist. Remember this story is from 1997!], also supplied many useful details. Michael Azerrad's Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana (Main Street/Doubleday) provided excellent background information and photographs, and we also pored over the few interviews on the subject granted by Cobain himself.
Cobain almost certainly would have laughed at the idea of a magazine scrutinizing the minute details of his gear. "I've never considered musical equipment very sacred," he once said. But for the thousands of guitarists who consider Cobain's music sacred, it's important to understand what he played and why he played it.
SCENTLESS APPRENTICE: COBAIN'S VIRGIN MUSICAL YEARS
Kurt Donald Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington, on February 20, 1967. His first guitar, a used electric, was a 14th birthday present from his uncle Chuck. "As soon as I got my guitar, I just became so obsessed with it," Cobain told Michael Azerrad. "I don't think it was even a Harmony. I think it was a Sears."
Cobain took guitar lessons for less than a month — just long enough to learn how to play AC/DC's "Back in Black." Those three chords served him well when he began writing his own songs shortly thereafter.
Cobain soon set his sights on forming a band. One day, a couple of friends invited him to jam in an abandoned meat locker they used as a practice space. Afterwards, Cobain foolishly left his guitar in the locker and was subsequently unable to return and get it back.
When he finally made it back to the rehearsal space a few months later, he found his guitar in pieces. He salvaged the neck, hardware and electronics and made a new body for the guitar in wood shop, but Cobain lacked the skills to make the restored instrument intonate properly.
When Cobain was 17, his mother married Pat O'Connor, whose ensuing infidelity led to a situation that greatly facilitated Cobain's acquisition of musical gear. After Cobain's mother learned that Pat was cheating on her, she dumped his gun collection in the river. Cobain observed his mother's antics and later encouraged some of the neighborhood kids to fish his stepdad's weapons out. Cobain sold the guns and bought a used Peavey Vintage amplifier with two 12-inch speakers with the proceeds.
In early 1985, Cobain moved in with his natural father who discouraged his son's musical pursuits and convinced him to pawn his guitar. After about a week, Cobain got his guitar out of hock and moved out. He almost lost the guitar again when he loaned it to a drug dealer, but managed to repossess it a few months later. With this unknown guitar and the Peavey amp in hand, Cobain formed his first band, Fecal Matter, in late 1985.
The Peavey amp disappeared sometime between early 1986 and late 1987. Krist Novoselic remembers that Cobain gave the amp to him for about a week, in what apparently was a friendly attempt to get him to join Fecal Matter. Novoselic declined on both offers.
The amp disappeared sometime after that. By late 1987 Novoselic finally agreed to form a band with Cobain and drummer Aaron Burckhard, which they called Skid Row. Photos from this era show Cobain playing a right-hand model sunburst Univox Hi-Flyer flipped over and strung for left-handed playing. According to Azerrad, Cobain's amp during this period was a tiny Fender Champ. Also around this time, Cobain acquired a Univox Superfuzz, but it was stolen from his rehearsal space.
The band's name changed frequently, from Fecal Matter to such similarly choice monikers as Ted Ed Fred, Pen Cap Chew, Throat Oyster, Windowpane and Bliss. Eventually they settled on Nirvana. When Burckhard proved too unreliable, Cobain and Novoselic kicked him out of the band and enlisted drummer Dale Crover, who they temporarily stole from the Melvins. Three weeks later, on January 23, 1988, Nirvana recorded its first studio demo at Reciprocal Studio with Jack Endino-whose early production/engineering/mixing credits include Soundgarden, Green River, Tad and Mudhoney-behind the board.
BLOND AMBITION: THE BLEACH YEARS
A few months after working with Nirvana for the first time, Endino played the band's demo tape for Jonathan Poneman of Sub Pop Records, who signed the band to the label. Three of the songs that Nirvana recorded during that session ended up on Bleach, the band's first album.
The band liked working with Endino, and they returned to Reciprocal Studios several times during the year to record more songs, although Chad Channing replaced Crover on drums. Nirvana signed a contract with Sub Pop, and in late December 1988, they entered Reciprocal Studios to record Bleach. The album was recorded in three days for $606.16, although five tracks from earlier sessions were included on the final album. Most of the remaining songs from the various Reciprocal sessions were released several years later on Incesticide.
"When they recorded Bleach, Kurt's Randall was in the shop so they borrowed my amp, which was a Sixties Fender Twin," Endino recalls. "I'm a tube nut, so everything was tweaked and up to spec on that amp, but it didn't have speakers because I had fried them. Kurt brought in a little closed-back 2x12 cabinet with two Celestions, most likely 70-watt models. He was using a little orange Boss DS-1 distortion pedal and these Univox guitars [Hi-Flyers] that looked like Mosrites. The pickups were stock. I ended up getting one of those pickups from him once, because he was smashing those guitars all the time. I said, `You must have some extra pickups,' and he said, `Oh yeah. Here's one.' It was in two pieces. I was able to stick the wires together and use it. It's not the greatest sounding pickup in the world, but it seemed to work for him."
In 1989, Nirvana went on its first American tour. According to Earnie Bailey, a Seattle guitar repairman who was friends with Novoselic and who often worked as a technician for the band, Cobain's live rig during this period was a red Epiphone ET270, a solid-state Randall amp head, a BFI Bullfrog 4x12 cabinet and a Boss DS-1 distortion. When his guitar was destroyed beyond repair, Cobain would look for cheap replacements in pawn shops or have Sub Pop ship him guitars via Federal Express.
"I heard stories about Kurt's guitar destruction from the Sub Pop people early on," says Endino. "When he was out on the road he'd call them up and say, `I don't know what got into me, but I just smashed up my guitar.' I don't think he was planning on smashing guitars from day one. It was just something he did. The poor Sub Pop people would call all the pawn shops up and down the coast, looking for Univox guitars."
Between tours, Cobain often bought equipment from Guitar Maniacs in Tacoma, Washington, and Danny's Music in Everett, Washington. According to Rick King, owner of Guitar Maniacs, Cobain "bought a whole bunch of Univox Hi-Flyers— both the P-90 version and ones with humbuckers. Those pickups have huge output and are completely over the top. He broke a lot of those guitars. We sold him several of them for an average of $100 each over the course of five years."
Although humbucker-equipped Univox Hi-Flyers apparently were Cobain's favorite guitars in the pre-Nevermind days, he often appeared on stage with other models, including a blue Gibson SG and a sunburst left-handed Greco Mustang copy he bought from Guitar Maniacs.
Cobain purchased what probably was his first acoustic guitar, a Stella 12-string, for $31.21 on October 12, 1989. He brought the Stella to Smart Studios in Wisconsin to record some demos with Butch Vig in April 1990. The guitar wasn't exactly a studio musician's dream.
"It barely stays in tune," Cobain told Jeff Gilbert in a February 1992 Guitar World interview. "I have to use duct tape to hold the tuning keys in place." At some point in the Stella's history, the steel strings had been replaced with six nylon strings, only five of which were intact during the session. However, the guitar sounded good enough to Vig, who recorded Cobain playing a solo acoustic version of "Polly" on that guitar. That track can be heard on Nevermind.
Cobain didn't seem to be exceptionally particular about what equipment he was playing through, with the notable exception of his effects pedals. Sometime in 1990, he bought an Electro-Harmonix Small Clone from Guitar Maniacs, and it remained a favorite and essential part of his setup to the end of his life. On January 1, 1991, Cobain used the Small Clone to record "Aneurysm," which later was issued as the b-side to the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single.
BREEDING GROUND: THE RECORDING OF NEVERMIND
Prior to formally signing with Geffen Records on April 30, 1991, Nirvana received a $287,000 advance for the recording of Nevermind. The advance was somewhat meager, but it gave the band some freedom in choosing equipment. However, Cobain didn't exactly go wild with his spending.
"I sold Kurt a bunch of guitars and effects for the Nevermind album," says Rick King. "When they got signed to Geffen and started getting money, Kurt was still very frugal. He bought some Japanese left-handed Strats and had humbuckers installed in the Strats' lead position. He didn't spend very much money on guitars."
Apparently Cobain developed a taste for Fender guitars just prior to recording Nevermind. "I like guitars in the Fender style because they have skinny necks," said Cobain in a late 1991 interview. "I've resorted to Japanese-made Fender Stratocasters because they're the most available left-handed guitars." During this period, he also acquired a left-handed '65 Jaguar that had a DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucker in the bridge position and a DiMarzio PAF in the neck position in place of the guitar's stock single-coil pickups. These modifications were made before Cobain purchased the guitar. Cobain also bought a left-handed, Lake Placid Blue '69 Fender Competition Mustang around then.
"Out of all the guitars in the whole world, the Fender Mustang is my favorite," Cobain told GW. "They're cheap and totally inefficient, and they sound like crap and are very small. They also don't stay in tune, and when you want to raise the string action on the fretboard, you have to loosen all the strings and completely remove the bridge. You have to turn these little screws with your fingers and hope that you've estimated it right. If you screw up, you have to repeat the process over and over until you get it right. Whoever invented that guitar was a dork. I guess I'm calling Leo Fender, the dead guy, a dork." To overcome these tuning problems, Cobain had his '69 Mustang fitted with a Gotoh Tune-O-Matic bridge, a modification that was routinely performed on the Mustangs he subsequently acquired.
Some claim that Cobain's preference for low-end guitars was a punk statement, but he insisted that it was a matter of necessity. "I don't favor them," Cobain told Guitar World in 1992. "I can afford them. I'm left-handed and it's not very easy to find reasonably priced, high-quality left-handed guitars." Before entering the studio, Cobain purchased a rack rig consisting of a Mesa/Boogie Studio preamp, a Crown power amp and a variety of Marshall 4x12 cabinets. "I can never find an amp that's powerful enough," Cobain told GW. "And I don't want to deal with hauling 10 Marshall heads. I'm lazy-I like to have it all in one package. For a preamp I have a Mesa/Boogie, and I turn all the midrange up." Cobain brought this rig along with his Mustang, Jaguar, a Japanese Strat and his Boss DS-1 and Electro-Harmonix Small Clone pedals to Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California, where the band recorded Nevermind with Butch Vig.
"Kurt had a Mesa/Boogie, but we also used a Fender Bassman a lot and a Vox AC30 on Nevermind," Vig recalls. "I prefer getting the amp to sound distorted instead of using special effects or pedals, which lose body and the fullness of the bottom end."
Still, Vig allowed Cobain to use a few pedals on the album, especially since the guitarist felt that the DS-1 was the main factor in his tone. Cobain also used the Small Clone liberally. "That's making the watery guitar sound you hear on the pre-chorus build-up of `Smells Like Teen Spirit' and also `Come As You Are,'" says Vig. "We used an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff fuzz box through a Fender Bassman on `Lithium' to get that thumpier, darker sound."
Cobain's pawn shop Stella was used again for "Something in the Way." Vig recorded the performance while Cobain sat on a couch in the control room. Against Vig's wishes, Cobain plugged his guitar direct into the board for "Territorial Pissings." During the recording of "Lithium," Cobain instigated the noise jam that became the "hidden" track "Endless, Nameless." (This track does not appear on the first 50,000 copies of the CD.) Towards the end of the track, Cobain can be heard smashing his Japanese Stratocaster.
One of the most frustrating aspects of making music today is toiling for hours in the studio to make a pristine recording and craft a perfect mix, only to end up selling your music to an audience that mostly listens to compressed audio files through tinny-sounding ear buds.
And even though full-size headphones are growing in popularity, more thought seems to go into their colors and looks than their sound quality. The new Mo-Fi headphones from Blue Microphones are a welcome exception to the rule, designed to provide true audiophile sound quality when used with portable audio devices.
Like Blue’s outstanding studio microphones, their Mo-Fi headphones boast a distinctive design that’s as beautiful in form as it is practical in function.
The amply padded earpieces entirely enclose the ears and are angled and ear-shaped to fit snugly and comfortably. A knob on the headband allows users to adjust downward compression to keep the headphones in place. The most important and distinctive feature is the built-in amplifier with 240mW of output, 10Hz to 20kHz frequency response and extremely low total harmonic distortion.
The 50mm fiber-reinforced dynamic drivers deliver frequency response of 15Hz to 20kHz. The amplifier’s battery is charged via USB, and a three-way switch provides on (amp power on), on+ (bass boost) and off (unpowered) settings. Two audio cables (one with iPhone/iPad controls), a USB cable, AC-to-USB charger, 3.5mm-to-1/4-inch adaptor and two-prong airplane connector are also provided.
I own and use pretty much every imaginable style of headphones, including pairs designed for studio monitor applications, DJing and home audio. I’ve used those headphones with my iPods, iPads and iPhones with mixed and generally disappointing results, but these Blue Mo-Fi headphones absolutely blew (pardon the pun) me away. I listened to songs I know quite well as well as music I’ve recorded myself, and I’ve never enjoyed such incredible detail from compressed audio before. The bass boost setting delivers deep but clear bass that retains the definition of higher frequency audio instead of obliterating it like most bass functions do.
Although Blue Mo-Fi headphones are designed primarily for use with portable iOS devices, even audio professionals will want to consider having a pair or two in their studios. From the exceptionally comfortable design that users can wear for hours to the removable audio cables that are easy to replace should they get damaged, these headphones are built to provide a lifetime of audio bliss.
LIST PRICE $350
MANUFACTURER Blue Microphones, bluemic.com
The built-in 240mW amplifier delivers crisp, clean audio to the equally impressive 50mm fiber-reinforced dynamic drivers.
A three-way switch on the left earpiece provides off (passive), on (amp on), and on+ (bass boost) settings for use with a variety of audio sources.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Blue’s Mo-Fi headphones are a revelation, delivering the absolute best sound quality from portable iOS audio devices and mobile recording rigs.
While this was a somewhat uneventful year for new rock releases, it was bananas for interesting box sets.
Record companies reached deep inside their vaults and discovered some really cool and weird things.
The following are 10 ways to completely blow your holiday money, and it runs the gamut from classic the Beatles and Zep to bizarre prog oddities like Captain Beefheart and Jethro Tull.
Check out the rest of Guitar World's 2014 year-end content (Note: More is coming soon!) right here. And be sure to take Guitar World's 2014 year-end readers poll to vote on the best album, best GW cover, best shredder, best blues guitarist, Guitar World MVP and much more!
See you next year!
If you don't follow the great Zakk Wylde on Instagram, you're missing out on some pretty fun, interesting, hilarious posts.
Anyway, here's something Wylde posted earlier today.
In his own words:
"MONDAY MORN LICK O' THE DAY: B MINOR PENTATONICS Mixed w/ Half Bends, Chromatics, Pesto Sauce and Basil."
You can really taste the basil. Enjoy!
And while you're at it, you can follow Guitar World on Instragram right here.
OK, so you have your headphones out.
What do you want to listen to? Something beautiful? Something cool? Something you’ve never heard before? How about all three?
The following are five tracks by some of your favorite bands worth putting under the microscope for reasons listed below. Enjoy!
Led Zeppelin, "Whole Lotta Love"
Someone laughs briefly at the very beginning, must be Robert Plant.
It’s nearly impossible to detect except on headphones, but the laugh exudes a “get a load of this” confidence and sets the stage for one of the most crushing songs ever recorded. But most importantly it provides part of the human element that helped make Led Zeppelin one of the most revered and heralded bands of all time.
Steve Howe, "Sketches in the Sun"
Most folks know Steve Howe’s fabulous “Mood for a Day” instrumental, but some folks may not be as familiar with his “Sketches in the Sun” track.
On headphones, listen to the tender articulation of this performance and the interaction between the guitar and the lush reverb; the song takes on an amazing orchestral quality.
David Lee Roth, "Drop in the Bucket"
There is so much going on in this song it is ridiculous, from a spunky acoustic guitar intro, to Jason Becker’s subtle finger-picked clean lines, to a signature sweep picking solo break.
But starting around 3:37 the guitar and vocals begin a magnificent interplay where at one second you think you are listening to David Lee Roth singing in falsetto, but it is actually Jason Becker’s guitar, and the next second it is the other way around. This passage is just beautiful and gives me the chills every time I listen to it.
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)" from Live Alive
This song is a pure treat on headphones as the guitar slathered in a slow panning effect just struts around the stereo field destroying all in its path.
Stevie had a masterful way of making his guitar scream that was utterly unique. You can just feel the volume and the amount of air being pushed out of his amps.
Nirvana, "In Bloom"
This song jumps right out of the speakers and with incredible power.
If you listen on headphones, you will notice that instead of simply double tracking the same exact guitar rig/EQ setup and panning hard left and right, the left side guitar was recorded with a different rig/EQ setup. These two different guitar sounds combine to make this track sound absolutely huge, and accentuates the quiet/loud verse/chorus structure of the song.
Brad Tolinski is the editor-in-chief at Guitar World.
Below, you can witness some very early, and very engaging, footage of Guitar World's current cover stars, AC/DC.
Both clips were filmed in 1976, after the release of their first major album, High Voltage, at little ol' St. Albans High School in their native Australia.
In the top video, you'll hear/see “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll).” Below that is “She’s Got Balls.” Although the film is a bit grainy and the sound a little muddy, you can still make out the schoolboy-uniform clad Angus Young’s frantic strut and Bon Scott’s gritty wail.
As always, enjoy!
For more on AC/DC and the band's new album, Rock or Bust, not to mention gear reviews, lessons and tabs, pick up the January 2015 issue of Guitar World.
Periphery have premiered another song off their upcoming double concept record, Juggernaut, which is being released across two albums, Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega.
You can check out "22 Faces" below.
Periphery singer Spencer Sotelo calls "22 Faces""a very schizophrenic track in nature as far as the structure and instrumentation goes. One minute it is ambient and pretty, and the next minute it is assaulting you from every which way.
The new albums, which will be released January 27 via Sumerian Records, features some of the band's most accessible music.
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Lou Reed, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Green Day and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band have been elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2015.
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr also will be honored as the recipient of the hall’s “Award for Musical Excellence.”
Vaughan, who died in August 1990, was the runaway winner of this year’s “fan’s ballot” voting, as 18 million music lovers insisted the time for him to join the Hall of Fame had arrived.
Although Starr was already inducted into the hall in 1988 was a member of the Beatles, he has been the only "solo Beatle" to have thus far been ignored by the hall. John Lennon was inducted in 1994, Paul McCartney in 1999 and George Harrison in 2004. That'll change in the spring.
If you don't think Starr deserves it, check out his string of hits in the early Seventies, not to mention the quality of his early Seventies and Eighties work ("It Don't Come Easy,""Back Off Boogaloo,""I'm the Greatest" and the rest of the brilliant and fun Ringo album).
Reed, who died last year, is also a two-time honoree, having joined the Hall of Fame in 1996 as a member of the Velvet Underground.
Stay tuned for updates, plus a whole lot of Vaughan content that we've been saving for occasion. (We knew it would happen eventually!)
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at the Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio, April 18.
Despite a few nasty rumors to the contrary, the guitar is alive and well in 2014.
It survived the rise of the keyboard in the Eighties and the overwhelming bass-barrage of electronic dance music of the early 21st century and, as evidenced by the 50 selections below, shows no signs of waning in relevancy.
This year, for instance, we experienced new riffs and glorious runs by guys named Marty Friedman, Alex Skolnick, Joe Bonamassa and Eric Johnson. We also were treated to a healthy dose of Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter (RIP) and a slice of Satchel, Slash and Brian Setzer—not to mention Machine Head, Mastodon and Of Mice and Men and yes, even Sturgill Simpson.
Whether you're plugging into a vintage Vox AC30 with a medium-aged Nash Guitars TC63 or you just got your hands on an Axe FX and a new Ibanez eight-string, the guitar isn't going away any time soon.
Below, check out Guitar World's picks for the 50 best albums of 2014, as chosen by the editorial staff. The list features staff-consensus picks plus several personal choices from individual editors. Of course, we can't get or listen to every new release, so if you feel something is seriously missing, let us know in the comments below or on Facebook. And, in keeping with GW tradition, this top 50 list actually contains 51 albums. It's what we do. Enjoy!
As always, click on each photo to take a closer look. See you next year!
Check out the rest of Guitar World's 2014 year-end content (Note: More is coming soon!) right here. And be sure to take Guitar World's 2014 year-end readers poll to vote on the best album, best GW cover, best shredder, best blues guitarist, Guitar World MVP and much more!
See you next year!
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, Marty Stuart, 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 15 albums of 2014. See you next year! (And yes, this started out as a top 10, then went to 12, then to 13. I'm stopping at 15, I promise!)
Note that 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!
Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World. Follow him on Twitter. What have you got to lose?
Check out the rest of Guitar World's 2014 year-end content (More is coming soon!) right here. And be sure to take Guitar World's 2014 year-end readers poll to vote on the best album, best GW cover, best shredder, best blues guitarist, Guitar World MVP and much more!
Last month, Guitar World and Supro Amps got together to launch the Led Zeppelin Guitar Solo Video Challenge.
Below, you can check out the all entries we've received! In fact, if you DON'T see your video here, please send it again ASAP because we stopped accepting videos on December 10.
The winner of the contest will get a new Supro 1624T Dual-Tone guitar amp (MSRP $1,459)!
He or she 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!
The videos will be viewed by members of the Guitar World staff. We'll pick a winner by December 25, 2014!
Earlier this week, our friends at Jim Dunlop Guitar Products shared this new video of guitarist Laura Klinkert's cover of Guthrie Govan's "Blues Mutations 2."
We should mention that Klinkert uses Dunlop picks and strings!
As always, tell us what you think in the comments below or on Facebook.
Jackson is pleased to announce the latest addition to its popular Pro Series, the Phil Demmel Demmelition Pro guitar.
Jackson’s Demmelition Pro model puts Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel’s devastating style and double-cut King V specs right in your hands.
Features include a three-piece through-body maple neck with graphite reinforcement, compound-radius (12”-16”) bound ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and pearloid piranha inlay at 12th fret, EMG 60 (neck) and 81 (bridge) humbucking pickups with three-way toggle switching, Floyd Rose locking nut and recessed double-locking tremolo, and black hardware.
Now available in Black Tide Fade and Red Tide Fade finishes.
For more information, visit jacksonguitars.com.
In this recently posted (November 23) and brief video, Racer X and Mr. Big guitarist Paul Gilbert can be seen jamming on some upbeat blues with ukulele great Jake Shimabukuro.
In case you're wondering, Gilbert's guitar solo starts at the 1:09 point.
Tell us what you think in the comments or on Bookface!
When most people discuss potential supergroups, the last combination of artists they toss around are Michael Sweet of Stryper and George Lynch of Lynch Mob, Shadow Train and Dokken.
Yet these two masters of shred have joined forces for Only to Rise, the debut album from their new project, Sweet & Lynch, that will be released January 27.
Joining the Sweet & Lynch adventure are bassist James Lomenzo [Megadeth, White Lion] and drummer Brian Tichy [Whitesnake, Foreigner, Ozzy Osbourne].
From the opening notes of the “The Wish” to songs like “Dying Rose,” “Love Stays” and “September," it’s evident the blend of Sweet’s unmistakable voice and Lynch’s signature guitar tone has yielded exceptional results.
I recently caught up with Lynch to find out more about Only to Rise and get an update on the new Lynch Mob record, Sun Red Sun, and his Shadow Nation documentary and Shadow Train band projects. Lynch also puts to rest any rumors of a Dokken reunion.
GUITAR WORLD: How did the collaboration with Michael Sweet begin?
Lynch Mob and Stryper share an agent, and we’ve done a few tours together. During a few of those dates here and there, Michael and I would hang out and casually start talking about the idea of working together. We enjoyed each other’s company and had mutual respect for each other musically and as people. It was a good fit. So when the opportunity from Frontiers Records came along to do this record, it was an easy decision. Just a handshake and off to the races!
How would you describe the sound of Only to Rise?
There are so many elements to it. Even though we're both legacy players who have influences that go so far back, the album doesn’t sound dated. At the same time, we've also matured as writers, and that really comes out in our music. If you can construct really great songs, it doesn't matter what era or what genre it's from. In the end, a good song is a good song.
One of the examples on this album is “Dying Rose,” which has a country-esque, Nashville element to it. I could hear a modern country outfit do it as well as a rock band. It's a beautiful melody and chorus with a nice hook. There's also some showing off and old-school metal kind of stuff on this album as well.
Did you approach the songwriting process for Sweet & Lynch differently than some of your other projects?
Michael and I talked a little about it. His idea was to take the Eighties thing and make it sound more modern. When I write, I'm always aware of who I'm writing for and in what context. But as far as direction, I tried not to think too hard about it and just went in and had fun. I'm very happy with the sound of this record.
Do you have plans to tour as Sweet & Lynch?
We're kicking around a few ideas right now. Since we share the same agent, there's even been talk about possibly doing a Lynch Mob/Michael Sweet thing. If that happens, one of our bands would play and then I would come out with Michael's band or vice versa. But we'll be playing in some context next year.
What can you tell me about the new Lynch Mob record, Sun Red Sun?
Sun Red Sun is a record we started more than two years ago. It was from the last incarnation of the band, which is a great version. There are also four bonus tracks on there as well. We're also just finishing up the music for another new Lynch Mob record that will be coming out next spring. Jeff Pilson is playing bass, Brian Tichy is playing drums along with Oni Logan (vocals) and me. It's a very trippy record.
Can you give me an update on the Shadow Nation documentary and Shadow Train band project?
We're looking to release the film later in 2015. It's going to be a double CD soundtrack that's very eclectic. We did the first record with Vinnie Nicastro on drums. It was a different style, which was something a little cooler and mellower. The second record has Jimmy D'Anda on drums and is a little more focused and heavier. The second record is more of what the band is about.
The last time we spoke, you mentioned the long-shot possibility of a Dokken reunion and record. Do you have an update on that?
We tried for the umpteenth time to get that together as best we could because it made sense on so many levels. We thought we had triangulated all of the issues and finally agreed on things. But everything just blew up with the last few communications from Don. We gave it the old college try, but at the end of the day, it's just not going to happen.
For more about Sweet & Lynch, follow them on Facebook.
James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.
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OK, there's absolutely nothing "new" about this February 2011 video, and we could've sworn we posted it at some point during the past three years—but it turns out we didn't!
Time to fix that.
It's a clip of a young guitarist named Jason Kertson playing Andy McKee's "Drifting"—quite beautifully—on two acoustic guitars at once. "Drifting" is from McKee's Art of Motion album.
Jason uses two guitars during the song, one for the bass notes and percussion and the other for the lead. He started posting videos at age 12. Now 16, he's posted several YouTube covers and writes and performs original music. Find out more at jasonkertson.com.