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Articles on this Page
- 03/27/15--11:48: _John Statz "Home At...
- 03/30/15--07:44: _Hand Chord Presents...
- 03/30/15--08:18: _Whitesnake Premiere...
- 03/30/15--08:19: _Cillie Barnes Premi...
- 03/30/15--08:42: _Orianthi and Richie...
- 03/30/15--09:14: _Raising the Barre: ...
- 03/30/15--10:43: _Betcha Can't Play T...
- 03/30/15--11:59: _Monster Licks Unlea...
- 03/30/15--14:09: _Review: Ibanez Tube...
- 03/30/15--14:26: _Review: Dunlop CBM9...
- 03/30/15--14:44: _The DIY Musician: D...
- 03/31/15--06:04: _Sarah Command Teach...
- 03/31/15--07:19: _AC/DC Perform "Flin...
- 03/31/15--07:23: _Let There Be Rock: ...
- 03/31/15--07:23: _Inventing the Steel...
- 03/31/15--08:47: _The Guitar Drum, a ...
- 03/31/15--10:03: _John Page Classic G...
- 03/31/15--12:01: _NYC Guitar School A...
- 03/31/15--14:11: _The Next Bend: Clar...
- 03/31/15--14:42: _Metallica's "Enter ...
- 03/27/15--11:48: John Statz "Home At Last" Live Video — Exclusive Premiere
- 03/30/15--07:44: Hand Chord Presents an Alternative to Learning Barre Chords — Video
- 03/30/15--08:18: Whitesnake Premiere New Cover of Deep Purple's "Burn"
- 03/30/15--08:42: Orianthi and Richie Sambora Visit Norman's Rare Guitars — Video
- 03/30/15--11:59: Monster Licks Unleashed: Glenn Proudfoot's Tap Fest — Video
- 03/30/15--14:09: Review: Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini Pedal — Video
- 03/30/15--14:26: Review: Dunlop CBM95 Cry Baby Mini Wah Pedal — Video
- 03/30/15--14:44: The DIY Musician: Djentsticks and the Deconstruction of Music
- 03/31/15--07:19: AC/DC Perform "Fling Thing" and "Rocker" in 1978 — Video
- 03/31/15--07:23: Let There Be Rock: AC/DC Lead Guitarist Angus Young on Picking Hard
- 03/31/15--08:47: The Guitar Drum, a New Percussive Acoustic Guitar Device — Video
- 03/31/15--10:03: John Page Classic Guitars Introduces the Ashburn
- 03/31/15--12:01: NYC Guitar School Announces Online Lessons Affiliate Program
- 03/31/15--14:42: Metallica's "Enter Sandman" Performed on Banjo and Mandolin — Video
Here’s the premiere of a video for the song “Home At Last” by John Statz featuring the lovely Kelsey Sprague.
The song appears on his brand new album Tulsa
This strummer situated by the side of a chilly lake made me want to wrap up with a blanket and a glass of sippin’ whiskey.
The setting enhances the feeling of longing from this easy-on-the-ears tune. Sprague’s harmonies are right on.
Statz shares his take on the video, “I was on tour just a few weeks ago in my home state of Wisconsin, and it was the day of the last date in Madison, my hometown. The idea for the video was literally hatched the night before, as things had just been clicking really well on the tour and I wanted to capture it. I reached out to my friends Audre and Luke for help, who happened to be free and chose the location. Apparently Audre really likes to read in that tree. The frozen body of water in the background is Lake Mendota, one of Madison's four lakes. I spent a serious amount of time on and around that lake growing up, my Mom and her siblings used to race sailboats on it, some of them still do.
“Kelsey is an old friend from when she used to live in Colorado. She lives in Washington state now, and when I was out there in January she joined me for a couple of shows opening and on harmonies. She learned my songs inside and out, and so I extended the invite for her to join on the Midwestern release dates, doing some opening sets again as well. Kelsey is an up and coming Seattle songwriter with loads of promise, and I really love what she does.”
Watch the video now:
John Statz recorded his new album Tulsa with an all-star band in the middle of a Vermont ice storm.
Tulsa is a beautiful blend of soft Americana and smooth folk and even includes a cover of Radiohead’s “Motion Picture Soundtrack.”
After years of DIY touring everywhere from Eastern Europe to Mexico, the Wisconsinite who now resides in Colorado fell in with fellow Midwesterner Jeffrey Foucault, a critically acclaimed songwriter and veteran of the Americana circuit, who ended up producing the record.
find out more at http://johnstatz.com
We know you guys (and gals) enjoy hearing about new pieces of gear—including gear-related oddities that appear on Kickstarter from time to time.
Ergo, we present the Hand Chord, a new product that's the subject of a new Kickstarter campaign.
According to Hand Chord's creators:
"The number one reason people give up playing guitar is because of finger pain. Hand Chord takes away the pain and frustration; no more hurting fingers, just a soft cushy rubber feel.
"It's also a shortcut for people who don't have the time to learn guitar and can also be a gateway for people learning guitar to help them concentrate on strumming and getting a feel for playing guitar without months of practice."
In other words, Hand Chord—which looks a bit like brass knuckles (albeit plastic)—presents itself as an alternative to learning how to play barre chords (What are your thoughts on that?). Hand Chord, which can be set up to "finger" several different chords, lets you just line up the Hand Chord (we don't know what else to call it) on your strings, squeeze it on the neck and strum.
There's also an attachment that is said to be suitable for playing slide guitar.
You can find out more on the Hand Chord Kickstarter page right here.
Let's call it a "Cover-Dale."
Whitesnake are streaming their new version of “Burn,” which started its life as the title track for a 1974 Deep Purple album featuring Whitesnake's David Coverdale on vocals.
Coverdale was a member of Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976 and recorded three albums with the band—Burn, Stormbringer (both 1974) and Come Taste the Band (1975).
Coverdale is revisiting his Deep Purple years on Whitesnake's new album, The Purple Album, which will be released May 19.
The project was the result of Coverdale's failed attempt to reunite with former Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore following the 2012 death of Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord. Coverdale said his wife suggested that he take the groundwork that was laid for the Deep Purple covers project and fashion it into a Whitesnake project.
“I took a little time to think about it,” Coverdale said. “I spoke to my musicians, and everybody was incredibly positive, so it was all systems go.” He added that it's “a huge thank-you from me to Deep Purple for the opportunity I was given over 40 years ago.”
Guitar-wise, The Purple Album features Joel Hoekstra (formerly of Night Ranger) and Reb Beach (Winger).
Here's the new Cillie Barnes' single "Earthquake Season At The Crystal Convention." Love it!
The track was recorded at Omaha's ARC studios with recorded with Bright Eyes members Nate Walcott and Mike Mogis and will be released as part of a collection of singles titled Friendly Witch due April 30. Pre-order the collection here.
The slightly off kilter acoustic rhythm and intense but beautiful vocal make for a bewitching listen.
Stereogum described the track by saying "Barnes has a scratchy, warm voice that sticks in your head, and her free-spirited embrace of crystals and their powers in the midst of a natural disaster is indicative of the secluded, spiritual corner of Los Angeles where she lives."
Barnes shares, "During the bridge part of this song - which we called The Crystal Countdown - my intention was to alphabetically list crystals and their properties from A-Z. I only got to Q because we ran out of space. So for the curious. A list of the ones I was going to name from that point on: Rhodocrosite, Shaman Stones, Tiger's Eye, Unakite, Vanadinite, Xenotime, Wolframite, Yellow Apatite and Zincite."
Check it out here:
Cillie Barnes Tour Dates
04.07 - Pomona, CA @ The Glasshouse (with Jenny Lewis)
04.14 - Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy and Harriet's (with Jenny Lewis)
05.04 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
05.11 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
05.18 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
05.25 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite
More at http://cilliebarnes.com/
Orianthi and former Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora recently visited Norman's Rare Guitars on Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana, California.
The pair—or shall we say couple—tried out a ton of prime guitars, including Fender Strats, Esquires and Custom Shop Teles. They also traded off on a Gibson Les Paul Jr. and a few vintage acoustics.
In the end, Orianthi returned to the 1971 Strat that caught her eye early on. Or maybe that's just how the video was edited!
If nothing else, this candid video answers the question, "What riffs does Orianthi play when she picks up a guitar in a guitar shop?"
This video, presented by Guitar Salon, boasts not only some beautiful classical guitar playing, it’s also a lesson on using partial barres in your left hand fingering technique.
Here Scott Morris runs down some tips for strategic use of partial and full barring. Plus some barring technique tips that’ll tune up your barres.
Morris wrote the book on classic guitar with his Classical Guitar Complete method.
This lesson is merely a taste of his genius.
Check it out:
Guitar Salon International is the world’s largest dealer of fine classical and flamenco guitars since 1983, and the premier online community and resource for guitar related discussion, entertainment and education.
The GSI website offers hundreds of performance videos, thousands of guitar listings in both an active webstore and our museum archive, a news blog and countless reference resources.
Find out more at www.guitarsalon.com
In Guitar World's latest edition of Betcha Can't Play This, New York City-based "subway shredder" Mike Groisman returns with what we're calling a "Monster Multi-Finger Tapping Lick."
First he plays it fast, then slow. Then he explains the lick.
We shared Groisman's first three Betcha Can't Play This videos earlier this month. Feel free to check out "Subway Shredder Mike Groisman's Sweep Arpeggios,""Mike Groisman's Insane A Minor Tapping Lick" and Mike Groisman's Crazy-Fast Alternate-Picking Run.
If Groisman looks familiar, maybe it's because he often can be found playing "Crazy Train,""Stairway to Heaven" (the metal version, of course) or Europe's "The Final Countdown" at various stops along the New York City subway system.
Visit Groisman on YouTube right here.
I'm using the diminished 7th scale (arpeggio) for this lick. The notes in this arpeggio are E, G, Bb and C#.
This lick is very challenging—not for its speed, but for the techniques used.
There are no picked notes in this lick; it's all legato and tapping. The big challenge comes with the hammered notes the right-hand index finger hits. While in theory this sounds easy, it's something we generally don't do on the guitar, so it proves quite difficult.
Normally we hammer with our second, third or fourth fingers while using our index finger as the pivot point to enable the strength for the hammer. This technique relies on your using your thumb as the sole grip point to create the strength.
This is not one of those things that takes months of practice; it will take about an hour or so to really get it happening. The index finger is incredibly strong, so it's just a matter of getting your head around the idea. The key is to practice these hammer-ons and make sure you're sounding all the notes correctly. If not, the lick will lose its appeal.
You will notice in the slow demonstration of the lick how hard I'm hitting the notes with my index finger. It's essential to really smack your finger on the note!
The possibilities with this technique are endless. It's such a great way to get around the guitar, and it has a very unique sound. You'll also notice in the video that I have a string mute running over the strings. This is just to keep the string noise down. Because I'm not picking any notes the right hand, it's constantly on the move and it makes it harder to mute the strings. You can use anything as a string mute—just wrap some material around the neck of your guitar, and that'll work fine.
Don't let any of the above commentary keep you from attempting this lick. These techniques are incredibly fun to play and add to your solos. Just focus on the end result!
Australia's Glenn Proudfoot has played and toured with major signed bands and artists in Europe and Australia, including progressive rockers Prazsky Vyber. Glenn released his first instrumental solo album, Lick Em, in 2010. It's available on iTunes and at glennproudfoot.com. His brand-new instrumental album — Ineffable— is out now and is available through glennproudfoot.com and iTunes.
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the May 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
Since Ibanez first introduced the Tube Screamer in 1979, it has been one of the most recognizable, respected and employed overdrive pedals on the market.
Anyone who has ever wanted creamy overdrive and added signal boost has definitely tried, and probably owns, one of Ibanez’s many iterations of its green machine.
For all its intended purpose, the Tube Screamer never needed a facelift. But as guitarists continue to jam-pack or streamline their pedal boards, it makes perfect sense that Ibanez now offers its most celebrated flagship pedal in a smaller footprint with the Tube Screamer Mini.
FEATURES The TS Mini measures 1 1/2–inches wide and 3 7/8–inches long, and like the rest of the Tube Screamer series, it’s made in Japan. Ibanez pulled out all the stops to create this solidly built, all-analog stompbox in a compact design, while retaining the sonic integrity of their acclaimed TS808 Reissue.
These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the May 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.
GOLD AWARD WINNER
From airline seats to paychecks, it seems like everything is getting smaller these days…and not in a good way.
Even the folks at Dunlop have shrunk their legendary Cry Baby Wah Wah to half its size! But thankfully the company has bucked the less-for-more trend with the Dunlop Cry Baby Mini, and created a pedal that packs all the wacka-wacka-wacka wallop of its standard-sized counterpart in a more travel-friendly, compact housing.
The Mini Wah features a full sweep range, Fasel inductor, Hot Potz potentiometer, true bypass switching and for even more tonal versatility, three internally adjustable voicings (Low, Vintage and “Modern” GCB95). The Mini Wah is sturdy with heavy-duty jacks and switches and is powered by nine-volt battery or AC adapter.
Andy Immel of Wausau, Wisconsin, sent me an email about the Djentstick, a one-string unitar made from a 2x4 and an EMG pickup.
There’s nothing to the instrument, really. No frets. No body.
The instrument is identical in spirit to Willie Joe and His Unitar, the 1950s blues iconoclast featured in this column a few weeks ago. It’s also the loud brother of the diddley bow.
Just as some djent guitarists deconstruct metal to a more primal form, sometimes devoid of melody and clear musical tones, the Djentstick is the type of tool that forces the player to deconstruct their playing and approach.
There’s nowhere to hide with only one string.
Immel got the idea to build his own after seeing the Djentstick’s inventor, Miguel Yépez, in a viral video featuring a one-string cover of an After the Burial song.
After cobbling his own Djentstick together and getting some assistance with pickup wiring from Jeff Sandbom of Sandbom Guitars, Immel has incorporated the elemental guitar into his music.
Unlike Yépez’s fretless bass style of playing, Immel incorporates slide guitar and violin bow techniques for a more psychedelic approach.
Immel said he recorded with his Djentstick on a song by the Merrill, Wisconsin, band Wolves and Co. Look for the release soon.
There’s going to be a slew of comments displaying utter disgust for the “waste of space taken in Guitar World for a stupid 2x4 one-string guitar.” I get it. I expect it. However, I think it’s time we start deconstructing the music we play and the instruments we play it on so we can rebuild them back up and create something new.
And what if somebody took the Djentstick concept to the extreme? If the homemade Djentstick is the guitar of the band, what would the drums and bass equivalent be? What instruments could be invented to make the sound even more brutal?
If you’re pushing the limits of music by inventing new guitar-like instruments, I want to know about it! Send me an email at email@example.com or just catch me on my personal Facebook page.
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.
Sarah Command of The Command Sisters stopped by the Acoustic Nation studio.
Lucky for us she consented to share some tips on percussive acoustic guitar.
She’ll run you through some of the slapping and tapping techniques used in Andy McKee’s “Drifting.”
She tunes her guitar to a D tuning except she leaves the G string alone: D, A, D, G, A, D.
Does she make it look easy? We’ll tell you after trying it for a couple of weeks!
Check out this lesson and then take a look at our exclusive interview with both Sarah and Charlotte here.
In 2014 Charlotte and Sarah of The Command Sisters were winners of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and asked to perform at NAMM in Los Angeles and at the She Rocks Awards (honoring women in music such as Sheila E and Janie Hendrix).
They were also seen at the Sundance Film Fest 2014 and were honored to be chosen to perform for Jowi Taylor's 6String Nation. Summer festivals included Boots & Hearts, Cavendish and Blueberry, and performed at the Shanghai International Arts Festival in October.
Find out more at www.thecommandsisters.com
Today, our vintage video camera drops in on the Bon Scott-fronted AC/DC in the midst of a high-spirited performance of "Fling Thing" (aka "Bonny") and "Rocker," one of many rowdy T.N.T. tracks.
If nothing else, the video answers the "Boxers or briefs?" question and proves that AC/DC are one hell of a live band.
"We try to do everything with a fresh approach," Angus Young told Guitar World in 1984. "We don't like to leave people dry or have them say, 'These guys have left us and gone off to something else.' That self-indulgent thing. So we try and keep it basic. A lot of people say we work a formula, but we don't. We try a fresh approach all the time.
"I saw Deep Purple live once and I paid money for it and I thought, 'Geez, this is ridiculous.' You just see through all that sort of stuff. I never liked those Deep Purples or those sort of things. I always hated it. I always thought it was a poor man's Led Zeppelin."
The following is from Angus Young's classic Guitar World column, "Let There Be Rock." Interview by Nick Bowcott.
AC/DC are more than just a great rock band, they're an institution.
Trends may come and go, but their unique brand of rhythm 'n bruise has proven to be timeless. Angus Young, the band's lead-playing livewire, has also deservedly attained a legendary standing in the business. In fact, one of modern rock's leading lights, Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains recently referred to him as "the absolute god of blues-rock guitar."
In the first of a series of exclusive lessons with Guitar World, Angus talks about his unique playing style ...
"Style? I didn't think I had any!" laughs Angus. "I just plug in and hit the thing really hard. That's my style ... or lack of one! That's why I use extra-heavy Fender picks-there's a lot of plastic in 'em so it takes longer to wear 'em out! Actually, because I'm so small, when I strike an open A chord I get physically thrown to the left and when I play an open G chord I go right. That's how hard I play, and that's how a lot of my stage act has come about. I just go where the guitar takes me."
GUITAR WORLD: Did you play that hard from the moment you started or is it something that evolved?
I've always liked to really hit the strings. I grew up with Mal [Mal is Angus' nickname for his brother Malcolm], who, besides having a great right [picking] hand, really understands how to get the most out of a guitar. He would always tell me, "don't tickle it, hit the bugger!"
The funny thing is, when you learn to play really hard you also learn the instrument's limitations. I honestly believe that you have to be able to play the guitar hard if you want to be able to get the whole spectrum of tones out of it. Since I normally play so hard, when I start picking a bit softer my tone changes completely, and t hat's really useful sometimes for creating a more laid-back feel.
The verse of "Sin City" [Powerage] is a good example of this being put into action.
Yeah, we belt out the main riff pretty hard during the intro and the chorus, but when the vocal comes in we ease back on it a bit. Doing that adds a bit of color and dynamics to the song. You can't always be going for the throat, mate! You need some relief from time to time.
Do you ever reach for your guitar's volume pot and turn it down a tad when you're easing back on the intensity?
Yeah, I'll roll it back just a hair for that kinda part sometimes. It depends if I think I'm being cool-which is pretty friggin ' rare, actually! [laughs] Normally, I'm too lazy to do that, so I just pick a little lighter instead. Or, sometimes I might even sit out for a while, like I do at the start of "Livewire" [High Voltage]. Mal starts the thing off with the chords and then I just jump in when the rest of the band comes in. That's the beauty of having another guitarist there, I can nip off for a quick smoke and leave Mal to it! [laughs)
Do you ever switch to your neck pickup to create a different tonal vibe?
I used to do that a lot; I'd be fiddling about with the [pickup selector] switch all the time. I still hunt back and forth sometimes now, but only if I'm in a diddly mood.
On stage though, I rarely do it. Hell, you can do a lot to alter your tone just by changing where you pick the strings—you don't even have to flick that switch! If you pick near the bridge you get more top and as you move further away from it your sound gets more bassy.
Another thing I' ll do to add a bit of color to a part is pick it with my fingers. I do that quite a bit, and so does Mal.
Like at the start of "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" [Back in Black] for example...
Exactly. I kick the thing off by picking out the riff using my pick and my fingers together [a technique known as hybrid picking]. Then, when the band comes in, I just hammer it out to get a more dynamic thing happening.
Regarded by many as the three most vital purveyors of pure hard rock/heavy metal sonic evil, AC/DC’s Angus Young, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi have each forged a distinct, instantly recognizable guitar style and sound.
After decades of dedicated service, all three players continue to influence countless up-and-coming metalheads the world over, and an in-depth study of each guitarist’s distinct musical personality is mandatory for any aspiring hard rock player.
Young, Page and Iommi share a few similarities in their respective crafts.
All three have relied on Gibson solidbody/dual-humbucker-style guitars for the majority of their careers, inspiring signature models of their respective axes: Angus Young has favored Gibson SG-type guitars and has his own Gibson signature model; Jimmy Page is most closely associated with the 1959 sunburst Les Paul, replicated in limited quantity by Gibson (with a retail price of more than $20,000); and Tony Iommi’s long association with the ’61 SG led to the creation of the similarly designed Gibson Tony Iommi model (as well as the custom-made SG-type Patrick Eggle and JayDee models that Iommi also uses). When soloing, all three guitarists most often use the bridge pickup.
Armed with their respective axes, the three defined the sound of metal in the late Sixties and early Seventies by relying on specific amplification: Jimmy Page favors Marshall SLP-1959 100-watt amps modified with KT-88 tubes, while also employing Voxes, Hiwatts, Fender Super Reverbs and Orange amps.
Angus Young has generally used Marshall 100-watt “Plexi” models along with JTM-45 “Plexis.” Iommi is also known for his use of Marshall and Orange gear and has long been a fan of Laney amplification; he even has his own Laney 100-watt signature amplifier.
Another commonality among the three guitar gods is their choice of scale for soloing. In the spirit of their American blues guitar heroes, all three rely most heavily on the minor pentatonic scale. FIGURE 1a shows the A minor pentatonic scale (A C D E G) played in fifth position; FIGURE 1b shows the same scale as played in an extended pattern that traverses the neck from the third fret to the 12th. The root notes are circled in each figure; once you have become familiar with these fingering patterns, be sure to move them to all other keys.
Let’s now look at these two patterns one octave and 12 frets higher: FIGURE 2a depicts A minor pentatonic played in 17th position while FIGURE 2b shows an extended pattern that spans the 15th–22nd frets, ending with a whole step bend from D to E. Young, Page and Iommi all cover the highest reaches of the neck in many of their solos, so be sure to practice the minor pentatonic scales in every key and all over the fretboard.
With his comedic school-boy outfit and hyperenergetic stage antics, Angus Young has been both celebrated and reviled for his over-the-top persona. But in truth, he is simply one of the greatest rock soloists ever. His intense, exciting playing style is equal parts adrenaline, blues rock fire, and precision, all of it spiked with a crash-and-burn attitude. In other words, it’s hard rock at its absolute best.
One of Young’s greatest solos is the one he recorded in the AC/DC classic, “You Shook Me All Night Long” (Back in Black). FIGURE 3 presents a solo played in this style: it’s played over a repeating I-IV-V-IV chord progression in the key of G—G-C-D-C—and is based primarily on the G minor pentatonic scale (G Bf C D F); bars 1–4 are played in third position, and then the next phrase shifts one octave higher to 15th position in bars 5–8.
The figure begins with a whole-step bend from C to D on the G string that is sustained and played with vibrato for three beats. Use your ring finger to fret the note and both your ring and middle fingers to push the string, with the middle finger one fret behind the ring finger. This two-finger bending technique is known as reinforced fingering and is used extensively by Young as well as Page and Iommi.
The first note in FIGURE 3 is a prime example of Young’s signature bend vibrato: upon bending the string with the ring and middle fingers (the index finger may also be used to help push the string for additional strength and support), the bend is then repeatedly released partially—somewhere between a quarter step and a half step—and restored to a whole step (“full”) in quick, even rhythm.
When executing this type of bend vibrato, you’ll find that it helps to push your fret-hand thumb against the top side of the neck, as this provides leverage for the fingers that are pushing and releasing the string. Young’s vibrato is relatively fast and not very wide and will require practice and keen listening to emulate authentically.
The C-to-D bend is followed with an index-finger barre across the top two strings at the third fret, and in bar 2 the pinkie frets F (second string/sixth fret), followed by the same reinforced ring-finger bend and release on C (third string/fifth fret). At the end of bar 2, after fretting the G note, roll the tip of the ring finger from the fourth string over to the fifth string and then back. This “finger roll” may take some practice to get used to, but it’s a very useful technique that is worth learning.
What makes a solo like this great is its simplicity and melodic quality. Each idea is balanced against the next in an effortless way, and the overall result is a memorable solo that one could easily sing—an earmark of every great hard rock guitar solo.
Beginning in bar 5 of FIGURE 3, the second half of the solo relates to the first half in that it also leads off with a sustained bend, this time from a high F, the flatted seventh, to G, the root note, which is played vibrato in a similar manner. When playing minor pentatonic licks like these in high positions, many blues, blues/rock and hard rock players adopt a three-finger approach—index-middle-ring—for the majority of their licks, presumably because of the closeness of the frets. Young, however, chooses to use his pinkie in many of his licks, regardless of his fretboard position.
I wrap the solo up in bar 8 by switching to a riff based on G major pentatonic (G A B D E). A staple of blues soloing is to alternate between the “sweet” sound of major pentatonic and the darker sound of minor pentatonic, and Young does just this in many of his solos.
Another great example of Young’s masterful soloing can be heard on the title track to Back in Black. FIGURE 4 shows a solo played in a similar style. This example is played over a simple repeating chord progression in the key of E: E-D-A (I-fVII-IV). The majority of the solo is based on the E minor pentatonic scale (E G A B D), although I begin with a phrase that incorporates notes from the E Dorian mode (E Fs G A B Cs D) by including the sixth, Cs. The placement of this pitch is critical in relation to the accompanying chord progression, as it lands on the A chord, and Cs is the major third of A.
Like FIGURE 3, the goal with this example is to illustrate Young’s clear sense of melody and melodic development: FIGURE 4 begins with a “hooky” phrase that is developed by descending the G string in a similar manner across the first two bars. At bar 3, I jump up to the 12th-position E minor pentatonic “box” pattern, beginning with a high D-to-E bend and vibrato that is sustained through the first two beats of the bar, followed by a fast phrase based on descending 16th-note triplets.
The solo then stays rooted in 12th position through the remainder of bar 3, all the way to the end of bar 7. As with the high-position pentatonic licks in the previous example, the majority of these licks may be played comfortably with three fingers.
Particularly noteworthy is the classic lightning-fast blues/rock/metal run that spans bar 7 of FIGURE 4: based entirely on descending 16th-note triplets, the run begins with a pull-off from a high G (first string/15th fret) to E (12th fret) followed by D (second string/15th fret). The next 16th-note triplet starts one note lower, on E, and is followed by a pull-off from D to B (15th fret to12th fret). The pattern of starting one note lower with each subsequent 16th-note triplet and using pull-offs wherever possible is repeated throughout the run.
As the solo develops, analyze each beat and notice how the progression of the lines contributes to the overall phrase. Young is a master of “phrase-ology,” a skill/gift that lends an almost effortless quality to his solos and the feeling of constantly pushing the music forward and telling a story.
Jimmy Page was inspired by many of the same American blues guitar heroes as his British blues/rock contemporaries Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Peter Green. These heroes include the three Kings—Albert, B.B. and Freddie—as well as T-Bone Walker, Buddy Guy and Otis Rush.
Page was also equally influenced by the fiery intensity of rockabilly guitarists Cliff Gallup (Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps) and Scotty Moore (Elvis Presley), as well as the futuristic daring of Les Paul. A student of many different styles of guitar playing, Page always combines in his solos a well-balanced structure and sense of melodic development with true depth of feeling. His progressive approach to soloing has pushed the nature of blues/rock guitar to previously unimagined territory.
FIGURE 5 is an eight-bar solo representative of Page’s improvisation style. It’s played in the key of A minor over a repeating Am-G-F (i-fVII-fVI) chord progression. The majority of the solo is based on A minor pentatonic (A C D E G), beginning in fifth position with a D-to-E bend on the G string. This note is bent and shaken using the same reinforced fingering and thumb leveraging techniques described earlier in reference to FIGURE 3.
This initial bend is followed by a stream of cascading 16th notes played across the next four beats on the top three strings, with notes quickly alternating between either the fifth and seventh frets or the fifth and eighth frets. Through the majority of this solo, a balance of eighth and 16th notes is achieved, giving the solo a forward-leaning quality as each phrase flows seamlessly into the next.
Over an F chord in bars 2, 4, 6 and 8, I occasionally incorporate an F note into the A minor pentatonic-derived lines in order to clearly relate the solo line to the backing chord progression; this approach is a Page trademark. Adding this one note also serves to broaden the solo beyond the strict blues territory while also strengthening the melodic quality of the licks.
Bar 5 begins with a descending run wherein a stream of 16th notes are phrased in two six-note groups that form an interesting melodic contour. A similar phrasing approach is used in bar 6 with successive four-note descending groups. The solo develops interestingly and builds to a climax in bars 7 and 8 with a repeated melodic “shape” that ascends the A minor pentatonic scale in seven-note phrases, starting from either the root note or the fifth each time.
While this may sound overly analyzed, in truth it is the application of these melodic phrasing techniques that gives the solo its clear sense of structure, which is a hallmark of all of Page’s best lead work.
As the progenitor of the heaviest of heavy metal, Tony Iommi set high standards for the writing of demonic-sounding riffs while he simultaneously created the template for the heavy metal soloing of future generations.
As a teenager, Iommi, a left-handed player, was the victim of an unfortunate accident in which he lost the tips of his right hand’s middle and ring fingers while working in a sheet metal factory. Discouraged but not defeated, the resourceful guitarist devised plastic covers made from bottle caps to wear over those fingertips.
In later years, he would wear custom–fitted leather finger protectors. Iommi also switched to using super light-gauge strings: .008, .008, .011, .018w, .024 and .032, which are much easier to fret and bend than a standard set of .009s or 010s.
In its earliest days, Black Sabbath tuned to concert pitch, but soon after Iommi began tuning his strings down one half step (low to high: Ef Af Df Gf Bf Ef) and subsequently tuned down even further by one and a half steps (low to high: Cs Fs B E Gs Cs), all the while continuing to use very light strings.
A signature element in the characteristically dark vibe of Iommi’s solos is the incorporation of minor modes. In his outro solo for “War Pigs” (Paranoid), Iommi utilizes the E Aeolian mode (E Fs G A B C D) along with E minor pentatonic (E G A B D). FIGURE 6 illustrates a solo played with a similar approach.
Within the key of E minor, the chord progression simply alternates between Em and D, and in his solo, Iommi’s ties his licks squarely to the chord progression with the use of chord tones that relate to each specific chord. Bars 1–4 of FIGURE 6 demonstrate this approach by favoring the notes E and G, the root note and minor third, respectively, over Em, and the notes D and Fs, the root and major third, respectively, over D. The additional notes and overall phrasing serve to fill in the space and effectively set up the incorporation of these shifting chord tones (also known as guide tones).
Another key aspect of Iommi’s soloing style that FIGURE 6 demonstrates is the intensity of both the pick attack and vibrato. Iommi’s playing is well-loved for its aggressive power, so lean into the lines with both hands, and listen closely to his recorded works to get a clear picture of and feel for his playing style.
Beginning on beat two of bar 5, I repeatedly bend E, third string/ninth fret, up one and one half steps (the equivalent of three frets) to G. When performing “overbends” like this, it’s even more important to harness the strength of at least two fingers, the ring and middle, if not three (the ring, middle and index). This is followed in bar 6 by fast whole-step bends that alternate with hammer-on/pull-of combinations between the seventh and ninth frets on the G string. This is a challenging lick that will take a bit of slow practice to master.
In the second half of bar 7, I borrow a signature phrasing technique of Iommi’s, with a 16th-note run that descends the E Aeolian mode in three-note groups on a single string, using pull-offs and finger slides. This type of line serves to add both rhythmic and melodic interest to a pentatonic- or mode-based solo.
FIGURE 7 offers another example of soloing in Iommi’s style, this time incorporating the detuning of one and one half steps. (All notes and chords sound in the key of C# minor, one and one half steps lower than written.) This example demonstrates Iommi’s penchant for using fast hammer-ons and pull-offs within repeated short phrases, as he does on his solo in “Supernaut” (Vol. 4).
The solo is based entirely on the E minor pentatonic scale, played in 12th position, and begins with a repeated phrase that starts with a quick hammer/pull on the first string from the 12th fret to the 15th, followed by D, second string/15th fret. This sequence is played four times through bar 1, and bar 2 consists entirely of trills in 12th position. (A trill is executed by quickly alternating between two notes, usually using hammer-ons and pull-offs in combination.)
Bars 3 and 4 are similar in that both feature fast phrases based on 16th-note triplets; in bar 3, note bursts are performed with hammer/pulls on the D string, and in bar 4 the hammers occur on the G string. Bars 5 and 6 offer an example of the “threes on fours” concept—16th notes phrased in groups of three—and bars 7 and 8 wrap up the solo with fast hammer/pulls, played in 16th-nopte triplets, that traverse the strings, moving from high to low.
In all of their solos, Young, Page and Iommi combine well-structured melodic ideas, solid execution and spirited performance—essential factors in any great, memorable guitar solo that you should strive to achieve in your own solos.
Painting: Tim O'Brien
Check out this clip of guitarist Lenny Hatch demoing his creation, The Guitar Drum.
Here’s some info from The Guitar Drum’s official site:
The Guitar Drum was first created when Lenny Hatch needed a Cajon but he didn't have one.
He was also getting into percussive guitar playing and he thought it would be more convenient to have one on his guitar. After looking for one on the internet he didn’t find what he was looking for so then he set out to create the drum as you see today.
The Guitar Drum gives players an elevated pad for bass sounds or can serve as a scratch plate. The device can also serve as a snare mechanism, for more consistent snare sounds.
What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!
Find out more about The Guitar Drum at ljguitaraccessories.com.
John Page Classic, a new guitar brand that brings the custom-design genius of John Page, co-founder of the Fender Custom Shop, to the world of production guitars, has announced the Ashburn, its initial production model.
The double-cutaway, hard-body Ashburn was designed by Page and produced to his standards in a state-of-the-art workshop in Japan and set up in the U.S. by John Page Classic techs.
“The Ashburn has all the design features of my hand-built custom guitars,” Page said. “It’s the culmination of my nearly 40 years building custom guitars. Through John Page Classic, I’m now able to make the Page custom-design experience available to more people.”
John Page Classic is a cornerstone brand of HRS Unlimited, a new company founded by MI veteran Howard Swimmer to bring forward-thinking business models to MI.
“In a market characterized by custom guitars on the one hand and production guitars on the other, the Ashburn is a new alternative—the first ‘custom production’ guitar,” Swimmer said.
The Ashburn offers several John Page custom design advantages. Its threaded machine bolt neck assembly provides superior tone transfer and a unique complexity to overtones and harmonics. It is equipped with Bloodline by John Page JP-1 pickups, custom voiced by Page and with the bridge pickup reverse-slanted for greater thickness and girth. The Ashburn’s bass-justified fret dots provide greater visibility. Its staggered Gotoh Vintage Style tuners reduce and, in most cases, eliminate the need for string trees.
Page co-founded and led the Fender Custom Shop for its first 12 years and created legendary guitars for artists including Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, David Gilmour, Elliot Easton and Cesar Rosas. He also designed guitars in conjunction with Harley Davidson, Playboy and Jaguar. Page is prominently featured in The Dream Factory: Fender Custom Shop, by Tom Wheeler (Hal Leonard, 2011).
Specs: The Ashburn, from John Page Classic
• Body: Alder
• Neck: Maple
• Neck/Body Attachment: Machine screws with Threaded Inserts
• Fingerboard: Maple or Rosewood
• Neck Shape: Medium C
• Scale Length: 25.5"
• Frets: 22 Nickel Silver
• Hardware: Nickel/Chrome
• Tuners: Gotoh Staggered Vintage Style
• Bridge: Gotoh 510 Tremolo
• Pickups: Bloodline by John Page JP1 single coil S-style Pickups (3)
• Controls: Master volume/tone, 5-way pickup selector allowing noise cancelling in positions 2/4
• Colors: Black Metallic, Daphne Blue, Fiesta Red, Inca Silver, Olympic White, Shoreline Gold
MSRP: $1,499 Optional hard shell case with John Page Classic logo: $100
For more information about John Page Classic and the Ashburn, visit johnpageclassic.com.
Wanna make a few dollars by sharing a banner or a link?
NYC Guitar School has announced the launch of its affiliate program — an online referral-based platform that allows individuals with a website to earn unlimited income based on the amount of students who enroll to NYC Guitar School’s successful online beginner courses using referral codes.
The affiliate program, which enables people with a website or audience to promote these beginner courses, is ideal for media outlets, bloggers, social media influencers, music schools, and truly anyone with an online presence. In addition, music teachers have found it to be the perfect complement to their on-site lessons and are using the method to enhance at-home practice.
The program allows registered and approved members to make a 40% commission on the monthly tuition of each student signing up to NYC Guitar School online beginner lessons using a uniquely assigned referral code. With some students receiving lessons on a monthly basis for many years, and no cap on the amount of referrals, the earning potential is virtually limitless.
This video explains it all!
“The spirit at NYC Guitar School has always been one of collaboration and teamwork. We’re proud to introduce a platform that not only promotes collaboration, but also one that allows the expansion of music education while generating benefits for all of those involved. It’s truly a win-win situation,” said NYC Guitar School co-owner Dan Emery.
NYC Guitar School’s online beginner courses have a proven success track record, and were developed by world-class guitar players and educators. Through these beginner courses, students can learn the fundamental skills of guitar from the ground-up through interactive and easy-to-follow video lessons. NYC Guitar School’s online courses are also a perfect complement to face-to-face lessons. Each lesson includes a video tutorial and corresponds to a downloadable instruction book that is included.
NYC Guitar School’s online beginner courses have also been vetted and utilized by renowned music instructors, who use this method in conjunction with their existing curriculum.
"In my 16 years of teaching guitar, I've never come across a more successful and inspiring curriculum for beginners," said NYC Guitar School teacher and guitarist Michelangelo Quirinale.
KAOS Music Centre has piloted the affiliate program in their three Toronto locations, and found it to be very profitable. "Our students have found NYC Guitar School's online material to be not only helpful, but really fun and motivational as well. We've also had good success offering the online course as a stand-alone educational product on our website. Bottom line, the online courses from the NYC Guitar School are well-done, effective, well-priced and people love them," said KAOS Music Centre Founder, Bill Bates.
The online guitar method offers five beginner courses and a bundle: Guitar for Absolute Beginners: Play Guitar in 10 Weeks; Guitar II: Guitar for Near Beginners; Guitar III: Guitar for Intermediate Beginners; Guitar IV: Guitar Workshop; Guitar V; and Guitar for Advanced Beginners. Students can also opt for the five-course Absolute Beginner Bundle, which includes access to all five beginner courses.
To learn more and sign up for NYC Guitar School’s new affiliate program as well as the online beginner courses, click here.
Yes, it's me again—with another fairly basic B-bender guitar lick!
Before we get started, however, here are my two obligatory "What's a B-bender?" paragraphs that I use in every column—just in case you're reading this column for the first time:
A B-bender is a contraption 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), 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.
OK, I'm back.
For today's column and video (like last week's), I grabbed my ancient grey shirt and my Gibson Music City Jr. with B-Bender (a limited-edition guitar Gibson issued in 2013), to play a Clarence White-inspired country lick in A. I'll use a different B-bender guitar for my next video, promise.
As an electric guitarist, White (the Byrds, Muleskinner, Nashville West) built the bridge between country and rock in the late Sixties. His work with the Parsons/White StringBender—an ingenious B-string-pulling device invented and installed in White's 1954 Fender Telecaster by fellow Byrd, multi-instrumentalist and machinist Gene Parsons—is legendary.
You can read more about him in this brilliantly written story.
This is a very brief lick with only three well-timed bends—because you never want to overuse a B-bender. You can have too much of a good thing!
To start, place your pinkie on the 12th fret of the E string (that's an E note) and your index finger on the ninth fret of the G string (another E). Next, hammer on to the 11th fret of the G string (an F#) and quickly move your index finger to the 10th fret of the B (an A), followed by your ring finger on the 12th fret of the B string (a B) and bend that high B note to a C#!
Without tab, this sounds annoyingly complicated (or annoyingly explained), but it's incredibly easy to play. I picture this lick being used as an intro to—or as the ending of—a mid-tempo country tune. As usual, feel free to steal it.
If you have any questions, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll try to reply before 2021. By the way, this guitar uses a Joe Glaser bender and a modified Gibson Nighthawk bridge. Enjoy!
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.
Here's a very recently posted video of the aptly named Banjo Guy Ollie performing a banjo-and-mandolin cover of Metallica's “Enter Sandman.”
It also looks like he's playing all the percussion on the tune. It would've been cool to see him turn around and play that huge old-timey video game in the background ... maybe next time!
As always, let us know what you think in the comments or on the Facebooks!