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    In the new video below, Korn singer Jonathan Davis speaks with the You Rock Foundation about his anxiety, depression, panic attacks, PTSD, schizophrenia and substance abuse.

    But more importantly, he discusses what helped him through it, explaining how much medication, therapy, exercise and creative outlets for self-expression like music make a difference.

    For more information, visit

    Additional Content

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    In this lesson, I'll lay out a few tools I use in crafting guitar melodies and solos to make the instrument feel more fluid.

    The first exercise is a way to double a note on the neighboring B and G strings.

    This kind of thing reminds me of a Johnny "Guitar" Watson move. It also helps get fingers accustomed to sliding very quickly. And this kind of sliding technique might help you see connections on the fretboard while giving you an alternative to standard blues solos.

    Start with your index finger on the third fret of the B string and slide your ring finger from the fifth to seventh fret of the G string. See below:


    After you are comfortable with the above, you can slide back down from the seventh to fifth fret on the B string.


    Here’s another one you can try just picking three notes. For this, we’ll use three notes on the B string at the 12th, ninth and seventh frets, and focus on going between them smoothly. Hopefully, this exercise will get your fingers more fluid and get you more comfortable sliding between notes without breaking them up, sort of like using a slide without actually wearing a slide.

    Start with your ring finger on the 12th fret of the B string, then slide down to the ninth fret, and then pull off onto the seventh fret.


    You want to get comfortable doing this in a way where you don’t have a pronounced attack between the notes on the ninth and seventh fret. You want to do the pull off very softly, so it feels like the note is sliding off. I do that by letting go of the string rather than emphasizing the pull-off.

    From there you can just slide back up to the ninth fret by doing the following:


    Again, stuff like this can help you conceptualize the guitar in a different way, where everything isn’t linked in with your right/plucking hand. You could combine this exercise with the one we did above, to get something like the following:


    A lot of what we talk about in this video (below) so far involves sliding with one or two fingers on one or two strings to give rubbery, blending effects to your guitar. These are good ways to get your fingers comfortable with slide-type techniques before you pick up a slide, if you’re hesitant to pick up a slide for any reason. And these are good ways to get your wrist comfortable with stopping at points along the way so you can get a lot of notes in a single movement with your fretting hand.

    Of course, you also can do these kinds of things with a slide on your fretting hand. Stepping back to the first exercise we talked about, you can do this same kind of thing with a slide, which has an interesting effect. And it can be a technique to get your fretting hand comfortable with a basic slide move. If you practice this, you can develop more fluidity going between two frets and two strings using a slide.




    As for slide technique, I generally use the slide on my ring finger of my left hand, and I use the fingers of my right hand to pluck the notes. As for the fretting hand, I like to play the slide without muting fingers behind it and with the slide not quite pressed down all the way. This can help you develop a frail sound with less sustain that sounds like a singer with a raspy voice or a sore throat, which I think is more interesting than a straight-ahead slide sound.

    Hopefully, these exercises will give you some stuff to think about—specifically focusing on what’s coming before and what’s coming after the notes you play, not just on the note you are playing. If you focus on these aspects of your compositional approach and playing, hopefully they can help you inject more depth into your notes and what’s behind them.

    Steve is now offering online lessons to those who are interested in learning more about his guitar style. His schedule is somewhat irregular due to touring, but you can contact him and set up a time right here.

    Steve Marion, also known as "Delicate Steve," is a guitarist from New Jersey. He has released two albums on David Byrne's Luaka Bop label, collaborated with Paul Simon, Ra Ra Riot, Dirty Projectors and Built to Spill (among others) and is a member of Saint Rich (Merge Records). Delicate Steve’s first album, Wondervisions, was named a New York Times Critic's Choice. He has been named one of the "30 Best Guitarists Under 30" by Red Bull Music. Critics have said, “Marion is one of those rare guitarists whose instrument sings in place of vocals...crystalline and George Harrison’s guitar reanimated...” (Pitchfork), and that he is “a true guitar hero" (Kevin Parker of Tame Impala).

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    Toto have premiered “Holy War,” a new song from their upcoming album, Toto XIV. You can hear it below.

    The album, which will be released March 20 via Frontiers Music, is available now for preorder.

    “Holy War” is available now—along with another song, “Orphan”—as an instant-gratification track on iTunes when you order the album.

    Toto XIV is the band’s first album of new material since 2006’s Falling In Between. It is a realized vision three-plus decades in the making, packed with the masterful arrangements, topical lyrical commentary and melodies that Steve Lukather, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Joseph Williams and their bandmates bring to life.

    "When you put us in a room, and everybody brings in their pieces, the next thing you know it all fits together," Lukather says. "Everybody's performances are top notch. We are really bringing our best out, forcing ourselves to make personal best choices, what's best for the music. I'm really excited to hear what people think."

    The band will hit the ground running with a European headline arena tour with appearances at key festivals. The itinerary begins in Glasgow May 21 and takes Toto through the UK, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Italy and Belgium.

    For more about Toto, visit

    Toto XIV Track Listing:

    01. Running Out Of Time
    02. Burn
    03. Holy War
    04. 21st Century Blues
    05. Orphan
    06. Unknown Soldier (For Jeffrey)
    07. The Little Things
    08. Chinatown
    09. All The Tears That Shine
    10. Fortune
    11. Great Expectations

    2015 Toto Tour Dates:

    5/21 Glasgow, UK Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
    5/23 Dublin, Ireland Vicar Street (SOLD OUT)
    5/25 Manchester, UK 02 Apollo Manchester
    5/26 London, UK Apollo Hammersmith
    5/28 Paris, France Zenith
    5/29 Esch Sur Alzette, Luxembourg Rockhal
    5/30 Amsterdam, Netherlands Ziggo Dome
    6/02 Sonderborg, Denmark Molleparkens Friluftscene
    6/03 Copenhagen, Denmark Falkoner Theatre
    6/04 Solvesborg, Sweden Sweden Rock Festival
    6/06 Bergen, Norway Bergen Calling
    6/07 Oslo, Norway Sentrum Scene (SOLD OUT)
    6/10 Bremerhaven, Germany Stadthalle
    6/11 Berlin, Germany Tempodrome
    6/12 Leipzig, Germany Parkbuhne
    6/13 Dresden, Germany Junge Garde
    6/15 Cologne, Germany Tanzbrunnen
    6/16 Offenbach, Germany Stadthalle
    6/17 Stuttgart, Germany Freilichtbuhne Killesberg
    6/18 Abenberg, Germany Burg Abenberg
    6/20 Hinwil, Switzerland Rock The Ring Festival
    6/21 Klam, Austria Castle Clam
    6/23 Wroclaw, Poland Orbita Hol
    6/24 Warsaw, Poland Torwar
    6/26 Budapest, Hungary Petofi Hall
    6/27 Bucharest, Romania Sala Palatului
    6/28 Sofia, Bulgaria Arena Armeec
    6/30 Belgrade, Serbia Kalemegdan Fortress
    7/03 Milan, Italy City Sound Milan
    7/05 Rome, Italy Cavea Auditorium
    7/07 Kufstein, Austria Festungsarena
    7/08 Munich, Germany Olympiahalle
    7/10 Zottegem, Belgium Rock Zottegem Festival
    7/13 Morzine, France Morzine Harley Days
    7/15 Nimes, France Festival de Nimes
    7/16 Vienne, France Theatre Antique
    7/19 Taormina, Italy Anfiteatro Romano

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    I am sitting in my kitchen in St John’s, Newfoundland watching through the windows as what only could be called a snownami covers the city.

    My backyard has been made invisible, likewise my street and neighbors’ houses as a thick, salty veil of snow blows in from the Atlantic.

    Quite fitting that this wintery day affords a moment to look back on Leg 1 of the So Let's Go Tour, the most Canadian of all tours.

    Leg 1 started and finished in the heart of the Canadian Winter. I flew into Pearson Airport in Toronto and was whisked to a rehearsal studio not too far away where I met with these Beautiful Gypsies.

    band photo.png
    l-r Cory Tetford, Kendel Carson, me, Shehab Illyas, Todd Lumley, Kris MacFarlane

    It was great to see all hands excited about the tour and learning the new So Let's Go tunes and getting new gear up and ready. Here’s my rack for the tour:

    l-r Kala Uke, Trinity College Bouzouki, Gibson 335, Godin A8 Mando, 2x Takamine EN10 C
    Here’s my Pedal Board:

    pedals 1.png

    Very modest compared to Cory’s:

    And they say size does not matter.

    After a couple of pretty intense rehearsals I hit the press tour on Monday. Had some grand chats on TV and radio and even sang the Anthem at The Leafs game in Toronto. As the Carolina Hurricanes were the visiting team, I had to sing the Star Spangled Banner, the hardest song in the world to sing if you are not a rangey singer. It has always puzzled me, singing the anthems. It occupies a strange pace in the world of entertainment. If you do it well, no one cares or even notices. You do it poorly, and you instantly become a YouTube star. I got through it all and enjoyed the game.


    The concerts for real started in Kitchener and rolled for a few weeks through the dead of winter in southern Ontario. Highlights on stage included the debut of many of the new tunes while highlights off stage included Cory karaoking Tom Petty in North Bay. In the true winter of it all, we had to shovel our bus out in the middle of a storm in Brampton.

    Over the duration of the three week run, the new tunes left the front of our brains and went into the muscles of our hands and feet and mouths. I love it when a new tune can be delivered without spending any energy remembering it. It confirms for me that whatever magical process in my scattered brain that allows me to recall and perform hundreds of songs on cue is still working. I have no idea how it works, to be honest. And I have no interest in learning how it works, for fear the discovery of it would ruin it somehow.

    By the time we hit the magical Sold Out gigs in Toronto at the Danforth Music Hall and the triumphant homecoming at Holy Heart Auditorium, me and The Beautiful Gyspies had become a band.

    A band with a real show to give people.

    And that’s my favourite thing to be.

    Leg 2 starts in Whitecourt, Alberta on Saturday. At the World Snowmobile Invasion.
    Let it Snow.


    Canadian songwriter Alan Doyle released his second full-length solo album, So Let's Go, on January 20th. Doyle is an accomplished actor, producer, and best-known as lead singer for Newfoundland’s beloved Great Big Sea. Full of exuberant choruses and foot-stomping rhythms along with the traditional Celtic influences Doyle grew up with, So Let's Go is definitely an album for celebrating the good times. Find out more at

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    Today we direct your attention to a young Japanese guitarist who goes by the handle "T-cophony."

    As you'll see in the many videos available on his YouTube channel, T-cophony has a fairly unique tapping style, which he applies to guitars with one neck (bottom video) and two necks (top video).

    Below, check out "Gray," which T-cophony plays on a double-necked acoustic guitar. The recently shared Facebook version of this video has been viewed almost 1.7 million times. We've also included another original song, "Softener," for your viewing and listening pleasure (bottom video).

    For more about T-cophony, follow him on Facebook.

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    Today, presents an exclusive "Infinite Waves" lesson video featuring Francesco Artusato of the Francesco Artusato Project.

    "Infinite Waves" is from the band's new album, Our Dying Sun, which was released in October through Sumerian Records.

    Our Dying Sun is available at iTunes and Google Play.


    This is the first riff played in this song. It is based on a shape that uses this sequence of notes: root, m6th, octave, 5th and 9th. It is played with the right hand alternating between the pick and the middle finger.

    The same shape of this arpeggio is played following these root notes: A and G (measure 1), A, D and E (m. 2), A and G (m. 3), A, D, E and D (m. 4) creating this sequence of different time signatures: 5/8, 7/8, 5/8, 11/8.



    This is the solo section for this song. It is based around a 6/8 groove that creates a very syncopated type of part. I start by playing an alternate picking phrase that physically moves down diagonally and across the neck while outlining motivic cells, which are actually ascending melodically. These types of lines are really influenced by Scott Henderson.

    The next few lines combine legato and alternate picking ideas that continue the syncopated rhythmic feel of this section. This solo is based around the A Phrygian dominant scale.


    Stay tuned to Artusato's Facebook page for updates and more information. As always, tell us what you think of the video in the comments or on Facebook!

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    Today, presents the exclusive premiere of "Warrior," the latest music video by Erra.

    The track is from their new Sumerian Records EP, Moments of Clarity, which is available now via iTunes. As always, check it out below and tell us what you think of it!

    Erra is a four-piece progressive metalcore band from Birmingham, Alabama. The band has toured extensively with the Plot In You, MyChildren, MyBride, Fit For a King and Born of Osiris, and they've performed at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, which also featured Anthrax, Hatebreed, Dillinger Escape Plan and Suicidal Tendencies.

    For more about Erra, follow them on Facebook.

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    25 Top Classic Rock Songs is available now at the Guitar World Online Store.

    This series includes performance notes and accurate tab for the greatest songs of every genre.

    From the essential gear, recording techniques and historical information to the right- and left-hand techniques and other playing tips, it's all here! Learn to play 25 classics note for note.


    • Addicted to Love
    • After Midnight
    • Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2
    • Beat It
    • China Grove
    • Dream On
    • Fortunate Son
    • Go Your Own Way
    • Life in the Fast Lane
    • Lights
    • Message in a Bottle
    • Reeling in the Years
    • Refugee
    • Tom Sawyer
    • Wild Night

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!

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    Morley, in collaboration with Ray Burton (father of the late Cliff Burton of Metallica), has released a tribute version of the pedal Burton made famous, the Power Fuzz Wah.

    This is a combination classic Wah pedal with built-in fuzz.

    The Wah has separate level control, the fuzz has level and intensity as well as a Modern/Vintage switch to select between two types of fuzz. The Wah and fuzz can be used individually or together.

    “This is not a reissue,” says Morley’s Bill Wenzloff. “The original Tel-Ray Morley version was extremely large, had a power cord attached, had no battery option and is simply not adequate for today’s players.

    "The sound and tone, however, were duplicated exactly. The combination of the fuzz and the Wah is what gave Cliff his signature tone, especially when soloing. We wanted that aspect of the pedal to be the same but with a modern look and features. This is the most sought after pedal in Morley’s history, we are honored to be able to finally release this to those who have been asking for it for so many years.”

    Designer Scott Flesher adds, “Even though Cliff made this pedal famous, it was originally a guitar pedal that could be used for guitar, bass or keys. We designed this tribute version to do the same so it’s not only for bass.”

    The Power Fuzz Wah is housed in a faux chrome cold rolled steel chassis, equipped with dual LED indication and easy-access battery compartment. Of course, it comes with Morley’s two-year warranty, is made in the U.S. and retails for $316.

    For more information, visit

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    Slash might've said it best: "There's no lying with the acoustic guitar. There's something very pure, and very humbling, about it."

    A profound statement coming from one of rock 'n' roll's most celebrated electric guitarists.

    But strip away all the muck of multi-layered overdubs, rack effects and endless symphonies of tracks, and you separate the dodgers hiding behind studio wizardry and the artists who know a great song only needs six strings and a melody.

    Here are 25 of hard rock's best acoustic rockers. Some are pure acoustic jams, others only start out out that way before ascending into grand opuses. But what makes these songs iconic is their elemental simplicity.

    In other words, all you need to bring them to life is an acoustic guitar and a little feeling. And from the looks of these rockers, some gaudy jewelry helps. Note that these songs are not presented in any particular order.

    Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

    Led Zeppelin III was largely an unplugged affair, but "Stairway to Heaven," from the band's follow-up, wins the prize for acoustic guitar excellence.

    Jimmy Page's delicately fingerpicked arpeggios made the song Zeppelin's-and rock's-definitive acoustic moment.

    Over the years, "Stairway to Heaven" has dominated countless "greatest rock song ever" lists, thanks to its spellbinding mix of lyrical mysticism, compositional and production genius and instrumental virtuosity.

    But its most celebrated moment remains Page's unaccompanied intro: whether heard on a radio or played by some pimply kid in a guitar store, all it takes is those first few acoustic guitar notes and you can instantly name that tune.

    Boston (1976)

    Tom Scholz's soaring leads (recorded with an early version of his Rockman amp unit) and crunchy, multi-tracked electric guitar rhythms have more than a little to do with "More Than a Feeling" becoming one of classic rock's most enduring anthems.

    But it is the song's lilting, arpeggiated acoustic intro that puts fans in the mood. Working as something of a one-man band in his basement, Scholz, one of music's first DIY dudes, played all the guitar parts on "Feeling."

    For the arpeggiated intro and verses, he used a Yamaha 12-string; the more fully strummed choruses called for a Guild D-40. A bit of trivia: Noting the similarities between "More Than a Feeling" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Kurt Cobain teased fans at Nirvana's 1992's Reading Festival performance with a few bars of the Boston classic.

    Point of Know Return (1977)

    When Vicci Livgren overheard her husband, Kansas guitarist Kerry, practicing finger exercises on his acoustic one day, she told him she heard a song there and suggested he add some lyrics. He listened, and the result was "Dust in the Wind."

    A departure from Kansas' characteristic prog-rock bombast, "Dust in the Wind" was a stark, plaintive meditation on the meaning of life.

    While many assume that the track features a 12-string acoustic, the rich unplugged sound is actually the result of multiple six-strings (a few in Nashville tuning), played by Livgren and co-guitarist Rich Williams.

    The song became Kansas' only Top-10 single, charting at Number Six in 1978. In the years since, it has become something of a cultural touchstone, popping up everywhere from TV shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy to movies like Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Old School.

    Beggars Banquet (1968)

    One might assume this rebel yell, released during the tumultuous summer of 1968, would rage with the sound of electric guitars.

    Not so: with the exception of an electric bass, played by Keith Richards, the track is 100 percent acoustic.

    Preparing a demo for the song, Richards miked two acoustics and recorded them into a cheap Phillips mono cassette recorder. The guitarist was so enamored of the resulting distortion (the machine had no limiters, causing the signal to overload) he decided to go au naturale and ditch the electrics.

    Tommy (1969)

    By 1969, Pete Townshend was known as much for smashing guitars as for playing them. But on the Who's ground breaking Tommy, he demonstrated some astonishing six-string skills.

    And with an acoustic in his hands (check out "It's a Boy" for some deft blues-meets-flamenco work), he was unstoppable.

    Although electrics bolster the verses and choruses of the album's centerpiece, "Pinball Wizard," a 1968 Gibson J-200 acoustic is the dominant instrument throughout. Townshend's furiously strummed barre chords (which he deemed "mock baroque"), heard in the intro and breakdown section, provide the kind of power and majesty befitting a genuine rock opera.

    Straight Shooter (1975)

    As the first band signed to Led Zeppelin's Swan Song label, Bad Company, led by former Free Singer Paul Rodgers and former Mott the Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs, followed their bosses' lead and specialized in sweaty, swaggering blues rock.

    Taking another lesson from the Zepmen, Ralphs juxtaposed chiming acoustics with explosive power chords on this Top 10 smash, to wondrous effect.

    The bright, jangly acoustics lend a relaxed, down-home country vibe to the verses, while the electric guitars in the chorus scream with big, brash British rock. Presumably, quite a few people felt like doing the nasty after hearing this cut.

    So Alone (1978)

    As a member of the proto-punk glam-rockers the New York Dolls, and later with his own band, the Heartbreakers, Johnny Thunders knew how to dish out rough-and ragged three-chord rock.

    And with a Les Paul Junior slung well below his waist, he had "cool" written all over him. So it came as a surprise when Thunders, on his debut solo album, issued this poetic acoustic ballad.

    Tempering his patented pounding style, the singer-songwriter lays out his junkie lifestyle with unflinching candor, practically caressing his guitar strings in the process. Melancholic and remorseful, the song has come to serve as an elegy of sorts for the troubled Thunders, who died of an apparent drug overdose in 1991. (The song's title, it should be noted, was lifted from a line spoken in an episode of the Fifties TV sitcom The Honeymooners. Punk rock, indeed .)

    A Farewell to Kings (1977)

    By 1977, Rush had firmly established themselves as fine purveyors of glorious 20-minute sci-fi opuses that could fill entire album sides.

    But on this, their fifth studio release, the Canadian prog trio demonstrated their ability to be hooky, concise and, with "Closer to the Heart," radio-friendly. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the song's gentle, ringing 12-string acoustic guitar intro is that it was written by bassist Geddy Lee, rather than guitarist Alex Lifeson.

    The same figure is later repeated after a particularly ripping electric guitar solo-only this time the 12-string acoustic is smartly doubled by a six-string electric. When it comes to Rush, of course, the contributions of drummer extraordinaire Neil Peart can never be overlooked. Here, he adds plenty of bells and whistles throughout. Okay ... they're actually chimes.

    Fragile (1971)

    Pick up a Martin 00-8 acoustic, pluck octave harmonics at the 12th fret (essentially comprising an Em chord) and voila!-you'll have a whole room of guitar dudes sitting up and taking notice.

    And with good reason-this simple move is Steve Howe's signature opening line to "Roundabout," Yes' breakthrough 1971 hit.

    Make it past Howe's harmonic-heavy unaccompanied intro, and you just might have a chance at mastering this intricate prog-rock masterpiece, in which acoustics and electrics, played in classical, jazzy and rocking splendor, weave in, out and "roundabout." As for the lyrics, this is prog-you're on your own there.

    Blizzard of Ozz (1980)

    With his inventive, neoclassical spin on Eddie Van Halen's already established bag of tricks, Randy Rhoads became the new heavy metal guitar king after fans heard his work on Ozzy Osbourne's 1980 solo debut ,Blizzard of Ozz.

    But while electrified Ozz rockers like "Crazy Train" and "I Don't Know" wowed the metal masses, it was the solo classical piece "Dee" that was Rhoads' true masterpiece.

    Rhoads grew up in a musical family-h is mother, Delores, runs a music school in North Hollywood, California-so it was only fitting that "Dee," all 49 seconds of it, paid tribute to the woman who inspired and nurtured his dreams. Fingerpicked on a nylon-strong acoustic, the piece is by turns playful, melancholy, heartbreaking and hopeful.

    Tragically, Rhoads was killed in a 1982 plane crash, at the age of 25. Five years later, Ozzy Osbourne included an extended, studio outtake version of "Dee" on his album Tribute, reminding us all of Rhoads' immense and largely untapped talent.

    Women and Children First (1980)

    Eddie Van Halen gave acoustic-shred fetishists much to chew on in 1979 with "Spanish Fly," a hummingbird-fast flamenco instrumental from Van Halen II. But guitarists of all stripes found a lot to like in the bluesy-and boozy, slightly off-kilter "Could This Be Magic?"

    The track, which marks the guitarist's first recorded bottleneck moment, finds Eddie's whimsical acoustic slide playing expertly shadowing David Lee Roth's vocal on the verses.

    The idea to use a slide came from producer Ted Templeman, and while Eddie was initially leery of trying it, he practiced for a few days and, in typical VH style, pulled off the part with aplomb. Another first: "Could This Be Magic?" represents the debut of an outside singer on a Van Halen album.

    Templeman suggested a different sound for one of the choruses and brought in country Singer Nicolette Larson, who was working in a neighboring studio, to lend vocal support. Listen closely following Eddie's slide so lo to hear Larson and Diamond Dave make sweet harmonized magic.

    Slippery When Wet (1986)

    The story is legend: Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora ride into the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards, do the acoustic-duo thing on "Wanted Dead or Alive," and before you can say "dreadnought," the Unplugged series is born. The song is no slouch either.

    On it, Sambora lays down some fancy acoustic finger work, picking out descending arpeggios and bluesy bends as JBJ rolls his fascination with the Old West into a story about the weariness of life on the road. The result was a smash hit, insuring that Bon Jovi would see a million faces and rock them all for many years to come.

    Ride the Lightning (1984)

    Recorded way back in the early days of thrash, "Fade to Black" is rightly acknowledged as the genre's first "power ballad."

    A seven-minute rumination on despair and suicide, the song is built around singer and guitarist James Hetfield's mournful, arpeggiated acoustic picking, over which Kirk Hammett adds some beautiful and soaring electric leads.

    Of course, this being Metallica, things remain sweet and mellow for only so long. Midway through, the song builds in intensity, shifting rhythms and adding plenty of heavily distorted six-strings, culminating in an extended and explosive Hammett solo.

    While hardcore metalheads at the time accused Metallica of selling out by recording a ballad, "Fade to Black" remains one of the group's most well-known and beloved songs, and it is a concert staple to this day. Besides, as Hetfield has said, "Limiting yourself to please your audience is bullshit."

    Open Up and Say ...Ahh! (1988)

    When you think of Eighties power ballads, one song stands head, hair and shoulders above the rest: "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."

    Penned by singer Bret Michaels after he discovered that his stripper girlfriend had been cheating on him, the 1988 smash hit proved that glam-metal dudes have feelings, too.

    While the recorded version features a typically histrionic electric guitar solo from Poison's C.C. DeVille, Michaels' lyrical directness, solid song construction and strong acoustic playing rule the day.

    Michaels has said that "People related to the song because I related to the song," and indeed, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," which hit Number One in 1988, has since become a defining tune of the era. As for that stripper girlfriend, she's now a hedge fund investor.

    GN'R Lies (1988)

    Although GN'R Lies features a number of acoustic tracks, including the country-ish, darkly comedic "Used to Love Her" ("but I had to kill her" ... ), it was the lovelorn "Patience," a glacial-paced ballad, that marked the most radical left turn for the normally hard-rocking group, and also gave them one of their biggest hits.

    The song was recorded in a single take, with guitarists Slash and Izzy Stradlin and bassist Duff McKagan all on acoustics. Axl Rose, for his part, contributes some fine whistling at the intro.

    The final two minutes stand as Gn'R's "Kumbaya" moment, with the whole band cooing the song's title in sweet harmony. Then everybody got in a fight, but that's another story.

    Nothing's Shocking (1988)

    It's five minutes long, features just two chords (G and A) and, with its steel drum ornamentation, sounds like something Jimmy Buffett might have conjured up after a three-day orgy of sponge cake and margaritas.

    Nonetheless, "Jane Says" remains one of the L.A. punk-metal band's most enduring songs. Perhaps its durability can be attributed to the fact that it doesn't fit neatly in the group's canon.

    In place of frenzied, psychedelic metal dispatched with tectonic force, we get a wistful, straightforward acoustic ditty, tailor-made for campfires and backyard cookouts. Coming from Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro and Co., that's pretty shocking.

    Extreme II: Pornograffitti (1990)

    In the late Eighties, Extreme carved out a niche as the funkiest hard rockers on the block, with a sound that, thanks to guitar hero Nuno Bettencourt, straddled the line between Van Halen shred and Aerosmith strut.

    And so it was something of a kick in the head when Bettencourt and singer Gary Cherone unleashed the Everly Brothers homage "More Than Words."

    Aside from a couple of finger snaps, the only accompaniment to Cherone and Bettencourt's harmonizing voices was Bettencourt's fingerpicking on a Washburn acoustic and the percussive knocking of his hand against the guitar's top. The result was a smash hit: "More Than Words" hit Number One on the Billboard charts in 1991, and led a generation of would-be shred heroes to put down the electric, grab an acoustic, and knock the hell out of it.

    Shake Your Money Maker (1990)

    "Jealous Again,""Twice as Hard" and "Hard to Handle" put Atlanta's Black Crowes on the map as a raucous, genuine-article blues-rock ensemble.

    But it was this soulful acoustic-driven number about the ravages of heroin addiction that put the band over the top-and gave it a Number One song.

    For the recording, guitarist Rich Robinson (who wrote the music to the song when he was just 15) played a Martin D-28 in open D tuning. Although he capoed the 2nd fret, effectively giving him an open E tuning, there's a certain feel and texture to his sound that fits the wrenching nature of the track. Add in brother Chris Robinson's soulful, yearning vocal, and you have something truly heavenly.

    Empire (1990)

    Let's say you're a proggy metal band (from Seattle, of all places), best known for releasing a kitchen-sink concept album (1988's Operation: Mindcrime) about government overthrow ... or something like that. What do you do for an encore?

    If you're Queensryche, you whip up a kitchen-sink acoustic song about dream consciousness ... or something like that. "Silent Lucidity" features songwriter and QueensrYche guitarist Chris DeGarmo on Spanish six-string guitar in the intro and verses, playing a sweetly arpeggiated pattern that beautifully mixes fretted notes and open strings.

    The song drifts steadily along, adding electrics, voice-overs and swelling orchestration until practically busting at the seams with sound. And yet it ends as it began, with DeGarmo's lone acoustic. And then, silence.

    Jar of Flies (1994)

    With their 1992 mostly acoustic EP, Sap, Alice in Chains served notice that they had more to offer than merely distorted grunge.

    Melodic and full of somber beauty, Sap set the stage for Jar oj Flies, which firmly established a band of uncommon, if very bleak, depth.

    "No Excuses" marked something of a departure for the band. With its gentle, easygoing pace and hopeful (for Alice in Chains, at least) lyrics about enduring life's hills and valleys, "No Excuses" is practically toe-tappin' and good-timey. But the real revelation is guitarist Jerry Cantrell's wide-a s-the-Grand-Canyon acoustic sound-full, ringing and droning for days. No excuses needed for that at all.

    Nimrod (1997)

    When recording what would be the album version of this acoustic ballad, Green Day leader Billie Joe Armstrong flubbed the opening G/D chord - twice - and after the second time deadpanned, "Fuck."

    Fortunately, he soldiered on, and, despite the uttered expletive, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" enjoyed huge crossover success and stands as the band's biggest hit to date. Which was hardly anticipated.

    At the time, Green Day were considered little more than snot-nosed, albeit multi-Platinum, Bay Area ruffians, and an acoustic guitar-and-strings ballad wasn't what most people expected to hear from them. For that reason bassist Mike Dirnt called the song the "most punk" thing they could have done. Which just goes to show that even punks can wear their hearts on their sleeves.

    MTV Unplugged in New York (1994)

    For their appearance on MTV's Unplugged, Nirvana abstained from playing some of their biggest hits (no "Smells Like Teen Spirit," for one) in favor of lesser-known material and covers of songs from artists they knew and admired.

    One such artist was Arizona's Meat Puppets, a particular favorite of Kurt Cobain's. And so, on the night of November 18, 1993, on a stage decorated with flowers and black candles, Cobain invited the Puppets' Curt and Cris Kirkwood out for, among other tunes, a mellow run-through of their swampy "Lake of Fire."

    With Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and the Kirkwoods holding down the accompaniment, Cobain put aside his guitar to hone in on the vocals, howling his way through the impressionistic lyrics. The performance became one of the highlights of the show, and to this day the song is as associated with Nirvana as it is with its originators.

    Skin and Bones (2006)

    The full-band version of "Everlong," that appeared on the Foo Fighters' 1997 album, The Colour and the Shape, was a raging slab of rock that seemed hard to beat.

    But when Dave Grohl appeared on Howard Stern's radio show later that year and performed an impromptu acoustic version, listeners went wild, and bootlegs soon abounded. (David Letterman would later call "Everlong" his "favorite song.")

    Musically, the composition is positively Townshend-esque, built around a simple, movable progression in a drop-D (D-A-DG-B-E) tun ing. The studio version features Dave Grohl pumping wildly on the drums (Taylor Hawkins had not yet joined the band), but it is his ten se, driving solo acoustic reading that truly sets pulses quickening.

    Break the Cycle (2001)

    Sludgy, down-tuned electric guitars bulldoze the choruses of the official recording, but originally this song was an all-acoustic ballad: Staind lead singer Aaron Lewis used to perform a half-finished version of "Outside" during solo shows.

    One night in Biloxi, Mississippi, as Staind were preparing to open for Limp Bizkit on the 1999 Family Values Tour, the singer was asked to do a number with Fred Durst providing backing vocals.

    Onstage, Lewis came up with the lyrics to complete the tune he'd been laboring over for months. Radio stations picked up on the live acoustic version and helped build a buzz for "Outside" months before the official version was released on Break the Cycle. The song-and the album's success launched a thousand nu-metal power ballads in its wake.

    All the Right Reasons (2005)

    It sold more than 1.4 million digital downloads in the U.S., reached Number Two on the Billboard Hot 100 and was voted the fifth "most annoying song of all time" in a Rolling Stone poll.

    Such is the case with Nickelback's "Photograph": love it or hate it, the tune gets a reaction. Like many a country-tinged power ballad, electric guitars fire up the song's choruses, but the backbone of "Photograph" rests in the heartfelt strumming of an unplugged ax.

    And if it's a formula that Chad Kroeger and Co. have repeated to great success, so have scores of modern rock bands that have followed in the band's wake. Chances are when a power ballad with big guitars and an even bigger chorus works its way up the charts today, there's a little bit of that "Photograph" magic in there somewhere.

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    While walking the floor of the 2015 NAMM Show, we dropped by the Taylor Guitars booth to check out the manufacturer’s latest offerings.

    In the clip below, Taylor’s Corey Witt demos the 600 Series, 400 Series and a Big Baby Taylor.

    In 2014, the company unveiled a comprehensive redesign of its flagship rosewood/spruce 800 Series to industry and media accolades, adding to its legacy as one of Taylor’s most popular acoustic guitar offerings.

    This year Taylor has applied the same forward-thinking vision to its maple 600 Series, connecting maple’s rich musical history with its stable environmental outlook as an important tonewood of the future.

    Meanwhile, the 400 Series has been upgraded with a glossy back and sides finish and the new Expression System 2.

    And finally, Witt shows off the Big Baby Taylor. For the ultimate on-the-go, plug-and-play experience, Taylor Guitars announced the addition of the Expression System Baby™ pickup to its line of popular travel guitars, the Baby Taylor Series.

    Find out more at

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    The guys at put together this brief video about the shit "pedal guys" say.

    This video joins our ever-growing library of "Shit (fill-in-the-blank type of people) Say" videos, including Shit Band Guys Play and the age-old favorite, Shit Guitarists Say.

    "Consider this our Valentine's Day present to you," say the staffers at the South Carolina-based Caroline Guitars.

    "We love our fellow gear freaks, pedal nerds, tone seekers, knob tweakers, even when you drive us crazy, we've been there and I think we've all said, thought, or felt this crazy stuff."

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    Guitar World and the Music Zoo invite you to the event of a lifetime.

    Together, we’re granting you an all-access Master Class with Guthrie Govan.

    Famed for his super-versatile ability to play just about any style under the sun and his impeccable improvisational skills, Govan is hailed as one of the most skilled guitarists of this generation.

    Ever since his playthrough of his instrumental track “Fives” went viral around six years ago, Govan has remained in the spotlight among guitar players around the world and continues to push the boundaries of guitar music with his band, the Aristocrats.

    At 6 p.m. February 23, Govan will appear at the Music Zoo in Roslyn (Long Island), New York (less than an hour outside of Manhattan), to host a Master Class followed by a clinic and gear demo. The night also will include a Q&A session moderated by Guitar World contributing editor and columnist Andy Aledort. The evening will culminate with a meet-and-greet for everyone in attendance.

    Govan also will talk about his Charvel Guitar signature models.

    This is one of very few Master Classes Govan has hosted in the U.S., so don’t miss this rare opportunity!

    Tickets are available here. Each ticket allows one person to enter the event, so please buy one ticket per attendee. The event will take place at the Haute/Durvo event space within the Music Zoo complex. For more information, visit

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    Some of you out there might remember the Harp Twins, also known as Camille and Kennerly.

    The duo, who cover heavy metal and hard rock classics on harps, were featured on when they covered AC/DC's "Highway to Hell,"Iron Maiden's "Fear of the Dark" and Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train."

    Well, they're back with a new one.

    Be sure to check out their new cover of Megadeth's "A Tout le Monde," which they posted to YouTube earlier this month.

    The duo adds: "Please listen with headphones for more complex sound and fuller bass lines!"

    The track is also available now via iTunes. For more about the Harp Twins, follow them on Facebook.

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    Black Sabbath's Anthony Frank "Tony" Iommi was born 67 years ago today in Birmingham, England.

    As part of our ongoing celebration of Iommi's life and influential career, check out this just-posted animated video, part of’s new animated series, The Complete History of Heavy Metal.

    As scores of Guitar World have known since we started publishing in 1980, Iommi lost the tops of two fingers on his fretting hand due to a tragic industrial accident in the distant, black-and-white past.

    In the video below, you'll find out how the guitarist made “a good thing off a bad thing.” This inaugural episode is titled "Fingers Bloody Fingers." Nice! That's Iommi narrating, of course. Get to it!

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    It's time once again for Guitar World's annual 40 Percent Off Clearance Sale!

    Take 40 perfect off everything in our Online Store!

    This sale runs February 19 through February 28, 2015.

    Just be sure to enter code FEB40215 at checkout.

    Once again, that's FEB40215.

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!

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    In this new video, created and posted in time for this year's Winter NAMM Show, longtime Gretsch signature artist Brian Setzer plays and discusses Gretsch guitars.

    He also describes his love affair with the brand and how guitarists like George Harrison and Eddie Cochran exposed him to Gretsch in his formative years.

    For more about Gretsch's Setzer models, visit

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    Award-winning Italian guitarist Dario Chiazzolino has premiered a new song, "Precious Things," and you can check it out below.

    The track is from Chiazzolino's new album, Paint Your Life (TuKool Records).

    Chiazzolino’s quartet includes Concord Jazz-signed pianist Taylor Eigsti, double bassist Marco Panascia (known for his work with Lee Konitz and Joe Lovano) and drummer Willie Jones III (sideman to Cedar Walton and Kurt Elling).

    Chiazzolino, who was born in Turin, Italy, is known for his virtuosic guitar playing in the European and world jazz scenes. He led his quartet on a sold-out tour across Europe and has earned a reputation as a phenomenal guitarist. This rests on an appreciation of his innovative improvisational skill, which is founded on intervals of 10th, 11th and 13th notes.

    For more about Chiazzolino, visit

    Paint Your Life Track Listing:

    01. Precious Things
    02. Awake
    03. Far from Here
    04. Nostalgia
    05. Nel
    06. Floating
    07. There Is No Greater Love
    08. Paint Your Life

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    In this new video from Road Recovery, Metallica's James Hetfield opens up about his rocky past.

    He's done things he isn't proud of, he admits, but music saved his life by giving him an outlet to write and express himself.

    “Shame's a big thing for me," he says. "Playing music has saved my life. Every day it saves my life. When I am able to write, write a riff, write some lyrics, stuff like that, it’s a way I connect with the world.”

    For more about Road Recovery, visit

    If you want more words of wisdom from James and his life experience check out his video on ‘Seeking Validation.’ And stay tuned for more videos like these…

    For more from Road Recovery check out their channel on the HooplaHa network. You can also visit their website to see what other inspiring work they are doing.

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    Eric Clapton has been tapped for induction in the Blues Hall of Fame.

    He joins Fifties rock and roller Little Richard and Atlanta blues singer Tommy Brown as a 2015 inductee.

    In selecting Clapton, the Blues Foundation noted not only his many musical achievements but especially his role in popularizing the genre in the Sixties, first with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers and then with Cream and Derek and the Dominos. In those groups, and in the years since, Clapton helped to promote the originators of the genre through his albums and stage work.

    Clapton has continued to be a promoter of the blues on his more recent records, such as 2000’s Riding with the King, recorded with B.B. King, and his 2004 tribute to Delta blues guitarist Robert Johnson, Me and Mr. Johnson. Clapton’s annual Crossroads festival has also been instrumental in keeping blues artists in the spotlight.

    Previous guitarists inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame include Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Freddie King, Albert King, Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy, Lead Belly, Mike Bloomfield, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

    Little Richard may seem an unusual choice, given his role as a rock and roll originator, but his earliest recordings were in a blues vein, and the genre deeply informed his style of rock and roll. Richard joins an elite group of Blues Hall of Fame icons that includes Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, each of whom built upon rock and roll’s foundation in the blues.

    In the early Fifties, Tommy Brown was frontman for the Griffin Brothers Orchestra when they broke through with the Number One hit “Weepin’ & Cryin’.” Brown has brought an intuitive sense of showmanship to the blues over a career that has now spanned more than 75 years.

    The induction announcement was made by the Blues Foundation, whose mission includes preserving blues music history and recognizing blues performances and recordings. The foundation is also responsible for the Blues Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The foundation has inducted more than 130 performers into the Blues Hall of Fame since the inductions began in 1980.

    The induction of Clapton, Richards and Brown will be held in conjunction with the 36th Blues Music Awards on May 7 in Memphis, Tennessee. The awards kick off on May 6 with three days of events.

    For tickets and more information, visit

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