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    Based on extensive research and experimentation, Recording King introduces the Torrefied Series of torrefied top guitars.

    Using designs born from our collaboration with renowned historian/luthier Eric Schoenberg, Recording King makes the benefits of a torrefied top available to every player.

    Torrefaction is a specialized heating process used on our Adirondack spruce tops in which the wood is heated at a low temperature in an oxygen-free environment.

    The curing process reduces impurities in the wood and results in weight reduction and increased stiffness, producing a similar chemical transformation as wood that has been dried for decades. The end result is a lightweight, extra resonant top that produces similar tone to a vintage instrument that's been loved and played for years.

    They've used these solid torrefied Adirondack spruce tops as the foundation for the RP1-16C, our 12-fret single 0 cutaway with a dreadnought scale. Not only do these guitars benefit from the vintage tone of the torrefied top, but the dreadnought scale gives them additional punch and projection beyond what you'd expect from a traditional 0 guitar.

    Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 4.52.51 PM.png

    The RP1-16C is the perfect instrument for fingerstyle players thanks to the cutaway and 1-3/4” nut, delivering even, vintage-style tone everywhere on the fretboard.

    The Torrefied RP1-16C has a street price of $499.99 and comes with Recording King's industry-leading lifetime warranty.

    Hear the benefits of our torrefication process at Summer NAMM 2014, booth 1224!

    Learn more about the torrefaction process here:

    See the whole line of Recording King guitars and banjos at

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    We were lucky enough to have singer, songwriter, guitarist and social activist Jason Mraz drop by the Acoustic Nation studio for this exclusive interview.

    Below, AN’s Jimmy Brown sits down with Mraz to discuss his brand new album YES! which just released July 15, plus gear, his charitable work through the Jason Mraz Foundation, and much more.

    Since getting his start 15 years ago performing in coffeehouses in his adopted city of San Diego, Mraz has brought his positive message and soulful, folk-pop sound to rapt audiences around the world through his recordings, vibrant live performances, and philanthropic efforts.

    With YES!, Mraz has released his first-ever acoustic album, which he wrote and recorded with his friends in the L.A.-based folk-rock band Raining Jane.

    “The whole album is the product of yes,” says Mraz. “Whether it’s Raining Jane saying yes to our annual songwriting retreats, which led to this collection of songs, or my label giving us the green light to let them become my next album. If anyone on our journey had said no, we wouldn't be where we are. YES! really is the connector.”

    Find out all about the new album in the 3-part video below, and view Jason Mraz tour dates at

    Part 1: New Album, YES!

    Part 2: Gear

    Part 3: Tunings, Charitable Work and What's Next

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    Here’s something super cool from Dead Fingers.

    It's a free download of their song "Twisted" from their brand new album Big Black Dog. This upbeat little romp truly is twisted. Ironically enticing.

    But luckily it's also fun and clever and a very good harbinger of other good things from this husband and wife duo from Birmingham. A tongue-twister of clever lyrics and quick pickin'. What's not to like?!

    Taylor Hollingsworth shares, "I think the song is about many things but mainly our current standard of medical practice. It seems sometimes to me that doctors prescribe medications for just about anything even when it's completely unnecessary."

    Here it and download it now!

    Dead Fingers will hit the road in support of the album with a national headlining tour to celebrate.

    Since 2012's eponymous debut on Big Legal Mess Records, Dead Fingers have had some time to take a step back and take stock of all of the dynamic changes their lives have undergone over the past few years. As new parents, Kate and Taylor have added a whole new perspective to their road weary travelogues and broke-beat folk/country/blues hybrid, that speaks as much to their growing maturity as artists as it does to their innate ability to put their lives squarely in the fabric of their songs.

    From penning acoustic remedies for heartbroken scribes like the elegant "Pomp & Circumstance," to the playful pretzel wordplay of "Twisted," and the metaphysical longing of "Still Haven't Been Satisfied," there's enough existential wisdom for people twice their age to revel in- along with the standard Dead Fingers six string whiplash- to make this one of the most exciting albums in either of their respective catalogs.

    Documenting their peculiar form of domestic bliss in tracks like "Shoom Doom Babba Labba" and "Free Tonight,"Big Black Dog stands as a new chapter in the careers of two of Birmingham's most talented musicians and their struggle to find a balance between their art and home life and all of the mixed up semiotics that lies between the two.

    On Tour (more dates coming soon!)
    July 18 Birmingham AL @ Bottletree
    July 22 Asheville NC @ Jack of the Woods
    July 23 Richmond VA Venue TBA
    July 25 Manhattan @ St. Dymphna's
    July 26 Brooklyn NY @ Union Hall
    July 29 Youngstown OH @ Greyland
    July 30 Detroit MI @ The Rockery
    July 31 Chicago IL @ The Hideout
    Aug 1 Bayport MN @ Bayport BBQ
    Aug 2 Omaha NE @ O'leavers
    Aug 3 Lincoln NE @ Vega

    More at

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    Tommy Emmanuel: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of His Guitar Styles & Techniques by Chad Johnson is available now at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Take an in-depth look at the virtuosic playing of this Aussie acoustic master! This Signature Licks book includes detailed analysis of 12 songs, plus a CD featuring demos of all the music examples in the book!

    Songs include Angelina • Can't Get Enough • Countrywide • Determination • From the Hip • Guitar Boogie Shuffle • The Hunt • Initiation • Lewis & Clark • Since We Met • Up from Down Under • Who Dares Wins.

    The book is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $22.99.

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    We've already checked in with 1984, so let's fast forward exactly one decade.

    The year in question — 1994 — was incredibly varied. It was a year of discovery and tragedy, innovation and resurrection.

    It was the year when rock's long-festering underground finally collided full force with the mainstream. Though Nirvana had broken through in a massive way in 1992 with Nevermind, they (along with Pearl Jam) were the only punk-rooted bands to find big-time mainstream success during the first few years of the decade.

    But with Nine Inch Nails'The Downward Spiral, Soundgarden's Superunknown, Stone Temple Pilot's Purple and Smashing Pumpkins'Pisces Iscariot, the hazy, vague anger of grunge exploded into the mainstream. Rock was no longer about having a great time; it was about wallowing in confusion and self-doubt, looking inside yourself and seeing a muddy pit of emotions rather than simple rebellion or hooliganism.

    Hair metal, for so long rock's dominant force, seemed entirely stale and out of date. Bon Jovi moved to adult contemporary, Guns N' Roses were still successful but found themselves battling with intra-band turmoil, while Motley Crue dealt with extensive drug abuse within their ranks. Hair metal had virtually died, and in its place battled numerous, increasingly small metal sub-genres.

    The emergence of black metal showed the genre's more extreme side, while "alternative metal" used elements of progressive rock that formed interesting musical hybrids.

    But all of these disciples of harder rock achieved increasingly great commercial success, mostly on the back of one artist, who lost his life in 1994. Kurt Cobain changed rock forever, a frontman with incredible charisma and a unique vision that would change America's musical taste buds forever.

    Meanwhile, guitar heroes of old were still a force to be reckoned with in 1994. The list below features contributions from Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton. Keith Richards, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi — plus Texans Dimebag Darrell and Jimmie Vaughan, not to mention Yngwie Malmsteen and Richard Thompson.

    Nineteen hundred and ninety-four was a year of transition, but much of the music made during this period continues to stand the test of time.

    Below, check out our guide to 50 (OK, 51) albums that defined 1994. Remember you can click on each album cover to take a closer look!

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the September 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    In 2013, G&L debuted the Fallout model, which was based on the company’s original SC-2 guitar introduced 30 years before.

    While the Fallout retained the SC-2’s slim body shape and 25 1/2–inch-scale length, it featured a different pickup configuration that made it ideal for a wider range of players.

    This year G&L has expanded the Fallout family with an affordable Tribute Series version that offers nearly identical features but sells for about a third of the price.

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    “Down here its just winners and losers and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line/ Well I’m tired of coming out on the losing end.” So goes one of the pivotal lines of “Atlantic City,” the only single, and the watershed moment of Bruce Springsteen’s 1982 album Nebraska.

    On almost every Springsteen compilation, “Atlantic City” is the black sheep, standing alone in a catalog filled with horn-filled rave-ups of rebellion and romance, and simple, stout rockers detailing the darker sides of the American dreeam.

    Nebraska as a whole is an extreme outlier in his discography. Recorded by Springsteen alone with a four-track recorder, the album is made up entirely of Springsteen’s vocals and acoustic playing.

    If you’re not familiar with Nebraska, or its two lesser follow-ups The Ghost of Tom Joad and Devils & Dust, it may be a jarring sonic experience. But, in tone and message, it isn’t too far removed from much of Springsteen’s post Born to Run work.

    Gone were the hot, endless summer nights of his early records, and in its place were desperate tales of characters who had indeed come out on “the wrong side of that line.” The settings of Nebraska are typically fluid, the often listless and confused characters staring at futures as undefined and murky as the long, endless highways they spend much of their time on.

    The tales here rarely end on a positive note, coming to conclusions that are brutally realistic in both the lack of answers they provide, and the despair that they do leave with you. Perspective is vital in all ten of these songs. The title track, detailing the teenage serial killer Charles Starkweather, is all the more haunting coming from the perspective of Starkweather himself, who Springsteen uses as a narrative voice.

    The police officer in “Highway Patrolman” introduces himself, before saying to you “I always done an honest job/as honest as I could/I got a brother named Frankie, and Frankie ain’t no good.” Over the next five and a half minutes, Springsteen weaves a poignant, sad tale. The officer assures you that “man turns his back on his family/well he just ain’t no good,” while simultaneously struggling to deal with the complications his brother’s law-breaking behavior throws into his line of work. As you follow the officer and his brother, Springsteen’s waltz-like, distant acoustic never strays or wavers, providing an almost ominous pulse to the piece right up until its beautiful conclusion.

    On “State Trooper,” you never learn the background or name of the narrator. He just tells you “License, registration/I ain’t got none/But I’ve got a clear conscience/About the things that I’ve done.” What those “things” are is never revealed; the only other piece of information the narrator reveals about himself is “The one thing that I got/has been bothering me my whole life.” The palm-muted riff that is Springsteen’s sole accompaniment very slowly gathers pace as the narrator grows more paranoid, begging the unseen and unheard state trooper to not stop him with an ever-increasing intensity.

    “Used Cars” and “Mansion On the Hill” take the perspective of a young Springsteen. In the former, he sits with his family in their “brand new used car,” as his equally blue-collar neighbors watch with envy. In the latter, Springsteen stares with wonder at a mystical mansion that occupies the edge of his town. The splendor Springsteen attributes to the house makes it almost Gatsby-like, but in the back of his young mind there is always the mindset that that sort of residence will only ever be obtainable to him in dreams.

    “My Father’s House” is the album’s most personal, and most devastating, moment. Springsteen alternates between the perspectives of himself as a scared child and as an adult. He dreams, as a child, of being chased through a dark forest, only to find his father waiting in the light, ready to catch him and save him from the threat. He awakes as an adult, and it becomes quickly apparent that a massive distance has grown between the narrator and his father. Suddenly determined to reconcile, he gets in his car and takes a long drive to the home of his youth, only to find a woman he doesn’t recognize who informs him “I’m sorry son, but no one by that name lives here anymore.” Immediately after that line, a mournful harmonica sweeps in to drive the absence, and subsequent sadness, home.

    Although Springsteen has always been magical with his E Street Band comrades, Nebraska is his finest hour. He manages to, in a ten-song cycle, capture the death of the American dream, and the despair that goes with it. His characters couldn’t be more vivid, while the stories they tell are both engrossing and entirely relatable. There’s a bit of each of these characters in all of us, whether we’d like to admit it or not, and in that lies Nebraska’s true brilliance.

    More from Bruce Springsteen at

    Jackson Maxwell is a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is double majoring in history and journalism. He is an editorial assistant at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian and has his own music blog entitled "Broken Drums." You can follow him here at

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    A stomp box may seem like an insignificant item in the history of rock and roll, but it’s hard to imagine how some of the greatest songs of the Seventies and Eighties would have sounded without the influential role of MXR pedals.

    The MXR Phase 90 was a prominent part of the guitar tones on records by Van Halen and Pink Floyd. Likewise, the MXR Distortion + was a key element in the distorted lead guitar tones of Jerry Garcia, Dave Murray and Randy Rhoads, while the company’s Dyna Comp compression pedal shaped the sound of records by the Police, King Crimson and just about every country-rock hit that came out of Nashville back then.

    From Jimmy Page’s “Fool in the Rain” solo (featuring an MXR Blue Box) to Keith Richards’ swirling rhythms on “Shattered” (produced by an MXR Phase 100), the sound of MXR effects has been nearly ubiquitous in rock music since the mid Seventies.

    Before the first MXR products were developed, pedal effects were generally treated as novelties. Most pedals made during the Sixties and early Seventies were housed in absurdly oversized boxes with rather flimsy construction that could barely withstand the abuse of overzealous guitarists wearing stack-heel platform shoes.

    When Keith Barr and Terry Sherwood opened a repair shop called Audio Services in Rochester, New York, in 1971, most of their early customers were guitarists who brought in their broken pedals.

    “When I saw the poor quality of the effects devices that were coming in for repair, I was really amazed,” Barr said in an interview published in Art Thompson’s 1997 book Stompbox. “Eager to start designing some things, I made up a few little boxes for my guitar-playing friends. They seemed to like them.”

    The response was so positive and encouraging that Barr and Sherwood decided to switch from repairing gear to manufacturing electronic devices for musicians. However, the first product that the duo produced was not a stomp box but rather an audio mixer, which also inspired their new company’s name. A friend suggested that they call the company MXR, which was short for mixer. Barr lengthened the name to MXR Innovations to make it sound more business-like and official.

    Barr made one mixer and found the process rather tedious and boring, so he turned his attention to the effect pedals that his guitar friends raved about instead. The first pedal effect circuit that Barr designed on his own was a four-stage phase shifter. “Guitarists would come into our shop and tell us that the phase-shifting thing was really happening,” Barr told Thompson. “I built one, and people said they liked it.”

    Barr designed his first phase shifter—named the Phase 90 because it provided 90 degrees of phase shifting—in 1972, but the pedal didn’t go into serious production until late 1973, a few months before MXR Innovations was incorporated in 1974.

    Sherwood and Barr invested most of the cash reserves from their repair business in a spray-painting kit and parts, including heavy-duty die-cast aluminum boxes made by a company called Bud. Inspired by the paint job he saw on a new Ford Econoline van, Barr selected Ditzler PPG Bold Orange automotive paint for the Phase 90’s finish. He also designed the script MXR logo that was silkscreened on each pedal’s top panel.

    Initially Barr, Sherwood and some teenagers who worked for minimum wage made the first Phase 90 pedals in a small factory in Rochester. Soon they hired Mike Laiacona to handle sales, and he played an important role in getting the pedals into the hands of pros and music stores across the entire United States before he left in 1975 to start Whirlwind, whose line today includes effect pedals, direct boxes, cables and more.

    After MXR raised a decent amount of funds, it purchased ads in major national music magazines like Rolling Stone and Downbeat to promote the Phase 90. Guitarists who purchased these early units were impressed by the pedal’s studio-quality sound, rugged build and affordable price, and word of mouth about MXR quickly spread.

    Realizing that one product would not be enough to sustain their quickly growing company, Barr and Sherwood decided to expand their offerings with three additional products—the Blue Box, the Distortion + and the Dyna Comp—which joined the lineup later in 1974.

    The new models were housed in the same size Bud boxes as the Phase 90, but each had its own distinctive color that made it instantly identifiable onstage, a concept that was soon adopted by many of MXR’s subsequent competitors. The earliest versions of MXR’s first four pedals were made from circuit boards silkscreened and etched by Barr himself, identifiable by the phrase “hand built by guitarists” printed on the board.

    A simpler and cheaper two-stage version of the Phase 90 called the Phase 45 followed in late 1974, and in 1975 MXR introduced the Noise Gate Line Driver and the Phase 100, a much more versatile six-stage phase shifter with four selectable preset waveforms. Eventually, they company started making its own die-cast aluminum boxes, featuring an embossed MXR script logo near the rear panel’s lower right-hand corner.

    MXR grew quickly during this period, and Barr realized that he needed to hire additional engineers to help him design new products. He brought in Tony Gambacurta and Richard Neatour, who previously worked as technicians at Barr and Sherwood’s repair shop, and they helped to expand the product line without compromising quality.

    Both played an instrumental role in the development of the MXR Flanger, the first pedal flanger to hit the market, as well as the Analog Delay, the Envelope Filter and the Six-Band and Ten-Band Graphic Equalizer pedals, all introduced in late 1976. MXR also started to offer rack-mountable effects designed for studio installations and live sound reinforcement, including the Auto Flanger, the Auto Phaser, the Mini Limiter and one of the industry’s earliest digital-delay units.

    The pedal models introduced in 1976 had a newly designed MXR logo that is known as the “block logo” for its block text enclosed in a rectangle with rounded corners. The older models retained the original script logo, and the rear plates of every model had an embossed script logo. Eventually, though, around 1978, all of the products had silkscreened and embossed block logos. Today, pedal collectors pay considerably more for early MXR pedals with script logos, but the differences between the script- and block-logo versions of original Seventies MXR pedals are negligible.

    “The circuits really didn’t change much at all,” says Jeorge Tripps, who helped Dunlop create accurate reissues of MXR’s original script-logo pedals in recent years. “The Phase 90 had only very minor changes over the years, and the Dyna Comp didn’t change significantly at all. When MXR went to the block logo, the circuits were the same as those of the script-logo versions. It wasn’t until near the company’s end that they started using the dual op amp for the Phase 90 and added an LED to their pedals. All of the hype about script-version pedals being better is pretty much a myth.”

    It’s impossible to determine who was the first major artist to use an MXR pedal on a recording, but Jimmy Page and David Gilmour were certainly among the earliest. Page allegedly used a Phase 90 during overdub sessions for several songs on Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti in 1974, and an MXR Phase 90 played a central role on Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here album, particularly on Gilmour’s solos for “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and “Have a Cigar,” recorded between January and July 1975.

    During the late Seventies and early Eighties, MXR pedals increasingly showed up on pros’ pedal boards. Many players relied on multiple MXR pedals to shape and define their signature sounds. Among them were Eddie Van Halen (who used a Flanger, Phase 90 and Six-Band Graphic Equalizer), Joe Perry (Dyna Comp, Flanger, Phase 90 and Six-Band Graphic Equalizer), Jerry Garcia (Analog Delay, Distortion + and Phase 100), Randy Rhoads (Analog Delay, Distortion +, Flanger, Stereo Chorus and Ten-Band Graphic Equalizer) and Andy Summers (Distortion +, Dyna Comp and Phase 90).

    As MXR entered the Eighties, the company abandoned the compact, battery-powered stomp boxes that guitarists loved and instead offered larger, AC-powered pedals like the Distortion II, the Limiter and the Stereo Chorus.

    While these new products were built to professional standards, they were also more expensive than the compact pedals offered by Japanese companies like Boss and Ibanez, which cut into MXR’s market share. To compete, MXR introduced the Micro Chorus and Micro Flanger pedals as well as the budget Commande Series pedals, which were housed in plastic cases.

    MXR increasingly focused on rackmount gear, including digital-delay and reverb units, the Dual 15-Band Graphic EQ, the Flanger/Doubler, the Pitch Transposer and an early multi-effect unit called the Omni. The company also began to develop consumer home audio products in hope of expanding its business. By 1984, MXR discontinued its original pedal line, replacing it with the affordable Series 2000 pedals, which were housed in black cases and featured designs more than obviously influenced by those of their Boss and Ibanez competitors.

    However, the company was soon torn apart by internal labor struggles and disagreements with major shareholders. Before the end of 1984, MXR had closed its doors. Barr went on to found Alesis in Hollywood, California, where he refined his affordable digital reverb and drum machine designs. Gambacurta, Neatour, Sherwood and ex-MXR employees Phil Betette and John Langlois remained in Rochester to found Applied Research and Technology, better known as ART.

    After a three-year absence, the MXR brand re-emerged when Dunlop Manufacturing purchased rights to the name and resurrected the brand. Dunlop fittingly reissued the same four pedals—the Blue Box, Distortion +, Dyna Comp and Phase 90—that originally launched the MXR line in 1974. Dunlop also updated the reissue pedals with an LED and jack for a nine-volt DC adapter. Over the next decade, Dunlop began to bring back other popular classic MXR pedals that players still considered essential, like the Flanger, Phase 100, Stereo Chorus and graphic equalizer pedals.

    Around the dawn of the new millennium, Dunlop began to develop and introduce an impressive range of new models that expanded the MXR legacy. In 1999, MXR offered its first line of pedals designed exclusively for bass players.

    That was soon followed by the introduction of artist signature pedals designed with input from players such as Dimebag Darrell (Dime Distortion), Kerry King (KFK Ten-Band Graphic Equalizer), Eddie Van Halen (EVH Phase 90 and Flanger) and Zakk Wylde (Black Label Chorus, Berzerker Overdrive, Zakk Wylde Phase and Overdrive). New artist models that recently joined the MXR line include the Slash Octave Fuzz and Joe Bonamassa FET Overdrive.

    In 2008, Dunlop hired Jeorge Tripps to resurrect his Way Huge line of pedals and work with the MXR team, which included senior engineer Bob Cedro, to develop new products and produce accurate reproductions of the original MXR script-logo pedals. One of the team’s first products was the Carbon Copy analog delay, which has become MXR’s most popular new pedal since the release of the originals. Cedro and Tripps also helped MXR establish its Custom Shop line of pedals, which include the Custom Comp, La Machine octave fuzz, Micro Amp + and Phase 99.

    “When I came to Dunlop, one of my main responsibilities was to revamp the whole MXR script-logo line,” Tripps says. “We wanted to make them by hand the way MXR used to, so we gathered a bunch of old MXR pedals to look at. When we decided to reproduce the original Dyna Comp, I couldn’t find much reference material on it, so I decided to call Keith Barr.

    That was right before Keith died in 2010. I also have a bunch of old documents and schematics from MXR and even a prototype of a tremolo panner that never came out that I bought in 2006 when somebody sold a trunk of old MXR back stock.”

    Under Dunlop’s direction, MXR has offered more than 80 different products over the years. Popular and acclaimed new products in today’s MXR line include the Talk Box (MXR originally developed a prototype talk box called the Waak in 1975 that never went into production), the Custom Badass ’78 Distortion, the Super Badass Distortion, the Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato and Custom Shop reproductions of the original script-logo Phase 90 and Dyna Comp.

    Products like the Smart Gate and the Custom Audio Electronics Boost/Line Driver and MC403 Power System can be found in the touring rigs of countless pros.

    Thanks to Dunlop, MXR’s legacy is alive and well, as the new products remain faithful to the original company’s ideals of value, sound quality and ruggedness.

    After 40 years of providing guitarists with innovative tools that influence and inspire new tones, MXR shows no signs of slowing down. “We have a very talented team of engineers and product designers who are always coming up with new ideas,” Tripps says. “We’re keeping true to the original concept of MXR but moving forward at the same time.”

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    Here’s a treat. Field Report has just shared the song “Wings” from their forthcoming album Marigolden, due out October 7.

    The song delivers its melancholy message with the support of a locomotive rhythm poised for takeoff. The tension build is palpable and the song, showcasing Chris Porterfield’s fabulous vocal, urgently pushes forward.

    Combining acoustic guitar with electronic pads, the instrumentation helps define their modern sound. I dig it.

    Porterfield's complicated relationship with alcohol, sobriety, and reflection on his new life as a touring musician define the song. It's a starkly minimal track, stripped down to the bare essentials, so what stands out most are Porterfield's eloquent, literate lyrics: "love melts my wings and the / emptiness / of space / smells like paraffin and gasoline and / color coded cash and coins / the currency of dreams."

    "The body remembers what the mind forgets," Chris Porterfield reminisces on his acclaimed band Field Report's sophomore record, Marigolden. The record is strewn with references to the inevitable tolls taken by the passage of time, and prolonged distance from home and loved ones.

    The past couple of years have flashed by for Porterfield, who was thrust into the spotlight after years of musical reclusion. His Milwaukee-based band, Field Report (an anagram of his surname), was culled together in the studio while recording their 2012 self-titled debut. They suddenly found themselves championed by their former idols: offered support tours by Counting Crows and Aimee Mann, lauded by the likes of Mark Eitzel and Richard Thompson, and covered by Blind Boys Of Alabama.

    The band honed itself from a septet to a quartet in the year that followed, focusing its sound and tightening the screws. With a heavy batch of songs under their arms, they retreated to snowy Ontario in December 2013 to record their sophomore album, Marigolden, with the help of producer Robbie Lackritz (Feist).

    Spending two years roaming around the country playing tiny venues and sold-out amphitheaters alike, Porterfield was uncertain whether he was leading the charge toward an artistic epiphany or headed down a misguided path of self-destruction. Marigolden reflects this, as he ruminates across homesick tension and an un-grounded anxiety. But rather than wallow in melancholy, Porterfield finds solace and inspiration through his songs, which reveal themselves as uplifting and celebratory. The album is brighter than their 2012 debut, but somehow remains just as elegantly ominous.

    The album runs the musical gamut, from the Traveling Wilburys-esque pop of "Home," to the Neil Young-inspired piano ballad "Ambrosia," to the electronic sonic landscape of "Wings." While the compositions express a wide range in terms of genre, they find unity in themselves within the limits of self-imposed minimalism. In the studio, the songs were stripped down to the bones and built back up using only their essential elements.

    Can’t wait to check out the rest of the album! Find out more at

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    Everyone needs some Martin Pride in his or her life!

    Pick your favorite new 2014 summer model and download it as wallpaper for your desktop or mobile device.

    Wallpapers include the 000RS25, the CS-GP-14, D-18 Sycamore, the D-28 Louvin Brothers, the DXAE Black, and the OMXAE Black.

    You can also view Martin’s new 2014 summer models here.

    Click on each photo to download.

    NewModels_Desktop-Wallpaper1 620.jpg

    NewModels_Desktop-Wallpaper2 620.jpg

    NewModels_Desktop-Wallpaper3 620.jpg

    NewModels_Desktop-Wallpaper4 620.jpg

    NewModels_Desktop-Wallpaper5 620.jpg


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    I bought my guitar on a whim in a small shop on the outskirts of Buffalo about seven years ago. It was on sale for 350 dollars.

    The guy threw in a gigbag too.

    My previous guitar was a beautiful Taylor that cost me more than I pay in rent even today.

    I played it out for a number of years, but found myself beholden to it. It was too pretty, and knowing myself I could never give it the respect and love that it probably deserved. So I sold it for half of what I paid, and set out to find something I could break.

    I realized that if I wanted to make music full of raw and ugly passion, I needed to find something that I could lay into. An extension of that feeling. I only had a couple requirements: It had to be cheap, it had to be a resonator, I wanted it electrified, and most importantly… it had to feel right to hold. It had to sit just right in my lap and not overwhelm my smaller frame. I didn't want to battle it and struggle to reach around the body. I found that guitar in March of 2007.

    It was a Dean CE Cutaway Resonator. It didn't sound perfect, but it felt right. That was worth more to me than the 2,000 some odd dollar National at the end of the spectrum. Buying this Dean was going to be a fight, but I felt confident enough that I could make it play the way I wanted it to.

    Seven years later I think I'm still in that fight, for better or worse. It buzzes, refuses to stay in tune, the pick-ups are too hot, and has been tattooed with chips and dings. As a result masking tape, wood glue, cork, and a pure willingness to not give up on this thing keep me at it. I love this guitar. I have owned probably close to six guitars in my life…and I could never say that about any of them before this.

    I know eventually I will move on. I'm playing out more and more.. and I'm worried that the Dean just can't keep up. I will have to give in at some point and buy a new guitar. That being said, I plan to ride this one as hard and as long as possible without a doubt, until it reaches a firey grave on stage.

    Hear it played on "Good Friend of Mine"

    The Bones of J.R. Jones is the brainchild of Jonathan Linaberry. Linaberry performs and completely inhabits the persona of the early-twentieth-century blues musician, The Bones of J.R. Jones. “For me it’s an outlet more than anything else.” His new EP Dark Was the Yearling, is out now. More at

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    Since its appearance in Guitar World in 1990, Steve Vai's intensive guitar regimen has been the Holy Grail for serious players.

    In our new book, Guitar World Presents Steve Vai's Guitar Workout, you'll find the lessons that shaped a generation of guitarists. Vai sat down with guitarist/transcriber Dave Whitehill and outlined his practice routine for the January 1990 issue of GW. Never before had a guitarist given such an in-depth explanation of his musical exercise regimen.

    It became a must-have for guitarists. Many of the players interviewed in GW have cited it as an influence on their development as guitarists. Here's a chance to experience the workout in its original form and to learn some of the things Vai has done to develop his formidable chops and remarkable music vocabulary.

    In this book, Vai reveals his path to virtuoso enlightenment with two challenging guitar workouts – one 10-hour and one 30-hour – which include scale and chord exercises, ear training, sight-reading, music theory, and much more. These comprehensive workouts are reprinted by permission from Guitar World magazine.

    This book is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for only $14.99.

    Additional Content

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    Texas blues legend Johnny Winter died Wednesday, July 16. He was 70. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

    This morning, the guitarist's Facebook page offered the following news item, which also was released by his publicist overnight:

    "Texas blues icon Johnny Winter has passed away on July 16, 2014, in his hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland. His wife, family and bandmates are all saddened by the loss of their loved one and one of the world's finest guitarists. An official statement with more details shall be issued at the appropriate time."

    "As the great blues historian Robert Palmer once bluntly stated, 'Texas's blues pedigree is unsurpassed," wrote Guitar World editor-in-chief Brad Tolinski in the liner notes for Winter's 2013 career-retrospective box set Johnny Winter: True To The Blues. "But of all of these bright lights, perhaps the most electrifying, exotic and resilient Texas export is a snowy white guitarist from Beaumont, whose truth-is-stranger-than-fiction given name is Winter.

    "For well over five decades, John Dawson 'Johnny' Winter III has produced and played on some of the most exciting blues and rock recordings in the history of both genres. His absolute command of traditional music has earned him the respect of serious musicologists, while his tremendous agility, wicked speed and full-tilt aggression on the electric guitar and acoustic bottleneck has won over several generations of younger rock players looking to cop some the fastest and hottest licks ever committed to tape."

    The Blues magazine editor Ed Mitchell added, "It's no secret Johnny has battled with ill health for many years — but he seemed to transcend that struggle when he played live. No one's slide tone was as sweet, searing, stinging or fiery. Johnny Winter blazing away on a Gibson Firebird is an iconic blues image. He was the greatest slide blues guitarist that ever lived. We'll always have him to thank for pulling Muddy Waters out of his funk in the Seventies and helping him record some of his greatest work: 'Hard Again', 'I'm Ready' and 'King Bee'. All essential."

    Johnny Winter had been playing electric blues since the Sixties, and his enthusiasm for it only grew with time.

    "There's never been a point in my life where I was even close to getting tired of playing blues," Winter told Guitar World in 2012 while relaxing in his dressing room at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York City, on tour as usual. "The truth is, I love playing the blues, now more than I ever have before."

    Johnny, the older brother of Edgar Winter, has always been one of the most respected blues guitarists and championed and aided the careers of older idols, including Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.

    Winter was born February 23, 1944, in Beaumont, Texas. His recording career began when he was 15; his band, Johnny and the Jammers released "School Day Blues" on a Houston record label. During this same period, he was able to savor performances by blues greats Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Bobby "Blue" Bland. In 1967, Winter recorded a single with the Traits, "Tramp" backed with "Parchman Farm." In 1968, he released his first album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, on Austin's Sonobeat Records.

    His breakthrough came later that year when Rolling Stone featured him in a piece on the Texas music scene, which prompted a bidding war among labels that Columbia eventually won.

    Winter's first Columbia album, Johnny Winter, was recorded and released in 1969. The album (which featured future Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble bassist Tommy Shannon) featured several of what would become Winter's signature songs, including "Dallas," John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson's "Good Morning Little School Girl" and B.B. King's "Be Careful With a Fool."

    Winter was set to release a new studio album, Step Back, September 2 via Megaforce Records. The album, the follow-up to 2011's Roots, will feature a host of special guests, including Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Joe Perry, Dr. John, Leslie West, Brian Setzer and Joe Bonnamassa.

    Additional Content

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    In the all-new September 2014 issue of Guitar World, we round up 17 amazing practice amps that will help you sound better, woodshed longer and become the guitarist you’ve always wanted to be.

    In the excerpt below, we focus on five (plus a bonus amp — for a total of six) of the 17 amps. To see all 17, check out the September 2014 issue of Guitar World now. It's available at our online store right here.

    Playing live might be the best way to hone your performance skills, but when it comes to technique, you need practice, practice, practice.

    If you play an electric guitar, your woodshedding sessions demand an amp that not only reveals the details and nuance of your playing but also sounds great—so great that it makes you want to practice more and become the best guitarist you can.

    Of course, it’s even better if it has built-in effects, a tuner, a metronome, and connectivity to the world of digital apps, downloads and MP3 players.

    With that in mind, we set out to find the best-sounding and best-outfitted practice amps currently on the market. Over the next pages, you’ll find practice combos and heads that pull double-duty as studio and rehearsal powerhouses and others that offer computer, USB, Bluetooth, iOS and Android connectivity.

    Whether you love an all-tube rig, solid-state power, or feature-laden digital/modeling amps, you’re sure to find that one of these tone machines makes practice perfect.

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    Boss has announced its Waza Craft series, a new line of special edition compact pedals that offers players the ultimate Boss tone experience.

    The debut of the Waza Craft series includes the SD-1W Super Overdrive, BD-2W Blues Driver, and DM-2W Delay.

    From the company:

    All three pedals provide the classic sound signatures of the past and present Boss pedals they’re based on, plus switchable modes for customized tones sought after by discerning guitarists.

    Designed with a passion for premium sound by the master engineers at Boss in Japan, the Waza Craft series introduces a new chapter in the company’s legacy of exceptional tone. Through meticulously-selected analog components, refined circuitry, and careful attention to the finest design details, Waza Craft embodies the essence of Boss engineering and the spirit of generations of technical and musical wisdom.

    “Waza” is the Japanese term for art and technique, and each of these special edition pedals proudly carries the Waza symbol to represent the artful wisdom and tech-savvy spirit flowing within Boss design and craftsmanship.

    In continuous production for over 30 years, the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive is one of the best-loved stomps ever created. The Waza Craft SD-1W hot rods this players’ favorite with a revised circuit design, all-discrete analog components, and switchable Standard and Custom sound modes.

    The Boss BD-2 Blues Driver is also one of the most popular overdrive pedals in the world, and the Waza Craft BD-2W takes this classic’s signature creamy grit to a new level. Like the SD-1W, the BD-2W is built with all-discrete analog components and a revised circuit, and features Standard and Custom sound modes.

    Highly sought after since being discontinued in 1984, the Boss DM-2 Delay is universally revered by tone aficionados for its warm, “bucket brigade” analog delay sound. With the Waza Craft DM-2W, the coveted stomp has been reborn with greater versatility for today’s music styles. Using all-analog circuitry and an authentic BBD delay line, the DM-2W’s Standard mode captures the lush sound and 20-300 ms delay range of the original DM-2. Custom mode instantly changes the sound to a cleaner analog tone with over twice the delay time.

    The DM-2W also includes a jack for controlling delay time with an optional expression pedal. Two output jacks allow for separate output of delay and direct sounds if desired.

    For more information on the Waza Craft series, visit

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    Roland has announce its Blues Cube Artist and Blues Cube Stage, two new 1x12 combo amplifiers with genuine tube tone and feel.

    From the company:

    Featuring Roland’s unique Tube Logic design, the Blues Cube amps deliver the rich sound and musical touch response of finely tuned vintage tube combos, along with convenient modern features and reduced weight for easy portability.

    The Blues Cube series offers serious guitarists a highly evolved sound experience with the very latest advancements in Roland guitar innovation. Road-tested and fine-tuned with feedback from top players, these gig-ready combos deliver the sweet, magical tone and satisfying feel that makes a great guitar amp a highly expressive musical instrument.

    Going far beyond modeling, Roland’s Tube Logic approach starts by carefully reproducing the inner workings of the revered tweed-era tube amp in every way, including preamp and output tube distortion characteristics, power supply compression, and much more. Great feel, distortion control with touch and volume, warmth, elasticity, sparkle, power supply “sag,” and more—everything that players love about a dialed-in vintage tube amp is present in abundance with the Blues Cube.

    The Blues Cube Artist features 80 watts of power, while the Blues Cube Stage is equipped with 60 watts. Designed for performing pro guitarists, both amps have open-back cabinets built from poplar plywood, which provides an acoustically vibrant tone for enhanced presence on stage. Each amp is outfitted with a custom 12-inch speaker that’s been specially designed for maximum tonal response with Tube Logic.

    Both Blues Cube models offer two independent channels—one voiced for cleaner tones, and the other for crunch. Each channel has its own Boost and Tone switches to shape the character, and the Crunch channel has a variable gain control for setting subtle distortion and response in combination with the volume knobs. A unique Dual Tone mode lets players blend both channels together for expanded tonal possibilities.

    With Tube Logic, the Blues Cube accurately reproduces the complex output tube distortion characteristics of a tube amp when the volume is turned up. The Blues Cube’s variable Power Control provides settings of 0.5 W, 15 W, 45 W, and Max, allowing users to enjoy this musical, cranked-up tone while matching the volume to any situation, from recording to rehearsals to nightclub gigs.

    Both amps are equipped with a high-quality reverb effect. The Blues Cube Artist also includes a tremolo effect, as well as an effects loop for patching in an external device. Footswitch jacks are provided for remote control of channel selection and other functions while performing.

    The Blues Cube Artist and Blues Cube Stage also feature USB connectivity, making it simple for players to capture tones directly into their favorite computer recording applications.

    For more information, visit

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    The world's most sophisticated delay pedal has just become even more powerful. The Pigtronix Echolution 2, launched at the 2014 Winter NAMM show in January, instantly became a top-seller, earning rave reviews and awards worldwide.

    But now, with the just-released 2.0 Firmware and App update, the pedal has just become capable of even more magic.

    This new application and firmware allows expression pedal and envelope control of all knobs, simultaneously, with user-definable heel and toe settings as well as independent envelope inversion, strength and decay time parameters for every preset.

    The five main parameters (Repeats, Delay Time, Delay Mix, Modulation Speed, and Modulation Depth) now support independent mapping from the expression pedal and envelope detection circuitry.

    The expression and envelope mapping can apply to multiple parameters, with each parameter having independent settings for Expression range/direction and Envelope strength/direction/release time. When a parameter has any of these advanced mapping features enabled the LED for that parameter dimly illuminates to indicate the expression or envelope control. The previous Single Expression/Envelope Mapping now serves as an Advanced Mapping Override allowing E2D users to quickly override or experiment without the use of a computer.

    This functionality is easily accessed in the newly updated Echolution 2 application using the advanced options controls. When a parameter is assigned expression pedal control, pointers for the heel and toe become visible around that parameter's associated control knob; moving these pointers sets the range of control. Controls in the advanced options menu set the direction of the expression pedal mapping.

    Envelope control is also accessed through the advanced options controls. Here envelope control of the individual parameters can be enabled, along with the strength of the mapping, the direction, and the release time of each.

    This unprecedented level of control and tweak-ability is pushed to its limit with the application's inclusion of Preset Blending. Users can select two similar presets and have the application automatically set the expression pedal ranges and directions so that the expression pedal blends between the parameter settings.

    To round out this paradigm shifting addition, we've added separate global settings for the Sensitivity and Release Time of Ducking, a host of improvements to Preset Management and Switching as well as access to Global Parameters (such as MIDI Channel).

    These updates are available as a free download right here.

    Full specs on the Echolution 2 suite can be found here:

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    Dirty Heads just released a new studio album, Sound of Change.

    The album made its debut at #1 on the Independent Albums chart, #1 on the Alternative Albums chart, and #2 on the Rock Albums chart.

    Led by the sunny single “My Sweet Summer,” now a Top 10 hit at alternative radio, the band recently released the official video online. Check it out below.

    Dirty Heads kick off the first leg of their 29-date U.S. summer tour, with Pepper and Aer. See tour dates below! Additional Dirty Heads tour dates will be announced. For up-to-date information visit the band online at

    Later this year the band will serve as Artist Ambassador for Hard Rock International and WhyHunger’s Imagine There’s No Hunger campaign. Through the program Hard Rock, WhyHunger and the Dirty Heads are raising much needed funds and awareness to connect children across the globe with nutritious meals for today and a future free from hunger. For more information visit and

    Dirty Heads also recently partnered with WHYHUNGER and Hard Rock International, becoming ambassadors for WHYHUNGER’S Artists Against Hunger & Poverty program, working to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food. Throughout the tour, auction packages for Dirty Heads Meet & Greets will be made available in 14 markets and the band will be giving away support wristbands in exchange for a minimum donation to the cause on the road.

    Proceeds from the auctions will go to WhyHunger’s Summer Meals Rock for Kids campaign, which helps to connect children in need with nutritious food during the summer months when childhood hunger spikes in the U.S. Recently, at Hard Rock Café Hollywood Blvd, the band spoke with KTLA about their involvement with WHYHUNGER. Further info can be found at

    Sound of Change, taps into some of the best producers around and the album is just what it says it is: an expansion of sound with tracks varying from club bangers to rap tracks to pop hits, all while maintaining their feel good vibe.

    Grammy award winning producer Supa Dups (Drake, Bruno Mars, Eminem) worked on “Medusa” and “Radio,” Buddah Shampoo (Ty Dolla $ign) co-produced “Silence,” Niles (of hip hop duo, The Cataracs) produced “My Sweet Summer,” David Bassett (Fitz & The Tantrums, Josh Groban) co-produced “Hear You Coming,” LD (aka LDontheCut) co-produced “Franco Eyed” and long-time friend and collaborator, Rome (Sublime with Rome) produced the remaining tracks. The album also features guest vocals by B Real of legendary hip-hop group Cypress Hill on “Franco Eyed,” Tech N9ne (collaborated with Kendrick Lamar and B.o.B.) on “Burn Slow” and Ward 21 (collaborated with Major Lazer, 311) on “Medusa.”

    Formed in 2003 in Huntington Beach, CA, Dirty Heads released their debut album, Any Port In A Storm, in September of 2008, which features the RIAA certified gold track "Lay Me Down." The song spent a record eleven weeks at #1 on the Billboard alternative chart, more than any single that year by any other artist, with Rolling Stone Magazine touting the Dirty Heads as one of the year's best new bands.

    The band followed with their sophomore effort Cabin By The Sea, which saw three hit singles “Spread Too Thin,” “Dance All Night,” as well as the album’s title track “Cabin By The Sea,” debuted on the Billboard Top 20 and peaking at #8 on iTunes overall music chart, #4 on iTunes Alternative chart and #3 on iTunes Independent chart. In addition to the immense fan devotion, press quickly fell in love with the album with Huffington Post declaring, “Summer…officially has its soundtrack.”

    The band quickly followed up with their first ever fully acoustic album titled Home – Phantoms of Summer: The Acoustic Sessions, which debuted Top 5 on the iTunes charts in the fall of 2013.

    Dirty Heads confirmed tour dates:

    July 16 Minneapolis, MN Cabooze
    July 17 Milwaukee, WI The Rave
    July 18 Chicago, IL Concord Music Hall
    July 19 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit
    July 21 Portland, ME The State Theatre
    July 22 Philadelphia, PA River Stage @ Penn’s Landing
    July 23 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
    July 24 Huntington, NY The Paramount
    July 25 Montclair, NJ The Wellmont
    July 26 Asbury Park, NJ The Stone Pony Summer Stage
    July 27 Baltimore, MD Pier Six
    July 29 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
    July 30 Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues
    July 31 Lake Buena Vista, FL The Beacham
    August 1 St. Petersburg, FL Jannus Live
    August 2 St. Augustine, FL St. Augustine Amphitheatre
    August 4 Austin, TX Stubbs Waller Creek
    August 5 Dallas, TX South Side Ballroom
    August 7 Tempe, AZ The Marquee
    August 8 Las Vegas, NV The Beach at Mandalay Bay
    August 9 San Diego, CA RIMAC Arena
    August 10 Paso Robles, CA Vina Robles Amphitheatre
    August 11 Reno, NV Grand Sierra Resort
    August 13 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater
    August 15 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheater w/311
    August 16 Garden City, ID Revolution Center
    August 17 Redmond, WA Marymoor Park
    August 18 Portland, OR Roseland Theatre
    August 19 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theater

    * additional dates to be announced

    Find out more at

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    You don't have to go down to the crossroads to get vintage-style blues sound any longer.

    The new LH-204 Brownstone from The Loar delivers a dark and meaty tone that's perfect for the blues.

    Based on the award winning LH-204, the Brownstone has a solid Sitka spruce top, mahogany back, sides and neck and a rosewood fretboard in a classic pre-war body style. The body is finished with a brown satin finish and a vintage-style bound soundhole.

    The low-key headstock design is a simple gold logo decal that gives a nod to the guitar's rootsy heritage.

    With a 1-11/16” bone nut, 25.4” scale and comfortable C profile neck, the tone and vibe of the LH-204 drip with the blues style that many consider to be the foundation of all guitar music since.


    The Brownstone is available in brown satin finish with an ivoroid bound soundhole. It comes with The Loar's industry-leading lifetime warranty.

    the LH-204 is available at a street price of $449.99

    Play it at booth 1224 at the Summer NAMM show and check out the entire line of The Loar archtops, flattops and mandolins at

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    If your hands are tired, crampy, sore, or moving too slowly, odds are that they're working too hard!

    I'll explain.

    When I was fifteen my French teacher unknowingly gave me a lifelong practice “assistant” when she volunteered to give Iyengar-style yoga classes once a week after school.

    I was instantly hooked.

    In the years since, my practice has allowed me to connect to my hands, shoulders and arms in an organized fashion, and to build the strength and flexibility I need to be able to perform onstage night after night without putting too much strain on my hands, which are on the smaller side, even for a female guitarist.

    One of the things I've learned from my own practice as an Iyengar student is that what we THINK we are doing is often quite different from what we are ACTUALLY doing. We think we are standing upright when we are not; we think we are relaxed in places where we hold tension; and sometimes when we think we are moving our shoulders we are actually using our arms, and vice versa.

    In Iyengar practice, a simple touch - or “adjustment” – from a teacher often brings the necessary awareness into a muscle that is over-active or under-active. This is something I've been fortunate to work into my own playing and teaching over the years.

    In last week's lesson, we looked at some of the basic anatomy of the shoulder, arm and hands, and the role they play in helping to make your technique and practice efficient at any level.

    In this week's lesson, we apply the concept of “adjustment” to the guitar, and with remarkable results. Now, we can take a closer look at some tendencies within the hand - the muscles we need in order to play well, and more importantly the muscles that need to learn to let go.

    Learn more about Lily Maase at the following links:

    Performance –
    Production –
    Composition –
    Guns N’ Roses tribute band –

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