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- 06/02/15--11:28: Bad Moon Rising: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1985
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- 06/03/15--10:17: Review: Eventide H9 Max Harmonizer/Effect Processor — Video
- 06/03/15--10:29: PRS Guitars Introduces Revamped McCarty Model — Video
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- 06/03/15--11:06: The Top 10 Talk Box Moments in Rock
- 06/03/15--13:59: How Making Mistakes Makes You a Better Guitar Player
- 06/04/15--11:45: Guitar Strength: How to Play the "Other" Hendrix Chord
The Grateful Dead played 2,318 live shows, more than any other band in the history of music.
For 30 years, the band's live performances were constantly morphing and evolving, making every show a unique experience.
Now, in the midst of their 50th anniversary, the Grateful Dead announce their most ambitious release ever: 30 Trips Around the Sun.
Available as an 80-disc boxed set and a custom lightning-bolt USB drive, the collection includes 30 unreleased live shows, one for each year the band was together from 1966 to 1995, along with one track from their earliest recording sessions in 1965.
Packed with more than 73 hours of music, the box set and USB drive will be individually numbered limited editions and are available now for pre-order at dead.net for $699.98. They are set to be released September 18.
The 80-disc box set version comes in an ornate box that is individually numbered and limited to 6,500 copies, a nod to the band's formation in 1965. Along with the CDs, it also includes a gold-colored 7-inch vinyl single that bookends the band's career. The A-side is "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)" from the band's earliest recording session in 1965 with the B-side of the last song the band ever performed together live, "Box of Rain," recorded during their final encore at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 9, 1995.
"When we began discussing audio projects to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead in 2012, we knew we wanted to do something completely unprecedented," says band archivist and producer David Lemieux. "We could think of nothing more exciting or ambitious than a career-spanning overview of the band's live legacy focused on what best tells the story: complete concerts.
"Our first criterion was the very best live music to represent any given year in the band's history. We wanted to make sure that there were not only the tent-pole shows that fans have been demanding for decades but also ones that are slightly more under the radar, but equally excellent. For those who listen to the entire box straight through, chronologically, the narrative of the Grateful Dead's live legacy will be seen as second to none in the pantheon of music history."
The first four shows included in 30 Trips have been announced today and include a 1967 show at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and a 1987 show at New York's Madison Square Garden. The remaining shows will be revealed in the coming weeks on dead.net. All 30 of the unreleased shows in 30 Trips will not be available for individual purchase on CD at any time in the future.
The box also comes with a 288-page book that features an extensive, career-spanning essay written by Nick Meriwether, who oversees the Dead archives at the University of California, Santa Cruz, along with special remembrances of the band submitted by fans. Also included is a scroll that offers a visual representation of how the band's live repertoire has evolved through the years.
The other limited edition version of 30 Trips Around the Sun comes on a USB drive shaped like a gold lightning bolt with the Grateful Dead 50th anniversary logo engraved on the side. The drive includes all of the music from the collection in FLAC (96/24) and MP3 formats and is an individually numbered limited edition of 1,000 copies.
September 18 also will see the release of a four-CD version of the collection titled 30 Trips Around the Sun: The Definitive Live Story 1965-1995. This set serves as an introductory sampler to the Dead's live canon, including 30 unreleased performances—one from each concert in the boxed set—along with the 1965 recording of "Caution." Also featured is an essay by Dead aficionado Jesse Jarnow dissecting every track in the collection, which will be available at all physical retail outlets for a list price of $44.98. A digital version will also be available.
30 TRIPS AROUND THE SUN
First Four Shows Announced
11/10/67 Shrine Auditorium | Los Angeles, CA
10/27/79 Cape Cod Coliseum | South Yarmouth, MA
9/18/87 Madison Square Garden | New York City, NY
10/1/94 Boston Garden | Boston, MA
Gold 7-inch vinyl single
A-Side: "Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks)," from first recording session in 1965
B-Side: "Box Of Rain," final song from the band's final show, Soldier Field, Chicago, 7/9/1995
30 TRIPS AROUND THE SUN: THE DEFINITIVE LIVE STORY 1965-1995
1. "Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)" - 1965
2. "Cream Puff War" - 1966
3. "Viola Lee Blues" - 1967
4. "Dark Star" - 1968
5. "Doin' That Rag" - 1969
6. "Dancing In The Street" - 1970
7. "The Rub" - 1971
8. "Tomorrow Is Forever" - 1972
9. "Here Comes Sunshine" - 1973
1. "Uncle John's Band" - 1974
2. "Franklin's Tower" - 1975
3. "Scarlet Begonias" - 1976
4. "Estimated Prophet" - 1977
5. "Samson and Delilah" - 1978
6. "Lost Sailor>Saint Of Circumstance" - 1979
7. "Deep Elem Blues" - 1980
1. "Shakedown Street" - 1981
2. "Bird Song" - 1982
3. "My Brother Esau" - 1983
4. "Feel Like A Stranger" - 1984
5. "Let It Grow" - 1985
6. "Comes A Time" - 1986
7. "Morning Dew" - 1987
8. "Not Fade Away" - 1988
1. "Blow Away" - 1989
2. "Ramble On Rose" - 1990
3. "High Time" - 1991
4. "Althea" - 1992
5. "Broken Arrow" - 1993
6. "So Many Roads" - 1994
7. "Visions Of Johanna" - 1995
Nineteen hundred and eighty-five was an endlessly intriguing year for music.
Hair/glam metal was on the cusp of world domination, with Mötley Crüe exploring the sounds that would make them, and the genre they stood on top of, the biggest in the world in a few years time.
As for speed and thrash metal, three of the genre's "Big Four" (Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax), released new LPs. Though these groups also hadn't fully formed their sonic identity yet, there was definitely a sense that these groups were also gaining quite a bit of momentum.
Rock's underground was an extraordinarily diverse and exciting place.
The Smiths took over the U.K. with their melancholy, angst-driven jangle-pop. The Meat Puppets fused hardcore punk with healthy doses of laid-back, outlaw country. Sonic Youth turned guitar rock on its head with dark songs that embraced noise, unusual song structures and bizarre guitar tunings. The Replacements embraced the muscle and innocent romanticism of classic rock, while churning out their own thrilling, punk-indebted tales of youth.
Singer/songwriters of all kinds dotted the musical landscape. Tom Petty released a strange but endearing LP that was half Eurythmics-style pop and half a gritty homage to his Southern roots. The gravelly voice of Tom Waits sang of the downtrodden and the out-of-luck. Nick Cave led the Bad Seeds through a gothic tour of American musical history, providing a darker, more primitive spin on the blues.
Nineteen hundred and eighty-five was one of music's stranger years, but it had plenty worth remembering. Enjoy the photo gallery below. Remember you can click on each photo to take a closer look.
NOTE: This list is presented purely in alphabetical order, not an order of worst to best, or best to worst. So, there is no order of preference. Enjoy!
Nobody expected Whitesnake to release an album of songs originally recorded by Deep Purple—not even David Coverdale, who fronted Purple between 1973 and ’76.
“It was certainly not part of my agenda, but I really couldn’t be happier,” Coverdale says of the twists of fate that prompted him to revisit the Purple catalog. “It looked just like a cosmic plan, like God’s chessboard moving the pieces into place.”
That plan began with Deep Purple keyboard great Jon Lord’s 2012 cancer diagnosis.
“The whole seed of this was Jon’s representative asking me if, on Jon’s recovery, would I be prepared to do some kind of Purple reunion. I was immediately onboard.”
But it was not to be; Lord passed away later that year. Then Coverdale lost several other people he was close to, and in a search for meaning amid tragedy he felt an urge to reconnect with his past. “I gathered a bunch of imaginary olive branches and started reaching out to people,” he says.
That group included Deep Purple guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore, who Coverdale hadn’t spoken to in decades.
“The last time Ritchie and I were actually in the same room together we had a physical confrontation which was unpleasant for both of us,” he explains. “From then on it was an unsavory, competitive energy between his group Rainbow and my Whitesnake, until Whitesnake became so fucking successful there was no competition.” But the former bandmates met to talk out their differences and find their peace. “I wanted to express the sorrow of the loss of Jon and to personally offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude for taking an unknown singer and placing me on a voyage that still continues today. It doesn’t get any better than the university of Deep Purple.”
These experiences circling around the Deep Purple legacy led to what became The Purple Album. With longtime guitarist Doug Aldrich leaving Whitesnake to pursue other endeavors, 13-year Whitesnake veteran Reb Beach (also of Winger) stepped up to take on a musical director role in addition to lead and rhythm guitars while former Night Ranger axman Joel Hoekstra was brought into the band to share guitar duties.
The result is the most overtly “guitar duo” approach on a Whitesnake album since the first half of the Eighties, and Beach couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to pay tribute to elements of Ritchie Blackmore’s approach within the Whitesnake framework.
“Ritchie Blackmore is one of the best guitar players in the world and he had a sound that was totally his own,” says Beach. “Winger opened for Deep Purple in 1993 and it was rough for me. People were shouting out ‘You suck! Blackmore rules!’ and holding up signs. The guy can play! He’s got this unique style; he pulls out these unique notes you aren’t expecting and he’s fast as hell. I had a lot to live up to.”
In honor of Blackmore’s tone Beach changed up his gear for this album, using a custom Suhr Strat-style guitar with single coil pickups alongside his usual Koa-bodied, EMG-loaded main instrument.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever recorded with a single-coil guitar,” he says. “It’s got this real bite about it. I used that on almost every song. We did a couple of passes of me and a couple of passes of Joel; Les Paul and Strat, like the classic Whitesnake.” Beach’s amp of choice is a Custom Audio Electronics OD100. “Nothing beats it! It’s smooth, it’s Marshally, it’s crunchy as hell and the clean sound kills everything.”
The two guitarists immediately developed a language together. “Joel is like a machine,” says Beach. “He did a big long solo—I think it was ‘Burn’—first take all the way through, and when the smoke had cleared I said, ‘You’ve got it!’ Then he said ‘Let me double it.’ So he doubled it perfectly. Then he said ‘Nah, I’m not sure about that one, let me try another solo.’ So he tried another solo that was just as good as the first one and he did it first take. Then he goes ‘Let me double it.’ So he doubles it absolutely perfectly. It was so perfect it was flanging! Freaked me out! He can just blow out a perfect solo for however long he wants and then double it. Forget it. That’s just insane.”
Whitesnake now begin rehearsals for an extensive world tour that will see more Deep Purple material in the set, calling back to the day in 1972 when Coverdale first stepped on a stage to play these songs. “It’s as if my life has come full circle,” the singer concludes. “There’s a feeling of completion.”
Photo: Ari Michelson
Richard Thompson has made a career of shaking things up with his voice and his guitar.
It started with British folk rockers Fairport Convention.
Around the late Sixties, a teenaged Thompson began searching the local British music scene for a way to express himself and make a difference musically. An opportunity soon arose when he joined Fairport Convention, a new band that found interest in folk and rock sounds. As it turns out, that band did more than provide him an ample outlet to play music; they were one of the first bands to combine traditional British folk with rock and roll into a satisfying new style.
Thompson later transitioned to a solo career, finding much acclaim as a singer-songwriter and guitarist that could use his talents to craft insightful and expressive songs full of his humanity and wit. He could stand with some of the most talented guitarists but had the vocal tenacity to stand out from the crowd. Moreover, he had the drive to find new ways to continually express and reinvent himself.
Fast forward to 2015. Thompson has appeared on more than 40 albums and received countless honors to his name. He could have easily gone into his new album with the mindset of what worked on past albums and still find success from his loyal fanbase.
But he isn't one to take it easy. He wanted something or someone to challenge him. That person turned out to by Jeff Tweedy, lead singer of Chicago rockers Wilco. The pair met at Wilco's rehearsal space, The Loft, for nine days and recorded a dozen songs. The resulting album, titled Still, comes out June 23 via Fantasy Records.
The album features the core trio of Thompson, bassist Taras Prodaniuk, and drummer Michael Jerome, as well as contributions from Siobhan Kennedy and members of Jeff's band Tweedy (guitarist Jim Elkington and harmony vocalists Liam Cunningham and his sister Sima).
Prior to the album's release, Guitar World caught up with Thompson to discuss the new album that made him feel "like a kid in a candy store."
GUITAR WORLD: You're doing a combination of electric and solo shows on this tour. Why do you like mixing it up?
I have all different kinds of sounds. I have acoustic sounds and I have electric sounds and guitar playing sounds and solo sounds. And sometimes they don't overlap. So I have people that only come to acoustic shows and some that only come to electric shows. So I'm just trying to please everyone, I suppose. Perhaps it's misguided but that's my intention.
What you do think each presents you as a songwriter and guitarist?
I write different kinds of songs for acoustic guitar and different kinds of songs for electric guitar. And I see myself really as a songwriter and an accompanist rather than a guitar player. So I like to bring everything into the songwriting arena. If I play a guitar solo I like to extend the narrative of a song through the guitar solo. I see it as one package really. I think some people perceive it as separate things.
The final song on your new album is called "Guitar Heroes," which is almost eight minutes long. Can you talk about what it like writing that one and honoring your profession and your guitar heroes?
I suppose it's an easy song to write. I was really just trying to remember back to being a kid and what that was like and who I was listening to. If I mentioned all the guitar players I was influenced by that would be a very long song. So I was being economical. It's a fun thing to do. It's fun to do little parodies or things in the style of guitar players. It's not an original idea. In the 1950s there was a great country guitar player called [Kenneth] "Thumbs" Carllile. He was a session player and he did a song called "Springfield Guitar Social," which was a tribute to a lot of the country guitar players. It's just a three-minute thing. But it was really fun and I suppose I was trying to do something like that.
There are quite a few sonic twists in the song and it covers quite a bit of ground.
Yeah there are. There's a lot of tempo shifts. It was about finding song extracts that would fit into that one tempo. We put it together in one piece rather than sessions. We recorded it straight through and we selected overdubbing with some of the guitar parts to get the sound of different guitar players.
You mentioned in one interview that if you could put more guitarists on it you would.
Yeah. As I was saying, there are limits to how long a piece of music can be. So it runs to about eight minutes which is enough for most people. The other thing you want to do in a song like that is change it up live. If we want to we can change up the quotes and guitar players and different songs. So it's a flexible piece I think.
What kinds of guitars and amps did you use for recording Still?
Well, because we were recording in Wilco's studio, the studio is a corner of a large loft space. And the loft space stores all their equipment. They have a lot of guitars and millions of amps and bass, drums and keyboards. I mean, tons and tons of stuff. So it was a bit like being like a kid in a candy store. There were so many things to choose from.
I used predominantly a Fender Princeton, like a vintage Princeton, and a Morgan amp. I'm not very familiar with it but it sounded really good, kind of a Vox sounding amp. And I used a few other things but I can't remember. A whole bunch of different guitars. I used a Gibson ES-175 for some things. And endless pedals that were lying around in the studio. So I can't give you an absolute breakdown of everything I used but it was a lot of different stuff that I've forgotten what I used on various tracks. I also used my own Fender Strats and acoustic guitars.
Was that more than you usually use on albums?
I wouldn't say more than usual but certainly a lot. Predominantly the usual stuff I use like Fender Strats and acoustic guitars through various amps.
With guitar playing you have a great grasp of when to show restraint and when to let loose. Can you talk about mastering that art and how do you think it shows up on Still?
Well I hope I do. I think that what would be called taste or musical flexibility or something. I think when you're playing in song format and accompanying the voice you have to fit in as a guitar player so you're not showboating. You're trying to play something that's sympathetic to the song, whatever that may be. It may be distorted or punk, it depends what the song is.
As a player it's good to have a range. It's good to go from a whisper to a scream to being able to play something subtle and melodic. To play in distinct phrases and to have balance in your playing. And then to play something with more attitude when it's needed, when you need to play something that's more aggressive or more committed.
With guitar playing, are you finding yourself doing more of some kind of habit lately, like how you play?
I just practice different things and practice the basics and then when it comes to playing you try to use your imagination. And that can take you anywhere.
From what I understand your connection with Wilco and Jeff Tweedy kind of started with the AmericanaramA festival shows from a few years ago.
I've probably known Wilco for about 20 years. We've done the occasional show together. But being on the AmericanaramA tour it gave us more chances to spend time together and to jam together. So that was probably the seed of having Jeff produce an album for us.
You and Jeff come from slightly different musical paths. What led you to want him to produce the record?
We definitely come from different worlds but I think we're both roots-based musicians from slightly different generations. And I think having someone who isn't absolutely from your world and your mindset is a good thing. That's a useful person to bounce ideas off because they'll have a slightly different perspective. You don't want someone who's the same as you and thinks the same way as you.
From what I've read it sounds like you wanted to shake things up and keep things interesting for yourself.
I've made a lot of records over the years, probably 40-plus records. And I sort of have a way of doing it when I'm my own producer. And sometimes I think you need to change that up and you need to be a bit more challenged and bring other point of views into the project. So it's good to call upon other musicians to give you a different perspective and to give a record a different sound, really, and a different kind of musical landscape.
You recorded the album at Wilco's rehearsal loft in Chicago about nine days. What was that like? How do you think the environment impacted the songs?
We actually had a very small window so that was all the time we had available. It's a loose kind of place to record. It's not like a real studio with a control booth and studio separate and separate vocal both and those things.
It was all in one room. It's a more informal environment. There's no red light that goes on and tells you're recording. So it's just casual. That's a nice way of doing it. You don't feel tense about it, you can kind of relax and start playing with your friends when you're recording. So it's a nice and easy way of recording.
With the album you had a combination of musicians from Jeff's band and your band. Why did you decide to go in that direction?
I wanted to use my own rhythm section [drummer Michael Jerome and bass player Taras Prodaniuk], just because I feel we've developed a certain understanding and that it would be difficult for someone else to come in and play in the same way. So that's the basic trio. It's nice when you're recording with another guitar player to play some of the harmonic structure of the songs. So we borrowed Jim Elkington from the band Tweedy, and for backing vocals we had Liam and Siam Cunningham, also from Tweedy, and that worked out really well. It was a really seamless and a easy bunch of people to get to work with.
How do you think Jeff impacted the songs and guitar playing on the album?
Probably not that much. He impacted more the arrangements of the songs. I think the songs were already pretty much written. I think between us we might have done some editing, changing a verse here and there. But on the whole the songs didn't change that much. Sometimes the arrangements changed or the way we approached the songs changed or instrumentation changed. And I think Jeff's ideas in that realm were just great. He'd come up with really good suggestions.
What were the biggest surprises during the recording?
Apart from how unbelievably cold it was in Chicago in January, which was a surprise, I was surprised by how easy it was to record and that we didn't have to really sweat over anything.
Why did you name the album Still?
Originally that was supposed to go with a concept or [album cover] picture but the picture got changed out. So the title remained. I mean I quite like the title as it's ambiguous. It can mean a lot of different things. So I wouldn't read too much into it.
Some people have taken it as a theme of resilience and your own resilience through the years with playing music.
Yeah you can take it that way, I suppose. I think to say it means any one thing is to give it too much weight and significance. Which I don't. It's just a title, you can translate it however you want.
Do you think there's a theme for these songs?
All these songs were written in a certain timeframe, probably within a six-month timeframe. And I think when you do that songs have a relationship with each other that have a harmonic or thematic connection. So I feel they're connected in that way and belong on the same record in that way. But there's isn't an overriding theme on this record.
Can you talk about writing the song "Dungeons for Eyes"?
What the song is about is meeting somebody who you love and has a past. And in that past they were either responsible for people dying or they used to kill people themselves. That was in that past and now the people are probably now politicians. And the song is what happens when you meet these people and how you'd react. That dilemma of how I going to shake this guy's hand or not. I was in this position a few years ago.
What new music are you listening to these days?
Probably mostly singer-songwriters and classical music. I'm listening to a lot of guitar players right now, except old dead ones. [Laughs]
Besides Jeff, are there any other artists that you've collaborated with recently that you really enjoyed?
Lately not much. I've mostly been working solo and with my trio. I can't think of anyone else in the past year that I've worked with in that way.
You've had such a big impact on British folk rock. What's it been like to be leading the way of that genre and keeping it relevant all these years later?
That's not something I'm really aware of or think about. I tried to explore musically in a area that interests me that was between traditional British music and rock music. There's still people in the U.K. that do the same thing and that's continuing tradition and I happen to be one of the first people to do it. But I don't think of myself as being a pioneer of anything. I just try to play the music that to me is relevant.
Variety is the spice of life. Musically speaking, I think “spice” translates to a certain amount of dissonance. Dissonance is a tension resulting from the lack of harmony among musical notes.
In this lesson I discuss a few options I use when playing over dominant 7 chords. I’ll take you through a methodical process of using scales that progressively use more and more dissonant notes. It will be this intermingling of consonant and dissonant sounds that will add a lot of interesting elements to your playing and give your solos the contrast that will keep your audience listening.
So you can immediately implement these ideas, I’ll be using only some basic pentatonic and blues scales that you likely already know, as well as a couple of ideas that might not yet be a part of your vocabulary. We’ll use A7 as our key center in these examples.
Note: I highly recommend you find a backing track with a dominant 7th key center to practice these ideas over. This will surely help you internalize how these scales sound and contrast with each other in a musical context. YouTube has a bunch!
An A7 chord is best described as an A major triad with a minor 7th. This chord is spelled A-C#-E-G. Overall, its tonality is major, but the minor 7th note in the chord lends itself to some minor approaches as well. Let's dig in …
The A major pentatonic scale could be considered the most consonant match for this chord, as the scale includes the A major triad. While a little vanilla for some, it works perfectly.
To add a just a little dissonance, the A major blues scale can be used. This scale includes all the “right notes” from the major pentatonic scale but adds a minor 3rd to the mix. This minor 3rd doesn’t stand out too much when played briefly as a passing tone, but if you place some focus on it, it will surely grab the listener’s attention before you resolve it to the next note in the scale. With a jam track, try switching from the major pentatonic scale and the major blues scale.
It’s this minor 3rd note that leads us to a very common combo: using the minor pentatonic scale over the dominant 7 chord. The minor pentatonic scale includes the root, 5th and minor 7th of the dominant 7 chord we’re playing over, but the minor 3rd is dissonant when heard against the major 3rd in the chord. It is this dissonance that often leads us to bend the minor third up to the major third pitch, giving us that oh-so bluesy sound we love.
I often think of players like Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix when I hear this being played, but since the minor pentatonic scale is one of the first scales guitar students learn, chances are you are already doing this. With a jam track, try switching from the major pentatonic to the major blues — and now the minor pentatonic scale — and back.
If we want to "up" the amount of dissonance even more, we can start to play the minor blues scale over this chord. Not only do we now have that dissonant minor 3rd from the minor pentatonic scale, but now we also have the tritone to bend the listener’s ears even more. If you simply treat the tritone as a passing tone, it may not be too noticeable, but if you focus on that note, you’ll really start getting the listener’s ears to perk up! With a jam track, try switching from the major pentatonic, to the major blues, minor pentatonic, minor blues and back.
As if this wasn’t enough to mix things up and make your solos more interesting, I also like to include a couple more ideas to achieve that “outside sound” in my solos. The first is what I like to call the “Flatted Root Minor Pentatonic Scale." This scale simply flattens the root (A) in the A minor pentatonic scale. This scale is spelled Ab-C-D-E-G. If there was ever a note to alter to create bit of dissonance, it’s the root! Watch as audience members look up from their smartphones when you lay this scale’s sound on them.
Another easy technique for getting a dissonant “outside” sound is to simply move the minor pentatonic scale up a half step for a brief moment. This side-stepping technique works well during scale runs, just move up one fret half way through your phrase and enjoy the dissonance. Just remember to move back into key, as a little bit of this ‘spice’ goes a long way.
These six sounds should give you plenty of ways to turn the heat up in your solos. Just like cooking with spices, you can dial in a little or a lot according to your taste. I like to rank the scales like my favorite chicken wings:
Major Pentatonic: Mild
Major Blues: Sweet 'n’ Spicy
Minor Pentatonic: Medium
Minor Blues: Hot
Flatted Root Minor Pentatonic: Wild
Side-Step Minor Pentatonic: Blazing!
Jam these scales to a play-along track, mixing them up in a variety of ways. Change it up incrementally for some tasty licks, or implement big contrasts for some really bold flavors.
Guitarist Adrian Galysh is a solo artist and education coordinator for Guitar Center Studios. He's the author of the book Progressive Guitar Warmups and Exercises. For more information, visit him at AdrianGalysh.com.
Just how good a player is lefty Eric Gales?
Check out this brand-new episode of Dunlop Sessions, which was posted to Dunlop's YouTube channel June 1.
In the clip, Gales, a mighty lefty, throws down killer licks with his band and discusses his diverse range of influences, his first-ever performance and the importance of music as a way to express himself and connect with other people.
The band includes Eric Gales on guitar and vocals, LaDonna Gales on additional vocals, Aaron Haggerty on drums and Steve Evans on bass.
For more about Gales, visit ericgalesband.com.
Back in February, we told you that Periphery guitarist Mark Holcomb was getting his own signature set of Seymour Duncan Alpha/Omega pickups.
Well, we're happy to announce that the sets are available now through the Seymour Duncan Custom Shop.
From the company:
The progressive metal virtuosos of Periphery are known for their technically complex rhythms and precise tones—tones that require pickups with just the right amount of output and articulation whether standing alone or working in a dense mix. The Alpha and Omega pickups were created to match that level of precision and versatility.
Working with Mark Holcomb, the Omega bridge pickup was created to provide destructive percussion and growl in the mids and low end. It’s aggressive but it also has lots of clarity and brightness, which cuts through whether you’re playing sophisticated chords, complex single-note lines or intense solos.
The Alpha neck pickup is unlike most traditional neck models. It was voiced to combine the best qualities of a neck and a bridge pickup, with some of that fat glassy sound but also plenty of your pick attack and fretting-hand phrasing.
Each set comes hand signed by Mark Holcomb with a special USB drive featuring albums Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega, stickers and collectable picks.
The Rolling Stones have released a mesmerizing outtake of "Brown Sugar," featuring none other than Eric Clapton on slide guitar. It will appear on the upcoming reissue of the band's legendary 1971 album, Sticky Fingers.
The outtake was recorded shortly after Keith Richards' 27th birthday party on December 18, 1970, and features Clapton and Mick Taylor.
The reissue of Sticky Fingers is set for a June 9 release and features the remastered original album plus previously unreleased outtakes and five tracks recorded live at the Roundhouse in 1971.
Check out the alternate take of "Brown Sugar" below, and let us know what you think in the comments and on Facebook!
Led Zeppelin have announced deluxe reissues of 1976's Presence, 1979's In Through the Out Door and 1982's Coda.
The three reissues are due for a July 31 release, and, like the reissues of the band's other LP's, each album will include a remastered copy of the original album, plus a second disc of previously unreleased music culled from the band members' vaults.
Each release also will be available as a single album, a single vinyl LP, a deluxe double-LP, digital download and a super-deluxe box set that features the CDs, LPs, a download card, a 70-page book with previously unseen photos and memorabilia and a high-quality print of the album cover.
Here are the track listings for the deluxe editions' companion audio discs (the songs remain the same on the original LPs):
Presence (Companion Audio)
01. "Two Ones Are Won" (Achilles Last Stand - Reference Mix)
02. "For Your Life" (Reference Mix)
03. "10 Ribs & All/Carrot Pod Pod (Pod)" (Reference Mix)
04. "Royal Orleans" (Reference Mix)
05. "Hots On For Nowhere" (Reference Mix)
In Through The Out Door (Companion Audio)
01. "In The Evening" (Rough Mix)
02. "Southbound Piano" (South Bound Saurez - Rough Mix)
03. "Fool In The Rain" (Rough Mix)
04. "Hot Dog" (Rough Mix)
05. "The Epic" (Carouselambra - Rough Mix)
06. "The Hook" (All My Love - Rough Mix)
07. "Blot" (I'm Gonna Crawl - Rough Mix)
Coda (Companion Audio)
01."We're Gonna Groove" (Alternate Mix)
02."If It Keeps On Raining" (When The Levee Breaks - Rough Mix)
03."Bonzo's Montreux" (Mix Construction In Progress)
04."Baby Come On Home"
05."Sugar Mama" ( Mix)
06. "Poor Tom" (Instrumental Mix)
07. "Travelling Riverside Blues" (BBC Session)
08. "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do"
01."Four Hands" (Four Sticks - Bombay Orchestra)
02."Friends" (Bombay Orchestra)
03."St. Tristan's Sword" (Rough Mix)
04."Desire" (The Wanton Song - Rough Mix)
05."Bring It On Home" (Rough Mix)
06."Walter's Walk" (Rough Mix)
07."Everybody Makes It Through" (In The Light - Rough Mix)
PLATINUM AWARD WINNER
The Eventide H9 is a revolutionary pedal that packs a ton of processing power and professional quality effects into a compact stomp box format.
Of course, the most powerful version of the H9 is one that is loaded with all 45 of Eventide’s algorithms available for the unit, but many musicians balked at paying an additional $700 for remaining 35 algorithms that weren’t included as part of the H9’s initial purchase price.
Fortunately Eventide decided to simplify the process by offering the H9 Max for those of us who simply have to have it all. In the process Eventide also cut musicians a very sweet deal as the H9 Max comes fully loaded with all 45 H9 algorithms but costs about $500 less than buying an H9 and purchasing algorithms for download individually.
Since the H9 Max is identical to the H9 with the exception of its full selection of algorithms, I’ll focus more on algorithms and sounds in this review. For more in-depth details about the hardware, please refer to the H9 review in the November 2013 issue of Guitar World.
FEATURES The H9 Max is a professional-quality pedal featuring true stereo 1/4-inch inputs and outputs, a 1/4-inch expression pedal jack, mini USB connector, side-mounted MIDI In and Out/Thru jacks, and bypass on/off and tap tempo footswitches. Preset selection and parameter programming can be controlled via the Hotknob, presets, and x, y, and z switches and a large jog wheel/switch on the top panel. However, those who like to dig deep into programming effects will prefer to use the free H9 Control app, which allows users to control the H9 Max remotely with an iOS device or computer via Bluetooth wireless communication.
The H9 Max’s algorithms come from Eventide’s acclaimed Factor series and Space pedals and also include three H9 exclusive algorithms—UltraTap, Resonator, and EQ Compressor. TimeFactor algorithms are delay-based and consist of Digital Delay, Vintage Delay, Tape Echo, Mod Delay, Ducked Delay, Band Delay, Filter Pong, MultiTap, Reverse, and Looper. Modulation algorithms come from the ModFactor and include multiple types of Chorus, Phaser, Wah, Flanger, ModFilter, Rotary, Tremolo, Vibrato, Undulator, and Ringmod. The PitchFactor algorithms consist of Eventide’s legendary Harmonizer effects and include Diatonic, PitchFlex, Quadravox, Octaver, HarModulator, Crystals, MicroPitch, HarPeggiator, H910/H949, and Synthonizer. Space reverb algorithms consist of Room, Plate, Spring, Hall, Reverse, Shimmer, ModEchoVerb, DualVerb, Blackhole, MangledVerb, TremoloVerb, and DynaVerb.
PERFORMANCE Eventide effects are truly in a class of their own, especially when it comes to the delay, modulation, pitch/Harmonizer, and reverb effects found in the H9 Max. These are professional-quality, high-resolution, sophisticated effects that until only a few years ago were once the exclusive territory of expensive rack-mount units with powerful processors. The quality and variety of effects packed into the compact H9 Max pedal is simply astonishing.
The PitchFactor algorithms are simply the best pitch shifting and Harmonizer effects available. The tracking is lightning fast, and the pitch accuracy is dead on. I particularly love how easy it is to program natural-sounding six-string bass, baritone, and 12-string guitar sounds. The TimeFactor algorithms cover ever type of delay a guitarist could want, from sparkling digital effects to warm tape echoes. The ModFactor algorithms are very useful and can save guitarists a ton of money otherwise spent on dozens of standalone modulation effects pedals (although only one algorithm can be used at a time). The Space reverb algorithms bring true studio-quality sound to the stage, and the reverbs are equally useful in the recording studio as well.
The H9 Control app greatly simplifies the process of programming effects and makes it easy to select a desired preset in an instant but the pedal operates just as seamlessly without being tethered to an iOS device. The pedal itself stores 99 presets, but users can save an unlimited number of presets on their iOS device or computer. The Bluetooth connection is very reliable. Being able to control the H9 Max with an iPad on stage brings incredible creative and expressive power to guitarists who love to improvise or make extensive use of effects. Perhaps the best benefit of the H9 Max is knowing that you’re not forced to compromise since Eventide’s entire library of algorithms is available whenever you want or need it.
LIST PRICE $799
MANUFACTURER Eventide Inc., eventide.com
Contains all 45 Eventide TimeFactor, ModFactor, PitchFactor, Space, and H9-exclusive algorithms for less than purchasing individual algorithms. The free H9 Control app allows an iOS device or computer to communicate with the H9 via a wireless Bluetooth connection.
A large jog wheel/switch makes it easy to select presets, adjust parameters, or control expression pedal functions directly from the H9 Max itself.
THE BOTTOM LINE The fully loaded H9 Max is by far the best bargain in professional- and studio-quality effects ever offered by a stomp box-format effect unit, providing literally hundreds of effects with superb sound.
PRS Guitars has announced the release of a revamped version of its McCarty model.
The model is named for Ted McCarty, president of Gibson from 1950 to 1966 and a consultant for PRS Guitars in the late 1980s.
“When we started working together, it was very apparent that he loved being back in the industry," said Paul Reed Smith, founder and owner of PRS. "I am proud that he helped establish our legacy and that we were able to help highlight his.”
In 1994, PRS released the first McCarty, an instrument that incorporated the full spectrum of techniques and knowledge Paul had gained from Ted as well as his own experiences as a guitar builder.
It is in honor of Ted McCarty that PRS is reintroducing the McCarty model.
The PRS McCarty model features a slightly thicker back for enhanced tone and sustain and the new 58/15 treble and bass pickups, which were personally designed by Paul Reed Smith. 58/15’s are a vintage style pickup with exceptional clarity and focused midrange.
Additional appointments include a push/pull tone control with a three-way toggle pickup switch for a complete palette of tones, a bound rosewood fretboard and PRS stoptail bridge.
For full specifications, head on over to prsguitars.com.
PRS Guitars has announced the release of its new P245 Semi-Hollow Electric Guitar.
The Paul Reed Smith P245 Semi-Hollow is a vintage-inspired single-cutaway guitar designed for players who prefer shorter scale necks.
The 24.5” scale length combined with 22 frets offers the usual PRS style in an easy to handle format.
It also features the LR Baggs/PRS piezo system, providing players with both electric guitar tones and acoustic tones in one instrument. With two output jacks, the P245 can be plugged directly into an electric or acoustic amplifier or DI into a soundboard. By utilizing the separate blend control, the tone of the P245’s 58/15 pickups can also be combined with acoustic sounds through a single output.
The P245 is one of the first models to feature the new, vintage-style 58/15 treble and bass pickups, which were personally designed by Paul Reed Smith.
“This guitar provides players with the traditional electric guitar tones of yesteryear [similar to our SC245] and authentic acoustic tones in a single instrument. A wonderfully diverse short scale guitar you can rely on night after night,” said Jim Cullen, national sales manager at PRS.
Additional specifications include a figured maple top, mahogany back, mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, Phase III locking tuners, PRS adjustable stoptail bridge (nickel hardware), 58/15 treble and bass pickups, volume and push/pull tone controls with three-way toggle pickup selector and LR Baggs/PRS piezo system.
The P245 is available in the following finishes: Antique White, Azul, Black, Black Cherry, Black Gold Burst, Blood Orange, Charcoal Burst, Faded Vintage Yellow, Faded Whale Blue, Gold Top (opaque color), Gray Black, Honey, Jade, Royal Blue, Scarlet Red, Tortoise Shell, Vintage Sunburst, Violet.
The P245 is also available in a PRS Artist Package. The PRS Artist Package program is an exclusive platform for PRS Core guitars that offers upgraded and expanded options to enhance and further personalize the instrument.
To learn more about the P245, including specs and more photos, visit its page on prsguitars.com.
“This has been the most adverse between-records session that Slayer’s ever had,” says Slayer guitarist Kerry King of the six long years since 2009’s World Painted Blood.
It has indeed been a grueling stretch of adversity for the legendary thrash-metal band, one marked by the illness and death of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, and the less-than-amicable departure of drummer Dave Lombardo.
But with the help of returning drummer Paul Bostaph and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, Slayer is finally returning with a new album—and King could not be more stoked about it.
“I would play any of these songs live,” says the guitarist of the forthcoming 12-track beast, which was produced by Terry Date (Pantera, Deftones) and is tentatively scheduled for an August release. “There’s no filler on this record—it’s great!”
Slayer fans will already be familiar with some of the new album’s material. “Atrocity Vendor” was originally released in 2009 as the B-side of the “World Painted Blood” seven-inch, while “Implode” was released last year as a free download—but both tracks have been re-recorded for the album, with “Atrocity Vendor” being significantly re-written to include new vocals from bassist Tom Araya and a longer guitar solo.
Other tracks include the ominous “When the Stillness Comes,” the punky “You Against You” and the Araya-King collaboration tentatively titled “Pride,” which King says is “really cool and super–Black Sabbath heavy.”
The as-yet-untitled album is also the first Slayer record to feature the playing of Holt, who joined the band on tour as a temporary fill-in for the ailing Hanneman in 2011, and agreed to soldier on with Slayer following Hanneman’s death from liver failure in 2013.
“I figured the best way to introduce Gary Holt on a Slayer record was to have him play some leads,” says King, who handled all of the record’s rhythm guitar chores. Though Holt didn’t contribute to any of the new songs as a writer, he did record lead parts for “six to eight” tracks on the album, according to King.
“Holt is a Slayer fan, and he’s been a good friend of ours personally for almost 30 years,” says King. “He has an opinion about what a Slayer guitar player should be like. So he didn’t come into this with a mindset of, This is an Exodus record—he came in thinking, What would a Slayer lead sound like here? It sounds like Gary, but it definitely sounds like Slayer as well.”
Despite earlier reports to the contrary, the late Hanneman does not actually appear on any of the new album’s tracks. “We ended up resurrecting one of his songs from the last record, called ‘Piano Wire,’ ” King explains, adding that Hanneman doesn’t play on it “because I played Jeff’s stuff on record since the mid-Nineties, except the leads—he always wanted to play the leads. It was really more time-effective for me to do that sort of thing. I recorded the guitar tracks for ‘Piano Wire’ at the World Painted Blood sessions, and he didn’t have a lead in it, so it’s just me.”
King says that Slayer already have the basic tracks of six songs—including another one that Hanneman wrote the music for—in the can for the next record. Hopefully, he says, there won’t be another six-year wait between Slayer albums.
“If Tom’s on board, I’d say we go out and tour hard on this record for two and a half years, go right back into the studio with momentum, finish the next record, then go out again for another two and a half years. And if that’s the end, so be it—we go out with guns blazing.”
The goal of any musician is to sing through his chosen instrument.
And thankfully, advances in technology have made that possible—literally.
In the 1970s, someone had the bright idea to take an amp's signal and run it in to the guitarist's mouth via a plastic tube, allowing him to, in a sense, speak to the audience through single notes. At the time, it blew the wah pedal out of the water.
So what makes a great talk-box player? Good question.
10. Bon Jovi, "Livin' on a Prayer"
Damn, man! This is the Jovi at their funkiest! A round of applause to Richie Sambora for laying down some sweet-ass talk box over that rolling bass groove. Keep that dream alive!
09. Mötley Crüe, "Kickstart My Heart"
Mick Mars is not one of metal's more remarkable soloists. Yet he may have been the first to send a flurry of tremolo-picked notes flying out of his mouth. It's a sound as scary as his makeup.
08. Nazareth, "Hair of the Dog"
To some Scottish accents render words unintelligible. So while Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton is probably just making electronic noises in the breakdown of this cock-rocker, there's a chance he's actually issuing a cry for Scottish independence.
07. Weezer, "Beverly Hills"
The talk box makes a comeback in the 21st century (we can't keep picking stuff from 1972, folks)! Oddly, because the song hints at the excess of Seventies rock, Rivers Cuomo's talk-box embellishments feel totally appropriate. For some reason, the Muppets come to mind when he cuts loose.
06. Steely Dan, "Haitian Divorce"
One of the most melodic talk-box solos ever recorded is also a prime example of studio trickery. Session man Dean Parks played the lead, but Walter Becker added the effect later—which required him essentially to ghost-play the exact same solo, and jack his jaw accordingly.
05. Pink Floyd, "Pigs"
David Gilmour was already one of the most articulate lead players in the prog-rock pantheon. Give him a talk box and... look out! He's literally wailing on this track; a string bend becomes a drawing syllable that never ends.
04. Alice in Chains, "Man in the Box"
Rather than using the talk box as other guitarists had—to make an ordinary solo sound like it was recorded by space aliens—Jerry Cantrell broke new ground by using it to "sing" harmonies with Layne Staley. Grunge reinvented some rock clichés for the better.
03. Joe Walsh, "Rocky Mountain Way"
This song is a classic not just for its chunky riff but also for how Walsh takes robot scat singing to new heights. Live clips reveal that Walsh really gets into his box work; you can actually see the drool dripping from the tube.
02. Jeff Beck, "She's a Woman"
Beck is a weird-guitar-sound pioneer, so it made perfect sense when he used the talk box to slur some syllables on this funked-up Beatles cover (Note: Although it's attributed to Lennon/McCartney, this is a Paul McCartney number all the way). Which raises the question: Is Blow by Blow truly an instrumental album?
01. Peter Frampton, "Do You Feel Like We Do"
Not only is Frampton Comes Alive! one of the biggest-selling live albums of all time, but with its biggest hit Frampton singlehandedly increased the vocabulary of the talk box, spitting out phrases previously unattempted by guitarists and easily one-upping Beck on articulation. Just listen to how the audience roars when the guitar asks the immortal question: "Do you feel like we do?" Stoned, maybe?
I’ve been building, playing and collecting cigar box guitars and homemade instruments for more than two decades.
Like many guitarists, my Guitar Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.) is a chronic and incurable.
Cigar box guitars, diddley bows, regular guitars and a host of other instruments fill my home studio and flow over into other rooms in the house. Collecting instruments is as much of a passion as songwriting and performing. To me, they all go together.
In 2010, I received an unexpected call from my father. He had just taken over Speal’s Tavern, a small dive bar in rural Pennsylvania that has been in my family since the days of Prohibition.
“I don’t know what to do with it,” he said. “There’s only five people here on a Saturday night.”
The tavern was once the watering hole for local coal miners and was about 30 years past its prime. However, my dad was excited to take over the business as it gave him something to do in his retirement.
“I have a basement full of cigar box guitars,” I told him, “and an extra PA system. Let’s turn the place into a live blues joint with a cigar box guitar museum!”
He went for it.
To prepare for the museum, I spent a couple weeks studying the layouts of Hard Rock Café’s and other instrument museums, taking notes on how the guitars were hung and lighting was pointed. For each instrument, I wrote a one-paragraph description of each guitar, its builder and any other relevant information and printed them out in 24 point type on cardstock. I mounted the descriptions onto foam-core board to give it an art museum look.
I loaded the van with all the instruments I wasn’t using in concert, along with that old PA system, and made the long drive to the bar. After cleaning the place from top to bottom and removing all pictures, posters and beer signs, we made a strategic layout for the new museum collection. All the guitars were hung using well-hidden plastic zip ties attached to strap buttons and securely screwed into the wall.
My rarest piece was placed at the center of the collection: a 100-year-old cigar box guitar. I made sure to place it right in the middle of the new stage area so that everybody could see it when bands would play. Other instruments were placed around it according to visual impact.
The results were stunning. This really was a museum and not just a bunch of instruments I collected.
We decided to launch the bar’s re-opening a couple weeks later. It gave us time to write up and send press releases to every media outlet in Western Pennsylvania. We not only hit the major newspapers, but also the small Pennysaver publications, blogs and college radio stations. The press release announced the “free cigar box guitar museum and the grand re-opening of Speal’s Tavern in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania.” We made sure to announce the addition of live blues music every weekend.
The major Pittsburgh-area newspapers picked up the story, running two- to three-page spreads with pictures, history and details. A few of the Pennysavers did too! In the end, we had standing room only for our grand re-opening. Cars were parked along the road for over a quarter mile. It was magnificent.
In order to promote the live blues music, we started the night with an open mic, and some of the best Pittsburgh blues talent showed up. Later that evening, I performed a solo concert on cigar box guitars.
In the past five years, the tiny little dive bar has become a destination place for blues aficionados and lovers of all kinds of music. The open mic night was so successful, they had to create a second open blues jam each week. This month, they’ll be debuting a jazz open mic as well.
I’ve continued to collect cigar box guitars and other instruments. I have about 30 more to add to the museum this year. This means I’ll have to take the entire collection off the walls and re-hang everything to fit the new ones. Once I get a chance to do that, you can guarantee I’ll be sending press releases out to tout the newest entries.
Speal’s Tavern is about 45 minutes east of Pittsburgh in the tiny town of New Alexandria, Pennsylvania. It’s still a tattered old dive bar from the outside and easy to miss. However, guitarists who venture inside will experience a "roadside Americana" museum the likes of which we haven’t seen in a while.
Do yourself a favor and stop in. Too far away? Take the photo tour.
And if your G.A.S. is out of control, why not open up a little museum of your own?
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.
Surely even you casual fans of classic guitar rock have heard the garbled, slowed-down talking in the hidden corners of Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun," a super-psychedelic track from his 1967 debut album.
It's most noticeable in the song's quieter passages, especially near the beginning of the tune (which was so wonderfully covered by Stevie Ray Vaughan in the Eighties).
As it turns out, when this garbled talking is heard at normal speed, we can clearly hear Hendrix having a bizarre (and very funny) back-and-forth convo with his manager/producer Chas Chandler, who also was the Animals' bassist (Note: Back in the day, Chandler bore a resemblance to Beatles-era Paul McCartney—at least around the eyes).
Anyway, the outtakes of those vocal sessions—heard at proper speed—were released on the 2000 Jimi Hendrix Experience box set. As we stated above, it's some pretty funny stuff, full of laughter, clowning around, heavy-breathing and windy sound effects.
You can hear it all in the top YouTube player below. The bottom player features the original LP version (33 rpm) of the song, sped up to 45 rpm. Enjoy!
My young son is already a little perfectionist.
If he's drawing and he messes up a letter, it's like it's the end of his little world. He gets either angry, frustrated or heartbroken.
He hasn't started to learn an instrument yet (although he's interested in guitar and keyboard, and he digs Rush and the Beatles; Daddy is proud), but I see a lot of myself in his perfectionist streak.
I can remember trying for what seemed like weeks to nail the intro lick to "Here and Now" from Steve Vai's Sex and Religion album (You can hear the track below). When I finally got it, I was the happiest dude in the world. I ran out to tell my dad and, with a knowing look, he said, "Great. Now do it again." Smartass.
I guess the old adage "Once is a mistake, twice is jazz" works the other way, too: Once is a fluke, twice is a ... good start?
Anyway, in the process of trying to pin down that one little lick (courtesy of a Vai lesson in Guitar World, as a matter of fact), I must have misplayed it a million different ways. Part of the lick requires a pull-off from the eighth to the seventh fret, then a few more notes on adjacent strings, again on the seventh fret. Then there's a slide and another pull-off lick. Then you do it all again, this time around the 14th fret.
In figuring out the best way to attack this lick, I learned some valuable lessons about how to mute the barred notes that I wasn't playing yet; how to slide precisely from one note to another that's quite a distance away and, thanks to a particularly happy accident, how to hit a pinch harmonic then immediately slide out of it into another note—a key Vai technique that I hadn't been able to decipher until I'd hit upon it once by mistake while playing the "Here and Now" lick a little sloppily.
That's the thing about mistakes: The more you make, the better you get. They help you eliminate incorrect or downright awful-sounding approaches, but they can also open up new ideas.
Although the Lydian mode was always lurking out there, I stumbled across it by accident, courtesy of a handy little mistake. When playing a major scale using a three-note-per-string pattern, I switched patterns one string early and realized that it sounded, well, pretty bitchin'.
Check out the first two bars of the tab below to see where I made the clanger and discovered the Lydian mode. I eventually figured out what it was that I was playing, and that floaty, dreamy sound that you get from the Lydian mode became a big part of my playing for quite a while, as you'll hear by comparing the next two bars, which represent A Major and A Lydian versions of the same riff.
If it hadn't been for my willingness to pay attention to my mistakes, I probably would have missed out on writing all sorts of floaty dreamy riffs.
It's important to not be scared of making mistakes, even when you're playing for an audience. A player who is too tentative and timid to make a mistake usually sounds nervous and mechanical.
Have you ever watched Rick Springfield play? Dude isn't out there framing himself as a shredder by any means, but there's an attitude and abandon to his playing that you just can't achieve if you're too scared to make a mistake.
The truth is, you're probably not going to nail that five-octave eight-fingered arpeggio lick every single time you play it. But if you approach it like you're terrified of making a mistake, you might play it note perfect but you could also be sapping it of some of the excitement and energy that made you think the lick was so cool in the first place.
Peter Hodgson is a journalist, an award-winning shredder, an instructional columnist, a guitar teacher, a guitar repair guy, a dad and an extremely amateur barista. In his spare time he runs a blog, I Heart Guitar, which allows him to publicly geek out over his obsessions. Peter is from Melbourne, Australia, where he writes for various magazines, including Guitar World.
Below, behold a video—published to YouTube June 3—that shows the ACPAD in action.
The ACPAD is being billed as the world's first MIDI controller for acoustic guitars.
And while we don't yet know a whole heck of a lot about this device, we know it's coming to Kickstarter soon.
Here are some of its finer points, as finely pointed out by the makers of ACPAD:
• It supports both Wireless MIDI and USB MIDI connections.
• It is velocity sensitive with accurate triggering and no noticeable latency.
• With its own internal rechargeable battery, ACPAD gives you complete freedom. For long studio sessions, it runs perfectly using USB.
• With presets of two live loopers, effects and sounds using Ableton Live, you get unlimited sound effects.
• Choose from wood grain, black and white designs. Customizable versions coming soon.
For further reading, here's a bit of background from the official ACPAD website:
ACPAD was born out of necessity. A need for flexibility, live stability and creative freedom. Berlin musician Robin Sukroso needed a piece of equipment that would allow him to bring his love of electronic and acoustic music together; that could withstand playing every night, that was easy and intuitive to play, and that could let him explore an entirely new world of sound.
The ACPAD began as an idea and a desire. After three years of research, development and a lot of trials, the ACPAD is finally ready for the world. Sukroso, along with his partners at IIT Bombay, created a new 2-mm thick interface having no wires or screws, a stick-on wireless MIDI controller that is powered by a rechargeable battery. ACPAD is a device with true portability and tonal versatility.
The ACPAD allows players to blend both acoustic and electronic sounds with FX and assignable tap pads. Create whatever sound you want with ACPAD. It is strong, flexible and offers a new world of creativity you have been looking for. ACPAD is an electronic orchestra in your hands!
For more information, visit acpad.com and watch the video below. Stay tuned for more details as we get them!
Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi is set to appear as a mentor on Guitar Star, a new U.K. talent show that focuses on guitarists.
The show, which will feature Iommi alongside other six-string masters including Rodrigo y Gabriela and Lee Ritenour, is a nine-week-long competition whose winner will get to perform on the main stage at the Latitude Festival in Suffolk, England.
The show will make its debut June 9 and will be broadcast by Sky Arts.
In the video below, Iommi sits down with the Sky Arts team and discusses what he looks for in a great guitarist.
Of the myriad contributions Jimi Hendrix has made to the lexicon of modern guitar, one of the most enduring is the legendary “Hendrix chord."
The chord, an E7#9, was definitely nothing new when Hendrix famously used it in “Purple Haze” (Jazz and R&B guitarists used it extensively, and the Beatles featured it years earlier on “Taxman”), but its use by Hendrix inspired its use by generations of guitarists in a wide range of styles.
Example 1 is the most famous fingering of the “Hendrix chord," though Hendrix and many others would often also use the voicing found in Example 2.
Note that the #9 is the enharmonic equivalent of the minor 3rd, so the chord can be seen as just a comfortable fingering that consists of the root, flat 7, and both the major and minor 3rds.
This major/minor ambiguity makes the chord perfectly suited for the blues, while using it as a substitution for the V chord in a key can help lend a jazzy feel to a turnaround (Stevie Ray Vaughan often used it in this manner).
While much has been written about the 7#9 chord and Jimi’s use of it, an oft-overlooked chord voicing featured prominently in Hendrix’s recorded work is his sus2 chord shape depicted in Example 3.
The chord should be fingered in the “Jimi-approved” manner of using the thumb to fret the low E string root, with the ring finger fretting the D string, the index fretting the B string, and the pinky grabbing the high E string.
The A string should be muted with the tips of the thumb and ring fingers, and the G string should be muted with the underside of the ring finger and the tip of the index.
Since the chord is a sus and has no 3rd, it can be moved around throughout a given key while maintaining the same fingering. Jimi would often slide the chord around in a line (see “Castles Made of Sand” and “Little Wing”), further emphasizing its open, airy qualities.
Example 4 is a Hendrix-inspired line demonstrating the chord’s versatility within a key.
Another cool thing that can be done to take advantage of the chord shape’s idiosyncratic fingering is to ease off the mute on the G string and allow it to ring out as you move the chord around.
Example 5 is a group of particularly good sounding positions of this chord that take advantage of the open G. Try it in the unlisted “in-between” spots too!
As always, get these down and experiment with finding uses for this concept in your own playing. Happy shredding!
Scott Marano has dedicated his life to the study of the guitar, honing his chops at the Berklee College of Music under the tutelage of Jon Finn and Joe Stump and working as an accomplished guitarist, performer, songwriter and in-demand instructor. In 2007, Scott developed the Guitar Strength program to inspire and provide accelerated education to guitarists of all ages and in all styles through state-of-the-art private guitar lessons in his home state of Rhode Island and globally via Skype. Learn more at GuitarStrength.com.