Articles on this Page
- 03/23/15--05:10: _Robert Plant and Ja...
- 03/23/15--07:24: _The DIY Musician: F...
- 03/23/15--08:27: _Four Hands on One G...
- 03/23/15--09:51: _Experiment: Does Do...
- 03/23/15--11:04: _How to Buy the Best...
- 03/23/15--12:52: _How The Grateful De...
- 03/23/15--13:19: _"Whole Lotta Love" ...
- 03/23/15--14:56: _Five Great Guitar J...
- 03/24/15--03:34: _Joe Satriani, Steve...
- 03/24/15--03:39: _Joe Satriani, Tosin...
- 03/24/15--04:44: _The Young Wild's "N...
- 03/24/15--05:35: _Black Sabbath Annou...
- 03/24/15--05:51: _Jeff Beck Shows Off...
- 03/24/15--08:52: _Megadeth’s “Killing...
- 03/24/15--10:08: _Tremonti Premiere "...
- 03/24/15--11:14: _Big Strokes: A Begi...
- 03/24/15--12:58: _Indigo Girls Announ...
- 03/24/15--13:53: _The Next Bend: Basi...
- 03/25/15--11:18: _Josh Weaver Discuss...
- 03/25/15--11:46: _Weber Fine Acoustic...
- 03/23/15--07:24: The DIY Musician: Five Reasons You Suck at Slide Guitar
- 03/23/15--09:51: Experiment: Does Down-Tuning Make Your Guitar Sound Heavier? — Video
- 03/23/15--11:04: How to Buy the Best Guitar — Video
- 03/23/15--14:56: Five Great Guitar Jams You Need to Hear — Now!
- 03/24/15--04:44: The Young Wild's "Not A One" Acoustic Video Premiere
- 03/24/15--05:35: Black Sabbath Announce Plans for Final Show and Studio Album
- 03/24/15--05:51: Jeff Beck Shows Off His Favorite Guitars — Video
- 03/24/15--10:08: Tremonti Premiere "Another Heart" Lyric Video
- 03/24/15--11:14: Big Strokes: A Beginner's Guide to Sweep Picking
- 03/24/15--12:58: Indigo Girls Announce New Album 'One Lost Day' Out June 2
- 03/24/15--13:53: The Next Bend: Basic Country/Blues B-Bender Lick in C — Video
Over the weekend (Saturday night, to be exact), Robert Plant and Jack White found themselves on the same stage at the Lollapalooza Argentina festival.
Below, you can watch the former Led Zeppelin singer and former White Stripes frontman perform "The Lemon Song," a bluesy classic from 1969's Led Zeppelin II.
Although the Zeppelin classic had twice popped up during White's 2014 sets, this was the first time Plant has sung "The Lemon Song" live since Plant and Jimmy Page performed it in 1995 in Norway.
Since both Plant and White are booked for this year's Lollapalooza Brazil fest (March 28 and 29), we might even be treated to a reprise of sorts.
By the way, "The Lemon Song" was written by Chester Arthur Burnett, better known as Howlin' Wolf. Oh, and let's not forget its other writers, Page, Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. Enjoy!
Have you ever bought a guitar slide and had intentions of ripping new leads with it, only to discover when you get home that it’s damn near impossible to use?
I’ve been there, too.
Playing slide guitar, well, takes a little dedication in practice, but also in the way you set up your gear, too.
Here’s a quick rundown of five roadblocks that might be keeping you from sliding:
01. Your guitar is in standard tuning. This is the biggest killer of new slide players. Don’t try to play slide in standard tuning. As a starter, re-tune your guitar to open D (D A D F# A D) and rake that slide up to the 12th fret like Elmore James! With an open tuning, the slide becomes a moveable chord up and down the neck.
02. Your strings are too light, and the action is too low. Slide guitar is different than shred guitar. If you want to grind out some deep grooves with that new slide on your finger, get some heavier strings on your guitar that will maintain pressure as you slide. (My electric guitars are strung with .012 sets with wound G strings.) Also, raising your action keeps your slide from clacking on the frets.
03. Your non-slide friends told you to study Sonny Landreth and Derek Trucks. That’s like learning to drive a car using a Lamborghini! Sonny and Derek are amazing players, but they’re the top-level masters. Start where they started, with the foundational slide heroes. Fill your playlist with Hound Dog Taylor, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and even some George Thorogood.
04. You’re putting the slide on an uncomfortable finger. So which finger is correct for slide? The answer is, there is no correct finger! If the slide feels comfortable on your pinkie, then that’s where you should wear it. I use my ring finger. Bonnie Raitt puts her wine bottleneck slide on her middle finger. Australian slide wizard Dave Hole uses his index finger and plays with his hand over the top of the neck!
05. Your slide doesn’t fit right. This one has a simple solution: Collect more slides! I now have more than 50 guitar slides, from generic slides sold in guitar stores to hand-cut wine bottlenecks, spark-plug sockets (they make awesome slides!), medicine bottles found at flea markets and even strange contraptions like The Edge Slide, which mimics Blind Willie Johnson’s pocketknife.
One extra suggestion: Get a dedicated slide guitar. Heavy-gauge strings and higher action might not be the best thing for your main axe. Instead, find the cheapest, gnarliest guitar and convert it to slide. Hound Dog Taylor played the shittiest, cheapo Japanese guitars through old Silvertone amps with blown speakers, and it was the greatest sound ever. For some reason, slide guitar sounds fantastic when played on junky guitars. Old electrics such as Silvertone, Teisco, Harmony and other off-name brands from the Sixties are prime axes. But your kid brother’s abandoned First Act electric guitar will work, too.
Good luck! Don’t forget to share this all over Facebook. I'll see you at McGarvey's Bar in Altoona, Pennsylvania, this Saturday night (March 28). It'll be a slide guitar buffet.
Until then, I’ll leave you with the late, great Hound Dog Taylor—all 12 fingers of 'im. Turn it up!
Photo: Kevin Stiffler
Shane Speal is the "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. Hear the music, see the instruments and read about his Cigar Box Guitar Museum at ShaneSpeal.com. Speal's latest album, Holler! is on C. B. Gitty Records.
And now we bring you the impressive "four hands on one guitar neck" sounds of the Siqueira Lima Guitar Duo.
In the video, guitarists Fernando (from Brazil) and Cecilia (from Uruguay) somehow perform their arrangement of Zequinha de Abreu's "Tico Tico no Fubá (Zequinha de Abreu)" on one guitar—using their original "hand exchange" method.
Mind you, the guitar has only one neck. And they don't seem to get into each other's way at all.
Since I know you're all wondering, the clip was shot at the Brazlian Music Institute.
For more about the Siqueira Lima Guitar Duo, visit siqueiralima.com.
Internet gent and multi-instrumentalist Rob Scallon recently posted a video called "The Down-Tuning Experiment."
In it, he tests the theory that down-tuning makes your guitar, and your riffs, sound "heavier."
To do so, he plays the same riff on the same guitar, but he keeps changing the strings and tuning lower and lower, from E to drop-D to drop-C# to "drop-Q."
The cool thing is that, even when he's in what he calls drop-Q (Note: There is no drop-Q in real life; he's kidding), he's actually still playing the riff on these fat-ass bass strings that don't even fit into the guitar's nut.
Please use Scallon's findings for good, not evil. Enjoy!
In this brand-new video, Guitar World and The Music Zoo—a truly top-notch music store in Long Island, New York—present "How to Buy the Best Guitar."
The video, which stars Guitar World's own Paul Riario, is a guide to buying the best electric guitar for your needs, based on the type of player you are and the sound you're trying to achieve.
It also features a cameo appearance (or two) from a true Aristocrat, guitarist extraordinaire Guthrie Govan. He even mocks Riario for not having his own signature guitar (while they're standing in directly front of Charvel's Guthrie Govan signature models).
If you’re anything like most musicians, you probably don’t have more than a vague idea of what mastering really is.
Once you attempt to produce your own recording, however, you learn quickly that quality mastering is essential if you want to end up with a professional-sounding track.
While recording equipment and software has become increasingly more affordable and easy to use, mastering has remained an elusive and expensive final step in the recording process. To successfully master a track, you either need to download and learn how to use a pricey plug-in or bite the bullet and hire a professional.
LANDR, an online mastering tool, is looking to change all that.
Here’s how it works: You simply upload a .wav file to the site, and within minutes the cloud-based application masters your track and makes the file available to you for download. The system is built upon a dynamic algorithm that "listens" to your recording and reacts to its musical properties in real time—utilizing mastering tools, including compression, EQ, stereo enhancement and limiting.
It’s not just independent musicians who benefit from using LANDR. When Bob Weir—rhythm guitarist and founding member of the Grateful Dead—needed to master more than 200 hours of live recordings, he got in touch with the LANDR team.
Dating back to his days with the Dead, Weir has long been a proponent of new musical technology. His studio, Tamalpias Research Institute in northern California, serves as a personal sonic laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art tools like the Meyer Constellation Acoustic System, a software-based technology that utilizes specifically placed microphones and speakers to alter the acoustic properties of a room.
When TRI’s chief technical officer, John Harkin, was tasked with figuring out how to master the bevy of live recordings for a release on Rdio, he found it would take a professional engineer an average of 20 minutes to master each track. Seeking an efficient and affordable alternative, he turned to LANDR.
“On this project I was looking for a consistent sound throughout the catalog," Harkin says. "The LANDR treatment equaled what my engineer could do in 20 minutes.”
LANDR’s software is very responsive to different genres of music, a huge plus for Harkin and TRI, who have recorded live in-studio performances for artists ranging from rocker Sammy Hagar to Americana/folk singer Jackie Greene. In addition, LANDR utilizes a "learning algorithm"—meaning the more tracks that are uploaded into the system, the better it becomes at listening to and analyzing different types of music.
“My experience is that when started, it did a nice job of generally making it louder," Harkin says. "That's always an engineer’s first impression of LANDR, just that it's louder. In the past few months, I've noticed they don't just pull everything up in the mix ... it's gotten a lot better at recognizing different types of music, whether it's a rock band or acoustic.”
Another important factor in TRI’s decision to use LANDR was its ability to master at a high sample rate. Describing Weir’s feelings on digital recording, Harkin says, “Bob believes the lower sample rates mask some of the experience we have listening to music and people respond to it by not wanting to listen as much.”
Like Neil Young, Weir has become an outspoken advocate for increasing the quality of digital music. After using LANDR for the Rdio release, Weir spearheaded the Artists for Quality Initiative, a joint venture between Rdio, LANDR and TRI to convert the entire Rdio catalog to an AAC format streaming at 320KbPS.
In making the case for higher sample rates, Harking says that much of what is lost in a digital recording are the high frequencies that exist in the upper-harmonics of different tones.
“My theory is that what we perceive at much higher frequencies is transience," he says. "I think of it in terms of survival; if I was out in the savannah, what I’d really want to hear and locate is that tiger’s footstep. It’s not the steady state tone that is interesting, it’s that transience. That low-level high frequency stuff… There’s part of our brain that’s real aware of that stuff and gets disconcerted when it’s missing.”
Weir is perhaps the highest-profile musician expressing his support for LANDR; and as more people discover the possibilities of online mastering, it’s easy to imagine artists and recording engineers throughout the music industry joining him. Professional mastering is expensive for everyone; an easy, affordable and high-quality service like LANDR is a welcome option for professional and independent musicians alike.
Whether you’re a savvy Pro Tools engineer or just tinkering around on GarageBand, it’s more than worth time to give LANDR a try.
For more information, visit landr.com.
Ethan Varian is a freelance writer and guitarist based in San Francisco. He has performed with a number of rock, blues, jazz and bluegrass groups in the Bay Area and in Colorado. Follow him on Twitter.
Whole Lotta Dulcimer! (Insert your own Led Zeppelin dulcimer puns here.)
Below, check out a new video of Led Zeppelin's classic "Whole Lotta Love" performed on a three-string electric mountain dulcimer by Sam Edelston.
Here's an edited version of the info Edelston posted with his video:
"The dulcimer can be a very sweet, tender instrument — but it's also great for rocking out. Tuned 1-5-8, it's loaded with power chords. Through a stack of Marshalls ... hmmm ... that would be fun!
"Note to dulcimer players: This arrangement doesn't require extra frets. I've got a single high C at 8+, in the break, which could be replaced or played elsewhere."
Edelston is playing a Robert Force model "Black Wolf" hollow-body electric dulcimer built by Rod Matheson, tuned DAd. (Yes, all that sound is coming from just three strings.) Capo on the first fret, played in Am.
One pickup is running through an octave pedal, overdrive and chorus. The second pickup is running through a phase shifter, compressor-sustainer and Blues Driver distortion pedal. The two channels merge in a digital delay, and there's a volume pedal at the end.
Instrumental break: 1:29; third verse at 1:52; beginning of the ending at 2:28.
If you enjoyed this and want to hear more, check out Edelston's YouTube channel.
Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, blah, blah, blah …
We know those guys can play, but what about Speedy Haworth, who dazzled audiences in the Fifties with his appearances on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee?
Or how about the underrated, mustachioed Canadian guitar hero Frank Marino of Mahogany Rush?
Never heard of them? Well, you’re in for a treat.
Guitar World handpicked a handful of amazing players you might have missed, and even found video evidence of their genius. Some of these performances take a minute or two to develop, so be a little patient. And for god's sake, whatever you do, don’t miss the last few minutes of Shawn Lane’s far-out improv—it’s a mind blower.
Speedy Haworth, "Speedin’ West"
Junior Brown chicken pickin’ on Jimi Hendrix and the "Sugar Foot Rag"
Frank Marino, “I’m a King Bee”
Rory Gallagher, “Shin Kicker”
Shawn Lane, 2002 Earth Day Celebration
Brad Tolinski is the editor-in-chief at Guitar World.
Joe Satriani and Steve Vai have announced a benefit concert in support of their good friend, music-industry veteran Cliff Cultreri.
The show, “A Benefit for Cliff III,” will take place 8 p.m. June 12 at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles. It will feature performances by Satriani, Vai and Animals As Leaders.
Satriani and Vai have hosted benefit shows for Cultreri in 2006 and 2011.
Both guitarists, along with several other artists, have donated items to be auctioned at the event. These include autographed guitars and a chance to join Satriani’s G4 Experience, which takes place June 28 to July 2 in Cambria, California (and features Guthrie Govan and Animals As Leaders' Tosin Abasi), and a package to attend Vai’s camp, Vai Academy 2015: All About the Guitar, in Vail, Colorado, August 2 to 6 (which also features Eric Johnson and Sonny Landreth).
"I'm looking forward to sharing the stage with my good friends Steve Vai and Animals as Leaders for a night of unforgettable music,” Satriani said.
Vai added, “It’s a great privilege to take to the stage with my friends Joe and Tosin [Abasi] in support of our dear buddy Cliff. It’s a great cause and will be a magical evening of guitar extravaganza."
Cultreri is the A&R executive who "discovered" Satriani, Vai and many other artists while working at Relativity Records and Koch Entertainment. Cultreri is suffering from a host of auto-immune and connective-tissue disorders that are simultaneously attacking his immune system, a 1-in-100 million occurrence that causes severe pain and physical debilitations.
He served as A&R for Allan Holdsworth, Billy Sheehan and Talas, Peter Frampton, Megadeth, Corrosion Of Conformity, Exodus, Anthrax, Death, Venom, Slash's Snakepit, My Bloody Valentine, the Cure, Modern English, Gene Loves Jezebel, Fat Joe, Common, Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony, 3-6 Mafia, KRS1, Beatnuts, C Murder, Kurupt, Soulja Slim, RZA and many more.
Reserved tickets start at $45 and are on sale starting Friday, March 27, through ticketmaster.com. A limited number of VIP packages, including a meet-and-greet with Satriani and Vai, also are available. Doors open at 7 p.m.; showtime is 8 p.m.
This is an excerpt from the April 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the complete interview, plus new-album previews from Joe Satriani, Guthrie Govan, Dream Theater, Megadeth, Warren Haynes and more, check out the April issue at the Guitar World Online Store.
Seated across from one another in a cavernous, chilly San Francisco photo studio, Tosin Abasi and Guthrie Govan are deep in conversation, dissecting and debating the relative merits of various guitar neck tone woods.
They’re both clearly attuned to the same profound level of guitar geekery—fretboard brothers. But it’s hard to imagine two human beings more different in appearance.
Abasi is impeccably and stylishly dressed in head-to-toe black, including a well-cut jacket that’s the handiwork of his sibling, the fashion designer Abdul Abasi. His hair is styled with razor-sharp precision in a kind of asymmetrical, post-modern pompadour.
Tosin’s professorial, tortoise rim eyeglasses lay primly on the table before him. His body language is angular and precise. He’s been pumping some iron of late…as if the dazzling virtuosity and abstract intensity of his eight-string guitar work with Animals as Leaders weren’t enough of an athletic accomplishment.
Thin, wiry and slumped in a leather chair across from Abasi, Guthrie Govan is sporting a rumpled Pac-Man T-shirt that looks as if he’s slept in it. His abundant nut-brown hair and scraggly beard appear not to have known the benefit of comb, brush or even shampoo in quite some time. He’s just off the plane from London, but looks as if he might just as well have tumbled out of a time machine, transported from some grotty, early-Seventies Jethro Tull lineup into the 21st Century technopolis that is San Francisco.
But the quietly understated wit and careful creativity with which he chooses his words belie his bedraggled appearance. The same strange mixture of offhand nonchalance, well-crafted mastery, retro rock references and fast-forward futurism distinguishes Govan’s exemplary guitar work with the Aristocrats, not to mention his solo discs and sideman work with Steven Wilson, Asia and others.
Mahogany versus wenge has become the conversation’s focal point when Joe Satriani enters the room. Like Abasi, he’s all in black, albeit in a more casual way—the timeless rock and roll uniform of T-shirt, jeans and leather jacket. Satch pulls a black watch cap off his clean shaven cranium and takes a seat alongside his fellow guitar titans. His quiet humility and air of mature reserve contrast benignly with the youthful exuberance of his cohorts.
Tosin Abasi and Guthrie Govan are both very much the children of Joe Satriani. Wildly disparate as they are in their musical and personal styles, Animals as Leaders and the Aristocrats could never have come into existence, let alone find a dedicated and enthusiastic audience, had Satriani not blazed a bold new trail in rock guitar playing in the Eighties—raising the bar for fretboard technique and making the world safe for shred.
And now Satriani, Abasi and Govan are joining forces with fellow guitarist Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Henry Kaiser) and Dreamcatcher Events to present the second annual G4 Experience, a four-day, immersive guitar camp held in the idyllic environs of the Cambria Pines Lodge in California, June 28 to July 2.
Satch, Tosin, Guthrie and Mike will be joined by Govan’s fellow Aristocrats who also serve, conveniently enough, as Satriani’s current rhythm section. And, along with performances by Animals as Leaders, auxiliary instructors include bassist Stu Hamm and Guitar World’s own Andy Aledort as well as other special guests. The four-day musical retreat will include both concert performances and ad hoc jams as well as up-close and personal instruction from the four guitar stars and their guests.
The camp concept is very much Satriani’s brainchild, an offshoot of his much beloved G3 and G4 road tours.
“I thought it would be nice if there were some way to get away from the folding chair and PowerPoint presentation vibe behind most clinics,” Satriani says.
“Rather than just playing and teaching licks, I wanted to do something that mirrors my experience with the G3 tours. That’s where I see more rapt attention and people getting involved passionately, as concertgoers tend to do. I don’t really see that at clinics. So I was looking for a way to get the juicy fun of a live performance into a clinic situation. And that’s basically what I put to the Dreamcatcher Events guys who came to me with this idea of doing some kind of clinic over a period of days.”
For more about the 2015 G4 Experience, visit g4experience.com.
The first question is for Guthrie and Tosin. What was your initial reaction like when you were approached to take part in this instructional camp?
GUTHRIE GOVAN The logical thing to do when approached by Joe Satriani and asked to do something like this is to say yes. In no way was it a difficult decision. Based on my experience with guitar camps, it always turns out to be an extension of the personality of the guy who dreamed it up in the first place. So I’m really looking forward to this one. It looks like it’s going to be a real musical experience, as opposed to a parade of circus tricks.
JOE SATRIANI Although we’re not beneath that! [laugher] That’s kind of what we do in a way. Let me just say there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve often said in clinics that everything is equal. All scales are equal. All chords are equal. It’s really all the same. It’s just a question of when and how to use them.
TOSIN ABASI I’ve done clinics myself. My band did something similar to this—a camp setting where we had multiple days with the students. And while the instruction sessions are really cool, what can be even cooler is what happens outside the formal clinics: Students getting together with other students and sharing the ideas they just learned. There’s this really cool “behind the scenes” element. Bands form. Musical relationships are formed. Just having like-minded musicians all together in the same place, sharing the same information—it will be cool to facilitate that kind of interaction.
So what can people who take part in the camp expect to experience?
SATRIANI I’m gonna play, I’m gonna talk and just take questions. I’m not going to make people pick up the guitar and say, “Put the third finger on the third fret.” It’s not gonna be like that. People will have a chance to observe me up close and ask questions. I think that’s the best way. There’s nothing like watching a guy do it. And this is one of the few times I won’t have to perform. I’m not gonna jump around. I’m gonna sit there and actually look at my guitar, and I can stand near my amp, which is cool! So that way, you can watch what I do. And if you see something weird, you can ask me about it and I’ll explain it in an honest way.
GOVAN That approach gets my vote as well. The people who are attending will get a more personal experience. We can listen to them and bounce back on whatever they turn out to be looking for…rather than turning up with a prescribed list of what we think they need to know. It’s better to be flexible.
ABASI I go with that too. It allows for an organic process that keeps unfolding, as opposed to predetermining which way it’s gonna go. And I think what Joe said about just watching is huge. There’s a cognitive level of understanding you get from watching people who have been playing guitar professionally for decades and have gotten to this high level of artistry. If you were to verbalize it, it wouldn’t be the same. To watch a guy like Guthrie, it’s not the same as watching a two-dimensional video screen. I can actually get close enough to see and hear how hard he’s picking! I think that level of instruction is invaluable.
In Carlos Santana’s autobiography, The Universal Tone, he talks about how players he admired in Mexico when he was coming up never showed him anything, “They showed me their back,” he says, and that this a tradition he and others still really respect. “I have my chops, go find yours.” So the question becomes, does a learning situation like a clinic compromise a player’s originality? Is there any value in finding your own chops?
GOVAN I think that was more showmanship than anything else. You can create a mystique for yourself by pretending that a lick you do is so special that you have to hide it from people. Now more than ever people are going to figure out what you’re doing, whether you’re going to share it with them or not.
SATRIANI When I was growing up you had to find somebody to show you how to play the way you wanted to play. There weren’t instructional videocassettes, let alone YouTube. But yeah, that’s a funny attitude, “I have my chops, go find yours.” I never understood that. That’s not the reality of the modern world. I don’t think people even worry about that.
ABASI I agree, it does seem a little fear based. I think inspiration is what drove all of us to pick up a guitar. And inspiration comes from other guitarists, usually. There’s a fine line between emulation and originality. I might try real hard to emulate something and fail, but all of a sudden I’ve got something that’s my own version of it. There are so many ways to approach it.
Okay, so now the question becomes, what has the viral availability of information on technique and things like that done for the art of guitar playing?
SATRIANI It’s definitely elevated it to an incredible level, and here’s the proof right here. Look at these guys! When I started playing, most people played the same, I would say. Six strings. Fenders and Gibsons. Really. There weren’t that many artists. How many pedals were there? Some of the music may have been complicated, but the tools weren’t so great. So people weren’t trying to do much with the guitar. But now the art of guitar playing has been elevated to an incredible level. Look at Tosin and Guthrie here—or someone like Charlie Hunter—and you think, Oh my God, what happened? The future is here. And all that other music is still available too. You can go on YouTube and see a 14-year-old kid who sounds like one of the blues artists from back then.
ABASI The prevalence of all this information has brought a real cool evolution in guitar playing, but it also creates a sense of overload. Like for me, I would get one instructional video, devour it and then I’d have to go to the music store physically, pick out another and take that home. Now it’s like you can Google “melodic minor” and it’s this tremendous rabbit hole that, for me personally, can get a little overwhelming. The information is so accessible and so vast. But that’s why things like this camp are so important. Yes, all this information is now available, but what you’re going to get from us is more of a specialized, individual actual representation of all this information. How we express ourselves on the guitar. And I think that will help channel out all the distractions that can come from all the information out there.
This is an excerpt from the April 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the complete interview, plus new-album previews from Joe Satriani, Guthrie Govan, Dream Theater, Megadeth, Warren Haynes and more, check out the April issue at the Guitar World Online Store.
Photo: Justin Borucki
Here’s a great live raw video of the song “Not A One” by The Young Wild.
The band digs in bare bones for some great harmonic accents and a lovely intensity.
Singer and songwriter Bryan B. William shares, "As a band we put so much time and effort into building up the production of our songs. But the original form is always one instrument and one voice. We love all the production tricks and treatments but it can be fun to return to the original form and see how much sound we can't get out of only a few moving parts.”
We couldn’t agree more. This interpretation draws the listener in and its raw energy is inspiring.
Check it out here:
The Young Wild is the creation of singer and songwriter Bryan B. William. From writing songs on the piano William created the modern rock sound that he had always envisioned for the band that he wanted to create.
After forming in late 2014, The band released their debut EP For Now Not Forever and had success with their single "Moment Goes." The band then hit the road with Barcelona and Switchfoot and wrapped up 2014 in the studio writing new material. The Young Wild plan to release a new EP in 2015 and will go on tour across the US.
Official Website: www.theyoungwild.com
Back in September, Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne announced that the legendary metal band, which enjoyed an extra-successful 2013 and 2014, would be releasing their final album this year.
It turns out they'll also be playing their final show this year. As in, their last show ever.
The show will take place November 22, when they'll be headlining the second day of Ozzfest at Japan’s Makuhari Messe venue, which is outside Tokyo. Korn will headline the first day of the Japanese Ozzfest, also known as November 21.
Sabbath’s lineup will include Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi and bassist Geezer Butler, but (once again) not original drummer Bill Ward (at least not officially at this point), although Osbourne has said he hopes Ward will rejoin the band for its final tour.
“[It will be] our last hurrah,” Osbourne, 66, said. “Then it’s no more Sabbath at all. We’re disbanding the name and everything. ... They [Iommi and Butler] don’t want to tour anymore. I get it. But I love it. I’m gonna continue my solo thing.”
Last year, Osbourne announced that Black Sabbath would begin working on their final studio album with producer Rick Rubin in early 2015. The new album will be the followup to their successful 2013 release, 13.
Tickets and other Ozzfest Japan details are available at ozzfestjapan.com.
Fans of Jeff Beck—and of vintage gear in general—might get a kick out of the video below.
In the nearly 15-minute-long clip, which appears as bonus content on Beck's 2011 Rock 'n' Roll Party DVD, Beck shows off some of his favorite guitars.
These include a worn-in Fender Telecaster with humbuckers (which he got from Seymour Duncan), the Fender Strat he got from John McLaughlin, an original Gretsch Rancher, a 1954 Telecaster (which he plugs in and demos), a 1956 Gretsch Duo Jet and more.
This is, of course, the same Duo Jet Beck used on his 1993 Crazy Legs album (a tribute to Gene Vincent and Cliff Gallup) and at the 2010 Rock 'n' Roll Party Les Paul tribute show at the Iridium in New York City.
Note: In the video, it seems Beck misidentifies his Gibson ES-175 as a Gibson L5. Just pointing it out! Hey, it could happen to anyone!
Beck is expected to release a new studio album, the long-awaited followup to 2010's Emotion & Commotion, later this year. Enjoy!
Sam Westphalen is a percussive acoustic guitar player from Australia with some seriously ferocious chops.
And judging by his choice of covers, he also appears to be a huge metal fan (which we’re OK with too).
Here’s his take on Megadeth’s “Killing is my Business… and Business is Good!” It’s the second track on the band’s debut album, which goes by the same name.
Killing is my Business… and Business is Good! was released in June of 1985.
Find out more about Sam Westphalen at http://samborayjr.com/
Below, check out "Another Heart," the new lyric video from Tremonti.
It's the new single from the band's second album, Cauterize.
You can download the single via iTunes today, March 24, and get the complete album June 9. Mark Tremonti recorded Cauterize with producer Elvis Baskette at the helm.
As always, tell us what you think of the song in the comments below or on Facebook!
Keep up with everything Mark Tremonti-related right here.
Tremonti, Cauterize Track Listing:
“Tie the Noose”
Although often regarded as a “shredder’s” technique, the notion of sweeping (or raking) the pick across the strings to produce a quick succession of notes has been around since the invention of the pick itself.
Jazz players from the Fifties, such as Les Paul, Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow, would use the approach in their improvisations, and country guitar genius Chet Atkins was known to eschew his signature fingerstyle hybrid-picking technique from time to time and rip out sweep-picked arpeggios, proving that the technique is not genre specific. Within rock, Ritchie Blackmore used sweep picking to play arpeggios in Deep Purple’s “April” and Rainbow’s “Kill the King.”
Fusion maestro Frank Gambale is widely considered to be the most versatile and innovative sweep picker and the first artist to fully integrate the technique into his style, applying sweeping to arpeggios, pentatonics, heptatonic (seven-note) scales and modes, and beyond.
Gambale explains his approach wonderfully in his instructional video, Monster Licks and Speed Picking. Originally released in 1988, it remains a must-watch video for anyone interested in developing a smooth sweep-picking technique.
It was Stockholm, Sweden, however that would produce the name most synonymous with sweeping in a rock context, one that gave rise to a guitar movement known as neoclassical heavy metal.
Swedish guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen was influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth but was also equally enthralled by 19th-century virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini. Attempting to emulate on his Fender Stratocaster the fluid, breathtaking passages Paganini would compose and play on violin, Malmsteen concluded that sweep picking was the perfect way to travel quickly from string to string with a smooth, fluid sound much like what a violinist can create with his bow.
Malmsteen’s style has since influenced two generations of guitarists, including Tony MacAlpine, Jason Becker, Steve Vai, Mattias “IA” Eklundh, Ritchie Kotzen, Marty Friedman, John Petrucci, Vinnie Moore, Jeff Loomis, Synyster Gates, Alexi Laiho and Tosin Abasi, to name but a few.
The first five exercises in this lesson are designed to give you a systematic approach to practicing the component movements of sweep picking: from two-string sweeps to six-string sweeps, and everything in between. Practicing each exercise with a metronome for just two minutes every day will improve your coordination and your confidence to use the technique in your own playing.
Work from two strings up to six, keeping your metronome at the same tempo. This means starting with eighth notes, and while this will feel very slow, the technique will become trickier with each successive note grouping: eighth-note triplets, 16th notes, quintuplets and, most difficult of all, 16th-note triplets and their equivalent sextuplets. Focus on synchronizing your hands so that your pick and fretting fingers make contact with the string at exactly the same moment. Only one string should be fretted at any time (this is key!), and any idle strings should be diligently muted with your remaining fingers.
If you fail to do this and allow notes on adjacent strings to ring together, it will negate the desired effect and sound like you are simply strumming a chord. When it comes to sweep picking, muting is the key to cleanliness. It is also the aspect that will take the most practice to master.
The second set of five exercises handles some common sweep-picking approaches. These are shown in one position and based on one chord type each, thus focusing your attention on the exercise until you have become accustomed to the technique.
The final piece helps you tackle the various aspects of sweeping while bolstering your stamina, as the bulk of it consists of nonstop 16th notes, with only a few pauses for “breathing.” Break it down into four-bar sections and practice each with a metronome, gradually building up to the 100-beats-per-minute (100bpm) target tempo.
Get the Tone
In rock, this technique is best suited to Strat-style guitars, using the neck pickup setting for a warm, round tone. Use a modern tube amp with the gain set to a moderate amount—just enough to give all the notes a uniform volume and sustain, but not so much that string muting becomes an impossible battle.
The thickness and sharpness of your pick will hugely impact the tone of your sweep picking. Something with a thickness between one and two millimeters and a rounded tip will provide the right amount of attack and still glide over the strings with ease.
[FIGURE 1] This Cmaj7 arpeggio on the two middle strings works just as well on the top two or bottom two. Lightly drag your pick across (push down, pull up) the two strings so that there’s very little resistance. This teaches your picking hand to make smooth motions rather than two separate downward or upward strokes.
FIGURE 2 is a C7 arpeggio played across three strings. Strive to maintain the same smooth down/up motion with your pick used in the previous example. Focus on the pick strokes that land on downbeats, and allow the in-between, or “offbeat,” notes to naturally fall into place. Every three notes your pick will change direction.
Now let’s move on to four strings with this exotic C7 altered-dominant lick, reminiscent of one of Gambale’s fusion forays. Remember, sweep picking is most effective when each note is cleanly separated from the last, so aim to have only one finger in contact with the fretboard at a time in order to keep the notes from ringing together.
Now we move on to some five-string shapes, the likes of which you can hear in the playing of Steve Vai and Mattias Eklundh. The phrasing here is 16th-note quintuplets (five notes per beat). Once again, if you focus on nailing the highest and lowest notes along with the beat, the in-between notes should automatically fall into place. Move your pick at a constant speed to ensure the notes are evenly spaced. Say “Hip-po-pot-a-mus” to get the sound of properly performed quintuplets in your mind’s ear.
This six-string arpeggio is an A major triad (A C# E), with the third in the bass and a fifth interval added to the high E string’s 12th fret, so we have the right number of notes for 16th-note triplets (six notes per click). When ascending, use a single motion to pick all six strings, making sure only one note is fretted at a time. The descending section includes a pull-off on the high E string, which, although momentarily disruptive to your picking, is preferable to adding another downstroke.
This major triad shape is an essential part of the Yngwie Malmsteen school of sweeping. Pay special attention to the picking directions in both the ascending and descending fragments. The alternating eighth-note triplet and quarter-note phrasing allows you to focus on the picking pattern in small bursts and then rest for a beat.
This example includes ascending and descending fragments again, this time played together. Concentrate on the general down-up motion of your picking hand rather than each pick stroke. Once you are comfortable with this shape you can apply the same approach to minor, suspended and diminished-seven arpeggios.
This example is reminiscent of players such as Jason Becker and Jeff Loomis. We start with the three-string shapes from the previous example, followed by the six-string shape from FIGURE 5. This is quite challenging for the picking hand, so start very slowly and remember to keep the hand moving smoothly.
Here we utilize two-string sweeps with pentatonic shapes. Use your first finger on the fifth fret and third finger on the seventh fret. Keep your fingers flat against the two-string groups, and transfer pressure between strings using a rolling action to mute inactive strings and prevent notes from ringing together.
Economy picking requires that your pick take the shortest journey possible when crossing from string to string. This essentially means that when you play a scale, there will be a two-string mini-sweep whenever you move to an adjacent string. This exercise combines the eight-note B whole-half diminished scale (B C# D E F G G# As) and a Bdim7 arpeggio (B D F G#).
This piece is in the key of A minor. The first part is based around a “V-i” (five-one) progression, with the arpeggios clearly outlining the implied chord changes. We begin with some ascending two-string sweeps using alternating E (E G# B) and Bb (Bb D F) triads. Next come some A minor triads (A C E), played with a progressively increasing number of strings; this is a great way to build your confidence in sweep picking larger shapes. The Bm7b5 (B D F A) arpeggio in bar 4 has a series of three-string sweeps combined with some challenging string skips. Bar 7 is an A minor pentatonic scale (A C D E G) played in fourths using two-string sweeps/economy picking.
The second part of the piece has a more neoclassical approach and begins with some Yngwie-style three-string triads incorporating pull-offs. Be sure to follow the indicated picking directions. Bar 12 is the trickiest part of the piece to play and utilizes some Jason Becker–inspired six-string shapes. If you have problems with string muting or note separation, apply some light palm muting to the notes as they are picked. This is an effective way to improve note clarity. The final bar is based on the A harmonic minor scale (A B C E D F G#) and incorporates economy picking when traveling from the fifth string to the fourth.
It has been four years since the Indigo Girls released a new studio album.
On June 2nd, their much-anticipated release ONE LOST DAY, will be available on IG Recordings/Vanguard Records.
With the help of visionary new producer Jordan Brooke Hamlin (Lucy Wainwright Roche) and mixer Brian Joseph (Bon Iver, PHOX, Kathleen Edwards), Amy Ray and Emily Sailers have created a landscape of truly original sounds and stories ranging from stark intimacy to bombastic pop and grind.
On ONE LOST DAY, musicality, whimsy, rawness, sadness and joy move through each of the 13 tracks. This theme is especially evident on the first single, “Happy in the Sorrow Key,” written by Amy Ray. “I drew from lyrics I wrote during some of my travels with the IG’s,” Amy said. “I was thinking about the things that keep us weighed down with non-acceptance and a refusal to embrace impermanence and suffering. I don’t think you can make change for the good until you do, so it’s an activist part of me searching for a way to face reality and still have the energy and passion to work for good.”
ONE LOST DAY was recorded in studios in Nashville, TN and mixed at Justin Vernon’s April Base Studios in Fall Creek, WI and at the Parhelion Recording Studios in Atlanta, GA. Musicians Brady Blade and Carol Isaacs from the Indigo Girls’ Beauty Queen Sister returned, along with the Indigo Girls’ touring band. Additionally, Amy and Emily brought in Lex Price (k.d. lang, Mindy Smith), Butterfly Boucher (Ingrid Michaelson, Katie Herzig, Mat Kearney), Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow, The Wallflowers, Gigolo Aunts) and Chris Donohue (Dave Matthews, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, Robert Plant) to bring a good dose of infectious energy and creativity to the scene.
“We took some chances on the making of ONE LOST DAY, with a new producer, engineer, and various musicians,” Emily said. “Stretching like that felt liberating to me. Each song tells a story of where we’ve been and what we’ve thought about, whom we’ve met, and the travels we’ve had. It is a travelogue on lessons learned and love lived. I’m so glad we brought Jordan Hamlin on board to take us to new musical landscapes for this group of songs. And my relationship with Amy feels further strengthened by the collection of these songs and the diligent effort to make them the best they could be.”
Amy mirrors Emily’s sentiments. “The title sums it up for me,” she said. “This is about the one lost day that rekindled and infused with our spirit to find that making music is just as vibrant and full of passion as it’s even been for us!”
The Indigo Girls will be hitting the road this summer following the release of ONE LOST DAY. Initial dates are listed below with more dates to be announced soon. Visit www.indigogirls.com for updates.
2015 Spring/Summer Tour Dates
4-12 Philadelphia, PA Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts w/Philadelphia Youth Orchestra
4-15 Durham, NC North Carolina Symphony
4-17 Newport News, VA Ferguson Center Concert Hall
4-19 Cincinnati, OH Music Hall w/Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
4-25 Huntsville, AL Panoply Festival of the Arts @ Big Spring Park
4-30 Pittsburgh, PA Heinz Hall w/Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
5-23 Lenox, MA SummerSound Live at Tanglewood Music Center
6-17 Grand Rapids, MI Meijer Gardens
6-19 Ann Arbor, MI Power Center for the Performing Arts (Ann Arbor Summer Festival)
6-20 Dayton, OH Schuster Center w/Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
6-21 Charlottesville, VA nTelos Wireless Pavilion w/Mary Chapin Carpenter
6-26 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheater
7-05 San Diego, CA Humphrey’s
7-07 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre
7-08-9 Saratoga, CA Montalvo Arts Center
7-11 Portland, OR Oregon Zoo Amphitheatre
7-12 Seattle, WA Woodland Park Zoo
7-14 Layton, UT Edward A. Kenley Centennial Amphitheater
7-15 Boulder, CO Chautauqua Auditorium
7-18 Eau Claire, WI Eaux Claires Music Festival
7-26 Camden, NJ XPoNential Music Festival @ River Stage in Wiggins Park
7-28 Vienna, VA The Filene Center @ Wolf Trap
7-29 Selbyville, DE Freeman Stage
8-07 Indianapolis, IN Indiana State Fair
Welcome back to The Next Bend, the Guitar World column dedicated to B-bending guitarists, guitars, gear, news, licks, songs and more.
For the uninitiated, a B-bender is a contraption (the perfect word for it) that lives in- or outside your guitar and allows you to pull—usually with some sort of arm, palm, shoulder or hip movement—your guitar's B string up a perfect whole step. So, a B note would suddenly become a C# (or a C, if you don't bend the string all the way).
Although this simple explanation might not convey the wonder of a B-bender (it sounds more like an exercise regimen, to be honest), let's just say the contraption allows guitarists to create sounds that would be impossible otherwise. And it sounds cool as hell. Or "cool as heck" if that offends anyone.
Anyway, for today's column, I decided to grab my trusty grey shirt and my Gibson Music City Jr. with B-Bender (a limited-edition guitar Gibson issued in 2013; it's still on the company's website, which makes me wonder if it's coming back into production) and shoot a few basic B-bender licks.
By the way, the only other person I've ever spoken to who has this guitar is Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke. We speak about the guitar briefly in this story.
A big shout out to the gang at the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop, who aided me in my quest for two P90-sized humbuckers, which I recently installed to replace the guitar's stock Gibson P90s. (I'm reeeeally not a P90 guy.)
The first couple of licks we shot in GW's underground lair are indeed fairly basic; they're sort of a primer for guitarists who—for some weird reason—have bought a B-bender-equipped guitar and don't really know what to do with it. After all, some of the B-bender videos on YouTube are fairly useless. Just sayin'!
This first lick is basically a brief yet self-contained country/blues song (feel feel to steal it—and thank me in your liner notes!) in C. It's got elements of pentatonic blues and country, and it starts off on the eighth fret in a very standard "Hey, let's play some upbeat blues in C major" sorta way. There's no tab for this lick, but I really don't think that'll be an issue.
If you have any questions, feel free to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll try to reply before 2019. By the way, this guitar uses a Joe Glaser bender and a modified Gibson Nighthawk bridge. It's also set up so that I could turn it into a G-bender, which I won't be doing anytime soon.
Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World. He's a B-bending guitarist who collects B-bender-equipped guitars. He has four at the moment. Follow him on Twitter.
Today, Royal Thunder, the female-fronted outfit NPR calls "a modern master of hard-rock restraint,” present a new webisode that documents the making of their upcoming album, Crooked Doors, which will be released April 7 via Relapse Records.
Today's video focuses on songwriter/guitarist Josh Weaver. The band also features Mlny Parsonz, Josh Weaver, Evan Diprima and Will Fiore.
They began work on Crooked Doors in early 2014, returning to Aria Recording Studio, where they recorded their debut, CVI.
Pre-orders for Crooked Doors are available now, with music available on CD/2LP/digital via Relapse.
Digital pre-orders include instant downloads of “Forget You” and “Time Machine.”
The band recently announced a North American tour, with Wild Throne opening (except June 5 to 14, where Royal Thunder opens for Halestorm). You can check out all the dates below.
Royal Thunder on Tour:
May 28 New Orleans, LA Siberia
May 29 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s
May 30 Dallas, TX Club Dada
May 31 Austin, TX Holy Mountain
June 2 Phoenix, AZ Rebel Lounge
June 3 San Diego, CA The Hideout
June 5 Anaheim, CA The Grove
June 6 San Francisco, CA The Regency Ballroom
June 8 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
June 9 Seattle, WA Showbox SoDo
June 10 Boise, ID Revolution Center
June 12 Missoula, MT Wilma Theatre
June 13 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
June 14 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom
June 16 Billings, MT Pub Station
June 18 Salt Lake City, UT Crucial Fest
June 19 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
June 20 Kansas City, MO The Record Bar
June 21 Minneapolis, MN The Nether Bar
June 22 Chicago, IL Beat Kitchen
June 23 Grand Rapids, MI The Pyramid Scheme
June 25 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
June 26 Boston, MA Great Scott
June 27 Providence, RI The Parlour
June 28 Philadelphia, PA Kung Fu Neck Tie
June 30 Baltimore, MD Metro Gallery
July 1 Richmond, VA The Camel
July 2 Charlotte, NC The Chop Shop
July 3 Atlanta, GA The Earl
Photo: Kevin Griggs
Weber Fine Acoustic Instruments is pleased to introduce the 2015 Bitterroot Aesthetic Package, available for all body styles of Weber’s handcrafted mandolins, sopranolins, mandolas, octave mandolins and mandocellos.
The Bitterroot Series embodies tradition, with minimalist appointments and the highest attention to materials, construction, beauty and tone while maintaining affordability for discerning players.
Bitterroot instruments all boast a distinctive, traditional visual appearance that owes itself to the silky satin finish, ivory-bound top and Buckskin coloring that graces each model.
Tone and playability are at the forefront of these instruments’ ethos, with hand-graduated and -tuned solid Sitka spruce tops, radiused fingerboards and tonebar bracing on select models for emphasized bluegrass muscle.
Hear about the Bitterroot Two Point Octave Mandolin from Weber artist Tim Farris.
The Bitterroot package also provides exceptional value for budget-wise players needing a mandolin-family instrument that doesn’t sacrifice in any regard.
The Bitterroot Series is available now for all of Weber’s mandolin-family instruments, along with the Bitterroot Archtop Guitar that mirrors many of the qualities of its mando brethren. The Bitterroot Series models, like all Weber instruments, are handcrafted from carefully chosen domestic and exotic solid woods and built with a fine attention to every aspect of each unique instrument.
For more information on the Weber Bitterroot Series, including pricing, visit http://webermandolins.com/ or view the 2015 Weber Catalog.