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    As the interval between the fifth scale degree and the octave, the fourth is basic to the structure of most chords.

    When used melodically, however, fourths are not nearly as versatile as thirds and sixths.

    Harmonizing a scale in fourths evokes a somewhat medieval vibe – think chanting monks – which, while atmospheric, is not the most useful tool in the box.

    As you’ll see, though, fourths have found a home within, of all places, R&B, soul, and funk.

    On the guitar neck, fourths adapt most comfortably to pentatonic scale patterns. If you examine two specific scales, G major pentatonic and E minor pentatonic (FIGURE 1), you’ll note that while they are based on different tonics, or fundamental tones, they contain identical pitches.

    figure 1_1.jpg

    Major and minor scales that share the same notes are called relative scales, and a convenient result of this relationship is that fingering patterns learned for one may also be applied to the other.

    Harmonizing pentatonic scales in fourths involves the use of only two fingering shapes (FIGURE 2).

    figure 2_0.jpg

    In FIGURE 3 they’re put to work over a funky acoustic-friendly groove similar to that of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.”

    figure 3.jpg

    The accents on beats 2 and 4, commonly called chicks, match the ubiquitous snare drum pattern known as the backbeat. On the first and third beats, mute the lower strings with the heel of your pick hand to increase the dynamic contrast.

    While thirds and sixths can be used to harmonize complete melodies, fourths are usually limited to short fills. In R&B, soul and funk, these snappy little interjections turn up in all kinds of settings from ballads (the Impressions’ “People Get Ready”) to dance grooves (Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Sing a Song”).

    FIGURE 4, a compendium of typical fourth-based fills, begins with a pickup phrase, a fill that precedes the downbeat. The phrasing with quick slides between notes is simultaneously slippery and percussive.

    figure 4.jpg

    Notes that the last note of each fill resolves into the ensuing chord; effective fills create a sense of anticipation of what’s to come. The second time around, all of the fills are on the first and second strings, making it a one-finger exercise.


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  • 05/05/15--22:52: Capo Tricks & Treats
  • Beyond the obvious capo advantages of changing a song key to match vocal range, the capo can be handy tool for other purposes as well.

    There’s no reason not to keep one (or two) in your guitar case or clipped to your headstock for the moment that a need arises.

    Here are some uses of this handy device.

    The key is key

    When you use standard tuning, there are a number of keys that are easy for guitarists to perform in. Common guitar keys include E, A, C, D or G - probably because many songs are written on guitar and these keys are easy to play.

    But if you are in a band with horns, keys that come up can be challenging. Horn-based songs are often written in keys such as F, B-flat or E-flat. These can be difficult to finger on guitar. But use a capo and you can easily keep up with the horn section!

    Gender compatibility

    I often sing songs that were originally recorded by guys and sometimes the original key just doesn’t fit. There’s no way I can reach that high (or low!). Changing the key with a capo is an easy way to adjust. And when the key feels right we all sound better!

    Instant separation

    If you play in a band with two guitars, you can easily place them in different parts of the sonic spectrum by having one use a capo. Now the chord voicing are varied and each plays its own special part.

    A song such as “Hotel California” will really sound great if you have one guitarist capo’d at 7, the other at 5. This allows your chord voicings to really ring, without you having to navigate repeatedly tiring barre shapes. Experiment!

    Mid-song shenanigans
    With a spring-type capo, like Kyser, you can move the capo to a different fret easily, with one hand. In fact this is so easy, you can even do it in mid-song, for a modulation. You can store your Kyser capos on the headstock of your guitar, for easy access, and they don't get lost. You can also sometimes store them clamped on your guitar strap. Easy access and a quick fix.

    Partial capos

    Partial capos add another level of complexity — or simplicity — to your sonic arsenal and can be great for adjusting the lower or upper notes for easy fingering, or a more “open” tuning sound. They take a bit of practice to put into use.

    Some partial capos clamp three strings (highest or lowest, on either side). Others will clamp 5 strings, allowing, for example, a Drop-D or E style tuning instantly. Others clamp middle strings for open A (for example) or even suspended 4th chord voicings when you play “open.” There are even “harmonic” capos that let you fret lower register chords normally, but aid harmonics above the 5th or 7th fret. Tricky stuff!

    Slide superiority

    You might think that because a partial capo can make an open-tuning sound that you can also easily play slide guitar the same way you do in open tunings. However, if you keep the guitar in standard tuning, you probably won't get a chord when you put the slide across all 6 strings. There are, however, some clever ways to use special tunings or to add a partial capo to an open tuning that change what happens when you put the slide down. Play around with capo positions and simple fingerings to make it come together.

    Check out this video in which Kyser goes through some of the cool uses of partial capos.


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    I had the pleasure of connecting with the talented Rorie Kelly last year when she submitted to perform at the She Rocks Showcase at the NAMM Show in Nashville.

    Since then I’ve been an avid believer in this NYC-based singer/songwriter. Kelly has faced her demons and is striking out to fulfill her dream with the creation of her new album Rising Rising Rising.

    She’s got a crowd-funding campaign underway on RocketHub to fund the project. Check out her uplifting message and gorgeous vocals here>>

    And check out what she has to say here, too!

    What motivated you to start writing songs?

    When I was in middle school I frequently wrote poetry and I did it in a weird way. I heard a melody in my head that went along with the words. It didn't all rhyme or have a typical song form but the melody was part of the package, at least in my head. When I was thirteen, I heard a song that moved me to tears late one night and I thought, "I need to do this. This is what I am here for." It was on of those instantaneous life changing moments that you see more in fiction than in reality — but I have never looked back.

    I taught myself to play guitar and started turning my song-poems into song-songs. I'm very lucky in that writing music feels as natural to me as breathing. Once I had the tools (six strings, vocal chords, the English language) I was in.

    Tell us about your new project and what you hope to accomplish.

    I am putting out a new album, Rising Rising Rising, which is the story of my journey through the last several years from a very dark emotional place to feeling empowered and capable of writing my own destiny. My goal, apart from just sharing the songs in a new and more complete way, is to inspire others to take charge of their own journeys. I want to give my listeners both a source of validation and a jumping off point.

    The song you share, “If You Teach a Bird” is just lovely. Can you tell the story of that song?

    I wrote the song spontaneously after listening to a song on Brandi Carlile's live album. I had read an interview somewhere where she said that she grew up on stage singing standards, and the people close to her were very uncomfortable when she said she wanted to take an original songwriter route. I was listening to her lead the entire crowd in song — a part that always makes me cry no matter what I am doing — and I had the thought, "If you teach a bird to sing, she's going to learn to fly."

    It doesn't make a lot of logical sense but the feeling I had was, Brandi grew up on stage and learned to use that big beautiful voice and then she grew up and took it in exactly the direction she wanted. She created this beautiful thing that nobody even knew she was capable of. It moved me. I took the line and wrote a song with a theme of moving on from a painful, constraining situation and opening your wings to fly away free.

    I understand that you were bullied when you were younger. What would you like readers to know about your experience?

    The biggest thing I want people to know is that if you're being bullied, abused or harassed in any way: it's not your fault, it's not your identity and it's OK to be affected by it. When I was growing through it I had many people around me telling me to "be more thick skinned" and "let it roll off my back." I think their message was well intentioned but the effect was not only did I have this painful situation in my life, but I also felt like it wasn't OK to be upset about it or to express my feelings about it — anger, rage, frustration, sadness. I got the impression that only a weak person would have these feelings.

    I did a lot of repressing (in part for self preservation) and I had to unlearn those habits years down the line. Don't be afraid to be true to yourself even if your feelings are challenging to deal with — and don't be afraid to do whatever it takes to get yourself to a better situation. You don't deserve to live a painful life.

    What do you hope people walk away thinking or feeling after they listen to your music?

    More than anything I want to give people validation and hope. Whether it is because I touched on something dark and gave validation to something they too, have experienced, or simply passed on a feeling of positive inspiration... I want to lift people up.

    You’re funding your new project through RocketHub. How is it going?

    So far: great! I hit 17 percent within the first 17 hours (that's a weird number but one I happened to notice). Things have slowed down after the initial flurry of sharing it around, which I understand is normal. To keep the fire going I am reaching out to people individually as well as posting regular updates on my Facebook page, and shouting out to people who contribute. Currently I'm at 35% funded with 49 days to go which feels AWESOME!!!

    One of my contribution rewards is a hand-drawn dinosaur picture, which is unexpectedly extremely popular. I'm going to start posting the pictures soon, as get them done, so check out www.facebook.com/roriekellymusic if you're into seeing awesome Jurassic friends drawn in crayon.

    Where can we find out more about you and your music?

    My website www.roriekelly.com has news, music and tour dates. If you want to be a close part of my community (I want you in it!!) I would love to connect with you on Facebook and on Twitter too!

    Anything else you’d like to add?

    I would like to thank anyone reading this for giving time to the indie community today... and send out a reminder that we can ALL succeed by supporting each other. Art is about community, not competition. :)

    Find out more at http://www.roriekelly.com/


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    Dream Guitars announces the release of Dream Guitars Volume II: Hand Picked, which is the sequel to Dream Guitars Volume I: The Golden Age of Lutherie by Al Petteway. The inaugural CD was a compilation of original music recorded by Al on a limited edition of guitars, named the Dream Series, designed and crafted by eleven of Dream Guitars’ favorite luthiers solely for Dream Guitars. Great guitars are part of the reason for the second CD. The other major part is Grammy Award winner Al Petteway. Those familiar with Dream Guitars know Al as the guy who demos many of the instruments on the site, playing everything from sweet acoustic fingerstyle guitar to down home banjo & mandolin to electric lead with attitude.

    Dream Guitars Volume II: Hand Picked features additionally amazing original compositions by Al Petteway played on some of the most incredible instruments on the planet. The instruments were 'hand picked' off the wall at Dream Guitars by shop owner Paul Heumiller and Al Petteway. A book of sheet music and tablature is also available making it a wonderful learning tool for Fingerstyle guitar players.

    Dream Guitars is also proud to announce that a portion of the proceeds from the CD will be donated to LEAF Community Arts. LEAF Community Arts is a non-profit organization, building community, connecting cultures and enriching lives through the arts - locally and globally - with festivals, community events, and arts education programs. Learn more by clicking here.

    "It's a joy to be able to play all of the wonderful guitars at Dream Guitars while doing their video demos. This second CD in the series features some of our 'hand-picked' favorites, recorded with the same bare bones philosophy as Vol. I, relatively raw and with only a bit of reverb added here and there. All of the tracks were recorded in stereo using high-end microphones and preamps. I've come to really like this 'naked' way of recording and listening to high-end guitars. It makes it much easier to experience the truly individual voices that these instruments have. I hope you enjoy listening to this CD as much as I enjoyed making it." - Al Petteway

    "On Dream Guitars Vol. I, we recorded only the limited edition Dream Series instruments made for our shop. On this record Al and I simply 'hand picked' our favorites right off the wall. At any given time we are lucky to have a vast collection of the finest instruments in the world. It was great fun to choose the arsenal for this CD, some old, some new, all wondrous in there own right. The array of voices, in the hands of Al Petteway, makes this recording special and unique." - Paul Heumiller

    CD and TAB are both available now and can be found here.

    Video lessons for each song coming this summer.

    For further information, contact Paul Heumiller at (828) 658-9795.

    Check out the Dream Guitars Blog here!


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    Los Angeles based singer-songwriter Eddie Gomez has released his new single "Nothing Like This Love."

    The retro pop track, produced by Eddie and production team The Firm, is the first release from Gomez since his 2013 hit "Monsters."

    Inspired by classic soul and rock and roll, Eddie has been in the studio hard at work crafting new songs with elements of retro pop harmonies and feel good melodies.

    "Nothing Like This Love" is the first taste of the new sound of Eddie Gomez.

    "Before writing ‘Nothing Like This Love’ I told myself I need to feel inspired by something, by anything!" Eddie explained. "So I sat in my studio for days going through old records, old songs and artists from previous generations. I came across Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrel's greatest hits album and I just remember thinking, 'I can't believe it took me this long to find this!'“

    “Every song from ‘Your Precious Love’ to ‘Ain't No Mountain High Enough’ to ‘Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing’ and so on, the whole album is amazing! I could not stop listening to their music, and I wanted to write something like that. Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrel - that duo and that album is what inspired this song. Sometimes keeping it simple can be the most impactful. I wanted to create something that would emotionally touch people the way their creativity touched me."

    Take a listen here:

    Eddie Gomez is an emerging Latino singer/songwriter from Portland, Oregon who currently resides in Los Angeles. His soulful roots mixed with contemporary elements of modern music have helped Eddie to refine his distinct sound. Music, entertainment and performing are in his blood, having parents who travelled throughout the country as paid folk dancers. He is a bi-lingual singer songwriter, fluent in both English and Spanish.

    Upcoming Eddie Gomez Dates:

    May 20 - The Avalon Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
    *Jackie Boyz & Friends 90s event

    June 4 - LA Live, Los Angeles, CA
    *Block Party Festival

    July 16th - Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
    *Halftime performer at LA Sparks game

    Keep up with Eddie Gomez online at eddiegomezmusic.com.


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    Recent Nashville transplant Caitlin Canty delivers her songs with a dusky alto and a 1930’s Recording King guitar and this year released her critically acclaimed new album, Reckless Skyline.

    Produced by acclaimed songwriter Jeffrey Foucault and featuring an all-star band, the twelve songs veer nimbly between country ballads and straight-up rockers, dark blues and sparsely arranged folk.

    Canty hits the road again in support of Skyline, kicking off a Spring tour on May 24 in Bear Valley, CA that will extend through the summer; hitting Berkeley, LA, Telluride, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cambridge, MA and many points in between.

    The West Coast dates will be performed as a duo with Eric Heywood (Ray LaMontagne’s Pariah Dogs, Tift Merritt, The Pretenders) on guitars and pedal steel.

    Caitlin just released a full band video of her cover of Neil Young’s, “Unknown Legend”, recorded at the Town Hall Theatre in Vermont during the album release tour. View below:

    The studio and touring band on Skyline features Billy Conway (Morphine) on drums, Jeffrey Foucault on guitars and backing vocals, Jeremy Moses Curtis (Booker T) on bass, Eric Heywood (Ray LaMontagne’s Pariah Dogs, Tift Merritt, The Pretenders) on pedal steel and electric guitars and Matt Lorenz (Rusty Belle, Chris Smither) on pump organ, banjo, piano and fiddle.

    Caitlin Canty Tour Dates:
    May 24 – Bear Valley, CA – Bear Valley Lodge
    May 27 – Sacramento, CA – Fair Oaks Backyard Concert
    May 28 – Winters, CA – Palms Playhouse #
    May 29 – Berkeley, CA – Freight & Salvage #
    May 30 – Los Angeles, CA – The Hotel Café
    May 31 – Los Angeles, CA – The Grand Ole Echo
    June 03 – Saranac Lake, NY – Bluseed
    June 04 – Galway, NY – The Cock ‘n Bull
    June 05 – Bellows Falls, VT – Roots on the River Festival
    June 13 – Fort Plain, NY – Mohawk Valley Presents
    June 19 – Telluride, CO – Telluride Bluegrass Festival
    June 20 – Telluride, CO – Telluride Bluegrass Festival
    June 21 – Telluride, CO – Telluride Bluegrass Festival
    June 23 – Chicago, IL – MMF Series
    June 24 – Minneapolis, MN – Icehouse
    June 25 – Fort Atkinson, WI – Café Carpe
    June 26 – Oconomowoc, WI – Three Brothers Farm
    June 27 – Lancaster, WI – Three Springs Barn
    July 08 – Middlebury, VT – Middlebury On The Green Festival
    July 09 – Cambridge, MA – Club Passim
    July 10 – Northampton, MA – The Iron Horse
    July 30 – Hillsdale, NY – Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
    Aug 01 – Hillsdale, NY – Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
    Aug 02 – Stockbridge, VT – Tweed River Music Festival
    Aug 05 – New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
    Aug 06 – Belmar, NJ – 5th Avenue Boardwalk – WBJB Songwriters on the Beach
    Aug 27 – Ketchum, ID – Town Square Tunes on East Avenue
    Sept 3 – Boise, ID – The Modern
    Sept 5 – Kuna, ID – Hermit Music Festival
    Sept 6 – Stanley, ID – Redfish Lake Lodge

    # - w/ Eilen Jewell

    Find out more at caitlincanty.com/.


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    Guys and girls, it’s quite simple: your mom deserves more than a just greeting card on mother’s day.

    Perhaps your mom is the reason you play music; or maybe she’s been pivotal in helping support your career as a musician.

    Maybe she’s a touring professional herself. Regardless, she brought you to this world and that’s enough to spoil her with some swag.

    We’ve made it easy for you and put together a list of 10 things for all budgets you should consider getting her in addition to that lovely dinner and heartfelt, handwritten sentiment you were already planning on getting her (ahem).

    Let’s do this.

    1. Martin D-35 Anniversary Sweater

    martinsweater.jpg

    If mom likes to stay classy, you should get her this charcoal heather grey long sleeve cardigan by Martin Guitars.

    A balance of bad-ass meets class, this statement piece sports the Martin D-35 logo in celebration of the guitar’s 50th anniversary.

    It makes for a great addition to any rocker mom or music enthusiast’s closet. Get it for $49.99.

    2. 108 Rock Star Guitars Silk Chiffon Scarf

    108rsgscarf.jpg
    Speaking of classy, this luxurious silk chiffon scarf by 108 Rock Star Guitars oozes with elegance with its rich purple color and intricate designs based on acclaimed photographer Lisa Johnson’s book, 108 Rock Star Guitars.

    If you want to give her the ultimate mother’s day gift bundle, you can impress her with the hardcover book and scarf gift set.

    Silk scarf sells for $270.00, and gift set for $378.00.

    3. Taylor 618e Grand Orchestra Acoustic-Electric Guitar

    taylor618e.png

    Taylor guitars are synonymous with cool, so if you want to your mom to up her cool factor, then surprise her with Taylor’s 618e Grand Orchestra acoustic electric guitar.

    The grand orchestra boasts a big complex voice, and is the guitar equivalent of a grand piano.

    So if your mom likes all things big, bold and beautiful-sounding, invest in this lovely guitar. Make it hers for $2,999.00.

    4. Fender Ladies Country Western Bling T-Shirt

    fendertee.png

    Let your mom wear it loud and proud with this Fender Country Western Bling T-shirt, festooned with sparkling rhinestones over the classic Fender logo.

    A good way for mom to show that she’s got good taste in music and in fashion. Sells for $34.99.

    5. Helstrom Instrument Stand

    banjo_stand.png

    A fine instrument should stand with poise on an elegant stand.

    This sturdy and regal-looking guitar stand by Helstrom nestles instruments in the most elegant way.

    The company makes guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, violin and viola, and music stands. You can get it in maple or cherry veneer, or for an added splash of color can get a custom stain.

    Cost is $249.00. Fancy.

    6. The Gift of Making Music from Hal Leonard

    halleonardlearnmandolin.jpg

    Maybe you’ve heard your mom say, “Oh, I always wanted to learn how to play banjo,” or, “It sure would be nice to know how to play mandolin.”

    You can make her dreams come true by providing her with the necessary tools to learn how to play an instrument.

    There is a wealth of beginner methods for all learning styles out there.

    Hal Leonard has an enormous selection of self-teaching series, starting out as low as $9.95, and ranging from lessons in ukulele to guitar, and banjo to violin.

    7. Guitar Aficionado's Guitar Wine Decanter

    guitardecanter 2.jpg

    Mom would truly appreciate this decanter, especially if she’s had a long day.

    Pamper her with this, and she’ll be pouring her favorite bottle of pinot noir, kicking her legs up and relaxing to her favorite music in no time.

    The stylish decanter comes with two options, one branded with the Guitar Aficionado magazine logo, and the other plain. Get it for $49.99.

    8. Flamenco Capo Decorated with Swarovski Stones

    swarovski.jpg

    Glam rock, anybody?

    If mom likes sparkles and shiny objects, you should get her a fancy flamenco capo carved from African black wood, decorated with 52 Swarovski stones.

    She can take her pick and choose from four different colors, red, aqua, red and white combo, or simply white. Sells for $79.00.

    9. Personalized Guitar Strap from Jodi Head Guitar Wear

    NameStraps_custom.jpg

    Nothing says I love you more than a personalized gift.

    Now you can let mom know you care by getting her a personalized guitar strap! Made by hand in New York City by Jodi Head Guitar Wear, all straps are hand-stitched and made to order.

    Head has made straps for artists like Sheryl Crow, Richie Sambora, and more. That alone will score you extra points! Cost is $125.00.

    10. Gibson Mandolin Set

    mandolintrio.jpg

    If you want to splurge and give your mom a gift set of a lifetime, then we have just the right gift idea for you.

    Prepare her to bask in the glory of these supremely ornate mandolins, carefully handcrafted by experts at Gibson in honor of the company’s 120th anniversary.

    The mandolin trio features AAA red spruce for the tops and highly figured maple back and sides, figured maple neck with a rounded-V profile and ebony fretboard with Tree of Life inlay made of mother-of-pearl, abalone, and silver wire.

    You can get your hands on all three of these limited-edition beauties for $60,000, or just one for about $20,000.00. Now, we did say we’d hit all budgets, didn’t we?


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    Orange County/Los Angeles-based Americana string band Moonsville Collective, known for its traditional mix of old time, folk, country, bluegrass, and rhythm and blues, has announced tour dates this summer (see full tour schedule below).

    The band will also be releasing a new album in 2015, with a street date to be announced soon. They recorded the forthcoming self-produced album at Ear Witness Studios in Whittier, CA, with Sam Knaak as engineer.

    Already, the band has been playing a number of the songs on the album live, with fan favorites “Blue Money Grove,” “End of the Line,” and “Rollin’ in Paradise” slated to be on the record.

    “We’ve gotten into a deeper, more personal songwriting side of things on the new album,” double bass player Seth Richardson says. “The lyrics reflect a much more personal approach than any of our past songs have had.” As with any collective, the line-up sometimes shifts, but Richardson says the core band—including himself, Ryan Welch, Corey Adams (vocals/tenor banjo/guitar), Drew Martin (percussion), Matthew McQueen (mandolin), "Dobro Dan" Richardson (slide/resonator/dobro), and Sean Kibler (fiddle)—is the lineup that worked on the forthcoming album in the studio.

    Watch Moonsville Collective perform live:

    MOONSVILLE COLLECTIVE TOUR SCHEDULE:

    6/6 – Pioneertown, CA / Pappy & Harriet’s

    6/7 – Phoenix, AZ / Lost Leaf (w/ The Blood Feud Family Singers, Daryl Scherrer)

    6/11 – Franklin, TN / Kimbros Pickin’ Parlor

    6/12 – Knoxville, TN / Blue Plate Special & Jig and Reel

    6/13 – Nashville, TN / Musician’s Corner

    6/14 – Nashville, TN / The Sutler

    Find out more at moonsvillecollective.com.


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    I had the pleasure of catching up with Greg Holden a couple of weeks ago.

    Wowza. This talented artist really knows how to write and deliver a tune.

    Originally hailing from the UK, Holden now resides in New York City. Perhaps best known for writing the massive hit “Home” — the debut single for American Idol winner Phillip Phillips that sold five million tracks in the U.S. and earned Holden an ASCAP Pop Award — Holden's "struggling artist to in the spotlight" story is something to cheer.

    Holden spent a few minutes in our studio singing and talking. Check out this live recording of his first single, “Hold On Tight,” from the newly released Chase the Sun. Chock full of solid, upward facing pop songs, tight production and extremely well-written messaging, this album is in my permanent playlist!

    Coming soon, our interview with Holden. Now watch and listen as Holden plays with touring guitarist Jay Foote, and find out more at gregholdenonline.com


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    650 shows, 43 states, one baby and two hearts between'em.

    Meet Carolina Story.

    Like the friends you grew up with, Ben and Emily's songs are not trying to impress you but rather bring you closer to what who you've always been.

    Take a walk with us on this sultry night. And find out more at Carolinastory.com

    Scot Sax knows his way around a solid pop song. The Philadelphia musician has been writing them for years, whether it was with his own bands Wanderlust and Feel, or as a purveyor of hits for singers like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. It was Sax, in fact, who co-wrote the country duo’s Grammy-winning smash “Like We Never Loved At All.” His catchy “I Am the Summertime,” penned while with the band Bachelor Number One, was featured in the blockbuster “American Pie.” And he’s netted countless TV credits, with song placements in shows like “Ghost Whisperer,” “NCIS,” “CSI: NY” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” He toured as a guitarist with Sharon Little throughout North America supporting Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand. His filmmaking debut, the documentary "Platinum Rush," is currently being entered into film festivals worldwide and will premiere in 2015. Sax lives in Nashville with his family.


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    A new Guitar World DVD, 30 Hot Country Licks, is available now at the Guitar World Online Store!

    Selected from Guitar World's Lick of the Day vault, this collection of tasty country-style guitar licks and lessons is presented by an elite group of seasoned guitar pickers and teachers, including Jerry Donahue, Peter Stroud, Lyle Brewer, Guthrie Govan, Keith Wyatt, Dale Turner, Jimmy Brown, Andy Aledort and others.

    Learn how to "chicken pick," play Western swing-style phrases, bend strings, make your guitar "weep" like a pedal steel, and more!

    With over 60 minutes of instruction you'll learn to play in the styles of:

    • Jerry Donahue
    • Albert Lee
    • Brent Mason
    • Danny Gatton
    • Merle Travis
    • James Burton

    ... and many others!

    It's available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $14.99!


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    Today, Marilyn Manson premiered the music video for "The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles," the latest single from his new album, The Pale Emperor.

    The clip, which features Michael K. Williams, most famous for his work in the HBO show The Wire, features a distinctly Manson-esque twist on Catholic imagery.

    You can check it out below. Let us know what you think of it in the comments or on Facebook!

    Additional Content

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    Guitar World wants to find the next great rock song!

    Enter your song(s) today for a chance to be featured in Guitar World magazine, on GuitarWorld.com and on Guitar World's social media channels, which reach millions of fans!

    This could be your big break ... so what are you waiting for? Enter today!

    To enter, and for more information, official rules and more, head here!


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    In this brand-new video below, Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci walks you through the features of his Signature Ernie Ball Music Man JP13 guitar.

    Intrigued? Watch the video and visit music-man.com.

    Still intrigued? Watch Petrucci's demo of the Ernie Ball Music Man JPBFR6 John Petrucci Ball Family Reserve guitar.

    Additional Content

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    We’re exploring more ways to increase your income as a musician though your merchandise sales.

    If you missed the previous columns in this series, check out Increasing Your Band's Merch Sales, Part 1 and Part 2.

    MY BIG-ASS MERCH TENT: (Gene Simmons would be proud.) In part 2 of this series, I mentioned that I will sometimes trade a live festival performance for a 10-by-10 booth space at that fest. The organizers will often go for this because they save money in performance fees.

    I do it because my merch sales go through the roof when I bring out the tent.

    On any given night, I make more money in merch than I do in performance fees. Even a small dive-bar gig can net a few hundred dollars in extra sales if done right. But when I bring my merch tent to a festival where thousands of people will come with money burning a hole in their pockets, I clean up.

    I think about the items I sell as much as I do the music I play. They are dependent on each other, and it is all a business. The fact is, your fans want to buy something—and it’s not just because they want to support you. They want to identify with you.

    MY MERCH: Because I make and play cigar box guitars, these instruments are at the core of my stand. In addition, I have CDs, shirts, pins and the usual band merch stuff. This year, I’ve increased my items by working with local artists to make handmade items that compliment my show. (This is a wonderful way to support the local art scene!)

    But I have to pay attention to the merch as much as the music. Yes, I obsess over the songwriting, shredding and show performance as much as other bands—but I also must devote time to consider the real income stream.

    My main breadwinner is my handmade cigar box guitars. However, this is a very specific item that's unique to my own act. You should take a look at your performance, your songs and your audience to come up with unique things to sell. I’ve seen everything from voodoo charms to hand-painted broken cymbals and drum heads.

    ARTISTIC INTEGRITY: Maybe the idea of running a mobile store makes you wince. If so, why not find a close friend who would want to run it for you? Give them a commission. Give them an opportunity to present merch ideas and find local artists to create them. You’ll be helping out a friend while supporting your life as a musician.

    VIDEO TOUR OF MY TENT: I filmed a video for you this past weekend as I performed at a fest. Yes, I performed for free, but I also made eight times the amount of money in merch than I would have if I just got a performance fee. (For the curious, many of the unsold guitars in the video are now on sale at http://shanespeal.com/shop. They’ll remain there until later this week when I take them offline and head to the Rocky Knob Folky Fest in Gardeners, Pennsylvania.

    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.


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    In the history of modern music, few bands have captured as many hearts and inspired entire generations like the Grateful Dead.

    Alvarez, which has had a long-standing friendship with band members Bob Weir and the late Jerry Garcia, has commemorated the group's 50th anniversary by releasing its new Grateful Dead series of guitars—a stunning, limited-edition line.

    As Guitar World Tech Editor Paul Riario says in the demo video below, these new guitars are fun to play and look great—but they'll also most likely wind up as collector's items.

    "They're perfect guitars to hang in your man cave," Riario adds. "They're also great for strumming along to 'Ripple' as you're sipping Ripple."

    Grateful Dead enthusiasts will appreciate the artwork on the tops of the guitars, which is screen-printed using a blend of traditional and modern printing techniques; all guitarists will appreciate the fine construction, playability and tone of these guitars.

    Each model features a solid A-grade Western red cedar top, screen printed under a flawless satin finish. Other appointments include custom mother-of-pearl inlays, a rosewood fingerboard and bi-level bridge and 12th fret lightning bolt inlay. Both models are constructed using Alvarez's FST2M hand-finished, forward-shifted, scalloped bracing system for optimal performance and response.

    No two Grateful Dead series guitars are exactly the same, due to the design and printing process that allows the individual grain pattern and color of each top to contribute to the artwork. This process also helps create a vintage look to each instrument, as if they were made in the Sixties.

    Since every piece of wood is unique, the artwork of every top is as well, making each one of these Grateful Dead commemorative guitars a true, one of a kind collector's piece.

    For more information on this series, visit gratefuldeadguitars.com and watch the videos below.

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    Last month around this time, we posted an insanely popular video of three young sisters from Monterrey, Mexico—better known as the Warning—whose cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" pretty much took over the internet for a few days.

    Daniela (guitar), Paulina (drums) and Alejandra (bass), who were 14, 12 and 9 when the video was made (2014), were working to raise funds in the hopes of attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

    By April 9, 2015, they had raised more than $9,500 of their $30,000 goal. They also were trying to get the attention of Ellen DeGeneres in hopes that they could appear on Ellen.

    Well, they got their wish; all of their wishes, pretty much. Late last month, the Warning appeared on Ellen and performed Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train." After their performance, Ellen presented the girls with gigantic checks totaling $30,000.

    Check it out below.

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    Even if you've always thought Extreme's 1990 mega-hit, "More Than Words," is a cheesy (yet strangely loveable) ballad, you might still get a kick out of this video.

    It's a brand-new (OK, 10 days old) shot-for-shot remake of the classic video by Jimmy Fallon and Jack Black—right down to the Mesa/Boogie amp in the opening shot.

    We've included the new and original versions of the video below. Be sure to play them at the same time! Or not.

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    Here’s a fun video. It’s Jamestown Revival kickin’ it up live in a decked out van at this year’s SXSW.

    The new song “Company Man" is a down and dirty slide-fest with a great background and some killer vocal harmonies.

    Catchy as hell, this straight ahead bluesy rocker is stuck in my brain!

    Texas-bred/Los Angeles-based self-described "back-porch folk-rock" duo Jamestown Revival formed in 2011 around the talents of childhood friends Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance. Growing up together in the small Texas town of Magnolia, Clay and Chance spent their formative years listening to artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Willie Nelson, the Everly Brothers, Guy Clark, and John Prine, each eventually carving out his own unique niche as a solo artist.

    The duo spent time in Austin before relocating to Los Angeles, where they began writing together in earnest. The duo's resulting debut long-player, a highly autobiographical collection of harmony-laden, Western-tinged indie folk songs in the vein of Shovels & Rope, the Avett Brothers, and the Lumineers, was recorded to tape in a log cabin in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, and released via Wild Bunch Records in 2014.

    JAM IN THE VAN is the world’s first solar powered mobile music studio and performance session platform, providing a one-of-a-kind music discovery experience, has featured over 500 artists since being founded by Dave Bell, Jake Cotler, and Louis Peek in Venice, California in 2011.


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    Here’s a live video straight on of “Come In From The Outside” from Rocket & The Ghost, a New York-based indie rock outfit.

    The song jumps right in with a rockabilly flair, velvety vocals and an intensity that keeps me on the edge of my seat. Some really great dynamic touches round out this excellent performance.

    The band’s lead singer and guitarist Kiyoshi Matsuyama shares, ”So psyched to have put this video together for Guitar World’s Acoustic Nation filmed live at Better Problems Records headquarters. What you see is what you get with this video. I ran over to the studio when I had a minute and we banged out 'Come In From The Outside' in a take or 2. Classic!”

    “Come In From the Outside” and its sister track “Albuquerque” reside on a two-song EP the band releases today, May 12, 2015 via Better Problems.

    Rocket & The Ghost was formed by singer and multi-instrumentalist Kiyoshi Matsuyama in the fall of 2012. A Boston native and Brooklyn transplant, Matsuyama broke free from his longtime allegiance to blues-driven rock n’roll to focus instead on writing his own songs.

    Right out of the gate Rocket & The Ghost started creating what has been described as “a wildly dynamic mix of thunderous beats and razor sharp hooks” (Independent Music Awards). The band euphorically pays homage to the rich and riotous tradition of American rock with songs like "Better Than Before" and "Come In From The Outside,” in which you can hear echoes of their forefathers, such as Bruce Springsteen, and their contemporaries, like Bon Iver. In addition, their debut Self-Titled EP, released in November 2013, garnered rave reviews from the likes USA Today, NYLON Guys, The Deli Magazine, TimeOut NY, and more.

    Find out more at RocketAndTheGhost.com


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