Articles on this Page
- 05/14/15--13:43: _Jethro Tull Announc...
- 05/14/15--13:57: _Kamchatka Premiere ...
- 05/14/15--14:16: _Stevie Ray Vaughan ...
- 05/14/15--14:25: _Breedlove Updates C...
- 05/14/15--16:23: _Watch Adam Sandler’...
- 05/14/15--18:40: _SongTown: Finding M...
- 05/15/15--03:36: _100 Greatest Guitar...
- 05/15/15--04:07: _B.B. King Discusses...
- 05/15/15--04:10: _B.B. King, Blues Gu...
- 05/15/15--06:12: _Runner of the Woods...
- 05/15/15--07:51: _New DVD: Learn to P...
- 05/15/15--09:03: _Troy Grady Breaks D...
- 05/15/15--09:15: _Guitar World Recomm...
- 05/15/15--09:29: _IK Multimedia Relea...
- 05/15/15--10:14: _Guitarist Joel Hoek...
- 05/15/15--11:06: _Monster Licks Unlea...
- 05/15/15--12:37: _Guitar Chalk Sessio...
- 05/18/15--11:45: _Carvin Guitars Intr...
- 05/18/15--11:53: _Carvin Amplifiers E...
- 05/18/15--13:38: _George Harrison's 1...
- 05/14/15--13:43: Jethro Tull Announce 'Minstrel in the Gallery' Deluxe Reissues
- 05/14/15--13:57: Kamchatka Premiere "Get Your Game On" Playthrough Video — Exclusive
- 05/14/15--14:25: Breedlove Updates Crossover Mandolin Series for 2015
- 05/14/15--16:23: Watch Adam Sandler’s Acoustic Tribute to David Letterman — Video
- 05/14/15--18:40: SongTown: Finding My Place In The Music Business
- 05/15/15--03:36: 100 Greatest Guitar Solos: No. 33 "The Thrill is Gone" (B.B. King)
- 05/15/15--04:07: B.B. King Discusses Scales and More — Video Lesson
- 05/15/15--04:10: B.B. King, Blues Guitar Legend, Dead at 89
- 05/15/15--07:51: New DVD: Learn to Play Blues Guitar Like the Master, Albert King
- 05/18/15--11:45: Carvin Guitars Introduces Kiesel Passive Lithium Series Pickups
- 05/18/15--11:53: Carvin Amplifiers Expands Custom Color Options
- 05/18/15--13:38: George Harrison's 1963 Maton Guitar Sells for $485,000 at Auction
In celebration of the iconic album's 40th anniversary, Jethro Tull have announced a series of deluxe reissues of Minstrel in the Gallery.
The set of reissues, which are being released via Parlophone, include the 2CD/2DVD La Grand Edition, which features a 5.1 surround mix by Steven Wilson, unseen studio footage, a full live concert from 1975 and an 80-page book that includes lyrics and rare photographs.
You can order the reissues right here and watch a recently unearthed video of the band performing "Minstrel in the Gallery" in Paris in 1975.
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents an exclusive playthrough video of "Get Your Game On" by Kamchatka.
The song is from the band's latest album, Long Road Made of Gold, which will be released May 22 via Despotz Records. You can pre-order the album right here.
The members of Sweden's Kamchatka—Per Wilberg (bass/vocals), Tobias Strandvik (drums) and Thomas "Juneor" Andersson (guitar/vocals)—grew up in the same area and played in local bands but didn't join forces until 2001. Their intriguing mix of blues, progressive rock and metal has been apparent since their 2005 debut album, Kamchatka: Volume 1.
"This is supposed to be an uplifting and 'fun to play song,," Andersson says. "We shot this little clip in Budapest, Hungary, while on tour. The guitar you see me play on is my own signature model for Ibanez, which is called Beard Bender, and I use it live and in the studio."
For more about Kamchatka, follow them on Facebook.
The video below, a clip of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dick Dale performing "Pipeline," one of the most famous surf-guitar instrumentals of all time, has got it all.
I mean, you've got the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan, a righty ... you've got the under-appreciated Dick Dale, a lefty ... you've got Dick Dale's bizarre hair ... you've got Annette Funicello ... you've got some lovely Fender Stratocasters ...
You've got Gilligan and the Skipper from Gilligan's Island ... there's Pee-wee Herman, not to mention several high-quality Eighties women in bikinis, a few Wayfarers, Frankie Avalon and more.
The clip is, of course, taken from a 1987 comedy called Back to the Beach. For more about this non-classic film, head here.
Former surf guitarist (check out Mister Neutron) Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World. Follow him on Twitter. Or not. Whatever.
Breedlove Guitars proudly announces the updated Crossover Series Mandolins, with playability designed specifically for guitarists looking to experience the sonic world of the mandolin.
For 2015, Breedlove updates two new finishes to the lineup, violin stain gloss and natural gloss, while still delivering exceptional tone and playability at a very accessible price point.
Aside from their all solid-wood construction, 2015 Breedlove Crossover Series mandolins feature a host of Breedlove Custom Shop-inspired elements that make them the perfect instrument for guitarists. Select tonewoods include a solid Sitka spruce top, solid maple back/sides/neck and a rosewood fretboard. The wider 1-3/16” nut width and radiused fretboard deliver familiarity and comfort for guitarists new to the instrument, allowing immediate exploration of the mandolin’s versatile sound.
The O body is Breedlove’s version of the revered and time-honored teardrop shape. This compact shape has slightly less internal spatial volume than the K and F bodies, yielding very clear, distinct notes. The Crossover Series offers both F-hole and oval-hole models, giving players tonal options to suit their style of playing.
The 2015 Breedlove Crossover Series mandolins are available now, with a very affordable MSRP of $655 and come with a gig bag. As with all Breedlove instruments, Crossover Series mandolins are set up in Bend, Oregon, by Breedlove’s expert quality control team.
Natural gloss finish.
Violin stain gloss finish.
Find out more at breedlovemusic.com.
Comedian-actor Adam Sandler dropped by the Light Show with David Letterman to perform an acoustic tribute for the soon-to-be-retiring host.
The tribute was equal parts hilarious and touching, as Sandler sang, “He’s leaving after thirty years/And you know he will be missed/If you like gap-tooth men in double-breasted suits/He’s number one on your top-ten list.”
Watch it below and have a laugh!
David Letterman’s final Late Show will air May 20, before Stephen Colbert takes over hosting duties.
When I first started to pursue a career in music, I set out on a path to try to become the best at everything.
I saw people making their own demos, so I went out and bought a ton of gear.
I saw people coming up with really cool guitar licks, so I started working at that.
Others were singing their own demos, so I tried to get better in the studio with my vocals. And the list went on and on.
After 2 years of writing on my own and making NO money, I did manage to get a publishing deal. My publisher made it clear that I was getting the deal based on potential, NOT based on having even one song that was commercially viable. It was sort of like a girl asking you to the prom and saying "I had hoped to find someone else, but you are the last guy available". But I digress.
Two years into the writing deal, I realized that my relentless quest to become the best at everything had failed. I was improving some in every area that I had been working on, but I was still not getting any activity with my songs. And, I was in extreme danger of losing my writing deal altogether.
One day, in the midst of a lot of frustration and fear, it hit me. I was trying to become one of the best in the world at a whole long list of things that I was not even average at. If you put me in ANY group of songwriters in Nashville at that time, I would have been in the lower half in regard to my guitar playing, my vocals or my ability to make my own demos.
In other words, I was wasting MOST of my time. I realized that day that I needed to figure out what I was best at and to try to become one of THE best at THAT.
When I did an honest self-evaluation, I realized that I was already better than average at lyric writing and at coming up with interesting ideas.
So, I began spending 90% of my time on those two things. I still dabbled in the other areas, but I spent the huge majority of my time coming up with idea and with learning to write better lyrics.
Guess what happened? I found a niche. I began to develop a reputation for being really good in those two areas. The phone began to ring. Songs started to be put on hold. My writing improved dramatically. I purposely set out to find co-writers that were better guitar players, singers and studio people than I was.
As a side benefit, I began to enjoy writing more than ever. I had found my place. I was doing what I was good at. And it was working.
I encourage everyone to take an honest look in the mirror. What are you really good at? In what area of writing are you in the upper half already? Spend your time there. If you can hone ONE skill and become world class at that - you've got a shot!
None of the writers I work with are world class in every area. They all have strengths and weaknesses. If you can identify yours and find people to help fill in where you are weak, you can find your place as well.
“I carried this song around in my head for seven or eight years,” B.B. King recalls about “The Thrill Is Gone,” which had been an r&b hit for its author, pianist Roy Hawkins, in 1950.
“It was a different kind of blues ballad. I’d been arranging it in my head and had even tried a couple of different versions that didn’t work.
"But when I walked in to record on this night at the Hit Factory in New York, all the ideas came together. I changed the tune around to fit my style, and [producer] Bill Szymczyk set up the sound nice and mellow.
"We got through around 3 a.m. I was thrilled, but Bill wasn’t, so I just went home. Two hours later, Bill called and woke me up and said, ‘I think “The Thrill Is Gone” is a smash hit, and it would be even more of a hit if I added on strings. What do you think?’ I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ ”
Strings in place, the song rose to Number 15 on the Billboard chart, becoming King’s first and only pop hit and earning him his first Grammy Award. “I felt especially proud because the song was true to me, and because Lucille is as much a part of it as me,” King says. “She starts off singing and stays with me all the way until she takes the final bow.
"People ask why I don’t sing and play at the same time, I’ve answered that I can’t, but the deeper answer is that Lucille is one voice and I’m another. I hear those voices as distinct. One voice is coming through my throat, while the other is coming through my fingers. When one is singing, the other wants to listen.”
OK—this is a bit of a diversion from our normal acoustic coverage—but we stumbled upon some seriously cool lesson videos with B.B. King that we had to share.
It’s not often that a blues master like King sits down to discuss his technique and playing, so grab your guitar and pull up a chair!
In this first clip, King discusses practicing scales, and the scales he uses for soloing.
For more on the legendary B.B. King, visit bbking.com.
B.B. King, the iconic American blues guitarist known for his velvety voice and sparse, staccato picking style, died Thursday night at age 89.
His daughter, Patty King, said he died in Las Vegas, where he announced two weeks ago that he was in home hospice care after suffering from dehydration.
King was diagnosed with diabetes in the Eighties. In October, he was forced to cancel eight tour dates for dehydration and exhaustion.
The Mississippi native was often considered the "king of the blues" for more than six decades, dipping into two centuries. His distinctive playing style and many albums and singles influenced several generations of guitarists, from Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Peter Green, to Joe Bonamassa, John Mayer and beyond. Pretty much anyone who has called himself a "blues guitarist" for the past 50 years owes something to King.
His guitar solo from his 1969 hit "The Thrill is Gone" was named one of Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time, coming in at Number 33.
As evidenced by "The Thrill is Gone" and countless other tracks, King was noted for being able to "say more with just three notes than anyone else could say with 100."
King was born Riley B. King on September 16, 1925. His life was the subject of the documentary B.B. King: The Life of Riley and the inspiration for the the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, which opened its doors in 2008.
Even into his late eighties, King refused to slow down, touring the world year-round as the de facto ambassador of the blues. He won 15 Grammy awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
"He is without a doubt the most important artist the blues has ever produced," Eric Clapton wrote in his 2008 biography, "and the most humble and genuine man you would ever wish to meet. In terms of scale or stature, I believe that if Robert Johnson was reincarnated, he is probably B.B. King."
King finally started showing signs of his age in 2014. One show in St. Louis prompted his reps to issue an apology for "a performance that did not match Mr. King's usual standard of excellence." He fell ill in October after a show at Chicago's House of Blues due to dehydration and exhaustion, prompting a rare cancellation of the remainder of his tour.
King was born on a cotton plantation near Itta Bena, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers Albert and Nora Ella King. When Riley was 4 years old, his mother left his father for another man, and the boy was raised by his maternal grandmother, Elnora Farr, in Kilmichael, Mississippi.
King sang in the gospel choir at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael and bought his first guitar for around $15.00 when he was 12; however, some sources imply he got his first guitar from bluesman Bukka White, who happened to be his mother's cousin. In 1943, King left Kilmichael to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John's Quartet of Inverness, Mississippi, performing at area churches and on WGRM in Greenwood, Mississippi.
In 1946, King followed Bukka White to Memphis, and White took him in for almost a year. In 1948, King was still living in Memphis when he landed a gig on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio show. That led to a job at a West Memphis juke joint where he played six nights a week, earning $12 a night. While in Memphis, he met Louis Jordan and T-Bone Walker, where he heard electric guitar for the first time. "T-Bone was, to me, that sound of being in heaven," he said.
King's 10-minute segment on Williamson's radio show, known as "King's Spot," grew in popularity on radio station WDIA, and King shortened his current nickname, "Beale Street Blues Boy," to "Blues Boy King," which evolved into B.B. King.
His ascent continued in 1949 with his first recordings, "Miss Martha King/Take a Swing with Me" and "How Do You Feel When Your Baby Packs Up and Goes/I've Got the Blues." His first hit record, "Three O'clock Blues," was released in 1951 and stayed on the top of the charts for four months.
During this era, King first named his beloved guitar Lucille. In the mid-Fifties, King was performing in Twist, Arkansas, when some fans became unruly and started a fire. King ran out, forgetting his guitar, and risked his life to go back and get it. He later found out that two men fighting over a woman named Lucille knocked over a kerosene heater that started the fire. He named the guitar Lucille, "to remind myself never to do anything that foolish."
King has used various models of Gibson guitars over the years and named them each Lucille. In the 1980s, Gibson officially dropped the model number ES-355 on the guitar King used and it became a custom-made signature model named Lucille, manufactured exclusively for the "King of the Blues."Epiphone also makes a Lucille model.
“[Lucille] starts off singing and stays with me all the way until she takes the final bow," King once said. "People ask why I don’t sing and play at the same time, I’ve answered that I can’t, but the deeper answer is that Lucille is one voice and I’m another. I hear those voices as distinct. One voice is coming through my throat, while the other is coming through my fingers. When one is singing, the other wants to listen.”
On July 10th, Nashville, Tennessee's Runner of the Woods will release their debut album Thirsty Valley. For front man Nick Beaudoing, its release means the light at the end of the tunnel.
2014 was spent in the shadow of a serious family illness. Beaudoing's mother was in a coma in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, and her condition was dire enough to require him to leave his wife and child behind for weeks at a time. Between visits to Texas, he would return to Nashville and stay busy in the studio, where he occupied his mind with the writing and recording of Thirsty Valley.
Due to his mother's illness, completing the album meant recording at night, after first working at his day job and then checking in with his family. This cycle was punctuated with periodic trips back to Dallas to care for his mother, whose condition only gradually began to improve. Just when it seemed that his schedule couldn’t get any more hectic, he received the welcome news that he and his wife would be expecting another baby.
“The past year was trying, but in a few short months the difficulties gave way to good things: my mother made a near-full recovery. I had another son. And now I have a record with a new band that I’m really proud of. It turns out I was right to be hopeful.”
The album was recorded at the Toy Box Studio in Nashville, TN and Russell Street Recording where he enlisted guitar slinger Josh Kaufman (Josh Ritter, Dawn Landes) to give the songs a spaced out, dreamy quality. He also recruited pedal steel guitarist Jonathan Gregg (the Doc Marshalls), whose ferocity on the instrument has become a key component Runner of the Woods’ sound.
Beaudoing previously led NYC’s Cajun honky-tonkers the Doc Marshalls. Over the course of three releases, the band evolved from Bakersfield-style shuffles and Acadian barnburners to jagged, glimmering folk. Thirsty Valley actually began as the band’s fourth record. This new musical direction, combined with his relocation to Nashville a few years earlier, lead Beaudoing away from the Doc Marshalls and start Runner of the Woods.
Runner of the Woods will support Thirsty Valley with spring and summer tours.
US Tour Dates:
July 10: Dallas, TX - The Double Wide
July 11: Austin, TX - The White Horse
July 12: Lafayette, LA - The Blue Moon
July 15: Nashville, TN - The Basement
July 16: Knoxville, TN - Barley's Taproom
July 19: Arlington, VA - The Galaxy Hut
July 21: Brooklyn, NY - Union Pool
Find out more at runnerofthewoodsmusic.com
Enjoy this sale at the Guitar World Online Store!
With his distinctive bends, rapid-fire phrasing and sweet vibrato, Albert King is considered one of the greatest guitarists in blues history.
He's influenced Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and countless others, and this amazing instructional DVD — How to Play Blues: Albert King— will teach you everything you need to know to unlock the secrets of his indelible style.
Learn his licks, patterns and tricks, and transform your blues playing overnight!
More than 45 minutes of instruction!
• Essential Licks & Phrases
• Uptempo & Slow Blues
• Fast 6/8th Grooves
• Wide String Bends & Vibrato
• Combining Positions
As any good GuitarWorld.com follower knows, we often share the very highly detailed and entertaining lesson videos of a guitarist named Troy Grady.
Here are two recent examples:
Well, in the video below, Grady tackles what he calls Steve Vai's "Intimidation Lick" from the guitar-duel scene in the 1986 feature Crossroads. As always, it's fascinating to watch Grady break down and explain the lick. Check out the video below, and you'll see what I mean.
As Grady points out in the comments below, you can find tablature for this lesson right here.
Guitar World Recommends shines the spotlight on new and noteworthy gear for guitarists. This week, Guitar World recommends Dunlop's Herco Nylon Flat guitar picks.
Herco Nylon Flat Picks, which are made from high-quality nylon, feature uniform thickness and are extremely durable and long lasting.
The unique pattern on the picks insures a slip-proof grip. Used by professionals worldwide.
Check out our exclusive intro-and-demo video below, which features Guitar World's tech editor, Paul Riario, and a very nice Fender Custom Shop Tele with TV Jones pickups!
For more about these picks, visit jimdunlop.com.
IK Multimedia has announced iRig Pads Editor for Mac and PC.
It’s the companion application for iRig Pads that allows musicians to completely edit and customize IK’s popular ultra-portable, universal MIDI groove controller to suit all music production styles and live performance workflows.
iRig Pads Editor is available now as a free download on the IK Multimedia web site, under the User Area, for all current iRig Pads owners.
iRig Pads Editor
iRig Pads is IK Multimedia’s 4x4 MIDI pad groove controller for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PC. Its ultra-compact footprint makes it an essential instrument for traveling beat makers and other musicians who want to unlock their creativity and make music while on the go.
iRig Pads comes pre-loaded with multiple setups that make it easy to control the popular groove making software programs of today. And now users can customize these setups more and even create totally new configurations in a flash to suit their own unique workflow. With total customization, iRig Pads Editor gives iRig Pads the power to be the ultimate mobile pad-based groove controller.
iRig Pads features seamless integration with IK Multimedia's SampleTank sound and groove workstation for iPhone, iPad, Mac & PC, and IK's GooveMaker and DJ Rig apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. iRig Pads is also MIDI class compliant which means that it can be used with virtually any MIDI-compatible app—like FL Studio Mobile, iMPC Pro or GarageBand—or computer software—like MPC Software, Ableton Live, Maschine and more.
iRig Pads Editor features an intuitive single-screen interface that lets musicians quickly reassign controls and features. Musicians can easily edit and save global configurations and individual scenes on their computer, and then transfer them to iRig Pads at will. All of iRig Pads’ surfaces and controllers can be assigned to send specific MIDI messages. iRig Pads Editor lets users assign MIDI messages to any knob, button, pad, slider or attached external controller (like an expression pedal or footswitch).
Users can edit the parameters of a control by simply clicking on it in the iRig Pads Editor interface. They can then assign the desired MIDI control message to the pad, knob, button, slider or external controller plugged into iRig Pads (such as an expression pedal or footswitch). iRig Pads Editor supports Note, Program Change, Control Change, MIDI System Real Time and MIDI Machine Control messages.
A part of what makes iRig Pads Editor so powerful are its easy-to-use modes:
Note mode lets users assign the MIDI channel and the actual note to transmit. iRig Pads Editor also provides a choice between Temporary and Toggle mode. These modes determine whether note data will sound only while the pad is held down or whether it will “latch” onto the Note On message of the first press and the Note Off message of the second press. Temporary mode is best used when playing single-note instruments, like a drum or bass.
Toggle mode is useful for triggering loops: Musicians just have to tap the pad once to start a chosen loop. iRig Pads will then continue to play until the pad is pressed again. Toggle mode can also be used to send 2 different messages from a single button or pad. This makes it easy for a musician to switch between two different presets: These presets can be instruments—like 2 different bass, lead or pad sounds—but they can also be 2 different loop sets or effects settings. On the fly beat making has never been easier.
iRig Pads Editor’s Program Change mode lets musicians set up iRig Pads’ knobs, buttons and pads (or slider) to change and transmit fixed or dynamic MIDI Program Change messages—it also lets users employ toggle mode to switch between 2 Program Change numbers with a single control.
Similarly, in Control Change mode, the user can assign handy MIDI Continuous Controller messages like volume, pan or expression. This mode can also be used to assign CC numbers to a parameter on a device that iRig Pads is controlling, such as a synthesizer, loop player, effects processor or even a full-featured virtual instrument like SampleTank 3. The values transmitted can be variable. For example, users can set it up so that when they tap a pad it sets the MIDI volume to maximum or pans the receiving instrument to a specific point in the stereo field.
iRig Pads Editor can also program iRig Pads to send MIDI System Real Time and MIDI Machine Control messages. This means users can conveniently start, stop, rewind or scan through a track without taking their fingers off iRig Pads.
Pricing and availability
iRig Pads Editor is available now as a complementary download for registered iRig Pads users. Mac and PC compatible versions are available. iRig Pads is available from music and electronics retailers worldwide for $/€149.99 (excluding taxes) as well as on the IK online store.
For more information, visit ikmultimedia.com.
Shortly after Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord died in 2012, Whitesnake vocalist—and former Deep Purple frontman—David Coverdale reached out to guitarist Ritchie Blackmore about the possibility of working on a project together in Lord’s honor.
Although both musicians were on different pages creatively at the time and couldn’t come to an agreement, the two former Deep Purple members were able to find closure, bury the hatchet on past grievances and move on.
Then Coverdale’s wife, Cindy, suggested that David pay tribute to Lord with Whitesnake. Now Whitesnake is about to unveil Purple, a new studio album that puts insanely good spins on Mark 3 and 4 Deep Purple classics and tastefully pays tribute to one of the pioneers of progressive rock.
Purple, which will be released May 19, also marks the debut of Whitesnake's new guitarist, Joel Hoekstra, who recently replaced Doug Aldrich. Hoekstra’s resume includes Night Ranger, Trans Siberian Orchestra and Broadway's Rock of Ages.
These days, Whitesnake includes Coverdale (lead vocals), Reb Beach (guitar), Hoekstra (guitar), Michael Devin (bass) and Tommy Aldridge (drums).
I recently spoke to Hoekstra about Purple and what it’s like being a part of Whitesnake.
What’s it been like to work with David Coverdale?
Working with David has been great! He’s rock royalty with all of these great stories about working with Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore. He really understands music and was very gracious in the studio in allowing us to play what we wanted to play. Now, we’re gearing up for the other aspect—playing these songs live. You talk about songs that lend themselves well to live performance? These songs were written in live performance. It’s going to be exciting.
How did the Purple project begin?
The project actually began before I was even in Whitesnake. Shortly after Jon Lord passed away in 2012, David reached out to Ritchie. He just wanted to touch base with Ritchie and thank him for helping to jump-start his career. The two of them then went into discussions about doing something together in memory of Jon, but [as I hear it] they were on different pages. It was David’s wife, Cindy who then suggested that David do it with Whitesnake. It was a great concept and a total honor for me to be a part of.
Let’s discuss a few tracks from Purple, starting with “Lady Double Dealer."
That was actually my audition for Whitesnake. I remember when I went out to Reno to meet the guys, that was the song they pulled up. They asked me what I would do for a solo. So I laid down a solo and then in the next section they started taking about a harmony solo and asked me to come up with something. So I wrote the solo that actually ended up making the record. Afterwards, they pretty much said, “Well, dude, come jam with us! Let’s do this!”
"Soldier of Fortune."
I actually got to track that one with David, which was super cool. We had set up an acoustic guitar with a mic. Then David came down and it was just he and I playing. It was a surreal moment.
You’ve been part of a two-guitar attack in many bands [Night Ranger, Rock of Ages]. What’s it like sharing those duties with someone like Reb Beach?
It’s been great. Reb has such great chops and we get along so well together. We’ve actually had a rapport for a long while. We first met in 2007 when he was working with Night Ranger while they were looking for players. I have great respect for him as a player and it feels very natural to be in a band with him.
What can you tell me about the new Whitesnake tour?
It going to be a one-of-a-kind tour, and we’re super psyched about it. Not only are we going to play all of the great Whitesnake hits but also a lot of the Purple album, which is ideal for live performance. We’ll have some great jams on these classic songs. I can’t wait to get out there and put the rock on everyone! [laughs].
Tell me a little about your gear set-up for Whitesnake.
I decided to ride the wave of enthusiasm by talking to my favorite gear companies and getting some customized stuff for the tour. I’ve been a Les Paul guy for quite a while, so I reached out to Gibson, and Steve Christmas from the Custom Shop was cool enough to take on the project of making two custom Les Pauls for the tour—a black one and a white one. I had the idea of having the Whitesnake medallions set in the body behind the tailpiece, and they came up with the snake stencil graphic on top of the guitars.
Because I’m also a big fan of Fender Strats, and they’re a necessity for the Purple tour, I wanted to do the same thing with them. So I reached out to Mike Tempesta, who has helped me out for years. He really hit it out of the park too with two great U.S. Strats (black and white) with medallions set behind the bridge.
Finally, I spoke to my friends at Atomic Guitars Works. They had made a guitar for each of my gigs—Rock of Ages, TSO and the American flag-style Les Paul I used in Night Ranger. This time, they made a purple crystal Les Paul-style guitar that’s just over-the-top cool. I had Doug Aldrich pickups put in there from Suhr as a nod to my predecessor.
Of course, for acoustics, I’ll be taking out Taylors. They always look and play great. I’ll be using a combination for Friedman BE100 heads and my standby EVH III heads that I’ve been using for years.
You're also working on another project. What can you tell me about that?
It’s been a bit of a challenge with everyone’s schedules, but it’s going to be coming out in October and the project is called Joel Hoekstra's 13. It'll have two great lead singers in Russell Allen and Jeff Scott Soto. I also have Tony Franklin on bass, Vinny Appice on drums and Derek Sherinian as a special guest on keyboards. Growing up in the hard rock scene, I liked everything from Dio at its heaviest to Foreigner at its lightest, and that’s the style I wrote for on this project.
What excites you the most about what’s been happening these last few months?
It’s all been great. There are a lot of great players out there and for me to be fortunate enough to play with one of my heroes is incredible. Whether it’s playing live or working in the studio, just being out there doing what I love is what excites me. I consider myself to be one lucky guy!
For more about Whitesnake, visit whitesnake.com.
James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.
In this Monster Lick, I'm using the E "blues scale." This also is known as the flat five pentatonic scale. The notes in this scale are E, G, A, Bb, B and D.
This lick ventures way outside the traditional "blues" use of this scale.
It always amazes me how the same six notes, when played with a new spin, can have such a drastic impact. Obviously, speed is a factor here, but for the most part it's all about accentuation or a focus on the flat five note, the Bb.
You'll notice throughout the lick that I'm utilizing the dissonance of the flat five to create the intensity of the tonality. This enables me to use this traditional blues scale in a more ferocious environment—sonically and musically.
Because my influences are the greats of blues-rock guitar—Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, etc.—I wanted to be able to stick to the same tonality but adapt it to the heavier, more aggressive style of music I tend to lean toward; certainly in the rock genre, anyway. Don’t get me wrong; there's nothing I love more than blasting away over a slow blues, but my natural style is on the heavier side of rock.
The lick features legato, wide intervals and tapping. Notice the use of the flat five note; you'll see how I use this note almost as a pivot point in the first half of the lick to create the intensity, at least tonally.
From there I move into the tapping section. You'll notice I tap three consecutive notes with my second and third fingers on my right hand. I always keep grip of the pick with my thumb and index finger to help with the transitions in and out of the tapping.
The next section is by far the trickiest. It requires hard hammering with the left hand to sound the notes correctly while transitioning up and down the neck. It looks cool and sounds even cooler, so it's well worth the effort!
Please reference the video and transcript below and work through each section at your own pace. Most of all, have fun!
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.
FROM THE AUTHOR: If you disagree, keep it kosher. We’re just talking guitars.
If you’re like me, you would love to spend more time playing guitar.
Or at least you’d like to figure out how to be more productive with the time you already spend. Because even if you get to play sporadically, it doesn’t always feel like you’re accomplishing anything.
It’s possible that you’re not.
For most, the tendency when picking up the guitar is to “fiddle” or jam whatever song is in our heads. We seldom tackle the instrument with intentionality and aggression, unless we have a lot of time to play.
The problem is, we usually don’t have more than 15 or 20 minutes.
So I’ll show you how to make the most of that time—and to improve—even if you don’t have hours to spare.
We’ll cover four specific practice methods you can use to improve your guitar playing. And none of them take much time.
1. Play Through a Loose-Fitting Pentatonic Scale
First up is what I’m calling the “loose-fitting pentatonic scale.” That means we’re looking to practice the general pentatonic shape or sound, which should be familiar to you. Here’s the structure:
This shape is what many blues and rock lead patterns are derived from. Learn it, then practice your own variations for five or ten minutes at a time.
Perhaps something like this:
Change keys, use different techniques or just work on your speed. The better you are at improvising and navigating this shape, the better your foundational lead play will be.
And the details don’t matter as much. As long as you’re practicing the shape, you’re doing something worthwhile and substantive.
2. Target an Uncomfortable Chord Shape
Find a chord shape that doesn’t come naturally to you. By that I mean that you can’t just pop to it without thinking; it’s difficult and awkward. For me, that shape has always been anything where my pinky plays the deep root note.
The plan is to simply work on it, and that can look however you want. Practice going in and out of that chord, moving the shape or work on picking through it in an arpeggiated pattern.
It’ll be tough, because chances are you haven’t bothered much with a shape that gives you a lot of trouble.
But if you work on it intentionally, even for a few minutes, it’ll be easier the next time around. You’ll have improved dexterity, finger strength and—over time—added another layer to your rhythm playing.
3. Actually Track a Solo
Tracking a solo is tedious, though not as time consuming as you might think. Pick a solo that has some complexity to it—something that will challenge you—that you wouldn’t expect to come easy.
Then, look up the tabs (I recommend printing them out) and take a small portion of the solo every day.
Let’s say the solo lasts for 16 measures.
Take two measures per day. In just over a week, you’ll know the solo and you’ll have played a lot of lead patterns that you’re not used to.
Our hands and fingers fall into what I’ll call “lead ruts” where we gravitate to certain patterns and movements and get into the habit of playing them most of the time.
Tracking solos help us break out of those ruts by playing patterns and runs that we’re not used to.
It’s a win-win.
4. Memorize the Sound of a Common Chord Progression Interval
If you want to be a better ear player and perhaps free yourself from looking at chord sheets, learning to recognize (by ear) common chord progression intervals is a huge step in the right direction.
First, consider that most of the chord progressions we use in the west are the same.
Take G, C and D for example. You use it all the time, and if you can remember how it sounds then you’ll establish auditory familiarity that will help you anticipate chord changes and free you from always looking at sheet music.
So how do you do it?
Note that what you’re actually memorizing is a series of intervals between the roots of the chords. And the location of those intervals can change; for example:
This interval and the following interval are exactly the same, because they share the same root notes.
However, keep in mind we’re talking about intervals which means the root intervals of a chord progression can move. In that case, you’ll have new chords, but the intervals between them will be the same.
Let’s say we move the previous shape up one whole step (two frets). We’d have the following tab:
At this point, our chord progression has changed to A, D and E, yet our interval is still the same.
So it’s helpful to train our minds, not just to a specific chord progressions, but to the intervals that separate those progressions.
This article on recurring patterns in chord progressions delves a little deeper into this topic.
If you take one progression at a time and familiarize yourself with the sounds of the root notes, it won’t take more than 10-15 minutes a day to make substantial progress in this area. Here are the steps you’ll want to take:
1. Choose a common chord progression to start working with.
2. Play through the most conventional form you know (usually open chords) and pay close attention to what it sounds like, while familiarizing yourself with the chord changes.
3. Then play through just the root notes and remember the intervals between each one.
4. Now, move the progression to a new set of roots and continue to focus on the changes between each interval.
5. Repeat this process for several days, until you can easily recognize the progressions and intervals.
Flickr Commons Image Courtesy of Kmeron
Kiesel Guitars and the Carvin Guitars Custom Shop is now offering their new Kiesel Passive Lithium Series humbuckers as replacement parts.
These are the same pickups that have been used in some of the company's new models, such as the DC800 extended-range eight-string guitar and Vader headless six-, seven- and eight-string guitars. Bridge and neck models are available, in six-, seven- and eight-string configurations.
For a limited time you can upgrade your Custom Shop Kiesel or Carvin guitar to these pickups for no charge. Buy them online at carvinguitars.com or call 858-GUITARS. Pickup prices range from $89 to $109.
Lithium Series humbucker pickups were made for the demanding modern music, where clarity, focus and articulation is needed. From standard to drop tuning, this series offers great versatility and has an excellent balance between power and clarity. Patented six-point, star-headed (also known as Torx) adjustable pole pieces give the proper amount of mass to add the needed focus and get amazing attack. The expensive Alnico V magnets produce a rich, powerful sound with warmth that is not available from less-expensive ceramic magnets.
These pickups feature one coil that's loaded with adjustable pole pieces and the other coil loaded with non-adjustable slugs. Lithium Series pickups feature industry-standard sizing so these are direct replacements for brands such as Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, Bare Knuckle and Lundgren.
The standard color is black, but white coils, cream coils and zebra coils (white/black or cream/black) are available. The six-string versions also can be ordered with black or cream mounting bezels.
The Kiesel pickups were designed in-house and are made in the company's Southern California Custom Shop. For a limited time, Carvin is offering these new pickups as a free upgrade in any humbucker-equipped Custom Shop guitar.
Carvin Amplifiers has long offered customers the ability to order bass and guitar amps covered in a handful of different colored vinyl.
Along with standard black and tweed vinyl covering, Carvin Amplifiers expanded to offer customers colors such as red, white, blue and patterns such as Python Snakeskin.
This month sees the addition of even more colors and patterns, bringing the total offering to 18 different colors to choose from. Among the colors now available are two digital camouflage colors, Brown Alligator scale and Blue Python Snakeskin to list a few.
A very classic-looking Seafoam Green and Vintage Bordeaux provide a retro look to any amp or speaker cabinet. Custom-colored amps are delivered in two weeks or less. Order them direct from CarvinAmplifiers.com.
A Maton Mastersound MS-500 that George Harrison played during the Beatles' live performances in the summer of 1963 sold for $485,000 at Julien’s Auctions on Friday in New York City.
Harrison never actually owned the Maton, but he borrowed it from a music store in Manchester, England, as a temporary replacement for his Gretsch Country Gentleman, which was being repaired.
Though the Gretsch, a trademark of Harrison's early days with the Beatles, was quickly repaired and returned to him, Harrison asked to borrow the Maton for a few more weeks. Harrison then used the guitar for the Beatles' performances throughout the U.K. in July and August 1963.
You can see a brief video that summarizes the guitar's history below.