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    On March 24, we'll finally (well, officially, anyway) get to hear early recordings of Jimi Hendrix when he was a member of Curtis Knight and the Squires.

    A new album, You Can’t Use My Name: Curtis Knight & The Squires (featuring Jimi Hendrix) The RSVP/PPX Sessions, will be released with the authorization of his estate's Experience Hendrix LLC.

    According to Rolling Stone, the album's title is a play on the decades-long battle Hendrix's management—first Animals bassist Chas Chandler, then his own estate—faced in order to end a 1965 contract the guitarist signed with PPX Records to be Knight's sideman.

    After the Jimi Hendrix Experience released Are You Experienced?, PPX released Hendrix's Knight-era tracks as an album. Another album, Got That Feeling, was planned for the U.K. in 1968 before the courts barred the release.

    The battle of the Knight tapes raged on for decades until July 2014, when Experience Hendrix and Sony Legacy acquired the rights of 88 studio recordings Hendrix made with Curtis Knight and the Squires between 1965 and 1967.

    "We are extremely delighted to now be in a position to offer these rare, historic recordings," Jimi's sister and Experience Hendrix president and CEO Janie Hendrix said in a statement. "What makes them so special is that they provide an honest look at a great artist during the pivotal time when he was on the cusp of his breakthrough, a time when Jimi's number one priority was playing and recording, and this set captures him doing just that, both as a collaborator and an innovator. They are more than just recordings, they represent a significant segment in the timeline of Jimi's musical existence."

    "We've taken every single performance as far back as we could go in terms of source and we came up with the best original performances, stripped them back and re-mixed them and made what we feel is the best representation of those recordings," Eddie Kramer said in a statement. "It's a continuing archeological sound dig which is to say you sweep away the dirt with a fine brush and find the gem hidden therein."

    And, in case you think it's all "leftover garbage," be sure to check out audio of one of the songs, "Hornet’s Nest," below. The instrumental, guitar-based track was actually co-written by Hendrix. Note that it is not an official stream of the song.

    The album is available now for pre-order.

    You Can’t Use My Name: Curtis Knight & The Squires (featuring Jimi Hendrix) The RSVP/PPX Sessions

    01. "How Would You Feel"
    02. "Gotta Have A New Dress"
    03. "Don’t Accuse Me"
    04. "Fool For You Baby"
    05. "No Such Animal"
    06. "Welcome Home"
    07. "Knock Yourself Out [Flying On Instruments] "
    08. "Simon Says"
    09. "Station Break"
    10. "Strange Things"
    11. "Hornet’s Nest"
    12. "You Don’t Want Me"
    13. "You Can’t Use My Name"
    14. "Gloomy Monday"

    Additional Content

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    “Through The Motions,” “Finest Hour,” “Soldierstown,” “Blindsided” and “Sex, Guns & Gasoline” are all tracks from The Killer Instinct, the new studio album by Black Star Riders.

    Each track proves that melodic hard rock isn't only alive and well—but actually thriving.

    The album was released today, February 24, via Nuclear Blast Records. Be sure to check out the new music video for “Finest Hour” below!

    The Killer Instinct, which was produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Rush, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains Mastodon), boasts the song-writing talents and studio performances of an all-star lineup of pros, including:

    · Guitarist Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy, 21 Guns)
    · Vocalist Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy, the Almighty)
    · Guitarist Damon Johnson (Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Brother Cane)
    · Drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Y&T, Megadeth)
    · Bassist Robbie Crane (Ratt, Lynch Mob)

    “Thin Lizzy is a known situation, but with Black Star Riders we’re moving into uncharted territory, and that’s pretty damned exciting," Gorham says. "I’m having more fun playing right now than I have in years.”

    Black Star Riders also have announced several U.S. shows, all of which you can check out below the video.

    To pre-order the album, head here. For more about Black Star Riders, visit blackstarriders.com and follow them on Facebook.

    2015 Black Star Riders U.S. Dates:

    04/23/15 Kewadin Casino – Sault St. Marie, MI
    04/24/15 Potawatomi Casino – Milwaukee, WI (with EUROPE)
    04/25/15 Fineline Café – Minneapolis, MN
    04/28/15 House of Blues – Chicago, IL (with EUROPE)
    04/30/15 Irving Plaza – New York, NY (with EUROPE)


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    Prior to their show with HellYeah, Archer recently stopped by the Gibson Las Vegas ER showroom and Fox-5 News Studio to perform a new song, "Belief."

    You can check it out below.

    The Santa Cruz-based hard rock/heavy metal trio have a new studio album in the works, Culling the Weak, and it's set for a spring release. The album, the band's third, was produced by Mike Clink (Guns N' Roses, Megadeth, UFO) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Halford, Sepultura, Yngwie Malmsteen).

    Archer was founded by guitarist and vocalist Dylan Rose and bassist David De Silva. The guys have been working at their craft and at building Archer for more than 10 years.

    For more about Archer, visit Archernation.com and their Facebook page.

    FOX5 Vegas - KVVU


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    As the guitarist for Kalen & The Sky Thieves, I had a great time recording our album, Bluebird, at the Bunker Studio in Brooklyn.

    I'm proud of the band's ability to bring our "in the moment" live energy into the studio.

    When it comes to music, I am most passionate about “feel,” “energy,” “mood” and “vibe.” The band used to laugh at how often I said “the moment” when discussing music, so much so that they turned it into a drinking game. Whether it was coffee, water in the car on the road or a whiskey later at night, if anyone said “the moment,” we’d drink something.

    Feel free to join!

    01. Prepare.

    Getting the mechanical aspects of a track down is of the utmost importance when it comes to effectively expressing the feel and vibe you want. My father is a professional guitarist and teacher, and I owe a lot to him (including all the times I stole copies of Guitar World from him as a kid!).

    He is always making sure to get his students actually excited about practicing. Aside from sheer energy, the other crucial part of preparation is making sure to know the tunes you’ll be playing inside and out. Once everything is second nature, real mood is conveyed by the piece and "the moment" is created (you know what to do).

    That confidence gives a feeling of freedom, not a feeling of, “Oh crap, I might mess this up.” Be ready to bring it 100 percent when the red light goes on. Check out our single, "Somedays," to hear the value in solid preparation:




    02. Don't worry about “perfection.”

    While technical aspects might be dubbed “perfect,” one cannot say whether or not an emotion has achieved "perfection."

    If a guitarist is too busy worrying about playing/placing the notes perfectly, it's like the major league baseball player who starts aiming his pitches too carefully instead of trusting his talent. Obviously, the pitcher is talented, but by trying to be too perfect, it yields walks or hits, instead of a well-placed strike.

    Again, the mechanical knowledge should all be there, but when it is time to start playing, it’s time to "feel." Some might call it a "Zen thing." Allow the flow. It’s nice to get things on the first take, for sure, but remember, if you screw up this take, you will get another one—so just let go. That attitude can really free you and actually let you have less takes. Don't over-think, just allow it and be it. Listen to perfect imperfections on our debut single to see what I mean:




    03. Trust your engineer.

    This was pretty easy for us, because John Davis at the Bunker is a stellar engineer.

    Choosing the right engineer is important. You want someone with a good ear, who you can communicate easily with. In the end, for the player to be truly in "the moment" (DRINK!), the player cannot be worried about anything but playing. A good engineer will help you decide if you need another take and will sometimes have interesting ideas about achieving sounds that can lead to new inspirations.

    A great example of this is the echoing/rumbling sound he got for my rhythm guitars in this track:




    04. Be in (and bring attention to) the moment.

    So, here we are. Our concern is focused on how the notes make us feel right now. That is it. The now is the only important moment to be in. If you are true to yourself and your emotions in the song, you can’t go wrong. It yields authenticity and real feeling.

    A trick I use is to consider any take as a live performance—as in, not to have a pre-conceived notion of what I'm about to hear in my headphones, but to actually listen and play with it as if it were the first time I ever heard this take. This is especially true in solo sections. I came into these parts with a basic idea—a framework for where the solo would go.

    However, I feel they were particularly successful because I let the moment take over. Here's an example where it seems especially appropriate, as it deals with time:




    05. Always have solid band camaraderie and listening.

    This is a bit more spacious (but not specious!) to talk about. It goes beyond playing the guitar more than any of the previously mentioned points. We are but one member in this team we call a “band.”

    Forget showing off. Instead, complement and raise everything (and everyone) up. Always listen to everyone else, as “the moment” is shared. Being a good listener is related to band camaraderie. It can be rare to have a band that truly cares about each other, trusts each other, gives each other space, etc.

    That is something very valuable and the chemistry comes through in the music. From hours on the road to hours of rehearsal and shows, we built up a great trust, respect and a sense for helping each other. It's invaluable. We all help making everything take flight. That notion really comes off in our title track:

    Will Hanza plays guitar in Kalen & The Sky Thieves. Their latest album, Bluebird, is available now.


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    In his latest instructional video (posted February 5), guitarist Troy Grady investigates one of the unusual asymmetrical groupings of Yngwie Malmsteen’s scale playing: a concept known as "sevens."

    "Although Malmsteen is known for launching a wave of interest in three-note-per-string scale playing, he is ironically a pioneer of unorthodox note groupings that fit better with his unique combination of downward pickslanting and sweeping," Grady says.

    "In this lesson, we examine Malmsteen’s ingenious use of groups of seven as a device for moving up the fretboard. The uneven distribution of notes in this pattern—three on one string, and four on another—makes string-switching super efficient, and a blazing Malmsteen classic is born.

    For more about Grady's Masters in Mechanics series, visit troygrady.com.

    Grady is also writing and producing lessons for GuitarWorld.com these days. Be sure to check out his first two installments of "Cracking the Code with Troy Grady"—Yngwie Malmsteen's Rotational Picking Mechanic and Eric Johnson's Pickslanting Pentatonics.

    Additional Content

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    Below, check out five new performance videos of "Offering Pain" by Lord Dying.

    Each video features a different member of the band playing the song, which can be found on their new album, Poisoned Altars, which was released in January via Relapse Records. Lord Dying are on the road now in support of Anvil.

    For more about Lord Dying, follow them on Facebook.

    BASS




    DRUMS




    GUITAR




    LEAD GUITAR:

    ALL FOUR VIDEOS AT ONCE:


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    Today we have an exclusive demo video of Seymour Duncan's Vise Grip compressor pedal, which was introduced at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show.

    The video stars guitarist Steve Booke, who also happens to write the "What in the World" lessons for GuitarWorld.com.

    Here's more information about the Vise Grip:

    The Seymour Duncan Vise Grip Compressor is a studio-grade soft-knee compressor designed for guitarists who want to take control of the dynamics of their sound, from a subtle smoothing-out of peaks and valleys to the most squished and pinched extremes and everywhere in between.

    The Blend knob lets you add as much or as little of the original signal as you like to the compressed sound, while the Mid/Full/High lets you choose the character of the blended signal by deciding what frequency range of the dry signal is blended in with the wet.

    The Sustain knob determines how long your notes will ring out and the Attack control regulates how quickly the compressor reacts to your initial pick attack. Higher settings give you a late attack that lets your picking dynamics come through before the compression kicks in. And the Volume control does more than just let you match the output with your bypassed sound: you can also use it as a boost while taking advantage of the Blend and Mid/Full/High controls.

    The Vise Grip can give you a simple dynamics adjustment—like a subtle or extreme increase in sustain for country "chicken pick'n” or a little extra clarity, body and volume for a clean solo—or you can use it for more intense effects like a classic 'squished funk' rhythm scratch or to introduce a lo-fi, treble-heavy edge which is perfect for a garage-band vibe.

    Then you can blend in just the right amount of the uncompressed signal and let the Mid/Full/High switch restore sparkle to the high end, fatten up the uncompressed signal for increased harmonic overtones, or simply make sure your effected sound remains consistent with your bypassed guitar tone. It's also useful for keyboard, mandolin or any instrument where excessive dynamic range is an issue.

    The Vise Grip Compressor is assembled at the Seymour Duncan Factory in Santa Barbara, California, and like all Seymour Duncan Effects Pedals is 100 percent true-bypass.

    For more information, visit SeymourDuncan.com.


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    Here's one for those among you who have seen "Whiplash," one of this year's Oscar-nominated films (Best Picture).

    The actual film stars Miles Teller as a student jazz drummer who seeks the respect of an abusive teacher played by J.K. Simmons.

    In this new spoof, an accordion-wielding Weird Al steps in ... seeking the respect of the same abusive teacher!

    We know there are no absolutely guitars in the clip, but we figured we'd share it anyway, since some of us might have gone through a similar (but hopefully nowhere near as horrible) experience when learning guitar. Plus it's funny.

    The clip, which was posted to YouTube February 9, has already amassed more than a million views. Enjoy!


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    Electro-Harmonix has introduces its new Good Vibes Modulator pedal.

    The pedal, a demo of which you can check out below, is a re-creation of classic “flower power”-era chorus/vibrato pedals.

    “We designed it to take you on a trip back to the Sixties so it delivers the warm, liquid groove we associate with that time in music," says EHX President and Founder Mike Matthews. "But we also updated it to meet the needs of contemporary players.”

    Like the original Uni-Vibe, it uses photocells for a sound and response that’s true to the classic design. However, boosted power rails provide 21st-century definition and headroom, while true bypass switching ensures maximum signal path integrity. An expression pedal input was added and puts control of speed and intensity at the player’s feet.

    The Good Vibes features easy-to-use controls consisting of Volume, Speed and Intensity knobs, plus two switches: a Chorus/Vibrato selector and an EXP Speed/Intensity switch that lets the player choose EXP pedal control of either. The pedal is housed in a rugged, compact die-cast chassis and is powered by a standard center negative 9V power supply, which is included.

    An always-on speed indicator is also included. The Good Vibes has a U.S. list price of $179.99.

    For more information, visit ehx.com.


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    ESP Guitars and Takamine Guitars have announced a partnership in which Takamine instruments will be available exclusively through ESP and selected dealers in the U.S.

    This new distribution partnership will begin in March 2015.

    “This is a momentous leap forward for both ESP and Takamine,” says Matt Masciandaro, president and CEO of ESP Guitars. “The new agreement between ESP and Takamine allows ESP to offer one of the world’s most respected acoustic guitar brands to our dealers and customers and gives Takamine the kind of sales distribution and marketing support that this fine brand merits.”

    “We at Takamine Guitars are eager to establish our partnership with the ESP Guitar Company in the U.S. as we enjoy the symbiotic relationship of our two companies that know guitars, understand the global market and share the same goals of great guitars and superior service," says Mark Kasulen, director of U.S. relations for Takamine Guitars. "The legacy continues.”

    For more than half a century, Takamine Guitars has been recognized as a leading acoustic guitar builder. Much like ESP, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015, Takamine’s origins are as a small guitar shop in Japan. Over the subsequent 52 years, Takamine has grown into a world-renowned maker of premier-quality acoustic and acoustic-electric guitars, selected as a first choice by performing guitarists worldwide.

    Takamine’s signature artists include Glenn Frey, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith and Kenny Chesney. Takamine’s product offerings span the entire market of acoustic guitars, with models designed for players at every level.


    ESP and Takamine’s new distribution arrangement allows for Takamine instruments to be sold exclusively at select dealers in the U.S.. beginning in March. Those who wish to inquire about becoming a Takamine dealer should contact ESP’s senior vice president Jeff Moore at 818-450-8272
.

    For more about ESP Guitars, visit espguitars.com. For more about Takamine Guitars, visit takamine.com.


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    Here’s a bouncy, get-your-butt-outta-of-bed testimonial to the power of optimism.

    The song is from Aussie-based Darren Hanlon's upcoming release Where Did You Come From?, due out March 24 on Yep Roc Records.

    With a fun beat, subtle, driving music and some Aussie-tinged vocals, “When You Go” is a fun listen and a super cool video!

    Hanlon shares, “This song was born out of an instrumental jam during the Memphis recording sessions. It turned out to be the most succinct and resembling of a pop song and possibly the most direct link to my older albums. I fit the words to it later and tried to use the atmosphere as a motivation. It has a propulsion to it, almost like a march with those militaristic snare hits, so I pictured movement as compulsion.

    “A lot of the songs on this record are about travel and distance and energy but this time I wanted to evoke someone who stays still for whatever reason, but experiences all those things in their imagination. Or through someone else, a loved one, who’s always leaving.

    “When you’re struggling to write songs or stories or whatever it takes a lot of time spent alone, staring at the same crack in the wall. Often the process is not a go to whoa activity, like say building a fence is, and you have to wait it out for the good bits to drop from somewhere to fill in the blanks.

    “The original first line was, ‘A Christmas tree still lights the room in May,’ which I soon felt was a tad too extreme and devastating for some reason.”

    Check out "When You Go,” recorded at Electraphonic Studios, Memphis, TN

    One battered, old guitar, one Amtrak pass, five recording studios, and 15 random musicians. The story of Australia-based singer-songwriter Darren Hanlon’s first studio album in five years, Where Did You Come From?, spans two continents and many miles traveled on his exploratory adventure of the American South.

    Set for a March 24, 2015 release on Yep Roc Records, Where Did You Come From? is now available for pre-order with an instant download of the first single, “When You Go.”

    Prior to his time in the American South, Hanlon spent a month in the Australian desert mining town of Broken Hill – famous as the filming location of Mad Max 2. Sowing the seeds of the new songs, he sent demos to U.S. studios he liked the sound of and in which he wanted to record.

    “For lack of any real purpose I went on an exploratory adventure of the American southern states and the whole thing grew up around me like rogue lantana,” says Hanlon. “I spent about 20 nights sleeping on different Amtrak trains with my jumper rolled up under my head for a pillow.”

    The album was recorded in one-off sessions in Memphis, Muscle Shoals, New Orleans, Clarksdale, and Nashville, where the first tracks were cut with Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes) at Bomb Shelter Studios. From meeting and working with a revolving cast of artists and musicians, the accidental nature of the recording process fed into the songwriting and shape of the album. “I got a real sense of a scene that was developing across many cities of the South, connected by friendships and a mutual appreciation of traditional roots music.”

    Some of the musicians who joined Hanlon in studio had played on hit songs he’s known since childhood. David Hood (Muscle Shoals Sound Studio) and Spooner Oldham (Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin) sat in on a song at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, and Howard Grimes, the 72-year-old longtime drummer for Al Green, backed him on the Memphis session.

    “When I hopped off [the train] I walked around the cities and met buskers, tap-dancers, preachers, drunks and drug dealers, all of whom had something worth learning about,” Hanlon tells. “I started having compulsive notions that whoever I met should somehow contribute to the album. Like fate. One guy tried to break into a car I was sitting in and even he ended up playing bass on a song.”

    With four studio albums, a rarities album and an EP, Hanlon has built a loyal Australian fan base. Known for his engaging live performances, Hanlon has toured with Billy Bragg, Violent Femmes, The Magnetic Fields, David Dondero, and Jeffrey Lewis. Prior to becoming a solo artist in 1999, Hanlon was a member of the Simpletons, and played with The Lucksmiths, The Dearhunters, and Mick Thomas.

    Tour dates with Courtney Barnett:

    5/18/2015 Boston, MA Sinclair
    5/19/2015 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
    5/20/2015 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
    5/21/2015 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
    5/30/2015 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy
    5/31/2015 Los Angeles, CA The Roxy
    6/2/2015 San Diego, CA Casbah
    6/5/2015 Austin, TX Mohawk
    6/6/2015 Dallas, TX Club Dada
    6/7/2015 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
    6/9/2015 Atlanta, GA Vinyl
    6/13/2015 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
    6/15/2015 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer

    Find out more at www.darrenhanlon.com


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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the premiere of a new performance video by the Commander-In-Chief and classical guitarist Craig Ogden.

    The piece, "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso," is from the duo's new album, 2 Guitars: The Classical Crossover Album.

    The violin-and-orchestra piece was written in 1863 by Camille Saint-Saëns for virtuoso violinist Pablo de Sarasate.

    "This is my favorite song of all the classical ones I have recorded," says the Commander-In-Chief, who plays a seven-string Ibanez model. "It has a very sad but also unpredictable and playful vibe to it. It was the first song we picked for the album, and the entire album was built around it.

    "I wasn't sure if the last minute and 34 seconds (from 8:12 onward) would be physically possible to play on guitar when I started studying this piece of music.

    "While looking at the score, I noticed it would require rapid changes between various techniques—sweeping, tapping and alternate picking—in order to hit all the notes. It was a huge challenge to be able to do that and keep an even sound. Only after practicing it six to eight hours a day for six months did I know it was doable.

    "This song has never been recorded as a guitar version before; I used the violin version of the great J. Heifetz as my reference."

    "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" is the fourth 2 Guitars video to be premiered on GuitarWorld.com. You also can check out "Por una Cabeza," their version of Caprice No. 24 by Niccolo Paganini and an original song, "Let It Go."

    For more information on (and to order) the album, visit commandermusic.com.


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    Despite the diversity of George Harrison's many pursuits during his 58 years on earth—racing, gardening, Indian religion and culture, film making and anything remotely associated with ukeleles, Mel Brooks or Monty Python—he'll go down in history as one fourth of the Beatles.

    [[ Poll: What Was George Harrison's Coolest Beatles-Era Guitar? ]]

    But, notwithstanding his contributions to the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed act in the history of popular music, Harrison had a successful solo career that proved he was more than just a silent partner to John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

    The guitarist released 10 studio albums between 1970 and 2002, an experimental electronic album, a soundtrack album and two live albums (including The Concert for Bangladesh), plus some non-album singles, including the sadly overlooked "Cheer Down" (1989).

    Today, on the 72nd anniversary of his birth, we're ranking his 10 serious studio albums. This list doesn't include his two "while the Beatles were still together" albums, 1968's Wonderwall Music and 1969's Electronic Sound. (Although, even if we were to include them, they'd wind up as No. 12—Electronic Sound—and 11—Wonderwall Music—anyway. So there!)

    Below, you'll find a quick "Happy Birthday" video that's playing over at GeorgeHarrison.com. Below that, check out the photo gallery to see how we've ranked his 10 albums.

    Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World. Follow him on Twittah.

    Additional Content

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    Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a “secret weapon,” that’s exactly what they got when George Harrison received his first Rickenbacker 12-string, in a beautiful Fireglo finish, in February of that year, during the Beatles’ first U.S. tour.

    The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company, which is now celebrating its 80th anniversary.

    Hall spoke to Brian Epstein before the Beatles arrived in the U.S. and arranged a meeting with the group. On February 8 at the Savoy Hilton in New York City, he showed the band several different models. Lennon tried out the 360/12 but thought it would be better for Harrison, who was sick in bed at the Plaza Hotel. When Harrison finally got to see it, he loved it immediately.

    “Straight away I liked that you knew exactly which string was which,” Harrison said, referring to how the guitar’s 12 tuners are grouped in top- and side-mounted pairs on the headstock. “[On some] 12-strings, you spend hours trying to tune it.”

    Harrison’s first 360/12 was the second Rickenbacker 12-string ever made; its serial number—CM107—dates it to December 1963. The main difference between it and the prototype is how they are strung. The first model had a conventional 12-string setup, in which the octave string is the first to be struck in each string pair. On Harrison’s model and subsequent Rickenbacker 12-strings, the octave strings occur second in the string pairs and the lower-pitched string is struck first.

    Harrison’s guitar has a trapeze tailpiece, triangle inlays, double white pickguards, black control knobs and mono and stereo (Rick-O-Sound) outputs mounted on a chrome plate on the side of the guitar.

    The guitar, with its unique, chiming sound, can be heard on "You Can't Do That," the bulk of the A Hard Day’s Night album, “I Call Your Name,” “What You’re Doing”—and several other songs, up to and including “Ticket to Ride.” His second 360/12, a 1965 model with rounded cutaways, is heard on “If I Needed Someone.”

    Rickenbacker.JPG

    Photo: Nigel Osbourne / Redferns / Getty Images

    Additional Content

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    Okay, 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 six tracks by five of your favorite bands worth putting under the microscope for reasons listed below. Enjoy!

    Joe Satriani — “Surfing with the Alien”

    For the lead guitar tone on Surfing with the Alien’s title track, Joe Satriani used a wah-wah pedal and a harmonizer. The former worked perfectly, but the latter was acting a little weird and wonky.

    Satriani told Guitar World, “The sound that came out of the speakers blew us away so much that we recorded the melody and the solo in about a half-hour and sat back and went, ‘Whoa! This is a song, man!’” Then the harmonizer broke down and couldn’t be fixed.

    “We couldn’t do anything,” he said. “We lost our tone. When we finally got it working again, we weren’t able to recreate the original effect. It just sounded different. So rather than screw up a wonderful-sounding performance that may have had a couple of glitches, we decided to just leave it, because it was just swinging.”



    Metallica — “The Four Horsemen”

    One of the most unique features of Metallica’s classic track “The Four Horsemen” is its distinctive simultaneous two-headed guitar solo, heard from 4:10 to 4:30.

    You can hear two Kirk Hammetts, one in each speaker, playing roughly similar but still quite different solos. In 1991 Hammett told Guitar World this cool effect was entirely a fluke. After recording two takes of the solo, Hammett and Co. were trying to decide which one to use.

    “I listened to both tracks at once, to see if one would stand out,” Hammett said. “But playing both tracks simultaneously sounded great, and we decided to keep it like that on the record. Some of the notes harmonized with each other, and I remember Cliff [Burton, bassist] going, ‘Wow, that’s stylin’—it sounds like Tony Iommi!’”




    Led Zeppelin — “Misty Mountain Hop” and “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”

    Led Zeppelin albums are filled with little slips and clams, but none of that really mattered to producer/guitarist Jimmy Page who justifiably valued vibe over perfection. He called it being “tight but loose.”

    The following are two headphone-worthy accidents that somehow add a touch of funky magick to these Zep classics. If you listen closely to “Misty Mountain Hop” at about 1:15, you can hear Jimmy play the heavy part too soon. He then fumbles and jumps back in.

    hen, on “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” you can hear a ghostly voice at 1:43. Is it a friendly Page poltergeist? Nah, it’s actually the sound of Robert Plant singing along with drummer John Bonham during basic tracking. Whether that’s his actual naked voice leaking through the drum mics, or perhaps being blasted through Bonzo’s headphones, we may never know.




    Radiohead — “Creep”

    One of the most memorable and dramatic guitar moments of the Nineties is the stuttering rhythm part that sets up the chorus of Radiohead’s “Creep.” And if Jonny Greenwood’s attitude-filled flourish (played at 0:58 and again at the two-minute mark) reflects the song’s angst-filled lyrics, there’s a reason.

    “That’s the sound of Jonny trying to mess the song up,” explained co-guitarist Ed O’Brien. “He really didn’t like it the first time we played it, so he tried spoiling it. And it made the song.”




    The Kingsmen — “Louie, Louie”

    This last pick is a strange one.

    If there was never a song designed for headphones, it’s the poorly recorded garage classic “Louie, Louie.” But there are so many hilarious mistakes in this shambolic mess, with a good set of ear buds the tune becomes a brilliant piece of audio theater.

    Just close your eyes and you almost see and smell these drunken bozos having the time of their lives as they struggle to play their three chords right. Just dig the drummer yelling “F@#K! in the background because he hit his hand on the edge of one of his drums at 0:57. Or laugh as the singer comes in too early at 1:55 while barging in at the end the songs surprisingly great guitar solo.

    Truth is, this is actually what headphones were made for!

    Brad Tolinski is the editor-in-chief at Guitar World.

    Additional Content

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    In 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary February 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show), Guitar World celebrated the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.

    The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work.

    In assembling this list, we looked beyond our personal favorite songs and reflected on where John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney showed their talents as guitarists, whether in a solo, a riff, a technique or by their astute selection of instrument and arrangement.

    For some songs, we’ve gone a step further and analyzed the guitar work to give you insights into the magic that makes these moments so special. Enjoy! And be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook!

    50. Across the Universe
    Let It Be… Naked (2003)

    John Lennon considered the Beatles’ recording of this 1967 composition “a lousy track of a great song,” dismissing even his own work on it.

    He was too hard on himself: his imperfect acoustic guitar work and vocal delivery effectively work in service of the song’s sincere devotional message, though overdubs of strings, background vocals and electric guitar obscured the delicacy and intimacy of his performance.

    The release of Let It Be… Naked in 2003 set the record straight, offering a bare-bones acoustic mix of the track that even Lennon might have approved of.

    49. Flying
    Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

    The strongly pulsing tremolo on the rhythm guitar makes the instrument sound as if it’s riding slightly behind the beat, giving the song a druggy languor appropriate to its title. (In the film Magical Mystery Tour, “Flying” accompanies scenes shot high above the clouds).

    The crystalline acoustic guitar that appears about 13 seconds in lends the song a country vibe, culminating in a tasty double-stop lick that lazily meanders down the fretboard. Heavenly.

    48. Helter Skelter
    The Beatles (1968)

    It’s not a stretch to say the Beatles prefigured heavy metal’s doomier side with this 1968 Paul McCartney track.

    For this recording, McCartney set aside his bass duties and strapped on his Fender Esquire to deliver the track’s brash rhythm work, while Harrison performed the searing leads on Lucy, the 1957 Les Paul Standard gifted to him by Eric Clapton.

    But the best work here is performed by Lennon on, of all things, a bass (either a Fender Bass VI). His sloppy but inspired playing propels the song along and provides its main rhythmic interest.

    47. Yesterday
    Help! (1965)

    McCartney’s melancholy, acoustic guitar–driven ballad marked a symbolic, pivotal point in the Beatles’ career as a band in that it was their first song in which any of the members—three in this case—did not participate in the performance.

    McCartney tuned his guitar down one whole step for this song (low to high, D G C F A D) and performed it as if it were in the key of G, with the detuning transposing it down to the concert key of F.

    This may have been made for the sake of putting the vocal melody in a more optimal key for McCartney; it certainly made the bass notes sound deeper and richer, while the slackened string tension contributed to the thicker texture of the chord voicings.

    46. For You Blue
    Let It Be (1970)

    Written by Harrison, this seemingly straightforward blues workout in D stands out as a bouncy oddball in the Beatles’ catalog.

    Not only is it one of the band’s few forays into 12-bar-blues territory; it also finds Lennon stepping into the uncommon role of lead guitarist, supplying a spirited solo and fills on a Hofner Hawaiian Standard lap-steel guitar in open D tuning.

    To make things even weirder, he uses a shotgun shell as a slide. In addition, there’s no bass on the recording; McCartney performed on piano and the song received no overdubs.

    45. Free As a Bird
    Anthology 1 (1995)

    Released in 1995 as a post-mortem Beatles track built upon a John Lennon home demo, “Free As a Bird” makes a valiant attempt to resurrect the spirit of the group’s glory days.

    While some will quibble about the lackluster songwriting, it’s hard to find fault with Harrison’s stinging slide work. Starting off with a few restrained lines, Harrison lets his playing soar on the solo, the one moment in which the song truly takes flight.

    44. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
    Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

    Recorded quickly in a single session, this rocking reprise of the album’s opening track features some fiery lead guitar work from Harrison.

    Written as a bookend to the album-opening title track, the reprise is both faster and a whole step lower than the original, although halfway through it modulates up a whole step. (Modulation is a technique rarely found in the Beatles compositions, “And I Love Her” being another example from the group’s catalog [see entry 30].)

    43. I Will
    The Beatles (1968)

    This quiet love song, written by McCartney, features only him on lead and harmony vocals, two acoustic guitars and scat-sung “vocal bass,” with Lennon and Starr providing percussion.

    McCartney overdubbed, on top of his main, strummed guitar part, a second, melodic part played in a rockabilly lead style reminiscent of Elvis Presley’s lead guitarist Scotty Moore, picking out syncopated, ringing melodies built around a first-position F6 chord shape with decorative, bluesy hammer-ons from the minor third to the major third.

    Years later, Cars guitarist Elliot Easton played a similar line on the chorus tags to “My Best Friend’s Girlfriend.”

    42. The Ballad of John and Yoko
    1967–1970 (1973)

    In this 1969 musical telling of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s wedding and honeymoon, Lennon’s acoustic strumming sets up the song’s infectious rhythm, while his electric guitar fills play call-and-response with his vocals.

    The track was written and recorded in April of that year, fresh off the sessions for Let It Be, in which the group attempted to get back to their rock and roll roots. That might have inspired Lennon’s musical direction with this track, which he closes with an electric guitar riff reminiscent of Dorsey Burnett’s “Lonesome Tears in My Eyes,” which the Beatles covered early in their career.

    41. Yer Blues
    The Beatles (1968)

    Lennon wrote this 1968 song as a rude sendup of the electric blues boom that had taken London by storm, but the suicidal feelings he expresses were a sincere articulation of how he felt trapped both in his unhappy first marriage and in the Beatles.

    Likewise, his primitive two-note solo could be regarded as mocking disdain for the genre’s slick white imitators, but he plays the riff until it’s as raw as his emotions. He would pursue this protopunk style of guitar playing further on his 1970 solo debut, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.


    40. Help!
    Help!

    The Beatles’ mix of acoustic rhythms and electric guitar leads from 1964 through the end of 1965 helped greatly to define the sound of folk-rock.

    Written in the midst of his “Bob Dylan phase,” “Help!” shows Lennon continuing to divulge the vulnerability express on previous songs like “No Reply” and “I’m a Loser,” with the acoustic guitar providing the requisite balladeer instrumentation.

    Here, Lennon robustly strums out the rhythm on his 1964 Framus Hootenanny 5/024 acoustic 12-string, with Harrison contributing jangly lead lines and three-note descending passages on the choruses with his Gretsch Tennessean.

    39. Dear Prudence
    The Beatles (1968)

    This 1968 composition is arguably one of Lennon’s greatest achievements as a guitarist and demonstrates his development at the time into a bona fide acoustic fingerpicker.

    Having recently learned a basic eighth-note Travis-picking-like pattern from British pop star Donovan, Lennon put the newly learned pattern to great use in compositions like “Julia,” “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and, most brilliantly, “Dear Prudence,” applying it to an ethereal modal chord progression he invented, which he performed in drop-D tuning (low to high, D A D G B E), using the two open D strings (the fourth and sixth) as ringing drones, or pedal tones throughout the majority of the song.

    The thumb-picking pattern goes fifth string, fourth string, sixth string, fourth string and repeats consistently through the changing chords, interrupted briefly at the end of each verse.

    38. If I Needed Someone
    Rubber Soul (1965)

    Although the Beatles were rock’s foremost trendsetters, they still were influenced by other artists.

    Case in point: George Harrison’s 12-string riff on “If I Needed Someone.” Played in a second-position D-chord shape with a capo on the seventh fret, the line was based on Jim McGuinn’s chiming guitar work in the Byrds’ mesmerizing 1965 track “The Bells of Rhymney.”

    In the mid Sixties, Harrison and McGuinn had formed a mutual-admiration society: “If I Needed Someone” featured Harrison’s second Rickenbacker 360/12, a rounded-off 1965 model that resembled McGuinn’s 1964 Rickenbacker 360/12, which McGuinn bought after seeing Harrison’s first Rick in the film A Hard Day’s Night.

    37. Day Tripper
    1962–1966 (1973)

    Lennon and McCartney’s hip-shaking 1965 hit is a thinly veiled ode to “weekend hippies” who embrace the drug counterculture when they’re not pursuing their careers.

    McCartney referred to this song and “Drive My Car” (recorded just days earlier) as “songs with jokes in” them, but there’s nothing laughable about this track’s swaggering guitar riff, borrowed from the Temptations’ 1964 hit “My Girl” and given a liberal dose of self-assured attitude.

    Lennon reportedly plays the solo, most likely using his Sonic Blue Fender Strat, while Harrison’s guitar parts were probably recorded with his Gretsch Tennessean.

    36. Think for Yourself
    Rubber Soul (1965)

    The Beatles had been interested in creating distorted guitar tones since at least 1964, when they attempted unsuccessfully to use a Gibson Maestro Fuzz-Tone on “She Loves You” and “Don’t Bother Me” (see entry 23).

    They were more successful with Harrison’s excellent 1965 composition “Think for Yourself,” for which McCartney plugged his Hofner bass into an early version of the Tone Bender fuzz pedal, created by electronics designer Gary Hurst and eventually marketed by Vox. The result is the harsh-sounding “lead bass” tone that bobs menacingly—and memorably—alongside Harrison’s lead vocal.

    35. Mother Nature’s Son
    The Beatles (1968)

    Throughout this song’s verses, McCartney fools you into thinking that he’s playing more than he actually is by filling out the harmony with his vocal melody.

    For example, while the ear hears a very strong D-to-G movement in the first two bars of the verse, all McCartney is actually playing is D to Dsus4; his vocal melody intimates the G chord by moving to B, that chord’s third. The verse also features, in the third and fourth bars, brilliant oblique motion—where one voice moves up or down while one or more other voices remain stationary.

    By moving the root of a B minor chord, B, down to the minor seventh, A, and then down to the sixth, Gs, while keeping the notes D and F# constant above this descending line, McCartney implies a slick progression of Bm D (or Bm7) E9. He does the same thing at the very beginning of the song.

    34. Girl
    Rubber Soul (1965)

    Lennon conjures up this song’s dreamy, Gypsy-like reverie by capoing his Gibson J-160E at the eighth fret, making the guitar sound similar to a mandola.

    Harrison furthers the vibe on the third verse, playing a mandolin-like melody on Lennon’s Framus Hootenanny 12-string acoustic. But the crowning touch comes at the coda, when a third acoustic guitar enters, playing a Greek-style melody that’s plucked at the bridge with sharp strokes, making it sound like a bouzouki and further emphasizing the song’s smoky, old-world aura.

    The British group the Hollies would copy the effect on their hit “Bus Stop,” recorded at Abbey Road some six months later.

    33. Birthday
    The Beatles (1968)

    Like “I Feel Fine” and “Day Tripper” (see entries 12 and 37), “Birthday” delivers a classic and memorable guitar riff. Whereas those previous two songs veered from the traditional 12-bar blues formula, “Birthday” hews closely to it during its verses.

    McCartney and Lennon wrote the song in the studio during an evening session, which included a recess during which the band went back to McCartney’s house to watch a TV broadcast of the 1956 teen film The Girl Can’t Help It. The soundtrack—which included performances by Little Richard, Gene Vincent and other Beatles’ favorites—undoubtedly contributed to the song’s raucous vintage rock-and-roll vibe.

    32. One After 909
    Let It Be (1969)

    This tune had been in the Beatles’ song bag for years, surfacing first as a rickety blues-style shuffle at a March 1963 recording session.

    By the time they tackled it again during their January 1969 rooftop performance at Apple, the Beatles were nearly finished as a group, but they were at long last able to breathe life into the tune, revving it up with a rock and roll beat and laying into it like the seasoned performers they were. Harrison delivers a stellar country-rock solo, using his rosewood Telecaster.

    31. Norwegian Wood
    Rubber Soul (1965)

    This acoustic-rock masterpiece, written by Lennon, is not unlike “Here Comes the Sun,” in that it’s a folky chord-melody type of accompaniment that could easily stand on its own as a solo instrumental, with the vocal melody conveniently woven into the chords.

    However, unlike “Here Comes the Sun” (see entry 4), the melody sits in the middle, rather than on top, of the chord voicings, and is performed with more full strumming in a flowing 6/8 meter. Lennon performed “Norwegian Wood” as if the song were in the key of D, the verses being in D major and the bridge sections switching the parallel minor key of D minor, and used a capo at the second fret to transpose everything up a whole step, to E major and E minor, respectively.


    30. And I Love Her
    A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

    It’s overshadowed by the Beatles’ more innovative songs, but “And I Love Her” demonstrates a leap in the group’s harmonic sophistication and musical arrangement skills.

    Harrison performs delicate arpeggiations on his 1964 Ramírez nylon-string classical acoustic, while McCartney subtly propels the song along with his soul-inflected bass work. A modulation from the key of E to F on the solo ramps up the drama and keeps the song from flagging. The final chord, D major—the relative minor of F—delivers surprise and emotional uplift that allows the song to end hopefully, in keeping with the optimism of the lyrics.

    29. Not Guilty
    Anthology 1 (1995)

    Recorded for 1968’s White Album but unissued until the release of Anthology 1 in 1995, this Harrison track was a lyrical response to his fellow Beatles, who felt that their trip to India at his urging to study transcendental meditation had been a waste of time.

    It’s hard to understand why this track was abandoned, especially after the group devoted more than 100 attempts to the rhythm track. Harrison’s guitar work is especially superb, from his sinewy lead lines to his sizzling tone, achieved by placing his amp in one of Abbey Road’s echo chambers and cranking it up for maximum effect, while he performed, safe from the volume, in the studio control room.

    Harrison eventually re-recorded this song for his self-titled 1979 album.

    28. Old Brown Shoe
    1967–1970 (1973)

    Dishonorably relegated to the B-side of the single “The Ballad of John and Yoko” (see entry 42), this 1969 Harrison composition is one of his best. His stinging guitar work is at times reminiscent of Clapton, especially on the solo, where he plays his rosewood Telecaster through a Leslie cabinet, his preferred effect of the period.

    In addition to guitar, Harrison plays organ and, by his own account, the buoyant bass line. “That was me going nuts,” he said of the bass work in a 1987 interview. “I’m doing exactly what I do on the guitar.”

    27. Michelle
    Rubber Soul (1965)

    Another great example of McCartney’s innate gift for songwriting/composing, “Michelle” features, in its intro and elsewhere throughout the song, the previously mentioned standard “minor-drop” progression heard in “And Your Bird Can Sing” and “All My Loving” (see entries 7 and 16).

    The song also includes some rather clever and original harmonic twists and turns, such as the use of, in the second bar of the verse progression, the dominant-seven-sharp-nine (7#9) chord pointed out earlier in regard to Harrison’s “Till There Was You” solo, which, in both songs, is voiced “widely,” low to high: 1(root)-5-3(10)-b7-#9. Lennon, by the way, would later also employ this same chord voicing in “Sexy Sadie,” a chord that he, McCartney and Harrison all learned early on from a friend and local guitar-hero in Liverpool named Jim Gretty and dubbed “the Gretty chord.”

    26. Cry for a Shadow
    Anthology 1 (1995)

    In 1961, unknown and looking for a break, the Beatles supported British rock and roll singer Tony Sheridan on a recording date in Hamburg. While there, they recorded two tracks of their own, including this Harrison-Lennon guitar-instrumental written in the style of U.K. pop group the Shadows (hence, the title).

    The recording provides early evidence of Lennon’s steady and dynamic rhythm guitar work, as well as McCartney’s melodic skills on the bass, which he had just begun playing. But it’s Harrison who shines, making the most of the trite melody with double-stop licks and generous use of the whammy bar on his Strat-style Futurama electric guitar.

    He ends the song with a major sixth—C6, specifically—a voicing that would become a signature Beatles coda on songs like “She Loves You,” “No Reply” and “Help!” (see entry 40).

    25. Hey Bulldog
    Yellow Submarine (1968)

    McCartney’s lead guitar work had characterized most of the great solo guitar moments on the Beatles’ records during 1966 and 1967. But with “Hey Bulldog,” recorded in February 1968, Harrison came charging back with a guitar solo that’s heavier and hairier than just about anything in the group’s catalog.

    For the song, he played his red 1964 SG Standard, using a fuzz box (most likely his Tone Bender) to give his sound a snarl befitting the song’s title. Recalls engineer Geoff Emerick, “His amp was turned up really loud, and he used one of his new fuzz boxes, which made his guitar absolutely scream." Equally outstanding is Paul McCartney’s buoyant bass work, which is practically a lead instrument on its own.

    24. I’ve Just Seen a Face
    Rubber Soul (1965)

    Written by McCartney and musically inspired by the skiffle movement that was popular in the U.K. in the late Fifties and early Sixties, this up-tempo knee-slapper features Lennon, Harrison and McCartney all playing acoustic guitars, with Ringo Starr providing percussion (brushed snare drum and overdubbed maracas).

    The lyrical instrumental intro features a bass-line chord-melody, played (most likely by Harrison) on a 12-string, which serves to octave-double the bass-line melody, over which McCartney and Lennon flatpick a single-note melody based on double-stops, mostly sixth intervals, played up and down the G and high E strings in a quick, unbroken triplet rhythm, beautifully outlining the underlying chords with ascending and descending note pairs.

    23. Don’t Bother Me
    With the Beatles (1963)

    Harrison’s first solo songwriting effort for the Beatles sounds like nothing else in the group’s catalog. With its moody minor chords, propulsive drum beat and tremolo guitar, this 1964 track has more in common with California surf music than it does the American rock and soul that inspired the Beatles’ music at the time.

    The tremolo—provided by Harrison’s Vox AC30—gives the song an air of menace appropriate to the song’s title, and its use here marks the first time the group used an electronic effect on a finished recording.

    22. Octopus’s Garden
    Abbey Road (1969)

    By 1969, George Harrison had put down his sitar to focus on his first love, the guitar. The results are apparent on Abbey Road, which features his most fluid and confident playing to date.

    On “Octopus’s Garden,” one of Ringo Starr’s rare Beatles-era tunes, Harrison calls on his country/rockabilly influences for the first time since the band’s pre-psychedelic days. The intro is a slick masterpiece in the major pentatonic scale, the same territory Dickey Betts would later visit on “Blue Sky.” The song’s fun, twangy solo could sit snugly among James Burton’s work on Merle Haggard’s late-Sixties albums.

    21. Till There Was You
    With the Beatles (1963)

    With this charming early cover of a love song from the popular 1957 Broadway musical play and 1962 feature film The Music Man, the Beatles demonstrated their stylistic versatility as they authoritatively breeze through the song’s harmonically sophisticated, jazz-like chord progression.

    Harrison’s solo break conveys a musical savvy on par with that of a veteran jazz improviser, as he strongly outlines the underlying chord progression, producing a perfect melodic counterpoint with the bass line by using arpeggios and targeting non-root chord tones, such as the third or ninth, on each chord change.

    Also impressive is his incorporation of two-, three- and four-note chords into what would otherwise be a predominantly single-note solo to create jazz-guitar-style chord-melody phrases, as well as his superimposition over the five chord, C7, of a daringly dissonant Gb7#9 chord (voiced, low to high, Gb Db Bb E A), a trick known in the language of jazz as a tritone substitution.


    20. Good Morning Good Morning
    Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

    Let’s face it: There aren’t many ferocious, brash and screaming guitar solos in the Beatles’ catalog. That said, Paul McCartney’s razor-sharp solo on “Good Morning Good Morning” is all that and a bag of chips.

    The 13-second-long treble fest, played on a Fender Esquire through a Selmer amp, features a strong East Indian vibe, perhaps a nod to George Harrison’s burgeoning fascination with Indian religion and music.

    Like its stylistic predecessor, McCartney’s “Taxman” guitar solo (see entry 3), “Good Morning Good Morning” incorporates open-string drone notes and rapid-fire descending hammer-pull slides, mostly along one string, in this case, the B string.

    19. I Need You
    Help! (1965)

    By 1965, the Beatles were making noticeable strides in their arrangements and instrumentation. A prime example is “I Need You,” one of two George Harrison compositions to appear on Help!

    The recording represents Harrison’s first use of a volume pedal. The guitar’s dramatic, almost pedal-steel-like volume swells—which frame Harrison’s curt, suspended chords—only add to the song’s wistful lyrical content.

    The volume pedal was a step up for the band; the guitar swells heard on “Baby’s in Black,” which was tracked the previous summer, were the result of John Lennon turning the volume knob on Harrison’s 1963 Gretsch Tennessean as Harrison played it.

    18. You Can’t Do That
    A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

    On February 25, 1964, the Beatles entered the studio with an exciting new piece of gear: a Fireglo 1963 Rickenbacker 360/12. George Harrison had received the guitar only 17 days earlier when the band was in New York shooting its initial Ed Sullivan Show appearance.

    The song’s chiming intro riff, with its middle-finger hammer-ons from a minor third to a major third within the chord, offered a taste of what lay ahead for the guitar, which would see heavy action onstage and in the studio through 1965. John Lennon performed the guitar solo on his new Jetglo 1964 Rickenbacker.

    17. Let It Be
    Let It Be (1970)

    As Beatles obsessives know, there are three versions of George Harrison’s solo for this track: the original, recorded in January 1969 with his rosewood Telecaster (available on 2003’s Let It Be… Naked); the second, recorded the following April with his Tele through a Leslie rotary speaker (released on the single “Let It Be” in 1970); and a third version recorded in January 1970 using his “Lucy” Gibson Les Paul through a Tone Bender (released on Let It Be).

    Nice as the first two are, they have nothing on the third, a blistering performance that raises the song’s drama to a higher level of emotion.

    16. All My Loving
    With the Beatles (1963)

    For this pop song’s thumping, quasi–jump blues, rockabilly-style groove, Harrison crafted a convincingly authentic Chet Atkins/Carl Perkins–like solo break that clearly demonstrates his familiarity with that Fifties Nashville style of electric guitar soloing.

    Employing hybrid picking (pick-and-fingers technique), the guitarist acknowledges and gravitates toward the underlying chords in his melodic phrases, employing country-style “walk-ups” and “walk-downs” and plucking double-stops (pairs of notes) to sweetly and effectively outline the chord changes with a pleasing thematic continuity.

    Lennon contributed an energetic rhythm guitar part, one that he later expressed being rather proud of, which propels the groove with tireless waves of triplet chord strums, similar to those heard in the Crystals’ song “Da Doo Ron Ron.”

    15. Ticket to Ride
    Help! (1965)

    This proto-heavy-metal track was the first Beatles recording to feature McCartney on lead guitar and the last on which George Harrison used his Rickenbacker 12-string. McCartney plays the note-bending fills at the end of the bridges and on the outro, while Harrison plays the song’s arpeggiated riff and Lennon handles rhythm guitar.

    But the heaviest part might just be the droning open-string A notes that Harrison overdubbed on the verses, suggestive of the classical Indian music he would begin to explore later that year.

    14. Dig a Pony
    Let It Be (1970)

    The song’s driving, bluesy riff is as durable as any that Muddy Waters ever wrote, but the 1969 recording is also notable for Harrison’s smoky guitar work on his rosewood Telecaster—from the double-stop licks on the verses to his confident and impeccably developed solo.

    You can hear Harrison’s signature style beginning to develop here, with the smoothness of his lines pointing toward the fluid slide style he would develop over the following year. His guitar tone is also very similar to that of “Octopus’ Garden” (see entry 22) recorded later that year, for which he may have also used the rosewood Tele.

    13. Nowhere Man
    Rubber Soul (1965)

    According to Harrison, he and Lennon perform the song’s bright, chiming solo together in unison, using their matching Sonic Blue Fender Stratocasters.

    Lennon also revealed to guitarist Earl Slick, during the making of Lennon’s 1980 album Double Fantasy, that the solo was recorded through a pair of small amps with a single microphone positioned between them. The Strats’ trebly nature was further accentuated on “Nowhere Man” by boosting the high frequencies via the mixing console.

    “We wanted very trebly guitars,” McCartney says. “They’re among the most trebly guitars I’ve ever heard on record.”

    12. I Feel Fine
    1962–1966 (1973)

    Audio feedback was just an annoying electronic phenomenon until the Beatles used it as an attention-getting way to start “I Feel Fine.” The song itself is a rather standard riff rocker inspired by Bobby Parker’s 1961 R&B hit, “Watch Your Step,” but its distinctive intro came about by accident when McCartney played a low A note on his bass as Lennon was leaning his Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric against his amp.

    The note set Lennon’s guitar vibrating, and its proximity to the amp caused the sound to feed back. “We went, ‘What’s that? Voodoo!’ ” McCartney recalls. Yes, that too.

    11. Blackbird
    The Beatles (1968)

    McCartney recorded this beautiful song’s gentle, fingerstyle acoustic accompaniment on his Martin D-28.

    He creates an elegant, classical-guitar-style chord movement by using two-finger chord shapes exclusively, most of which form 10th intervals on the A and B strings, in conjunction with the open G-string note, which he picks in opposition to the chord shapes and employs as a droning common tone.

    His unique fingerpicking technique relies largely on his thumb, which he uses to pick bass notes, and index finger, which he uses for pretty much everything else, employing brushed downstrokes and upstrokes and often brushing across two or more strings.

    This often results in notes that are “ghosted,” or barely articulated, a “flaw” that is a testament to his innate musicality—McCartney’s touch is charming and greatly contributes to the overall feel of the song.


    10. “Something”
    Abbey Road (1969)

    Ironically, while the Beatles were breaking apart in 1969, George Harrison was coming into his own as a songwriter and guitarist.

    His Abbey Road contribution “Something” is among his finest songs, and his guitar playing here and throughout the album is masterful. Harrison’s mellifluous lead lines, in particular, are more expressive than anything he’d done before, demonstrating his newfound confidence and evolving connection to his instrument and creative muse.

    Performed with his “Lucy” 1957 Gibson Les Paul played through a Leslie speaker, the solo simmers as Harrison turns up the heat on his melody and dynamics, then cools it down with bluesy restraint.

    “George came into his own on Abbey Road,” says Geoff Emerick, who engineered this and other Abbey Road sessions. “For the first time he was speaking out and doing exactly what he wanted to do. And of course he wrote these beautiful songs and we got a great new guitar sound.”


    09. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
    Abbey Road (1969)

    John Lennon was composing some of the heaviest rock and roll in the Beatles’ catalog in 1969, and this song—true to its title—is among the most crushing, thanks to an abundance of doubled and overdubbed guitar lines that give it some serious sonic heft.

    Lennon wrote the song for Yoko Ono, with whom he was newly in love, and the result is a spellbinding exercise in obsessive repetition, from its lyrics—consisting almost entirely of the title and roughly five other words—to the ominous guitar lines that recur throughout it.

    Clocking in at 7:47, the song is also one of the Beatles’ longest.

    And although it consists of nothing more than a verse and a chorus repeated several times, it is rhythmically one of their most intricate tunes, switching between 12/8 meter and 4/4 rhythms alternately played bluesy and with a double-time rock beat. Few other artists could have made so much with so little.


    08. I’m Only Sleeping
    Revolver (1966)

    Harrison’s startling backward guitar solo on this Lennon-penned song is one of his greatest guitar moments on 1966’s Revolver.

    Over the previous year, he had used an expression pedal to create a volume-swelling sound, similar to a reverse-tape effect, on several tracks, including “Yes It Is” and “I Need You” (see entry 19).

    But for “I’m Only Sleeping,” Harrison wanted to hear his guitar truly in reverse, a decision undoubtedly inspired by Lennon’s own retrograde vocals on “Rain,” recorded earlier the same month, April 1966.

    Rather than simply improvising guitar lines while the track was played backward, he prepared lead lines and a five-bar solo for the song and had George Martin transcribe them for him in reverse. Harrison then performed the lines while the tape was running back to front.

    The result is a solo that surges up from the song’s murky depths, suffusing it with a smeared, surreal, dreamlike ambience. Within a year, Harrison’s idea would be copied by such psychedelic rock acts of the day as the Electric Prunes, who employed it on their 1966 hit “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night),” and Jimi Hendrix, who used it to great effect on “Castles Made of Sand.”


    07. And Your Bird Can Sing
    Revolver (1966)

    This middle-period Beatles gem, written primarily by Lennon, features Harrison and McCartney on impeccably crafted and performed harmony-lead guitar melodies, a pop-rock arranging approach that was still in its infancy in 1966. (It would later be employed extensively in the southern rock genre by bands such as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd as well as hard rock and metal acts like Thin Lizzy, Boston and Iron Maiden.)

    Together, Harrison and McCartney’s individual single-note harmony lead guitar parts form, for the most part, diatonic (scale-based) third intervals in the key of E. (Lennon performed his rhythm guitar part as if the song were in the key of D, using a capo at the second fret to transpose it up a whole step, as he did on “Norwegian Wood,” “Nowhere Man” and “Julia.”)

    The quick half-step and whole-step bends that Harrison and McCartney incorporate into their parts here and there in lock-step fashion are particularly sweet sounding. Heard together, they have the precise intonation of a country pedal-steel part performed by a seasoned Nashville pro.

    The harmonized lines that the two guitarists play over the “minor-drop” progression during the song’s bridge section, beginning at 1:05, reveal their musical depth and sophistication and command over harmony beyond the basic “I-IV-V” pop songwriting fodder.


    06. A Hard Day’s Night
    A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

    It lasts all of roughly three seconds, but the sustained opening chord to this classic Beatlemania track is one of rock and roll’s greatest and most recognizable musical moments.

    Bright and bold as a tolling bell, it loudly announced in 1964 not just the start of the Beatles’ latest album but also the dawning of a cultural transformation that owed nearly everything to the group’s influence.

    The song was written to order for the Beatles’ feature-length film debut, A Hard Day’s Night. According to George Martin, “We knew it would open both the film and the soundtrack LP, so we wanted a particularly strong and effective beginning.”

    The dense harmonic cluster that Martin and the group created is the result of four instruments sounding simultaneously: Harrison on his 12-string Rickenbacker and Lennon on his Gibson J-160E acoustic, both strumming an Fadd9 chord (with a G on the high E); McCartney on his Hofner 500/1 bass, plucking a D note (probably at the 12th fret of his D string); and Martin on grand piano, playing low D and G notes.

    The resulting chord has been described as, technically, G7add9sus4, but to millions of eager listeners in 1964, it was simply the sound of an electrifying new era.


    05. Revolution
    1966–1970 (1973)

    At the time that this 1968 track was recorded, distortion was well established as an electronic effect for guitarists, but no one had ever used it to the extreme that the Beatles did here.

    According to Geoff Emerick, Lennon had been attempting to create distortion by cranking up his amp during sessions for “Revolution 1,” the slower version of the song, which the Beatles recorded in May and June of 1968.

    Emerick had abetted his efforts by overloading the preamp on the microphone used to record Lennon’s guitar, but even this wasn’t enough for Lennon, who told the engineer, “ ‘No, no, I want that guitar to sound dirtier!”

    By the July recording of “Revolution,” Emerick determined that he could distort the signal even more by patching Lennon and Harrison’s guitars directly into the mixing console via direct boxes, overloading the input preamp and sending the signal into a second overloaded preamp.

    “I remember walking into the control room when they were cutting that,” recalls Abbey Road engineer Ken Scott, “and there was John, Paul and George, all in the control room, all plugged in—just playing straight through the board. All of the guitar distortion was gotten just by overloading the mic amps in the desk.”

    As Emerick himself notes in his 2006 memoir Here, There and Everywhere, it was no mean feat: the overloaded preamps could have caused the studio’s tube-powered mixer to overheat. “I couldn’t help but think: If I was the studio manager and saw this going on, I’d fire myself.”


    04. Here Comes the Sun
    Abbey Road (1969)

    Harrison’s jangly chord-melody playing on this song is exemplary. Using first- and second-position “cowboy” chords with a capo at the seventh fret, the guitarist loosely doubles and supports his catchy, syncopated vocal melody by working it into the top part of his acoustic-guitar accompaniment.

    He does this by using a “picky-strummy” technique (similar to what Neil Young would later employ in his song “The Needle and the Damage Done”), in which the pick hand gently swings back and forth over the strings in an unbroken down-up-down-up movement, like a pendulum viewed sideways.

    In doing so, Harrison selectively grazes certain strings on various downbeats and eighth-note upbeats, resulting in a seemingly casual mix of full-chord strums, single notes and two-note clusters that form a pleasing stand-alone guitar part that could easily appeal as a solo instrumental performance.

    The high register achieved by using the capo so far up the neck—the song is played as if it were in the key of D but sounds in A, a perfect fifth higher—makes the guitar sound almost like a mandolin, an effect similar to that achieved by Bob Dylan on “Blowin’ in the Wind” (also performed capo-7).

    Also noteworthy are the ringing and musically compelling arpeggio breaks that punctuate the song in various spots, such as after the first verse (immediately following the lyric “It’s all right”) and during the bridge/interlude section, behind the words “sun, sun, sun, here it comes.”

    Harrison employs a highly syncopated “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2” phrasing scheme in the first instance and “1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2” in the latter, creating a rhythmic “hiccup” that resets the song’s eighth-note pulse.


    03. Taxman
    Revolver (1966)

    Bassist Paul McCartney had first demonstrated his six-string talents on 1965’s Help!, where he played lead guitar on several tracks and performed on acoustic guitar for his song “Yesterday.”

    But McCartney would truly come into his own as a guitarist with this cut from 1966’s Revolver. His stinging solo, performed on his 1962 Epiphone Casino through his cream-colored 1964 Bassman amp, is a stunningly sophisticated creation, drawn from an Indian-derived Dorian mode and featuring descending pull-offs that recall Jeff Beck’s work on the Yardbirds’ “Shapes of Things,” released earlier that year.

    How the solo came to be played by McCartney—and not Harrison, who wrote the song and was the Beatles’ lead guitarist—is a story in itself.

    According to Geoff Emerick, Harrison struggled for two hours to craft a solo before producer George Martin suggested he let McCartney give it a try. McCartney’s solo, Emerick says, “was so good that George Martin had me fly it in again during the song’s fadeout.” Portions of it, played backward, were also applied to the Revolver track “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

    Apparently, Harrison didn’t feel slighted. At the time of making Revolver, he was ambivalent about his musical ambitions and pondering Indian mysticism, to which he would eventually convert.

    “In those days,” he said, “for me to be allowed to do my one song on the album, it was like, ‘Great. I don’t care who plays what. This is my big chance.’ I was pleased to have him play that bit on ‘Taxman.’ If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me.”


    02. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    The Beatles (1968)

    “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has become one of George Harrison’s signature tunes, but when he wrote the song in 1968, he couldn’t get his band mates to take an interest in it.

    Frustrated, he asked his pal Eric Clapton to sit in on the recording session for the track, hoping his presence would put the group on its best behavior. Clapton accepted the invitation and delivered a performance that remains a high point in the Beatles’ catalog.

    For the session, Clapton played a 1957 Les Paul “Goldtop” that had been refinished in red. He’d purchased the guitar in New York City sometime in the Sixties and in 1968 gifted it to Harrison, who nicknamed it Lucy.

    The guitar was already in Harrison’s possession at the time of this recording. When he picked up Clapton to take him to the studio for the Beatles session, the famous guitarist was empty handed. “I didn’t have a guitar,” Clapton recalls. “I just got into the car with him. So he gave me [Lucy] to play.”

    Harrison was concerned that Clapton’s solo was “not Beatley enough,” as the group was by the time of this recording well known for its sonic innovation.

    During the song’s mixing stage, the group had engineer Chris Thomas send Clapton’s signal through Abbey Road’s ADT—Automatic Double Tracking—tape-delay system and manually alter the speed of the delay throughout Clapton’s performance, making the pitch sound chorused. (The effect is especially noticeable in the final measure of the second middle-eight, after the line “no one alerted you.”) Ironically, while the solo is one of Clapton’s most famous, he was never credited on the recording.


    01. “The End”
    Abbey Road (1969)

    A song called “The End” might seem an ironic place to start a list of the Beatles’ 50 greatest guitar moments. But the round-robin solos that bring the track to its exhilarating peak are without question the group’s most powerful statement expressed through the guitar.

    Here, for a mere 35 seconds, three childhood friends and longtime band mates—Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon—trade licks on a song that represents, musically and literally, the Beatles’ last stand as a rock group before they broke up the following year. “The End” is the grand finale in the medley of tunes that make up much of Abbey Road’s second side.

    As such, it’s designed to deliver maximum emotional punch, and it succeeds completely, thanks in great part to the sound of McCartney, Harrison and Lennon rocking out on their guitars, as they did in their first, embryonic attempts to make rock and roll some 12 years earlier.

    “They knew they had to finish the album up with something big,” recalls Geoff Emerick, the famed Abbey Road engineer who worked on the 1969 album.

    “Originally, they couldn’t decide if John or George would do the solo, and eventually they said, ‘Well, let’s have the three of us do the solo.’ It was Paul’s song, so Paul was gonna go first, followed by George and John. It was unbelievable. And it was all done live and in one take.”

    Much of the song’s power comes from the sense that the Beatles are making up their solos spontaneously, playing off one another in the heat of the moment. As it turns out, that’s partly accurate.

    “They’d worked out roughly what they were going to do for the solos,” Emerick says, “but the execution of it was just superb. It sounds spontaneous. When they were done, everyone beamed. I think in their minds they went back to their youths and those great memories of working together.”

    Additional Content

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    Earlier today, the gang at Orange Amps posted this photo (below) to the company's official Facebook page.

    The photo was accompanied by the harmless caption, "Orange Ambassadors Monolord took a tour of Orange HQ and met with our Lead Designer and Mad Scientist Adrian Emsley."

    That's very nice and all, but what's that, um, pedal behind the denim-clad blond-haired guy on our far left?

    The effect pedal, which is of the large, rectangular variety, is black with orange knobs and clearly sports an Orange Amps logo. If this is what we think it is (an effect pedal made by Orange Amps), it's sort of a big deal, since the U.K.-based amp maker does not currently make effect pedals!

    We can't make out what the knobs are for, but we can see a word on the chassis; it's something that looks like "RangeeTar," whatever that is.

    Care to speculate?

    secret pedal 3.JPG


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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the April 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    PLATINUM AWARD WINNER

    Maple is the tonewood of choice for the back and sides of most acoustic archtop and jazz guitars, but relatively few flattop guitar models have maple bodies.

    Part of the reason is that attributes like impressive volume projection, bright treble and exceptional individual note definition that make maple ideal for an archtop are not always ideal for traditional flattop acoustic tones. However, these problems are less the fault of the materials and more due to construction techniques.

    Simply put, bracing patterns and other construction details that work fine with rosewood or mahogany backs and sides aren’t always ideal when the back and sides are made of maple.

    Maple has enjoyed popularity as a tonewood for jumbo flattops, but most players generally prefer these instruments for strumming loud rhythms and little else (which is why maple jumbos have been the flattop of choice for players from Elvis Presley to Pete Townshend).

    For the rest of this review, including FEATURES, PERFORMANCE, the BOTTOM LINE and more, check out the April 2015 issue of Guitar World.


    0 0

    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the April 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    A true guitarist’s guitarist, Jeff Loomis is no stranger to readers of this magazine for his work as a solo artist and with the bands Nevermore and Arch Enemy.

    Eight years ago Schecter introduced its first Jeff Loomis signature model, a seven-string guitar based on Schecter’s C-7 Hellraiser but with various modifications requested by Loomis.

    The Jeff Loomis JL-7 is Schecter’s most recent Jeff Loomis signature model, which features numerous significant refinements that make it one of the most impressive products in Schecter’s current lineup of nearly three-dozen seven-string models.

    For the rest of this review, including FEATURES, PERFORMANCE, the BOTTOM LINE and more, check out the April 2015 issue of Guitar World.

    Additional Content

    0 0

    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the April 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Not too long ago, practice amps were about as exciting and satisfying as a mayonnaise on white bread sandwich.

    About the best thing anyone could say about them is that they produced a sound that was louder than someone talking, but their tones and features (if they offered anything beyond basic volume and tone controls) weren’t exactly inspirational.

    Enter Roland’s Cube series, which proved that tiny, affordable amps didn’t need to be boring. One of their latest products—the Cube 10GX—even allows you to customize it any time you want using an app for a smart phone or tablet. Surprisingly affordable and shockingly versatile, the Roland Cube 10GX is easy to use and so much fun to play that you may consider plugging into a bigger rig too much of a hassle.

    For the rest of this review, including FEATURES, PERFORMANCE, the BOTTOM LINE and more, check out the April 2015 issue of Guitar World.


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